Saturday, April 22


I didn't know whether to title this post "Confused" or the alternate, rejected title of "Dropping Like Flies."

I was reading my friend Julie D's blog, and ran across a post about my parish. It linked to an article in our local paper, the Dallas Morning News about the priest in my parish where I was baptized. Here's an excerpt from the article:

Priest's exit stuns staff

Dallas: Cathedral pastor cites health; he may testify in abuse cases

07:12 AM CDT on Saturday, April 22, 2006

By BROOKS EGERTON / The Dallas Morning News

The pastor of Dallas' Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe suddenly left his high-profile post this week, stunning staff members and leaving fellow clergymen in the dark.

Catholic Bishop Charles Grahmann has tightly guarded news about the Rev. Ramon Alvarez's departure, which the priest disclosed to some church staff Monday.

By late this week, many other local clerics didn't know it happened, or why.

Here's the two sentences in the article that really freaked me out:

Patrick McLain, one of Father Bagert's attorneys, has said Father Alvarez came under legal scrutiny because he was told that his friend ordered a video with images of nude children.

In 2002, diocesan officials said Father Alvarez admitted "inappropriate contact" with a middle-aged man who sought a blessing from him in 1991. The man said the priest groped and propositioned him.

This is the priest that concelebrated my baptism seven days ago. This is the priest who led our RCIA retreat. He grew up in this parish, went to seminary school, and has stayed on to teach in this parish.

This is really blowing my mind, for lack of a better way of putting it. First Fr. C leaves St. Jude Chapel and now Fr. Ramone has left under very odd circumstances. I know that you can't put all of your beliefs into what the newspaper said, but even if the one fact about Fr. Ramone "inappropriately touching" someone is true, which he admits to, it's a very bad thing.

I've been struggling for a while whether to stay with the Cathedral or branch out to a different church for my home. The two options I've been considering are the Latin Rite masses, and the second option is St. Thomas Aquinas, a very traditional church. That's where I had my first confession in an earlier post. Latin Rites would be nice because of the Latin, but I don't want to become a RadTrad right out of the baptismal gate. St. Thomas Aquinas, on the other hand, is very traditional and conservative while at the same time presenting the Novus Ordo as prescribed by the leadership of the church. The only problem is that it's not my parish. And I just joined the parish a week ago. They are having a welcoming gathering next Sunday, and if I go to STA this week and really like it, I may go next week and get to meet some people.

I hate to not be loyal to my home parish, but I honestly don't know what to do.


At 10:01 AM, Blogger Julie D. said...

I wish I knew what to tell you. I think that the Catechism says that we should stick with our parishes and help improve them if there is something out of whack. Of course, the cathedral is every Dallasite's home in a way.

The very thing that bothers you about the pastor's situation caused a lot of pain and anger to many as it happened soon after the bishop had removed and/or shuffled other pastors due to ... well, it is quite complicated but suffice it to say that there were no such circumstances in their cases and had to do with Safe Environment procedures. So it was quite ironic that the cathedral pastor's situation was basically ignored.

After that supremely unhelpful answer, I will say that if you want to hang at STA, let me know and I can help you meet some people.

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous John said...

Hello Cynthia-

I can not imagine your confusion and your pain. I can only offer this advice-pray and listen. I wish I could give you more concrete advice.

Vaya con Dios,


At 3:27 PM, Blogger Sister Mary Hasta said...

I can't remember whom, but there was some theologian or another who suggested trying a parish for three years before you made up your mind.

At the very least, I'd wait an entire liturgical year in one parish before moving. But that's just me.

At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Celticcherokee said...

We drive 40 miles and pass about 10 'Catholic' churches along the way to get to our church.
I've been told over and over again to be "leaven" and "salt" in a local church, but I will not subject my children to rampant liturgical abuse.
How blessed you are to have the choice of STA and the Traditional Church. I say go where your heart tells you the 'right' place is. I also think it's important to support the churches who are obedient to The Church; ie: the parish with the N.O. Mass said the way it should be said.
As for not moving before you've been Catholic longer, or a certain waiting period, I firmly believe that you need to surround yourself with truth before you are subjected to heresy without knowing it.
I'm finished. heehee


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