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Another Catholic Church rant

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
My 13 year old niece is currently in her last year of religious education classes and should be making her Confirmation in May.

Notices were sent to parents to sign the children up for this year's classes. My brother never received a notice. My niece was at school and found out classes started last week.

My brother called the church and the secretary told him he was too late to sign her up and she would have to wait now until next year. Obviously this is not acceptable, so he then spoke to the priest. The priest was actually quite arrogant and said despite the fact he did not receive the notice, that it was posted plenty of times at church, so she would not be able to sign up one week late. They have rules, they need to follow them, and he has already turned many others away. At this point my brother had to ask how it was possible given the current state of the Catholic church that they would deny a child the opportunity to take classes. The priest became quite hostile and said he was done with the conversation. My brother then asked who else would be able to help. He was instructed to call the Deacon.

The Deacon was even more hostile than the priest and even asked my brother if he attended Mass every week. My brother refused to answer. How is this relevant? My brother works every weekend and has been divorced twice. He definitely doesn't fit the Catholic "mold". So what? We are talking about a 13 year old girl that wants to take classes and be confirmed, despite what her parents do or do not do!

I find it hard to believe that the head of the Catholic Education for the Diocese is aware that one of their priests is currently turning people away from the church considering that people are leaving in droves.

My former sister-in-law brought Amanda to class at the scheduled time and confronted the priest in person. They nearly came to blows, but Amanda is now enrolled and has asked us to forget about it and not to purse it further.

I am still seething about this. How can this priest deny a child a religious education given the current state of the Church? I just had to get that off of my chest.
post #2 of 24
Oh believe me I know just how arrogant the church education people can be. They pissed me off to the point that I really havn't been back since I got confermed. (well except for chirstmas and easter) They told me that I could not compete with my marching band at our championship perfromance. They went to our superentendant rather then my parents or even to me, saying that I "really wanted to go" to this retreat that they had moved from March to November, without notice. The administration forced my band director to sit me down for that preformance. Needless to say my parents and I were pissed. I went to the director of education for my church and bitched her out for doing such a thing. They wanted me to let down the 6 other colorguard girls that had worked so hard over the season, and the 30 members of the band. You can't hide a hole in colorguard let alone only having 6 to begin with. The whole ordeal just made me so mad that I thought about dropping out, but my parents would not have that. Needless to say I refused to let my friends down and preformed. I got to the retreat late and didn't do a thing during the retreat and the rest of the classes in protest.
It made me mad because everyone knows that if I was on a softball team or played a reconized sport, they would never have told me I couldn't do it. It made me mad because they did not talk to me or my parents first. I got a letter telling me I was excused from the prefromace. They cornered me after class threatening me with kicking me out (like I really cared). I guess they thought it was punishment enough to keep me in.

Ok anger memory over. I surprised that she is only 13, I was 17 when I got confirmation... I guess that is left up to the dioceses??
post #3 of 24
I really don't mean to be rude to YOU but after the horrible horrible scandals in the Catholic church I could believe anything about the church.
post #4 of 24
I think it used to be that confirmation was at age 6 which imho is too young but that was my age at conformation. It was a year after my first communion - they went by grades one was in at school. I think here it is completed at about age 12 - I also went through something called "Solumn Communion" in garde 6. We had to study for that!

Even tho I am Catholic, I find myself angry every time I leave the Church lately. I think in part their shortage of Priests means that the ones who are there are not always the best and the brightest, sighh! This is not to suggest there are some great ones because there are - our Parish Priest, who is Irish, is really good tho I get so peeved with things I rarely attend Mass.

The almost final straw for me was at my uncle's funeral. We were not allowed to use "Danny Boy" as a recessional song - even tho this was a request of my unlce and has been tradition in Irish Catholic families for centuries!! The &*^% Priest - who was French and not Irish so there may have been cultural probs - claimed it was not approved. The Choir, bless their heart, sang it tho not in the Derry Air which is essential. But I thought they were wonderful just for doing it. We had our own service with a Piper and a singer doing Danny Boy at the cemetry but how could an alledgedly Christian organization be so petty and mean at a sorrowful time in the life of a family.

Ther same Priest also frowned on our using "The Jerusalem Bible" in our readings but it is the one I have and prefer!!! The one I was taught with at the Convent of the Sacred Heart! I am still furious with the Church for this and it will take some doing for me to grace their doors again. I do talk to our Priest now and then but not at Church.

And I hate the way they treat women so that does not help, sighhhhhhhhhhh!!
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess
Ok anger memory over. I surprised that she is only 13, I was 17 when I got confirmation... I guess that is left up to the dioceses??
I think so. I made it when I was around 14 and I think the norm for around here is between 13-15.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv
I really don't mean to be rude to YOU but after the horrible horrible scandals in the Catholic church I could believe anything about the church.
I understand. I was brought up in the Catholic church, and rarely attend a mass now. I am disgusted by what has been going on myself.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberKitten

Even tho I am Catholic, I find myself angry every time I leave the Church lately.
sighhhhhhhhhhh!!
I am Catholic, but I am a hypocritical "Special Occasion" Catholic. I attend for weddings, funerals and not much more. Yes, I believe there is a God. I do not believe God will strike me down for eating meat on a Friday. I also believe in birth control and have no problem with same-sex marriages.
post #8 of 24
Situations like this really get me frustrated with the Catholic Church. I'm a lifelong Catholic (still active) and also work for the church. The arrogance of some of our clergy members never ceases to amaze me. Granted, there are a lot of humble, compassionate, faith-filled priests, but ones like the guy at your niece's parish shouldn't even be serving as pastors. Unfortunately with the priest shortage, most dioceses don't have a choice. In my office we deal with our local priests all the time and my coworkers keep a list of those who are "jerks" and those who are "nice."
post #9 of 24
Jerk religious officials extend to all religions, I think. The closest thing to a church service I've been to in years was my mom's fiance's funeral almost 2 years ago. The...I don't know what they are called..preacher, pastor, whatever...stood up there talking down his nose about D, because he'd drank and done some things he probably shouldn't have in his life. I didn't think his funeral was the place to bring it up. The amount of time he spent talking about him in a negative way was at least twice the time he spent talking about him in a positive way. I didn't think the negative points needed spoken at all, he wasn't exactly able to defend himself! I've never had a positive edperience with church officials. I used to board my horse at a place where another boarder was married to a Methodist..pastor? whatever. And she was the biggest gossip you could imagine. And she offered to take me to the doctor when I was pregnant and didn't have a driver license, then complained about doing so behind my back. And offered to feed my horses in the mornings so I could sleep in, then told people I was taking advantage of her. I didn't ask her to, she asked if it would help me to be able to sleep in. And then she was asking me to go to church all the time. Sorry, if that's how the people in the church are, I want no part of it!
If I were Catholic, I would have had to completely remove that from my life, after seeing how they take the rotten priests and just move them somewhere else so they can continue to abuse little boys, and don't do anything about it until it makes nationwide news.

Amber
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatkitties
Jerk religious officials extend to all religions, I think. The closest thing to a church service I've been to in years was my mom's fiance's funeral almost 2 years ago. The...I don't know what they are called..preacher, pastor, whatever...stood up there talking down his nose about D, because he'd drank and done some things he probably shouldn't have in his life. I didn't think his funeral was the place to bring it up. The amount of time he spent talking about him in a negative way was at least twice the time he spent talking about him in a positive way. I didn't think the negative points needed spoken at all, he wasn't exactly able to defend himself!
WHAT?????????? The pastor badmouthed the guy at his own funeral??????? WHY?
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatkitties
I've never had a positive edperience with church officials. I used to board my horse at a place where another boarder was married to a Methodist..pastor? whatever. And she was the biggest gossip you could imagine. And she offered to take me to the doctor when I was pregnant and didn't have a driver license, then complained about doing so behind my back. And offered to feed my horses in the mornings so I could sleep in, then told people I was taking advantage of her. I didn't ask her to, she asked if it would help me to be able to sleep in. And then she was asking me to go to church all the time. Sorry, if that's how the people in the church are, I want no part of it!
If I were Catholic, I would have had to completely remove that from my life, after seeing how they take the rotten priests and just move them somewhere else so they can continue to abuse little boys, and don't do anything about it until it makes nationwide news.

Amber
Remember the saying "It takes a thousand atta boys to erase one oh, sh*t." These religious leaders are held to a higher standard because they are preaching the word of God. It would be great if they would live a sermon rather than preach a sermon.
With that said, I have to also say that there are many many preachers of all faiths who are sincere and do their best to live up to their positions.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat
WHAT?????????? The pastor badmouthed the guy at his own funeral??????? WHY?
Remember the saying "It takes a thousand atta boys to erase one oh, sh*t." These religious leaders are held to a higher standard because they are preaching the word of God. It would be great if they would live a sermon rather than preach a sermon.
With that said, I have to also say that there are many many preachers of all faiths who are sincere and do their best to live up to their positions.
I can't count the number of times he reiterated the fact that D "wasn't perfect" and mentioned drinking, etc. As a matter of fact, that's the FIRST thing he said in the service. I wanted to walk up there and slap him!

The religious leaders SHOULD be held to a higher standard. They CHOSE to go that direction (or say they were called). I certainly would think that becoming a religious official of any kind wouldn't be something you would enter into lightly and without a lot of thought and consideration. And one of the things you'd have to think about, is CAN you live a sermon. How often do we hear the phrase "practice what you preach"? Those who DO preach, should be held to that! I know that sort of job doesn't pay well, the preacher's wife from the horse barn told us about some of the cruddy parsonages they'd lived in! Not high class, that's for sure. I can't imagine why someone would go into that unless they really did believe, and want to practice what they preach, cause it's not about the money!

Amber
post #12 of 24
That sounds pretty bad, that the girl was not allowed to start the class with the other kids. I'm not catholic, but from friends I understand that it is important to the kids to go through confirmation with the other kids their age, who they have grown up with!

I think too many church people get caught up in the man-made rules, and forget about the divine rules!

I do have a catholic friend, who does not attend church regularly, and is living with her fiance. Her catholic priest has been very helpful to her. She was worried about whether or not he would perform their marriage ceremony, and it is all working out fine.

My family had to spend some time to find a church where we feel comfortable. Our last church had a good pastor, but many of the other church leaders had (to us) bizarre beliefs. At our current church, the pastor is really a man of God, and from what I see lives his beliefs. He is a humble man, yet a good leader. That can be hard to find! And the weasely pastors and priests make all the noise, so they are the ones we hear about more often!
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatkitties
I can't count the number of times he reiterated the fact that D "wasn't perfect" and mentioned drinking, etc. As a matter of fact, that's the FIRST thing he said in the service. I wanted to walk up there and slap him!

The religious leaders SHOULD be held to a higher standard. They CHOSE to go that direction (or say they were called). I certainly would think that becoming a religious official of any kind wouldn't be something you would enter into lightly and without a lot of thought and consideration. And one of the things you'd have to think about, is CAN you live a sermon. How often do we hear the phrase "practice what you preach"? Those who DO preach, should be held to that! I know that sort of job doesn't pay well, the preacher's wife from the horse barn told us about some of the cruddy parsonages they'd lived in! Not high class, that's for sure. I can't imagine why someone would go into that unless they really did believe, and want to practice what they preach, cause it's not about the money!

Amber
I agree with you totally. How hurtful his words must have been to the man's loved ones.
post #14 of 24
Well, the question about church attendance is very reasonable. A 13 year old who is a candidate for Confirmation should be attending Mass every Sunday barring illness or an emergency and it would be totally reasonable for a priest to refuse to confirm a teen or adult who does not attend Mass regularly.

The paperwork to register for classes was probably in the back of the church and there was probably a notice in the bulletin and an announcement made about it for several Sundays before the deadline, so anyone who was attending Mass presumably would have known that the paperwork was there and the deadline was approaching.

Almost any school or class or event that requires registration has a registration deadline. I don't think it is at all unreasonable to expect people to be responsible for meeting the deadline by themselves. If your neice has been going to Sunday school all along, your brother should know that Sunday School starts in September and she needs to be registered by the deadline, just like every other year. If he didn't receive the notice in August then he should have called the parish office. It is not the parish secretary's job to follow up with each individual parent and make sure that they are planning to hand in their forms on time.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberKitten
I think it used to be that confirmation was at age 6 which imho is too young but that was my age at conformation. It was a year after my first communion - they went by grades one was in at school. I think here it is completed at about age 12 - I also went through something called "Solumn Communion" in garde 6. We had to study for that!

Even tho I am Catholic, I find myself angry every time I leave the Church lately. I think in part their shortage of Priests means that the ones who are there are not always the best and the brightest, sighh! This is not to suggest there are some great ones because there are - our Parish Priest, who is Irish, is really good tho I get so peeved with things I rarely attend Mass.

The almost final straw for me was at my uncle's funeral. We were not allowed to use "Danny Boy" as a recessional song - even tho this was a request of my unlce and has been tradition in Irish Catholic families for centuries!! The &*^% Priest - who was French and not Irish so there may have been cultural probs - claimed it was not approved. The Choir, bless their heart, sang it tho not in the Derry Air which is essential. But I thought they were wonderful just for doing it. We had our own service with a Piper and a singer doing Danny Boy at the cemetry but how could an alledgedly Christian organization be so petty and mean at a sorrowful time in the life of a family.

Ther same Priest also frowned on our using "The Jerusalem Bible" in our readings but it is the one I have and prefer!!! The one I was taught with at the Convent of the Sacred Heart! I am still furious with the Church for this and it will take some doing for me to grace their doors again. I do talk to our Priest now and then but not at Church.

And I hate the way they treat women so that does not help, sighhhhhhhhhhh!!
Confirmation in the Catholic understanding is the second anointing after Baptism, usually performed by the bishop. In the US today it is usually performed around age 12-16 and linked with things like community service, retreats, etc. This is actually a practice that is rooted in a Protestant understanding of the sacrament (Protestants view it as "confirming" one's faith; Catholics understand it as "confirming" one's baptism). Confirmation has nothing to do with what one does or knows or understands, and can be performed on infants just as well as adults. However, if the person who is going to be confirmed is over age 12, then it is expected that the person who is seeking the sacrament does so with a sincere heart evidenced by regular attendance at Mass, etc.

I personally think 7 is too young for First Communion. First Communion is the sacrament that you really need to be older and more mature to be able to receive appropriately. Most 7 year olds are not old enough to really have a grasp of the theology of the Eucharist or mature enough to handle the Eucharist with appropriate reverence 100% of the time.

If I could have what I wanted, I would switch things back to the way they used to be and have kids confirmed around age 7 and making their First Communion around age 12.

On the subject of the funeral, "Danny Boy" is a beautiful song but it is a secular song and the priest was right to say that it did not belong within the context of a Mass. There were plenty of other places it could have been sung, though, perhaps at the funeral home or cemetery, or as a prelude or postlude in the church but outside of the actual Mass. I think the priest's mistake in this situation was not suggesting an appropriate place for your uncle's favorite song.
post #16 of 24
I feel about this thing the same as I do other areas of our lives - if you don't like it, leave it. If it's just this priest you don't like - go to another church. If it's the church doctrines you don't like - change religions.

If you move to the US/Canada and don't like it - leave.

If you are going to a church you don't like or agree with - leave.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
I feel about this thing the same as I do other areas of our lives - if you don't like it, leave it. If it's just this priest you don't like - go to another church. If it's the church doctrines you don't like - change religions.

If you move to the US/Canada and don't like it - leave.

If you are going to a church you don't like or agree with - leave.
I don't like that concept as a blanket statement because it promotes giving up rather than trying to improve things. So if you see an injustice being done and people suffering and it upsets you - leave? No progress will ever be made.

Now, I'm not sure that it wouldn't apply in this case though. I don't know much about the catholic church beyond what makes the news.
post #18 of 24
IMO, Anyone who really believes they are going to change the catholic church's stand/views on anything is living in a fantasy world.

Don't get me wrong - I'm catholic but the "old boys" make the rules and they have no intention of changing anything. Look at their attitude toward birth control as one example. When was the last time they elected anyone younger than 100 to any position of power? LOL

My husband's priest would not marry us because I was divorced so we went to another priest in a more "modern" parish and had a "second wedding" performed by the younger priest, hence my comment re going to a different catholic church in your area.

Our daughter was in a catholic school and I had never seen a bigger group of hypocrites in my life. We moved so she could go to a different catholic school and the difference was like day and night.

There are just some people you are not going to change so instead of standing there beating your head against a brick wall until it bleeds, just walk away and go on to something different/better.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
IMO, Anyone who really believes they are going to change the catholic church's stand/views on anything is living in a fantasy world.
Now that I can agree with. I just don't think leaving is the solution to every problem.
post #20 of 24
I'm seeing this more and more (though friends), that the churches (not just Catholic) don't want to teach the children unless the parents are active. I guess things have changed since I was involved with a church. The church I grew up in, that my mother worked for, never put restrictions on teaching children Christian faith. Just where else are they supposed to learn - from their non-religious parents? (Actually, many times we saw that once the children were involved and excited about faith, the parents would start coming to church too.) I thought it was a tenant of Christianity to teach all those willing to learn about it (and sometimes those who don't want to). How hypocritical of any church to turn away children because the parents aren't active members of the church. I guess this part of the Bible doesn't apply to these churches anymore:

Mark 10: 13-16
13 And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I'm seeing this more and more (though friends), that the churches (not just Catholic) don't want to teach the children unless the parents are active. I guess things have changed since I was involved with a church. The church I grew up in, that my mother worked for, never put restrictions on teaching children Christian faith. Just where else are they supposed to learn - from their non-religious parents? (Actually, many times we saw that once the children were involved and excited about faith, the parents would start coming to church too.) I thought it was a tenant of Christianity to teach all those willing to learn about it (and sometimes those who don't want to). How hypocritical of any church to turn away children because the parents aren't active members of the church. I guess this part of the Bible doesn't apply to these churches anymore:

Mark 10: 13-16
13 And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.
Heidi that is eye-opening. You are so right. They seem to be using our children as hostages and using blackmail to get people to come back to church.

I have to say I'm losing faith in so-called christianity. I believe in God but I don't always trust the people He has working for Him.
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
Well, the question about church attendance is very reasonable. A 13 year old who is a candidate for Confirmation should be attending Mass every Sunday barring illness or an emergency and it would be totally reasonable for a priest to refuse to confirm a teen or adult who does not attend Mass regularly.

.
The 13 year old does attend church regularly, just not with her parents.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I'm seeing this more and more (though friends), that the churches (not just Catholic) don't want to teach the children unless the parents are active. I guess things have changed since I was involved with a church. The church I grew up in, that my mother worked for, never put restrictions on teaching children Christian faith. Just where else are they supposed to learn - from their non-religious parents? (Actually, many times we saw that once the children were involved and excited about faith, the parents would start coming to church too.) I thought it was a tenant of Christianity to teach all those willing to learn about it (and sometimes those who don't want to). How hypocritical of any church to turn away children because the parents aren't active members of the church. I guess this part of the Bible doesn't apply to these churches anymore:

Mark 10: 13-16
13 And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.

Heidi - This is what is really upsetting me about this whole situation. There are many children today that are growing up in non-traditional families, many of whom have parents have been turned away from the "traditional" religions because of their non-traditional views. The church should not be closing its doors to any child that wants to learn.
post #24 of 24
...I´m spechless........
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