The Problem With Christian Charity…

Saint Paul the Apostle teaches that we cannot claim to be followers of Christ if we do not live to the highest standards of Christian Charity…

St Paul – 1st letter to the  Corinthians,  chapter 13: 1-8; 13

If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth;  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.  We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known.  And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

Comment: 

So, what, if anything, is the “problem” with Christian charity?   As one reader said to me recently, if we lived up to St Paul’s teaching, we would never say a single negative word about another person, outside of the duties of a parent, teacher or priest who may, of necessity, have to do so. But, surely, it’s impossible to live up to that very high standard? 

It got me thinking about my own parents (RIP) who, notwithstanding the fact that they had their faults like everyone else, were the only people I have ever known who genuinely kept the rule of charity at the forefront of their lives – I do not recall either of them ever gossiping or bad-mouthing anyone in our extended family or among neighbours, acquaintances, work colleagues or friends.  Never.  Which got me wondering … what on earth did they chat about when out of earshot of the rest of the family?  😀   I have to admit upfront that while some relatives and friends have told me that I look like my mother, others think I look like my father, nobody has suggested that I share their charitable disposition(s).   If only.   Indeed, Just writing this piece is testing my charity and reminding me of just how greatly I am absent this virtue. 

I’ve been involved in a couple of interesting conversations recently, on the subject of how to be charitable, the danger of defamation in talking about others, and a few issues have been highlighted – notably the “problem” with practising authentic Christian charity when there are divisions at home, work, or in our parishes.  It has been my misfortune to witness some such divisions at church which have festered for many years. Two separate issues here are compounding the problem of living in true charity with others.

Firstly, personal weakness;  the fact is, no matter how difficult, no matter how much we dislike it, if we wish to truly follow Christ then we have no option but to show respect towards our neighbour; to, as Our Lord put it, “do good to those who persecute [us]”.   That’s a “problem” only when we fight it.  If – as great saints like St Therese of Lisieux taught – we embrace the need to see Christ in everyone we meet, and do all in our power to actively show charity, (respect, generosity, however we think of it) which is very different from emotional “love” (to which we are not at all obliged) then it ceases to be a problem and, if we are to believe the great saints, becomes a wonderful spiritual adventure. 

Secondly, those with responsibility for the souls of others – parents, teachers, priests – who fail to do their duty in correcting bad behaviour, are contributing to the “problem” of charity, so to speak.  Writing about “schism” in the Winter 2004 edition of The Fatima Crusader, Father Nicholas Gruner (RIP) provides insight into the role played by clergy in the avoidance of parish divisions:  

“A superior can also be guilty of schism by giving an order, or appearance of an order to the faithful in his charge, which by the very nature of the order, causes the faithful to fight among themselves.  An example would be telling one half of the congregation to do one thing and telling the second half to do the opposite… Schism is terrible because it brings disorder, unhappiness and quarrelling amongst the members of the Church who should be at peace.  That peace is to reflect the peace of the Church in Heaven. That peace is to be a sign to those inside and outside the Church of its divine mission: “See how they love one another” is what Christ wills for His Church, to be one piece of evidence to non-Catholics that the Catholic Church is the one true Church.  Peace within the Catholic Church is also meant to be a comfort and joy to all Catholics.  [see ‘Schism and the Common Good’, The Fatima Crusader, Issue 57, pp. 24ff and Issue 59, pp. 35ff]

So, what do you think?  IS Christian charity a “problem” – or do we, by refusing to seriously apply the teaching of Christ and the exhortations of St Paul – make it a problem?  Share your thoughts, your ideas, and any suggestions you may have to help us all move forward in true charity in our everyday lives.

 

“For, if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have?  Do not even the publicans do this?” (Matt 5:46)   

80 responses

  1. This post is a reminder of the very high standard to which we are both called and held as Christians.

    Charity is essentially the hallmark of the Christian. We can call ourselves Christian, but we are only really so if we practise charity.

    One thing about charity: when meet it, you instantly know that it is the real deal.

    When I was younger, I had reason to frequent an enclosed community of nuns in a certain European country. I will never forget either them or their house. They simply oozed charity to the point where one did not want to leave them. The striking thing is that it seemed to come naturally, by which I suppose I mean supernaturally, without the slightest shadow of affectation.

    The tongue is probably our greatest obstacle to charity and control of it probably the best indicator of spiritual maturity.

    • Prognosticum,

      Your post is very interesting, but the thought comes to me that it must be much easier for nuns in an enclosed community to practise charity – most of them have a rule of silence, e.g. which must be a huge help.

        • Prognosticum,

          Spot on! It’s a common mistake to think that religious in enclosed Orders have an easier time being charitable. If anything, I’m certain it’s the very opposite. If we struggle to see Christ in our own families, and among friends, relatives, fellow parishioners and work colleagues, imagine how difficult it might be living with a dozen or so total strangers in a religious community.

  2. It really is a problem for me, LOL!

    I find myself talking about people a lot and I honestly don’t mean to do them harm but if I get irritated, I just let off steam. I know it’s wrong, and I do confess it but I’m afraid it’s an ingrained bad habit.

    I have a conundrum, though: it’s all very well saying we should be able to suffer other people’s rudeness or offensiveness but if everyone does that, how is the offensive person to ever know that they are a problem and if nobody answers them back, surely that is not truly charitable to them?

    I’d really appreciate a serious answer to that question.

    • Fidelis,

      I’d like an answer to that same question!

      I, too, let off steam because I get irritated with certain people – I would really like to speak my mind to them but I pull back because I think I’d probably be wasting my time. Everyone else does the same thing and that’s why I’d like that question you asked to be answered!

      • MM,

        I think in those circumstances it would be acceptable to take the person aside and calmly explain that they are being a right nuisance. There may also be times when it is acceptable to do this piblicly. If the person is rude to you in front of others I would think it’s the right for you to correct them publicly. It’s not Christian to be a door mat!

      • But how do we do that “charitably”?

        If someone has insulted me in front of other people, been very publicly rude to me, is it uncharitable to say “please don’t speak to me like that – you’re being very rude.” I’m asking because someone does do this to me quite a bit and I’ve just tried to say nothing, rise above it sort of thing, but I see it happening to others and nobody is doing anything about it. Then I think if I do say that, it could start a shouting match and I don’t want that, either.

        • Fidelis,

          What about asking to speak to that person privately and then see if you can get to the bottom of the problem? It might be some kind of misunderstanding that has taken root and which he/she can’t get over. I definitely think you need to do something about it if it happens quite a bit, as you say.

          • A very interesting thread. However, it strikes me that nobody, so far, has made any attempt to point out that, just as there is “true” and “false” obedience, so there is “true” and “false” charity. I’ll comment further on this when I’ve prepared the ground by offering a couple of examples of my own and A.N.Other’s attempt to be “charitable” in seeking a resolution to a difficult situation, both of us with zero success.

            Michaela,

            I used to think like that (“speak to that person privately to try to get to the bottom of the problem”) but I am no longer of that opinion. I would never try to do that again NOR would I advise anyone else to do so. I’ve tried twice, recently, two separate situations/people, to get to the root of an issue(s) by seeking to meet and resolve any possible problems or misunderstandings, and each time been rebuffed. Situation Number 1 insists she “hasn’t done anything wrong” (I hadn’t said she’d done anything wrong; on the contrary, I’d written a letter of apology, expressing concern that we had some kind of personality clash and maybe over a cuppa we could sort it out) but that person elected to simply avoid me, and so that idea died a death. She did, at least, however, have the manners to respond by phone. Unlike Situation Number 2.

            The second situation is regarding a family in the church where I attend Mass. They have been allowed to run the place for many years but nobody in their right mind would normally object to anyone taking charge of the flowers, the piety “shop”, the cleaning, the gardening, the you-name-it – it’s great that they have the time to do everything. If only they had the good manners to match. My six year old Great Niece and another child friend of hers had offered to help with the dishes at the end of Mass some weeks ago only to find a child member of this leading family join them to announce “I’m in charge”. Well, of course. Who else? “I’m/we’re in charge” is clearly the family motto. Over time, I’ve had to lend a sympathetic shoulder, receiving the tears of some people who have fallen victim to their unnecessary rudeness, all of whom lament their own lack of charity for letting off steam! Priceless. It’s now dispiriting to see it continuing down the generations. We thought we were suffering it with an end in sight but no such luck! Charity? You kidding? IS it charitable to … well, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Hold that thought, though.

            This is the same family to whom I refer in the article on postures at Mass on page 6 of the September 2018 newsletter.

            Following publication of that article, the problem continued – this family, unlike everyone else in the church, and despite my quoting the Superior’s assurance that these changes were not to be imposed in Scotland, this family continued which meant that the very rationale for Father introducing the changes in postures – to avoid divisions within churches (presumably in England since we’ve used the same postures across Scotland since Adam was a boy) – has backfired big time because now we DO have divisions and anger as a result of arms with missals flung over our pew and digging into the necks of those in front, because this family insist on kneeling throughout the Mass whereas the rest of us do what we have always done, and sit from the end of the Credo, during the offertory, until the Sanctus bell is rung, at which time we all kneel, as one body. I switched places with a younger family member who was a victim of the sharp edges of a missal behind. No problem. No missal in MY back or neck. Just try.

            Anyway, realising that this is not the right attitude 😀 I decided, being a slow learner, to write another letter of concern, enclosing a copy of the article in case it hadn’t been read (this family asked to be removed from the mailing list of Catholic Truth as they objected to our expose of two friends of theirs, a “gay” couple who used to attend the Edinburgh church.)

            Below is the text of the letter:

            Dear (Names of all family members),

            I enclose a copy of an article published in Catholic Truth in the September, 2018 edition, in which your family features. The subject matter is the notice in the [church] newsletter regarding postures at Mass. I apologise for not giving you each a copy at the time, but since so many people in our church are readers, I presumed you would have heard about it. However, given that members of your family – who implemented [the Superior’s] suggestion unilaterally and are continuing with it, and since it has been drawn to my attention that the next generation (Name) has now started the practice, and thus there is no end in sight (!) I feel I need to make sure that you are aware of the article and of the following key points.

            1) [The Superior] has assured me personally that he has no intention of imposing kneeling throughout Mass in Scotland. He said this to me in front of a witness.

            2) [“Parish Priest”] has not made any announcement to suggest that we change our postures at Mass. On the contrary, he, too, has assured me that he has no intention of so doing, that it is not necessary and that it is always a mistake to impose disciplines when there is no requirement to do so. He gave me the example of when women enter the Church, let alone approach for Communion, not wearing head-gear, although Father intensely dislikes it, he realises it would be counter-productive to make a fuss about it.

            3) With respect, the insistence on pushing elbows over into our pew, so that we feel arms and/or missals, on our back or neck is causing us in the front row to experience bad feeling and such upset and annoyance is far from the spirit in which we should all be attending Mass.

            4) In that spirit of charity in which we should all be attending the Holy Sacrifice, then, I write now to ask you to return to the postures which we have always used in Scotland until [the Superior’s] ill thought through notice in his newsletter which, I stress, he tells me he did not intend to be implemented in Scotland. Again, Father [“PP”] assures me that he has no intention of announcing such a change to our local custom, either, so there is no basis, no grounds, on which you are able to insist on this alteration in practice during Mass.

            I have not included your [mother] in this letter, because I’m surmising that she is now too old, too determined to do things her own way, to change now. As a compromise, I’ve switched places with my [young relative], because I will not tolerate any pushing at my neck or back whether with elbows or missal, whereas [she] is a tad more polite! So far, I’ve not had any problem, so if [your mother] insists on continuing with this practice – which, as you will see from the enclosed article the Church sought to suppress – that’s fine.

            In conclusion, I am happy to meet to discuss any of this with each of you individually or as a group, as you wish. I am happy to host such a meeting at my home, if that helps, not least because I am keen to correct a false impression which [a member of your family] once mentioned, that my family does not like yours – this is not the case, so I would welcome an opportunity to correct that by explaining and together exploring any issues of concern which may have given rise to that impression. It may be that all it takes is a friendly chat over a cup of tea. The kettle is always on, so be assured of a warm welcome if you decide to take me up on my sincere invitation.

            Kind regards. signed

            No reply. Things continued apace. All quiet on the western front, except that one of the children of this leading family informed my six year old Great Niece last Sunday (2 June) that they are not allowed to play with her any more. Shocking. The children gather after Mass to play in the grounds. Today my Great Niece sat with us in the tearoom – not sure what she made of the chat about the crisis in the Church! But note, I didn’t know about this ban until today – although the ban went into force last Sunday before the incident recounted below… And, for the record, my Great Niece did not know anything about, and played no part in, the above letter…

            Incident, Last Sunday, 2 June, 2019.

            Chatting outside church with some parishioners, I noticed my young relative, mother of four, upset, being comforted by her younger son who had witnessed her being ushered out of the tearoom by the most senior member of the leading family, to the refrain “keep moving, keep moving, out, out, out, keep moving till you reach the path.” Rude manner, disgraceful tone. My relative replied “You can’t speak to people like that.” And shook her head. Then, this senior leading light, by now talking to another woman, said: “Some people would like me to take a powder…” [no comment – Ed] She then looked over at my relative, pointed and said “Look at her sad face” … My relative then went over and remarked that she shouldn’t be in that job since she doesn’t know how to speak to people.”

            So, my young relative’s day was entirely ruined and she worried about how to deal with the situation. Then she came up with a possible solution and today…

            She handed the leading light in that very difficult and unpleasant family a bunch of flowers and some chocolates, and apologised for her reaction to the situation.

            Reciprocal apology? You kidding? Leading Light took the flowers, said that these are her favourite chocolates, and went straight back to business as usual.

            What I’d like to know now, is who – if anyone – is charitable and who – if anyone – is uncharitable here?

            There is no question in my mind that the two priests (and their predecessors) are hugely to blame for allowing this situation to fester, not least because they have been asked to deal with it more times than Theresa May promised we’d leave the EU on 29 March.

            I will be sending the link to this thread to the priests involved, with the following reminder of Fr Gruner’s (RIP) warning to clergy: ““A superior can also be guilty of schism by giving an order, or appearance of an order to the faithful in his charge, which by the very nature of the order, causes the faithful to fight among themselves. (Full quote with source, in the introductory blog commentary).

            Clearly, as other priests and people have pointed out to me, there is nothing any of us can do about this bullying and nastiness. Indeed, laughably, I’m told that one of the witnesses to the disgraceful incident last week, slunk off from the scene, possibly (my charitable relative thinks) because he was conscious of the lengthy sermon on charity preached the previous week. Truly laughable. How DOES one practise charity by ignoring lack of charity? Don’t justice and charity go hand in hand? Just a thought…

            Bottom line is, however, that I have no definitive responsibility for the souls of any of these people. The priests bear that responsibility and it will face them at their judgement; if, as I keep hearing, “hundreds” of people have been driven away from the church by this family, the priests, past and present, who have allowed them to reign supreme – and there must be a reason, but we won’t get into that here – will have to answer for their neglect.

            I will be sending the link to this thread to both of the priests concerned – after which, I’m bowing out…

            • Editor that is a truly horrendous situation you describe. I would agree that the priest who suggested the kneeling issue has caused a lot of bad feeling and division. This could constitute an act of schism.

              Regarding the incident with the young child – how upsetting for her. The adults that did this should be ashamed. They have really created the potential for a lot of future problems in your chapel. The priests should deal with this in my opinion.

              • Whistleblower,

                I agree about the child – that’s truly pathetic to use their children as weapons and make another child suffer. They sound like despicable human beings.

                I am going to start praying for them – they are clearly in need of grace.

                • Josephine,

                  Yes, weaponizing the children is a new low. Terrible.

                  Thank you for promising to pray for the leading lights – that really IS charitable.

              • Whistleblower,

                “Potential problems”? What are those parents teaching their children? They’re certainly not teaching them to be holy, charitable – or even basic human kindness. They sound like a very nasty bunch.

            • Goodness, editor, that’s a total disgrace.

              Priests do tend to be weak with assertive people and give in, especially to bossy women, but if this has gone on for years under different priests, well, makes me think big bucks must be involved. Sorry to be so worldly, but you do say yourself that there has to be a reason why they’ve allowed this. It’s totally disgraceful. Flowers and chocolates? I’ve have had a very different approach, sorry to say, not anything like as charitable!

            • Editor,

              Nobody could blame you for bowing out – the whole situation is an outrage.

              I can’t imagine myself refusing to have a cup of tea with someone trying to sort out a misunderstanding or whatever it is. That’s impossible for me to get my head round. How do these people pray the Our Father? Go to Communion? It’s beyond incredible IMHO.

              • MM,

                Yes, I’ve often wondered myself how these people can pray “forgive us… as we forgive” when, clearly, they don’t mean it. Ignoring enemies and/or being nasty to them is hardly what Christ had in mind when he commanded us to love our neighbour.

                And the same goes for Holy Communion. Christ has instructed us to NOT approach the altar until we reconcile with enemies. So, I’m afraid I do wonder what is in the minds of those enemies of mine, my relatives, and other parishioners in bad odour, who think that God will be pleased with them for receiving Holy Communion in that embedded state of dislike, antipathy or even hatred for others sitting not a stone’s throw away from them in the church. It truly does beggar belief.

                • Editor,

                  As Margaret Mary says –
                  “Nobody could blame you for bowing out – the whole situation is an outrage”.

                  It seems that the only recourse to prayer in order to sort out the situation, for I know of nothing else that will work.

                  What is the saying about “If we don’t have charity?
                  If we don’t have charity – what then about our future after we die?

            • Editor,

              I’m glad you have sent this link to your priests, but in my opinion you should be speaking to them directly about this egotistical, abrasive family. Your priests need to address the problem, not you or any other family. If other families have the same issue with this family, they should speak to your priests as well. And if the priests don’t do anything about it, put a note in the collection plate, instead of a cheque. I guarantee you that will get their attention, faster than you could say “I’ll skip the haggis, thank you.”

              And pardon me for adding to my perennial complaints ad nauseam about SSPX priests, but I know of only one who took such a bull by the horns – and it was a far more serious pair of horns, i.e. “Resistance” sympathizers – and kicked them all out of his parish!

              The others, in my experience, do nothing – in fact, the very opposite of doing nothing: similar to this case, by continuing to put volunteers in charge of parish functions who are not qualified to hold such responsibilities, either through lack of expertise or through personality defects, or both.

              But personal abrasiveness is the least of their worries. What about the unhealthy stew of strange and even heretical lay beliefs for which the SSPX seems to be a magnet? Why don’t their priests address this much more serious problem?

              I have a theory about that, but I’ll spare you further cynicism.

              • RCA Victor,

                I have to say that I am not aware of “heretical” views being held by some SSPX faithful. Could you elaborate?

                • Petrus,

                  I suspect RCA Victor is referring to that unfortunate group within the SSPX who are in a schismatic mindset, who do not want to be regularised and who are quite content with the way things are – you know, the kind who like to run things and want it to stay that way, where they are in charge; you know the sort! I strongly suspect that is what RCA Victor means by “the heretical views held by some…” However, if I’m wrong, no doubt he’ll correct me… just this once 😀

                  • I am astonished that you feel you have some right to label people schismatic.How do you know what their mindset is.Can you suddenly read what people think.I would suggest that in fact it is not a case of not wanting to be regulated but putting your trust in those who have been chosen to conduct the negotiations with Rome .

                    • Hope,

                      Believe it or not, there is such a thing as objective reality. This is determined, in this case, by what comes out of people’s mouths. It has nothing to do with guessing at someone’s “mindset.”

                    • RCA Victor,

                      In this case, it’s not so much that anyone in that family has expressly said they don’t want regularisation, but way back, when the talks with Rome were first announced and I expressed my delight to the mother of the brood, her reaction was instantaneous. To my remark that this is great news and maybe soon we’ll be regularised and things begin to normalise, she replied to the effect that it won’t happen in HER lifetime. I had the distinct impression that this was not causing her any heartbreak.

                  • Editor,

                    Oops, I missed your reply before I replied to Petrus. You are entirely correct…..bound to happen eventually! 🙂

                • Petrus,

                  My former parish (SSPX) was rife with sedevacantists – who, in fact, felt free to attend Mass not only there, but also at one of the local sedevacantist parishes, of which there are several. Whatever struck their weekly fancy, I suppose. This area of the country is full of such sects, including “St. Pius V,” which is staffed by a former SSPX priest!

                  In the same parish one can find numerous Feeneyites (though I’m not sure if this has ever been established as a formal heresy), whose chapel is up the road, but who troop down to my former parish en masse when their “independent” priest is not available.

                  It was an extremely unhealthy spiritual environment, which was why I left.

              • RCA Victor / everyone!

                Thank you all for your responses to the comment I very reluctantly submitted about the disgraceful misbehaviour of the very rude people who are in charge of our church.

                RCA Victor, I had to laugh at your suggestion about putting a note in the collection plate – it wouldn’t make any difference because guess who is in charge of the collections/accounts?

                As for speaking directly to the priest – I’ve completely given up on that. I get smiles and nods as if in agreement then fobbed off. And nothing changes. Typical “management” tactic. So, that’s a waste of time, which is why I’ve made a point of NOT speaking to the priests. I restrict my conversation after Mass to those people with whom I have CT business, and head off home asap.

                I did send the link to this thread to both priests but I don’t see any point in pursuing any further conversation with them on this. If they still can’t see the gravity of the situation after reading this thread, then so be it. Now that I’ve found out about the incident last Sunday and the nastiness towards my six year old Great Niece, I’ll be on red alert and watching all and sundry as closely as possible. If I feel the need to speak out – I will. Loud and clear.

                Charity never was my strong point. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that false charity has never been my strong suit. I refuse to be complicit in an injustice, in the name of (false) charity. Not going to happen, folks.

                PS other families have mentioned the issues to various priests over the years, but have given up now. No point, as the pencil said to the sharpener…

                • Editor,

                  That is disgraceful that one power-hungry family is allowed to lord it over the parish. Shame on your priests for allowing this!

                  Speaking of your priests, one of the rules/suggestions for dealing with problems charitably, found in Bl. Francis Palau’s tract I linked in this discussion, is to ask oneself, “Who is the right person to address this?”

                  Clearly, your priests’ names are written in bold caps on that dance card.

                  In my former parish (SSPX) something similar occurred, which was also not addressed: a family in a double position of authority (husband and wife in different positions) conducting an open personal vendetta against another family, out of sheer jealousy over their musical talents. Unbelievable.

                  Don’t know if you’ve already tried this, but perhaps a strongly worded letter to the DS would be in order. And if he also sits on his hands, go higher.

                  As for charity, I think it would be a failure of charity to let this fester.

                  • RCA Victor,

                    I honestly didn’t need (and haven’t had time to read) Bl Francis Palau’s advice to know that it is important to address concerns to the right person. I have been addressing this concern for YEARS with the successive priests, to no effect. And there is no point writing to the DS – it’s as clear as daylight that this family is his favourite group; when he visits us he spends all his time after Mass chatting with them – I can’t recall seeing him speaking to anyone else, but, of course, that may be my not so good memory at work. I do know that the only time he spoke to me was when I spoke to him, first, outside the church, and that was to ask him not to impose the kneeling rule in Scotland. He assured me that he had no intention of so doing and then answered my question about why he had turned out an invitation to address one of our conferences. Incredibly, his reason (quite different from the emailed excuse) was that he didn’t want to risk sharing a platform with some “deplorable” (my word, not his, but again you’ll get my drift) which is, basically, that anyone who would be considered less than a fully kosher traditional Catholic would not be fit to share the same platform. Not particularly zealous, to put it mildly and as we pointed out to him at the time. It’s a bit like Brexit. Instead of seeing such events as an opportunity, they are regarded as a problem to be avoided if possible.

                    I’ve just been reminded that the last time the Superior visited us, one of the family members who “teaches” (with no teaching qualifications, I’m reliably informed) the catechism class was up there in the small room designated for the purpose but the Superior – finished with the rest of the family, announced that he was hanging around to say goodbye to her (the woman who “teaches” the class). So, there’s clearly no point writing to him, although I did send him the link to this thread. As for going even higher – I think you may be a tad optimistic. We once invited the previous “boss” bishop to speak at one of our conferences and had a very interesting email exchange with the priest-intermediary, who said he would do his best to get me a “yes” answer. Took forever and in the end I had to ask for an answer one way or the other as we had to advertise. I had started the correspondence by pointing out that we are a very unpopular group both with the modernist bishops and with the UK Superior because he was clearly not only a clericalist who thought the laity should stick to paying, praying and obeying, but he was obviously siding with the then resistance people who do not want to regularise. In the end, the bishop replied to say that he felt forced to refuse our invite, although would have liked to accept, because – in words of one syllable – he didn’t want to annoy the then Superior. This is a public forum so I won’t use the kind of informal language which I generally use when reporting such weakness but you’ll get my drift 😀

                    I’m done writing them letters – strongly worded or frightfully charming, you know, the “spoonful of honey” type letters because, frankly, they all end up in the same place. The bin.

                    I am pleased that you agree that it would be a failure of charity to let this fester. We continue to pray and to ponder how to deal with it – it would certainly help if others would overcome their fear of annoying the priest(s) and approach them to express concerns, but I’m not holding my breath.

                    • Editor,

                      Understood. The avoidance of sharing a platform with a less-than-pure traditionalist (as if the SSPX is pure?) reminds me of the steady trickle of priest defections from the SSPX to the “Resistance.”

                      Where do these defectors get the idea of “having nothing to do with Modernist Rome”? Well, they get it from the SSPX! When is the Society going to look in the mirror and figure out that they have precisely the same attitude as Bp. Williamson and his supporters? Less virulent, perhaps, but the same.

                      I’d have to question whether the SSPX will actually accept regularization when it is finally offered to them, or whether they will spurn it because they are just too pure for Rome.

              • RCA Victor,

                There only one problem with putting a note in the plate, the mother of this family counts the collection so the priests would never see the note.

                • Vianney,

                  As Editor thinks we say in America, “Wow!” In that case, what about a strongly worded private letter to the priest, in conjunction with putting away your checkbooks until this is resolved?

            • Editor,

              People have been complaining about this family for 30 years or more and unfortunately nothing has ever been done about them. I suspect that one reason was because, before the opening of the priory, the priests stayed with this family and it was probably a case of “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

              It is certainty true that they have driven many people away over the years because of their un-Christian behaviour, and at one point the congregation was down to around 25. This was around the time that the Edinburgh church opened, and not content with ruling the roost in Glasgow they thought they would take over in Edinburgh too. They would go through to Mass every Saturday and afterwards would just make themselves at home by making tea and coffee without even asking if it was okay. On one occasion, when they were being particularly obnoxious, one lady said to the father of the family that she had heard that hardy anyone was attending their church, to which the father replied, “my family attend and that’s all that matters.” That summed up their whole attitude. They seem to regard the church as their private chapel and because they aren’t being taken to task they think they can get away with anything.

              How they can act in such a nasty way and regarded themselves as Catholics is beyond me, but they will have to answer for it one day.

                • Editor,

                  Vianney has reminded me about people complaining about this family for 30 years or so. And as he says nothing was ever done about them, and nothing will happen now. I don’t know what the answer is were they are concerned. But prayers are needed for them.

                  Vianney has already said for me. It is sad what is happening now with the family and how it effects others today.

              • Please give us the names of the many people they have driven away I suspect you cant.When was the congregation down to 25 embellishment much.False charity clearly exercised by you and editor. Do this family have their faults definitely.Is there rudeness and bad manners on occasion absolutely but where is your charity slating this family publicly giving rise to others being uncharitable about them without opportunity to defend oneself.How they can regard themselves as Catholics is beyond me have a look at yourself before castigating others.

                • Without knowing the family in question i based my response purely on the comments so far which for me seem to be very uncharitable.

                  • Hope,

                    The comments here are only “uncharitable” if you think Our Lord got it wrong when He gave us instructions about how to deal with bad behaviour within the community. (See Matthew 18:15-17). If the priests won’t do their duty by dealing with scandals of whatever kind, then it falls to the rest of us to do what we can. It’s not uncharitable – it’s unfortunate, but it’s not intended to damage the people concerned; on the contrary we aim to enable them to see the damage they are doing and change their ways, and to encourage others not to be put off by their dreadful behaviour.

                • Hope,

                  “Slating a family” whom we have not named, so that those who do not attend this church have no idea of their identity? Uncharitable? Those who do attend and have not had any interaction with them, perhaps won’t know either. Uncharitable? So we are down to those who are scandalised by their behaviour and who are puzzled that nobody (they think) has tried to do anything about it. Hardly lack of charity on our part. But then, that’s the purpose of this thread, to explore the definition of true charity.

                  As for the “opportunity to defend themselves” – well, I have given them the opportunity to meet and discuss the issues of concern, if you note – read my letter above with my invitation to tea and a chat. And there have been other attempts to deal with the situation but always ignored. What was that Our Lord said about taking our concerns to the individual(s) who are causing a problem within the community and then, if they won’t listen, to “tell the Church”? (Matthew 18:15-17) That’s because it’s more important that offenders are put right in their behaviour than that they lose their souls as a result of our human respect, where we are more interested in keeping up the pretence of “charity” than fraternal correction with the risk of unpopularity coming our way. Or, in my case, even more unpopularity coming my way.

                  Those “old timers” who have told me that “hundreds” of people have been driven away by this family’s rudeness didn’t provide names but there are recent examples of some people choosing to switch to another Mass and, in one case, for sure, that person told me that the reason was, in part, because of the domination of this family. I won’t name them since, apart from the fact that I haven’t (and won’t) asked permission to do so, the purpose of this expose is not to cause trouble or involve others, but to, hopefully, make some inroads into putting the matter right.

                  After all, surely you don’t want to see anyone – even my young relative and her 6 year old daughter – being victimized for the crime of not belonging to this family’s select clique?

                  You don’t say whether or not you attend this same church, so I’m not sure if your interest is purely academic, but, in any event, thank you for your comment and do, of course, pray for us all. Going to Mass should not be a penance, as I’m sure you will agree.

                  • I personally do not attend but I feel that you probably are doing a disservice to others who do who will be able to work out quite quickly i would assume given the very vivid description of said family unless you are suggesting people are unable to put two and two together.No I don’t think Our Lord was wrong because quite clearly he can never be wrong however us mere mortals are wrong many times and I felt it necessary to comment because this is surely a private problem between you and this family and not for all and sundry to add their tuppence worth especially because it can and will become uncharitable very quickly.My interest especially as it is not my church is purely one of fairness.There are always two sides to every story and even if what you say is true maybe in the interest of charity you might have used a different example.Imho the priest should be in charge of the church and in the church period and therefore situations as you have described would not be able to happen because everyone would be well aware off who was boss and for me personally that is not the laity.

                    • Hope,

                      I agree with you that the priest should be in charge but he’s not. He says he’s in charge a lot but I think he’s trying to convince himself, LOL!

                      The parish priest is a very nice person, great sermons and well meaning but he is doing what all the priests before him have done – handed over authority to this one family. It’s probably easier to do that – for all sorts of reasons. That’s understandable but he ought to draw the line at allowing them to dictate to the rest of the congregation.

                      Believe me, this not a “private problem” between editor and this family. Anyone who in any way annoys this lot, gets it in the neck and it doesn’t matter if it’s your first visit or if you’ve been going there for years, unless you’re part of the clique.

                      I also agree that there is always two sides to every story so I would have preferred if editor had sent the link to that family, not just the priests, but she did, in fact, give them the chance to put their side of the story when she invited them for tea. It’s beyond me that they didn’t take up that offer. Who wouldn’t want to straighten out a case of disagreement or misunderstanding? That would be basic counselling advice, never mind Christian! There’s nowt so queer as folks, is an old Yorkshire saying!

                    • Anonymous,

                      I did ask someone I thought might have an email address for the couple in this family (who have instructed their children not to play with my beautiful little Great Niece) but the reply came back that she didn’t think the email address she has for them is still live and anyway they would not want to communicate with me, so she wouldn’t feel right passing it on without permission. I’m more than happy (keen, actually) to alert them to this thread so if they haven’t been alerted yet, and anyone out there can do so, please go ahead. They, in turn, are welcome to sign up and comment – very welcome.

                      One last thing: my younger relative reminded me that this dislike of her isn’t recent, that when we first began attending there, she would sit on her own while I was chatting to CT readers. To my shame I didn’t notice that but the main point is, there were other young mothers who began attending our church at later stages and they were warmly welcomed and befriended by this family. It is now obvious (I really CAN be slow at times) that my young relative has been shunned and insulted purely because she’s related to me, Editor of Catholic Truth.

                      No, THIS is “one last thing” 😀

                      While they never mention CT or speak to me if they can avoid it, when the Named Person Scheme was first in the news, the mother who has banned her children from playing with my beautiful little Great Niece, came racing over to me, breathless, to ask if I would cover the Named Person Scheme in the newsletter and make a splash about it. I informed her that we had been doing that on our blog and that my young relative and I were going to attend a meeting on the subject in East Kilbride the following week. Guess who showed up at that meeting? Yip. And guess where she sat? Yip. Right beside us. It was on that occasion that she made the remark about “your family not liking ours…” and flabbergasted I replied this, absolutely, is not true. If I’d known then what I know now, I’d have extended my invitation to tea there and then. Still, better late than never.

                • Hope,

                  It is impossible to remember the names of all the people who have been driven from the church by this family over a period of 30 years and the congregation was down to around 25 in the early 1990s as older members, some of whom have been attending longer than this family, can confirm.

                  As the Editor has said, this family have been given the opportunity to defend themselves but have failed to do so. Perhaps because there is no way that such behaviour can be defended. You say that you don’t attend this church, but perhaps if you did you would feel the same way.

                  • You are correct in saying opportunity was given to the family but this was by private liaison from editor.Were they made aware that they were going to be the subject of discussion on this public blog and there in lies my problem.Attendance at the church in question is irrelevant because one would expect that exercising charity despite difficult situations as this is a given.We clearly do not agree and that’s ok but at the very least despite your indefensible comments surely you agree that they should be at least afforded the opportunity to put their side especially since as far as I can see everyone is in agreeance with editor without having all sides.It is their prerogative whether they choose to respond but it must be an option.

                    • I feel my contribution to this particular subject is complete.I sincerely hope that a truly charitable outcome is the aim for all involved.

                    • Hope,

                      Editor has explained that she tried to get an email address to contact this family but there’s none available. The priests now know about this thread so I’m sure they will have let the family know.

                      What I’m curious about is that you have not expressed an opinion about the disgraceful behaviours exhibited by this family – all of your criticism is reserved for the bloggers.

                      You do say at the start that they are “on occasion” rude but it’s not “on occasion”. Unless you are in their little select group, it seems you are fair game to be told off for one thing or another. They don’t know how to mind their own business, from all accounts.

                      I strongly disagree with you that “one would expect that exercising charity despite difficult situations as this is a given” if by that you mean “putting up” with a situation like this where one group of people, in this case members of the same family, rule the roost in such a way that they actually put people off attending or spoil Sundays for their victims. I say “victims” because I think the way that young mother was treated a couple of weeks back, was a clear case of bullying. SHE should have been the one getting (not giving) the flowers and chocolates by way of an apology, not the one doing the bullying. That young mother definitely did exercise charity but would it be true charity to allow that woman to continue that unchristian behaviour? I don’t think so. They have rejected editor’s olive branches and the priests continue to do nothing, so I see this thread as a real act of charity in keeping with the Gospel spirit of fraternal correction.

                    • Hope,

                      Thank you for your contributions and good wishes. Please keep the intention you mention (a truly charitable outcome) in your prayers. Much appreciated.

                      God bless you.

            • Editor,

              WOW! I thought my suggestion was a cast iron guaranteed way of resolving a disagreement or misunderstanding but I can see now that I got that wrong.

              The situation you describe is absolutely disgraceful. The priests should long ago have dealt with it, but I find priests are very weak in dealing with conflict in parishes.

              The use of the children to take revenge is unbelievable. Those people are definitely in need of prayers, and I promise mine.

  3. I’ll have to admit that I have not reacted charitably to the reigning Pope, nor to the seemingly bottomless pit of corrupt clergy who have trashed the Church since Vatican II. While it seems possible (though I still feel it is a cop-out) to excuse the previous Conciliar Popes as “diabolically disoriented,” I cannot do that with this Pope, who seems to be an inveterate liar, the very embodiment of sleazy, power-hungry corruption, and an embodiment of evil. In short, a Judas, a son of perdition.

    So how does one react charitably to Pope Francis? I am reminded of St. John’s characterization of Judas, when Judas protested the “waste” of Mary Magdalene’s use of expensive spikenard, claiming that it should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Quoth St. John: He said this not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief.

    In other words, St. John gave us the truth about Judas. Was his description uncharitable, or did he write that because he knew that Judas was already in hell and could be despised? Or, was he justified in writing that because Judas was one of his apostolic peers, thust his writing is the rebuke of a peer?

    I also think that all the written objections that have been raised against Pope Francis’ heretical, subversive agenda have been worded and delivered charitably, but here’s another question: if these objections are not followed up with action, are they still charitable, or is this the equivalent of Pontius Pilate washing his hands?

    • RCA Victor,

      Great post!

      I am of the opinion that it is quite different to criticise public figures including popes as opposed to talking about people in private life.

      There are saints like Robert Bellarmine and Thomas Aquinas who wrote about the duty to correct superiors. I think the line is drawn at being nasty about them. St John was just giving a fact when he called Judas a thief – I think that was well known. It wasn’t meant to be an insult hurled in anger. So, I agree with you about criticising Pope Francis and I don’t think that’s uncharitable. I do feel uncomfortable, though, when people call him names, or speak about him as “Bergoglio” – I think this is about the only blog where that is discouraged. However, we have to call out his errors as otherwise people will be led astray.

      • Yes, I think it’s acceptable to publicly criticise those who hold an office, provided that we are not too personal.

  4. Fidelis and others with the “fraternal correction” question:

    Bl. Francis Palau, Carmelite Mystic, wrote a tract called “The School of Virtue,” which our priests use for Catechism class every Sunday after Mass. You can download the PDF here: https://www.ourladyoflourdes.info/school-of-virtue/

    Then scroll down to the bottom of PDF page 39, right column (the pages are not numbered), and you can read his detailed comments about this, part of his Lesson 45, “The Precepts of Charity,” starting at “32. Q: Is fraternal correction an almsgiving?” It’s a long quote, didn’t want to take up this entire thread with it, but I’m sure you’ll find some nuggets to post….(it’s also somewhat of a clumsy translation from the Spanish).

  5. I am not Catholic, so forgive me if my observations are unwelcome here. I read with sadness in the comments section about the behaviors of one family that was dividing a parish. This is not unique to Catholicism. The situation reminded me of what happened in our country church. We too had a family who used their volunteering — and financial support — to impose control over “their” church. In an uncharitable manner, they exerted their control to demand their own way, were rude, and held grudges. Similar to the parish priest described who didn’t use his authority to intervene, our pastor also did not intervene. Eventually, our church was divided from within by this uncharitable behavior, and people stopped coming — particularly, the younger members with children. The church environment had become unhealthy and in some cases, abusive towards those who tried to challenge the divisive behavior. The dominating family had hijacked our country church because no one stood up to them; eventually, their uncharitable behavior drove everyone away. Although I no longer live in the community, I was recently told that there are only 45 members remaining in the country church (what’s left of the dominating family and relatives), which is not enough to support it. After over 150 years, the country church will close its doors and its cemetery where my ancestors have been buried for hundreds of years will stand alone. You are right to be concerned over uncharitable behavior by members of your parish towards others. I pray that the parish priest will intervene on behalf of the beleaguered parish before it meets a similar fate as ours did when we did nothing.

    • Jazzdat,

      I am sorry for the tragedy of your church having to close….and your comments are most welcome, no need to apologize! It’s been my experience, until recently, that churches bring out the worst in people – and, less frequently, the best.

      I attended a small Protestant church in the 1990s, before I returned to the Catholic Church. I left (angrily) when I discovered that a church family was spreading calumnies about my family, including one of my sons, and that people were actually taking this falsehood seriously!

      I am afraid that [editor’s] church will meet a similar fate as yours, if something is not done about this abrasive family. I think the failure of the priests to address this is a blatant failure of charity – not to mention of their duty and responsibility – on their part. I’m also tempted to throw in the word “cowardly,” but that’s probably just my Italian blood getting riled up.

      • RCA Victor

        I’ve removed the name of the church I attend from your post, because, although those who know it will – well – know it, I’d prefer not to add fuel to the fire by spreading the identity of the church or the family.

    • Jazzdat,

      Just a quick “hello” to let you know that we are filming a conversation (as part of our video series) with a Protestant gentleman on the subject of “salvation” next Saturday 15th June, so you can watch out for that being posted on the blog – in the next couple of weeks, hopefully, depending on our video-master’s busy diary. ASAP is the rule, so keep in touch!

  6. N O T I C E . . .

    I have received the following urgent email from Wendy Walker, our resident, very hard working pro-life activist. Wendy is not a Catholic but puts us all to shame with her zeal for the protection of the unborn. This, however, is a personal message for prayers for her adult son…

    FROM WENDY WALKER…

    just to ask you for prayers for my youngest child 36 y o Son JEREMIAH KNOWN AS KIPPER

    I have just come from the Hospital he is comatose and has not much longer to live he has a brain tumour he complained of a headache and then some of his vomit went into his lung he then went into cardiac arrest the ambulance people worked on him for 25 minutes his heart had stopped …he was taken to Hospital and has remained unconscious – he looks beautiful and peaceful, all his Brothers and Sisters saw him he is very looked after he had a scan and MRI. He is effectively brain dead, he is absolutely covered in tubes and machines. Thank you – but I stipulated no Liverpool Pathway; very wonderful Staff

    The next few days will be terribly hard and I will not be home much but messages can be left It is surreal it hasn’t sunk in; I only found out around 3..30 pm Monday

    Thank all of you
    Wendy

  7. Dear Wendy

    I am so sorry to hear your news. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jeremiah and your family.

    God bless x

  8. Dear Wendy, be assured of my prayers. What a cross to bear! May God bless you all and may the angels watch over your son.

  9. N O T I C E . . .

    EMAIL FROM WENDY RECEIVED THIS MORNING…

    Dear Wonderful Everybody

    THANK YOU ALL SO HEARTFELT MUCH for the wonderful outpouring of pure love and concern at my request

    We were up the Hospital from 10 am to 8..30 pm so many people Family and Friends visited
    The Drs were amazing so kind ,helpful and caring Jeremiah had to have 2 more special Clinicians independently examine him but he was actually dead they believe he died around 3 am today but of course the wonderful machinery was keeping him alive

    At the last Meeting the amazing Dr said no hurry but please when you are all ready please select a time to let him pass they asked if I would donate his organs but I couldnt …the 2 Ladies tried to push but I remained adamant we were allowed to spend a lot of time with him so many friends and family there as 7 pm approached we decided I put extra Holy Water on him and a Miraculous Medal was pinned on his pillow Muslim friends of mine Prayed Holy Prayers over him and the gentleman did this beautifully he said Jeremiah looked so peaceful and he had seen many dead people but Jeremiah was the most beautiful he had seen and even Nurses commented how young he looked not 36

    My eldest Daughter Adellyn and Family Friend Tracey decided they would be there for him as his wires were taken off which they did and we sat in the waiting room all held hands and spoke of him he passed away around 7..08 pm just as the Dr said usually such brain damaged people pass quickly

    We then all cried and sat together until about 8pm

    My poor Children were so tired and so upset they have been brilliant when I got home so many messages on the answer phone some cards and and now so many wonderful beautiful and so gratefully received responses thank you all so very much and I will endevour to answer them all Bless you

    A huge group of local Turkish friends did special Prayers all day for Jeremiah and the family
    He looked at Peace and he was surrounded by so much love

    Tragically it was found we are told he had taken an extra strong heroin prior to this he had been clean for some Months but obviously relapsed

    He led a tragic life he was a very caring lovely person but the Heroin destroyed him

    I will be busy now obviously with The family with Funeral engagements and all the other things needed so if you ring and I am not home please leave a message

    Many of his friends who came said this had learned them a lesson so perhaps his passing will not be in vain if others can live

    God Bless you my darling Son and may you rest in Peace
    from your ever loving Mum xxxxxxxx

    • Wendy,

      I am very sorry to hear of your sad loss and I will remember Jeremiah, you and all your family in my prayers.

      May Jeremiah rest in peace.

    • It is with tears falling from my eyes that I read Wendy’s last words about her son.A mother’s love no matter what right to the very end.

  10. Reading through this thread again, I’d like to point out that, as far as I understand it, charity enkindles zeal: zeal for the salvation of others and for oneself, zeal for the defense of the Faith and the Church, zeal to perform corporal and spiritual works of mercy, zeal to discipline and correct those who need to be disciplined and corrected.

    In my experience, that is precisely where the SSPX falls flat: it’s zeal goes no further than the safety of the parish bookstore and the front door of the chapel. That is, their parish bookstores and publishing house offer excellent spiritual resources, but the application of them is hardly, if ever taught. And, if taught, taught badly.

    I would call this “passive zeal,” which seems to be a contradiction in terms, but it is a reflection of something sorely missing in the Society…and this thread about abrasive parish personalities allowed to fester is a perfect example. Another perfect example is the Society’s reaction to the open letter accusing the Pope of heresy. As the blogger Mundabor noted, they should have written that letter, but instead they criticized it (on absurd, irrational grounds, no less).

    Moreover, scandals (and this thread’s situation I would consider a borderline scandal) are either ignored or covered up, and I know of at least two priests who were disciplined for addressing a scandal or two.

    So here’s a bottom line question: since the SSPX appears to have a defective notion of zeal, is that an indicator that they are also lacking in charity?

  11. (I should have added: I was speaking about SSPX clergy, not faithful – clergy who have, in my opinion, developed a bunker mentality.)

  12. I’ve only now been able to catch up with the blog. Reading this thread has left me agog! I had to read some of the comments several times in order not to think that my eyes were deceiving me. And this is an SSPX chapel? Now I sort of understand why 2 young lasses of my acquaintance have stopped attending the SSPX chapels. They have now opted for parishes who offer the TLM. They had told me about the “police” and bossy boots but I put it down to them being young and intolerant.

    • Crofterlady,

      I’m always disappointed when I hear of people who stop attending because of this sort of behaviour, although I know the temptation myself. In fact, nowhere is perfect and moving to a diocesan TLM would only bring a different set of problems. In one case, we find the same problem, only, instead of involving an entire family, the issue is that the PP has allowed one man, who can be extremely rude, to run things for a long time, over a period of years; the result is that he gets to decide who will attend certain events and it’s caused very bad feeling. So, human nature being what it is, there will always be rude people ready to lord it over the rest of us in parishes, and, sadly, there will always be a majority, it seems, of priests too timid in nature to do anything about it, although whether they are too timid, or simply misguided in their interpretation of “pastoral concern” I really can’t say. I don’t seem to intimidate them, judging by the way my concerns are ignored not to mention my emails. See if I care… 😀

      One thing to remember is that those attending the diocesan TLM to which I refer (and, of course, others out there) would have to pray the new Francis-version of the Our Father but for the fact that the Bishops of Scotland have issued a statement to say there will be no change in the English translation, so it’s prayer-business as usual. What, though, if it had gone the other way? That’s the sort of dilemma which faces young parents who want their children to grow up with the Faith undiluted – as far as possible – albeit with some lamentable gaps. And with having to learn “on site” so to speak, how to practise true charity.

      All we can do for now is pray for the Consecration of Russia, to hasten the restoration of all things in Christ and a speedy return to our local parishes. O, and – in the meantime – keep our tempers in check…

  13. Editor, the young lasses in question were attending the TLM at Ravelston in Edinburgh. Not any more. They say that the priest [name removed – Ed] just goes on about money and parking out front etc., and they were scandalised by the the apparent homosexual attitude of 2 of the musicians. They now attend the N.O. Mass celebrated by a very reverend and inspiring priest called Fr. Jamie.

    • Crofterlady,

      I think the two lasses are getting a bit confused. The TLM at St Andrews is celebrated by the FSSP not the SSPX. The SSPX chapel is St Margaret’s and St Leonard’s which is 2 mile away in the South Side, and I can quite assure them that there are no “police or bossy boots” there. We only once had a problem with someone getting on to someone else. A lady, who ironically had previously attended St Andrews, had a go at another lady about her child making too much noise. She was soon put in her place by other members of the congregation who informed her that it was not up to her to chastise people and that the child was not causing any problems. Apparently they are not used to children at St Andrews.

      As Fr Jamie is also based at St Andrews, could it perhaps be that the two lasses don’t actually understand the TLM and are attending the NO as it’s in English and presumably easier to follow? They perhaps don’t have a missal, and as far as I know, there are no Mass books available at St Andrews, unlike St Margaret’s and St Leonard’s where they are available along with a sheet with the propers of the day.

      At the end of the day you usually find that people who stop attending the TLM do so for silly reasons and can’t see that it’s the devil who is making them feel that way. He thought he had gotten rid of the TLM at Vatican II and is angry that it is enjoying a resurgence, especially among the young, (I’m assuming the two lasses are young) and tries anything to put them off going. No matter how reverently the NO is being celebrated it will eventually lead to the loss of faith. It is almost exactly the same as the communion service in an Episcopalian church, on which it was modelled, and so is not Catholic.

      • Vianney,

        I have to say that I have had an issue at St Margaret’s in the past. My son started crying after Holy Communion and after Mass an established member of the congregation, who has been attending for many years, barged past my wife, telling her the noise was ridiculous.

        • Petrus,

          I remember you telling me about that incident, but it’s really not typical at all of the Edinburgh church. I’ve always found everyone to be very friendly and welcoming. I wouldn’t even describe that young man as “an established member of the congregation” – most of his family attend the Glasgow church; I’m not quite sure why he goes to Edinburgh but I’m quite confident that if he did that sort of thing regularly, and it was made known to the long-standing members of the congregation, he would soon be put in his place. He is a member of one of the “old timer” Glasgow families and there has been an issue with some of them in the past because they have little to no patience with children going through difficult phases.

          My own (6 year old) Great Niece went through a very bad phase when she was a toddler, when she was sometimes noisy and disobedient. One of that family suggested she could be perhaps allowed to go to relatives on Sundays, rather than disrupt Mass, to which I replied, sure thing – and then once it dawned on her bright little brain that the choice on Sundays was to attend Mass (where she hadn’t a clue what was going on but knew she had to be quiet throughout) or go and play with some cousins, job done. The battle thereafter would have been, not to teach her how to be quiet in church, but to get her there in the first place. As her mother had predicted, after those difficult few weeks, she was fine and was thereafter, and is now, very well behaved. She is seated sometimes an hour before Mass begins and behaves throughout, no problem. Loves to light a candle at Our Lady’s altar and shows me the pictures of Mass in her little prayer book. In an interesting turn of events, she just LOVES the (youngish!) man who was so impatient with her toddler behaviour, and I have to say he has been exceptionally kind to her since those far off days. We all understand that a noisy child can be annoying during Mass, but it’s totally wrong to make anything of it. Your poor wife must have felt awful at that rebuke – so I hope that young man later realised how unkind he’d been and if you ever meet again, that he will apologise. However, knowing human nature as we all do, I wouldn’t hold my breath…

          Finally, I honestly wouldn’t blame the Edinburgh congregation for that one incident. As I say, I know for a fact that if the regulars had witnessed that incident, or, at least, if it had occurred on a regular basis, somebody would have put that young man in his place.

        • Petrus,

          I’m sorry that your wife had that experience and if any other member of the congregation had witnessed it I’m sure they would have come to your wife’s defence. Children make noise, and anyone who complains about it are totally out of order. Someone told me once that you usually find that those who complain about children tend not to have any themselves and were usually right little monsters when they themselves were young.
          I hope it won’t put you off coming back to St Leonards.

  14. Well, that’s very sad, about choosing the NO over the TLM – it’s actually very Protestant to pick a Mass where the clergyman suits. It doesn’t matter how “inspiring” these young girls find the NO priest – he is saying a Mass that is not the Mass of the saints and martyrs. I don’t know about the “apparent” homosexual attitude of two of the musicians but it’s a mistake to go by appearances. Friends of mine who are single have told me they sometimes get asked if they are gay, just because they’re not married. Is that being “apparent” homosexual? If there’s real evidence of them being practising homosexuals, then they should raise it with the priest. What this thread has brought out for me, just reading through it, is that this thread has been necessary because for years and years, one group of people in a parish has been allowed to rule the roost and behaved disgracefully, and nobody has done anything about it. I’m sure there will be people thinking it was uncharitable to post the comments about that family on this blog, but I’d say that the real lack of charity is that nobody has done anything about that group over the years, not in bringing it out into the open here. Or semi-open since there are no names given.

    Why don’t the girls you mention let the priest know that they would prefer him to preach about the doctrines of the faith, not money or parking – that would be true charity, not going to a Mass that cannot be pleasing to God since it was created with the help and advice of six Protestant ministers, with the aim of removing the “Catholic bits”! If Fr Jamie hasn’t been inspired to learn the traditional Mass, then he’s not all that inspiring IMHO. The fact is, the NO is more attractive to young people because it is less demanding in various ways.

    Young people (and anyone else) who prefers the NO to the TLM only prefers it because they have been protestantised. Even if they don’t realise it, that is the truth. They can cover it up all they like by blaming the TLM priest for not preaching the way he should etc. but the fact is, and I know they’re young, so no chance of them having a true Catholic sense thee days, but nobody will a true Catholic sense would knowingly choose the NO over the TLM, no matter how lacking in preaching skills the priest was. No offence – if you are friends with those “young lasses”, I’m not meaning to offend, but that is my opinion.

    • Laura,

      Well said. The odd thing about these “young lasses” leaving the TLM is that, judging from the demographics of several TLM parishes I’ve attended, the TLM appears to be much more attractive to younger folk than to us old geezers (speaking of myself, not of you!).

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