The Coddling Of The Catholic Mind

Cerebral lobes.pngI ran across this piece when it came out a few years back. I recognized similar patterns in my university parish. It was less driven by liberal ideology and more by a certain Catholic circle-the-wagons protectionism. A guest speaker made a passing reference to the  Enneagram, and that merited a stern talking-to. Someone accused me once of being a buzzkill for potential seminarians. They didn’t elaborate. But some people also saw the importance of keeping potential priests far from female clutches.

The accusations of papal heresy brought this all to mind. I re-read the article and it seemed I could click a number of these headings and put them under the anti-Francis movement.

  • Emotional reasoning: I feel it, therefore it must be true.
  • Seeing potential danger in ordinary situations (like papal addresses to a particular person, group, or topic) and preaching avoidance (thereby perpetuating the fear) rather than engagement–which is how a traumatized person overcomes fear.
  • Magnification–exaggerating the importance of certain things (like whose feet get washed) and missing others (like evangelizing the lost).
  • Disinvitation–conservative Catholics have had the measure of that for a few decades now.

Rephrasing a quote that seems to apply to some Catholics:

The presumption that Catholics need to be protected rather than challenged is at once infantilizing and anti-intellectual.

Even smart people can be taken in by the crazy. And it’s a super curious thing that these traditionalists have adopted behaviors and practices that others have pinned squarely on the ultra-liberals of academia.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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