Posted by: guinness222 | October 20, 2008

“A standing Ovation! …and well warranted!”

  DISCLAIMER: If you are not “fond” of a deep and meaningful subject or thought, read no further go to u-tube and check out a Brittany Spears cut or, maybe a Madonna cut. However, if you are a thinking person please read this first person account of a meaningful moment in life. Thank you.

Mr. Guinness  

                  Yesterday morning (Sunday) as we drove to church about 7a.m. I was saying to the Mrs. “Boy I hope we don’t have Monsignor Teacher (not his real name) doing Mass today.” (Of course she said something like “You would be pissed no matter who it is,…get over it!) And yes I am opinionated,…very, it’s a DNA abnormality, but I can live with it.)

       You see Monsignor Teacher is over 70, used to be the Professor at the Catholic Seminary that trains all our priests, and is now called a “Senior Priest” (or in the slang Catholic jargon “Father Visitor”, a priest who goes whereever another regular priest is off, on vacation, sick, etc. and steps in for a couple of services.) Now Monsignor Teacher “lives” in our parish, he’s basically been retired, can’t bend his knees any more, getting a few health issues, etc. BUT he still preaches like he was teaching seminarians, hasn’t grasped the new “drive-thru” Catholicism (In by 8am out to the Donut shop by 9am! It’s sort of a new “schedule oriented religious daytimer” thing. So he goes til 9:15, sometimes 9:20. His manner of speech is very reminiscient of a Shakespearean Actor, long drawn pauses, extensive emphatical “pulls” on the end of a word, you know like ,”My Frienddddddssss”. Well you got the picture.

     Anyhow,…we got him for Mass (If you haven’t guessed both the wife and I are Roman Catholic.

    Now in the “Drive-thru” Catholicism you got room for a ten minute sermon, or “homily”, and yes there is a difference;

       A homily explains a passage of scripture and gives practical applications. (“In this passage, Jesus is saying…. This applies to us today in such situations as….”)

  • A sermon develops a point of doctrine or morals in a systematic way. (God is ______. Scripture describes this attribute in several places…. or The virtue of _____ can be fostered in a number of ways; firstly….)
  •        There, now you got it. So Monsignor Teacher says  “Today I am going to give you a Sermon, about my beliefs, both as a priest and as a human being. I do this because we have a National election coming up, and in these troubled times it is going to be all about beliefs when we vote, so here are my beliefs,…”

           For the next 30 to 40 minutes we were all spell-bound, at firt you could hear the collective groan, but we knew he was on target and hitting home when one parishioner got up and walked out! He was brilliant, and for me a 12 year Catholic educated dude to say that, …well trust me he was spell binding. He started by saying “First of all I was born of a mother, not “hatched”, like a lot of folks think priests are today. I have brothers, sisters a father , a mother, aunts, uncles, the whole collection, got them all!” He then went on telling about growing up in poverty, going to a Benedictine (paticular order of monastic Catholic priests and brothers)  Grammar School, and High School, and College, then joining the monastic order for eight years, etc. and on and on. Then he said “I’m just like you, as a priest I don’t make much money, but I have scraped for years, an managed to put away a few dollars in my IRA, but now, I’ve lost a third of my entire life savings and retirement in this greed driven debaucle and Stock Market mess. But that has more to do with WHY we have become that way, and the important things in life that we believe. There are five things that we all need to keep in mind for this upcoming election, or any election, when we step into the booth to vote (“Ok here it comes, starving children of the world , donating more more to fix everything yadda, yadda, yadda”, thinks I).

           “Here are five , only five, issues to consider from a Catholic prespective. You are your beliefs, whether they be Catholic, Lutheran, Morman, or Baptist, you are your beliefs, honor them for that’s what you are.

            I am a Catholic, and I believe, number one, Abortion is morally wrong. We are taking a life,pure and simple, it is not our right to take what God and nature allowed to come into being. (No problem for me. There are a hundred ways to PREVENT conception,  we should be responsible enough to know and use them. “Oooops!” is not a valid reason for abortion, particularly a deliberate “Oooops!”.)

            I am a Catholic, and I believe, number two,  Euthnasia is morally wrong. Yes there is pain, yes there is suffering, it is the way and the path of life, we do not have that right to decide when to end a life. (With you there Padre, no offense, but flash forward time wise with me, and not just the pain and suffering folks, but what happens when your insurance runs out, when your kids decide they can’t cover your medical bills any more, they have thier family to worry about. When “administrative Euthanasia” becomes fashionable, acceptable, and everyone files into your room and says , “Hey been great knowing you, you’ve been a good Dad, and I’m sure you’ll be better off tomorrow after “the Procedure”, Bye Pop’s, we got a little league game, gotta go.” Cold, Callus,…Yes but that’s where it will go to in very short order,…it’s called “progress”,…remember?)

            I am a Catholic, and I believe, number three,  Fetal Stem Cell Research is morally wrong. Stem Cell Research is not morally wrong, but “growing”, or “farming” human beings to deliberatly kill them in the name of “stem cell research”? (I can go there also Padre, we have the ability to isolate stem cells other ways, without creating life itself and them killing it to “test” ideas! Until someone can definitively tell me every single other option to the research is totally, completely and abyssmally exhausted, and mankind is hanging onto the cliff with their fingernails and will be completely obliterated from this planet, …well don’t even dare ask me to “farm” a batch of human beings, all be they human fetuses, to KILL them to see what we can do with them!)

           I am a Catholic, and I believe, number four,  “Cloning”, and ultimately human cloning, is morally wrong. I had a mother, whom I loved very much, and I knew she loved me, a Father who taught me how to throw a ball, and loved me, brothers and sisters who teased me, fought with me, but who loved me. They all shaped my very being, the core of my beliefs, my thoughts, my humanity if you will. Would a clone have that rich part of their life to look back upon? Would they have a memory of the essence of life , even LOVE? Or would they ultimately be the “perfect” organic being, devoid of emotions, raised and improved in terms of health and educational levels, logical and rational beings only. Then, the argument would go, why do we need these “flawed ones”, the ones who laugh, the ones who cry, the ones who “care”, and the ones who love? Why would we even need them to be anymore, when we can make perfection, with no emotions, no feelings, no moral imperatives.

          I am a Catholic, and I believe, number five, Marriage between anyone other than one man and one woman is morally wrong. It is an institution, and a Sacrament of our Catholic Church, but only between a man and a women. It is a cornerstone of the orderly and real nature of mankind and it’s progress and growth over the eons. It’s meaning is more than a “right” to share health plans, pensions, property ownership, and the other earthly possessions and manifestations of this world we live in. It is one man, one woman and one marriage. (I’m there as well Padre. 43 years with my one love, sure we “fuss a bit”, but no body’s perfect, even, hard to believe it, me!)

           “These are what I believe as a Catholic, as a Priest, and as a Human Being who believes in God, are the moral imperatives of our lives, these are what I think of when I cast my vote, these are the cornerstones and rock base upon not only our church was built, but our own moral compass, our own sense of the right and the wrong, within the life and the world we are living . That is what I believe, as a human being, A Catholic Priest,…and an American.”

           He turned quietly, went back to his chair and sat down and bowed his head. First one, then two then three, then dozens and hundreds, and then they stood, spontaneously applauding and acknowledging the truth, the passion, and the honest truths shared by this one man. The standing ovation went on for almost six minutes! There is hope for mankind, there really is!

           As a “reformed” Catholic, “reformed” in that I am a “thinking” Catholic, I can be tolerant of a great many things, other more “orthodox” Catholics would never tolerate, but I too have basic core beliefs that are unshakable beyond “There is a God”. Some call me “pigheaded”, kinder ones call me stubborn, but you will know when you hit one of my core beliefs. For there is no quarter given, none asked, and there is no retreat or “watering down”,…. for I too am a Catholic and I believe there are moral imperatives in my life as well.



    1. Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Encore! I am so inspired! Makes me wish I was a Goddman Catholic instead of an agnostic. That way I could openly purchase liquor in the liquor store without wearing sunglasses and a low slung baseball caps. I could go to one of those fun pro-life rallies and show pictures of abortions – maybe throw a bucket of blood on someone wearing a fur coat – oops, sorry. That is PITA or OSHA or one of those other fringe groups.

      The bottom line is, I believe in some of his points and question others. I, too, am hardheaded, opinionated and socially unacceptable, but I believe as hard as both of you do. I just question whether the church is the place to talk about it. I applaud the individual who walked out. And if I ever go to a church again (other than a funeral) I might walk out, too. Especially if he starts tell me drinking, fucking and watching “The View” will send me to hell. But that wouldn’t be so bad, either, because I will see so many of my church going friends there, I’ll feel at home. I might even walk out on them, too, if I can find some asbestos crocks, that is.

    2. Also, Jim Latchford posted something similar to yours. Go to youtube and put in Catholic Vote 2008.

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