Monday, January 22, 2018

Bishop Mitchell Rozanski calls for "listening sessions" in preparation for the Diocesan 'Pastoral' Synod: But who will the Diocese actually listen to?

In his Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Suam, Pope Paul VI explains that, " a recognized method of the apostolate. It is a way of making spiritual contact. It should however have the following characteristics:

1) Clarity before all else; the dialogue demands that what is said should be intelligible. We can think of it as a kind of thought transfusion. It is an invitation to the exercise and development of the highest spiritual and mental powers a man possesses. This fact alone would suffice to make such dialogue rank among the greatest manifestations of human activity and culture. In order to satisfy this first requirement, all of us who feel the spur of the apostolate should examine closely the kind of speech we use. Is it easy to understand? Can it be grasped by ordinary people? Is it current idiom?

2) Our dialogue must be accompanied by that meekness which Christ bade us learn from Himself: "Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart." It would indeed be a disgrace if our dialogue were marked by arrogance, the use of bared words or offensive bitterness. What gives it its authority is the fact that it affirms the truth, shares with others the gifts of charity, is itself an example of virtue, avoids peremptory language, makes no demands. It is peaceful, has no use for extreme methods, is patient under contradiction and inclines towards generosity.

3) Confidence is also necessary; confidence not only in the power of one's own words, but also in the good will of both parties to the dialogue. Hence dialogue promotes intimacy and friendship on both sides. It unites them in a mutual adherence to the Good, and thus excludes all self-seeking.

4) Finally, the prudence of a teacher who is most careful to make allowances for the psychological and moral circumstances of his hearer, particularly if he is a child, unprepared, suspicious or hostile. The person who speaks is always at pains to learn the sensitivities of his audience, and if reason demands it, he adapts himself and the manner of his presentation to the susceptibilities and the degree of intelligence of his hearers....In a dialogue conducted with this kind of foresight, truth is wedded to charity and understanding to love." (Nos. 81, 82).

As faithful Catholics, we must recognize and embrace these characteristics of authentic dialogue, even when our partners in dialogue refuse to accept these principles. For we will often encounter those who have succumbed to relativism or who do not possess a love of objective truth. For such people, the purpose of dialogue is not to attain truth but rather to achieve personal victory and to triumph at any cost. As Dr. Montague Brown explains in his wonderful book "The One-Minute Philosopher" (Sophia Institute Books): "An argument (emotional, not rational) is a disorderly confrontation based on an unwillingness to learn from one another. Desire for victory takes precedence over love of truth, with the result that agreement becomes an argument, I simply want my position to be the right one and you to agree with me. I am, indeed, looking for agreement, but on my terms, not in terms of objective truth." (p. 33). An authentic dialogue (which such people are not really interested in) is, " orderly confrontation based on a mutual willingness to learn from one another. It involves the presentation of evidence by each party and then a good-faith attempt of the participants in the discussion to come to agreement...In a discussion [or dialogue], I do not primarily want to disagree: I want to know the truth.." (The One-Minute Philosopher, p. 32).

It was Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint, No. 36, who said, "There must be charity toward one's partner in dialogue, and humility with regard to the truth which comes to light and which might require a review of assertions and attitudes."

This is what Catholics are called to. Sadly, the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, under the "leadership" of Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, has failed to embrace these fundamental characteristics of dialogue.  Catholics who adhere to the perennial teaching of the Church or who refuse to accept liberal Democratic policies advanced by Bishop Rozanski are routinely excluded from any meaningful participation in parish or diocesan life.

Readers of this Blog know how the Bishop deleted comments I left at his Facebook page regarding his partisan posturing on immigration and how he blocked me from commenting in the future simply because I politely disagreed with him and refuted his arguments with sound logic.  See here.

Now Bishop Rozanski, presiding over a Diocese which is crumbling from within, " encouraging the faithful to take part in listening sessions" in preparation for a Diocesan Pastoral Synod.

But who exactly will the Diocese be listening to?  From past experience, it will not not be "the faithful," but only those who embrace dissent from Church teaching or far-left Democratic policies.  See here

Related reading here.


Orange Catholic said...

It would be nice if Bishop Rozanski would listen to the concerns of devout, Faithful Catholics. I am praying!

David said...

Cyn M said...

I will continue to join my prayers to yours for the bishop and clergy. Stay strong, continue to speak the truth, and keep praying for them.

Beacon Street Catholic said...

President Trump has done so much for the pro-life movement and is the FIRST SITTING PRESIDENT to participate in the March for Life and yet..Nothing from Bishop Rozanski. Strange huh? Is the Bishop really pro-life or does he merely give the pro-life message lip service and no more?

If the Bishop is really interested in "welcoming the stranger," how about praising President Trump for doing his part to welcome the unborn and oppose the Culture of Death?


Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Thank you Cyn for your fidelity. God bless you!

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Well said Beacon Street Catholic. After the Obama administration, with its radical support for abortion through all nine months of pregnancy and even partial birth abortion, which is infanticide, not to mention the administration's support for same-sex "marriage" and its assault on religious liberty via Obamacare, one would think Bishop Rozanski would have something positive to say about our current President.

To date, I have seen only criticism.

Very telling.

MaryP said...

I have been to such listening sessions. They use Alinsky tactics: present agenda, marginalizing of those who have a different point of view, and re-framing all questions and comments into their own terms. So the end result always supports the agenda.

Unknown said...


Penance Penance Penance

to avoid Divine vengeance
for not showing any remorse

and trying our will to enforce

The reign of the Impostor has arrived

the Church, of TRUTH is being deprived

the whole world hangs on his lips

while being readied for a total eclipse

The true followers of Christ

trying to pull off the heist

are persecuted for non-compliance
and being countered with defiance

When it will seem that all is lost

everything sacred has been tossed

God will deliver us from our agony

and reign forever in all His Majesty



Rita Biesemans, December 19 2013

Unknown said...

The Ship of Peter is torn apart
Martyred in its Holy Teaching
It sinks and sinks, no work of art
The bottom though never reaching

Dissidents are screaming loud
Leaving behind an awful niff
Pretending to be proudly stout
Gearing the Ship into a cliff

Jesus shows His wounded Heart
Smitten with a deadly dart
Peter the Rock in desolation
Deploring severe desecration

Wake up, you Christian Brother
Show now your truthful face
With Mary our Heavenly Mother
We'll reach that Peaceful Place

In allegiance to the Holy Father (which was still Benedict XVI in 2011)
United in prayer and fasting
No victory will claim, but rather
Satan's defeat be everlasting.

Rita Biesemans, 01-02-2011

Nicole said...

Which is why the Diocese of Springfield is fragmenting. Truly sad.

FaithFilled Catholic said...

Another dog-and-pony show. In about a year they will come out with a statement along the lines of "the best way to have more vibrant parishes and deal with decreasing mass attendance, shortage of priests..blah blah is more pastoral planning" (read: close more churches)

David said...

Le Barde Gaulois said...

It was the same under McDonnell, and the same under Dupré. Numerous letters I've sent to these bishops concerning the availability of the Traditional Latin Mass in the diocese have been unanswered. There are good numbers of the faithful who leave diocesan territory for Enfield or Albany to hear the TLM every Sunday, but His Excellency has not listened to their pleas. A good priest in Agawam exiled, a monthly group in Pittsfield expelled from the parish for baptizing a child, priests with a known fondness for the TLM living in fear... One wonders how long the weekly TLM in Agawam will last, or if Rozanski won't take some action against it.

I'd go speak at one of these sessions, but I just know I'd be wasting my breath.

Orange Catholic said...

Rozanski welcomes active homosexuals but not faith-filled Catholics who love the Latin Mass. The Springfield Diocese doesn't need these fake "listening sessions, it needs an exorcism.

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