a sower went out to sow ...

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 14, 2007

Maledictus XVI, reads the badge brandished by the chap in the photo above. He's punning, of course, on the Latin moniker of Pope Benedictus, telling us he's "Accursed" instead of "Blessed." Pretty much par for the course.

The shtick was part of a demonstration held in Rome last Saturday, ostensibly to promote government recognition of civil unions. Judging from the photos in the news media, however, it was yet another protest against Catholic moral doctrine, displaying the clerical drag as well as the placards ("Better Gay than Opus Dei," "Vatican = Taliban") now as familiar as flags at a Veterans Day parade.

There's some consolation to be drawn from this fashionable anti-popery. It tells us that the folks to whom the moral teaching pertains are still listening. In fact, they're listening very closely indeed, because it can scarcely be argued that the Church in Italy has distinguished herself by getting the message out, and indeed there's no shortage of Vatican clergy whose sympathies will be with the civil union stewards instead of the Church. The Roman demonstrators may well find themselves entirely at home, e.g., with the Vatican's Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff -- indeed, in charitably presuming they are not in fact the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, I am going beyond what I know to be true.

The point is that, in terms of communicating the hard teachings, you don't need to have everyone on board. You don't even need a majority. As long as one Catholic bishop remains to point a finger at the immemorial doctrine of the Church and say, "God taught this," the outraged indignation will sprout as fast as the costume miters.

Look at it this way: anyone determined to ignore Christian sexual morality in the contemporary West would have to search long and hard before he bumped against a real inconvenience to his lifestyle; he's already gained all the civil liberties worth gaining. What drives him to fury, and chasubles, is the existence of persons who still have the temerity to say: you won, but you're wrong.

Anti-Catholicism in general, like anti-popery in particular, is protean, and changes form according to changing fears of what stands to be lost by the intrusion of Church teaching: in fact, it's a kind of projection of social acrimony onto a recognizable human enemy. Bushido Japan was alarmed by Christian rules of combat, Brahmin India by emancipation of the untouchables, and the contemporary élites ... by what contemporary élites consider indispensable and shudder at the thought of forsaking. As Phil Lawler has said, if you meet some stranger on the street-corner, and he says he's got problems with Church teaching, you know he's not telling you he's a monophysite.

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 17, 2007 9:54 PM ET USA

    "Better gay than Opus Dei." Vatican = Taliban And who can ever forget the masterful, "Get your rosaries off my ovaries"? Wow, these people are witty. All I can come up with is, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, loons like these have got to go."

  • Posted by: - Mar. 16, 2007 7:49 PM ET USA

    It's amazing how God brings out evil in people. That the recognition of Supreme Goodness, Supreme Love brings out the most savage evil in people should be a reason right there to prove His existence.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 16, 2007 6:25 AM ET USA

    The banality of evil.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 15, 2007 1:58 PM ET USA

    "..you know he's not telling you he's a monophysite." Not so. A few Copts of my aquaintance are quite proud to claim that name..

  • Posted by: - Mar. 15, 2007 6:38 AM ET USA

    "Better gay than Opus Dei" -- I'm glad they recognize there's a dichotomy, an exclusivity b/n the two.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 14, 2007 6:17 PM ET USA

    wpatc64: it's here already, at least in the UK. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/01/09/do0901.xml It seems that under the provisions of this law, teachers will be allowed to tell students what 'religions' teach about homosexuality, but not to present any of those teachings as true.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 14, 2007 3:10 PM ET USA

    This is precisely what is happening with respect to General Pace. The man is saying no more and no less than what the Vatican has been saying all along about homosexual acts. The hew and cry that has resulted means that the PC crowd is now moving toward thought control. It will before long be illegal to teach that homosexual acts are immoral.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 14, 2007 2:43 PM ET USA

    Note that the presumption of the activists who differ with the Church is that we do not have the right to believe what we believe to be true. We only have the right to believe what they believe to be true. Why? Because, in their hearts, they know that our truth is superior because it comes from God Almighty. The only way they can reconcile their beliefs and their hearts is to force the Church to change its position - by political or other means. Pray for them, they know not what they do.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 14, 2007 10:00 AM ET USA

    Yes, Diogenes, thanks be to God that sinners are still listening to the Church, even if they're not obeying Jesus & His Church... My parishioners & I will keep praying for these misguided same-sex-ambivalent demonstrators... & we will keep praying for the traitors working within the Church, including a few bishops (eg, see Cdl. Mahony's blogs on ordination & on scattering ashes; & photos of him at Mass), who continue to ignore & disobey Jesus & His Church's Teachings. Mary, ora pro nobis.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 14, 2007 9:34 AM ET USA

    There is a totalitarian mentality to the promoters of homosexual behavior including the contrived "rights" due to same-sex attraction. It's not sufficient to be a kindly tolerated fraction of a society where, in non-Islamic nations, persons who tout their homosexuality can go about with more acceptance than most practicing Christians. The clownish loutish public actions of homosexual zealots whether politicians, bishops, lawyers, etc. undercuts their demand for respect let alone approval.