Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh. Puh. Leeze.

The Catholic Church's man in Phoenix -- having eluded the city's rampant drug-cartel shanghaiing specialists -- is keeping a laserlike focus on the things that matter in life.

Like ripping Notre Dame's president a new one for giving America's president an honorary degree.

And it seems the cardinal sin here isn't that the Rev. John Jenkins is making nice with one of the more enthusiastic boosters of Abortion Nation. It seems that the cardinal sin here is this:

"It is a public act of disobedience to the Bishops of the United States."
WELL . . . we can't have that now, can we?

Don't get me wrong. What Notre Dame is doing . . . not a good idea. It does muddy the Catholic Church's clear teaching about the value of every human life and the unequivocal need to protect and honor every single one of them.

And it calls into question whether we're serious about what we say we believe. Like, maybe we just like to talk nice about what we -- wink -- "believe."

On the other hand, life is full of "teachable moments," and it seems to me the Catholic Church in this country could care less about carpe-ing the diem. That's Latin, your excellencies -- a dead language you ought to know a little about.

I'd like to see the American church attuned to making the most of all kinds of "teachable moments," particularly when they involve the President of the United States. Then again, I'd like to have a bazillion dollars and a ginormous checkbook, too.

One's about as likely as the other.

THAT'S BECAUSE if the Catholic Church can't even convince a single, solitary Kennedy to act -- and cast congressional votes -- like a Catholic, I don't know what it could do with poor old Barack Obama, over whom it has no authority.

I dunno, perhaps Father Jenkins unwittingly is providing a teachable moment to the American bishops. And that moment says "You're a joke. You are turning Christ's church in America into a joke. You are unserious, and the church you lead is becoming unserious as well."

For 14 years, I had a pretty good chance to closely observe Catholic teen-agers, of both the public-school and parochial-school stripes. For almost 20 years, I've been a part of suburban Catholic parish life.

And I wasted several professional years being overworked and underpaid in Catholic media. That experience nearly destroyed my faith, but that's not important now.

What's important is that I've been able to directly observe just how fat, self-satisfied, lazy and corrupt is the Catholic Church in this country. What's important is that I've learned it's no mere glib exaggeration when people say one of the best places to lose your Catholic faith is in a Catholic school.

What's important is the realization that if the Catholic bishops were at all worried about teaching -- especially Catholics . . . especially the young -- the gospel of Jesus Christ might have a fighting chance in this culture.

As it stands now, not so much.

FRANKLY, your excellencies, if you have nothing so say apart from whining about how you've been disrespected, kindly shut the hell up. I would have a lot more respect for you if you had the faith of a deranged street person standing at 72nd and Dodge with a sandwich board reading "REPENT! THE END IS NEAR!"

Back in the day, the crazy street preacher would have been John the Baptist. Perhaps you've heard of him.

Come to think of it, one way or another, all our ends are near. Perhaps even that of the church in America . . . just like all those vanished churches the apostle Paul once wrote to.

And gentlemen, you're not exactly apostle Paul material.


Anonymous said...

I don't think you actually understood the implication behind the Bishop's words. The concern was not about respect or disrespect of the American Bishops. The concern was that Father Jenkins has apparently forgotten a major tenet of his religion: that all life is sacred, at whatever point in the life cycle. Obama has blatantly disregarded any concern for life, and is therefor not a good choice to be giving graduating seniors of a Catholic university "life advice". Bishop Olmsted was merely putting Father Jenkins on notice. Perhaps Father Jenkins isn't overly concerned with remaining in the Church?

The Mighty Favog said...

I understand perfectly. And, unless I have developed severe delusions and hallucinations, I do believe I said as much in my post.

I AGREED that Jenkins did an unfortunate thing.

Here are the true implications: The bishops for at least two generations have been asleep at the switch in absolutely every area of their freakin' job description.

They have utterly failed as both shepherds and teachers. The only thing they have left in their arsenal -- they threw away all their other "weaponry" during their headlong, panicked retreat from their responsibilities -- is whining.

And everybody hates a whiner.

They are Jim Backus in "Rebel Without a Cause." Pathetic.