Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Open Letter to Katrina Fernandez and Fr. Erik

I have been a long time follower of the inimitable Katrina Fernandez, aka “The Crescat” blogger out of the beautiful city of Charlotte, NC. Among Gen X’r mackerel snappers, she’s the first publicly known person in blogdom whose brain synapses seem to align with mine. She is only among a few handful of renowned catholic bloggers willing to tell the truth as she sees it, and willing to share her own story, which can’t be called easy or pretty. But like those whom God touches particularly, she is blessed/cursed with the gift to temper her insight with humor in all its forms. And she knows that’s how “we” cope with stuff. And, she also is reckless, or I prefer fearless, enough to sometimes admit “Folks, I’m melting…..I’m melting.” We, by which I mean modern culture and society, cannot easily accept vulnerability, weakness, failure, regret or self-preservation by any means necessary comfortably. We would rather parce out people and problems with our own prejudicial diagnoses and our own self-righteous remedies as a comeuppance for people like Katrina and me, who let it hang out. (That is not to say people like us don’t know the love and support of true saints among us. I’m experiencing that right now.)

Kat posted a couple of days ago with this blatant headliner (which follows with excerpts from her article, to whit:

Hi. I’m Kat, your blog administrator. I’m also an a**hole…
I was all set to write a post mocking this…I had it all planned out, a magnificent post oozing with witty mockery and commentary suggesting the Church sell ad space on altar cloths and vestments to boost revenue. But half way through I just looked at that picture and felt tremendously sad. Sad for the priest and even sadder for myself. Where is the virtue in picking on an old man? The priest in the photo is 90+ years old. I should live so long...Really there would have been nothing to gain from that except a few chuckles and maybe a couple of shares around the old social media. The greater damage would be in giving the “if it ain’t Latin it’s a sacrilege” crowd more fuel to throw on their ever raging fire against the novus ordo missae.

The first person to comment was the well-know blogger Fr. Erik Richtsteig, who offered this response and encouragement: Kat, there are ass----s, but you're not one. The 90 year old Jesuit is. He is old enough to know better. The Progressive Catholic Collation looks to be full of them. Highjacking the Mass to advance their political agenda. The poncho gal is too; sacrilegious simulation of the Mass. Kat, don't go all wobbly on us.

Father, it’s undoubted that you meant to bolster and encourage Kat through this existential revelation of hers, but you’ve missed the mark and only revealed the weaknesses and inclination towards pride that betray the bottom line of your vocation and vows, not to mention allowing your emotions to be sway by the enemy so much as to deride a brother priest, no matter how much you disagree with his actions. Yeah, we know all of confident Catholic orthodoxy can’t wait for the biological solution to the ecclesial crises confounding us all. But invecting your disdain towards Fr. Brennan and the “poncho lady” in such a frivolous and dismissive manner (how ironic those words, they), you apparently left your Matthew 25 on the keyholder of your mind when you let those words leave the house of your lips. And to go further and exhort Kat not “to go….wobbly…), well, is there some sort of CatholicJungend Bund out there that she’s now in danger for apostasy for, what, realizing that most Christ-like of admonitions, look to the speck/log in your own eye before giving other heretics the death stare?

Katrina, my heart is gladdened and pained for you. There’s serious stuff out their skulking every day and night. There are wars and rumors of wars. Old men (at least me) are dreaming (not so pleasant dreams) and there’s always going to be people without feet show up when we’re moaning about holes in our socks or shoes. But this is an awakening for not just you, but everybody who reads, knows and loves you, even from places like the land of nuts and fruits. But the serious stuff, your soul, your health, the boy, your faith and trust in God, trust in your instincts at the same time you call out to Him in prayer. All of us, including Father, can do no better in this life. You are loved.

1 comment:

The Crescat said...

I am sorry I am only seeing this now. Those "hey, I am asshole!" moments come all too often now.

Pax, Charles.