Once upon a time Our Sunday Visitor supplied fairly orthodox commentary upon the Church and the World, although it was always careful to never disturb the powers that be at the Vatican. That was before the present Pontificate. Now, it is in essence a “Yes Sir!” magazine to whatever latest cause is promoted by the powers that be at the Vatican, orthodoxy and the traditional teachings of the Church be hanged. Case in point, this current editorial attacking the reaction of some orthodox Catholics to the forthcoming climate change encyclical of the Pope:
The main bone of contention in this debate is climate change. While we do believe that this is an issue that has serious implications on human welfare, we are not choosing to argue its merits today. On the contrary, we acknowledge the right of all parties engaged in the debate to participate in a rational and responsible exchange of thoughts, ideas and information.
A line is crossed, however, when such rational exchange turns into venom-spewing, ideologically based commentary. And this is what has taken place. Well before the encyclical’s release, a veritable campaign against its content has not only been initiated, but has been growing in intensity. That these efforts presuppose the document’s content is bad enough, but they have gone much further. Some Catholic observers and commentators have recommended that their fellow members in faith completely ignore the work, calling it baseless and not a priority. Others have even mocked the Holy Father and questioned his mental state. It’s shameful behavior, and hardly befitting a Church that calls itself “one, holy and apostolic.”
That the majority of this vitriol should come at the hands of self-styled conservatives is as disappointing as it is ironic. Just a few short years ago, with Pope Benedict at the helm of the Church, it was these same Catholics calling on their self-styled liberal counterparts to not ignore or berate the teachings or the office of the Holy Father — in short to not be “cafeteria Catholics” when they disagreed with Benedict. Now the situation is reversed, and these offended Catholics are becoming the perpetrators of the same offensive abuse.