So I logged into Facebook last night because I couldn't sleep. And what do I find? An extremely long, drawn out explanation from a local Priest. About what? Oh boy.
Apparently, he had posted a quote from Thomas Jefferson on his parish's page,
“…to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical…”
and this quote I agree with. People's reactions, NOT SO MUCH.
The reason that he posted an explanation to his previously posted and then revoked quote (which, in my opinion, he should have just left there and not explained) was because a number of catholic (to use the term so commonly employed on Fr. Z's blog) parishioners put up a fuss about it, automatically calling to mind the Church's "neanderthal thinking" and views on contraception. The comments that ensued were downright frightening. Even on his over the top apology did people bicker and call the Church out. One person pointed out that "95% of us [Catholics] use birth control (emphasis mine)." Like that makes a difference on whether or not it's okay?
(Refreshing Fulton Sheen )
Another: "You use your pulpit to further the political ambitions of the RCC [Roman Catholic Church] which is a most immoral and unethical thing to do." ... WHAT? First off, the Catholic Church with regards to its dispute with the HHS Mandate is not trying to push any sort of political ambitions. It's trying to assure that the government of these USA doesn't force a risk to the salvation of the souls that the Church is shepherding. The Church is not a government, nor is it a political party. It doesn't change its stance with times. It certainly isn't immoral to try to assert what your Church teaches. It's preposterous to accuse a priest (of all people. I mean, come on) of immoral acts on the basis that he is promoting what the Church's doctrine and teaching says. Are you even Catholic? (To be Catholic, in short, means to adhere to and accept the Teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, and to believe in its beliefs. Cafeteria catholics are no longer in communion, you guys.)
"The RCC is a driving force behind what will eventually eliminate organized religion from the face of the earth, and consign it [and?] all other religions to the dustbins of history, where it richly deserves to reside." Can someone please... Just. Wow.
(Papa Francis is not amused)
<| : - ((I wish there was a way to make a Mitre that doesn't look like a dunce cap)
What part of "Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it" don't you understand? This is the SAME Church that Jesus founded. This is the SAME Church that has been in existence for approximately 2000 years. This is the SAME Church that is the Bride of Christ, and is the Refuge of Sinners, and is UNIVERSAL. It's not going anywhere, and for you to say that it deserves to be in the dustbins of history doesn't sound very Catholic (or perhaps, ecumenical) to me. And how in the world is the Catholic Church the driving force behind it's own demise? Kind of rings a bell to the Gospel for today (as well as this past Sunday in the EF)
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?"
(That's all I have to say to that.)
Three people left lovely ratings on the Church's page (one star, "because it won't allow a zero."), and numerous long-winded, angry comments followed Fr.'s post. A number of stabs were taken at Fr. as a person, by people who he asserts hardly know him at all outside of Facebook or a simple exchange. Someone actually commented saying "And yeah, you are a lousy priest." I'm appalled!!!
This should not be happening! If a priest says or does something that you don't agree with (as a faithful Catholic), bring it up to them in charity, as a way to help them, their soul, and the souls of their flock. Trying to disrespect a priest is not the best way to build up the Kingdom, and certainly doesn't do you any good. We should be supporting our priests with prayer, fasting, and counsel. They're on the front lines. Whether they're right or not, we need to care for their eternal salvation, and raking them over the coals in the public square isn't the #1 way to do that. I don't agree with some things that this priest does or thinks, but I wouldn't treat him as many of these parishioners did. If I were his parishioner, I would bring some of these things up to him, perhaps after Mass or even during a scheduled meeting. There's no reason for public cyber uncharitable-ness, especially on your parish's page.
Pray for our priests, and have a good day.