in which I realize I should take my own point to heart

I think my old roomie’s recent post is timely, and not just because we were talking last weekend about how Dr. Bergsma needs to publish a book.

I haven’t made up my mind on what I think of petitions to ask bishops to withhold Communion from politicians who support abortion. I understand the point, especially when it’s a matter of protecting their soul from receiving Christ unworthily (a point which will never be grasped by the media or the Fr. Reese type — can reporters PLEASE find at least a new dissenting priest to interview?)  And I think that when the head of the Vatican’s tribunal offers his take on Canon law in regards to politicians and the Eucharist, that’s significant.

But I’m disturbed by this rising-of-the-people, ousting-of-the-bishops that people like Randall Terry call for. I mean, isn’t that what we stood up against earlier this month? We said, quite firmly, that no, the Church isn’t a democracy — and God knows there are plenty of Catholics in Connecticuts disenchanted with some of their bishops’ actions, but they came out in droves to support that office of an Apostle’s successor itself.

There’s a plethora of reasons why I don’t like Randall Terry (I mean, who goes around arguing with and making girls cry by yelling that they’re not pro-life enough unless they’re getting arrested — these being the young women who wake up at 5 a.m. in order to go sidewalk counseling in Pittsburgh. Or harasses a student newspaper at one of the most recognizeably orthodox Catholic schools in the country to publish his editorial and to leave it unedited, because God forbid it twists his words. Oh! The irony. But I digress.)  The fact that these are the types of comments his movement is eliciting doesn’t help his estimation in my mind:

I rec’d your letter a few weeks ago about this trip and was concerned you would not be able to really get past Vatican flunkies and gatekeepers. … Randall, you and your group are the only ones, and Judie Brown to a lesser extent, fighting this very unpleasant but necessary battle. The uncomfortable one against our OWN bad bishops.

Or,

Its about time someone got to the Vatican. THE catholic bishos have been THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL from the 50s

Or,

Listen, the truth is that Bishop Loverde still lacks the courage to LEAD THE FAITHFUL in real change; forcefully confronting the fact that our Congress sits by and tolerates legal abortion.

This is the worst: 

I was so disheartened by the lack of support of Priests during the election I quit going to the Catholic Church. I feel so abandoned and alone and am so encouraged by this heroic effort.

 So earlier this month we had those within the Church who were apparently, shall we say, more democratic than Catholic. But are the comments above a case of being more pro-life than Catholic?

Of course, one need not be Catholic to be pro-life, but when you’re operating as both you better make sure your message is consistent with who you claim to be. We bemoan or lambast, depending on your temperment, Catholics who manuever their way through arguments on why they support abortion. We put obnoxious bumper stickers on our cars: “You can’t be Catholic and pro-choice!”

It goes both ways.

If you’re going to be a pro-life Catholic — a natural proposition, I should think — then for goodness sake be Catholic. You can stop by separating yourself from the supporters who cling to your work tearfully while calling the successors of the Apostles the root of evil. We can work together from there.

Yes, there’s work to be done within the field of the Church itself. It has its weeds among the wheat, and whether there are weeds within the ranks of our hierarchy is something that will be revealed by God at the harvest. It’s not up to us to burn them ourselves.

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2 thoughts on “in which I realize I should take my own point to heart

  1. Well said! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head of something I’ve been trying to figure out about myself. I definitely was more pro-life than Catholic until college, when I learned the depth and length and breadth of Catholicism. Since then I’ve had a hard time caring passionately about pro-life issues. I think that’s why, because I was one of those people.

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