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Monday, July 17, 2017
The Humorous Situation of Catholic Bloggers who Condemn Bloggers for Condemning
And so I'm always amused to find Catholics in the blogosphere who consider themselves kind and luving as they condemn others "for condemning."
Fr. Z and Mike Voris are regular targets as well as anyone who dares to criticize the faux mercy of Pope Francis and the disastrous impact he is having on Church teachings.
Because of Amorous Laetitia we now have one diocese upholding the indissolubility of marriage (Poland, Philadelphia) while another tosses it out the window (Malta, Chicago). After all, poor sinners can't be expected to live up to those hard teachings of Jesus about a man who divorces his wife and marries another being an adulterer. Pshaw! Jesus didn't mean it. And, besides, grievous sins aren't really all that grievous after all. And everybody has a right to receive the Body of Christ whether they repent or not. Besides, we are all sinners, so who is anyone to judge anyone's actions? (Time to rip out that inconvenient book in the Old Testament called Book of Judges. Martin Luther, we need you!)
According to the "non-judgmental" bloggers, the nasty, rigid, condemning bloggers don't have a luving bone in their bodies and are as far from acting like Jesus, as, well...hmmm...the Pharisees and Sadducees...with maybe a little Hitler and Donald Trump thrown in for good measure.
Of course condemning and name-calling "those condemners" is justified, because the luving bloggers follow Jesus and the "rigid fundamentalists" obviously don't. And, hey, the luvers have a parade of liberals who agree with them like Jesuit Anthony Spadaro whose recent article co-authored with Presbyterian minister Marcelo Figueroa is breathtaking in its assault against conservative American Catholics. Ironically it was published shortly after the Vatican gay orgy scandal -- a coincidence? or an attempt to deflect attention and shift the focus to those bad old homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, Manichean, fundamentalist Catholics in the U.S.
I am so sick of hearing the misuse of Jesus' words, "Judge not lest ye be judged." to neutralize the spiritual works of mercy that call us to "instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, and counsel the doubtful." All those require us to use our intellect to make prudential judgments and our will to take action.
Why are the spiritual works being neutered? Well, I can think of one reason. It's a whole lot easier to stand on the moral high ground claiming to luv the sinner while leaving him in his sin. I've been tempted in that way myself. Silence, which implies consent, is always easier than confrontation, even gentle confrontation.
I'll close with a little story. There was a wealthy man in my parish; I'll call him Henry. He gave very generous monthly checks to the St. Vincent de Paul Society (now the Outreach Committee). I saw Henry every day at daily Mass. In fact he sat right behind me. We often smiled at one another and shared the sign of peace. During the election cycle I noticed he had a bumper sticker on his car for Virginia Senator Mark Warner one of the most pro-abortion members of Congress who publicly supported even the monstrous partial birth abortion method. Every day I looked at Henry's car and thought about what a scandal it was for a Catholic to support a man publicly supporting the murder of children. Should I should speak to him? I dreaded the thought. So I began praying every day at Mass and at other times for him.
One morning I once again was praying about whether I should speak to Henry and felt an interior movement. The thought came to me, "There's no time like the present." So I followed him out of Church after Mass and said with a big smile, "Hi, my name is Mary Ann. I see you every day at Mass, but we've never met." He smiled back, introduced himself, and shook my hand. I held on. The smile disappeared when I said next, "I've noticed your Mark Warner bumper sticker. He's very pro-abortion. In fact he supports partial birth abortion." He pulled his hand away and began walking quickly to his car. I walked right along with him. As he got in and closed the door I said. "Catholics can't support that."
The upshot of the conversation was that he moved to other side of the Church. We often came out of the pew opposite each other going to Communion and I made eye contact and smiled. And I continued to pray for him. I don't think he ever took the bumper sticker off his car, and he died a few years later. But I found out after he died that my conversation was so upsetting to him that he brought it up with another parishioner who was very pro-life. I'll never know what happened; that gentleman had also died when I learned about it from one of his close friends. I still pray for Henry occasionally as well as the gentleman he consulted and hope we all meet merrily in heaven.
We are called to admonish one another in charity. Admonishing always begins with self-examination and prayer (fasting too if it's really serious). But to excuse oneself as luving while describing the one who takes the spiritual works of mercy seriously as condemning is irresponsible and rash judgment. I will never apologize for calling sin sin and urging the sinner to repent. I'm just urging him to do what I do myself. That is not being a Pharisee, but being a serious, responsible Catholic.
So you luving Catholic bloggers out there who frequently condemn others as condemning, do yourselves a favor and stop dressing up your nasty, condemning judgments in righteous clothing. You can't have it both ways. If you are pointing the finger of condemnation at others because they condemn sinful behavior, you are really judging yourselves.