Friday, March 3, 2006

The Case of Fr. Altier

By Mitchell

By now many of you in the blogosphere have probably heard this story. I've linked to this site because it gives you a rundown of what happened, a lot of updates that include links to other blogs, and some excellent commentary (including a very good comment from our good Hadleyblogger friend Ray). My equally good friend AdoroTeDevote (who's always worth reading) has chimed in with her two cents here. And my email box has been swamped the last two days.

Seeing as how I'm not only from Minnesota, where this happened, but that we belong to St. Agnes parish (where Fr. Altier is), I suppose I'm expected to have something to say on the matter. But aside from acknowledging what's going on, and pointing you toward some really good sources of information, I'm afraid I don't have much more to offer. Perhaps I'm tired; perhaps the week has been too much of a drain (a very busy work week), but I just don't seem to be able to rouse myself to say much more.

Check that - I will offer this. I don't know Fr. Altier well; he's been a guest in our home once, when he blessed our previous home. He's a man of impeccable integrity, and a man of very strongly held beliefs - beliefs I happen to agree with. If he's been ordered to remain silent on any particular issue, I suspect he'll obey, because that's the kind of man he is.

So what of Archbishop Flynn? I've said this before, and I suppose I'll say it again - I think that the man personally is a good, holy, well-meaning bishop. I think he's surrounded by a group of liberal, "spirit of Vatican II" types who do the Arch a great disservice, and seem to have as one of their primary goals to antagonize every orthodox Catholic group available. So while I refrain from passing judgement on the Arch, I wouldn't have any particular reservations about sticking it to the administrative staff - right down to the sorry excuse for a diocesean newspaper, The Catholic Spirit (about which one Minneapolis-area parish once said it was too bad the Archbishop didn't have a paper that he could depend on to support his positions). From homosexual marriage to liberal politics, you can count on the Spirit to display the squishiest sort of watered-down Catholicism.

You might have noticed that we have a link to the Spirit on this blog. True. There are good things about it - the calendar does let you know what's going on, and within each issue there can be some good, insightful articles - but by-and-large it's not the kind of publication I'd want sitting on my coffee table.

At any rate, I suspect we'll continue to hear about this in the coming days and weeks. I would assume that The Wanderer (never a friend of the Arch) will be all over it, and I have the feeling this could get very, very nasty before long. At that point, seeing as how (as I told one friend) I can't resist having the last word, I might have to jump back in it again.

But for now, suffice it to say that I know it's happening, I don't know what the rest of the story is, and I'll just wait along with everyone else to see what happens. If I don't cover it in the way you'd expect a local blog to cover it, it won't be because of ignorance - it will be because I don't have the heart and the stomach to do it. But rest assured that there will be excellent writing on it, and I'll continue to link to those whom you can depend on to get you the story.

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