OUR FAINT-HEARTED CHURCH LEADERS
Why Does the Church FearThe Secular Media & the Age of Aquarius?

June 2004By Mary Bowe Koechig

Mary Bowe Koechig, who has retired after teaching art at the elementary-school level for over 25 years, writes from Stratford, Connecticut.

My grandfather was born in 1875 in Mount Mellick, a small town in the midlands of Ireland. He came to this country when he was eight and lived for another 81 years.

Tales of his childhood and the town he remembered so well were repeated many times over to his children and, in like fashion as the years passed, to grandchildren. The jokes and stories learned from his parents were told to us all with gusto and animation.

One of his best and most oft-repeated stories was simply called “Burnt Horsemeat.” I am convinced this story has a universal origin; some of you may know it in slightly altered form. The overall point of this simple story seems to be quite appropriate as a means of defining, in terms everyone will understand, the situation in which the Catholic Church in the U.S. finds herself today.

You must imagine this tale told by a very distinguished-looking man with a great shock of white hair and a half-smoked cigar in the ashtray by his side. He speaks slowly with a lilt to his voice that seems to materialize only for the telling of tales, be they short or tall.

“This story,” he begins, “takes place a long time ago when the English Lords still lived in Ireland in the grand houses with the horses and the servants. The Irish, don’t you know, were the servants — and the serfs and the grooms and the stable boys.


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