|Curt Stoller commented on CANON LAW, WHEN PROPERLY ENFORCED, IS A LOVING EXPRESSION OF THE THE CHURCH
So true what you say Anselmmusjmj!!!
I think there is plenty of guilt to go around in the by no means ended crisis. Liberalism is both a doctrine and a mood. Any many Catholics who are not card carrying leftists are by temperament, fellow travelers.
Dissent over “Humanae Vitae” was driven by leftist priests and theologians whose disobedience was ignored and even rewarded sometimes. The theologians were often tenured professors. We in the laity, at least many of us, did not rise up to defend Pope Paul VI. It was definitely not our finest hour. A great mass of laity yearned for a Lite Catholicism. The fact that the birth control pill sold in the millions is no great testimony to the obedience of the laity. At the time as the leftist laity realized that disobedience and dissent would not lead to excommunication because of Vatican fears of schism, conservative Catholics, raised to be obedient and not speak out became witting and unwitting enablers of the whole mess.
It is easy to use Bishops as scapegoats. But it should be remembered that some Dicasteries in Rome did not back up faithful bishops when they attempted to protect their flocks from heresy. Open schism was more feared in many parts of the Roman Curia than heresy. Heresy was believed to be something that could be handled and managed. Schism was feared as the worst evil. Fear drove a lot of what happened in this crisis. Culpable or inculpable, only God knows.
Bishops assigned to Dioceses entered large bureaucratic organizations where leftists were already entrenched in the various departments. A lot of priests and laymen in these chanceries were already leftists either doctrinally or in spirit. Without support from Rome, Bishops were reluctant to clean house. There was also the issue of the loud and vocal lay leftist majorities and the quiet minority of lay orthodox. Tolerance became the gospel message, tolerance for everyone except the conservatives and orthodox who were shunned,ridiculed and marginalized. One had to live during these times to know what was going on. Conservative Catholics who wished to be obedient to the Pope were seen to be “spiritually immature,” or “neurotically fearful of change,” or “Pharisaical.” Liberals admired the chastity and purity of Hindus , Buddhists and Jainists, but called Catholics who were “chaste” “psychologically unbalanced,” “haters of the human body and Manicheans.” Conservative Catholics when they were not attacked, were pitied.
Liberals could not say enough in praise of rigorously religious Buddhists and Hindus. But seriously religious Catholics were called OPD–Overly Pious and Devotional. Vocation Directors attempted to weed out such orthodox and devotional Catholics from the seminaries. A chaste Tibetan Buddhist would be seen by a liberal Catholic as a saint. A chaste Catholic would be seen as a perversion of nature.
Yesterday, A priest I highly respect told me that I should get out of the Catholic Pro-Life Movement because “those people” are fanatics and judgmental. This is the same priest who preaches regularly that sin is not that big a deal because God’s mercy is infinite and neutralizes all sin.
That is a good question tantamergo!!! Maybe it is wrong to respect him. But this is my reasoning, which may indeed be faulty. Of all the things that are taught to children in elementary, middle and high school, logic is not one of them. This, in my opinion, is a terrible oversight. Logic may seem to be an overly abstract, cold, bloodless and heartless discipline, but in a way logic is a humble servant of the Truth and is derived from the Divine Logos. Although you won’t find this in any catechism, one of the most terrible errors in logic inevitably leads to sin and may in fact be sin. It is over-simplification. Because of our finiteness we must over-simplify in order to survive. At the same time we can confuse our simplifications with reality. Often we attempt to equate the sum total of a man with a single word. “He is stupid.” “He is rude.” “She is unattractive.” “She is vain.” Actually, the totality of a man’s life cannot be summed up in a word like this. To God, yes. To us, no. I think this is where the expression comes from: “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
Tantamergo, I am in awe of something Jesus said that has become more meaningful to me as I have become an old man. It is Jesus’ own commentary on the Lord’s Prayer: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavily Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. I stand in fear and trembling at these words of our Lord. From the moment I wake up in the morning and turn on the news until I fall asleep at night I am over-simplifying men and judging them. It usually begins with President Obama and some terrible thing he was done to hurt the unborn. I mentally condemn rude clerks in Walmart. I mentally condemn rude drivers on the highway. The number of people I have not forgiven in this life is very large. Sometimes they pop into my mind: a gang who beat me up when I was a school boy, a priest who was unkind to me when I was an altar boy. As part of a life of penance, I believe that with God’s grace I absolutely must forgive all these people I have judged and over-simplified. It is part of my spiritually as a Third Order Franciscan. I must forgive the Bishops and Cardinals who I hope, unwittingly harm the anti-abortion movement through their liberal politics. I must forgive the Bishops and Cardinals who confuse the preferential option for the poor with a preferential option for big government. I must forgive my beloved Franciscan brothers who promote illegal immigration while neglecting those poorest, most undocumented of immigrants: the unborn children. I must forgive the pro-choice women who spit in my face while I say the rosary in front of Planned Parenthood who think they are sticking up for woman by advocating the murder of children.
St. Francis said we should respect all priests, not because they are sinless, but because of their office. The priest I greatly respect has many good qualities. I cannot list them here. However,he believes big government is the solution to poverty. I think big government is the cause of poverty. He thinks, like Cardinal Bernardin that we help all life issues by making them equal. I think, like Pope Benedict, that abortion and euthanasia are greater evils than the others. The pursuit of happiness requires liberty. But liberty requires life. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not equal values in the hierarchy of truth. I am a sinner and one of my sins is a lack of intellectual humility. Unlike the Holy Father when he speaks ex cathedra, I do not speak with infallibility. I have a little sign over my desk that reads: “Remember, you are not as smart as you think you are.” I need that sing tantamergo, because I think I am smarter than I am!!! So maybe I am wrong to highly respect this priest who seems to me to be morally blind to the terrible evil of abortion. When Our Lord on the cross said: “God forgive them for they know not what they do,” we cannot presume that he speaks those words to us!” That would be hubris and presumption of the worst kind. But we can hope that a lot of people who do terrible terrible things are somehow in that group that doesn’t know what the heck they are doing.”
If he said those things, why on earth do you respect him?!?!?