Monday, January 6, 2020

Dear “Karens on Facebook.” Please Stop

I came across a meme (creator unknown) on Facebook and decided to repurpose it for the declining state of Catholic theological understanding. 

In the beginning, Catholics looked to the Pope, the bishops, and the theologians in good standing to understand the teachings of the Church. But there was a problem we didn’t see. So long as we could find magisterial figures who taught what we agreed with, we would follow that part of what they taught, and downplay the rest. But things began changing when the Pope and bishops began reminding us of the teachings we didn’t like. Then Catholics began looking to non-experts with the views we held. 

These non-experts were used to explain why we didn’t always have to obey the Pope and the Church. Theologians Not in good standing with the Church invented a theology of dissent in the “spirit of Vatican II,” or “defense of tradition.” If St. Paul VI taught on contraception; if St. John XXIII taught on social justice, we could find a theologian who told us it was all right to dissent against it.

Once that door was opened, it became easier to pick and choose what we would believe and invoke whoever would support the decision as proof. We skipped past the non-magisterial theologians to the media pundits who did not know the Church teachings but reported on it anyway. People who would not believe the media when it reporting on their favored political figures would uncritically accept everything they said about the Pope or the Church. Eventually, Catholics on the internet would go so far as to accept ipse dixit claims from anybody who said that “everyone knows that.” These baseless statements were repeated so often that it was considered irrational to question it. 

Some go so far as to make themselves “experts.” Where laity once looked to the magisterium to make clear the things they did not understand about Church teaching, they now interpreted them for themselves and sat in judgment on the Pope or bishops who dared to teach differently. 

These people became the “Karen of Facebook,” offering false interpretation as “proof” of magisterial “heterodoxy.” They repeated other people’s statements and others repeated theirs to the point that everyone believed the false interpretation and thought that those who said the interpretations were wrong were either blind or part of the deception.

Now, people just chant slogans and occasionally cite agreeable media personalities or those theologians, lacking (or not using) the magisterial authority to teach, as if they were reporting fact in order to accuse those who do use authentic magisterium. From a Church that was strong in obedience to Our Lord and those tasked to lead the Church, we’ve become an ochlocracy (mob rule) following every demagogue instead.

People complain about confusion in the Church. But the confusion isn’t caused by the Pope. It’s caused by “Karen of Facebook.” Who are these Karens? Those who spread their own views or repeat the views of others across social media as if they were authoritative against the true authority of the Church.

How do we end the confusion? We stop listening to the Karens and stop being the Karens. We need to start listening to the Magisterium under the authority of the Church. We need to trust that Our Lord protects His Church that He built on the Rock of Peter. THAT is the mark of the faithful Catholic. 

No comments:

Post a Comment