Letter to the Editor:
In collaboration with the Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI) of Pittsburg, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati instituted “Beacons of Light.” Without consulting the laity, individual parishes are clustered, with the goal of merging each into one new regional parish. Each previous parish becomes extinct; one designated as parochial church, and the rest, subsidiaries. While Father assures us nothing changes when we are “one canonical parish,” all offices are located at one church, and finances will be pooled. Being a subsidiary church means the following: the requirement of only two Masses per year, and the options of no reserved Blessed Sacrament, no baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc. While Father says he will not change sacramental scheduling at each subsidiary, he could be ordered to, change his mind, or be over-ridden by a succeeding pastor. Canon Law protects parishes, not subsidiaries, from perpetual uncertainty.
Why create subsidiaries unless three of four will be treated and operated (or closed) as such? Father states he will not sell or demolish any of the buildings; yet being a subsidiary creates the possibility of these results. No priest will say he will shut a church, but the grave opportunity will exist.
Because priest shortage is often used as rationale, be clear that priests may be shared in a cluster, without a merger dissolving the parishes.
To illustrate our manufactured predicament, imagine four large, financially sound, and well-maintained family farms, extended family and heirs devoted to decades or centuries of traditions and relationships. Despite this vitality, the state forces these farms into collectives, controlling the land, homes, people, production, and money. One state president rules each family. Farmers are permitted no input. Only those who impose the amalgamation of properties and resources have a voice, although it was the farmers who dedicated their years of stewardship and devotion, building legacies for descendants. The state assigns everyone the same last name, (think St. Joseph, Pillar of Families), and forces farmers to work without financial reports; nor knowing the whereabouts of their previous assets, while being designated to a state-assigned home. As property, traditions, livelihoods and identities are dismantled, the priests collaborate, dismissing farmers’ concerns, insisting farmers are “afraid of change,” and labeling questioners “impediments to progress.”
Distressed flocks are undefended.
This is communism.
See: saveourparishes.org, online soon.
Mary Sayre Sidney