Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Letters from across the Mississippi

Some people in the Belleville diocese seem a bit upset with Bishop Braxton. Let's see what one of them has to say:
More about the bishop

Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton appears more concerned with the power of his office than the spiritual needs of his people.

Besides swiftly and extravagantly decorating his house, he has made pronouncements about what he feels is proper dress and photographs for our Catholic priests, proper gold chalices, proper communion bread, proper font in our diocesan paper and much more. He is unavailable for comment, and ignores diocesan tradition by refusing to meet with priests or the laity.

These actions do not follow the example and teachings of Jesus. Jesus lived humbly and taught lessons of service and inclusion.

Our priests are showing great courage in speaking out against the mistaken direction this bishop is taking us. Their many years of service and sacrifice deserve better. Our prayers and encouragement are with them.

Sue DeLorme
All bolding above is mine...Since I'm not from the diocese located in the People's Republik of Illinois, I can't comment as to specifics except to say that many, including maybe a third of the priests, are upset that they were consulted in the selection of the bishop.

From what I understand, all of most of the money for the repairs/redecorating came from private donations - If I am wrong, I hope someone corrects me. As far as the items highlighted above, far too many people have no clue as to how to dress for Holy Mass - if he addressed the current inabilityy of many Catholics on proper attire, then good for him!

As far as the chalices are concerned, many of us have complained about the rampant abuse of some priests who have repeatedly ignored the norms and liturgical laws on this matter for decades, to say nothing of the pathetic lack of respect one shows toward our Lord by using common glass or clay wine glasses for His Precious Blood.

With respect to the "bread" Sue is talking about, we can only imagine what she means. I would hope that priests were not so ignornant as to use illicit or, God forbid, invalid matter for confecting the Holy Eucharist - but these days we cannot be so sure. My money says she's a member of FOSIL, the dissenting goup of lay "Catholics" located in southern Illinois. Pray for her and for Bishop Braxton and the priests. They need our prayers precisely because of the constant attacks they are under from those who claim to be members of Christ's Church.

Two days later, another letter was printed:
Bishop defended

I am sick of reading all of the negative claptrap that some Catholics are writing about our Bishop Edward Braxton. From my standpoint, he is a very good bishop.

I invited him to visit our rosary-making group. I also attended one of his Masses. He has been busy attending to things that a bishop must do.

So he wants his home to be attractive, does that mean that he is vain? I think not. Members of the Fellowship of Southern Illinois Laity are constantly writing negative letters about him. I would not attend a Mass with a woman priest presiding, and I believe that is one of their ideas.

You never hear of all of the good things Braxton has done. I am sure there are many.

Marie Steinhardt
Good for Marie! She seems to be clued in to what's going on. And she's right, we rarely hear of the good our bishops (or priests) do, but with dissenters who claim to be Catholic and their cohorts in the media, could we truly expect anything positive?

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