By Jake the Snake
I celebrated Easter this past weekend like most religious folks try to do. I woke up, poured a cup of coffee, sat on my couch, and logged into a “live stream” Easter service. To be very frank, this was the most forced, pathetic let down I have witnessed in my years on this earth. Allow me to explain.
First our head priest “abandoned the flock” by returning to the Philippines to mourn a relative who had passed. I do not take issue with his mourning, as that is not my place, but the timing was horrific. It left our associate priest in charge, and with English being his 2nd or third language I feel he takes a back seat on everything that doesn’t involve the Spanish mass. The music was live played recordings from YouTube….yes, we even got treated to the commercial advertising prior to the songs being played. After the homily (sermon) I had to turn it off, it may have been a valiant effort, and the devil was likely smiling at my decision, but it looked forced. The priest was literally reading his homily off an iPad, and during the hymns he had a mono-toned voice, which again seemed very forced.
I was a little taken aback that we never were treated to the typical Christmas and Easter ode where the priest apologizes to all the folks who only show up to mass twice a year. It’s honestly a tradition unlike any other…and I’m not talking about the Master’s. It’s hard to fathom but yes, most all Catholic Priests apologize in hopes these folks will start showing up weekly to service….it never occurs. I never understood why someone would eschew the regulars in hopes that a couple additional folks will resume full attendance at mass.
Sadly it all boils down to $$$. More folks in the pews = more $$$ on the plate, and more money in the bank account. That being said, I was more taken aback by an email I received from the Bishop of Northern California Diocese. I will paraphrase and not include the email, but it talked about “tithing” which is a “highly suggested amount of required giving to the church of your before tax salary.” I literally was stunned. While I do not pretend to know anything about this Covid-19, I do know this, people are scared, and church has been closed for about 4 weeks now. A closed church means very, very little money donated. I feel for the church, even though ours is not struggling; we have almost 2 million in the bank. However this has to be one of the more tone deaf things I have heard. We have almost 22 million folks nationwide unemployed, most of which are all in the same sectors, meaning their unemployment is going to be long term. I thought churches were supposed to charitable. Why is it we have shut down entirely, yet we demand folks….check that….guilt trip folks to keep giving? I hate to say this but when an economic crisis like this occurs, folks need to take care of themselves, and I hate to break it to clergy folks, but at the moment, you are not the most important thing in people’s lives. Homes, cars, and food on the table are far, far more important. Church giving, and other charitable giving are optional.
However an organization I love to beat up on outdid the “Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Church” I’m talking about the Knights of Cash…. I mean Columbus. Check this out. Our first vow, one of charity should be in full force right now. Our local food bank has made a desperate call for volunteers, and donations; for both food and money. However this plea fell on deaf ears. Instead, both the state office and the supreme office have sent out email blast upon email blast saying now is the best time to recruit new members. Think about that one for a minute, rather than actually do some good and help the folks who actually need it, at the local level, we are being told to recruit???? Increasingly I have begun to be distant with this cult, as I feel it has turned into a pyramid type scheme. Seriously only an organization led by an incompetent jackhole like Lee Ann Harper could possibly think this is a smart idea.
Not to be outdone, here at the local level, we were going to have a ceremony to promote to the 4th degree, this ceremony requires folks to pack in shoulder to shoulder in a church…again this is mostly older folks mind you. For a day long ceremony, followed by a banquet, where the usual folks promote themselves for sainthood all while this virus is killing folks in this demographic group! Yes you cannot make this up….even doing this over the priest’s objections! When the event was finally cancelled, the email focused more on how upset the leadership was that the recruits would now count toward next Columbian Years numbers! I swear these folks must all belong to a local Amway chapter; the absolute lack of common sense is befuddling to me. Again, this virus seems to kill folks who are elderly, which happens to be the age of all our new recruits…. but what’s a few lives when a silver star for recruiting is at stake.
It’s very disappointing to me. Great moments come from great opportunity, and while I won’t say Covid-19 is a great opportunity, it has presented a challenge for which the Church or the Knights could shine. Instead both have decided to ignore the Bible and its teachings and put money and recruitment above all else. How tone deaf can you be? While in the midst of a crisis, you are guilt tripping folks into giving money while not having the compassion to understand this economic depression that we are entering into is wrecking families. No one at my church, or my Knights Council will be lifting a finger to help those in need, and frankly why should they? The lesson seems to be that money should be hoarded and, in such times,, who the heck cares about the needy or charity? Maybe the Bishop should question why Planned Parenthood gets to remain open rather than asking us to reach deeper into our wallets? Maybe he should come out of his ivory tower and recommend we help at the local level, set our swords and shields down for a minute, and volunteer? What better tool for candidate recruiting or growing the church or Knights Council than needy folks seeing local groups step up? You know like the Rotarians, or Elks? The church may be in for a day of reckoning soon and not just falling membership…. changes to Prop 13 and our tax-exempt status may be coming soon. You think the state/county/local government wouldn’t love getting a piece of that 2 million?
Jake the Snake
Jake this change in religious practice was all predicted 16 years ago. At the time we thought it was a joke but considering that Bill Gates is at the epicenter of the pandemic modeling that closed your church maybe…
“we will make the sacraments available on-line for the first time”
“You can get Communion, confess your sins, receive absolution — even reduce your time in Purgatory — all without leaving your home.”Microsoft acquires the Catholic Church