Fear and Loathing in Seattle
I have a bunch of thoughts in my head, and none are too coherent. Hopefully once I’ve had more coffee, they’ll condense into some sort of unified whole.
So last night I was watching the documentary, “Deliver us from Evil.” Now when it’s merely reporting on the facts and interviewing O’Grady, it’s superb. When it starts hypothesizing as to why the sex abuse scandals happened, it starts to fail. When the documentary descends into Moore-like tactics to get two of O’Grady’s victims to deliver a letter to the Vatican, it outright fails. Seriously, what did Doyle and the filmmakers expect to happen? If you’re interested, it’s up on fancast, but it’s graphic in parts.
Then last week, this came to light about the Catholic Church’s cooperation with the Mormons to pass Proposition 8.
It would seem like the proper response to all of this in some circles is self-loathing. I hate what some people do in the Church’s name. I hate how a vocal minority is making things worse for everyone. I also hate how a TV station puts forth its opinions on Catholic teaching as gospel. I hate how the bishops in my country failed us on multiple occasions, not the least of which last week. But I can’t bring myself to hate the Church, as would seem to be expected of me in some circles. But if I don’t express the proper self-loathing, then I’m lumped in with those who would attend Sarah Palin rallies.
I guess I’m tired of people assuming I’m part of a monolith. Catholics have always been about unity in diversity, and that’s still true, no matter what a vocal minority says. I’m willing to bet if I poll the people who read my blog regularly, there would be as diverse a collection of opinions here as anywhere else in the US. I’m also tired of people mistaking Roman law for anglo-saxon law. Being Catholic has never been about absolutism, but navigating a living tradition.
I wonder if it’s a good thing that we can hear instant opinions from anyone about any subject matter. For instance, were my bishop to post that he likes Code Red Mountain Dew, we could hear about it instantly. He could even come on record saying he thinks all Catholics should drink Code Red Mountain Dew. But would it make it Church teaching? Nope, yet some are willing to elevate everything a bishop, cardinal, or Pope says as having the same moral weight. It’s nice to know that the other side of this mess picks and chooses as much (if not more) as I do.