I am writing in response to “What does an Alinsky parish look like?” [NB: from the blog.] – about Horace… Grinnell.… It’s not the Tuck I know as a priest and friend...[who] models mercy, kindness and generosity. He is passionate, committed and dedicated….
I was saddened by the judgmental tone, at times sanctimonious and even vindictive. Not only unkind and unfounded accusations of dementia, but asking, “Is there any worse suffering than the persecution that comes from an abusive “father?”.... Although it is a mystery how there can be such divergent views concerning the Gospel message, one thing can’t be disputed – Jesus didn’t judge and condemn: not the Samaritan woman, the tax collector, even the criminals crucified next to him. He brought out the best in people in his direct encounters. And his words were clear: Love one another As I have loved you. Remove the plank from your own eye…. On and on – the message of love, compassion, and mercy. The ones he did judge were the self-righteous..who were sure of their sanctity…who laid heavy burdens on others.
Therefore, I was confused by the tone of intolerance and insistence on orthodoxy. Jesus was a dissenter, denounced for going outside of the prescribed rules with healings on Sundays (sic), dinners with sinners, breaking with legalistic tradition. Considered subversive, blasphemous even, as he tried to uproot self-righteousness. Instead of condemning Tuck, I believe Jesus would welcome his efforts at ecumenism and his passion for openness, tolerance, and dialogue.
It sounds like some of the parishioners were closed from the beginning, and ready to judge, and…tried to catch him doing wrong as they kept… track of his misdeeds. Too bad they can’t see the positive: the gifts, the talent, the passion to follow Jesus. Tuck is not a partisan ideologue …. In thirty years of knowing Tuck I have not once heard him mention Saul Alinsky. The only connection I see is his passion to fight for the underdog, those without voices. I hope the remaining parishioners at St. Peters appreciate the gift they have in Tuck. I can only imagine Mary’s joy (and her son’s) at what this child of hers is doing for the poor, the powerless, the stranger, the immigrant. I think she’d be thrilled and would love to have lunch with him. And the Nuns on a Bus (sic). Perhaps even Saul Alinsky.
Ed’s comment: We have no doubt Our Lady would happily have lunch with Fr. Tuck to admonish him to do the duties of his state in life as a priest, not a community organizer.
Thanks for sending us your wonderful publication. You have really used your talents and intelligence to educate us and preserve and defend our beautiful faith. These are difficult times but we know that all of us were placed here for a reason. Thanks again for your heroic efforts for the “Church Militant.”
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I pray that you will continue to write for many years to come. You are a treasure to all who have gotten to know you. Please continue to recommend books for pre-teens and teens; I too have grandchildren.
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