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Friday, March 1, 2013

When the Hater is Another Christian

In today's Modesto Bee a letter from a 'priest' by the name of Kathleen West demonstrates what happens when Scripture falls into the hands of someone out to hurt someone.

Angered by the Pope Emeritus Benedict the 16th wearing nice clothes, Ms. West quote Our Lord when He was shaming the pharisees for dressing nicely while not really loving God.  Ms. West implies that B16 is also a hypocrite, alleging that his retirement is due to the allegations in the Italian press that homosexual priests working in the Vatican engaged in perverted sexual orgies.  Ms. West, clinging tightly to the false cloth she wears as a 'priest', has the audacity and poor grace to put herself in the same category as one of the greatest theologians the world has ever known. She states that clergy must be held to a high standard of behavior, while stooping to the level of playground mean-girl antics.

She must be aware of the sad state of affairs within her own ranks.  In 2012, the Episcopal Pension Fund findings are the following:

• Ordinations overall have fallen by 26 percent in the past six years. Ordinations to the priesthood have fallen by 31 percent and permanent deacons now make up 30 percent of all ordinations.

• Retirements are outpacing ordinations by 43 percent.

• The age distribution of clergy has changed drastically over time, with fewer clergy being ordained at younger ages and more clergy with older ages at ordination.

• Southern provinces—also the provinces that ordain the most clergy—ordain 33 percent more male clergy than female clergy.

• Male clergy make up 62 percent of recently ordained employed clergy and 66 percent of all employed clergy. In addition to gender differences, age also influences clergy employability in that the older a cleric’s age at ordination, the less likely he or she is to have current employment.

• Over the past 100 years in The Episcopal Church, the geographical distribution of clergy has changed from being predominantly Northeastern to much more Southern and Western.

• Within the past decade, both the absolute and relative numbers of curate, assistant, and associate positions have declined precipitously in several provinces.     And of course, Ms. West is aware that there is a higher abuse rate among Protestant clergy than Catholic, including more attacks by Homosexual pedophile WOMEN who are now in a position of power within her own church.   Of course, Ms. West didn't really mean to demean the area's Catholics.  She is, no doubt, upset that her congregation underwent its own dramatic split a few years ago.  I am sure she is still upset that so many of her former flock is starting to show up at the RCIA programs around the Valley.   I responded to the letter.  It will probably be printed.  I will bet my friends Gary and Betty and others also responded.  I will bet we will be attacked on line as always by people who do not know the facts, who think sexual abuse by Catholic Priests is the ONLY scandal the Christian world is subjected to when the members of the Body of Christ care more for their own selves than they do to follow Him.   Ms. West is a sad and angry woman.  I know she thinks she is doing God's Will.  That makes it even sadder.  She needs our prayers.  She also needs to understand that hurling bits and pieces of Scripture around in order to make one's point is, well, pointless.   Maybe she should read the Gospel of St Matthew....I am going to read Chapter 7.   Who wants to join me?

1 comment:

R.L. G said...

You could always ask her how being the beneficiary of 93 years of soul killing church decimating policy is working out for her. Most Episcopal priestess’ I’ve known are uber angry. I mean, the only other pure, directed, diamond hard rage like that I’ve experienced is from untreated black-belt Alanon’s with 25 or more years. Unless you like poking sticks into a cage, I’d leave her alone with her constant companion. It may be that you will be needed in her life later, but you’ll know when that happens.
I have recently softened my heart towards our Episcopal and Anglican brothers and sisters, but that was only after some effort and council with a priest. I have seen the pain in the eyes of those who are left in broken TEC parishes, and don’t want to add to their pain. Their church is hemorrhaging badly, communities are in chaos. I took the easy way out, in retrospect. I skipped a lot of steps loaded with pain when I showed up on the doorstep of the one true apostolic church.
I have read some of the exchanges in the Bee, and am surprised by the intensity of the vitriol directed at you. I am also surprised that the protestant detractors have not read Philip Jenkins’s “Pedophiles and Priests…” Most of the rabid SDA’s, Baptists and others I interact with have moved on from the abuse-is-only-in-the-Catholic-Church meme. I have found that it is being kept alive by our own internal strife with women’s ordination, celibacy and same sex marriage advocates from within. You have some real winners out your way. Lots of opportunity for combat apologetics, lol! Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised; it seems like fear is directing a lot of people these days. Keep on doing what you are doing, Leslie.