Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Alito Has Two Parishes

Our good friends over at Beliefnet sent a reporter to look into the Supreme Court nominee's style of church by visiting where he worships... and the writer (an ed at Commonweal, it should be noted) found some interesting things....
[The judge] and his family officially belong to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Roseland, a parish that embraces more contemporary liturgical practices and has an obvious commitment to social justice ministries. But Alito also reportedly attends Mass at St. Aloysius in the neighboring town of Caldwell, which offers more devotional activities, such as Eucharistic adoration. It’s possible that Alito, like many Catholics, attends more than one parish because he finds each of them appealing, but in different ways....

It was clear, both during the Mass and afterwards, that [Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament] is committed to a variety of social-justice activities—a sign to Catholics of a progressive community. Parish leaders seemed to embrace the “consistent ethic of life,” which means that they are as concerned about providing for the poor as lobbying against abortion. During the prayer of the faithful, the congregation prayed for pregnant women to have “good prenatal care” as well as for families “who don’t have adequate food, housing, or healthcare.” After Mass, a table was set up for parishioners interested in helping families in need....

[I]t is clear that St. Aloysius is more conservative than its neighbor in Roseland. A statue of Padre Pio, a favorite among traditional Catholics, is displayed prominently near the entrance, and a literature rack includes a pamphlet on the flawed reasoning of Roe. V. Wade. St. Aloysius is also obviously committed to the devotions of the pre-Vatican II era. Eucharistic adoration—in which a consecrated Host is venerated—is held every Monday. So is a Miraculous Medal novena, a series of prayers beloved by conservative Catholics. A banner for the church’s rosary society is displayed prominently near the altar.

Sunday’s 12 p.m. Mass at St. Al’s was a plain affair, with a cantor accompanied by an organist and a woman on the flute. During the prayer of the faithful, the deacon prayed for the veterans who sacrificed their lives to “protect our freedom.” There was no hand-holding during the Our Father, and the Kiss of Peace was similarly subdued—signs that St. Al’s opts for a more buttoned-up brand of Catholicism.
Well, we'll know what the story is if the nominee son's enters the seminary and, upon ordination, starts going off about "confused, perhaps even wrong" adolescents challenging their parents with gay-agenda "propaganda." We've been there before.



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