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Monday, May 12, 2014

Is This a Sign of the "Springtime of Evangelization?"

Camden Diocese Consolidating More Parishes

Hope is a Christian virtue and an important one. No matter the circumstances, no matter how the storm rages around us, we hope in the Lord. But sometimes it's hard. As we read the statistics on young people leaving the Catholic Church and see diocese after diocese closing and consolidating formerly vibrant looks more like coming winter than springtime. Pray for the Church.

Well, if Jesus' houses are being boarded up, not so with the bishop's living space.

N.J. Bishop's Mansion Draws Criticism

Just a bit from the article:
From 2008 to 2010, the diocese shrunk its number of parishes by more than 40%, going from 124 to about 70. The diocese, made up of New Jersey's six most southern counties, has about a half million Catholics but fewer than a quarter go to Mass regularly.

"Amazing that the Catholic Church has money for this extravagant home despite the apparent financial crisis that has led to the closing of many Catholic schools (including St. Patrick's in Woodbury) and several churches," he said....
"The diocese purchased the property because the bishop needs a residence and space to hold meetings with potential donors and benefactors," diocesan spokesman Peter Feuerherd said. "It will well pay for itself and more. We realize others may have a different opinion, but that was the rationale behind the purchase."
Somehow, there is always a reasonable rationale behind the lavish living of the bishop. Does Bishop Sullivan make you think of the holy bishop in Les Miserables? Can you see Bishop Sullivan giving his silver candlesticks to Jean Valjean?

Pray for Holy Mother Church. So many of our clerics today seem more interested in building their own wonderland on earth than building the city of God. Pray for them. If you have a holy bishop, thank God and pray for him. If you have a worldly bishop, beg God's mercy on him. A little fasting wouldn't hurt for all bishops. They will be called, as we all are, to an accounting on Judgment Day.  


DisturbedMary said...

Bishop Sullivan's job looks more like that of a COO of a large Corporation than that of a shepherd of the church. By the time the Church figures out that these ostentatious real estate decisions hurt the understanding of who and what the Church is -- by that time, the damage will be done for another generation or two.

Kurt said...

Before you quote from a book by the atheist Victor Hugo, I would remind you that Le Mis was on the Index of Forbidden Books.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

It was removed from the index in 1959. And the index was never an infallible document. My understanding is that originally it included any book written by a non-Catholic.

Be that as it may, many authors who are atheists or non-Catholics can still be witnesses to truth. Mark Twain's book on Joan of Arc is beautiful and highly recommended and was, in fact, his own favorite work.

Your comment reminds me of the story of John Paul II, perhaps apocryphal, who as Cardinal Wojtyla was chided for reading The Communist Manifesto. He smiled and said he thought his faith was safe.

The scene with Bishop Myriel is one of the most positive portraits of a truly Catholic bishop in literature in my opinion. Would that all our bishops behaved like the "atheist" depicts a bishop.

Interestingly, Hugo's anti-clerical son, Charles objected to the positive image of the bishop and his father replied, "I cannot put the future into the past. My novel takes place in 1815. For the rest, this Catholic priest, this pure and lofty figure of true priesthood, offers the most savage satire on the priesthood today." Sadly, one could say that 200 years later. Just look at so many of our scandalous bishops!

Even atheists can be truth seekers and truth tellers.

Elisa said...

Speaking of "Les Miserables" by Hugo, there's a one act play titled "The Bishop's Candlesticks" (1908) by Norman McKinnel. Based on a chapter in the novel, it tells the story of a Bishop confronting Jean Valjean after he attempts to take his silver candlesticks from his residence.

Catholic Mission said...

May 12, 2014
Daphne McLeod resigns : how will PEEP interpret Vatican Council II ?

Fr.Zuhlsdorf also uses 'the inference' in the interpretation of Vatican Council II

Israeli Parliament will hold special meeting to pay tribute to Pope John XXIII


Richard d Baker said...

Once again .....a Reaction to a story about us by the Secular Press that is uniformed and uncharitable.

The "Posh" Residence where Bishop Sullivan lived in NY is a Lovely Home a house from a bygone era. It houses the Archbishop of NY, and a number of Priests. Nice yes......Privileged not really. Its a Boarding house in the most Noisy congested part of Manhattan.

Except for a short time as a Pastor in Larchmont NY, Bishop Sullivan served and lived in one of the most poorest Parishes on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan. I was appalled at the condition of the Rectory that he live for more than 15 years. He struggled for years keeping the parish open to serve the Spanish, English, Chinese population with little concern for his own comfort!! I know this because my cousin is his successor. And even though he become a Bishop and Vicar General.......he was always trying to help find ways to help The Pastor, and People of St Theresa's.

Now 500,000 for a Home in NJ.......which will increase in value over the years, which will be used for Diocesan Functions, etc. This is not excessive!

No one in our Church deserves the negative, half truthful reporting.....but thats life. But it is VERY WRONG for the Faithful to do the same based on the Secular Press' views.

So before you Publicly attack your Bishop maybe you should see the bigger picture. There is always more to the story than you will read in the Secular Press.........I thought you would have know that already!

God Bless

Anonymous said...

Your blog is called "The Truth" but the comments about Bishop Sullivan are far from the truth! The house that the Diocese bought for the Bishop only cost the Diocese $105,000.00. They sold the former residence, which was in need of repair, for $385,000.00 and put that towards the purchase of this house. $500,000.00 minus $385,000.00 equals $105,000.00. Also, this house (it's not a mansion) will also house 2 other priests. The local media has been trying, with the help of some disgruntled local 'Catholics' to smear the reputation of an awesome Bishop. He's a very humble man and has given his life to the service of others and does not deserve to be the victim of gossip, especially from within the Church he's dedicated his life to serving!

Mary said...

"Now 500,000 for a Home in NJ.......which will increase in value over the years, which will be used for Diocesan Functions, etc. This is not excessive!"

Fr, As a resident of southern NJ I can tell you the homes are DECREASING in value and Woodbury is NO exception. People are also wondering what happened to the rural home with stables and six bedrooms that the previous Bishop
Galante purchased for around 700 thousand? He does not reside there because he moved to Somer's Point by the shore.
We saw what happened to this estate while our parishes and schools were being closed.We read about the Rico Case against the late Bishop McHugh and the Diocese for transferring the predator priests between here, RI and Ireland in the early nineties and the then 3.4 million dollars that was already paid out by the Camden Diocese to keep the clerical abuse victims silent.
"The Post reports that Bishop Galante sold Follieri a private beach house for $400,000 in 2007 and that one of Galante's priests misrepresented himself to potential investors. At the time Follieri was negotiating with the Diocese of Camden and other North American Roman Catholic dioceses to buy churches with Burkle money and sell the properties for later profit. In October, 2008, Follieri pleaded guilty to charges, and Manhattan Federal Judge John Koeltl imposed a 4 1/2 year prison sentence.[citation needed] The Galante/Follieri beach house in North Wildwood, New Jersey was put back on the market in 2008 and sold almost two years later for $310,000.[5][6] As of January 2013, Galante does not face any charges related to the scandal."

I am thinking that accounting and investing are courses that should be added to every cleric's curriculum vitae.

Mary said...

No Father B, homes are definitely not appreciating this close to Camden. This is not North Jersey or NYC.

"In a diocese with multiple church and school closings and a poverty-stricken hellhole at its core (sorry, Camden, but you’re basically Beirut-on-the-Delaware, and I say that as your neighbor), buying an upscale residence for a shepherd of souls is not merely wrong (morally, fiscally, and logically), it’s tone deaf. Even if they can justify it to themselves, it’s what’s called “bad optics,” no matter how good a deal they got or to what use they put it.

Did they ever think that a prospective donor, seeing a diocese flush with so much cash they blow it on a mansion, may just think the church doesn’t need their money after all?

There’s no way to spin this to the public as anything other than Bishop Sullivan, lately of posh mid-town Manhattan, settling into a mansion while desperately poor inner-city parishioners drop widow’s mites into the basket to re-felt his teak pool table. In the interest of charity, I’m assuming that certainly was not his intent in approving the purchase, but it’s certainly going to be the perception."