Friday, March 23, 2007

I just noticed this...



Fr. Jonathon Morris, movie star, pastor to heretics and Catholic priest on the payroll of Fox News.

I decided to read the "Open Letter to Sean Hannity" by Fr. Morris. I'll highlight a few of his statements:


Dear Sean,

As I watched a fellow Catholic priest spar with you on the March 9 edition of Hannity and Colmes, I hung my head in shame and sadness. My colleague in religion (whom I've never met) used the public airways and Internet to call you a heretic and hypocrite. Because he chose to do this in a public forum, I want you and your viewers to know, publicly, that as an analyst of this television network, I believe this good priest, who does great work, exercised, on this occasion, shockingly poor judgment. I consider his willingness to give his personal opinion about your status within the Church inappropriate and ill-considered, to say the least.

Regardless of the issue and arguments at hand, brandishing law without palpable love almost always repels. I must assume he just made an honest mistake.

Naturally the issue and arguments at hand are not going to be addressed. Whaddya think, Fr. Jonathon is going to discuss doctrine? dogma? truth? Fr. Jonathon has WAY MORE important things to talk about than that boring stuff.


The unfortunate event reminded me of the bigger question of the fast-eroding credibility among religious leaders in our nation and its causes.


Funny you should mention that Fr. Jonathon. Credibility goes to the truth. And when you ignore or obscure the TRUTH that is when you get into trouble. But maybe I'm going too fast for you Fr. Jonathon

But you've gotta read this NEXT PART.


I should start, or rather continue, at home with the Catholic Church, your church and mine. As you rightly stated in the same television segment, the systematic cover-up of sexual abuse within some sectors of Catholic Church leadership was a monstrous scandal and its effects will be long-lasting. Even those priests who were not involved in the mess, as I am sure is the case with the priest in question, can never forget that those of us who wear a clerical collar still conjure up painful memories in many people's minds. The strange looks and rash judgments to which we are at times subjected is not the people's fault; it's ours, in as much as we are members of a very guilty family.

Are you kidding me????? Did Fr. Jonathon just imply what I think he tried to imply- that he "thinks" Fr. Entenuer was not involved in the sex abuse crisis. Fr. Jonathon doesn't think that Fr. Enteneur is a pedophile but I guess you never really know do you? Character assasination at best. And remember this is a Legionnaire priest whose FOUNDER HAS BEEN CENSURED FOR CHILD ABUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!! You wanna talk about rich? You wanna talk about nerve?



Fr. Jonathon continues:

In this light, before we clergy members speak out publicly against public offenses, as sometimes we must do, we should ask ourselves and God why we are doing what we are doing, and what the best way to do it is, according to the circumstances, and always with palpable love. The question is not only if what we have to say is correct, but where, when, and how we should say it. I, for one, would have communicated my beliefs in a different way on more than one occasion if I had followed this advice.


Because it's not TRUTH but how you present that truth and how you market and spin it. I see Fr. Jonathon has learned some very important lessons at Fox News. It's really all about public relations- not the truth- I mean what's really important- looking good and fundraising.


I would be remiss if I were to suggest that the loss of religious credibility begins and ends with Catholic leaders. When we hear television evangelists wonder out loud whether Ariel Sharon's stroke might be God's judgment on him for making territorial concessions to the Palestinians, we lose trust. When, year after year, we listen to self-proclaimed prophets predict the day and the hour of the “end-times,” we lose trust. When we turn on the television and hear preachers promise heaven on earth if we give, give, give to the Church — their church — we lose trust. When we hear mainline Protestant pastors and their associations throw Biblical tradition to the wind and make wishy-washy statements about faith and morality, we lose trust.



Wow, bold statements Fr. Jonathon- lambast the protestants for overly ambitious fundraising. How ironic is that?


The non-Christian religions are in even worse shape regarding leadership credibility. Is there a single Muslim imam who stands out today for his national leadership toward peace? What Muslim scholar can we trust to speak with scholarly proficiency and universal authority about the alleged peaceful nature of Islam?

The Jewish community in America is so splintered and disjointed on themes of dogma and religious tradition, it is difficult to find anyone who speaks for the majority, or even for the masses.


Fr. Jonathon finds fault with the Jews and the Muslims but not on DOCTRINE- that is so beside the point. It's because the Muslims and Jews can't find anyone who speaks consistently on doctrine and dogma (unlike Fr. Jonathon who is just so on message that he refuses to talk about doctrine and dogma because someone might not like it.)




But I and Fr. Jonathon have saved the best for last. It's not just that Fr. Jonathon is a good buddy of Sean- but Sean and Alan are going to heaven according to the wisdom of Fr. Jonathon and how is that? Because it's honesty, humility and courage along with our imperfections that guarantees us heaven.


Sean, I don't always agree with you and Alan, as I have told both of you in person, but I think you are both honest, and both have the humility and courage to accept truth when you stumble across it, even when it comes in bits and pieces. I think it's precisely this three-pronged attitude of honesty, humility and courage that best prepares us, with all of our imperfections, for heaven.

God bless, Father Jonathan

God help you Father Jonathon.

4 comments:

Edward said...

OK. I know you are mad, Mary (as am I), but let us use the virtues of both Prudence and Temperance, and try to be moderate.
We don't want to "read" into this what is not there.
I am thinking of this:
"Did Fr. Jonathon just imply what I think he tried to imply- that he "thinks" Fr. Entenuer was not involved in the sex abuse crisis. Fr. Jonathon doesn't think that Fr. Enteneur is a pedophile but I guess you never really know do you? Character assasination at best."
Now look at it again.
" Even those priests who were not involved in the mess, as I am sure is the case with the priest in question, can never forget that those of us who wear a clerical collar still conjure up painful memories in many people's minds."

Now calmly, you can see he was in no way implying that Fr. Entenuer was involved.
As a matter of fact, he is going somewhat overboard in his emphasis, trying to utterly separate Fr. Entenuer from the whole scandalous mess - which, while being genuinely gallant of him, demonstrates that it is he who would appear to have heightened 'sensitivity issues'; which in turn no doubt stems from the dark cloud hanging over his own fraternity's house.

Let us, unlike FOX, be TRULY fair and balanced.

M. Alexander said...

My dear Edward,
Remember this is not an off the cuff interview- this is a letter that Fr. Morris labored over (I hope).

Why in the world would he connect Fr. Entenuer in ANY WAY to the priest sex abuse scandal????

I don't think you are a wifebeater. (but I've never met you) Do you see what I mean? And speaking as a member of an order where 100s of accusations were made against the founder??????

I just find it incredible. It seems comparable to saying that "I have not direct knowledge of Fr. E's involvement in the priest sex abuse scandal." There is absolutely not reason to make any connection at all- who is painting with a broad brush?

Temperance has never been my strong point. Zeal has been.
Mary

edward said...

I only beat my VERY rarely.

And then, only when she allows me.
Hubba, hubba.

M. Alexander said...

I'm glad to see that your wife has you well in hand.

Bravo Mrs. Edward.