Saturday, December 7, 2013

FEWER FATHER FLANAGAN'S

Fr. Flanagan, founder of Boy's Town

At the end of the classic 1938 movie BOY'S TOWN, Fr. Flanagan hugs a repentant and tearful (and previously terrible) Whitey Marsh. Holding him and consoling him he says: "There are no bad boys." And the movie ends. 

As I watched this movie last night for the first time in years, I couldn't help but compare those words to the words of the newly appointed pastor of Chalan Pago Parish.

Addressing the youth at the recent Eucharistic Congress he said:

Watch for men, they will say anything to get you and then they will treat you like an orange. They will suck all the sweet juice out of you and when there is no more juice left and you are dry they will spit you out and throw you away.
There is, of course, the shock of hearing a priest speak in this way, i.e. sucking out the "sweet juice" of women and all that. And certainly one can make the case of the inappropriateness of such remarks. But beyond that, there is the issue of what those words actually say about the man who said them.


The contrast between the world views of the two priests is glaring. One says "there are no bad boys", the other says "all boys are bad." (Note, "there are no bad boys" is a real quote from the real Fr. Flanagan.)

What Fr. Flanagan's words say is "God didn't make these boys bad. We did. Now let's do something about it." Fr. Flanagan's solution was Boy's Town, where troubled and damaged boys could be given another chance at life by first being exposed to someone (Fr. Flanagan) who honored their human dignity. 

Fr. Edivaldo's solution for troubled and damaged boys - at least in this statement, and regardless of his intent - is to damn them, to make them a pariah, to cast them as something to look out for, to beware of, to eschew, to never trust. They are sucking, parasitic lechers: they will suck you dry and spit you out when "there is no more juice left." 

In saying this, Fr. Edivaldo has not discouraged the boys. In fact, he has emboldened them, challenged them as a self-fulfilling prophecy does. 

In fact, as most teen psychologists know, the male mind (especially the teen male mind) is sexually driven by imagery, actual or virtual. The image of sucking the juice out of a girl until she is "dry" is radically pornographic. It burns the male brain, provoking the very psycho-hormonic reaction that the priest supposedly was warning against. As a male, I can assure you that Satan entered the mind of many a young man at that moment. 

And he also hurt the girls. They are now set up to further distrust, to disdain, to expect to feel used, to be sucked like an orange and spit out when dry. And that is exactly what will happen to them. Because as psychologists also know, you get what you expect, even when you are trying to avoid it. It too becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, which is why women often go from one harmful relationship to another. They expect to be hurt, used, sucked dry and spit out. And so they are. 

The real damage here is an incredible lost opportunity. In the plan of God, man and woman were designed to complete each other. Marriage is meant to be a path to heaven. In order for this to happen in our fallen state, we must constantly look for the good, watch for it, feed it, appreciate it. And of the two sexes, the woman is the more capable in this regard. She is by nature, the nurturer. She is the more rooted and life-giving. Through her, with all the graces of the sacrament of Matrimony, men can grow into real men and cease to be boys. 

Thus we have the examples of St. Rita of Cascia, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Gianna Molla, and many others who were great channels of grace for the men they married. The example of Elizabeth Leseur has been becoming better known. A devout and holy woman, she was married to an atheist who was filled with hatred for the Catholic faith. She prayed and suffered for him for years. After her death her husband converted and became a priest. Before he died he told his story to Archbishop Fulton Sheen who often retold it. 

Some will protest that Fr. Edivaldo did not mean it that way. It doesn't matter. Words, regardless of their intent, live on. They always have an effect well beyond the moment they escape our mouths which is why scripture severely warns us about our tongues, lest we be hung by them. 

In defending Fr. Edivaldo, some resorted to the standard "it's different nowadays". Really? Tell that to St. Rita. Tell that to Elizabeth Leseur. In fact, read the bible and see if men are really different today. What IS different is that we have fewer Fr. Flanagan's. 

You object to my post? Just call it "active participation of the laity."

17 comments:

  1. One would have to wonder, are these words and thoughts from the personal experience of the good father, or as a result of the socialogy and psychology courses presented at the seminary?
    Either way, the entire event was completely miss represented to the faithful of this archdiocese. What should have been a nice event for teens, was instead a recruitment tactic for the neo. Perhaps the archbishop and chancellor had in mind the closing events at the recent world youth day, where many neo youth presented themselves for a vocation call.
    If i were a parent whose child was subjected to such words, i would voice my objection and concern....oh wait...to whom?
    There in is the great tragedy!

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  2. What do you mean recruitment tatic for the neo? This has nothing to do with the neo. Why must the "neo" be brought up? Is it to incite and argument?

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  3. And Fr Egivaldo was giving this talk with his back on the monstrance. Did not even kneel, only half-genuflected. I highly doubt anyone's faith was strengthened or renewed in that event. I am sure many wrong practices and views about the faith were affirmed.

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  4. It was obvious from Fr. language that his speech was neo-induced. It is the same rhetoric they use all the time (Time for a new script!)
    It was also obvious that the call for vocation at the end was most certainly neo-centric. You'd have to be willfully ignorant to say otherwise. But whether it was neo influenced or not isn't the problem.
    The issue is that they avoid all instances of revealing who they are and what they are recruiting these kids for. To me, and many others, it's surreptitiousness and deceptive.

    But back to the critique of Fr.'s speech. It was inappropriate during a time of Eucharistic Adoration and lacked the solemnity that was required for the event. I saw no difference in style between his "talk" and a pitch for the latest Popeil product.

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  5. Janet B - MangilaoDecember 8, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    It is all about control, if they can control you then they can feed you whatever nonsense they like. we are a mission...why are we sending priests away?

    I have a cousin who wanted to become Catholic. She was "Walking" in the way, and also taking RCIA classes at a parish in Guam. Her "Responsible" told her to stop going to RCIA and she would get her sacraments in their "Private " mass at a hotel on the Easter vigil. Well, the easter vigil came but they told her she wasn't ready. But since she was told to drop her parish RCIA she was stuck.

    Archbishop - isnt your parish RCIA good enough for becoming catholic, or is there something superior to the NCW that she was told this? I dont expect your response because there is no valid excuse, but think of what damage your "responsibles" are doing to our Church. May God have mercy on Joe Terlaje and on you!

    Janet B.

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    1. Responding to old post, Janet...archbishop snickers about RCIA...he likes snickering. Snickering has got to stop. People have ears and they talk.

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  6. I think what really matters, is first hand experiences as Tim continues to share his, all of Tims experiences are his, and everyone would add more credit to their accusations and assumptions if they would share their personal experiences rather than the experiences of others. I too was a big critic of the Neocatechumenal Way, I heard this and that, saw this and that but never experienced the actual NCW for myself. I would like to share that up til this point, what I heard before did no justice and is nothing compared to the truth that I find today. The NCW is a good thing and has really helped me and many others. I hope that all of you would one day experience it for yourselves, you have nothing to loose but yourselves, and to loose that(selfishness)is the best thing for this world right now. That we turn to Jesus with our whole heart, soul and being, and that we truly allow our words and actions to amplify the God that dwells in us all. If I offend anyone in this, forgive me. Peace!

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  7. Excuse me, Anonymous who says these are experiences are mine. Which experiences of mine have I shared? I have shared no experience of the neocatechumenal way. I have only shared what has been done and said. But thank you for your comment. I have been waiting for the right time to share the whole truth about your movement and you have provided it. Look for it soon.

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  8. Anonymous of 12/8/13 at 8:43PM
    You say that we should only share personal experiences. I don't have to live thru Japanese occupation to understand its impact on our people if my Nana has told me of her experiences. I also don't need to experience the control of the NCW if my own cousin relays her disappointment. I am relaying what she relayed to me, so are you calling both of us liars? Don't even go there.

    You have a lot of guts...do you really think that we should all go thru the NCW? Your post says "I hope that all of you would one day experience it for yourselves, you have nothing to loose but yourselves, and to loose that(selfishness)is the best thing for this world right now. That we turn to Jesus with our whole heart, soul and being, and that we truly allow our words and actions to amplify the God that dwells in us all."

    That summarizes the problem of why your group creates so much division. You really think that the Neo is the only way to salvation, and if we don't join it is only because we are selfish. You imply that it is only thru the Neo that we can turn to Jesus with "our whole heart" etc. I am glad it has helped you. It has helped many. But it has also hurt far more...family divisions, community divisions, parish divisions.

    I have heard other similar problems from those who finally escaped the clutches of the Neo. One was told by their responsible the salvation is thru the NCW. All good Catholics know that salvation is through Jesus, not Kiko! But you seem to worship him, Fr Pius, your responsables, etc.

    Yes, your words are offensive, but not nearly as much as your attitude. Open your eyes and realize that the NCW has positive points and it has negative points. Why don't you work from within to try and correct these. Then maybe our diocese will begin to heal.

    Janet B.

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  9. I never said that the NCW is the ONLY WAY TO SALVATION, it aint. If most people tell you they dont like the taste of liver, that is enough for you? Enough to dissuade you from ever trying it out yourself? I did not say you are a liar, I did say that most of the information/experiences were based on hearsay. Try and tell one Person tonight that the Lawnmowers are on sale for $397.83 and ask them to repeat it to many other people and see what happens with that information. I did not accuse anyone of anything but offer the mere option to give it a try before drawing judgments on the NCW. As for Tim, I thought he was sharing his experiences with members/leaders/clergy of the NCW, if they werent his personal experiences then I read the blog articles wrong. I am also a member of the Cursillos and other groups of our church and happily assist them also in their activities, I am involved in numerous ministries within the parish too. Every year I take joy in helping with larger events throughout the archdiocese. I lead the youth through many retreats, Im working on getting certified as a Youth Minister. Just wanted to share that so that it can be clear that I am not being biased in my involvments. I never said that the NCW is perfect. Just like tea, everyone may and has the choice to drink but not everyone may like. How will you know til you try? Thats all Im saying.

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    1. Dear Anonymous - I wasn't accusing YOU of saying the NCW is the only way to salvation. You choose not to reveal your name or anything so I have no idea who YOU are.

      It was Joe Terlaje who has told people getting out of community that salvation is through the NCW. What does that say about his view of Holy Mother Church and Jesus Christ. It bypasses Jesus and the Church and instead, it points to Kiko. Other Catechists, they are from Puerto Rico, proudly announced at the end of the Archbishop's homily earlier this year that they have good news, Jesus is coming to the parish. I thought Jesus was already here? And it is totally, seriously funny because what they were really saying is that the Archbishop is completely incapable of presenting Jesus to us in 28 years as our shepherd, only the Way is able to. I don't even think he gets the irony in that statement they made about him.

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  10. What you need to know is that you have been misled and lied to. I will soon show you how. Been holding back, but I think it's time.

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  11. Responsible? Sounds like the Jehovah Witness ! They too, have Responsibles who encourage and guide those within their community. If one may say ,elders (those who have been in the NCW for a long time). What lay person has the authority to tell me which way to follow or that I am on the wrong path. Let the Responsibles teach CCDS or RCIA outside their communities.

    I hear that Members wait for their infants to be baptized during the Easter vigil. God forbid that between the time the infant is born and the baptismal on Easter nothing serious happens, then you will be the Responsible one for your infant's soul.

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  12. A very sad situation which needs the attention of the apostolic nuncio in new Zealand.

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  13. I heard the Holy Father is calling for an extraordinary synod in October 2014 and the topic is Marriage and Family. Maybe Anthony can send his star orator to Rome to represent him. Fr Edivaldo just spent 3 years in Rome getting an advanced degree, an STL in the Theology of Marriage and the Family.

    Maybe he can impress the Roman Curia with such artful phrases such as "boys will treat you like an orange. they will suck the sweet juice out of you and when you are dry they will spit you out." Maybe he will come back triumphantly bearing a D.D. to the end of his name.

    Fr Edgy - be sure to tell them Tony sent you. By then they will surely more lots about him!

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  14. Gosh, this is a good article!

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  15. "I hear that Members wait for their infants to be baptized during the Easter vigil. God forbid that between the time the infant is born and the baptismal on Easter nothing serious happens, then you will be the Responsible one for your infant's soul."

    Does one need to be baptized in order to go to heaven? Was the thief who was crucified with Jesus Christ baptized? According to the scriptures, Luke 23:43 states: "And Jesus said unto him, verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise." No mention of baptism there.

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