Tuesday, December 16, 2014


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "I guess it's inevitable; everyone's embarrased by their parents: your parents are hippies, you become a banker and vice versa."  from Michael Gruber's, "The Return"
QUOTE II:  "It seems awefully stupid to be afraid of death . . ."  same source

Fr. Damian wrote to his fellow priests. "I am sure that none of you listen to Taylor Swift, but I promise you that at least 85% of your teens and pre-teens do, and that they know her music well. Her new record sold 1.278 million copies in the first week. With that in mind, I reviewed her new record. You may want to share it with your youth minister of your middle school teachers."   HERE is the  link.

Adam sent in a link about an Our Lady of Guadalupe procession.  Video and article are HERE.

Christine sent this in:  "I’ve been meaning to send you this for a while. Sorry we’re already almost halfway through, but I thought you would enjoy this series of online advent calendar “windows.” If you go to professorcarol.com, you can subscribe to her advent calendar and receive each day a cultural tidbit about advent. The previous articles are listed at the bottom of each post."  Videos included.



melody said...

I'm disappointed to see Fr. D's article linked here. I don't see any good that can come of that piece except maybe the remote chance that Miss Swift might see it and engage in dialogue. Even then, it is far more likely that someone's Catholic kids will read it and see it for what it is: a priestly stamp of approval on culture of death wearing a pretty face. Catholic parenting is hard beyond anything I ever imagined. And mostly, we have to do the hard stuff (like saying no to pop garbage) without community support. I'm in the trenches and this feels like a complete abandonment.

I thought about making this comment anonymous since it is critical of the work of a well loved priest. But if I'm the lone Catholic voice in the diocese standing up, so be it. The culture is devouring our kids. I don't know if priests really get that. Clearly, Fr. D. does not, although I am sure he means well.

I am willing to talk/meet with any priest in this diocese to explain myself further and to give a first hand account of what it is like to have the world actively seeking the ruin of your children. And to watch their friends succumb one by one. I mean it. Somebody call or email me. My husband and I would love to engage in this discussion.

Fr. V said...


Melody I so agree with you. But I think the point Fr. D is making is not, "So introduce your kids to Taylor Swift" though I certainly see how it DOES appear so, rather, "Kids are listening to Taylor Swift so what can we get out of it?"

Hence the discussion of love and modesty.

Personally, there is a lot of modern culture that I think harmful. That is why we have started the Academy of Culture and Arts - if good practicing Catholics don't start influencing arts and culture, it will be left to Miss Swift and those far worse than her.

So what can we learn from her about what WE should be doing? Perhaps you are correct - the article could have been better written to make things like this present.

melody said...

Thanks for your kind response, Father. I realize that I was blunt. Perhaps if I wasn't in the middle of raising teens right now, I wouldn't be so passionate or willing to offend.

I agree that Fr. D is primarily reaching out to those already listening to Swift. That's a huge problem since it encourages maintaining the status quo and undermines those (namely parents and teens) who see Swift as a stumbling block to virtue. It further breaks down the support community for those families and individuals. The article contains no exhortation to heroic virtue. No suggestion that maybe this kind of music can be (and is) an occasion of sin for many people. Just an overwhelmingly positive review that gives people the wrong message. Namely, stay right where you are. Great album.

I saw the modesty portion but he soft-peddled it. Swift may not twerk but she certainly doesn't mind if others are doing it in her videos! I know because some popular young Catholic males I know posted it on FB and I watched it. Lots of twerking. Lots of flesh. There were also navels. Not hers but so what? Her outfits were skimpy enough (including bare midriff) to prove that her navel covering is not so much about the sacredness of the navel or her modesty (as Fr. suggests), but probably just because she doesn't like her belly button. He's really stretching here.

Is she better than other artists? She's not as outrageous but it is like distinguishing between mortal sins... Some are public and offend the sensibilities even of non-Christians and others are known only privately to us. But both result in spiritual death. So no, I'm not impressed that Swift is not like Madonna. Frankly, her image may inflict greater long term damage since it allows her greater access to ipods and homes.

Then there was the discussion on love (eros, agape). Honestly, most of his target audience will either skim that or have no clue what he's talking about and only remember his final point: The album is great. She's the queen of pop. Stamp of approval.

We need no encouragement to lose ourselves in the culture of death. We swim in it. We work in the world, go to school in the world, immerse ourselves in media. What we really really need are people who can give us a lifeline out of it. We turn to the Church for something different. Not more of the same.

Full disclosure: I did bring my concerns to Father's attention but he was not interested in pursuing the discussion. I got the feeling he thought I was uptight and ignorant and rude. That may be true but I would still like to see my points addressed.

I enjoy a lot of secular music that I do listen to and a lot of secular music that I choose NOT to listen to. Because when I listen to the words, I know it offends God and desensitizes me to His Presence. I'm a huge sinner and need all the help I can get. I need my shepherds to tell me no to some of my preferences so that I can say yes to something better. And I am desperate for shepherds who will show teens a better way.

I absolutely love your vision for the Academy of Culture and Arts! I was at your parish on a Sunday when you announced it at Mass. I got a little misty eyed. Thanks for your efforts to that end and again, for taking the time to reply to my comment.

melody said...

Oh my... that was the longest comment ever. So sorry, Father.