Catholics rejecting the faith

Catholics rejecting the faith

The problem is that both sides are wrong. Here we have the story of a woman who is so defiant of what she thinks is the Church that she flouts the Church’s disciplines. Columnist Eileen McNamara profiles Anne Barrett Doyle, a leader of the Church protest movement. I’m not sure how much of this to column to take seriously though, especially when McNamara tells us that Doyle still has ashes on her forehead on Friday. Perhaps she hasn’t showered since Wednesday? But then, perhaps this is poetic license disguised as journalism; the same sort of thing that got Mike Barnicle in trouble.

Anyway according to the column, Doyle—gasp—ate meat on Friday to show her “profound disillusionment with the leadership of her [C]hurch.” I’m sorry, Anne, but all your doing is hurting yourself. These aren’t manmade laws designed to constrain the people, but disciplines imposed in obedience to God to show self-sacrifice and repentance. But in Doyle’s world, the only repentance she’s interested in seeing and hearing about is that of priests and bishops.

Now, I agree that the legal tactics in use by the archdiocese are troubling. It’s difficult to reconcile an adversarial legal posture with a pastoral role, although the archdiocese shouldn’t have to just roll over and accede to all the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ demands. But they could keep some of their own lawyers from using such questionable tactics as requiring therapists to testify.

Back to Doyle. She says her children, 10 to 17, are disillusioned with the Church. That’s not surprising considering their mother’s role in attacking her at every turn. Where does she expect their faith to come from if not from her? I also notice that we hear nothing of the father. What is his role in the family? Can he not lead in faith? Then again, perhaps, he’s not part of the family in one way or another.

It’s one of the tragedies of the Scandal that so many people have imperiled themselves by what they think is a principled stand against corruption. It is one thing to stand for reform and against corruption, but is another to do so while stomping on what is holy and rejecting what is sacred to your own detriment.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli