Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Anti-Catholicism: A Phony Issue?... says Susan Jacoby (and the Washington Post) in todays hit piece on the Catholic Church, the Catholic League, William Donohue and others...and in the comments section, Jacoby has received the praise of none other than priest Thomas Doyle, chaplain of SNAP. Of course, people like Jacoby are incapable of understanding the hypocritical nature of their attacks - all too often, they engage in deceitful, hateful and vehement attacks on the Church and those who are faithful to her doctrines all while claiming that so such attacks take place.

The idea that anti-Catholicism is a significant force in American life today is a complete canard, perpetrated by theologically and politically right-wing Roman Catholics--a minority among the Catholic laity--and aimed at anyone who stands up to the Church's continuing attempts to impose its values on all Americans.

The people who scream "anti-Catholicism" at every opportunity use the same tactics as right-wing Jews who charge that any criticism of Israeli policies is anti-Semitic. And just as the Jewish Right attacks liberal Jews, the Catholic Right attacks liberal Catholics as well as liberal non-Catholics.

The major organization promoting the falsehood that there is significant discrimination against Catholics is the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, whose president, William Donohue, has conned the news media into treating him as a "spokesman" for all American Catholics.

Besides the fact that Donohue and many others have documented instances of anti-Catholic (and anti-Christian) rhetoric and actions, this must not be viewed as relevant, or so Jacoby and others seem to say...

The majority of American Catholics, as demonstrated in repeated public opinion polls, reject the league's arch-conservative views on such matters as the separation of church and state (the league wants as much religious intrusion into government as possible); abortion rights; and stem cell research.

At this point one has to wonder when and where "the league wants as much religious intrusion into government as possible"? If seeking to address and correct the rampant immorality that is being spread across this once great country is viewed as a "religious intrusion" by the blind and the ignorant, then so be it - one must not lose sight that most laws are based on a Judeo-Christian ethic; laws against murder, stealing, perjury, etc.

And the fact that various "polls" indicate that the "majority of American Catholics" seem to have apostacized from the faith is really a matter, not with "the league" but with the Church. That some do not view abortion (or embryonic stem cell research) as murder merely demonstrates and confirms the level of depravity to which some have sunk and the intellectual sophistry in which some must engage. Sometimes I feel as if we're re-living the last days of the Roman Empire before it fell under the weight of its own iniquity and decadence.

It seems, though, that the real reason for Jacoby's tirade has to do with a Catholic League press release, "Good Riddance to Frances Kissling" which she asserts, was issued by "Donohue's mean-spirited Catholic soldiers." In fact, poor Susan doesn't even have this right as the Press Release contains Donohue's words - not those of his "mean-spirited Catholic soldiers."

Be that as it may, we find out that we still haven't come to the real reason for Jacoby's vehement rantings when she says,
What really upsets the Catholic Right is not discrimination but disagreement.

Or, put another way, in its proper perspective, (with a bit of truthful, editorial license):
What really upsets us (ex-Catholics, nominal Catholics, heterdox Catholics, lapsed Catholics, contracepting Catholics, aborting Catholics, unfaithful Catholics), is not discrimination but disagreement with Christ and His Church.

How could we have reached that conclusion? She, like so many others before her, tells us:
Right-wing Catholic leaders would like to turn the clock back to the days when most American Catholics let their priests and bishops do their thinking for them...Those were the bad old days for Catholics who, in spite of the relentless propaganda to which they had been subjected, insisted on thinking for themselves.

As I lived during those days of the 50s and 60s, I don't recall the Church ever indicating that the priests and bishops were charged with "doing our thinking for us." Of course, many recognize this ploy as a preliminary setup to rationalize one's desire to embrace vice rather than virtue.

Today, a majority of lay American Catholics have turned a deaf ear to a number of particularly benighted bishops who have attacked prominent Catholic politicians solely because they support freedom of reproductive choice and embryonic stem cell research.

While Jacoby consistently asserts that a "majority" of American Catholics believe as she does, we can only hope and pray that she is actually referring to a minority of attention-seeking load-mouths whose consciences are conflicted and who are in a constant state of rebellion against God. They are turning, not from certain "benighted bishops", but from our Lord...and those who are screaming the loudest, probably do so from the guilt and pain they are suffering from their own actions.

There are many people who are in need of prayers. There are many lost sheep who believe comfort comes from lying down among and cavorting with ravenous wolves.

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