In 1959 Pulitzer Prize-winning Mount Holyoke professor Peter Viereck commented that "Catholic baiting is the anti-Semitism of the liberals" (i.e. American liberal intellectuals).
The success of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code -- a badly-written novel that has all the historical integrity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion -- is evidence of the point.
The individuals who are the easy and obvious targets for anti-Catholic and anti-clerical sentiment, with their uniform-like cassocks and white collars, are the parish priests. At least the priests have the fortitude to dress for battle.
If he is happy - he is a nuisance.
If he is grave and austere - he is bad tempered.
If he is handsome - why didn't he marry?
If he is ugly - nobody loved him.
If he is fat - he eats too much.
If he is thin - he is stingy.
If he is tall - he looks down on people.
If he is short - he looks like an altar boy.
If he owns a car - he likes material things.
If he walks - he is old fashioned.
If he goes to the cafe - he is a drunkard.
If he stays in the rectory - he is an introvert.
If he visits the faithful - he meddles in other peoples business.
If he stays in the Church - he doesn't care about the faithful.
If he visits the poor - he is a revolutionary.
If he delegates duty - he is lazy.
If he controls the activities - he is a tyrant.
If he teaches catechism - he is obsessed with hell.
If he doesn't teach - he doesn't like children.
If he preaches long sermons - he's boring.
If he preaches short sermons - he doesn't want to get tired.
If he makes comparisons with the life in the world - he blasphemes.
If he raises his voice - he screams.
If he speaks normally - you cannot understand what he says.
If he talks about Heaven - he is a modernist.
If he talks about hell - he is a Jansenist.
If he talks about the cross - he is an integrist.
If he asks for donations - he is greedy.
If he doesn't ask for donations - his bank account should be checked.
If he doesn't organize a party - the parish is dead.
If he speaks to the parishioners after Mass - he is not pious.
If he stays to pray after Mass - he is not interested in his parishioners.
If he keeps people in the confessional too long - he gets people tired and causes scandal.
If he hears confessions quickly - he does away with the Sacrament.
If he starts Mass on time - his watch is ahead.
If he fixes up the Chapel - he wastes people's money.
If he doesn't fix up the Chapel - he doesn't care about the Chapel.
If he looks after the youth - he wants them in the convent.
If he looks after the married couples - he does not care about vocations.
If he is young - he lacks experience.If he is old - he should retire.
If he is in between - he is in a critical age.
Do as he may - or even if he does nothing - he will never be right!
But if he leaves who will take his place?*
So starting next Easter Sunday I'll begin a new campaign: for 100 days -- from April 12 through July 21 -- I'll offer a daily rosary for my parish priest, for the Pope, and for all the priests from whom I have received the sacraments. You're invited to join me with a daily prayer of your own.
Hoc est bellum.
* My apologies for the lack of attribution on this list of Ifs; it's just something that made its way to my in-box one day. If someone can provide the source I'll gladly give credit.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
100 Prayers for Father