Saturday, April 15, 2006

Opposition is Futile

From the Diary of a City Parishioner
I was asked why I did not object that only the options presented by Father Richard S. Vosko are being considered for the reordering (which the Rector keeps on saying is the restoration) of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. One reason--not the only one, but sufficient--is that objection is futile.

Surely there are all kinds of meetings at which he can give his input. After all, doesn't the post-conciliar Church value what ordinary parishioners have to say? Experience shows to the contrary.

He starts his illustration of the actual process in reverse order, with step two. To illustrate, he quotes Archbishop Weakland in the course of the Milwaukee Cathedral renovation.

He said renovation opponents sought recourse too late. "If they had done it months before, we could have taken it into consideration," he said.

He then returns to step one.
If asked why I do not object to the plans now, before it is "too late," the answer is that we have been told again and again that "there are no plans"--the interior committee is still studying and has not made any decisions.

If you're not too late, you're too soon.

You might be thinking it's so manipulative, how could the people involved not realize this? Exactly.

I went to a parish council meeting at St. Al's a few years back with a concern about the then-proposed building project. Perhaps providentially, our then-pastor was absent. I raised my concern and said I thought that the meeting that night was the only one that might not be too soon or too late. The council president congratulated me, saying she believed I might have "successfully threaded that needle." While the building project went ahead, there's a slight chance that my taking that time was a small factor in mitigating one aspect of the disaster.

So it's not necessarily futile. It is merely almost certainly futile.

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