Thursday, August 05, 2010

Caring for Retro-Catholics

Condescending lip service.
I think it's getting to be a trend.  Progressives/liberals must have a be kind - do no harm tolerance strategy at work these days.  I noticed an article on another blog pretty much discussing how men with unwanted same-sex desire have a condition that more or less requires them to seek shelter, solace, and support in ex-gay/chastity support-type programs, therefore these vulnerable, miserable souls deserve the sympathy and understanding of the otherwise well adjusted gay community.
Likewise, The Washington Post's Anthony Stevens-Arroyo writes inclusively about so-called Retro-Catholics as having a place in the overall scheme of things of the Church universal - meaning the Roman Catholic Church.  I'm verklempft.
"Admiring the wonderful diversity of the Catholic experience, I think of our different movements, cultures, and commitments - including Retro-Catholicism -- as analogous to the side chapels in a magnificent cathedral. Catholics coming to pray may start at a side chapel where they express special devotion in smaller groupings, but when the call is made for common worship we come together at the main altar under the same lofty roof. The mistake would be to substitute the side chapel of Retro-Catholicism (or Latino Catholicism) for the universal Church.
What characterizes Retro-Catholicism? The first and most prominent trait is fervor for upright sexual morality and the family - most notably a crusade against abortion. In this chapel, elective abortion is labeled "intrinsically evil" and supersedes all other issues. The special character here is not opposition to abortion - every Catholic agrees on that! - but rather Retro-Catholicism's all-or-nothing-at-all confrontation of contemporary politics. It seeks an absolute legal ban in the U.S. of all abortions (or use of condoms, or fetal stem-cell research, or equal rights for gay partners, or distribution of birth-control information, etc.) The issue is so deeply felt that it has occasioned the denial of communion when a Catholic deviates from this hard line.

Catholic America needs to welcome passionate opposition to abortion as long as such a commitment does not prejudice the rest of the pro-life mission to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, etc.." - Read more here.  (Little does he know he's actually the retro guy.)
"Gee!  Everyone is so nice!"  Quote from my sister in response to the question, "Why do you like funerals so much?"
And I suppose it's about time I admit that I really do understand why so many people can't wait for the Boomers to die off.
Photo:  Fr. McPheeley and Sr. Glinda, DRE at the Dignity picnic.



  1. I read the comments (there were two) at the end of the article. I think the Church in 2030 is going to (hopefully) be a very different place than what these kooks envision.

    They are always on an endless loop about feeding the hungry. There are more ways to be hungry than needing food....we would do well to feed THEM!

  2. 'And I suppose it's about time I admit that I really do understand why so many people can't wait for the Boomers to die off.'

    I don't want my mom and dad to die, even if the newbie cool Catholics think it's a good idea. I would rather not be a part of the 'lately elite'
    There seems to be an ever growing exclusive trend of 'us and them' within Catholicism, especially amongst bloggers. I used to experience this, and expect it, from non-catholics (mainly fundamentalists) but I see now, we have many factions within our own religion. Someone commented about how they noticed the charismatics hardly went to confession, but that is a blanket statement. My father is charismatic and is always encouraging others to go to the sacrament of reconcilliation. You see, maybe I should just let stuff ride, but the opinionated defective part of my character won't let me.

    I sense I might be becoming a pain in the butt on a lot of blogs of like minded people, who I am obviously not like, so I am going to dip out of them, as contention doesn't bear the fruit of the spirit and it makes me very low to keep hearing which groups are in and which souls are out, or soon to be dead. It makes me want to hide in a room and drink, sometimes. And that is not an option I can afford anymore. I am not being unfriendly in saying this, just aware that I am not bringing anything positive to the comment party at the moment.

    I just can't find a foothold.

    I'm off to find some ex-drunks. AA's who will remind me of my primary purpose etc.

    I will, ofcourse, still pray my Rosary.

    So long Terry. I have enjoyed meeting with you. I wish your blog well, and that souls to find their freedom in Christ here. Pray for me, when you think of me, as I will for you.

  3. Angela said:

    'They are always on an endless loop about feeding the hungry. There are more ways to be hungry than needing food....we would do well to feed THEM!'

    Try saying that and meaning it, the next (or maybe first) time you are starving.

    I know, I know, I'm going already!

  4. While I see plenty in Mr. Arroyo's quote here that is problematic and in some ways offensive, I have to also agree with Shadowlands that "...There seems to be an ever growing exclusive trend of 'us and them' within Catholicism.."
    We are becoming so bipolar in America and in the Catholic Church in America that it isn't even funny.
    Shadowlands, sometimes one needs to take a break, but I hope you won't go away for good, I like to read your comments.

  5. michael r.7:07 AM

    Ditto to what Melody said. I always read Shadowlands comments, and will pray as requested.

  6. Shadowlands - DON"T GO! I feel lonely here....

  7. Shadowlands - sorry you didn't get this post and were offended by the visionary posts. Keep praying the rosary.

  8. "And I suppose it's about time I admit that I really do understand why so many people can't wait for the Boomers to die off."

    BTW - All I said is that I "understand" why younger people say that.

    Personally, I can't wait for me to die off - which explains why I labeled the post, "Life is just a bunch of BS."

  9. Terry - I understood what you said.

    I don't want them to die off - many of them need to grow up first.

  10. 'Personally, I can't wait for me to die off - which explains why I labeled the post, "Life is just a bunch of BS."'

    I don't want you to die Terry. Maybe just send me a hundred english pounds, and we'll say no more about it.

    (I'm jokin! I'm jokin!)

    I will keep saying my rosary, it's my only solid rock.
    I do believe we, as a society must respect all ages in order to survive. Young Catholics are very pro-life, at it's beginning stage, which is the right way to be of course. However, they must also respect the elderly and be patient with their seeming lack of knowledge or daft ideas. They themselves will be old one day, and what kind of society will exist, if even the Catholic's view is to wish a whole generation dead, in order for the smart classy Roman Catholics ( who speak fluent Latin and wouldn't be seen dead in cheesecloth ) to take over?

    I know you don't personally wish or mean this, but the energy and confidence, sometimes bordering on arrogance that youth quite naturally holds, along with physical strength....well, we don't want another Nazi Germany on our hands.

    I am just noticing a snobby tendency, it doesn't take much to inflate youthful egos. Experience takes years.
    Also this blanket approach to all vatican two baby boomers. It's not truly Catholic to speak of people in such generalised terms. If it is, I don't want to be Catholic.

    If an old guy or gal walks into an AA room, in a mess, the program of AA should be heard saying to them (maybe for the first time) "As God's people, we stand on our feet, we don't crawl before anyone." That's Godly affirmation, we can't talk down to them, they're already at rock bottom.

    Oh, and Larry has just said

    I don't want them to die off - many of them need to grow up first.

    Young people will love that. I hope I don't hear any of them talk to my parents in that tone, 'cos they won't love what I come out with, in response!

    Maybe alcoholics have to be better behaved than Catholics though? So I won't give any two finger salutes, such as I have received on this blog, from a popular modern liberal bashing Catholic. Her behaviour was completely accepted, not by me though. I think it's dangerous, this elitist attitude of "I'm it, you're sh**"
    I really am going now.


  11. Shadowlands - just stay - how will you help or inspire anyone if you stop commenting here?

  12. +JMJ+

    Shadowlands, for what it's worth, I thought that other commenter was freaking awful, too. I didn't jump in because I try not to get involved in combox debates these days.

  13. "Shadowlands - just stay - how will you help or inspire anyone if you stop commenting here?"

    Well, I thought I might steal some of your followers. I've lost three of my own in the last couple of months, you see. What with that two cooks and a cabbage video from 1944, that I posted the month before last. People get so tetchy, don't they? The least thing, and they're off.

    What if I look like a drama queen if I come back Terry? The very idea!! Me, liking drama? Oh no! I've made a post declaring I won't get involved with comment fights anymore ( or words to that effect). I didn't say where mindyou. Maybe I can get away with it...............

    Anyway, seriously. I'm going away on Sunday for a few days, to Wales and Dublin, for a break, so I will be absent anyway, give everyone a rest.

    I hate ill feeling, but I can't stop arguing the odds with everyone. Who will save me from this body of death?

    I'll try harder to be sweet, in future, and not bite.

    Thanks to enbrethillel too. I feel embarressed now, like an attention seeking wotsit.

  14. Shadowlands - kindred spirit. Have a great time away. Look for Pam and Tom Barbour for me - they are friends of mine in Wales I lost contact with - I met them in Italy many years ago - well Pam and her first husband Jerry - sadly Jerry died several years ago now.

    God bless you my friend.

  15. "Look for Pam and Tom Barbour for me - they are friends of mine in Wales"

    Just the kind of excuse I was looking for, in order to approach perfect strangers!!

    God bless Terry.

  16. Austringer2:32 PM

    Gee, I think that Terry's comment is being taken 'way too seriously, especially as he is a Boomer himself. I'm a tail-end Boomer, and I too can't wait to see my generation -- self-absorbed, whiny, materialistic, self-indulgent, self-important -- (there, I've just described myself) -- exit stage left.

    The above is to be taken lightly, as it is intended, OK?

    Terry, at first I was going to ask you if that really is a photo of a priest and nun. And then I thought, nahh, Terry's just having some fun. But unfortunately -- and it really is sad -- it might truly be a photo of a priest and nun. I can't assume it's a joke.

  17. Austringer

    I'm a tail end boomer too. I just looked up wot it means. I thought it referred to the parents of kids born in the sixties but it's actual kids born in the late forties, fifties and sixties, yeh?

    I see what you're saying about not taking Terry's comment too seriously, but make no mistake, mass euthanasia is on it's way, just like abortion and we wouldn't joke about that as Catholics.

    Anyway, it's all sorted now. Terry's paying me to continue commenting here, after my vacation. It was either that, or sell me twelve of his least favourite followers at a cut down price ;)

  18. Shadow - I meant feeding the boomers the reasons WHY the Church believes what it does. I honestly think they don't know.

    I think it's very commendable and necessary to feed the starving - I have a foster child in Chile, hubby volunteers at the food bank, we both donate to the food bank, we've given poor people on the street food, help etc.

    I live in a town with many people on welfare, many single moms, etc. I was a single mom on welfare myself once. I see hunger every day but hunger isn't limited to food. These boomers are starving in a different way. It's all well and good to "do" stuff for God but the first new commandment is to love God, then your neighbour. Yes, I know feeding the hungry is feeding Christ but we cannot do anything without deferring to Christ first - and the boomers that I know in my church - I don't see a lot of that.

    I hope you read this comment and understand my intention is to speak with charity, with concern for souls. I am not trying to be "right" at all costs. I am a miserable excuse for a Catholic Christian but I am trying to improve and with God's help I will.

  19. Angela

    My problem is in the labelling of people. I can see how people might be sick of society bending over backwards to people please all the different 'types' but I don't think we should do it within the body of Christ.Next time you see a boomer, pray for them. Ask God to show you His heart for them. Not your pre-conceived ideas, they may be in real pain as a person. God might not even know what a boomer is, He might be looking on them as a child, a child His son suffered and died for. I'll try and do the same for the people I lock horns with. See them as eternal beings.

    Father Corapi commands a big crowd these days, but not so when he was living on the streets for three years, as an addict. Looks can be deceptive I guess.

    As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been signified unto me, my brethren, of you, by them that are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith: I indeed am of Paul; and I am of Apollo; and I am of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul then crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I give God thanks, that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Caius; 15 Lest any should say that you were baptized in my name. 16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanus; besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ should be made void.

    I often say this, so forgive repetition,If we, as Catholics have any witness to give to the 'world' of a God reconciling man to Himself, then surely the evidence of that truth must be that we as a body are reconciled with each other? If not, we are the laughing stock the world accuses us of being.
    I seriously think this fragmenting of the Church is caused by pride.

    I am happy and blessed, just for today. I have a heavenly mother and father and saviour, who love me, and care for me. They help me remain sober, contingent upon my spiritual well being, which is why I sometimes must avoid controversy. My character enjoys a good old scrap now and again, but my serenity doesn't. It gets upset, easily and takes things to heart.

    Hey Terry, why don't you have a weekly bible study here?
    Most Catholics don't really do that, do they? Study scripture together, I mean? It would suit trad, bad and mad Catholics too. A little something for everyone to unite around?

    Just a thought.

  20. I just added Shadowlands' blog to my list of faves, even if she's goin on holiday; plenty of reading to catch up on.

    Terry, I never know when you're pulling my leg: the photo gave me an LOL time, but if it's really father mcFeelMe and sister Glinda, (what does DRE mean?), someone still needs to tell him to dress more modestly.

    As a 1951 BB, I too can hardly wait until I die off: livin in this hellova world is too much for my 19Century mind and body.

    I welcome those retro-catholics.

    (I think Terry has too much on his pallet to start a weekly Bible study though...btw)

  21. doughboy4:58 PM

    what's a 'wotsit' ??

  22. I, also, like Walter, have added shadowlands to my list of favorites.
    Shadowland: if you read this, know that I appreciate your comments; hope I haven't been disrespectful of your ideas.
    As for the "Retros"...I just don't get it (this division in the Catholic Church in the USA).
    If you say the Creed and mean it; if you believe the Catholic Church is the one founded by Jesus Christ and the Pope is His Vicar;
    why the contention?
    The Church is big enough to include all sorts; the gripe I have with the trads and conservatives is that they somehow selectively pick what they want to emphasize and forget about the Church's social teachings.
    As a monastic, I'm outside of a lot of this; I'm no "neo-con" or "conservative" on social issues; I believe what the Church teaches in this regard.
    But I'm probably a "raving traditionalist" when it comes to the liturgy and to moral issues (albeit the wise counsel of our tradition that is careful to make distinctions about condemning the sin and not the sinner).
    Dorothy Day is a wonderful example of one who loved the Traditional Mass, was a daily communicant, loved our Lady and loved the poor; Mother Teresa, as well (although she was obedient to the Church in matters of liturgy as it changed).
    We need saints, not traditionalists!
    And by the way, I've hit 50 (I'm a baby boomer on the cusp, I guess).
    And I am not dreading death; some days I welcome it, as Terry!

  23. Correction: I should have said "economic issues" rather than social issues; abortion, end of life issues must always be with "life".
    The economic/war issues I have difficulty with when money, power and hubris are involved, as opposed to mercy, compassion, respect for innocent civilian life, proper recompense (a living wage).

  24. shadowlands - my comment was meant in jest. I'm sorry if I offended you.

  25. I'm with my sister on this one: "Gee, everyone is so nice!"

    Sorry I didn't label humor for the photo - I forget how close to reality it is.

    Anyway - group hug!

    Shadow - they live in Swansea - that's in Wales, right? They love cats. They're very nice. I don't know why we lost contact.

    Austringer - you gave me away... oh well. ;)

  26. np,

    You're probably talking about me. I was Mass-deprived as a child and am focused on Confession, Mass and sometimes Adoration.

    There are a lot of people who think that Heaven is a given, which is not what I have been taught. Once, when someone said "when we get to heaven" I questioned it, and a room full of people of varying religions jumped on me. Of course we all go to heaven. All we have to do is follow Catholic teaching on social justice, someone told me.

    I asked "what about Confession? Mass? Adoration?" and she replied, "oh, worship?" with a tone that indicated there was something wrong with me for thinking that was necessary.

    To me, social justice is skewed toward marxism, and I don't love socialism but that's just part of my bias, having lived under socialism. The Catholics I meet who are focused on social justice are focused on it to the exclusion of all else, forgetting that Jesus said "the poor will always be with you, but I will not."

    To me, this means that helping others is not and cannot be exclusive of worship. Too many people are interested in the social justice aspect of Catholicism without realizing it's meaningless without worship. You can't separate the two.

  27. Shadow - "My problem is in the labelling of people."

    You have a good point there.

    I guess I am just uncomfortable around people born before 1950 or so because they were the ones that taught me that birth control was OK, that missing Mass was OK, etc. etc. I spent many years on the fast track to Hell because I was misled. When I returned to the Church in 2002 and started finding out what the Church really taught and WHY it was a whole different world. Some of the people that taught me well are over 70, some are "boomers" and some are in their 20s. But the group that's around 60 - 75 - for the most part led me astray.

  28. Nan: Absolutely.
    And I don't think I was talking about you.
    Our life as Catholics, as those who believe in the revealed Word of God, Jesus our Lord, as He speaks in our Catholic Church, has to be consonant with all the teachings.
    Social justice, as you say, has been "taken over" by the Marxist/socialist contingent; but the teachings from Pope Leo XIII to the present day reject materialist atheism and put forth a plan that is based upon the constant teachings of the Church that selfishness, unbridled abuse of the worker/the poor/the indigent/those in need (widows and orphans) as well as families is immoral.
    There is a way to steer clear of the extremes: uncontrolled capitalism and Marxist socialism.
    It's the social teachings of the Catholic Church.

  29. Never a 'Boomer' or a 'Blamer' be
    And don't stick your brother in a category
    You call him that name
    to excuse your own blame
    Well it seems to me
    it's an Owner you should be
    and owner's are in need
    of Christ's Mercy.

    Who says middle aged people can't rap? Man I'm jumpin, with a heart that's thumpin!!!

    Sorry, it's close to my holiday. Normal servuce will be resumed one day, maybe. Maybe not. It's fun being nuts.

  30. Of course, I am giving my self that message as well. I am one of the biggest booming, sorry, blooming blamers I know. If I had a drink for every time I ever blamed someone....Oh wait, I did have a drink every time I ever blamed someone (but only to 'show' them). ;)

  31. That article triggered my gag response. :-/


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.