Monday, December 22, 2014
The Motto of Liberal Catholics: "Let's Get Those Green Beans Off the Buffet!"
One of the readers of my latest post (It's Not the Abuse Crisis - It's the Neglect Crisis) somehow got it into his head that I was making the claim that only the liberals are to blame for the Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Church - which would be a pretty insane position for me to take. Perhaps he hasn't read my criticisms of all of the so-called "conservative" bishops who have enabled abuse, such as Finn, Carlson, Niendstedt, Livieres, etc.
In fact, as everyone knows (but this lone reader), the Abuse crisis cuts across the Big Divide. If liberals could point to hung-up conservatives as abuse enablers, they would, except that conservatives can point to loosey-goosey liberals as abuse enablers. The problem continues to be so wide-spread that every single type of bishop is guilty - and while some of the worst are from the right, some of the worst are also from the left.
But this shows how strange our thinking is.
Conservatives in the Church are a weird bunch, rebelling against the Church on Torture and Lying and Economic issues; but liberals in the Church are even stranger, for not only do the liberals rebel on any issue that has to do with our "naughty bits", the liberals go one step further and make the appallingly stupid mistake of thinking that Church teaching is up for grabs, and that it can be changed, despite 2,000 years of history to the contrary. Not only can it be changed, it will be changed! Just wait long enough and the bishops will endorse "gay marriage", contraception, abortion and pornography - all things most bishops even now wink at and ignore ... but someday these will be positive goods that the bishops will not only tolerate and enable - the bishops will proudly endorse every last one of them! What a strange fantasy to have.
There are days when I wish I was taller than 5' 10". But I don't demand that the yardstick be changed and that feet and inches be redefined to make me 6' 3". In other words, I can understand not liking the measure the Church proposes by which we are to measure ourselves in relation to Christ. I can understand ignoring that measure, discrediting it, making fun of it. What I can't understand is how changing that measure will somehow change us. My height will not change regardless of any tricks I play with the ruler. But liberals are in awe of their ability to alter reality by changing the standards by which we measure reality.
Or try another metaphor. Picture a liberal Catholic approaching the Catholic Cafeteria. Almost all Catholics, liberal or conservative, are cafeteria Catholics, picking and choosing what they want from the buffet and ignoring the rest. But the lefties go one step further, "I'm putting mashed potatoes on my plate, but no green beans! And someday these green beans will be gone! They won't even be on the buffet! I won't even have to look at them any more! And nobody will be able to take them! Once we get the right kind of night manager in this Golden Corral, all of the food that we don't like and refuse to sample will be off the menu for good!"
The fact is, the Church of Christ is not about liberal vs. conservative, right vs. left. It's about Catholics who are integrated with the Church and her teachings, as opposed to Catholics who are disintegrated from the Church and her teachings and who are therefore themselves disintegrating.
Our integrity as Catholics stems from our degree of integration into the Body of Christ - and the proper word for that integration is Communion.
The Church offers on her buffet the foods that sustain us, and green beans don't cease to exist, even if they're off the buffet. And the Church offers us a standard by which to measure our integration with Christ - and our integration won't change if we simply mess around with that standard.