I do not want to give details here, but I do want to make a comment on why I stay in a parish where things are, shall we say, less than orthodox. Seriously, don’t ask. This is enough of an occasion of sin for me without adding gossipping.
I know more than a few families who have left our parish (as well as nearby ones) because of heterodoxy. They have not left the Faith – they wouldn’t dream of it – but have, instead, gone to other parishes (usually one in particular) where they know the pastor is of a more orthodox bent. Many of those people encourage those who are in a parish where they are unhappy with the heterodoxy there to leave – come to Saint Orthodox Parish over here, they say.
Hubby and I actually contemplated this a couple of years ago, seriously entertaining the idea and even attending some of the other parishes in the area.
There are a couple of reasons why we decided to stay. First, and foremost, we are not supposed to parish-hop. Unless we’ve gotten permission from the bishop, we are supposed to stay put. It’s not like we live on the edge of our parish. We are a mere 2 1/2 miles from the church. So we couldn’t say that maybe we’re really in that parish over there.
Secondly, to be honest, about the only parish that seems to be orthodox in the area is not a Latin Rite church. You are not supposed to switch rites unless you are either not in an area where your rite is available or unless you have permission to switch rites. Neither of these apply to us. Besides, we ARE Latin Rite Catholics, and we have no desire to make a permanent switch. This isn’t to say that we don’t enjoy going to Mass occasionally at the Eastern Rite parish across town, but we are aware that when we do, it’s a visit. It’s not home.
Lastly, we will stay because it is not good for us to run from this. My father said to me (when the first conflict came up more than two years ago) that it is our duty to help fix it from within, not take flight and leave everyone else in a heterodox mess. (Not his words completely, but that was the general idea.) God has put us here for a reason. God has placed us in this parish for a reason. As Hubby put it to me, “This is how God takes care of His Church and heals it.”
Our parish has had these problems for far longer than we’ve lived here. It’s not new; it’s just new to us. So we will stay and fight the good fight. Even if it makes for some suffering moments while we do.
Just think of the souls we can release from Purgatory if we offer it all up!
In the meantime, please pray for all parishes that are having diffuculties. Pray that priests will be unafraid to proclaim the true teachings of the Church. Pray that we will all learn to be more obedient to our bishops. Pray for the priests that are struggling with their assention to the Faith and the Church. And pray for those who criticize those priests, too. Because when we gossip about the priests (even online), we hurt the Church. And, because the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, we also hurt Christ Himself. Our gossip about these things puts the lashmarks on His back, the thorns in His precious head, and the nails through His sacred hands.
May God bring healing to us! May God protect all parishes that are struggling and are under spiritual attack!
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the divine power of God cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.