How I would handle Charlottesville if I was still a youth minister.

 

So I was struggling with the events in Charlottesville Virginia last weekend.  My first reaction was to destroy all the monuments (still somewhat there) and raze all the meeting places.  Slowly though I began to think about how I would want my kids (not biological, just the young men and women I worked for). 

Anyone over 25 is guilty of not addressing this topic healthily, so the first thing I would do is tell my assistants that this isn't their conversation.  There can be an adult MC who can ask for clarification, but that is it.  No points to ponder from the adults, this is very important.

I would gather my youth group, and if it were largely Caucasian, I would request an African-American parish to get together.  We would begin with a prayer from the parish priest, and then I would ask the young people how they feel.  Adults have screwed this thing up six ways to Sunday it's time to talk to the kids.  

I'd let them discuss their feelings about the whole thing.  I'd ask them how we should deal with this and finally I'd ask what they believe Jesus would do.  I'd trust them and give them a safe space.  Just let them do their thing, turns out they usually aren't dumb.  Then afterward, we would offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation available and go to mass together as one community from two parishes.

Anyway, that's what I would do.

 

 

Putting my foot on the path of the Catholic faith.

Putting my foot on the path.

   Growing up I had loving Christian parents, but I was a marginal Methodist at best.  I knew that I loved the quiet aspect of religion, but I didn’t know if the Christian faith had much of that.  Instead, the one thing I got from my faith was a strong sense of social responsibility.  People who knew me in college are almost always amazed that I converted to Catholicism, and wonder how a Buddhist interested, quasi-socialist ended up in the world's largest religion.

Pope Francis is the perfect fusion of Vatican I and II (and some people can't handle it).

The Roman Church is a curious place to be nowadays.

Let's address some of the perceived issues in the Roman Catholic Church.  According to some within the Church (usually American neocons or libertarians take your pick), there was a coup that is working on changing doctrine.  This is, of course, laughable because a doctrine is revealed and it has to be done within either a Council or by the Roman Pontiff making a statement on faith or morals in an ex-cathedra manner so he might shepherd the Church, Pope Francis has done neither.