So a comment made over at Sr. Susan’s blog got me thinking about divisions. The poster made mention of the racism and hostility at one parish, and it certainly echoed my experiences. While my family does have a lot of Irish in it, the Catholics are mostly Italian, and, yeah, they do hold a lot of ugly stereotypes about Irish-Americans now. Now, my Italian family came over before WWII, so these are long-held ideas about other people. And you should hear what they think about the Polish. (In Chicago, they’re a substantial group.)
Now, granted, my family isn’t going to be winning any awards for progressive thinking, but I have to wonder if the recent troubles in the RCC are due to old fractures that just aren’t getting dealt with.
For instance, if you have the Italians that don’t like the Irish, the Irish not liking the Italians, and both not liking the Polish, then that’s a sign of a bigger problem. Now? You’ve got Republicans not liking Democrats, pro-life against pro-choice, and God knows what other divisions are happening.
A friend of mine was active in the Catholic Worker movement, and she mentioned that such divisions happened in her day, but that at the end of it, everyone saw each other as Catholic and part of the same Church. Somewhere between then and now we’ve lost that. Real question is: how do we get it back?