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Monday, 5 August 2013

Why are so many Catholics nasty?

Well, a young person said to me that she was not interested in becoming a Catholic, or a Christian, (she is not), because Catholics and other Christians were so mean to each other.

She has a point.

I have been thinking about this today in light of many problems in the Church in England and in Ireland, both very small islands with little space.

One cannot just "light out for the territories" as Huckleberry Finn did.

There is no West, which needs settling and where one can be a loner, with a small community, surrounded by prairie grass and cows. Neither, can we be falsely tolerant.

A few months ago in London, Michael Voris rightly and loudly told some ladies who were passing out heretical information at one of his talks to stop doing that. He was pointing out to all the danger of  The Warning. He was correct in his attempt to prevent people from losing their immortal souls by following a false seer.

No, the Church is a community. We are supposed to be working together. So, why is it so fragmented and why is this fragmentation getting worse daily? Some of the fragmentation is a result of some people having embraced a spirit of disobedience to Church teaching and doctrine. Some people defend heresy and sin. They become nasty. Some people defend sin. They become nasty.

Nastiness is sin. It involves maliciousness and spitefulness, serious sins. Period. My generation learned manners and appropriate behaviour. We have boundaries. 

We know that attacking a person is not on-is the fallacy of ad hominem and ends discussion.

Too many people hid behind their agendas or careers in the Church. If one has a platform, be he a priest, deacon, or RE director, or professor, one cannot hide in that authority, but must, absolutely, must, become holy

If one is not orthodox, one cannot become holy. 

This is the problem. People think that if they are a Eucharistic Minister, or a youth minister, or a headmaster of a Catholic school, that they have arrived in holiness and, therefore, have a right to be nasty, malicious.

Nastiness is simply pride.

One of the most talented and gifted saints we have had in our Church is St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Apparently, he was such a gentlemen and so good-looking, that some of his contemporaries worried about his celibate vocation. But, never was there a man who could articulate the Love of God as well as he has done for us.

This saint reveals that to be a saint, one must be a gentleman.

A gentle man.

Have we lost this sense of holiness which tempers the blood and makes one humble in the face of criticism, even hatred?

I get nasty comments in my com box. Some are from women and some are from men. The nastiness is not really directed at me, as I am merely the messenger. But, those who are rude and even boldly coarse, using very bad language, are those who have not learned how to engage in the mutual pursuit of truth and goodness.

We are here to help each other. Those who affirm me, affirm the Church, and make the Church stronger.

Those who hate me, hate the Church and her message. I pray for those who hate. Perhaps, they hate themselves. Perhaps, they are so wounded they cannot see beyond their pain.

But, I, too, was like that and truth brought me back to God.

Nastiness tries to drown the voice of truth. Nastiness reveals a selfish pettiness, which can be forgiven, but which is most unfortunate for those involved. Argumentation and debate are done in calmness, with reason and good, common sense.

Someone wrote on another blog last month that Padre Pio was an example of gentleness . Yes, with those who were truly repentant, he exhibited encouragement and love. But, he also loved in a harsh manner those who were not repentant. And, he told them so.

He was not nasty. He was not petty. He was honest for the sake of immortal souls.

A woman came to him asking for Confession. The room was like a doctor's waiting room, full of those who were seeking the Sacrament. Padre Pio saw the woman from a short distance and yelled across the room something like this and I paraphrase. "I shall not hear your Confession until you repent. Your son is in hell because of you."

Now, some people might call that nastiness. I call that witnessing to the truth. I hope this woman changed from whatever horrible sin she was committing.

One does not want to speculate. But, the saint was given knowledge from God to correct this poor woman caught in sin.

However, nastiness is not truth. It is merely the hitting back of a wounded soul, like a wounded animal trying to win one last battle. It does not further the pursuit of truth, but hinders it. One who is nasty is on the defensive, and we do not have to defend ourselves. We only have to defend the truth of our Faith.

There is a battle in the Church in England and Ireland and it is turning into a full-blown war. One must learn to deal with falsehood, lies, deceitful agendas, careerists who are both lay and clergy. One must learn how to deal with serious sin and heresy.  But, one does not need to fall into nastiness. We shall see out and out schism in our lifetimes, both here and in the States, because of heresy. Nastiness is not the way to combat evil.

Christ answered the Pharisees with truth and wit. He was not tolerant of sin. But, neither did He speak behind people's backs or ruin reputations with lies and innuendo. He called the Pharisees and Sadducees horrible names for the sake of their own souls-but he met with those who came to him for teaching and truth.

O generation of vipers, how can you speak good things, whereas you are evil? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Matthew 12:34.

Notice that Christ told them what their sin was clearly. He saw their evil hearts. He knew them. So many times we do not know people who are being nasty to us. Rarely do I even know where the person lives or in what parish. I hear nastiness from people I shall never meet. Women who have been nasty to me in parishes in the past never confronted me with any substantial information against me to my face. It was all done behind my back and because they could not bear the truth. Sadly, they never wanted to talk to me about why they were upset. They did not want to face the lies which had led them astray. All of them are involved in New Age religions and heresies. All of them have strayed farther and farther from the Church. It is so sad.

I pray for all of us-that we may seek the truth in the Church-that we may all learn, if we have not already, appropriate ways to discuss, argue, uphold the Faith without being rude or crude.

That young woman who walked away from the Church failed in one important thing. She forgot to look at the nastiness of her own soul, as we are all sinners before God. This is the secret to humility, knowing one's self. Patience and humility end nasty tendencies. To be a man or woman of God, one must become a gentleman or gentlewoman. The few prophets among us are clearly marked as such, like Michael Voris. But, he did not lash out against the women personally. He told them what they were supporting and promoting was serious error. That is not nastiness.

That is tough love. But, may I add that we have a generation or two of people who think anything said negatively is nastiness. That is not true. We have a thin-skinned group who want no correction, no criticism, not life-giving teaching which contradicts what they have come to believe.

This state of affairs creates tension. This hyper-sensitivity is actually a symptom of relativism.

Relativism needs tough love.