Friday, December 21, 2012

Luxury line...

"Fly from riches and luxury; love poverty and silence; have charity, even for bad people.” - Our Lady to Bl. Jacinta Marto

The Voris cruise turned out to be a pretty hot topic.  I can't really speak for anyone else but me - which is why I remain an independent blogger and never sign on with blogomerates nor have I aspired to be a regular on major websites or news portals.  Nothing wrong with those places, but as Michael Scott liked to say, "I just can't be managed."

That said, I think I have an idea why some people think the Year of Faith* cruise is perceived to be a little much.  Forgive me, I may be wrong.

A luxury cruise in Lent. 

Why is that so bad?  I'm not sure it is.  I know lots of people with money who go to exotic spots such as Fiji for vacation during Lent simply because the deals are great, the kids are on Spring break and it is the only time a Catholic family can vacation together.  Obviously such people are not on welfare, default-on-the-mortgage financial dupes, nor are they among the working poor struggling pay check to pay check.  People can travel and still observe Lent.  Lent is easy anyway.  You can give up candy and abstain from meat on Fridays and you're pretty good to go.  

"All Fridays through the year and he time of Lent are penitential days and time throughout the universal Church" (CIC 1250).

So I suppose the cruise isn't necessarily a problem in itself.  However, other Catholics seem to think the timing is inappropriate, and I would have to agree.   The Church usually never permits weddings and fun receptions in Lent, and although they often give a dispensation to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the season is really supposed to be penitential.  For me, adding to the irony of a Lenten retreat at sea during Lent, is how two popular figures of Catholic whistle-blowers and everything orthodox, who've been known to call out CINO's for their extravagances, as well as faithful Catholics who may not share or endorse their interests and/or lack of observance in ritual, decide to get on board with the luxury cruise business and provide an exotic retreat experience.  Many religious groups do the same thing of course - centering retreats at spas are always nice.  Retreats in our era, much like the pilgrimage-tour industry, tend to be on the luxurious side anyway.  No doubt they can be spiritually beneficial as well.  So what's wrong with that?  Probably not much.

It's just not my idea of a retreat.  A conference maybe, but not a retreat.   To each his own I guess.

Comedic verve.

Personally, I thought the idea of pairing Fr. Z and Voris cried out for parody, and I blogged about it.  Saps at Sea - one of my favorite films.  I didn't necessarily mean to infer that Father and Voris were saps though...

After due consideration, it seemed to me that a priest who lives on the kindness of others probably could use the stipend, and probably deserves the break.  Nevertheless, I still think it isn't the best move to align oneself with a man who has become persona non grata to many bishops and clergy - a priest in need of an assignment has to be careful.  To be sure, it's none of my business what he does - please forgive me my concern. 

Oddly enough, followers of CIA director Michael Vortex Voris consider it their business to defend the project.  Many are offended Voris has been made fun of and criticized in some sections of the Catholic blogosphere.  Some people even want a couple of his critics fired from their jobs.  It amazes me these people go after their opponents with such vehemence and spite - frequently in exactly the same way they accuse others of doing to them.   Don't they realize both Voris and Fr. Z make fun of other Catholics and Catholic organizations themselves - CINO's though they may be?  Whenever the duo exercises any sort of discretion in their sometimes harsh and demeaning critiques, their followers pick up the thread and go in for the attack all on their own - on their blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter, and in comboxes.  The Church Militant TV ground troops swell when their heroes are criticized or parodied online, accusing anyone who expresses an opinion contrary to theirs of heresy, modernism and liberalism.

So there you go - that's my take on why I think some of us who are weaker in the faith regarded the Lenten cruise as amusing, if not scandalous.

Let me talk to Arroyo:
*To my knowledge, Year of Faith use does not denote the event is sponsored by, nor authorized by a particular diocese, nor does it mean it is an official Year of Faith event.  No indulgence attached.

By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert." (CCC 540).

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