Skip to comments.A New Breed of Priest
Posted on 08/02/2004 8:21:41 AM PDT by CatherineSienaEdited on 08/02/2004 12:08:38 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
It's hard to miss Father Marcos Gonzalez, who wears an ankle-length black cassock every day, a garment most priests tossed out decades ago. But it's not just his clothes that bespeak an older, more traditional era of his Roman Catholic Church.
When some priests spoke in favor of optional celibacy at a Los Angeles priest assembly last year a position supported by most American Catholics today Gonzalez booed in dissent. In premarital counseling, he tells couples to remain chaste until marriage, plunging into delicate territory some priests prefer to avoid. Gonzalez also believes artificial birth control and gay sex are always a sin and opposes women's ordination.
Such stances conform with Vatican teachings, he says, but are at odds with many American priests and lay people.
Yet Gonzalez, an associate pastor at St. Andrew Church in Pasadena, is hardly a relic from a fading past. At 41, he offers one glimpse of the future as a member of a new breed of younger priests ordained during the 25-year papacy of Pope John Paul II and passionately committed to the pope's orthodox teachings.
As the health of John Paul now 84 and the third-longest serving pontiff in history continues to falter, men like Gonzalez stand ready to guard and propagate his legacy. They represent a global trend toward Christian orthodoxy, in contrast to a generation of more liberal priests ordained during the 1960s reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
"We are very, very faithful to the Holy Father and not in any way dissenting from the teachings of the church," Gonzalez says of like-minded colleagues.
The emergence of these young conservatives has set off a flurry of studies, books and debate about what effect they will have on the nation's 62 million Roman Catholics, its largest religious denomination.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
"They aim for nothing less than to reshape the face of the American Catholic priesthood."
The same could be said about the SSPX - except they're less liberal than Pope John Paul 2 - and are reshaping not only the American priesthood, but every other continent as well.
As to Gonzalez, I notice he's a priest in Los Angeles.
Ordained by that mean old lefty, Roger Mahoney.
**When some priests spoke in favor of optional celibacy at a Los Angeles priest assembly last year a position supported by most American Catholics today Gonzalez booed in dissent.**
This man is a tall man in my mind! Think of it -- in Los Angeles!
Will it be OK with you if I add the words Catholic List to the keywords?
That is the new way that FR is tracking articles now...........always needs to be included on any Catholic Article!
Thanks for the article- Wonderful- I am looking forward to the next generation of Bishops and Cardinals.
Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.
**I am looking forward to the next generation of Bishops and Cardinals.**
I'll second that idea!
I think the
should be known as
"catholics Without Borders"
the seemingly limitless girth
of the aging boomer membership,
and to their
"no bondaries" attitude
ARTICLE: "...however, the "John Paul priests" are less supportive than older colleagues of optional celibacy, women priests, the democratic elections of bishops and greater lay leadership."
IN PLAIN ENGLISH: these priests are not heretics
Sounds great, and I can cheer this priest and those like him! Wish there were more of them and that they were further up in the hierarchy!
If a priest is a "meanie" for denying Our Lord's Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, to a unrepetent public sinner of ANY sort, then we need more "meanies!"
Indeed we need more of these priests, and will have many more of them in the future soon, as the liberals die off. The problem these younger ones have now is that of having to skirt the liberal superior they deal with, in order to properly say mass, teach the faith, etc. They have a valiant struggle.
"The problem these younger ones have now is that of having to skirt the liberal superior they deal with, in order to properly say mass, teach the faith, etc. They have a valiant struggle."
Sadly, you are correct. Fr. Stravinskas had an editorial in one of his last issues of "The Catholic Answer" chronicling just this fact. Some of these young men are LEAVING the priesthood after five years or so because of the Fr. Groovies and Sister Issues they have to deal with.
And more to come!
I have repeatedly heard on EWTN, similar stories from young men who were "called" to the priesthood during the pope's visit to Denver.
God has carefully watched over, nurtured and fed this new crop of priests. To Him be the glory now and forever, Amen!
I absolutely believe this article and it gives me great hope for the future. This Sunday, the seminarian at our parish just casually dropped into his sermon that Catholic husbands and wives should always be open to life. The thrust of his sermon was that Jesus considers all those who know the truths of the Catholic faith but willfully choose not to follow the teachings "fools".
That is very sad. If they cannot bear the cross of a disobedient superior, they should request a transfer to a more conservative parish or diocese. I just today mentioned on another thread that I know a young priest who did just that. He is now very happy and has started a street hockey club for the boys. I pray he will reap many vocations in his new parish.
Thank you for sharing this!
Like your freeper name, there are times when I feel "old and tired" but my faith is sound and I truly trust in the future!
It turns out that particular Maronite church had several refugees from liberal parishes. Any idea how many folks have switched rites? We were also wondering, but didn't have the nerve to ask, if any of them would switch back once things get better in the Roman rite. Do you think you would switch back? (I'm much bolder on the internet!)
I think the only thing more traditional Catholics can do is to support parishes that are in line with tradition. I havent gone to a local parish in 2 and a half years. Have you considerd going to the more traditional Slavic parish?
>>Have you considerd going to the more traditional Slavic parish?<<
Going there is one thing, joining is another. They are in the process of expanding and are not taking new parishoners until then.
Also (although this is less important) my four year old is starting K CCD in the fall. She is homeschooled and doing first grade work. If I go to the Slavic CCD she will go back to Preschool. However if they would take us, we would deal with that.
I volunteered for the Education committee in the fall. I fear I will not be well liked. I plan to print out everything the Vatican recently frowned upon. MANY things are wrong with this parish.
The "new" priest in our parish apparently read this article and was quite upset by it.
He went on to say how the Vatican II priests teach and preach "love" and the JPII priests preach "fire and brimstone." That, "sure there was a hell but God would never put anyone there." Then he went on saying that he would certainly not comment or preach on sexual sins and would stay out of our bedrooms! Especailly since he had no expertise in that matter.
Then he went on to say that he watched the Democratic Convention and said, "While not endorsing Kerry, at least Kerry was connected to his inner self and was complete in his life." Or something to that effect.
My husband of 23 years said that he had never had such a jarring homily in all his life. Ruined the day for us actually. --Until we read the article he was commenting on. What a refreshing piece - and from the LA Times for that matter.
Not sure where you were in the Richmond diocese, it is quite large geographically, but there are 2 traditional parishes (more accurately one traditional parish in Richmond, and one traditional "mission" in chesapeake near virginia beach). Both allowed by the Bishop. I think there might be an SSPX church somewhere in Richmond, too (not sure, though, never been there).
Other than those two "indult" churches that I regularly attend when in Richmond, what I have seen in that diocese is positively frightening.
"This lady has illusions of grandeur forced upon herself by her egoism."
Actually, they were probably put there by a previous pastor who was too lazy to run the parish himself, and turned it over to anyone willing to look after it. When this type of pastor is replaced, the new guy has a miserable time trying to rebuild a parish (and take away the "priestly faculties" his predecessor has bestowed on lay people in his tenure).
"99% of Catholics aren't even aware of the SSPX."
At least 75% of these are ex-Catholics; and many others are probably masqueraders aligned with the pro-death Kerry crowd.
"Ordained by that mean old lefty, Roger Mahoney."
Ordained despite adversity from Roger the dodger.
God doesn't need to 'put us there', we get there just fine on our own ( to His dismay ) when we turn away from HIM!
That 28 year old priest sounds like dy-no-mite! He certainly gets my vote! Oh yeah! My 73-year old Irish dreadnought pastor would welcome him with open arms, they would be totally compatible in their views! As for that 60 year old.....the most charitable thing I'll say is that there is a clear lack of bran in his diet!
"I have a feeling that if we are vigilant for the next few years, these younger priests will take over control and the Church will be able to rest her eyes a little. There's hope!"
Lillabettt, that is a hope I share with you.
"If a priest is a "meanie" for denying Our Lord's Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, to a unrepetent public sinner of ANY sort, then we need more "meanies!"
Amen and right-on! Preach it!
May the Lord greatly bless your son and strenghten him in his vocation!
Sinkspur, at last I think we are in agreement, at least in a limited sense:
"The SSPX is reshaping nothing, Phil, except its own small sphere. It's amazing how many integrists think their influence is so much greater than it actually is. 99% of Catholics aren't even aware of the SSPX."
1% of One Billion Catholics is about 10 million. Isn't that what you would define as THE remnant (Romans 9:27; Romans 11:5)?
"As to Gonzalez, I notice he's a priest in Los Angeles.
Ordained by that mean old lefty, Roger Mahoney."
"Old lefty" is right.
By the way, why is it that when the SSPX moves in on a diocese, the Ordinary of that diocese runs scared and calls up the FSSP or establishes the Indult Mass? Most recent example is the diocese of Phoenix.
And, probably a bit disorienting the first time you attend their liturgy. It simply improves on each visit. It is from Jewish roots that the church of Antioch sprung. In fact, the church of Antioch was founded by St. Peter and it was there that the terms "Christian" and "Catholic" were first used. The first Christians were Jews and entire communities came to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Evidence from archaeological studies of Maronite church buildings show that they had earlier been synagogues.
* The folks there weren't used to outsiders, so we were a bit of a curiosity and several approached us.*
Lol ... this is VERY Maronite! They are the most welcoming community that I have ever visited. They serve refreshments after their liturgies - as is done in many of the Eastern Rite churches. They enjoy meeting visitors and want to know how you found them and did you enjoy the liturgy.
*It turns out that particular Maronite church had several refugees from liberal parishes. Any idea how many folks have switched rites?*
Refugees .... is that how they classified themselves, lol? Some RCs are finally discovering the beauty and majesty of the Eastern Catholic Rites. A Roman rite Catholic may join any Eastern Catholic Parish and receive any sacrament from an Eastern Catholic priest, since all belong to the Catholic Church as a whole. It is not necessary to switch rites.
*We were also wondering, but didn't have the nerve to ask, if any of them would switch back once things get better in the Roman rite.*
I appreciate how confusing this concept can be. Within the one Catholic Church there are in fact many churches which maintain their own traditions of theology, liturgy, spirituality, and government that are quite different from those usually associated with "Roman," or Latin (Western) Catholicism.
The Church began in the East. Our Lord lived and died and resurrected in the Holy Land. The Church spread from Jerusalem throughout the known world. As the Church spread, it encountered different cultures and adapted, retaining from each culture what was consistent with the Gospel. In the city of Alexandria, the Church became very Egyptian; in Antioch it remained very Jewish; in Rome it took on an Italian appearance and in the Constantinople it took on the trappings of the Roman imperial court. All the churches which developed this way were Eastern, except Rome. Most Catholics in the United States have their roots in Western Europe where the Roman rite predominated. It has been said that the Eastern Catholic Churches are "the best kept secret in the Catholic Church."
The Vatican II Council declared that "all should realize it is of supreme importance to understand, venerate, preserve, and foster the exceedingly rich liturgical and spiritual heritage of the Eastern churches, in order faithfully to preserve the fullness of Christian tradition" (Unitatis Redintegrato, 15). Pope John Paul II said that "the Catholic Church is both Eastern and Western."
*Do you think you would switch back? (I'm much bolder on the internet!)*
Well ... I am still a Roman Catholic who attends mass at a Maronite Catholic Church. If you are referring to a canonical switch of rites, let me assure you that this is no simple process. It requires valid justification (escaping a liberal RC bishop does not qualify), the approval of both the Eparchial and Diocesan bishops. It is then forwarded to the Vatican. The applicant then has 6 months time in which to formalize the switch. This is a once in a lifetime event. It cannot be undone.
At my Maronite parish, is a couple who made the canonical switch from Roman to Melkite Catholic. At the time, they were living in PA. When they were transferred to Albany, they found no Melkite Church. The closest they have come is the Maronite Catholic Church, which is where they attend mass on Sunday.
Hope this clarifies any misunderstandings over the differences between the Western and Eastern Rites. Just remember, "catholic" = "catholic", be they Roman, Melkite, Ukrainian, Maronite, Syro-Malabar, etc.
Probably Glen Allen - St. Anthony's Maronite Catholic Church, on Sadler Road.
"We are very, very faithful to the Holy Father and not in any way dissenting from the teachings of the church," Gonzalez says of like-minded colleagues.
Prayer for the PopeLord, source of eternal life and truth, give to Your shepherd, the Pope, a spirit of courage and right judgement, a spirit of knowledge and love.
By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care may he, as successor to the apostle Peter and vicar of Christ, build Your church into a sacrament of unity, love, and peace for all the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
A Prayer for PriestsO Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep all Your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart where none may harm them.
Keep unstained their anointed hands which daily touch Your Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips purpled with Your Precious Blood.
Keep pure and unearthly their hearts sealed with the sublime marks of Your glorious priesthood.
Let Your holy love surround them and shield them from the world's contagion.
Bless their labors and abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they ministered here below be their joy and consolation, and in Heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown. Amen.
O Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us a number of holy priests.
The problem these younger ones have now is that of having to skirt the liberal superior they deal with, in order to properly say mass, teach the faith, etc.
Because of the shortage of priests, however, many of them will be having shorter associate pastorships. Some will become pastors of there own parishes after 7 years.
Thanks for posting this encouraging story.
"IN PLAIN ENGLISH: these priests are not heretics"
My thought exactly!
"Ordained despite adversity from Roger the dodger."
I meet a priest much like Father Marcos recently that had to leave LA and head to Alabama to attend seminary and receive ordination. The Diocese committee in LA didn't approve his view of women's ordination.
Prayers up for your son and for many more just like him.
I don't know where this Maronite Church being discussed is, but the one in Los Angeles is very Novus Ordo (Mass in English and facing the people). I wouldn't have been able to differentiate if I was in a novus ordo church until I saw that the Church was more traditionally oriented, i.e., Communion rail, traditional Stations of the Cross, statues, no banners, etc. This goes also for the Chaldean-Assyrian rite, except that it's in Arabic.
The church being discussed is in Virginia.
Over the centuries, the Latin Church has introduced many of its practices to the Maronite Church, including statues, rosary, stations of the cross, etc. The Novus Ordo "look", (Mass in English and facing the people), came about, following Vatican Council II. Here is brief history of those changes.
The most recent reform in the Maronite liturgy came about as a resent of Vatican II. On December 4, 1963, the Vatican Ecumenical Council issued a decree entitled " The Liturgy".
In accordance with the terms of the decree and the wishes of the Maronite Clergy,
1) The Vatican Ecumenical Council.
2) The Maronite Bishops.
3) Other Members of the Maronite belief, clergy and laity alike.
4) The Maronite Patriarch in Lebanon who was empowered (by the terms of the regulations issued November 21, 1965, pertaining specifically to the Eastern Church and being part of the Ecumenical Decrees of Vatican II) to reform the liturgy of the Maronite Church, Hs Eminence Cardinal Patriarch Peter Paul Meouchi in a patriarchal decree, dated April 13, 1973, ordered the priests of the Maronite Church to amend the Mass and to use the new Ordo Missae, as new form of prayer and devotion for a trial of one year from the date of the decree.
Shortly after the Decree was issued, hostilities broke out in Lebanon, and His Beatitude and Eminence Cardinal Patriarch Antonius Peter Khoreiche prolonged the experimental year for a further indefinite period. Moreover, to free the clergy of the Maronite Church for more important work of ministering to those who had suffered as a result of the upheavals in Lebanon, His beatitude ordered a postponement of decision - making meetings respecting church procedures until some future date when the country was once more at peace.
In 1992, His Eminence Cardinal and Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, has ordered the new edition of the Maronite Mass, ad experimentum for five years.
The most important elements written into the Maronite Mass by the Patriarch at the time of the decree made April 13, 1973, and in July 1992 are as follows :
In his observance of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, a priest should always face the Congregation at those times when he directly addresses the Community or when he gives a blessing or benediction, and he should turn to the altar when he addresses or pray to the Lord.
The text of the Mass should be in the vernacular particularly at those times when the priest speaks to the congregation. However, the words of Consecration, the Epiclesis (the invocation of the Holy Spirit), as well as certain hymns and blessings should be spoken in the original Aramaic, the language used by Christ, to remind the faithful of their Maronite heritage and traditions.
The faithful will bow their heads in accordance with an ancient Maronite custom rather than genuflect in the roman catholic fashion.
The first part of the Mass, the "preparation of the faithful", shall consist of prayers, hymns, and readings which will varied according the seasons of the Church and feast days honoured by our Holy mother Church.
On certain special feast days during the year, such as Ash Monday, Palm Sunday, Commemoration of the Finding of the Cross, etc., and for weddings, funerals, and baptisms, a special liturgy appropriate to the occasion will replace the usual prayers prescribed for the preparation of the faithful.
I wouldn't have been able to differentiate if I was in a novus ordo church until I saw that the Church was more traditionally oriented, i.e., Communion rail, traditional Stations of the Cross, statues, no banners, etc.
In the Maronite Tradition, there never was nor still is a need for a communion rail. As you know, communion is by intinction and has always been administered standing.
In similar fashion, Maronites do not genuflect (a Latin tradition), rather, they make a profound bow towards the Tabernacle. It is also considered proper in the Maronite Rite, to stand after communion, rather than kneel. These practices are traditional to their liturgy.