Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tucson Sabbatical Adventure--disappointment

Let's start with a nice picture of San Xavier mission taken yesterday--an iconic view of whitewashed adobe walls and deep blue sky.

Now onto more substantial matters.  I finished up my work at Poverello House this morning.  We had nine clients, spent most of my time helping to make Beef Stroganoff for lunch, and doing laundry.

It was hard to leave.  I very much enjoyed my time doing basic service and getting to hear the experiences of men who are living on the street.  I don't think I will ever be able to talk to homeless men again and not see them in some way as "my guys."  I suspect I will become more involved in their plight when I get home.

The disappointment was then attending a meeting of the Secular Franciscans in the afternoon.  They seem a very nice group of people who are committed to following St Francis's example of serving the poor.  I felt that they might be a model for us as Episcopalians to be more in touch with this Gospel imperative.  The only problem is that their agenda (at least for this meeting) was all about "Obama's attack on the family", and how requiring insurance companies to provide birth control was an attack on "religious freedom."  I am sorry, but I don't buy that argument.  Nor do I think that those who support a Woman's right to chose, same-sex marriage, and birth control are out to destroy the country.  I did keep my mouth shut as a guest, even though I was invited to speak.  My mentor, Br David, whom I have great regard for, tried to steer the conversation towards the values of St Francis, but it appears the the culture wars have sidetracked even this most compassionate of Catholics.

It reminded me of a friend in New York City who said than in the last year he has received 10 letters from the Cardinal there.  Seven were about sex, and three were about church governance.  None was about the poor.

I don't want to be in the position of casting the first stone here.  Our record in the Episcopal Church of siding with the poor has not always been great, but I had somehow expected better from the admirers of the Poverello(the little poor man), St Francis.


Anonymous said...

My husband attends a RC parish in the Diocese of Phoenix, and, for two consecutive weeks a month or so ago, the homilies were "diatribes" (his word) about the government's attempt to "destroy the Catholic Church."

Anonymous said...

How very sad that a "religious" group must be political. I guess we just expect more from people than they are sometimes able to give. Sounds like you are having a wonderful adventure and working hard. Blessings, Marge Perry

Anonymous said...

Your comments about abortion, contraception use and same sex marriage show just how heretical your church has become.

What was the one thing God commanded Adam & Eve to do? Be fruitful & multiply. I'm sorry, but that is not possible if you are contracepting or engaging in same sex relations.

The teaching of the Catholic Church on these topics makes logical sense. Sex in a marriage must be open to life and unitive. That is why we don't allow the use of contraception...It takes the act and reduces it from being open to life to being nothing more than an act of pleasure. In effect the couple tells the creator, who gives them the marital right to be a co-creator in new life, thanks but no thanks.

The teaching on the impossibility of same sex marriage flows from the same thinking...It is biologically impossible for same sex couples to engage in "marital relations" that are open to life.

On the subject of abortion, you either believe that life begins at conception and ends at natural death or you don't. If you believe, as the Church teaches, that life begins at conception, the termination of the pregnancy is murder, not a right to choose.

My wife and I attended an Episcopal parish for a period of time and I have to say that it was the constant stream of heresy coming down from the pulpit that drove us out and into the Catholic Church. One week, the minister talked about being there when his wife's father took his life and helping him through that process. Another week, during your annual pastoral visit, the crux of your sermon was on how the church needs to find a way to recognize same sex marriages in the same way they have recognized remarriages after divorce.

I agree with your statement that we all need to do more to help the sick, poor, elderly and marginalized. But, it is also our duty to hold true to the teachings of Christ and never water down those teachings just because its the easy thing to do.

As a faithful Catholic, I firmly believe that we must hate the sin, but love the sinner. It is not my place to pass judgement on anyone... that is for Christ alone. As the publican prayed, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner. And as we say in our liturgy, Lord forgive me for my sins are without number.

However, it is the responsibility of every baptized Christian to speak the truth as proclaimed in scripture and apostolic tradition. Truth is something the Episcopal church has moved far, far away from.