Monday, November 25, 2013

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Timothy Villareal, the author of this Washington Post piece, is described at the end of it as, “a privately-vowed fraternal Catholic monk.”  I don’t know what any of that means but I do know that Tim’s pretty hacked off at American Catholic bishops these days.  Guess why:

On Wednesday, the Catholic bishop of Illinois, Thomas Paprocki, will perform an exorcism for the state of Illinois. That’s right, an exorcism – for the entire state. According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, entire places can become possessed by the devil, not just individuals. Paprocki is convinced that Illinois is now one such place, as the state legislature has passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, and Governor Pat Quinn plans to sign it on Wednesday.

Same-sex couples in the Land of Lincoln will soon be wallking down the aisle, exchanging rings and saying their vows. Paprocki is convinced that Satan is the wedding planner. Perhaps even the ring bearer, or the flower girl. Indeed, if you happen to be one of those Illinoisans throwing rice at the newlyweds, perhaps you ought to keep an eye out for horns spontaneously popping out of your head and the heads of your fellow rice throwers.

If you’re scoring at home, that was sarcasm.  But Tim’s not trying to be funny.

Outrageous –and perhaps even a bit comical –as many might find the use of the rite of exorcism to make a political statement in the culture wars, the entire body of U.S. Catholic bishops has, in fact, implemented a far less theatrical, yet ever more serious plan in their attempt to sully the love and commitment of same-sex couples, along with their civil marriage equality, in the minds and hearts of lay Catholics. This is no laughing matter.

By the way, there’s this term that really offends Tim and that he would really not rather hear ever again, thank you very much.

Though dismissed by rightwing ideologues as “Cafeteria Catholics,” the modern reality is that most lay Catholics navigate their relationship with institutional church, the priesthood, with great thought, care and self-respect. No doubt, this capacity among lay Catholics to employ their God-given human reasoning skills mystifies, and disappoints, many of the bishops.

For example, the bishop of the Diocese of Saint Augustine, Felipe Estevez, rose at one point during last week’s annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to ask aloud why so many young Catholics “get” the Catholic Church’s message about abortion, yet don’t “get” the church’s message against homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Evidently, Estevez can’t conceptualize the fact that the reason so many young people respect the lives of the unborn while simultaneously respect the lives, and commitment, of same-sex couples is that their moral conscience is informed by authentic love; authentic love is compelled to distinguish between instances of human disregard, like elective abortion, and instances of human regard and devotion –like same-sex marriage.

Tim, if I understand you correctly, some American Catholics essentially pick and choose between those Catholic teachings that their “reasoning skills” convince them are important and those that teachings their “reasoning skills” tell them that they can safely disregard because they’re wrong and stuff.
That sounds remarkably like the behavior of the patrons of certain types of restaurants who pick this entrée rather than that one, this main dish instead of another or this dessert instead of that one. 
What’s the name of that type of restaurant again?  Damn it, it’s on the tip of my tongue.

How about we call them Old Country Buffet Catholics if it will make you feel any better?

Let’s get real: The elective taking of a baby’s life in the womb, surgical or chemical, bears no moral resemblance to two people of the same sex falling in love and building a life together.

True as far as it goes.  If I covet your house, your wife, your manservant, your maidservant, your ox, your ass, nor any thing that is yours, that not as serious a sin as my killing you.  For that matter, stealing your Rolex rather than killing you is also not as serious a sin.

But all of those sins are listed among the Ten Commandments.  Why do you suppose that is, Tim?

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