A Catholic Responding to the WikiLeaks Emails

ebe353bef3122a95242093c30d2a26b2My facebook has been overwhelmed by political posts and stories.  The controversies of the election have truly taken over my feed (there are the handful of birthday wishes and cute dog, cat, and kid pictures to remind us that facebook was created to reunite old friends, not destroy present friendships).  Within this cacophony, I’ve seen some posts about ‘terrible’ things that Clinton staffers said about Catholics.  I’ve read them and I’m wondering why people are acting like this is a big deal.  Here they are if you have not read them: Conservative Catholicism and opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing.

First, I recognize that many people don’t speak ‘churchese’ and we need to admit that we are bad at turning it off.  We exclude people by using untranslated church terms and phrases.
Do most people know the difference between subsidiarity and solidarity?
Does Thomistic vs Augustinian mean anything to most people?
The Pope writes us a letter to encourage and challenge us and we call it an Apostolic Exhortation.  Heck, I work at a church and had to have someone tell me that the Parochial Vicar was otherwise known as the Associate Pastor.  We use uncommon language.  It is true.  Deal with it when we get called on it.

1592d69f5b3419cffd6b567c010ec68eSecond, there are the ‘controversial’ remarks about Catholic beliefs being backward.
Have you never heard that before?
Did you not realize some people think that?
Have you never been on facebook or scrolled down to the comments section, or as I like to call it, “the near occasion of sin? The stuff you read there is way more insulting than any of this!
Lots of people think we are a backward church stuck in the dark ages.  If that causes you outrage you might need to go back and read where Christ tells us to bless and pray for those who persecute us.  Actually, we would do well to remember that we are told “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me” (Matt 5:10-11).
Are the emails persecuting us for the sake of righteousness?
Are we being insulted falsely because of Jesus?
Sometimes that answer is yes and sometimes it is no.  We were never promised acceptance.

As for the emails regarding starting a revolution in the Catholic Church.
So what?
Don’t we say that the role of everyday Catholics (the laity) is to revolutionize the world by witnessing to their faith in Christ at home, in the workplace, in their communities, and everywhere else?
Aren’t we supposed to evangelize the world?
Those emails are nothing but evangelization strategies, just for a different gospel.

As a Catholic, I love my faith, and my Church.  I’m saddened by the view these individuals seem to have of my faith and in turn me.  That said, we follow a man who was accused of blasphemy, abandoned, and crucified, who literally had his skin torn off during the scourging.  I think we need some tougher skin people.

Additionally, I want to say, I forgive the people who sent those emails if they were meant maliciously.
I pray that they can better understand my reasons for holding to my faith (“Of course, this idea may just reveal my total lack of understanding of the Catholic church” – opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing).
I apologize for the times that I’ve confused others because I assumed they knew my Catholic words.
I repent of those times I’ve sought comfort, expediency, and acceptance over authentic discipleship.

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Lessons from the Past

Scripture Readings

Today is the feast of St. Paul Miki and companions.  They are 26 Japanese martyrs from 1597.  As Vatican II confirms, martyrdom is one of the highest witnesses to love and an unquestionably powerful testimony to the Gospel and its demand to forgive our persecutors.  Celebrating the feasts of martyrs from every age reminds us of the Council’s words that, “And while it [martyrdom] is given to few, all, however, must be prepared to confess Christ before humanity and to follow him along the way of the cross amid the persecutions which the Church never lacks” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 42, Austin Flannery translation).  There is another lesson I draw from this feast day, the danger of political hijacking. Continue reading “Lessons from the Past”

Conservative. Progressive. Catholic.

Labels are a big deal in our culture.  We act like your label is the quick concise way to size you up and put you in a neat, tidy, little box.  We essentially use them as genre titles for people.  We all know this.  But knowing it doesn’t change the fact that it is a constant struggle.  The way we use political labels overshadows and metaphorically boxes-out our faith.  We — scandalously — allow our politics to inform our faith instead of our faith informing our politics and it causes more divisions and pain throughout the whole Body of Christ.

So what is my point? Continue reading “Conservative. Progressive. Catholic.”