Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sometimes A Com-Box Posting Takes On A Life Of It's Own
This is one of those times

In regards to the posting I just did entitled When "Retarded" Becomes The Punch-Line..., we have this from NYPD Green;

I am a parishioner at this parish and attended the 8AM mass with my oldest son. My wife and my 2 oldest girls attended the 5:30 PM Saturday evening Mass. While we were spared the reference to us becoming Jesus, we were 'treated' to the "Retard" story and the Deacon's interesting take on marriage. First off, as far as the marriage comment, I'll just quote the catechism:

CCC 1621 "In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholic faithful normally takes place during Holy Mass, because of the connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ. In the Eucharist the memorial of the New Covenant is realized, the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself for ever to the Church, his beloved bride for whom he gave himself up. It is therefore fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and by receiving the Eucharist so that, communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ, they may form but "one body" in Christ."

So here we have a sacrament modeled after Christ's Covenant with the Church being mocked in front of the Blessed Sacrament no less. This is an all to common occurrence at my parish. I guess the sanctity of matrimony does not trump a good punch line, no matter where you are standing or what is in the tabernacle behind you. As a married man of 15 years, I can appreciate a good joke, even at my own expense, but the altar of my church is where I would hope to find the dignity and respect that my chosen vocation deserves. Just as a priest says yes to Gods calling, I feel God has called me to be a husband and father. The source of the grace I receive to carry out my vocation, should not be the platform in which it is torn down. There is a whole secular society out there dying to do that.

Now to the "retard" joke. After the 5:30 PM mass, my wife left a message with our pastor regarding the insensitive nature of the repeated use of the word "retarded" in the deacon's homily. She explained how we did not want our 7 year old son with autism to hear such a homily. This is a boy who has often come home from his bus ride in tears after being called a "retard", by a few of the older kids, who have figured out that his mannerisms and trips to 'Room 120' for services make him different from them. For him to hear a word that he has only heard in cruel, derogatory tones, coming from the one place where we've tried to teach him he should always feel welcome and safe, in front of the Eucharist would potentionally be devastating for him. My wife left these concerns not on the office line, but on his emergency line. He never got back to her over the matter and the deacon obviously went on with his altar 'schtick'.

This also impacted my 13 year old daughter, who just several hours earlier, representing the teen pro-life group she helped to start up, had just given a speech at a downtown pro-life rally, regarding the sanctity of life. She nailed all the major points, abortion, stem cell, euthanasia, respect for the elderly and the handicap. The indifference and callousness of such terms were not lost on her. Calling someone such a name in her own home would produce severe repercussions, yet on the altar of her church, it is delivered with gleeful jocularity. What a let down for her.

The greatest irony to my wife and I, is that 2 days prior to this, we attended a Mass given by our wonderful Bishop, who was in town to finish up a radio interview with our Catholic radio station 92.7 WBPL. After Mass, he received the congregation and after receiving a blessing from him, my wife told him of our concerns over the lack of resources for special needs kids, and the ability to incorporate them into the parish as participants in the partaking in and understanding of the sacraments. He seemed very eager to field this question and genuinely empathetic to our concerns. We look forward to hearing his response when the program airs. We just wonder how he would have taken the homily we all had to endure this past weekend. I also wonder how one of our ushers, who is mentally challenged and his mother felt about what they'd heard Saturday evening. Oh well, I'm sure the kids at the back of my sons bus would have gotten a chuckle out of the deacon. I guess some jokes should just stay at the back of the school bus.

Well, venting is over.
Time to pray.

3 Comments:

Blogger Adrienne said...

I agree with both of you that the Deacon's story was rather tasteless (and not very funny, either.) But, he (the deacon) is doing the best he can and I hope the priest will gently correct him after the Mass.

As to the children?? This can used as a teaching moment - a time to explain to them how easy it can be to hurt someone else's feelings and sometimes even big people make mistakes. You can also explain the real meaning of the word retard, which is to slow down.

Along a similar vein, a neighboring parish is having a retreat for the 7th - 12th graders which is entitled Jesus - The Ultimate Hook-Up and our state Youth Convention is called Go Deep Both just make me cringe!

12:32 AM  
Blogger M. Alexander said...

I'm shaking my head in frustration that people are still members, and dues paying members of parishes where this heresy is going on. God will surely judge you. I know this seems very doomsday and dire but honestly you cannot turn a blind eye and condone sacrilege.

If even 10% of the people walked out, withheld their "dues" wrote letters to the bishop and talked to the priest- things would change.

But I suppose it is easier to just complain and feel sorry for ourselves.

5:55 PM  
Blogger nypd green said...

I don't know adrienne, I'm all for my kids learning from life experience, but using bad behavior from a Priest or Deaconto make a point? While no saint myself, during my time as a cop, I knew that everytime I put on my uniform, I should be transcending my own flaws and living up to what my job represents to others. I would hope that this is tenfold for a priest when he puts his collar on every morning and especially when he delivers his homilies from right beside our Lord. Sorry, I'd just as soon avoid giving a lesson from that perspective. Just as I would avoid certain "realities" I could have taught them from my experience dealing with the underbelly of society or the stories my wife could share with them from her time as an ER nurse. There is a time and place for everything.

Also, some children with autism tend to see things very black and white. My guy is that way. I know my son and he would have a very hard time hearing the word "retard", coming from someone who by his vocation alone is one we've taught him to honor and respect. Bottom line, special needs kid or not, this is not the type of representation of priestly behavior that they should be getting. A reasonable expectation if you ask me.

m.alexander, in all fairness to my fellow parishioners, our Bishop and all in the our deanery who desire a return to a more Orthodox Church, there are currently no options that are that much better, and the Bishop does not really have that much to work with as far as solid priests go. He has a lot of work in front of him and in one year he has done some great things.

While I have no problem with flipping a table or two when needed, we also need to recognize when we are at our time in the desert and just need to pray.

7:51 PM  

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