Friday, November 23, 2007

Gentlemen, GENTLEmen, ... and LADIES... Please...

Thanks for the comments on the last posting. In particular, thank you to Peregrinus and Samuel for providing two links, the first to the discussion on the Cathnews DB at and the second to an audio file of the meeting at

Now, to less pleasant matters. I was at another major interfaith event in Melbourne this evening, where I sat next to two very genial friends who attended last night's event in support of "that petition", and they tell me that the "disruptors" were not only disruptive, but also rude.

This might be a good spot to take a leaf from Fr. John's Zuhlsdorf's blog and his 5 Rules for Engagement. Modifying some of his ideas to fit the situation for engaging with those whose views and actions are in dissent from the teaching and practice of the Church:
1) Do not be rude. Be gracious to those who have in the past may not have been gracious to you.

2) Don't get into a game of "winners and losers". We all win when the Church's life is enriched. We all lose when it is impoverished.

3) Show genuine Christian joy. If you want to attract people to what gives you so much consolation and happiness, be inviting and be joyful. Avoid the sourness some of the more extreme traditionalists and progressives have sadly worn for so long.

4) Show gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for what God gives us.

5) Don't pontificate. Don't bitch. Don't whine. And did I mention don't be rude?


At Saturday, November 24, 2007 1:42:00 am , Anonymous Brian Coyne said...

Yes, listening to the recording, David, I thought they came across as quite rude. What is the problem here? The CathNews Discussion Board has just been through a long tumultuous time basically caused by similar behaviour where people get shouted down. Does anybody know if the people attempting to dirupt the Melbourne meeting were from some specific organisation?

At Saturday, November 24, 2007 4:25:00 am , Blogger Past Elder said...

What a singular day this is, to agree with both Mr Coyne and the Thinker With The Church on something! And from half a world away, though the same issues are present right here too. Let them organise their own panel presentation rather than disrupt someone else's or not participate in an orderly manner.

Although -- and I suppose this will dispel the mood -- for getting shouted down and rudeness nothing about this even comes close to the vicious backbiting and double dealing that was Vatican II, having had a ringside seat for that one. Votes at synod are a picnic in the park compared to that!

So I'm back to my original point -- which version of "Vatican II" wins, and each has been sure for forty some years now the tide has turned in their favour, doesn't matter in the least.

And now that by the grace of God I'm out of the fight, I increasingly hope the other guys (the "liberals" and "dissenters" I used to oppose) do, because at least they aren't under the self delusion that theirs isn't a fundamental shift.

At Saturday, November 24, 2007 10:58:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

You do go on, Past Elder. New tune, please.

Sorry, that was rude. :-)

At Saturday, November 24, 2007 2:18:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Not just rude. I don't mind rude. I was an academic you know.

You buy into a line that hasn't changed since I heard from its inception forty odd years ago -- we made some changes but it's the same thing we've been for nearly 2000 years -- and you want ME to come up with a new tune?

Fits though. Whatever version is being held as "Catholicism", they are all ultimately faith in itself. A priori the "church" must be right, so anything from any source that does not support that is dismissed. I understand how much you want there to be somthing like te RCC claims to be. I'm just surprised that a Lutheran would fall for it.

Ray got somehing right, along with his version of dismissing what he wll not address, using offensiveness rather than repetitiveness. We are of different religions -- and not just the parallel churches in the current RCC fighting over rights to the name Catholic and the heritage of Vatican II.

At Monday, November 26, 2007 7:27:00 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a PUBLIC forum.

The old people were extremely rude. Schutz, had you been there you probably would have found yourself joining them.

More upsetting, the speakers were extremely hateful towards the teachings of the Church.

Perhaps the young people were vocal. Gosh, can you blame them when eveything they hold dear is being torn to shreds by a priest-forever and his other disaffected friends? These people are not just influencing themselves, they are taking entire parishes down with them. Young people who love the Church are sick of these wolves parading as sheep.

At Tuesday, November 27, 2007 12:39:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Yes, there was rudeness all round.

Perhaps getting older simply means getting more subtle in your methods of rudeness. It is, I think, rude to call a public meeting on a topic and then not give at least some airing to both sides. The frustration of the young people was, I think (having listened to the recording), due in part to the fact that the meeting organisers had no intention of giving any point of view other than their own a hearing.

Nevertheless, the manner of expression of the opposition to the speakers was a little inept, to say the least, convinced no-one, and probably did more harm to their cause than help. Believe it or not, there were considerable numbers of others at the meeting who disagreed with the speakers, but perhaps were put off expressing their disagreement for fear of being associated with the rude young things at the front.

Let us be gracious to everyone, even in battle!


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