And for a crisp snapshot of precisely where that thriving "we're number one!" right-wing Catholic church (about which I just blogged) is trending these days in American Catholicism, have a gander at the discussion thread following this good posting by Michael O'Loughlin at America's "In All Things" blog. O'Loughlin asks readers whether Oxford professor Diarmuid MacCulloch is onto something when he suggests that there may be a major schism in the Catholic church in the not-distant future.
Where except in an in-house discussion of this issue at a Catholic blog site--sponsored by a top-itier Catholic journal known for its generally liberal, educated, and informed analysis--would you meet declarations like these, in response to a question about whether the Catholic church is going to split:
"MacCulloch is a homosexual activist . . . ."
"Loyalty to the Vicar of Christ separates the men from the boys. No getting around it fellas, however hard you try ;)"
"Did you know that one of the most fundamental premises of our faith is the [sic] everyone who is in a state of mortal sin is an agent of the enemy? From this vantage point it is logically impossible to argue that active homosexuality would not deform one's views in relationship to the faith."
"I leave you with a question you may decide not to answer. Is it homophobic to believe that anal sex is bad, medically and morally, for heterosexuals and homosexuals?"
There's where the best and brightest among American Catholics have chosen to go under the last two "reform of the reform" papacies: homosexual activists, anal sex, homosexuals as agents of the enemy, and separating the men from the boys.
These are the kinds of things now occupying the minds and hearts of the best and brightest among us American Catholics, A.D. 2012, as one informed observer after another wonders if the Catholic church is about to split into two in the developed sector of the world.
It's now 8:08 A.M. CST as I re-read this thread. Do a search through the thread for the term "homosexual" or variants of the term, and the search returns 30 hits.
Do a search for the word "love," and you get two hits.*
Love abounding? The very center of the Christian life, the one thing that binds us together despite all other differences--since where love prevails, there God is found--dominating our discussions? In necessariis unitas, in dubiis, in omnibus caritas?
Surely doesn't seem that way to me, as one of those enemy homosexual agents. Love's hardly anywhere to be found on the radar screen.
What we're fixated on, instead, is assuring that the men get separated from the boys, that real men remain real men, on anal sex, and on homosexual activists and homosexual enemies.
We're fixated on all of this in nomine Christi, it goes without saying.
If this is the thriving church that's standing as a bastion for those good old-fashioned Christian values Ross Douthat defends, I want none of it. Nor, I suspect, do many others in a world in which the challenge to deal with human need and pain and suffering is so pronounced.
*Your search feature will show three hits, but one of these is a surname outside the thread itself.