Friday, August 31, 2018

Late Summer in the Carolinas

Right place at the right time to capture a double rainbow late on a stormy afternoon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Some sobering church thought

Weasel Watchers recently discussed the change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and what it says now about the death penalty.

Meanwhile, John Zmirak kept heretical comments by a papal adviser from being flushed down the memory hole.

I'd like to file both of the above stories under the "theology" label, but the truth is that if I regularly used a "politics" label, that might be more accurate, even within the church.

In times like these, the following quote by 20th-century Catholic apologist Frank Sheed is worth remembering:

"We are not baptized into the hierarchy; do not receive the cardinals sacramentally; will not spend an eternity in the beatific vision of the pope. Christ is the point." 

The grand jury report from Pennsylvania that made news for describing sexual abuse by Catholic clerics in that state over many years raises serious concerns of its own. This reaction by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (aka "Father Z") is worth reading. "This is primarily a supernatural battle that is being fought right now," he notes.

Reaction from Pope Francis to that news, when it came a few days later, was heartfelt but also inadequate because it tried to collectivize guilt and make predatory priests and their enablers a microcosm of injustice throughout society. But if everyone is guilty, then no one is guilty. Some bishops did better.

POSTSCRIPT: This homily by Fr. Robert Altier is well worth a listen. Among other things, Fr. Altier explains twin assaults on the church that started in 1924 and 1929, respectively (documentation backs him up about both starting points). Let the Marian-driven housecleaning commence!

As Fr. Altier noted: "Our Lady gave the bishops 16 years to clean up this mess, and they did nothing...but remember that our faith is in Jesus Christ, period." He also developed a fine analogy: "Back 2,000 years ago, Jesus cleaned out the Temple, but he did it like a man. He picked up the big stuff in the middle of the room. This time, He's sending his mom, and she's gonna clean like a woman. There won't be a cobweb left, and there will be no dust, even in the corners. She's gonna clean house, and it's gonna be beautiful. But it's not gonna be pleasant getting there. The resurrection will happen only after the crucifixion. And are we gonna remain faithful?"

If you're more inclined to read (or don't want to spare 22 minutes), Neo-Neocon (who, as far as I know, is not Catholic) does a good job summarizing the lowlights.