Dave Richards for June 5th…………….
--Romeo Berthiaume was on our Monday radio show telling us he had heard that after months of discussion the final decision regarding Woonsocket’s Holy Family, Sacred Heart, and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Roman Catholic Churches is in. This summer the three parishes will officially merge into one parish which will probably be called Holy Trinity Community. Not everybody is happy about this change, of course. That is understandable. Few people embrace changes they have no control over.
To be sure, nobody had much control over this. And when I say “nobody”, I include the leaders at the Diocese of Providence in that group. Sure, they are the ones responsible for the final decision, but what were their options? I used to do technical work for the Diocese years ago when Bishop Gelineau was in charge. There were closures in those years also. It was heart-wrenching for the leaders as much as the parishioners then, I can tell you from my personal observations. I have no reason to expect it was any different for Diocesan Leaders this time.
Perhaps it is easier to understand the situation with an analogy. Imagine you are a passenger in an airplane. Everything seems to be going well to the passengers, but something is wrong with the engines. They are using too much fuel. They don’t have enough fuel now to finish the flight. They can shut down two of the three engines to conserve fuel, but the plane will need to fly lower and the flight will be bumpy. There are sure to be passengers who object to the bumpy ride, but the alternative is not finishing the flight. Continue with one engine or maybe not reach the destination with three engines gulping fuel. It comes down to that. Survival with discomfort or possibly not surviving.
When the decision needs to be made, it needs to be made. It’s not time to complain about how you got into the position of needing to make the decision or finding blame.
Anyway, that’s the way I see it. Yes, I know you’re thinking it’s easy for me because I don’t belong to Sacred Heart or Holy Family parishes. But that’s not true, either. In my heart I am disappointed for members of these parishes. But I am subject to the same economic realities as they face. We all are. Let’s all focus on building a stronger, combined parish and hope we see a change in The Church’s fortunes in the future.
--News came yesterday that the U.S. Supreme Court has sided with a cake-maker who refused to make a wedding cake for two people who were getting married because they were of the same sex. Original news reports indicated the objection was on religious grounds. Well, that was a surprise to me!
I am surprised because I see all the laws and change going in the opposite direction as this decision suggests.
Of course, when the controversy arose I couldn’t understand why anyone would escalate the question up to the highest court in the land. I struggle with the idea that this couple decided to do it, and I find it easier to imagine that some litigious group did it as part of their mission, not the couple’s. I mean, any young couple I have known would simply go to another cake shop and the penalty for the baker who refused is that they would lose a sale. Supreme Court challenges are pricey to say the least. Somebody else had to bankroll it.
I have known people who are convinced by some pastor at their church that hate and bigotry are rightful expressions of disapproval for whomever the pastor disapproves of. It’s a shame that still happens in this day and age, but it does. I personally prefer to try to get along with everyone and wish them happiness in life so long as they are not attacking me or my loved ones. I believe strongly in positive acts of caring and love, so I would not belong to a church that taught me to do rotten things to people who aren’t hurting me. But not all of us have those kinds of convictions. They are called “followers”. And there seems to be no shortage of young bucks out there who will exhibit control over their followers. That’s what I think happened here. And then five out of the seven members of the Supreme Court agreed they didn’t want to rule that people couldn’t live according to their religious convictions, regardless of how they came by them.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.