A Decade of Undermining the Faith of the
Faithful in the Diocesan Newspaper
The Perils of the Pele Priest
THE situation with Father, CHURCH WORLD columnist and parish priest [St. Philip's in Auburn (1994)] grows more suspect and stranger by the month. His September 1 column in the diocesan paper was titled, "Pele, the god of the volcano."
Father went on vacation to Hawaii last year after his year's sabbatical to Berkeley in California, so this non compos mentis mischief must in part be attributed to those two sojourns.
His column explains how the Hawaiian gods --- he fails to lament that these gods as pagan and false, [although he uses them as an examples for Catholics], thus failing not the Only True God,but the only God worthy of the Name or our time and attention. So you ask yourself, apart from his penchant for foolishness in general, why is he bringing all this into a Catholic column when time and space is short and the Faith is in peril? And lo, our Columnist provides the answer unwittingly, most likely --- I don't like to give him more credit than he merits: A judgmental God! But, of course, anyone who has read Father's columns over the many agonizing months of that ecclesiastical torture, is quite familiar with his notion of a non-judgmental God Who only loves, as defined by Father. No judgments, please, except when passing judgment on Catholics he disagrees with, such those who do not favor "gay rights" and the like.
In the third and fourth paragraphs he writes: "Their loving gods were transformed into hateful and angry gods who needed to be appeased by human sacrifices ... The missionaries rightfully condemned these aberrations, but offered their version of God who was angry and hateful, always ready to punish if they did not follow the law."
He goes on to define "superstition" as "an inability to fully comprehend the unconscious." Then he launches into a little Comparative Religion with a depiction of the volcano god Pele and the superstition about his protecting them from the lava flow. He did do a good job conveying the ignorance of the people, but so what? The only point that appears to be the rationale for this silly column is to have an opportunity to equate religion with superstition and to dismiss a God Who judges.
God's Mercy is above all His works, and He is slow to anger, as the Psalm tells us, but His Mercy would be mocked if He were not Just as well. It is only because God is Just that at He is Merciful. Father, there are Four Last Things, Death, Judgment, Heaven, or Hell. That "ain't superstition," that's Catholic dogmatic teaching, Pele or no Pele.