Friday, June 7, 2013

Fledgling national priests' group to tackle broad agenda

Dan Morris-Young reports at the National Catholic Reporter on the upcoming second annual meeting of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. Mr. Morris-Young interviewed AUSCP president Father David Cooper (also pastor at St. Matthias Church in Milwaukee) about the meeting and its agenda [pdf]
"Asked how he might respond to those who would say the 15 resolutions sound like a party platform for the progressive wing of the Catholic church, Cooper said, 'Well, that's what Vatican Council II embraced.'"
If only they'd explicitly said that in the documents!

Father Cooper also touches on the Association's future.

"Confirming that the average age of members is about 70, Cooper said there has been resistance from younger, more recently ordained priests, some of whom 'see us as disloyal if not downright dissenting.'"
And this after not that long ago being in the seminary studying, among other things, Vatican Council II.
"Alluding to recent studies that have pointed to differing views of church and authority between older and younger generations of Catholic clergy, Cooper described 'Vatican II priests' as viewing the priesthood in terms of 'service, of washing the feet of others' in contrast to clerics who hold a 'priest as ruler' model."
My pastor's among the AUSCP's founders, and last fall issued an anathema against parishioners who genuflect before receiving communion, so I'm not sure I'm seeing this as a distinction in practice.

From the AUSCP meeting brochure [pdf]:
June 24th opening night events include Outdoor Barbecue, followed by Prayerful Lamentation.
June 25th presentations include Robert Kaiser on "Listening to the Signs of the Times" [sic].
June 26th such a hit at last year's meeting, the St. Louis Jesuits are back!
June 27th Fr. Patrick Brennan's presentation on "How can the church become a more genuine relational network?"

(via Bonfire of the Vanities)


  1. Im sure Fr. Alan is excited!

  2. Thinking back, the only thing I've actually seen him passionate about is the suppression of genuflection and kneeling.

  3. that and Women Cardinals dont forget! And altar girls...Ill stop there because this could get ugly and I am not looking to go to confession tonight

  4. Those might be among topics in which he would come across as interested, but that's not the same as passionate.

  5. true... although the Altar girl thing I would disagree with you on that, he made numerous homilies on the subject form what I remember. Of course I could be wrong

  6. As I recall, at his first parish "town hall" meeting September 12, 2007, the topic was liturgy. In the Q&A another parishioner suggested that it might help provide a needed enhanced reverence if our parish priests would genuflect at the consecration. Father Jurkus volunteered that not genuflecting was contrary to the rubrics, but went on at length criticizing kneeling and genuflection. He went so far as to shuffle around on his knees demonstrating how, in his view, these practices were taken to ridiculous lengths in some devotional practices. It was all, he contended, "medieval". He never got around to addressing the questioner's assumption that there was a need for more reverence in our parish liturgies.

    Considering that answer, and the bulletin item he wrote about people who genuflect before receiveing communion, perhaps you'd agree he's demonstrated a passion you never perceived in homilies on altar girls, or any other topic.

  7. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Oh James sorry you won't be able to go to confession until Saturday. It's only on Saturdays from 4:00-4:05 PM. or something like that. If it was offered anymore it would make it seem like there isn't a vocations crisis and that married and female priests need to be ordained now.

  8. thats interesting Terrence thanks for that info! If only he followed the rubrics in not making jokes after the announcments...but im a stickler so as to not make the beatiful profane. Did anyone take notes at those meetings? pretty sure its at leat 20 mins on saturday, and hes not a bad confessor, actually pretty good from what I remember

  9. I note from their upcoming meeting agenda, Proposal 10:

    "Be it resolved that the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP), urge the United
    States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), to encourage the re-introduction of
    general absolution in U.S. Parishes."

  10. i forgot to come back and check the comment...when exactly was the practice of general absolution in US parishes allowed? Im confused. Must have been in the same document that said both species should be made availible for all prior to the indult...but hey if the Bishops can get away with it why not the Rev. fathers?

  11. Proposal 10 on the AUSCP agenda says "As a response to Vatican II, many attending bishops initiated the use of general
    absolution in the Sacrament of penance", citing several sources.

    The decree on penitential services issued December 2, 1973 indicated general absolution is only for extraordinary conditions [31], with the decision on whether these exist made "by bishop of the diocese, in agreement with other members of their episcopal conference" [32].

  12. so Im taking their plan to mean that all situations have now become emergency situations requiring the action...I think someone forgot to tell them that even after a general absolution the penatent must if possible go to regular confession still like after a battle...maybe this is part of the New Evangelization where we dont actually confess doing food catholicism in a culture of efficiency

  13. There's a pastoral argument made, which I'd be less skeptical of if a prior pastor hadn't once attempted to schedule general absolution for a reconciliation service for the kids in the religious education program. His reason was the kids get fidgety during the longer service with confession. He sure gave the impression that he didn't want to have to deal with that, though it turned out he wanted to deal with objections to general absolution even less.