Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A reader's rant and my response

Ordinarily, I reject comments with the kind of tone found in that which is addressed here in this post.  I simply don't have time to address so many things in one sitting, but decided to share this one.  Perhaps some readers would like to chime in too.  Please use the catechism and other Church documents, where applicable to help with your response.  I will publish comments that are civil and helpful.

This comment was originally intended for a post on the recent House vote for "Pelosi-care", but I elected to post it here.  His comment is in dull blue and yellow highlighting; my comments (when inline), are bracketed in red.

"Dean" writes:
"I suppose anything that disagrees with you or offers an alternative view of the Catholic faith would be considered a personal attack or an anti-Catholic message?"
Dean, there is no such thing as an "alternate view" of the Catholic faith.  There is one Catholic faith. You and I must seek to understand the mind of the Church.  Consider, that on any given polarizing issue, there could be 10 different views. Can all 10 be God's "view"?   It is His view that we must try to understand and the Church has been given the power, by Christ, to assist us in this regard (Luke 10:16).  Holy Mother Church has 2000 years worth of experience - experience guided by the Holy Spirit. How do I know this?

"The rules/tradition/God-and-politics Catholics have little time for the social justice Catholics, but where would Jesus be standing?"
There is no such thing as this kind of Catholic or that kind of Catholic.  There are Catholics and there are those who profess to be Catholics who want to make a designer religion out of Catholicism. Where is Jesus standing? He is standing for Truth because He is Truth.  Authentic social justice aligns itself fully with Truth.

Easy to rant on about the poor, sweet unborn babies and disregard all the thousands of people that need serious and systematic health care-- some of those are even pregnant mothers who are getting no prenatal care thanks to you who want to leave them suffer. 'Get a job!' say the pious types like you.

It is disingenuous to suggest that people who care about the unborn, have little or no regard for the less fortunate among the born.  It is also a bad stereo-type of pro-life people, most of whom I know are generous with their time and money on many charitable fronts.

Are you aware of how many girls/women are forced or coerced into murdering their unborn child?  What about the psychological damage in girls who are forced to abort their babies?  Some of these girls are being treated as mere objects by those who impregnate them.  Social justice should comprehend this, should it not?

Please do volunteer some of your time at a crisis pregnancy center where you will see ordinary Catholics assisting poor women to bring their babies to term, and following up with care after they are born.  What may not be readily visible when you volunteer at such a center are the funds pouring in from Catholics and other christians to pay for the medical care and material needs of the mothers and their babies.  A donation you give to a crisis pregnancy center can help offset the cost of prenatal care for a poor mother.

Unborn fetuses are also a much easier sell than death row occupants. I never see any mention of the death penalty on your blog (134 posts on pro-life and not one on the death penalty, which the Holy See also opposes...).
I have been against the death penalty since 14 years of age.  For me, salvation of everyone is important, even for those who commit heinous crimes.  While some people are indeed driven to seek forgiveness on their deathbed, I believe it is better to throw away the key and give that person the rest of his or her natural life to convert to God.  There are some prisoners who have committed horrific crimes who will find their way into heaven through repentance and conversion before some who have gone to church every Sunday or worked with the poor 16 hours/day.

This having been said, the death penalty and abortion are on two different planes.  Abortion, which deprives the unborn of the fundamental right to life is always and everywhere, evil.  The unborn baby is ensouled at the moment of conception, yet this soul is deprived of the Sacrament of Baptism. God, in His infinite mercy has plans for these souls which is unknown to us but, the fact remains that they were not given the opportunity to know, love, and serve God - their Creator.

Catechesis on the death penalty is different (from the CCC):

Hence, there are conditions in which the Church permits the death penalty.  Reasonable people can disagree on what is meant by "effectively defending human lives....", but they cannot disagree on any part of abortion being an intrinsic evil.
2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

We also cannot compare the 1.2+ million per year aborted here in the US to the handful of prisoners executed on a yearly basis.

Like most of the right-wing zealots, you prattle on about gays, innocent baby lambs, and Barack HUSSEIN Obama-- the anti-Christ (?!?) I like how you say you'll be respectful, unlike the anti-Bush crowd, and then insist on using his full name so as to highlight the Arab middle name. It is a shame that you claim to adore Jesus-- and I believe you do love him-- but can't see the most obvious thing about the Christian faith: it's about social justice-- getting us to turn the other cheek and make peace with one another. How are you helping to forward such peace when so much of your blog is political invective?
Let's put the "Barack Hussein Obama" in perspective from this post when he won the presidency - a time when many news sources also used his full name - a common practice at such a moment (i.e. George Herbert Walker Bush): President Barack Obama

In context, I said,

"Hence, Barack Hussein Obama is my president and as such, will receive my deepest prayers for his success on economic, world and domestic issues, and his conversion on culture of death issues. Jesus commanded us to love and it is with Christian love that conversions happen."
With regards to the blogpost on Obama and anti-christ, it was in reference to the illinois state lottery which yielded the numbers 6-6-6 on November 5, 2008 - the day following the election.  Having received so many emails from people on this issue, I wanted to point readers to the catechesis of a solid priest who, in his final analysis said:

Back to Obama. Given everything I have said above, can we consider Obama the Anti-Christ? No. There is no "the Anti-Christ."

This having been said, it is clear that my blogposts have been skimmed, and things taken out of context.

Lastly on this part of your paragraph, I have spoken on people with same sex attraction or those with homosexual tendencies in the context of the Catholic faith, as taught by the Church.  Titles and other quotes should not be confused for my own words.  I have often referred people with SSA to the Courage Apostolate, which is Church sanctioned because it teaches a path of purity - the same path that all must follow outside of sacramental marriage to stay in God's graces.  God loves everyone unconditionally.  The way we love Him back is to follow His commandments.

Forgive them Father, they know not what they do. THAT is at the heart of our faith. Forgive. Don't sanctimoniously pass judgement and offer advice that forwards divisive agendas. Wouldn't we do better to focus ourselves on how we can truly serve others and better the human condition than to instead ponder how we can make the Church more turgid and formal and less welcoming?
You say not to pass judgment.  Yet, your comment as posted is loaded with judgment.  You suggest that my advice is divisive.  Unity must subsist in Truth.  Those who have the mind of the Church, who defend Church teaching are not causing division.  Rather, those who advance distortions of Church teaching, or who seek to mold Catholicism into their own liking, are the sowers of disunity and division.

Further, the Church welcomes everyone, but people make themselves feel unwelcome when they reject God's love and mercy.  People reject God's love when they choose to define Catholicism on their own terms, rather than accepting what has been passed on to us through Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium.  We need to seek to understand the mind of the Church through God's grace, not expect the Church to mind us.  We all suffer from human fallen nature and difficulties in life.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could have all that makes us feel good? But, is it not a point of Christianity to follow Christ, right to the Holy Cross?  What is this Cross for each of us, if it is not to bear those needs and wants which counter Catholic teaching, with patience and persistence?  Christ fell many times, but he didn't stop moving forward to His death - death on a Cross.

Latin masses do not bring me closer to God. If they work for you, GREAT. Go to your church and enjoy. But why assert that your preference must be best for everyone else?

I go Mass to give God unconditional worship. This means that I give him glory and adoration interiorly during the Mass, regardless of the language.  I have assisted at Masses in a multitude of languages, some of which I did not understand.  However, this does not change the efficacy of being in the Presence of the Sacrifice, which is what the Mass is.

With regards to what I blog on, please consider that this IS my personal weblog.  And, there are many other blogs out there which do not focus on the extraordinary form liturgy. That is the beauty of reading many Catholic blogs is that there is diversity through the many (for those, of course, that do not promote things that are contrary to the faith).

And, finally - "Dean" concludes:

I know this will never be posted, and that's fine. But maybe it'll cause you to think a bit about your sanctimonious approach/tone [I think the pot is calling the kettle black here]. The Catholic Church is a big and diverse church [but not diversity of faith and morals, as is sometimes believed], and that's why I love it. I like that it encompasses a great deal of diversity but is still intact and continuous for over 2000 years. People like you will push us to a fissure [No. disunity is brought on by pushing "charity" without truth]. Maybe that doesn't bother you, but if it doesn't, I would again venture to say that you have missed the cornerstone point of the Gospels.

Mark 7
5So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?" 6He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7They worship me in vain;  their teachings are but rules taught by men.'[b] 8You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

Dean, I'll leave you with the words of Our Lord further down in the same chapter:

20* And he said, "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, 22* coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man."

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!