17 May 2007

Passive learners

The St. Paul Pioneer Press has been carrying several editorials regarding our new archbishop, John Nienstedt. Many have been positive, but the following one seems to be an example of what my brother calls a "passive learner." A passive learner is one who sits in front of the television or perhaps reads a newspaper article or catches a headline on a magazine as they wait in line at the grocery store, nothing more. They don't challenge themselves or the facts. If PBS says that the sky was falling, it is the gospel truth, despite the fact that simply looking out your window would tell you differently.

Here's the editorial in question:
A noisy ministry
After reading "Hard-line bishop to succeed Flynn,"(April 25), I decided this bishop missed his vocation. He belongs in a monastery as a monk where it is quiet and he can spend his life in prayer and solitude.
I am an 82-year-old Catholic who loves the church as defined by Jesus Christ. I have a degree in theology and a certificate in pastoral ministry from the College of St. Catherine.
Can you imagine the noise and chaos that Jesus experienced in his public ministry in the open air with animals and children running all over? He had no microphone to help him along. His disciples tried to manage the crowd. Jesus always counseled, "Let them be."
Oh well, who pays attention to an all-male clergy that sometimes is lacking in humility and ministers as a dictator?

Since I don't have too much to say about the College of St. Catherine that is charitable (my mother graduated from there years ago and absolutely FORBID me from attending, my husband's grandfather used to work there, many good friends have graduated from there and I have spent a fair amount of time on the campus myself), I will just focus on the snarky comments in the editorial.

In the short amount of space it took Mary Alvey to write her comments, she certainly pulled herself into the picture. "I decided..." Hmmm, isn't that nice. You don't even know the new Archbishop, but you have already decided he's a bad dude. All you've heard thus far has been on TV and in the paper. The man hasn't even really done anything in an official capacity in the Archdiocese. Oh, wait, he did say in his first meeting with the press that Catholics should have more babies. Bad bishop. I don't know why folks are taking this as an order. He's commenting on the contraceptive mentality of society today, which happens to include many "Catholics." Kudos to the archbishop for not just talking the talk, but walking the walk. Every morning when I look in at my sleeping children, I am overwhelmed at the blessings God has given me. (Now, when they are awake, it's a different story.) I guess vocalizing what the Church believes is cause for banishment.

Back to the editorial. We know more about Mary than we do about the Archbishop. She's 82, certainly old enough to know better. She has a degree and a certificate from St. Kate's. Nuf said. Mary concludes that she just isn't going to listen to those old know-nothing men, she knows better (back to the "I decided" line again). Since the Archbishop has now been banished to a monastery, that will create a void. Guess we better rethink this whole all-male clergy idea. Maybe Mary can send in her resume to the diocese. I almost think she's qualified.


Cathy_of_Alex said...

Welcome, Swissmiss! I'll be reading!

Sanctus Belle said...

I'm a 1990 alum of St. Kates and the school is a total mess theologically. In the late 80's my theology courses were taught by men from St. Thomas (Thank you God) and were very orthodox. I credit those two fine men with the first real knowledge I gained about our faith. There is no way I would ever let any of my daughter attend school there. I pray God takes this beautiful campus from the St. Joseph of Carondolet's (the order is dying off naturally) and a good order takes it over. Lord have mercy!

swissmiss said...

Sanctus belle:

It is sad what is going on at St. Kate's. Many of the ladies that graduated in my mother's class, way back in the 50s (it was bad back then to a lesser degree) are quite antagonistic to the Catholic Church and expect the Church to change to what they think it should be. I graduated from St. Thomas in the 80s and my best friends went to St. Kate's. Despite some of the things I dealt with at St. Thomas, things seemed much worse at St. Kate's (witchcraft, lesbianism, etc). May God help our Catholic colleges.