Pop priests destroy dignity

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Disillusioned

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Without being personal which I know is forbidden, I receive the bad impression that Stan Fortuna adds nothing to priestly dignity or to non worldly faith by parading himself like a pop star. He’s not alone-my parish mass has been taken over by a man who actually talks about television and pop music interpolating the rite and who for our communion flicks a switch so our ears are assailed by another slushy artist who has taken to singing religion, though he means not a word of it.Could I also remind Father Stan that trying to write rap music around Christianity is another dead end.

Kumbayah-I know no genuine liturgist who ever valued that meaningless thing when it came out, now Father Stan takes it on himself to produce an even worse adaptation…

Rap music resembles the sacrifice of Cain.It arises from a disgusting background distorting language, despising women , glorifying guns, gangsters and drugs. Do you really think Almighty God wants to hear anything resembling that during the Mass or on the lips of a Priest ?

I used to like “As I Kneel Before You” now I don’t. I see that it is too open to sugary Donny Osmond in the habit rendition, which actually makes us regard Our Blessed Mother in entirely the wrong fashion.

Maybe I’m too old, but surely this Renewal that is going on in the Bronx means more than playing baseball and not changing your name when you’re a monk…

World Youth Day ? Show me a Catholic organisation that was honest about its titanic financial failure. It was one of the most questionable events I’ve ever seen.But people like my priest and Stan Fortuna will say it was marvellous.
 
Dear Betsy,

Fr. Stan is a member of Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s community and is very involved with youth ministry. If you were to do a search for his name on the internet, you’d find many sites about him. He’s quite popular with the youngsters and, even though some don’t care for his style, has done good work.

As for your comments, Disillusioned, I think your username says a lot! 🙂 Nobody has to like Fr. Stan or his methodology but I think the Church is big enough for even him and those who like his work.

Perhaps it’s only a minor detail but Fr. Stan is a friar, not a monk and not all communities have a tradition of changing the names of their members upon their profession.

Maybe you are too old for Fr. Stan and that style. I’m 27 and I know I’m too old!
 
I had to quit going to my parish Church and sneak across the
border to a different Diocese, because my Priest was doing the
strangest things! He would pull up a rocking chair on Mother’s
day and read a nursery rhyme. Sometimes he will stop in the
middle of Mass and go and play a tune on the piano. He also
plays pop music on a CD player. One time he wasn’t even on
the altar, but sitting in the congregation wearing jeans and a
plain shirt! There were teenagers saying the Mass! What
next! These are the ones who have hijacked Vatican II. And
when I complain, other parishoners say I should just ignore
what he does during Mass, because he is an ordained priest
and the Mass is licit! In other words, is it not considered a
breach of one’s vows to act like that during Mass?
 
Millie,
If what you describe is true, then you need to write your Bishop about the antics you describe. A mass celebrated by teenagers is a very grave abuse and needs to be stopped. Make sure you have your facts straight, then charitably write your Bishop advising him what is happening but without telling him what his job is.
 
Well Millie I think there has been PLUTO…PipeLineUnderThe Ocean…The advice given is good, have you the courage to follow it through ? I’ve seen exactly the same thing as you’re describing…all in the name of making the kids stop blowing gum and saying Mass is Boring…However the answer isn’t that the priest turns into a kid…

You can’t dispense with the Gospel and make it a teenage play just when you feel like it “Tonight we interview S Paul” My priest did this and no-one complained.

Too much CD music at any old time makes even the folk group feel unwanted, it’s tacky and slick bringing production values where they shouldn’t be.

We don’t have to suffer in silence…every member of a congregation has a right to report liturgical abnormality…you are not gagged by an idea that a priest is being attacked. Just think what an outsider to the faith would make of some of these disastrous rock masses and to see a celebrant who is no manner different when he elevates the host than when he’s singing or telling jokes.

Good on you Millie…let’s hope some holiness comes back to you parish. Did you ever try the Old Rite? Now there’s reverence.
 
This is my first log in, actually merely a test to check log in capabilities. I got to this page by searching “friar”. Such as Friar Lawrence and Friar Tuck. In earlier time they obviously WERE ordained. They gave out Sacraments and said Mass. But they were a low echeleon segment of clergy and not well educated. I am under the impression that the Friar program was disbanded by The Church because it became an embarrassment. Thus four year seminary training became de rigeur. It sounds like history is repeating itself.
 
Br. Dan:
Perhaps it’s only a minor detail but Fr. Stan is a friar, not a monk and not all communities have a tradition of changing the names of their members upon their profession.
Yes, but AFAIK Fr. Benedict’s community does. (If I remember right from reading Arise from Darkness, Fr.'s Christian name is Peter. Of course, Fr. began the religious life as a Capuchin, so I could be quite mistaken about whether the CFRs take a name upon profession.)

Rap is the antithesis of culture and the nadir of music.
 
Mr Arnold could you clarify, I’m interested in what you’re saying.Did you mean that this “Franciscan Renewal in the South Bronx” became an embarrassment or were you saying that friars have an earlier history of being problematic.?

There are about three divisions to Franciscanism-aside from the Anglican Society of S Francis-it’s only I believe the Capuchins who style a friar priest father, otherwise they have reverted to a use of brother …Francis himself was never a priest he probably made it to the diaconate but was singer and poet rather than scholar.
Now all has not been well-an arch heretic of modern times who let liberation theology run away with him was Franciscan, Leonardo Boff.

The Assisi gathering ? W e l l ?

I was taught Philosophy by an ex-Franciscan who left in the Sixties. He died almost on the stroke of the Millennium.

Now I’m right about rap music so it seems…thanks Bro Dan for your supportive judgment.Are you in monastic orders ?
 
First off, I agree, rap is not music. It is awful to listen to, and secular rap certainly is very abusive to women and pretty much the lowest form of ‘music’ society has to offer.

However, Father Stan is reaching kids who have grown up in the Bronx. He is saving them from the life that secular rap promises them. They grow up with rap, it’s what they relate to. And his rap and his hip-hop demeanor is what reaches them! They see that you can love Jesus and still keep part of their culture. So basically, it doesn’t really matter if we care for the style of music or this type of ministry. The fact is that it brings people to Jesus and to his bride, and that’s really all that matters. He’s not teaching heresy or anything.

jp2fan
 
How do you know he’s not teaching heresy ? Can you hear what he says to know that it is not ? Do you think people should go away with the impression that Jesus’ Mother is some silly man’s girlfriend ?

I’ll leave off now but please what are all these converts going to do when they realise other Catholics detest rap music.
 
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Disillusioned:
How do you know he’s not teaching heresy ? Can you hear what he says to know that it is not ? Do you think people should go away with the impression that Jesus’ Mother is some silly man’s girlfriend ?

I’ll leave off now but please what are all these converts going to do when they realise other Catholics detest rap music.
Yes, I can hear what he’s saying. Can you not? And I don’t understand what you’re saying about Jesus’ Mother. Whose girlfriend? And when did he say that?

And who cares if other Catholics detest rap music? The rap music is only a means to the end of sincere conversion for these youth. I’ve seen it happen, and I say, let the man rap! It’s bringing people home!

jp2fan
 
As far as I know, only 2 of Fr. Stan’s many CDs are made up of rap music. Most of his music is sort of a mellow jazz style. The rap of course receives more attention because it is so unusual for a priest.

I’m no fan of rap either, but I think folks are going a bit far in bringing up the “H” word here (heresy). Get one of Fr. Stan’s teaching tapes or videos and listen or watch. I’ll grant you that his personality and delivery are unusual for what one expects from a priest, but he’s more orthodox in his teaching than many priests I’ve heard who “look the part” so to speak. Say what you will about rap music, but Fr. Stan does not water down the truth.

Don’t judge his orthodoxy based on your musical preferences.
 
Dear Disillusioned,

I didn’t realize I gave a supportive judgment. Granted, I don’t care for rap music but I don’t really care that I don’t care, if you know what I mean.

No, I am not monastic–I’m a member of a good-old mendicant order, like the Franciscans and Dominicans: the Discalced Carmelites.

I am unsure what to make of Patrick Arnold’s comments. “Friar” simply means “brother” so I don’t know what necessary connection being a “brother” has with theological education and aptitude… Dominican Friars have been some of the most intelligent and well-educated Catholics in history…St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, for instance. And St. Bonaventure (a Franciscan) and St. Lawrence of Brindisi (Capuchin) are Doctors of the Church. (as are the other two saints mentioned.).
 
After reading all the posts to this thread I thank God that I live in a small town in Texs that celebrates mass without any of these antics. One of the reasons I came home to the church is because I can travel all over the US and still know what my church service will be. I will receive our Lord in the Eucharist and thats what its all about for me.
Maggie
 
Being of the traditionalist stripe myself… not rad trad or anything of the sort, just down with ‘smells n’ bells’ … I have to say that Fr. Stan isn’t really my style, but at the same time, Ive heard his music and Ive seen him speak and he has from my observations been shooting straight.

As far as the dignity goes. People may do any number of things to make a Mass look silly, and they are wrong for doing so … but in the end, if the Sacrifice remains, the dignity does as well.
 
It’s not always what you sing but h o w you sing it (regarding love songs to Jesus or Mary)
 
Witout naming any names, I do agree that “kum-Baya” rapping priests do diminish not only the dignity of the priesthood (are not they to be mature?) but also the respect Catholics owe a priest who is by rite of his ordination: In persona Christi, and Altus Christus. A priest is NOT just a regular person, but is transformed spiritually into Christ. I just think many of them, such as a Mercedarian Friar priest from the counrty of Columbia who calls his Masses: Mass-o-tech (?Discotec?) have recieved terrible mediocre formations in the seminaries that created them. What’s worse is that some bishops remain totally silent, for fear of hurting “feelings.” Lets remember, that a Mass can be Invalid and/or illicit by the actions or lack of it(a priest not having the right intention during Mass, or omitting words from the Roman Missal(rubrics) etc.,
All being said, I do believe most of these ill-informed priests who celebrate Mass according to their personal whims do have good intentions, and some just don't know better because their own superiors or bishops told them it's okay, or they got a mediocre novitiate/seminary training. We must really pray for all priests, and though we MUST (we have a Canonical right to make our spiritual needs know to our Pastors: Bishops) admonish and correct them when they deviate (canon law and the Gospels tell us to), we must also be charitable, and careful not to publically name them. However, we can speak in general.
 
I find Father Stan Fortuna to be a wonderful blessing. He’s really able to meet inner-city youths where they are. They want rap? He gives them good holy rap that sends a solid message. These kids that live in the Bronx are living in their own culture and it is wrong of anyone to think that our culture is superior to theirs and that their cultural music (rap) is stupid and needs to be taken away. Father Stan isn’t going to get anywhere crooning the “Ave Maria” to a bunch of kids that probably have never even heard of that kind of music before. So he speaks to them through their own culture. There’s nothing wrong with that. Why assume that Father Stan needs to force your particular culture down these Bronx kids’ throats? He’d lose more kids then he’d gain if he did so.

His “Sacro Songs” cd was #4 on the Amazon.com charts for independent record companies - #4 out of secular as well as religious music. He must be doing something right. Not all of his music is rap either. I own his cd “Adoration” and it’s breathtaking. I’ve ordered several more of his cds. He does not teach heresy or watered-down doctrine. He’s solidly orthodox. So what if he wears corn rows in his hair and talks the Bronx talk? He’s meeting the kids in their environment and working wonders.

I just finished watching Fr. Fortuna’s “An Instructional Mass” video tape. This man is no-nonsense about the Faith. He exudes authority. It’d take a crazy person to get away with anything with him! Yet even though he is doing so much good and he is very respected, Father is quite humble. I highly admire him, his work, and his community. When we go do missions work in areas we have to meet the needs of that area!
I think if anyone has a major problem with Fr. Fortuna or the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, maybe they should go into the inner projects of the Bronx and spend a summer working side-by-side with them. It’s easy to criticize when you aren’t there living what they live with every day and night.

Keep it up Father Stan Fortuna! God bless you and all of the Frasican Brothers and Sisters of the Renewal!
 
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