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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Monahan Effect at Work

Does everybody remember the fanfare of the Oratory consecration? After months and months of "negotiations" with the diocese, Monaghan finally relented to the diocese and the so-called oratory was designated a "quasi-parish" and consecrated.

Despite having canonical significance, the place is still called an oratory even though it isn't one.

The Naples News article covering that event is worth reading again in light of time's developments. Especially because it shows how excited people were.

Sitting in a pew before the service, Marielena Stuart waved her camcorder excitedly. She sat next to her husband, Thomas, and in the row in front of two neighbors, Karen Apang and Kathy Delaney, who also had camcorders. They all live on Kentucky Way in town and can see the back of the church from their homes. They prayed for this moment every day.

“You can imagine that this church is supposed to be the center and the heart of the town,” Stuart said. “Without this church, it was like we didn’t have a heart. Now it’s like we’re alive.”

Now, Stuart said, her 7-year-old son, John Paul, could have his first Holy Communion inside.

How quickly they forget things like that once Monaghan starts scrawling notes on little yellow post-its and distributing marching orders to the henchmen.

Just to elaborate on my analysis made and linked to in this post, notice the following quotes by the paper regarding the process to consecrate and "disagreements":
The road to Monday’s dedication didn’t go as smoothly as its founders hoped. Monaghan said he wanted the ceremony to take place in December, then in January and then the university didn’t plan any more. Prolonged negotiations with the diocese over the building’s status were taking place. Neither side would address substantive issues involved, but church experts speculated matters of spiritual and financial authority were at play.

After Monday’s service, both sides made oblique references to disagreements — university President Nick Healy called them “the complexities of the whole situation here” — but declined to elaborate.

Despite the reality, notice what Monagahan selected to say in response to the whole mess:
“We respect the bishop, we’re always obedient to the bishop and we’ve always intended to be,” Monaghan said. “If we don’t do that, we’re hypocrites as far as being a Catholic university. That’s the way the church is structured and that’s the way I believe it should be.”

Obedience is a strange word to use when compared to the actions that were taken during the months prior. If the actions speak anything, then, in my opinion, Monaghan believes that obedience requires acrid public relations maneuvers like scheduling a consecration without the Bishop's confirmed presence and then complaining when he doesn't arrive. (remember when they said he went to a "circus Mass"?). Monaghan's last phrase, taken in this context, sounds to me like he was soothing his anger over having been thwarted by the Church authority.

Even more peculiar, and supportive of my theory that the issue at hand over the so-called Oratory was intended to be selectively exclusive on Monaghan's whims is the Bishops statement about the disagreements:
Dewane said his concern above all else was and remains appropriate care for the town’s Catholic population.

“Always when there are people gathered in an area, I look and the other bishops of the country do look at how do we set up a church there, how do we realize the spiritual life of the people,” Dewane said. “That’s what this does today for the town. It renders very present the fostering of the spiritual life.”

So they weren't talking about money. They were talking about caring for the Catholics living in the town. It is clearly a fair and reasonable inference that Ave Maria was trying to do something that caused the Bishop concerns about the care for the Catholics living in the area.

In my opinion, as I've said for the past couple years, they were trying to make an exclusive private association whereby they could eventually dispose of people they deemed expendable and no longer useful. In my opinion, they were trying to make a parish that could ban people they didn't like.

Thank God for the Bishop and his selection of "quasi-parish" instead of "oratory."

UPDATE: The priceless exchange in the comments with a victim of Robbert Fallsy syndrome is very entertaining. You little harlequins can really twist the facts as you see fit. Nonetheless, according to the Diocese of Venice website, the consecrated building in question is called "AVE MARIA ORATORY QUASI-PARISH PARISH." priceless. You can't even make this crap up.