Mudcat Café message #1836353 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94716   Message #1836353
Posted By: Greg B
16-Sep-06 - 09:02 PM
Thread Name: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
Sorry for my cynicism Joe.

My resume runs like this:

12 years of Catholic school.

College degree in Religious Studies.

Worked as youth- and liturgical music minister.

Very active liturgy planner at a place where 2-hour
liturgies were not uncommon.

Candidate for a religous order.

Only the last five years I've spent as an active advocate
for the survivors (and victims) of sexual abuse by priests
who, when they weren't playing golf or getting blind drunk
at the 19th hole, were diddling little boys and girls and
vulnerable adults.

My view of the clergy at large is very, very, cynical. And
that view extends well beyond those who actually molested/abused to
those who knew, and protected them, transferred them, and
coddled them while throwing the victims out with the trash.
The ordained life in Catholicism, far from being a burden,
is one of tremendous privilege and security, far more than
the ordinary 'working class' will ever know. It is one
where there is remarkably little accountability in a downwards
direction.

Every 'good' priest I know would rejoice in the opportunity
to keep people in church, thinking about the matter at hand,
for two hours. And at the opportunity to connect the liturgical
with the life that is being celebrated. As opposed to rushing
to the parking lot, having received their weekly rubber stamp
(at least those who still show up).

When my friend's father was dying, guess who showed up for
the lifelong Catholic and loyal (albeit not rich) parishioner?
The parish priest? Hell no. The Baptist African-American woman
chaplain from hospice. He got communion maybe once in six weeks,
but saw her weekly. When he passed, the parish's only contact
was through the funeral home...asking for $1500 or so bucks
to have the funeral Mass said there by Fr. McBucks. The
memorial service was presided over by that kindly woman,
in the conference room of his attorney, a family friend.

My own grandfather's experience wasn't much different. 30
years in the parish, 4th Degree Knight, countless volunteer
hours before he became frail and a few years passed and it
was 'what have you done for me lately?'

'Going My Way' is definitely an old movie, and just a movie.

Oh, and of the clergy to whom I was personally close, well
one molested about three dozen little girls. His golf buddy
acrosss town abused two brothers, one of whom became schizo
and chopped off his hand which "kept him from the kindom of
heaven." Their other body the next town over did both boys
and girls, about twenty at last count. Another taught us
yoga, then not much later was the first person I knew who died of
AIDS caught from his partner. Another broke the seal of the
confessional to break up a relationship because he was
interested in the young man, while my own spiritual director
conspired with the latter priest to 'leak' info to the
young man, during which time said spiritual director was
carrying on an abusive relationship with a peer of mine
starting at age 16. He waited until I was 19 to make his
attempt on me, by which time I didn't fall for it. And my
other mentor, well he JUST set up housekeeping with a 19-year-old
young man (Mike must be 55) who came to him in his parish
for counseling. The priest who took over from the first priest
had an affair with a deceased friend of mine when he was a
young priest, bought a condo with her to shack up in, the
persuaded her to quit-claim it to him for zero dollars (we
have the public records). She said he extorted sex from her
by threatening to put her on the street. She lived there till
she died, and he still owns it, to the tune of a half a million
in capital gains. HE was the one who refused to take the first
priest's name off the parish center when asked (even thought
the diocese admitted the abuses). Oh, and at my high school
the band teacher (Holy Cross) abused two different boys. When
one of them went to the chaplain, later promoted to principal
for help, the chaplain 'helped' by sodomizing the 14-year-old.

And while we're at it, I give you Bishop Daniel Walsh of
Santa Rosa, who violated state reporting laws (which he
himself signed off as knowing) by delaying reporting of
Fr. Xavier Ochoa to law enforcement when said priest
admitted abusing boys...with four other priests in the
room. All five of these mandatory reporters failed to
report for several days. Ochoa is now safely out of reach
in Mexico. And Walsh is pulling political strings to avoid
prosecution.

Yeah, these guys are the very 'flower' of American male-ness
and I take at face value the motivations for everything they
do!

Some priest friends of mine are so disgusted that they've
gone into exile (Tim Stier, of Fremont, Ca.) from their
work, retired (Fr. Ken Lasch) or actually sued for their
own sexual abuse in seminary/religious formation (Fr. Robert
Hoatson).

I have a feeling that when Ken came to my house for a dining-
room table liturgy to celebrate the life of my late Uncle Vince
he'd have let me sing 'Danny Boy' if I'd wanted to. He likes
Irish music. Only Vince was English. Probably would have
sat through that Prot hymn 'Jersusalem' even. He was quite
amused when the cat sat quietely in the other room until it
was time for communion, then quietly walked over and waited
at has feet!

Oh...if anyone here has been abused by a priest or religious,
give me a shout...I have the right connections to get you the
help and support you deserve.

So the straight-up answer, is that if Fr. McFeely won't let
you sing 'Danny Boy' at your Irish father's funeral, then
it has to more with his being an officious prick who wants
to get through another lame-ass rubber-stamp liturgy which
intrudes in his schedule than any other reason. And if Pa
left a half a million to the parish, and his new Mercedes
to McFeely you'd be able to sing 'Kick the Pope' while he
processed up the aisle in an orange stole.