Liberal? Looks Like Narcissism To Me

I saw this piece on Father Roberto Francisco Daniel (Padre Beto) posted at UCA News. The original is from Yahoo News.

This caught my attention:

In one of the recent videos he posted on YouTube.com and his own Website, the priest said a married person who chose to have an affair, heterosexual or otherwise, would not be unfaithful as long as that person’s spouse allowed it. “If someone is in an extramarital relationship and that relationship is accepted by the spouse, then faithfulness still exists there,” he said.

This doesn’t strike me as a liberal view, particularly. So I have an objection to the Yahoo headline. Frankly, there are a lot of human beings out there, including many conservatives, who yearn for freedom from duty and responsibility. And lots of conservative spouses who, for various unhealthy and codependent reasons, are willing to grant something I’m not sure is theirs to grant. Marriages aren’t just for the two individuals who splice together for the appearance of a couple. Duties and responsibilities are part of the big picture.

Padre Beto’s bishop (Caetano Ferrari)

… gave Daniel a letter asking him to take the videos offline and publicly retract his statements. In an interview posted on the diocese Web site shortly afterward, Ferrari called Daniel “brilliant,” but characterized him as a “rebel son” who “crosses the line.”

This isn’t brilliance. This is sham intellectualism masquerading with empty promises of freedom. It’s not necessarily liberal, either. See conservative luminaries such as Mark Sanford or Arnold Schwarzenegger or John Corapi for others who seem to think that rules are made for others, and not them.

Whether or not this dude deserves to be excommunicated for narcissism, I’m not sure. I don’t have much interest in the canonical details of the case. This celibate priest, like many of his brothers on Holy Orders, doesn’t seem to have any sort of bead on what marriage is. So he could just stay the hell away from stuff he doesn’t understand. Padre Beto’s statement doesn’t give confidence:

I feel honored to belong to the long list of people who have been murdered and burned alive for thinking and searching for knowledge.

Sheesh.

A few things.

He wasn’t murdered.

He wasn’t burned alive.

So he’s not on those lists.

But he is on the long list of people who think more highly of themselves than others. For his followers, this advice: watch this man carefully. Ask and test if he really has the authentic interests of others–especially the needy and the persecuted–ahead of his own.

Meanwhile, Padre Beto is just out of a job. And momentarily, hopefully, in the outer courtyard of the house of the Lord.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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