Father James Martin—Can you Say anything about R. Catholicism on the web without instant criticism?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I wonder if you can say anything about the Catholic faith without people taking offense. No matter how benign, no comment on the web about Catholicism goes unchallenged. That goes for blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and pretty much everything else. Moreover, the idea of trying to understand a person by reading carefully what they're actually saying, or giving them the benefit of the doubt, is fading quickly from Catholic discourse. No matter what you write, there are Catholics ready to take immediate offense, to explode in righteous anger, to threaten to report you to the proper authorities or, most of all, to correct. The most common responses are these five: 1.) Your soul is in mortal danger. 2.) You’re uneducated and need to be schooled. 3.) I hate the church and so I hate you. 4.) You’re an unthinking tool of the Vatican. 5.) You’re disobedient and must be reported.

Here is a not-so-farfetched exchange, based on some very, very real experiences. Believe me, it would be hard to make this stuff up....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

Posted April 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/42291/

1. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Having picked myself back up off the floor…

Some days I sit and think. Other days I just sit!!

April 13, 6:38 am | [comment link]
2. Dan Crawford wrote:

My wife, a faithful Roman Catholic, offered a Bible Study on Christ in Genesis at her parish. The study was endorsed by the pastor and the parish council. Among the reactions: a person emailed her demanding to know whether the study was faithful to the Church’s liturgy (?). Another wanted to know whether the study was consonant with St. Faustina’s devotion to the Divine Mercy. Still another objected to the format of the study: she believed that my wife should be telling her what to believe about the Bible and especially about evolution. And then, of course, there are the “spies” in every Catholic parish, eager to report to the chancery everything Fr. does which looks or sounds a little strange.

April 13, 9:24 am | [comment link]
3. MatthewM wrote:

Consider the source (AMERICA?), please. Although amusing and perhaps there are deranged people, Catholic and non - Catholic who do this, it is obvious that liberals want to give this as an example of ALL ‘traditional’ and ‘conservative’ Christians especially Catholics. I would say most people can recognize this for what it is - ‘wacko’s gone wild!’.

April 14, 7:33 pm | [comment link]
4. Charles52 wrote:

America is indeed a poor source for saying anything about Catholicism, which statement I suppose proves their point.  grin

Of course, any number of stories such as these could be pulled out of any religious community, but the size the of the Catholic Church, along with the size of the ex-Catholic contingent, make this an easy target. And indeed a true one.  What’s not true is that it’s a characteristic specific to the Catholic community. I grew up Baptist and they don’t just pick, they split. What is unique to the Catholic situation is the tremendous upheaval of the past half-century. If there are raw feelings, it’s perhaps understandable, although, again, not unique to Roman Catholcis.

It is the in nature of believing to really believe, and defend those beliefs.  I was Catholic nearly 20 years before I realized that the liturgical wars that rage around the internet stem from the immense importance that Catholics place on our common worship.  I saw the same sort of intensity among some Anglo-catholics. You just don’t see it as much online because it’s a much smaller community.  But in any case, it stems from real belief, and not just religious opinions.

April 15, 11:21 am | [comment link]

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