Friday, September 5, 2014

Berserker Internet Catholics (A Rant)


Unfortunately, Some Catholics take this approach to other orthodox Catholics who have a different opinion on ways and means.

One of the most exasperating things I see on the internet are those Catholics who are convinced of their own righteousness, denouncing anyone who behaves other than they would prefer as acting in bad will. It never occurs to them that even within the realm of orthodox Catholicism, there are some areas where believers can have legitimate differences when it comes to ways and means of being faithful.

I'm really weary seeing the internet postings of the Catholic who clearly is uninformed on an issue, but feels determined to repeat the sentence on a website quoting Denzinger with no knowledge of the context. I'm tired of the internet postings of the Catholic who is assuming bad will on the part of the Catholic they disagree with.

I'm tired of Catholics who claim to be champions of orthodoxy who never seem to read the Catechism:

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:

— of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

— of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;

— of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

  Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.

Yeah, I know about the fact that there are Catholics who are in disobedience to the Catholic teaching. I also know these Catholics have existed since the 1st century AD. That doesn't mean that the bishop who uses something other than a mail fisted approach is a secret modernist. I also know that conservative Catholics can also fall into heresy and schism, and be just as outraged as the liberal Catholics when reprimanded.

The thing is, we have to remember that the ones with the authority to bind and loose in the Church are the successors to the Apostles: The Pope and the Bishops in communion with him. When we think that a bishop is handling things in a way that concerns us, we do have the obligation to make sure we understand his intention before attempting the charitable and humble appeal for a change.

Otherwise, what makes us any different than the liberal Catholics we look at in disdain.

For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:46–48).

Remember: to presume bad without understanding what was intended will entirely falls short of this requirement. From what I am seeing with Berserker Internet Catholics, there's no attempt to give what is said a favorable impression. There's no attempt to ask how the Catholic in question intended what he said. There's no attempt to correct with love.

Basically, when we do this, we're making a judgment without all the facts—something which only a fool does.

So come on, people. We're called to witness to the teaching of the Church—which includes our willingness to be charitable, loving and submitting to the teachings of the Church.

If we won't, how the hell can we expect others to?

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