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"I Cling to My Catholic Faith with a Dogged Perseverance"

Posted on the 24 October 2013 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

The wife and I went to an ordination Mass on Saturday in Richmond. 19 new deacons were ordained, including Crosstwo men from my parish.  It was a beautiful, moving, inspiring experience.  But not for all.

A woman who sat next to my wife kept making snide comments, to include sneers about the Mass containing too much pomp, derisive asides on how only men were being ordained, mocking words on the lack of blacks in the choir.  She harrumphed her way through the entire Mass.  My wife, a saint in my view, kept from engaging her on her idiocy and stayed focused on the Mass, miraculously.  She's a much better person than me.

I was reminded of this woman and her ignorance when reading this open letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over at the Huffington Post this morning:

Dear Sirs:

I have noted, with some confusion, the pressing agenda items to be discussed at the annual fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from Nov. 11 - 14 in Baltimore.

Most interesting, a presentation for a "proposal to develop a formal statement on pornography," that is not only listed along with the other items (which include an update on the "Promotion and Defense of Marriage" and an update on the "Call to Prayer for Life") but is also presented in bold lettering at the top of the news item announcing the Conference on your home page.

You are, it must be noted, attacking this alleged pornography problem with ample exuberance.

Or -- perhaps more accurately -- you're not so much addressing a problem (is there a raging pornography epidemic?) as you are allotting time at your annual fall gathering for a simple discussion surrounding the specifics of your group's stance on the issue.

Let's be clear on that.

I'm assuming the outcome will be something like, "Pornography is a bad thing" -- in more illustrative prose, of course.

Let's also be clear on a few other things, concentrating not only the subject matters included in this agenda, but also the subject matters that are notably absent.

I realize I've called you out on the most controversial of your agenda items -- the ones pro-choice Catholics like me, who think all couples deserve the right to get married, get most riled up over. There is more to the document, however; votes for new officers, revisions to your handbook, consultation on a potential canonization and something about a Spanish translation of the prayer book at mass.

There is, however, not too much more to it than that.

Rest assured, I recognize that I'm one of the troublemakers when it comes to proper Catholic doctrine. I didn't go to mass last week or the one before, and I, as mentioned, don't agree with many Church stances on core social issues. I think Planned Parenthood is an amazing organization. I'm a huge fan of contraceptives.

Still, I cling to my Catholic faith with a dogged perseverance that, frankly, I'm beginning to question. Do I remain Catholic because it's easier than the alternative? Because I'm just apathetic enough that permanently abandoning the religion seems too much work?

I'd like to think not.

What I'd like to think, instead, is that I still identify as a Catholic because I believe organized religion can do good in ways amplified by the fact that its very existence centers around a literal and figurative room of faithful, optimistic believers.

She goes on.  And on.  In complete ignorance.  It's sad really.

Look, I'm open to people who are in different stages of their journey as Catholics.  I understand that some people would conclude certain things based on what they know (or more accurately, not know) about the Catholic faith.  But the writer of this letter, like the woman at the ordination Mass, is simply ignorant of what Catholicism is, what it means, the sound reasons and love, yes, love behind the teachings and doctrines they both seem to have such problems with.

They are attempting, not to cling to Catholic faith, but to a faith of their own choosing, while attempting to shape the historic true faith to meet their own made up beliefs.  In a sense, attempting to foist those false beliefs on the rest of us.

It's complete crap really.  

I likely would've suggested to the woman sitting next to my wife, and the writer of this letter, to run, not walk, to the Episcopal Church.  They've embraced fully a watered down faith.  They believe in the things these women believe.  They think abortion, planned parenthood, contraception, gay marriage, ordained women, are all good things.  Why not go where they would feel at home?  Why cling to that which they they abhor when the values they're expressing are openly embraced by the ECUSA?

I'm at home in the Catholic faith as expressed in her teachings, her doctrines, her catechism, her traditions.

Don't attempt to re-arrange the furniture in my home.

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