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Faith/Spirituality Forum: bringing up children in a liberal diocese

by Catherine Frakas 12 Jul 2001

bringing up children in a liberal diocese QUESTION from Discoaraged on September 28, 2002 I say diocese but the entire local Church where I am, here in South Africa, undetr probably the most liberal conferance of bishops in the world (or at least one of), is in an utter mess.
Bishop after bishop has publically dissented from crucial Church teaching -- particularly the areas of women ordination and contraception. Petersnet has published one of their statements just to show readers how far a national diocese can descend. As a former seminarian my faith was nearlky destroyed by the teaching I received. And the litrature sold weekly in every parish in every diocese is so liberal that it makes your National Catholic Reporter look like a Traditionalist publication!
But all that I can live with as long as one is free to bring their children up as good Catholics, and to worship according to the Novus Ordo Mass. But this is not possible! I am not aware of one - not one - parish where the Liturgy (at least the Sunday Liturgy) is not grossly abused. One feals as though one where attending a Protastant service, especially when listening to the homily, and enduring the songs (not hymns)imposed on us by the liturgical commitee.
I have been publically humiliated, criticised from the pulpit, for not particiapating with the prolonged holding of hands during ythe Our Father. And during a weekday Mass, I was refused Holy Communion for not standing at the Alter for the consecration, as per the priest's instruction (not request). But again, all this I can live with happily. But as a father, I am very deeply concerned! Perhaps I am putting an impossible question on you Brother, since I imagine there is little by way of practicle advice, but how is one to install love and respect for the Liturgy in their children when the authoroties trample it so?
I certainly do not wish to teach my children disdain for their pastor - I belive a special rrespect is due. But how to balance repect due to his person, and the rebellion due to his teaching and example? At present, my oldest is 4, so there is a bit of time. ANd i travel a ridiculoius distance to a parish where there is at least some semblance -however remote - of the Novus Ordo Mass as the Church would have it celebrated. But I dread the day of their First Holy Communion! The last one I observed, the children where made to stand round the alter with the priest and form a circle by holding hands at the Our Father.The Readings where from a paraphrased version of Scripture which recorded the words of Christ as, This is the cup of my friendship, filled with my love. Nor was anyone permitted to receive on the tounge. I have never - and do not want to - take the role of a liturgical policeman, and nor would it do any good (the only time I did complain was when I was publically criticised for not holding hands, and the bishop's reply made it quite clear he took the pastor's side).
But how does one then avoid the heartbreak of seeing their children subjected to the kind of First Holy Communion I describe, or protect them from heretical Sunday School lessons?
Brother, again, sorry for putting such a heavy question on you, but it is one that troubles me and I would be grateful for any advice, even if it be just spiritual. Thank you so much.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on September 30, 2002 Dear Friend:
Do not be discouraged. God loves you and knows of your pain and your tribulation. Seek Him and offer to Him your sacrifice of your true faith in the face of the heresies and abuse you witness. Offer your children to Him. Consecrate your Children to Him. Be in prayer, persevere in prayer. God will honor you and give you much grace for it.
Offer Hedge prayers of protection around your children and your family that they may be protected in their minds and hearts from the contamination caused by those who hate God so much as to abuse His liturgy and teaching.
Teach your children. Do spiritual communions at home and explain to your children what is going on and that you must nevertheless go to these abusive parishes to recieve the valid sacraments, but that the sins of men have mess up the beauty of what the liturgy should be. Instruct your children on what the liturgy should be.
If you have access to EWTN by satellite watch the Mass there with your child to show them what the Mass should be like.
If you dont have access to this, try the Interent. I believe the Masses are available for viewing through the Internet too. Or, you may be able to get a video tape.
In other words, prepare your children in advance for what will witness and explain to them the way it should be done. Teach them loving patience with this too -- they shoul not become bitter about the situation. YOU need to not be bitter about it.
Teach them how to offer up sufferng to God for the salvation of souls.
You have a wonderful opportunity to experience yourself and to teach your children how to suffer for God. Take advantage of this opportunity God is giving you.
It is a rough road you travel in this situation, but it can be one of great grace through the suffering you offer to God because of it.
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