Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Well, now

It is interesting that a slight dispute in a New Jersey parish should generate such heat, but if it does, it must mean something.

First, let me restate my sense of this - from the beginning of this (what? yesterday morning?), it seemed clear to me that various people in this parish prepared themselves to be hostile to Perricone. I've seen it many times: a reflexive reaction against anyone associated with EWTN, Steubenville, apologetics, or Perricone's interest and apostolate. "Oh, those Steubenville people like that sort of thing" is something I often heard in parish and diocesan ministry, and it wasn't a compliment.

So, I have no doubt that this protest did not emerge organically from the parish - I've never in my life heard of a parish, unhappy with a new priest, erupting in protest a month after he arrived. It says to me that either: 1)this had been cooking since his appointment was announced or 2)his actions were experienced as particularly abrupt and insensitive. Could it be a little of both?

And despite confident claims to the NYTimes' obvious deception in this case, please note that in the article, Fr. Perricone doesn't deny some of the problematic changes, nor does his evident confidante, commentor #80, I believe, in the thread below. The problem with the article then, appears to be that it takes the protesters' word for granted without questioning them or seeking out any other voices in the parish, who might support (or be indifferent to) Fr. Perricone's changes.

But why the heat here? What is this bringing out in us? Is it bringing out anything good?