"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Catholics are so sensitive...



How did that happen?

I blame the Catholic Defense leaguers.  They are always on the lookout for some insult against Catholics.  Or maybe it's just American Catholics who have become so feminized?

It's really only since JFK was in office that Catholics took on an air of social respectability and got their names in the paper for other than bootlegging.  I exaggerate perhaps, but before 1960 Catholics had to tough it out, 'paying their dues' as underclassmen to the White Anglo Saxon Protestant majority in power.  So maybe it's a status-oriented-political thing then?  It's not like Catholics were ever slaves in the U.S. ... Eventually they gained a foothold uptown and at the Cape - which meant, respectability, status and class.  Cardinals hobnobbing with the rich and famous and politically powerful became a common sight especially since the 1950's.

I wonder - is that why egos are bruised and crushed so easily today?  Is that why Catholics in the United States feel marginalized and persecuted?  Are the sufferings in this country somehow worse than what Catholics in Syria and Iraq have faced?  Are Catholics chopped to bits or burned alive here in the States?  Is there any suffering like our suffering?  Does the Government force abortion and contraception upon Catholics who seek Government assistance?  Is it the Government who is closing parish churches and schools?  Are men banned from entering seminary?  Are priests banned from travelling abroad and collecting donations for every trip to a foreign powder room?

Of course not.

Yet let the Pope say something innocent, which secular writers use to goad religious people they do not like with, and the tears start swelling up, and the very manly Catholics start pissing and moaning and feeling sorry for themselves.  Where's Cardinal Burke to witness and speak out about such effeminate behavior?

Those poor lonely single Catholic women, some even single mothers, who can't get a date.  The lonely single celibate gay Catholic, suffering the pain of loneliness and isolation, unable to masturbate or marry - exiles in their own parish - so unwelcome, feeling they don't fit in, sleeping alone at night.  Where is the Pope - why can't he call these people and console them and let them know that they are loved and give them a teddy bear?  Why didn't the Synod Fathers ever mention the sad plight of the single person, adrift in a pop-culture they are no longer cool with?  Forget about the widows and widowers who miss their loved ones - they had their chance.

Then.  This past week.  A very special Blossom: The plight of ... Catholics - with ... large ... families!  Oh.  My.  God.  The humanity!  Get me to a Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form or I will never make it to heaven!

Very seriously people - er, gentle reader.  What kind of Catholics have we become?  How painfully sensitive?  What whiners?  What martyrs?

As I said last night in the com box:
If many faithful Catholic couples are in uncomfortable positions because the 'world' doesn't understand what the pope meant or said - what is wrong with that? Isn't the Gospel uncomfortable any way? I hope so.
Did you ever feel funny saying grace in a restaurant? Did you ever get teased for not eating meat on Friday? Haven't people suggested you could skip Mass on Sunday and holy days? Haven't you ever been ridiculed for some Catholic teaching? It goes with the territory. 
I have traditional Catholic friends who are married with lots of kids and consider it a scandal that there is a childless couple who doesn't tell everyone at donuts and coffee that they are either unable to have children or they are practicing NFP - thus, the Inquisitors assume they are contracepting or the husband may be gay. Seriously - I worked with these religious busy bodies.  They can be worse than what we complain about as anti-Catholic bigotry from the world.
And what about gay people? The universe tells them they are nuts to follow the teachings of the Church and to live celibately - they are mocked and marginalized when they support and live according to Catholic teaching. I've been damned if I do or I don't use one term or another in speaking on the subject - and I'm nearly expected to give a blood test to prove I'm faithful to Catholic teaching on sexuality and marriage when saying anything nice about gay Catholics. Catholics eat their own and cry fowl when someone steps on their toe. 
But so what?! That is life.  We are Catholics - the Gospel is counter-cultural. It's the cost of discipleship. What is with all this self-seeking, self-pity? What is it that pampered, Western modern Catholics want? Praise and the esteem of society for being good boys and girls and keeping the commandments? Do we want adulation and praise just for being faithful?  Are we so self-absorbed that now we imagine even the Pope insults us?  In doing so we make ourselves more Catholic than the Pope, more Catholic than the Church.
Where is the faith? Where is the generosity of spirit? Where is the humility?
I think many today believe they 'paid their dues' and they are seeking some sort of exaltation and praise - simply for doing their duty. That's not Catholic.

. . . 

Bonus feature:  You wanna see sad?  Just remember, not all rabbits have large families ... but they do get lonely.



What? 

10 comments:

  1. Terry, your words are so true. I longed to have a large family but God sent me only one. We were not financially able to adopt. I have had Catholic mothers of a large families say that most vulgar and intrusive things to me about how and why I should be getting pregnant. We must begin to see that parenthood, whether it is one child or fifteen, is a gift from God, not a badge of our Catholicity.

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  2. I am not sensitive, that is to say, I (one of a large family) was not offended or outraged or whatever by the pope's rabbit comment. Rather, I thought it was simply a stupid thing to say. I could never imagine Benedict XVI saying such tosh. But then for some, I guess that's what makes Francis so endearing.

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    1. Actually dear Pope Benedict had a reputation for gaffes - he had a couple of condom statements media attacked as well as the Regensberg speech on Islam. His appointments were very often criticized as was the lifting of the excommunication of SSPX Bishop Williamson.

      St. John Paul was equally criticized and accused of gaffes by liberals and conservatives - esp. the kissing the Koran and the Assisi gatherings and don't forget bare-breasted communicants in New Guinea - I think.

      Then it would fill a page of comments to enumerate the the gaffes of Bl. Paul VI.

      Francis is simply the soup du jour among Catholic politicos.

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    2. I disagree with your characterization of the Benedictine gaffes. The Regensberg speech was not *stupid*...it was intelligent, highly intellectual (for crimes sake, the man was quoting Byzantine dialogues), but of course also, as we all know, quite impolitic. It was indeed a gaffe. Similarly, the condom comments were not stupid, though they may have been careless in the "who am I to judge" sort of way. Likewise the lifting of the excommunication: the reasoning was very intellectual, deeply theological. But it blew up in his face politically...yes, that's a gaffe.

      Bit that's not the kind of thing we're talking about here.

      This reference to Catholics acting like rabbits was simply...stupid. Low brow, inelegant, clumsy, crude. I could never imagine Benedict saying such a thing..that is, using such an unbecoming and boorish metaphor.

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  3. Terry, here is the transcript of what the Pope actually said: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-text-of-popes-in-flight-interview-from-manila-to-rome-84716/ It is a great talk. I did not see any mention of rabbits, though. He does uphold Humanae Vitae.

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    1. Thanks very much - I did see that as well as the America piece.

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    2. Oops, I just found the mention of rabbits. But it has to be read in context.

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    3. I'm not sure the comment looks better in context:

      "That example I mentioned shortly before about that woman who was expecting her eighth child and already had seven who were born with caesareans. That is a an irresponsibility That woman might say 'no, I trust in God.’ But, look, God gives you means to be responsible. Some think that -- excuse the language -- that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood."

      The juxtaposition of ideas and implied logical connection absolutely astounds me. In what possible way is it irresponsible for this woman to have an eighth child simply because she has had C-sections before? As I understand it, C-sections are rather safe procedures. Is it irresponsible because there is some arbitrary limit on C-sections? Once you have one or two, the likelihood is that subsequent pregnancies will end in C-section. So by the Pope's logic, are we to grant women, say, one or two C-sections, after which they are being irresponsible?

      And why is it irresponsible? Because it costs more money? Is a burden on society? Because it's icky? Frankly, the entire exchange makes less and less sense the more one thinks about it. I would think rather the pope would extol the advanced of modern medical science and praxis that allows the woman to carry this eight child (and her previous seven) safely to term, where in the old days her pregnancies would have greatly imperilled herself and her children. Further, I would imagine he might comment on the bankruptcy of a society that would not provide adequate support for her medical procedures. Instead, he seems to blame the woman for...have a baby in a very safe manner.

      Mind. Blown.

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    4. And is it any of our business?

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  4. I'm seeing that what is "cool" now for Catholics is to be on board with any and every thing that Pope Francis says. It's cool to be like, "I have no problem with anything. I don't see anything wrong with anything. It's all your problem, bro."

    And it is ironic that, while some Catholics are accused of not being ok with the Gospel being uncomfortable any way, as if that's really what is concerning to Catholics rather than the confusion that continues and the crudeness of certain remarks, in the next breath, those accusers are embarrassed because of the way the world will view us "religious people", us "fanatics", almost as if they're looking for a way to distance themselves from those Catholics who continually bring to mind the "uncomfortable" reality in the Church today.

    But, we're all hypocrites, nothing matters except kindness and garnering favor with the Holy Father like a children starved for attention.

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