Thursday, April 5, 2012

Being Catholic: Within Reason

I think Fulton Sheen was right. Very few folks actually hate the Catholic Church. They hate what they "wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church." I've posted about that recently:
I think many Americans - Catholic and otherwise - have a mental image of the Catholic Church that's built out of everything from old Thomas Nast cartoons to Tony Alamo, and Chick Publications. That picture isn't, putting it mildly, accurate.

Religious Freedom and the Cardinal

"Cardinal Dolan says HHS mandate fight 'tough' but winnable"
CNA (Catholic News Agency) (March 30, 2012 )

"Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York says that although opponents of the federal contraception mandate face a difficult struggle, religious groups can achieve victory through persistence.

" 'We have to be very vigorous in insisting that this is not about contraception. It's about religious freedom,' said the cardinal, who is president of the U.S. bishops' conference.

"He said the debate is a 'tough battle' because proponents of the coverage mandate have chosen an issue they know the Catholic Church is 'not very popular on.'..."
"Not very popular" isn't the same as "wrong." I think part of the reason that so many Americans think the Catholic Church is icky is that our bishops are presented as killjoys.

In a way, it's true. The Catholic Church won't tell folks that we can do anything we want, and not experience any consequences.

Rules, Fun, and Killing the Innocent

As a practicing Catholic, I'm simply not allowed to kill someone who gets in the way of my fun. Even if the person is small and helpless.

This counter-cultural position comes from the notion that human beings are people, and that innocent people shouldn't be killed. I've been over this before. Often. The Catholic Church says:

My Faith: Within Reason

Believing that it's wrong to kill innocent people is not the same as believing that it's wrong to heal the sick and study God's creation. I've been over this before, too. Quite a bit:
  • Concern for health is a good idea
    (Catechism, 2288-2291)
    • Within reason
      (Catechism, 2289)
  • Scientific medical research is a good idea
    (Catechism, 2292-2296) (from March 16, 2012)
I'm a practicing Catholic: which means that I'm expected to be reasonable. And that's yet another topic.

More posts about forcing Catholics to violate our conscience:
The Department of Health and Human Services vs. Conscience

Related posts:


tammy said...


I enjoyed your post. You spoke volumes when you mentioned what Fulton Sheen said: Very few folks actually hate the Catholic Church. They hate what they "wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church."

I run into so many people who despise the Catholic Church, but when pushed to give a reason, they generally offer up some Catholic "belief" that just does not exist in our religion.

I appreciate all the work you have put into your writings. Many times they are loftier than my religious intellect can handle, but I pick the "easy readers" and enjoy them immensely.

Thanks Brian!

Brian Gill said...


Thank you! I've had the same experience with 'what folks know, that just ain't so.'

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.