Won’t Someone Think About the Parishioners?

A KtB reporter was on the streets when the news broke about Mel Gibson’s tirades. Our concern: his flock at his own Church of the Holy Family in Malibu. The wee church, which supports 70 or so members with a mere $42 million in assets, holds Tridentine Masses for so-called “traditional” Catholics who reject the reforms of Vatican II. This chapel, outside the reach of the great Archdiocese of Los Angeles (with which it is unaffiliated) seems vulnerable in its time of need, as its shepherd seems to be suffering a rather public breakdown. Barred from the sanctuary, our intrepid reporter approached two women making a hurried exit after a morning service. The ladies, who were dressed in long skirts with long-sleeved blouses, were wearing mantillas (which used to be standard Catholic Mass apparel before the advent of Pope John XXIII, whom some regard as “The Antipope”). When asked about the troubles of their leader, the women looked down demurely, said nothing, then scuttled away to great hulking vehicles and burned rubber out of the parking lot. Our reporter then yelled “Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Sallus!” at the retreating vehicles, in a shocking break with the standards of journalistic impartiality; but since the windows of the vehicles were up, she was most likely not heard.

Mary Valle lives in Baltimore and is the author of Cancer Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude: Reflections on Cancer and Catholicism. She blogs on KtB as The Communicant. For more Mary, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.