Monday, August 04, 2003

"See how those Christians.....": an essay from a friend

On one of the listserv groups I frequent, an acquaintance wrote this a few days ago, and I got his consent to bring this to you. As I continually harp to all you poor patient souls my readers, we have no business being in the amateur excommunication business, where the bishop there the Church, and the professionally outraged are to be avoided. Here's a to-weep-over example of all three.

I'm at the Oregon coast (specifically at the Adobe resort in Yachats), so that the closest Catholic church is about 8 miles away in Walport.

From the sermon I heard today, I'm afraid they would have to say of us "See how these Christians hate one another."

While one of the groups the priest spoke against was the Society of Saint Pius X, he spent most of the sermon not on the assigned readings (John's account of the multiplication of the loaves and fish) but in decrying how the Catholic church has fallen away. Some of his choice comments were "Have you ever heard of a holy theologian? Or of a holy bishop? --- Now THAT'S a contradiction." Then in the petitions following the sermon and creed he has such "petitions" as "that we remember when a politician says 'Let me make one thing clear' he is lying, let us pray to the Lord."

As I was driving back to the Adobe, I couldn't help thinking of a more appropriate petition:

That right doctrine be joined to a true spirit of Christian charity, let us earnestly pray to the Lord.

That last sentence, I think, can be the petition of every one of us. And, I'll have it be known that I am acquainted with many theologians striving after holiness, a couple of whom I'd not hesitate to name saints; and with four holy bishops. There are holy theologians and holy bishops, more than the professionally outraged will ever perceive or admit to. I wonder, does nurtured outrage cause sensory deprivation?

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