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The Catholic Position [why the Church is blamed for everything]
LewRockwell.com ^ | April 20, 2002 | Joseph Sobran

Posted on 04/20/2002 5:56:22 AM PDT by heyheyhey

The Catholic Position

by Joseph Sobran

A few weeks ago I tried, in my feeble way, to express why I fell in love with the Catholic Church. I received many gracious and grateful responses from others who felt the same way, some of them converts like me.

Inevitably, there were also a few jeers, directed not so much against me as against the Church. Some dredged up old scandals of wicked popes, or supposedly shocking utterances of Catholic saints, or mere clichés of traditional anti-Catholic polemics. Most of these were meant to embarrass, not to persuade; the usual ahistorical nuggets.

What is startling is the perpetual passion of anti-Catholicism. You’d think that by now people who reject Catholicism would calmly ignore its teachings as old and irrelevant superstitions. After all, the Church has none of her old political power, adherence is now totally voluntary, and she has enough trouble getting her own children to listen to her.

But Catholicism still has a strange moral authority, and many people are unable to achieve a calm and assured disbelief. They are still driven to discredit the Church - perhaps for the same reason so many of us believe in her.

Catholicism offers a complete and comprehensive morality, one which most of us still recognize as the faith of our fathers. Bit by bit, the world, including other churches, has abandoned much of this morality; the Church continues to teach it, even when some of her own priests scandalously violate it.

A few generations ago, nearly all Christians shared the same sexual morality. They abhorred artificial birth control, for example. Many state laws banning the sale of contraceptive devices in this country were passed by Protestant majorities while Catholics were politically weak.

Gradually, however, Protestants ceased to oppose contraception, and Catholicism almost alone continued to condemn it. What had long been a consensus became censured as a "Catholic position." We now see the same process well under way with abortion and homosexuality.

If cannibalism ever becomes popular, and the rest of the world, led by its progressive-minded intellectuals, decides that anthropophagy is a basic constitutional right, opposing cannibalism will become a "Catholic position" too. Catholics will once more be accused of wanting to "impose" their "views" on everyone else (even when they are far too weak to do so), and the reformers will cry, "Let’s keep government out of the kitchen!"

I don’t defend the Church’s morality because I am a Catholic. I became and remain a Catholic because the Church maintains a consistent morality - while the rest of the world keeps veering off into moral fads. My conviction that she is right is only strengthened by the world’s strident demand that she change along with it, as if it were a sort of moral duty to change one’s principles, like underwear, with reasonable frequency.

"The world" includes many nominal Catholics who side with the secular world against their own Church. These are the Catholics you are most likely to see in the major media. They deny the Church’s authority to keep teaching what she has always taught, yet they can’t rest until she approves their pet vices - contraception, sodomy, same-sex marriage, and all the rest.

Notice that the proposed reforms usually have to do with sex. When the Church refuses to change, she is accused of being "obsessed" with sex, when it’s really her critics who are obsessed with it. Catholic morality recognizes seven deadly sins, of which lust is only one; but this happens to be the one the modern world can’t stop thinking about. Nobody demands that the Church "change its outdated teachings against sloth."

At any rate, the Church can’t change. She can no more change her teaching about lust than her equally emphatic teachings about pride, gluttony, and sloth, because God has made the world as it is and no human will can repeal its moral order. These aren’t the Pope’s personal opinions; they are objective truths.

Powerless, hardly able to keep her own flock in line, and betrayed by many of her shepherds, the Church is still treated as a threat. All she really threatens is the false comfort of the dormant conscience; but this is enough to make bitter enemies.

After all, her Founder warned her not to expect gratitude from men for trying to save their souls. She is the mother of Western civilization, and to this day, all too often, she is blamed for everything and thanked for nothing.


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: catholiclist
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To: heyheyhey
A few weeks ago I tried, in my feeble way, to express why I fell in love with the Catholic Church

First, fall in love with Christ.

41 posted on 04/20/2002 9:58:08 AM PDT by Neenah
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To: JZoback
Moral authority is based on being moral

You'd better hope not, because if so, there's no moral authority in this world.

I'm not attacking you, but upon reconsideration I hope you'll see what a diabolical lie this is: the notion that since man is irredeemably depraved, he might as well give up. This spiritual despair is what's meant by the "slavery of sin."

42 posted on 04/20/2002 10:04:34 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: Neenah
First, fall in love with Christ.

Did you ever read this,

[Saul] fell to the ground and at the same time heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, sir?" he asked. The voice answered, "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting."
Acts 22:7-8

Do you believe in the seperation of Christ and His Church?

43 posted on 04/20/2002 10:06:08 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: Fzob
The number of 30 to 50 percent is a number that was stated by a RC priest that wrote an opinion piece in the wake of the troubles in Boston.

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (of First Things) writes that he has heard estimates of from 2% to 40%; he himself estimates 10%. He also wrote, though, that there has never been a reliable study of the question (i.e., anyone can take his own number and plug it in). I would assume the figure varies widely by diocese since the various dioceses are uneven (to put it mildly) in their enforcement of the official ban on homosexuals in the priesthood.

44 posted on 04/20/2002 10:12:02 AM PDT by maryz
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To: heyheyhey
I am looking forward, with a great hope, to the outcome of the media-orgy. I think it will be, in the end, v. good for the Church :-)

I agree. Shedding light into darkness is always a good thing. My whole point with this article is that any institution that has allowed, by covering it up, this type of activity has little moral authority in my view. The article tries to make the case that the church still has a moral authority in light of this scandal. I disagree. (I have never thought any church has any moral authority, but that's another story)

In fact this lapse in leadership will have huge repercussions in the RC church as once faith in the church is shaken it is not easily recovered.

45 posted on 04/20/2002 10:25:57 AM PDT by Fzob
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This thread has been moved from the NEWS/CULTURE section into the RELIGION section.

How and why did this happen? Does anyone know?

46 posted on 04/20/2002 10:31:05 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: Cullowhee
So you have been in a system of idolatry for a long time...praying for Mary to intercede...ask any Orthodox Rabbi and he will tell you that it is idolatry...

I'm not Catholic so I have never prayed to Mary to do anything in my life. As for asking a Othodox Rabbi if it's idolatry, I don't need to. The work of God is very clear on this issue. BTW, I am a Jew turned Christian that discovered the Messiah has risen.

47 posted on 04/20/2002 10:31:39 AM PDT by Fzob
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To: Fzob
work=word

duh

48 posted on 04/20/2002 10:34:04 AM PDT by Fzob
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This thread has been moved into the RELIGION section.

How and why did this happen? Does anyone know?

49 posted on 04/20/2002 10:39:10 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: pollwatcher; 3catsanadog; mdittmar; verboten; braDíS GRAMMA; IM2PHAT4U; LARRYLIED; CAGEY...
What is startling is the perpetual passion of anti-Catholicism. You’d think that by now people who reject Catholicism would calmly ignore its teachings as old and irrelevant superstitions. After all, the Church has none of her old political power, adherence is now totally voluntary, and she has enough trouble getting her own children to listen to her.

But Catholicism still has a strange moral authority, and many people are unable to achieve a calm and assured disbelief. They are still driven to discredit the Church - perhaps for the same reason so many of us believe in her.

A gem from Joe Sobran.

50 posted on 04/20/2002 10:40:08 AM PDT by Diago
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To: Zipporah
Oh for crying out loud.. can't you see that by pointing the finger at other religions that you are just watering down the church you are attempting to defend?

Sit up a little higher so the point doesn't sail so far over your head. Documented cases of clergy abuse are greater in Protestant denominations than in the Catholic Church, yet the media doesn't devote segments on Nightline or Dateline or 20/20 to that fact and we all know why. How many members of the mainstream media have reported that these cases are predominantly homosexual in nature? Almost exclusively they say pedophilia not homosexual. Why didn't Dateline run their report on Thursday night just prior to airing Will and Grace instead of before Law and Order? Diane Sawyer this past week did a lengthy story on Rosie O'Donnell's perverted homosexual lifestyle. Did she raise the issue of homosexual abuse?

If you had been paying attention you'd know that I am not watering down the Church I am defending; I've repeatedly called for Law, as well as others, to be indicted, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced. Perversion is rampant in the world and perverts seek out occupations and opportunities where they will be able to prey on victims. Every Church needs to clean up it's act, not just mine.

51 posted on 04/20/2002 10:40:42 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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This thread has been moved into the RELIGION section.

How and why did this happen? Is it because Sobran makes sense?

52 posted on 04/20/2002 10:45:08 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey
This thread has been moved into the RELIGION section.

How and why did this happen? Does anyone know?

My understanding is that articles blaming and attacking the Catholic Church belong in the much read news section. Articles defending the Catholic Church belong in the little read Religion section. I hope this helps.

53 posted on 04/20/2002 10:45:48 AM PDT by Diago
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To: Romulus
Moral authority is based on being moral

You'd better hope not, because if so, there's no moral authority in this world.

Of course you are correct.

Let me restate

If you are going to claim being moral authority, you better at least act like you are, or you are a hypocrite

What moral authority does the Catholic Church claim it is principled from?

54 posted on 04/20/2002 10:47:55 AM PDT by JZoback
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To: Diago
articles blaming and attacking the Catholic Church belong in the much read news section. Articles defending the Catholic Church belong in the little read Religion section.
Thank you sir. Your explanation makes sense.
55 posted on 04/20/2002 10:49:33 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey; dr. brian kopp;
Of course, articles like Guy Cars and Chick Cars: Do They Really Exist? also belong in the main news section. Perhaps we can somehow tie in a defense of the Church with a discussion of why chicks like some types of cheese while dudes prefer other brands of cheese.

I would also note that there are about 10,000 articles in the main news section defending the Jewish Faith.

56 posted on 04/20/2002 11:02:43 AM PDT by Diago
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To: JZoback
What moral authority does the Catholic Church claim it is principled from?

You freepmailed me back that the better phrasing is

'What moral authority does the Catholic Church claim its principles from?'

A partial answer: in St John 17:18, St Luke 22:29-30.
57 posted on 04/20/2002 11:23:02 AM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: Diago; heyheyhey
You just don't understand; we were moved to the Religion ghetto because more room was needed in News/Activism for the vital Saturday Car Talk threads: "Guy Cars vs Girl Cars"; and "Conservative cars vs. Liberal Cars".
58 posted on 04/20/2002 11:28:33 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: Mike Fieschko
'What moral authority does the Catholic Church claim its principles from?'

St John 17:18, St Luke 22:29-30.

I don't think the Catholic Church would agree.

59 posted on 04/20/2002 11:37:07 AM PDT by JZoback
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To: JZoback
'What moral authority does the Catholic Church claim its principles from?'

St John 17:18, St Luke 22:29-30

I don't think the Catholic Church would agree.

The first is from the Lord's prayer to the Father, where He refers to the apostles: 'I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world' (verse 6). Verse 18 is 'As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them [the apostles] into the world.' The apostles have the Lord's authority.

The second is when the Lord says 'And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel'. This is, of course, at the Last Supper.

Would you elaborate on why the Catholic Church would not agree?

(Using the KJV here. I could post other translations, if you want.)
60 posted on 04/20/2002 11:57:40 AM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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