Action Alert!

the personal equation

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 20, 2004

Commenter Marie at Mark Shea's blog has an interesting post prompted by Prof James Hitchcock's deadly accurate article Conservative Bishops, Liberal Results.

As Hitchcock writes:

When they (bishops) acknowledge the obvious evidence that Catholics reject official teachings on a large scale, bishops usually point to the secular culture as the cause (for the decline of religious vocations, for example). And rarely do they seem to recognize that official Church organs -- the schools, the Catholic press, officially sponsored conferences, even the pulpit -- have themselves been the most effective channels for disseminating dissent. Since the Council, Catholics have, in a sense, been reprogrammed into a new kind of faith, and against this new program formal reiterations of official teachings make little headway.

In my experience in Catholic schools and parishes as a kid in the 60's and early 70's, the parish and diocesan staff were way out ahead of us kids and our middle class families in terms of embracing the culture of moral chaos. The nuns and the priests were the least orthodox real people we knew in our parochial world. We watched TV and went to movies, but the only real people we knew who told us not to get bogged down with rules and taught us that God was like a warm puppy were at the parish. It was at the parish school where we saw the Eucharist tossed around like candy at groovy masses in the schoolyard. Our parents were horrified but not equipped to challenge the wisdom of father and the good sisters who had much finer educations and the latest training from the diocese. We were taught next to nothing about our faith except that Jesus was a real nice guy. Two of the five priests I remember from my childhood parish have been revealed as sexual abusers of minors. Both were shuffled around after multiple allegations. I guess it was the fault of the families in that parish.

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