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.