Schadenfreude

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Occasionally I take a glance at the website of the National Catholic Distorter Fishwrap Reporter for the purpose of amusement.  Yesterday I wandered over there to see their reaction to the Vatican’s attempt to reform The Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  The reactions were both hysterical and hysterically funny.  Father Z, who I have designated the Master of the Fisk, had one of his patented devastating takes on one of the reactions:

[Sr. Joan] Chittister said she was deeply distraught at news of Sartain’s appointment and the order for LCWR to revise itself. [What a surprise!]

“When you set out to reform a people, a group, who have done nothing wrong, [You mean, other than purposely embrace heresies and all sorts of strange things, criticize and defy the Holy See and bishops, abandon their habits and the charisms of their communities... ] you have to have an intention, a motivation that is not only not morally based, but actually immoral,” she said.  [Keeping in mind that this new project comes from the CDF and that this is approved by the Holy Father, I rest my case.]

“Because you are attempting to control people [Note the word "attempt".  I look forward to many more statements of defiance from women religious, speeches at conferences, articles in NCR.] for one thing and one thing only — and that is for thinking, for being willing to discuss the issues of the age … If we stop thinking, if we stop demanding the divine right to think, [She pretty much side-steps the problems, no?  This "think" thing is misdirection.] and to see that as a Catholic gift, then we are betraying the church no matter what [NB] the powers of the church see as an inconvenient truth in their own times.”  [Sr. Joan must be for the Magisterium of Nuns what Al Gore is to the climate change crowd.]

In attempting to take such control of people’s thinking, [She must think most of her readers are pretty stupid, since she keeps repeating the point.] she said, “You make a mockery of the search for God, of the whole notion of keeping eyes on the signs of the times and of providing the people with the best possible spiritual guidance and presence you can give.  [More Enneagrams, please!]

“When I was a child in this town, I was taught that it was a sin to go into a Protestant church.

In my lifetime, the church, to its eternal credit, admitted that it was wrong. [!?!  About entering Protestant churches?  - Would that some of them would... but I digress. ] The scandal and the sin is that it took 400 years to do that.”

Go here to read the brilliant rest.  As amusing as the reactions of the writers of the National Catholic Reporter are, they pale in comparison to the amusement afforded by reading the comments to the articles.  Go here to read some of them.  This comment is typical:

How many of us know nuns, priests and other lay people, active in parishes and dioceses, who compromise their core beliefs so as to carry on the good work they are doing within church structures? Whether the issue is eucharistic inclusivity, option for the poor, a thinking laity, married clergy, women’s ordination, homosexuality, contraception, our Church fosters a culture of keeping quiet so as to keep going. Sometimes the pressure from above is overt, but we are all subject to that subtlest form of institutional intimidation which everyone registers without it having to be articulated. We watch the few who persist in standing against it being marginalized or pushed out altogether; their whole lives can be taken apart. Many, both young and lifelong churchgoers, can no longer accept it and are walking away. Meanwhile those who slip into capitulating to it progressively deform their spiritual integrity. Of course, the Protestant tradition and secular society have long picked up the tenor of hypocrisy about Catholicism. After Vatican II, though, many of us felt we were on the way to being freed from it. But the volume now seems to be ratcheting up again. How can we commit to the Church we love without dancing to this particular tune?

A serious question arises amid the merriment.  Why do people who so manifestly hate the Church, at least the Church as she has existed throughout history and not the Church of their desires, stay?  Wouldn’t they be much more comfortable as Episcopalians, Unitarian-Universalists, Atheists, Quakers, etc than Catholics?  I think for more than a few it comes down to one word:  Power.  They see the Catholic Church as an extremely powerful institution.  They seek to control that institution, and, failing that, to neuter it.  They work against the Church as she is from within to transform the Church into an instrument for them to wield.  Outside of the Church they are mere dime a dozen anti-Catholics, by the world forgot.  Within the Church they are, in their eyes, heroic dissenters and the vanguard of a movement that will ultimately control the only world-wide organization that has roots in almost every country and society on Earth.  They are playing for very big stakes, and that is why they do not head for the exits and leave the rest of us in the peace of Christ.

 

22 Responses to Schadenfreude

  • Michael PS says:

    As Lord Macaulay famously observed, “We know through what strange loopholes the human mind contrives to escape, when it wishes to avoid a disagreeable inference from an admitted proposition. We know how long the Jansenists contrived to believe the Pope infallible in matters of doctrine, and at the same time to believe doctrines which he pronounced to be heretical.”

  • “’I was taught that it was a sin to go into a Protestant church.’ No one actually had to teach me that for me to figure it out.”

    Frankly, statements like that are offensive. When my 80 year old Pentecostal mother and my older brother visit me, and ask me to drive them to the local Assemblies of God (AG) Church where I live, then I have done so and shall happily and respectfully continue to do so. I have and shall continue to enter and sit with them, and be a polite and decent human being who realizes that he doesn’t have a lock on the Kingdom of Heaven.

    If the LCWR embraced the Gospel of Conversion and Repentence the way that the AG does, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    There is so much wrong with this triumphalism. The Eastern Orthodox Churches not in union with the See of Peter are recognized to have valid Holy Orders and valid Sacraments. There are other examples. While I utterly despise and loathe the liberalism and progressivism inherent in the Liberal Conference of Women Religious, there is a world of difference between their renegade brand of “Christianity” and our separated Evangelical, Pentecostal or Orthodox brethren. We could learn lessons from the latter even while we disagree with them on matters of theology. Indeed, I have more in common with the typical, run of the mill Evaneglical or Pentecostal than I do with any liberal progressive who calls him or herself “Catholic.”

    BTW, go to a typical AG Church or Church of God Church, and you’ll see no Obama bumper stickers in the parking lot. Go to a Catholic and the story is very different. Why is that? Who really has the problem?

  • Let us stay on topic please. I have a family filled with all Protestants on my father’s side, and my wife was a Protestant when I married her, and so I have zero interest in getting into a battle on this thread about Catholic vs. Protestant. The topic is LCWR and not our separated brethren.

  • c matt says:

    All this talk about continuously “thinking” and “being allowed to think.”

    I always thought the purpose of thinking was to arrive at a conclusion. The Church has arrived at its conclusions a long time ago (at least on Sister’s pet issues).

  • Pinky says:

    I was recently reading some of “The Soul of the Apostolate”. The theme of the book is the importance of the interior life over the active life. I thought the author used some outrageous stories of religious people who got so lost in their active apostolates that they bankrupted themselves spiritually. Now I’m thinking that the author actually understated the risk.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Niiice.

    The biological solution is taking care of these catholycs.

    Check out the despair in their movement at the 4:00 minute mark.

    Then take a look at their demographic at the 6:12 mark, you can see an elderly person walking with his stroller in the background.

    You can almost see Michael Sean Winters way in the back curled up in the fetal position sobbing with his thumb in his mouth.

    Yep, the biological solution is taking care of these dissidents.

  • Don the Kiwi says:

    IIRC, it was never a sin to go into a protestant church.
    We were taught that taking part in their “communion” was sinful, because it meant that we accepted their view of communion as a symbol, was equivalent to the genuine “Eucharistic Sacrfice” of the consecrated species of the Catholic Mass.

    There was never a ban on entering a protestant church – I attended many weddings of family and friends in other churches.

    Sr. Joan’s red herring.

  • Phillip says:

    Power is indeed the issue. The left decries greed and indeed there is. But they ignore their own greed in grabbing for more and more power. This is the true problem with greed today.

  • Penguins Fan says:

    The LCWR has become a rat’s nest of secular dissent against the Catholic Church. After Archbishop Sartain investigates them, I hope the Holy See disbands the LCWR and puts the dissenters on notice – shape up or ship out.

    I cannot look at the NCR website. Just can’t do it.

  • Tom says:

    All I can say is Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI, for Bishop Levada and for Bishop Sartrain. What I found most interesting about the video attached is that no one answered the question What do you have hope in? with the answer I would give: Christ and the Church. That is where I put my hope. And it is refreshing and awesome to see how Benedict is gracefully charting the Church out of the Scandals and into the future by returning its heart and its focus to the past, to the teaching of the magisterium, and the true deposit of the faith. May GOD continue to bless the Catholic Church. And I pray that those within it who want to change it to something more modern and conforming of the world — find the exit and fast. The Church that Christ founded is good enough for me.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Penguins Fan,

    I don’t visit the NCDistorter for any reason at all. Even if they have John Allen writing there, which I find disturbing.

    Isn’t writing for the NCDistorter formal cooperation with evil?

  • Warren says:

    The LCWR has attempted to turn the Church into a democracy, not unlike the mainstream protestant denominations have done in their own misguided way. When doctrine is subject to the whim of a vote or popular opinion, you have what the TEC community is experiencing: doctrinal confusion and ecclesiastical meltdown.

    The undoing of the LCWR will not be due to the Vatican’s legitimate action to rectify the disturbing anti-Catholic teaching and behaviour among the LCWR membership and their allies. No, the LCWR will fall due to what comes out of their mouths and which further alienates them from the Church. They can try to blame others for the problems they have created. However, mature adults would normally find it within themselves to examine their consciences, submit to the legitimate authority of the bishops and make the necessary changes to harmonize their mission with that of the Church.

    One would think that the LCWR leadership would exercise restraint and humility. Instead, their reactions amount to the confused rants of petulant children. As it is, the LCWR’s defiance proves they are not with Christ and His Vicar.

  • KCHawk says:

    Don,

    You asked. “Why do people who so manifestly hate the Church, at least the Church as she has existed throughout history and not the Church of their desires, stay? ”

    I believe they stay because being Catholic has a distinct and definitive meaning. It has some bona fides that they would not be able to claim outside the Church. I find it ironic that the only way their opinions carry weight is staying in the very organization they seek to destroy.

    Dominus Vobiscum

    KCHawk

  • Therese says:

    Maybe they are staying and trying to change the Church into their own image and likeness because they would lose a lot of property if they left (convents, etc….) and PRIDE , of course, – they are right and those old men in Rome are….wrong!

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