“The sooner we come together and patiently bear with each other, the sooner we become a unified Church which will proclaim the gospel as Jesus and His Apostles once did.”

My name is Brandon Berryhill

I recently attended the one day retreat in Atlanta Georgia with my friend Father John Hoover who encouraged me to email a little feedback of my observations. We enjoy talking about things as I enjoy his experience of 50 plus years in the religious life including 41 of them ordained, and he enjoys hearing about my travels from parish to parish as an independent Catholic missionary.

As we discussed things on our drive through Tennessee which is where we went after we left Atlanta on our road trip, I shared with him my dislike of both sides on the matter of the situation we have in the church, of some accusing one side of being backwards/restorationist, and others of accusing the priests of Vatican II for messing up the Church and maybe even saying Vatican 2 was a mistake.... 

As I've shared with Father John the lack of communication on both sides is to blame. Neither side I've seen truly wants to listen to each other. I experience it with Father John sometimes when I present their side of the argument to him with solid church documents to back their claim and all I get from him is "I don't care, that's not what I was taught". It's frustrating to share Vatican documents and that seems to be a normal response from those who were a product of their era. On the other hand I do empathize with the argument of the AUSCP and those of like minds that the modern priest being ordained can lack true pastoral skills for people. Coming from the diocese of Charlotte where Father Hoover is from there is truly a healthy balance of different priests and from what I've seen the bishop usually puts the right people in the right places, but like any human at times makes a mistake.

The criticism of both sides is unfair. ... Vocations have dwindled since Vatican II, yet dioceses like Charlotte and Lincoln who are leading the way in vocation numbers. They must be doing something right. An observation both Father John and I had looking around the AUSCP room, it was an aging room, for a reason. I was incredibly thankful though to meet so many great priests who unfortunately do not receive the respect they deserve. My friend Father John is one of those men who are under-appreciated in our diocese. Thanks to my travels though he has become a great friend and teacher to me as many in the room that day were to others.

... Just like the politics of our country, both sides have reasonable arguments but due to a hostility have become polarized. That's the world, but that is not the Catholic Church. We are always in the middle of these truths, where virtue is found (as the old Latin saying goes). Reality is we have all fallen short of the bar. For example, liturgical abuses among the Vatican II priests due to poor implementation at the beginning and the current abuses among the reformers who do as they choose as well neglecting the teachings of Vatican II....

There isn't a parish I visit where there isn't something wrong. I will again reinforce though, that the men accused of being backwards are getting results and are reasonable with their stance. Some are a bit stuffy and lack that inclusiveness that the AUSCP would excel in, but again we are all lacking in something. The sooner we come together and patiently bear with each other, the sooner we become a unified Church which will proclaim the gospel as Jesus and His Apostles once did. In the meantime in all of Christianity we have had nothing but divides and just as the Bible teaches us, a house divided against itself falls.  Satan had his way dividing all Christians over the last 500 years, and still. As Catholics it's time we stand up and truly be universal instead of being divided as our separated brethren do. Ghandi was quoted on one of the cards that were given out. Another of his quotes should be remembered of how he would've become Christian had it not been for all the division and hate within the Church, our poor examples as Christians detoured one of the greatest conversions. Through Vatican II we have the chance to right that wrong as seen In the likes of people like Scott Hahn and the many converts who have become great leaders instead of persecutors in our Church.