From Another Camp

It can be hard not to attribute human qualities to institutions. Corporations–some of them, anyway–strive to put a human face on their interactions from lofty perches. Others embrace the robocall. Those voices have inflections, but they don’t answer my questions.

A few times in the conservative blogosphere this week, I noticed a trun of phrase, repeated, that did nothing for me. At the NCReg, Patti Armstrong headlined this, “Since Sin Requires Awareness, Is Our Clueless Culture Off the Hook?”

Curious. Does Western/American/modern culture have a potential of awareness of sin? My sense is that individual people have a conscience developed to a greater or lesser degree. I know there is a thought in social justice circles about corporate sin. Maybe that’s the same thing. Maybe not.

I’m leaning to the thought that the culture is off the hook, but self-aware believers are not.

As one evolves from belief and membership into commitment and discipleship, the human eye for sin and transgression migrates from things and people outside of oneself to the one person for which every conscience can make a difference. Or maybe two persons: Jesus and me.

Rachel Lu offered a slightly more dangerous trial balloon at the same website here. Dr Lu’s first impulse on this essay is illustrative; the hyperlink references, “recognizing-some-of-vatican-iis-limitations.”

I might say that the biggest limitation has been its selective abandonment ca 1970-2013. But traditional leaning Catholics will no doubt cite numerous errors. Dr Lu views “conservative Catholics” as a happy middle ground between heretical hijackers and schismatic curmudgeons. I suspect she’s missed the real middle ground: the majority of Catholics who are rather satisfied with the Church, who don’t question girl servers, or the intentions of their parish clergy and staff, and who are just trying to do their best between conception and natural death.

I did notice this offering:

In tumultuous times, it is easy to get in the habit of seeing enemies on every side. In the spirit of the Year of Mercy, let us endeavor once more to find common ground with those who might join with us in telling the world the wonderful news of God’s grace.

Her commentariat seems of two minds. Support, and this:

I cannot recall a less informed, thoughtless and entirely bogus analysis of our Church in its present state of crisis and its fatal curve at Vatican II as what I have read here. I am flabbergasted that this tripe could possibly find its way into the NC Register.

Regardless of one’s strong opinions and ideological settlement, I suggest that any writer who offers the whiff of thinking of sister and brother believers as “enemies” should raise the red flag, so to speak. This kind of terminology has probably been going on for way too long. I’m sure it was somewhat in evidence before the internet. But I wonder if it’s in the neighborhood of sex, which Dr Lu lists as a major, if not primary, concern for today.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to From Another Camp

  1. Melody says:

    There is a reason why I am not a regular reader of NCReg. I hadn’t read any of Dr. Lu’s articles until a couple of weeks ago. The one I read was the one against girl altar servers. Seemed like it was all the old chestnuts. Especially the one where boys can’t stand doing anything with girls, that if the girls are there, they will just go away. Because they don’t feel special and needed. And besides, girls are icky. Funny, I raised two boys. Didn’t notice that they had any particular problems with girls. Good thing they got used to them, because both of them have women supervisors at work now.

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