Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Tradition 24 Hours a Day: Msgr.( Sweeney Succumbs To Liberal Elite
Wall Street Journal ^ | 28 December 2001 | Tom Bethell

Posted on 12/29/2001 12:11:30 AM PST by shrinkermd

Edited on 04/22/2004 11:45:49 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Our Lady of Peace Church, just over Highway 101 from Intel Corp.'s headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., is one of the more remarkable Catholic churches that I have attended in America since coming here from Britain too many decades ago.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: catholiclist
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-35 next last
As a "primitive Protestant, " I find this article fascinating. Msgr. Sweeney's mistake he is leading too many average, working people to Christ. This is much the same criticism that evangelical Christians are familiar with.
1 posted on 12/29/2001 12:11:30 AM PST by shrinkermd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd
I wish Msgr Sweeney lived in Ct.
2 posted on 12/29/2001 12:11:32 AM PST by jwalsh07
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd
You're absolutely right. Conservative Catholics and evangelicals have a great deal more in common than their respective churches often like to admit. We American Catholics are too often confronted with a hierarchy that is liberal, non-traditionalist, and more concerned with wealth redistribution than, say, stopping abortion.

IMHO, the Second Vatican Council was a grave error. Not just for abandoning the physical and ritual trappings of the past 2000 years (though that was criminal in itself), but for the doctrinal confusion it created (for example, suggesting -- without quite saying -- that perhaps some people make it to heaven without Christ). The logical end result of this is what's happening to Fr Sweeny, condemned for actually mentioning hell(!) in a sermon. In this sense, I envy the evangelicals and fundamentalists for the clarity (if not always the content) of their doctrine. The American Catholic church could learn a great deal from this example.

Now, please tell me what exactly a "primitive" Protestant is. Is this the same as the "Primitive Baptist Church" signs I see by the roadside?

3 posted on 12/29/2001 12:11:36 AM PST by silmaril
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd
Success: find a need and fill it.
4 posted on 12/29/2001 12:11:37 AM PST by Malesherbes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Catholic_list; ELS; Proud2bRC
Catholic_list bump

For a list of bump alias click: Free Republic Bump List Register

5 posted on 12/29/2001 12:11:37 AM PST by Incorrigible
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd
One of the reasons I left the "Left Coast" and returned to New Jersey was that I didn't feel like I was actually practicing Catholicism there.
6 posted on 12/29/2001 12:11:38 AM PST by Incorrigible
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd
Thank God I live where you can still find parishes with priests such as Msgr Sweeney. Here's praying he can continue his mission. If not, let him move out here to the Heartland where he will be embraced.
7 posted on 12/29/2001 12:11:43 AM PST by Corporate Law
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Incorrigible
Thanks for the bump. The WSJ seems downright Catholic lately. Its a wonderful thing to see this kind of pressure brought to bear on Msgr. Sweeney's bishop by a publication of no less a stature than the WSJ.

If this parish were anywhere in my diocese, I would attend it.

My own parish has the only Perpetual Adoration chapel in my diocese (well, its not exactly pastor says our own bishop frowns upon perpetual adoration. If we had 24/7 adoration, canonically we'd have to have the bishop's approval. My pastor's solution? "We just won't do it on Sunday. That way its not "perpetual" so we won't have to ask...")

God Bless Msgr. Sweeney. I pray the exposure this WSJ article gets will put pressure on the good bishop to do the right thing.

8 posted on 12/29/2001 12:12:32 AM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd
I enjoy the learned posts here but I think the problem is much simpler that some seem to see it. Bishop McGrath is a wimp who is giving in to the political correctness of our time and of that area. Some priests and bishops are just as interested in attending the chic cocktail parties and social functions as Washington journalists. Getting those invitations requires a high degree of liberal political correctness. After all, they don't want to seem uncaring to the local glitteroty.
9 posted on 12/29/2001 12:13:44 AM PST by Mind-numbed Robot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: proud2bRC
I wish the WSJ luck. You may be on to something here though. Our Bishops do seem more attentive to the secular press than they do to their duties. Now, if only the N.Y. Times would write favorably about this situation.....
10 posted on 12/29/2001 12:13:46 AM PST by Catholicguy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd
Thank you very much for posting this! I drive 30 miles one way to attend Our Lady of Peace (OLOP) every Sunday just so I can get away from the moral rot of the parish in Morgan Hill.

Let me tell you this place is special. Just as the story says, there is perpetual adoration and has been for something like 30 years. There are priests in the confessional before every mass, and lines to get in too. There is a communion rail where an actual priest gives you communion with an alter boy holding a plate to prevent any chance of the body of our Lord falling to the floor. What I did not see mentioned in the article is that the 7:30 PM Saturday masses are in Latin, traditional on the first Saturday of the month and Novus Ordo on the other Saturdays.

I do find the steel statues of Our Lady a bit on the gaudy side. There are actually two statues, a large one visible from the highway and a smaller copy in a courtyard next to the church. People are always at the shrine praying and saying rosaries. The statue in the courtyard is always surrounded by fresh flowers.

Every mass I have been to has been well attended. Even with no obligation, the parking lot will be filled for weekday evening mass.

The parish is a leader in the pro-life movement in the area. Routinely the evil of abortion is condemned from the pulpit and we are reminded of our responsibility to fight against abortion. We are invited to join regular protests lead by the priests at abortion clinics.

A couple months ago I began attending the young adult group meetings with a lively group of orthodox young Catholics. While I have never heard an ill word spoken of the bishop, only prayers for his health and God granted wisdom, I still sense much trepidation about what will happen when Monsignor Sweeney retires and who will be sent to replace him. If someone is appointed who does not cherish all of the wonderful traditions that makes OLOP the special place that it is I will be heart broken.

11 posted on 12/29/2001 12:15:02 AM PST by Flying Circus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd
BUMP for a good and holy Monsignor!
12 posted on 12/29/2001 12:15:13 AM PST by BlessedBeGod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Flying Circus
Praise God for sending us good and holy priests like this one. Amen.


13 posted on 12/29/2001 12:17:33 AM PST by Notwithstanding
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: silmaril
First of all, there is no "American Catholic Church." We Americans seem to be of the mind that because we are a distinct nation, we have a distinct claim on the Catholic religion. This is not true. It would be more correct to say that the Catholicism in America has a distinct American flavor but it has not - so far - broken with the Holy See in Rome.

And you say that Vatican II was a mistake!!! This in itself shows the American idea of "rugged individualism" seeping in. Just who are we to say that the Holy Spirit can make a mistake when He leads the teachers of the Church - the Bishops, not the theologians - to call a council? One of those documents produced at Vatican II was called Dei Verbum and it states in Atricle 8, "Thus God who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the spouse of His Beloved Son. And the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness."

While we may prefer a different type of liturgy than the modern one celebrated in most American parishes, there still exist provision for those who prefer the Tridentine or Novus Ordo Masses. If you believe that error came out of the documents of Vatican II, then you do not believe in the dogma of the infallibility of the Church. The Church has NEVER taught that one can enter heaven other than through Jesus Christ for this would be against what Jesus Himself says, "I am the way and the truth and the life" and "No one can come to the Father except through me." Most Catholics I have spoken with who have a problem with Vatican II have never actually read the documents. I must add that this includes those pastors and priests who then went on to commit the most horrible "modernizations" and doing so, they claimed, "in the spirit of Vatican II." I have seen some craziness myself but I prefer to hear the beautiful eucharistic prayer in my native tongue.

Msgr. Sweeny seems like a treasure of a priest but I think he might disagree that Vatican II was a mistake. If he is being persecuted (which it sounds like he is) then he knows that this is one of the greatest joys of the Christian - to suffer for our faith in Christ. I am sure that he does so with joy in his heart while still retaining his love for his nay-sayers. If he is true to this calling of Christ's - to take up his cross and follow Him daily - then we should rejoice with him as St. Paul did for having been found worthy to suffer for the sake of Christ.

14 posted on 12/29/2001 12:17:36 AM PST by paxtecum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: paxtecum
Although I can't really speak for Silmaril, I think what he was trying to say was that the mistake of Vatican II (if you can call it that) springs from the application of Vatican II in the Catholic Church. The reason for dwindling numbers is that people are being less and less presented with unapologetic truth -- isntead, the rank and file priests rarely take a stand on any issue - be it moral or theological. Some people favor this approach, saying that the "old way" was just a bunch of fear-mongering that alienated many people and made them feel uncomfortable. Well, we've tried it their way for 30 years now, and look where it's gotten us.

IMO, we need more priests like this, telling it like it is. I have never, in my 26 years, ever heard a priest remind the congregation that missing a single Mass can send an individual to Hell for eternity. And with the changes in the reception of Christ, we have basically lost our outward show of respect and recognition that the Eucharist is indeed Christ -- and this has led to an increased sentiment of doubt among parishioners that the wafer is indeed Christ, body blood, soul and divinity.

It's no surprise that the vast majority of Catholic fervent faith is to be found in Church's that offer Tridentine rite masses, and also in seminaries that produce Latin rite priests. When you water down truth, people get watered down as well -- and unfortunately, although it isn't the fault of Vat II, it's the fault of those who have used it as a wedge to infect their satanic influence into the Church, it has led to a damaging effect in the Catholic Church.

15 posted on 12/29/2001 8:16:07 PM PST by Proud2BAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Proud2BAmerican
I think that words are important and that the way we use our words affects how people receive our message. I am absolutely in agreement with you that the faith is being watered down but I will absolutely protest that it was done because of Vatican II. I have read these documents and can find no evidence within them that would lead me to believe that they caused grave error. It was like I said, priests and pastors used the term "aggiornamento" to mean whatever they wanted it to mean and introduced all kinds of craziness into the Mass.

I went to a liturgy conference last year in which I heard it said that even people who were living outside of sacramental unions (i.e. living together) should be allowed to receive the Eucharist! This conference was sponsored by my diocese. And while I believe 100% that this conference was flawed and fallible, an ecumenical council cannot be because the Holy Spirit will never allow the Church to deceive or be deceived.

16 posted on 12/29/2001 8:42:34 PM PST by paxtecum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: shrinkermd
I went to Our Lady of Peace for the first time on Christmas day. Its not the closest church to me by far, but it was the only one that had evening Mass on Christmas day (at least two, no less. I was defintitely impressed and will make an effort to go again. I don't think Msgr. Sweeney was the celebrant, but I didn't hear the name of the priest.
17 posted on 12/29/2001 9:00:45 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: paxtecum
It was like I said, priests and pastors used the term "aggiornamento" to mean whatever they wanted it to mean and introduced all kinds of craziness into the Mass.


This is the sentiment I would agree with, and I suspect it's what Silmaril had intended -- or something along those lines.

I think a lot of modern Catholics tend to use knee-jerk phrases like "inquisition" and "fear of excommunication" to discredit authentic Church teaching (i.e. - "You can't tell people in the pews they're going to hell! That would be insensitive, and in the long term, would end up alienating so many people. We need to encourage people with love and understanding, etc. etc.") But I think we've seen the fruits of this approach -- when priests are wussy and equivocate on morality and theology and the necessity of teh Sacraments for Salvation, then people leave. Because if what you're offering isn't essential, crucial to someone's eternal soul, then what motivation is there to be at Mass? For the donuts? For teh singing? Sorry, Protestants got us beat on both counts there.

18 posted on 12/29/2001 9:41:28 PM PST by Proud2BAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Proud2BAmerican
Thank you for clarifying the point you were making. I took a class in Theology called "Modern Challenges to Christianity" and in it we discussed the many problems facing the Church in this Post-Christian age. One of the lessons I learned is that Catholics who dissent from the magesterial teachings of the Church are known as "heretics." When was the last time you heard that word used in a homily or in a Bishop's encyclical?

Political Correctness is raging in the Church right now especially in my field, which is liturgy. Example...Remember that beautiful old hymn "Where Charity and Love Prevail" (aka Ubi Caritas)? It used to be printed as "...With grateful joy and holy fear, God's charity we learn; Let us with heart and mind and soul Now love Him in return." That last line has been changed to read "Now love God in return." There are feminists within the Church who are trying to say that we can't even use the personal pronouns "him," "his," or "He" to refer to God because that makes the implication that God is male in Gender. DDUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHH!!!! The whole idea of inclusive language delayed the English edition of the Catechism for almost a year and a half because it had to be re-translated to correct all the political correctness.

What did Pope Paul VI call it, "the smoke of satan?" I agree that there is this smoke within the Church but I believe that behind all the smoke and mirrors you'll find the living and true faith handed down to us from the Apostles. This will include the Second Vatican Council.

P.S. Did you know that in those documents it lists, among other things, that the Latin language should be retained in the Latin rite, there should be no women serving at the altar and communion in the hand should be preceded by another type of reverence such as a genuflection? Veils were not thrown out by these documents and neither were communion rails. The question is, How do you get people to return to the traditional ways when those ways have been slowly "vaccinated out" of existence?

I thank God for the traditional masses and the traditional priests like Msgr. Sweeny. I know of several here in Houston, too, so we must never give up hope. The smoke will clear very soon. In this, I have the strongest faith.

19 posted on 12/30/2001 1:00:36 PM PST by paxtecum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: paxtecum; Proud2BAmerican
I think Proud2BAmerican has covered some of my points already, so, since I'm joining this late, I'll confine myself to a few specifics:

First of all, there is no "American Catholic Church."

Hm....the Catholic Church is in America. There is a conference of American bishops. There is a culturally distinct "American" Catholicism. I'm not making an organizational or doctrinal reference; I think you may be reading too much into the phrase.

And you say that Vatican II was a mistake!!!

I can date many of the Church's current problems from Vatican II, yes. The loss of institutional identity; the abandonment of norms; the obscuring of clarity of mission; and all the problems flowing from that, from declining Mass attendance to chronic vocational shortages. You can defend the Council simply on the grounds that the Holy Spirit will not err; but I reply that whatever the Spirit's intentions, the subsequent human application of them has been disastrous.

If you believe that error came out of the documents of Vatican II, then you do not believe in the dogma of the infallibility of the Church.

Hm. I'm no theologian or expert in canon law, but it's my understanding that there is doctrine, and there are rules. Doctrine is the Virgin Birth, Papal Infallibility, et al.; rules are priestly celibacy and nuns' habits. You don't mess with doctrine, but you may civilly disagree with (so long as you do not disobey) rules. The language of the Mass falls into the latter category, as I recall. And I disagree. One language -- Latin -- for every Mass everywhere, as befits a universal Church.

The Church has NEVER taught that one can enter heaven other than through Jesus Christ....

The Church did, I believe, disavow the slogan "No salvation outside the Church." I applaud the Vatican's tentative reaffirmation of this tenet in the past year, but its flustered defensiveness in the face of the resultant criticism was disheartening.

20 posted on 12/31/2001 7:16:50 AM PST by silmaril
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-35 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson