Another week, another anti-Catholic diatribe

Another week, another anti-Catholic diatribe

Another Sunday, another liberal Catholic columnist questioning her faith, and another Boston Herald cover headline attacking the Church.

Margery Eagan’s headline says: “True church: People in pews, not celibate men.” Right off the bat you see the error. For one thing, what is it with the fixation on whether someone else is having sex or not? People are so obsessed with sex that it seems downright sinister if someone isn’t doing it. For another thing, the Church is not the people in the pews or the “celibate men,” but it is the Body of Christ. Apparently, the proximate reason for her ire is the decision to stand by Church teaching that homosexuality is immoral and that children should be adopted into such situations. This is not a news bulletin. The Church’s teaching is time-tested and well known.

What it boils down to is that Margery Eagan and Joan Venocchi and the rest of those who think like them are cultural Catholics for whom the trappings of religion are more important than the substance of it. Oh sure, they believe in God and Jesus and the nice, easy teachings. But when confronted with anything a little challenging, when it comes to something they hold dear, then “God would never say something that I think is wrong.” The measure of Truth is always their own thoughts and feelings, never anything outside of themselves or absolute.

Here’s what I say. That I stay because my faith, like my country, is bred in my bones. George Bush has made a million mistakes; I’d never become a Canadian. I stay because the Catholic hierarchy and Catholic purists want people like me - we not-buying-the-total-program so-called cafeteria Catholics—to go.

This is where you’re wrong, Margery.

Faith is not something you’re born with

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  • “I stay because the Catholic hierarchy and Catholic purists want people like me – we not-buying-the-total-program so-called cafeteria Catholics—to go.”

    One question I would like answered quite honestly is “why are you not buying the total program?”

    This is a serious question and relates to how one’s conscience is formed on Church teachings.  I believe the answer is that one’s conscience has not seriously considered the Church’s beliefs and teachings beyond the feelings stage. Thus at the end of the day there is little heft to their “woe is me, we are being oppressed” charges and their case is based more on self centeredness.

  • Marjorie was on the radio Saturday wailing about the Cardinal’s decision to get out of the homosexual adoption business.

    Her and her co-host were bemoaning the lack of heterosexual couples that want to adopt. What liars!

  • Dom, was it you who made the observation: “Putting one’s butt in a pew no more makes one a Catholic than sitting in a garage makes one a car.”?  I want to make sure I give proper attribution in my letter to the editor (not that I expect to get published).

  • This may be off the track but tonight(Mon. 3/13) on PBS’s Greater Boston show a man named Peter Borre who said he represented the “Council of Parishes” appeared on PBS and stated that Catholic Charities should adopt children into same-sex sex households. Another guest, Evelyn Reilly, from Mass. Family Institute refuted Peter Borre. I know Evelyn Reilly and MFI are legitimate. My question is:
    Is the “Council of Parishes” organization a legitimate organization? Does it maintain that it represents the Parish Councils of the Boston Archdiocese? Is there any Parish Council in the Boston Archdiocese that agrees with the position of Peter Borre? It seems to me that Peter Borre is a fraud if he is presenting himself as a representative of the Parish Councils in the Boston Archdiocese. Why would PBS allow him to present himself this way?  If anyone has information on this situation, it would be greatly appreciated.

  • Dennis: It’s an old saying. I certainly wasn’t the first one to use it.

    Alice: Don’t you remember that Council of Parishes is the group of people from parishes that were being closed who were holding sit-ins? They’re not an official institution of the archdiocese.

  • For what it’s worth, I sent the following to Ms. Eagan.

    Ms. Eagan,

    I doubt you will respond to this e-mail, but I occasionally hear you on the radio, and you seem like the kind of person who might rise to a challenge.

    I read your Sunday column, and I wholeheartedly disagree with you, but that is not the point of my letter.  As a traditional, or orthodox, Catholic it often strikes me that people like you who style themselves as liberal, or progressive Catholics, seem to get off easy in describing their beliefs.  Basically, “progressive” Catholics define themselves by what they don’t believe.  That is, “I don’t believe abortion is wrong evil,” or “I don’t believe homosexuality is immoral,” or “I don’t see a problem with birth control,” or “I don’t think the priesthood should be composed of celibate men.”  People like you are rarely asked, “Well then, what do you believe?”

    This is an honest question.  What core beliefs do you share with your fellow Catholics traditional or otherwise?  Frankly, it must be more than the amorphous “be nice and don’t judge other people” kind of stuff I usually hear.

    For example:

    Do you believe in the divine nature of Jesus Christ or was he just a very wise and nice man?

    Do you believe Jesus was born of a virgin?

    Do you believe in heaven and hell?

    Do you believe in the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

    Do you believe in the Second Coming?

    Do you believe that Christ is the sole means to salvation?

    Do you believe in the Communion of Saints?

    Do you believe the seven sacraments actually operate as means to confer divine graces on those who receive them?

    Do you believe we have a sacred obligation to attend mass every Sunday?

    Do you believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist?

    Do you believe in God?

    As I said, these are honest questions, and represent only a few of hundreds of Catholic beliefs.  My mother was a convert, and I have many convert friends (they usually make the best Catholics), and theirs was a conscious choice of beliefs.  When I hear someone say, “I’m Catholic, but I don’t agree with . . . fill in the blank.”  Does this mean they believe everything else the Church proposes for their belief?  I don’t presume it does, but I think it is unfair of such people to create the impression that if the Church changed on some of these positions, they would be in agreement.

    You are wrong in asserting that traditional Catholics want people like you “out” of the Church.  First, this presumes that we have some say in the matter.  We don’t.  Whether you are “in” or “out” is ultimately a function of what you believe and what you do, not what people like me think.  God wills all people be saved, and I hope he gets his way. 

    Faith and love are acts of the will, choices, not accidents of birth.  My sincere questions are aimed at a more basic one, what choices have you made that make you feel justified in saying, “I’m Catholic”?