Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Joan Vennochi: Creative Writing 101

Ms. Joan Vennochi is unhappy. What is it that has Joan so down? Well, Fr. Walter Cuenin, a supporter of the radical homosexual agenda, was removed as pastor of Our Lady, Help of Christians parish in Newton because of his use of "a parish-funded, parish-approved lease car." She writes that this "was supposedly the basis for what was billed as O'Malley's decision to yank him for 'financial improprieties'" and that, "Speculation as to the real motivation includes Cuenin's support for gays and his past criticism of Law."

Joan goes on to speculate some more suggesting that Cardinal Law may be continuing to "rule as shadow head of the Boston archdiocese" and that he may be accomplishing this remarkable feat "through his holdovers" (such as Bishop Richard Lennon and Chancellor David Smith). Why do I get the feeling that Ms. Vennochi has served as a scriptwriter for the X-Files? Either that or she smoked some bad grass and forgot to exhale.

All silliness aside, it is not Cardinal Law who is now "running the show" in the Archdiocese. It is another Law...Canon Law. Here's what it says: "When the ministry of any pastor has become detrimental or at least ineffective for any reason, even through no grave fault of his own, he can be removed from the parish by the diocesan bishop." (Canon 1740). Any authentic Catholic would agree that a priest's support of "same-sex marriage" and the ordination of women to the ministerial priesthood constitutes a real detriment.

Canon 1741 states that: "The reasons for which a pastor can be legitimately removed from his parish are especially (but not limited to) the following:

1. A way of acting which is gravely detrimental or disturbing to the ecclesial community (organizing "gay" parades or advocating sodomite "marriage" while agitating for women priests would all fall neatly under this category).

2. Incompetence or a permanent infirmity of mind or body which renders a pastor incapable of performing his duties in a useful way (although I am sorely tempted to make comment here I will refrain from doing so since my list of personal sins for my next confession is long enough).

3. Loss of good reputation among upright and good parishioners or aversion to the pastor which are foreseen as not ceasing in a short time (Is it aversion when I feel like throwing up everytime I see this priest?).

4. Grave neglect or violation of parochial duties which persist after a warning (Whether or not this one applies to Fr. Cuenin only Church officials could say).

5. Poor administration of temporal affairs with grave damage to the Church whenever this problem cannot be remedied in any other way.

For Ms. Vennochi, who is anxious to describe the Mystical Body of Christ in purely political terms, "under the new pope, the ideological right controls the church." Such an attitude betrays a poor understanding of what the Church really is. Unlike all merely human institutions and communities, the Church always remains one and the same in the faith which She guards. This faith is not allegiance to a political system, party or ideology, but rather faith in the Lord Jesus. As much as Ms. Vennochi might want the Church to adapt itself to the "modern age" or to "liberal Democratic" policies and platforms, the Church cannot do so because such would represent a betrayal of Her mission. It was Pope John XXIII (not to be confused with Senator Kerry's Pius XXIII) who said that: "The Church must give Her imprint to the nations and historical epochs, and not the reverse."

The Church's opposition to homosexuality, abortion, contraception, women priests and the rest of the shopping list of grievances maintained by "progressive Catholics" and liberal Democrats alike, stems not from a "conservative agenda" but from Her desire to remain faithful to the Divine Will of Her Founder Jesus Christ in all things.

Ms. Vennochi has too creative a mind to be writing for The Boston Globe. There are many opportunities for those who specialize in creative fiction. Perhaps Senator Rodham will need another speech writer in 2008?

Paul Anthony Melanson

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