Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Throwing in Our Lot With Idiots and Ogres

Not to mention tax collectors and prostitutes and gentiles.

I think I first encountered this fellow in a refreshing, if back-handedly complimentary assessment of the recently retired Bishop Martino:
I may not be the sort of Catholic who normally appreciates a hardline scold like Joseph Martino, who resigned August 31st as bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania. But all the same, I feel a eulogy coming on.

... we've gotten no end of input from flamboyant busybodies who claim to know what's wrong with how we live our lives. ...Bill O'Reilly may have been the first one vain enough to invest himself with the title of culture warrior ...

I contend it does a gross injustice to the profession of arms. People like O'Reilly and Alan Keyes and Bill Bennett, whose broad, often intemperate statements expose them to little risk but make them big bucks, are more like wartime profiteers ...

Bishop Martino was the real thing -- Ein Trau Husar, as the old martial air goes. Presiding over a diocese that was crumbling under a shortage of priests and money, he nagged the nation's Catholics on matters of doctrine for no apparent reason than that he felt they needed nagging. Though I myself cannot bear to be nagged, I find Bishop Martino's self-starting scrappiness admirable, [emphasis supplied] even touching -- kind of a Mr. Smith Goes to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops kind of thing.

It is interesting that Lindenman is a very recent convert. That makes his perspective neither necessarily more objective, nor necessarily less informed.
I merely note that it is an interesting aspect of his POV.

And THIS is how said recent convert sees a certain sort of would be progressive, the sort whom one would-be pundit of liberal Catholicism soothingly assured, recently, that they were doing the right thing if they just couldn't bear to be a part of Mean Ol' Mother Church for the time being:
So-called intentional Eucharistic communities... gather regularly and celebrate the Eucharist, with a member of the laity presiding.

If this sounds like schism or heresy -- well, it could be both. But members are quick to argue that autonomous, lay-managed communities come with a respectable pedigree. Apologists cite Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P. (a man I love for his name alone; it sounds like one of those lagers that looks like real maple syrup and costs even more by volume), who observes that early Church communities elected both their priests and their bishops, rather the way militia units in colonial America elected their officers....

That’s the theory. In practice, where there is no question how any given Catholic bishop will receive a request to ordain a lay presider, these communities have little contact with the larger Church. ...

Far from damaging the Church, the communities’ most determined partisans see a widespread ecclesiastical tea-party movement as the only thing capable of saving it. "The greater body of the church is clearly in trouble today," author Richard McClory promised guests at last June’s gathering of Eucharistic community members. "I would suspect strongly that it is groups like yours that can point the way to newer, better ways."

Yes, there’s a certain amount of hubris in this statement. McClory’s generation, with its tetchy conscience and passion for speaking truth to power, may matter less to the Church’s health than its members imagine. ...

[An] important question is whether these semi-secessionists realize that, by separating themselves, they are walking away from the greatest challenge in Christian life. I refer to getting along with -- in fact, working up charitable feelings for -- people you’re sure are idiots and ogres. [emphasis supplied]

The original Apostles tolerated a tax collector in their midst. I can sit through Mass next to some vagrant who looks ready to toss a gallon of used Colt 45 in my lap by way of offering the Sign of Peace. Refusing the Eucharist from a priest who fails to appreciate the importance of inclusive language sounds just a touch too precious.[emphasis supplied]

I have little patience with those who not just anticipate the Holy Father's posited leaner, keener Body of Christ, but those who actually revel in it, with cries of "Good riddance" to those who decide to opt out of the Faith of Hard Sayings.

We are called to love.
We are called to love them.
We are called to want them back.
We are called to try to get them back, (though not at any cost -- one does not picture Jesus running after people saying, no, no, guys! com'on back, what I said wasn't TRUE, it was just a metaphor!)

But it's hard sometimes to not just roll your eyes, sigh, and go about your business, when they storm off to their rooms.

Kind of the way you do with a tantrum-throwing 2 year old, or his pretentious, angst-consumed adolescent sibling.

I number the LCWR spokeswom... spokespersons among this group.

But like Lindenman in another column, even though I know that "the ornery sisters aren’t getting any younger," and that "at this point in history, depriving itself of American religious sisters, either by dismissing or alienating them, couldn’t hurt [the Church] less. To put it bluntly, women religious are already stuck in the margins," my heart, too, goes out to them, "tottering off to the barricades."

No comments: