Monday, February 8, 2016

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: "Devout Catholic for Donald Trump!" "I Don't Care What the Tradition Says or Does Not Say"

Meet Patsy, a self-described devout Catholic for Donald Trump! Patsy is also a self-described "frightened person" who supports Mr. Trump because, as she (or is it he?) admits, Mr. Trump plays to Patsy's fears. As Patsy repeatedly explains when she comments at discussion threads of National Catholic Reporter, she loves Mr. Trump because he will "destroy our enemies" (and here).

Patsy is also a self-described "evangelical Catholic," who, as she repeatedly insists, has a "personal relationship" with Jesus Christ. She thinks other Catholics need to have that kind of personal relationship with Jesus Christ if the Catholic church is to be reformed. Somehow, it seems, despite their warm and loving personal relationship, Jesus has failed to tell Patsy that he instructs his followers to forgive and not destroy their enemies, and that he warns those who walk in his path that to take the sword is to die by the sword.

What may explain Patsy's apparent deafness to Jesus's explicit words about "our enemies" and using violence to destroy them is her repeated insistence that she really doesn't care what Catholic tradition or the pope says about issues like abortion or capital punishment. As she puts the point in this comment to jonnybeeski at NCR (I've just provided the link),

I don't care what the tradition says or does not say. Most Catholics don't really care what it says about abortion, or marriage, or capital punishment or helping the poor. Most Catholics don't read papal encyclicals, or bishops' statements. We could care less. But we do care about our personal safety.

Or as she states several days ago at NCR (see the link "destroy our enemies" in the first paragraph),

What is also interesting about the average Catholic Trump supporter is that the normal divisions between Republicans and Democrats no longer hold. I could care less about his position on abortion, same sex marriage or capital punishment. I don't care where he stands on immigration or the environment. I don't care what about his views about social programs or the family. What I do care about is NOT living in fear. 

But, all of a sudden, when National Catholic Reporter chooses to make an out gay couple its persons of the year, Patsy suddenly does care. She suddenly does care very much about tradition and Catholic theology, which is, she now insists, totally set in stone. Cannot change. Cannot be questioned.

To change the institutional church's belief that marriage is between one man and one women based upon the feelings and emotions of the people cited underscores NCR's weak understanding of both Catholic theology and Sacred Tradition. No editor or writer has ever presented a theology to justify such a change. Their writings are always based upon emotions and not reveled faith. 
For the Church to accept these relationships would develop into a schism that we have not seen since the Reformation. Be careful what you wish for. While NCR's emotional claims for affirmation and recognition of intimacy between any two people regardless of gender are loud and clear, the scriptures and Sacred Tradition have always defined that as being between one man and one woman. NCR editors can't change that Tradition despite its appeal to emotions and progressive thinking. To suggest such a change would question NCR's commitment to the apostolic faith as understood by 2000 years of Sacred Tradition. To remain authentically Catholic, any observant Catholic would have to take these positions seriously, which NCR editors apparently do not. The appeal to emotions might win over those whose faith is based upon the traditions of men but won't win over those whose faith is built upon the Sacred Traditions of the Apostolic Fathers.

This is all very interesting, isn't it? When Jesus Christ (with whom Patsy enjoys a personal relationship she wants you to have, too, mind you) tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, to turn the other cheek and stop reaching for the sword, Patsy turns a deaf ear. When the pastoral leaders of the Catholic church talk about abortion or capital punishment or helping the poor, Patsy says, "I could care less." 

She even professes to "care less" about the church's teaching regarding marriage, but let NCR applaud a same-sex couple, and suddenly Sacred Tradition and the Apostolic Fathers and the scriptures and Catholic theology loom very large, indeed. Can't be changed. Based on reveled [sic] faith.

Patsy's an interesting case study, isn't she? How many other Patsys do you think might be out there in the American Catholic church? 

(Hint: a lot.)

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