Saturday, January 22, 2011

Prominent Americian Jesuit Calls God The Father, God The Son And The Holy Spirit.......She

Fr. Thomas J. Reese, S.J.
Fr. Thomas J. Reese, S.J. one of three senior fellows of the Woodstock Theological Center in Washington who spoke at “The Future of the Church: A Woodstock Forum on Sources of Hope,” held at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia on Dec. 5
Here are some excerpt from Fr. Reese's comments at the St. Joseph's forum.

“We are becoming a do-it-yourself church”

“Personally, as a social scientist, I tend to be a pessimist when looking at the church. But as a Christian, I think I have to be an optimist. That’s part of our DNA as Christians. After all, our religion is based on someone who died and rose from the dead.”

“At 65, I’m considered a young priest,”

“In the 19th century we lost men in Europe. We didn’t lose the women,” he said. “Today we’re losing women too. ... Mothers are more important to the Catholic church than priests, because they are the ones that pass the faith on to the next generation. They are the ones who teach the kids how to pray, answer their questions about God, etc. Women are absolutely essential. If we lose women, we might as well close shop. And then the worst thing about this is that the more educated a woman becomes, the more alienated she tends to become from the Catholic church.”
“If this was a retail outlet, we’d say we’re blaming the customers -- and that’s not a way to make your bottom line,”
“When was the last time you entered a Catholic church and actually were welcomed?” he asked. “Our churches and our liturgies are boring. That, I think, more than theology, is what is driving our people away from our church. What you need is good music, good preaching, programs for kids and a welcoming community,” he said. “If you have that, you will have a full church"

“especially when this work is seen not just as kind of an appendix to Christianity, as being a Catholic, but is integrated into our spirituality, as part of who we are, so it becomes part of who we are as Christians -- for many young Catholics this becomes attractive,”
On the church’s immediate prospects for the future, “maybe God knows what she’s doing,” he said. “If you don’t have clergy, maybe the job’s yours.”
Link (here) to the full article at the extreme left lay published Catholic newspaper National Catholic Reporter


Anonymous said...

The Jesuits are more responsible for the sad state of affairs in the Church than they will ever admit or probably realize.

TonyD said...

I find many of Fr. Reese’s observations compelling. But, ultimately, I disagree with his belief that the laity can change the Church. The hierarchy retains the power, and thus retains final say in any decisions.

At the same time, the laity is responsible for their own actions and judgments. As one commenter on that blog recommends:

“Parishioners need to set up separate parish bank accounts that cannot be touched by their bishops (and, indirectly, by Rome) in order to pay staff salaries, utilities, and other expenses and to help folks in need.”

This is the best solution. Parishioners can allow the Church hierarchy to live by their values, while they use their free will serve God as best they can.

Anonymous said...

"And then the worst thing about this is that the more educated a woman becomes, the more alienated she tends to become from the Catholic church.”

All statistics in Europe show and confirm this.
Why do you marked in red? It's a very true statement.

Joseph Fromm said...

I find his statements ludicrous.



Anonymous said...

There are those like anonymous #1, JP2, & Joe Fromm, who presumably want a church ticks to Polish time, where the hierarchy can do whatever and rape whomever it wishes, and the people are to pray, pay, obey.

There is nothing to stop them from ramming through their view of the church. And there is nothing stopping the laity from voting with its feet.

Anonymous said...

It seems like everyone forgets that Christ Himself instituted a hierarchical Church. The early Church was hierarchical. And the hierarchy has been given the keys and the teaching authority. This doesn't mean they don't make mistakes, but it does mean the Church teaches the truth. I wish we could better have the faith of a child, and learn to submit to the teachings of the Church rather than challenge them based on our limited experience. I'll take the Holy Spirit's wisdom over my own any day.

Anonymous said...

As best I recall, Christ had some significant problems with his day's hierarchy; they eventually had him crucified.

Anonymous said...

The more educated we women become the more we buy into the feminists arguments. The university has become the new temple and we worship at its feet.

The disconnect for me, and I am a woman, about what Fr. Reese is saying is that women have basically run every parish I've been in. They manuever the priest as well. So the rub is - when Fr. Reese complains about the lack of involvement and interesting liturgy and at the same time calls for more women's involvement, he doesn't really know what he is talking about. OR, he thinks his agenda to change the Church into one of his own liking - more democratic will find an audience with this type of rhetoric.

Even the Pope has said we don't know about the gender of God but since Jesus called him Father - I'll go with male. And that's the rub with some Jesuits isn't it - whose church is it - ours or God's. Fr. Reese seems to be on the side of former and I think its the latter. The women who are falling away don't believe anymore in God - they worship at the altar of social justice and an amorphous Divine feminine spirit.

Dan said...

Well, for Heaven's sake look at the man: if that isn't a photograph of a practicing poof then I don't know what is. And aside from that he has clearly lost his Faith or he wouldn't be writing or saying such rubbish.

Lastly, with all the stories of recalcitrant priests swamping the internet, from Richard McBrien to Rembert Weakland, why sould we care what another of these sad characters think? Pray for him and leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

I love the gay-haters who must know, but still like to complain, that for a long time, and until not long ago, the "celibate" clergy was one of the few "honorable" professions for "confirmed bachelors."

And now they have knuckleheads correcting their theology.

Anonymous said...


Joseph Fromm said...

Amen! Father

Anonymous said...

Same goes for the Jesuit High Schools where our children are even younger and more susceptible!

Anonymous said...

TO ANONYMUS on January 22, 2011 9:33 AM

you said:
"The disconnect for me, and I am woman, about what Fr. Reese is saying is that women have basically run every parish I've been in. They manuever the priest as well. So the rub is - when Fr. Reese complains about the lack of involvement and interesting liturgy and at the same time calls for more women's involvement, he doesn't really know what he is talking about."

statistics said that 6 women on ten have left the Church, 3 on 4 that stayed here now run the parish.
Father Reese knows this very well, and he's right!

TonyD said...

All though Church history there has been what’s right, and then there is logic. I believe in hierarchical authority given by God. I also understand that those in power often overwhelm the “still, small voice” with their own thoughts, emotions, and judgments.

This shortcoming is not limited to those who are in positions of authority, however.

We, as a Church, are at a place with only poor options.

Mark G said...

Fr. Reese has described himself very well. He is a member of the "Society of Someone"

Anonymous said...

Yes, Fr. Reese does know it very well and it suits his agenda as stated. He is one of the educators who have educated women to leave!

But he can't have it both ways. He can't blame boring liturgies on us women who stay. He can't claim we aren't educated either - I have 2 post grad degrees as do many of my fellow women in the congregation. I am also Jesuit educated - so, for me, it is the rub. In trying to have it both ways, he only makes the case that it isn't about God anymore - it's about us. It's about what I can get out of it. It's about power and control. All of this is hidden behind claims of equality when it is about ego.

TonyD said...

It is also true that losing women is not such a bad thing.

Their children will be able to choose the Church later. This is actually a better indicator of real soul progress.

Someone who is raised in the Church and chooses Catholicism based on peer pressure or their parents values has not really transformed into someone with God's values.

I'm not saying that the reasons women leave the Church are good or correct, I'm saying that things are not as bleak as they may appear.

This is true even if people find other faiths to teach them God's values.

Maria said...

Woodstock Theological Center. Kyrie Eleison. God save us from such erudition...

Anonymous said...

Oh, lovely--a little misogyny thrown in for good measure.

Anonymous said...

Gay Jesuits? I'm shocked! I had no idea! said...

Gosh, there is so much effective material here!