Perplexed People Judging the Church

Earlier, I started a thread that includes a New York Times article about the Church. I was looking at some of the comments, and this one sorta summed up a basic attitude floating around out there, an attitude that sees the Church as being inconsistent somehow, and of extending more mercy to murderers than to gay people.

Here's the comment in question, with my responses below to explain to people reading over our shoulders 1) what this woman gets wrong to begin with, and 2) how there's no inconsistency involved. I've formatted it for legibility's sake:

Comment on a NYT article Wrote:patricia
October 18, 2015

Who can't receive communion:

Divorced and/or remarried
Living together without being married
Women who have considered or had an abortion
Anyone who supports those women

Who are not barred from receiving communion:

Priests who sexually abused children

But the Pope, trying to bring a little perspective to this, is "plotting" to change Catholicism.

Really? Can't you find something else to be indignant about?

Whew. Where to begin? I guess the lyrics attributed to Maria von Trapp will work: "let's start at the very beginning... a very fine place to start..." So here goes:

Who can't receive Communion, according to this commenter:

Divorced and/or remarried   She is simply wrong from the get-go. The divorced can receive Communion just fine. The divorced AND remarried cannot unless they have an annulment.

Gay She is, once again, simply wrong from the get-go. Homosexuals receive Communion all the time and are in no way barred from it. Being homosexual is, quite simply, not, not, NOT a sin. There is nothing to confess about being homosexual in itself. Acting sexually on homosexual desires is where the sin comes in.  Just as it is sinful for heterosexual people to use their organs of generation for purposes other than what they're intended, so, too, is it for homosexuals.

Living together without being married Once again, she is simply wrong from the get-go. Living together without being married is not a sin in itself (though there could be sins attached to the circumstance, such as scandal, putting oneself in a near occasion of sin, etc.). Fornicating is what is sinful. Sex outside of marriage is sinful, for straight people, homosexual people, bisexual people, asexual people, and everyone else.

Women who have considered or had an abortion Abortion is murder. People who commit murder and repent of it can receive Communion. Having the thought of having abortion isn't murder.

Anyone who supports those women Encouraging someone to commit murder is participating in that murder. Obviously encouraging murder, being an accessory to murder, is sinful.  But "supporting" someone who's committed murder is a rather vague phrase. "Supporting" them how? By feeding them? Spiritually advising them? Praying for them? Giving them a place to sleep? Supporting them by trying to talk them out of murdering? Loaning them a book they want to read? None of those are sinful.

Who are not barred from receiving communion, according to that commenter:

Murderers Unrepentant murderers are barred from receiving Communion. Someone who's committed a murder in the past and has repented can receive Communion.

Thieves Unrepentant thieves are barred from receiving Communion. Someone who's committed a theft in the past and has repented can receive Communion.

Liars Unrepentant liars are barred from receiving Communion. Someone who's lied in the past and has repented can receive Communion.

Priests who sexually abused children Niiiiiice of her to throw in a bit about priests abusing "children" (when what she really means is teenaged boys, making the vast majority of the guilty priests gay, members of a group she says can't receive Communion. Anyway...). Unrepentant sexual abusers -- whether priest, rabbi, imam, public school teacher, cop, tinker, baker, candlestick maker, or Indian chief -- are barred from receiving Communion. Someone who's sexually abused in the past and has repented can receive Communion.

The whole idea of repentance seems to have escaped this person. Goes right over her head. And behind all that, her mangling of what the Church considers to a bar to receiving Communion is wrong much of the time. She's seeing divorce as always being sinful, and doesn't get the difference between being divorced, and being divorced AND remarried. She doesn't get the difference between having committed a sin in the past and repenting of it (say in the case of a repentant murderer), and sinning in the present -- such as trying to receive Communion as a person who is "remarried" after a Sacramental marriage, or as a person who is "remarried" after a putative marriage that hasn't been annulled -- and being impenitent.

It's this sort of ignorance we're up against. It's kind of astonishing, really. And I bet this person isn't even Catholic, but feels compelled anyway to rant on against things she knows nothing about. What sucks is that this sort of ignorance is so common -- and lends itself to cutesie little sound bytes the Bill Maher types can make their snide little jokes about. I can hear a Maher type right now: "Dahmer could've gotten that precious wafer the Church uses as a big holy carrot, right? But the young kid who's trying to be cool with his girlfriend and drives her to an abortion clinic can't. I mean, what's UP with that? And why is everyone getting bent out of shape about that damned holy Triscuit anyway? Just get yourself a bag of Oreos and eat the whole thing yourself on Sunday mornings. Tastes better. You don't even have to get outta yer jammies. And you don't have celibate old white men in dresses giving you the stink-eye. Amiright?" And the audience laffs. The video of it gets spread on Facebook. And Bob's yer uncle burning in Hell.


Especially nowadays with the flood of information (true, false, good, bad) there is so much misunderstanding and confusion it just feels like an overwhelming and impossible task to correct it all, even if the Church were operating at peak efficiency. It can almost lead to resignation and despair.  And yet miraculously, there are still people who do find the truth despite it all.  Ultimately, we just have to pray and trust that when people really do desire and ask for the truth, God will lead them to it, and we need to be ready to be His instrument of conveying that truth if and when He wills it.
Misinformation about the Church has been around forever. I'm reminded of the famous quote from Absp. Fulton J. Sheen
[Image: 8259b50ed0edf10bac7afc9589672c5c.jpg]

The issue we face today is the Internet, where people can receive information from just about anybody. People spread information at faster rates than ever before. One comment on a chat box can alter the way someone thinks or spread further misinformation about the Church.
The New York Times, LOL. Check out another commentary (from the reader's picks):

Quote:When Pope Paul VI signed "Humane Vitae" in 1968 there is no doubt that he was exercising power to change Church doctrine. The same is true of other, many other acts of Popes.

What?? What doctrine was changed?? I hope he doesn't mean that contraception is a sin (which was solemnly taught by Pius XI, cf. Casti Connubii 56).

Then he goes on to say Douthat is simply lamenting that women, homosexuals, etc., will be accepted by the Church and says articles like of this “severely conservative Roman Catholic” reminds him why he left the Church.

Another person says Douthat should be thrilled for people still wanting to receive communion (totally ignoring this is mostly a fabricated problem: at the end of the day most remarried people only go to Church for baptisms, weddings and funerals), and that he even doesn't see the point, after all, receiving communion does't get you that spiritual titillation, as he claims he has found somewhere else.

Another person (Cathy) says she has been a Catholic for half a century and calls JPII and BXVI relics, and no wonder the Church has lost Europe, after all, the Church doesn't welcome sinners!!
At least the two fellas I mentioned above had the honesty to leave the Church. This old woman somehow still pretends to be a Catholic.

And believe me, I didn't have to read much to bump into these (and even worse) commentaries. My point is, the NYT is the sewer of journals.

At the end of the day, people are in a diabolical disorientation, as they say. Faith is a gift, and they will never become Catholics without receiving it. I like how Huysmans writes of one of his characters, how he ws an unbeliever for years, even dabbling in Satanism, suddenly awakes to find himself Catholic,

Quote:(...) I have heard of sudden and violent crises of the soul, of a thunderbolt, or even of faith exploding at last in ground slowly and cleverly mined. It is quite evident that conversions may happen in one or other of these two ways, for God acts as may seem good to Him, but there must be also a third means, and this no doubt the most usual, which the Saviour has used in my case. And I know not in what this consists; it is something analogous to digestion in a stomach, which works though we do not feel it. There has been no road to Damascus, no events to bring about a crisis; nothing has happened, we awake some fine morning, and, without knowing how or why, the thing is done.

And, as he says, in these cases the Virgin acts upon us, it is she who moulds and places us in the hands of her Son, but her fingers are so light, so supple, so caressing, that the soul they have handled has felt nothing.

I myself was an atheist once, and I used to complain about the Church, which was so mean and deceiving. But I can't really recall a moment when all my ignorance was dispelled—the only thing I remember was, at one point, suspecting all the accusations against the Church were exaggerations, but only with the light of faith can one really see the Church.
So, this is just to reinforce SS's point. Yet, miraculously people receive Faith. So, I hope anyone despair. Our Lord indeed said ”The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” We are a minority now, but this should only make us work and pray harder, knowing full well a conversion (any conversion, even of the natural just growing into adulthood of a baptized person with a full anima christiana naturaliter) is always a divine act.

(This post turned out to be longer than I expected LOL).
What "patricia" lists are the pet issues of the left/modernism. Go figure.

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