Strange Teaching

Howling WolfSure as anything, a US Democrat goes to Rome and the wolves at the door begin howling. It used to be a quiet neighborhood, but that was so long ago. I did notice a Texas bishop weigh in on the Speaker of the House visiting the Vatican from the twitterverse:

All imagesAs long as Nancy (Pelosi) promotes the slaughter of the unborn she is not a member of the Catholic faith centered in Jesus.

I think this kind of statement is more a matter of wishful thinking. I think people who are dismayed and embarrassed by others in their group would wish they would quit or leave or age out of existence. Or worse. The statement is also exaggeration, most likely a violation of #2478 in the Catechism. The pro-choice effort is devoted to the decriminalization of abortion, not the slaughter of the unborn. Many pro-choice people are disturbed to horrified at the prospect of abortion, but they don’t think it should be illegal. I’m not sure that’s morally defensible, but it seems pragmatic.

The thing is: if Speaker Pelosi is baptized, then she is a Christian. Sin, even grave immoral behavior, does not eject a living person from the faith. Doubtless some lay Catholics, in looking at misbehaving bishops and those who covered up the sins of clergy, might wish–and did–that they were cast into some permanent outer darkness. 2002 was a frank embarrassment for me, being part of an ecumenical group and facing the questions. Abuse certainly happens, but how could Archbishop Law cover it up? And then have his resignation rejected?

The other thing is: we’re all in this together. God has a way of choosing many of our companions in the Church. Bishop Strickland is not the Last Judge. Sorting and sifting through weeds and wheat is someone else’s duty. That task has yet to come to pass, at least for Ms Pelosi, Mr McCarrick, and others who inspire some of us to wring our hands and fret.

I saw a link to a Catholic figure who suggested the Tyler bishop is teaching heresy. I don’t think anybody is paying attention on that level. Political pro-lifers do not see with the eyes of baptism and faith, but with a vantage point in the court of politics. Few others are paying attention: political criticism is part of the culture these days. Just about everything is fair game in a gossip-driven world: where people go to church, on vacation, their families, and so on.

I thought I noticed something on the NCReg a few weeks ago about praying a novena for pro-choice politicians. Maybe that was a good first instinct: pray for people one dislikes and maybe the calm of going to Mass will inspire something. Protests, name-calling, inaccurate teaching on the sacraments? It’s hard to see what good fruit might come of that.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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