Thursday, December 18, 2014

Is he solid?

There's a certain type of character you'll encounter if you spend enough time working with or for the Catholic Church. This character can be male or female, lay person, priest, religious, or bishop. They put in their 8 hours at the office. They do what's formally expected of them. But you get the impression that this is just a paycheck. They don't like discussing the faith after hours. They're just here to get things done, and they get irritated with "those people" who are al...ways complaining about irreverent liturgy here, or diocesan money supporting a pro-abortion company there. They find orthodoxy tiresome. Sometimes they actively undermine it because it's just too onerous for educated Americans who live a fast paced technological lifestyle, although they always furiously resent having their own orthodoxy questioned.

Religion is first and foremost about providing comfort to the people, then about doing charitable works. God is both our therapist and our cheerleader. They're glad, sometimes secretly, sometimes out loud, that Vatican II did away with all of that barbaric medieval nonsense about unbloody sacrifices, about sin, and hell, and demons, and any pretensions about the Catholic Church alone holding all necessary truths for salvation. That kind of talk would make us a laughing stock today. It's fine if a few reactionary fringes believe it privately, but they can't be allowed to become the public face of the Church.

That kind of character gets under my skin far more than any heretic, pagan, or Godless heathen ever could. They, at least, have the integrity to remain outside a Church whose tenets they don't believe. The Catholic who doesn't believe anymore but still collects a paycheck from the Church puts souls in danger of hell, most of all his or her own.

I've noticed that whenever Catholics meet a new priest, they always ask each other, "Is he solid?" What they mean is, is he orthodox and does he celebrate a reverent Mass? And I be over here like, "Shouldn't they all be like that? Shouldn't that be the bare minimum instead of a pleasant surprise?"

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