CityPages' backhanded compliment
Thanks to Ray over at Stella Borealis I found out about the latest CityPages article slamming the Church.... or is it? After reading it, I have to laugh, becuase while it is almost certainly unintentionally so, the article as a whole only reaffirms A) that the Church CAN grow and contain many young, growing families, and B) that strong, orthodox pastors who are uncompromising on principles, "sly as serpents and peaceful as doves" are the key to this door to thriving parish life.
The crux of the article is that, well, Holy Family parish is GROWING, fast. It has run out of space. There are houses alongside the church, two of which have been put up for sale in recent years and that the church has either bought or has the promise of getting due to a benefactor buying them. The other homes on the block, apparently, contain people who have it in for the church in a big way and absolutely refuse to sell to it, even though they were offered a MORE than fair price for their homes. I can totally understand if someone loves their home and doesn't want to leave, no problem. Happens all the time. I also understand that if someone wants to buy a house, even if it is not on the market, it is totally fair and proper for them to make an offer on the house anyway. If ANYONE else would do this, no one would care. But, it seems that Fr. Dufner has infuriated the people by being both orthodox AND gaining families. You get the idea that if he would have just been orthodox but wasn't growing these people would be satisfied and self-rightous that he "lost" somehow. Instead, while they left, MANY more people came and are still coming - as the article itself takes pains to point out to us (as if they want to "prove" to us that there are so many stupid people in the world that need to be converted to the liberal fundamentalist progressive gospel). Boy, ain't that doubly annoying, ladies and gentlemen? Too much for your sense of tolerance to bear I guess. They even put up signs saying "Though shalt not covet they neighbor's house" - gee, so I guess that whole "judge not lest you be judged" only applies to other people. (I have often thought that it would be fun to post signs up on the church side that go through the other nine commandments... in proper order, ending with their rendition of #10. But I suppose that wouldn't be offering the other cheek, would it)
I find it hilarious that though the article is pulling out ALL the stops to blast Fr. Dufner... it really can't. It tries hard, but it can't seem to find anything really bad to say about him other than hyperbole and paraphrasing what the hostile neighbors SAY he said (no direct quotes anywhere in sight!). It's main slam seems to be that Fr. Dufner teaches "down the line" on Church teaching (oh my), but of course, that's the point, right? The point of Church is to help guide me to my home in heaven, not just to make me feel good and affirmed until I die. If a church does that, then they really aren't even a church anymore, since they exist solely to make this life more comfortable. Not much good that's going to do you when your life is demanded of you.
Oh, and WOW is it amazing how a person can be spat upon and shunned by the world merely for saying that women are so good and awesome and perfect at mothering that their motherhood cannot and should not be undermined by men, that children deserve a mother. Or that women should ideally be able to stay at home with their children, and men to be the providers and protectors, so as to form a stable family and a strong home. This is because woman, deep down, should WANT this for herself and her children, what mother doesn't want to be with her children? A selfish mother, that's who. In our totally self-centered society, I guess it's not really amazing then how "threatening" this notion is, of there being real and unique differences between men and women, particularly to CityPages, a secular hot-bed of "I do what I want and if you say I'm wrong you're intolerant!"
AMEN Fr. Dufner, God bless you and stay the course! And, I will continue to pray for those people with the ridiculous rooster crowing and all the others who seem to have it in for you and the fine people of Holy Family.