Busy Weekend

It’s Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement  this weekend. A splendid Mass last evening at Prince of Peace parish and this morning we have as our commencement speaker Sr. Sheila Galligan–a well known theologian from Immaculata University near Philadelphia. Also a chance to wear the ferriaola and biretta…if the graduates get to wear a silly hat I want to wear one too. After lunch sister and I visited Bob Jones University Art Gallery–I did not however, wear my biretta and ferriaola…didn’t want to frighten the horses.

Anyhow, sister and I were chatting yesterday about how the ‘Peace and Justice’ brigade have taken over the Catholic Church. I’m not one to attack those who work for peace and justice, and I think very often we conservatives do not do enough to foster peace and justice and work with the poor. I’m not opposed to peace and justice, but I am am opposed to those who reduce the entire Catholic Church to ‘working for peace and justice’.

The main problem with this approach is that it turns our religion into a religion of good works. The cross of Christ is forgotten (except as an image of injustice) the idea of redemption from sins is done away with as an ancient irrelevance, and any concept of the supernatural is dismissed as ‘medieval’. So they cling to peace and justice and making the world a better place as the driving idea of Catholicism.

The subsequent problem (which any monkey could figure out) is that you don’t need religion to try to make the world a better place. In fact, a religion can sometimes impede the progress. What you really need is a practical and enforceable ideology–like Marxism. Consequently, the peace and justice campaigners–if they stay in the church at all–stay with it because they see the church as the best multinational organization through which they can foment the revolution. Yucch.

Finally, have you noticed that those who are involved solely in peace and justice are never satisfied? Like feminists, they are constantly protesting and moaning and pointing fingers. Catholics may be working flat out for the poor, sticking up for the vulnerable, helping the hungry, educating the masses, but the peace and justice brigade rarely see the real work that is being done by self sacrificial Catholics who are rolling up their sleeves and getting busy. Instead all they see is the institution of ‘the Catholic Church’ which is irredeemably patriarchal, and is always about oppression and legalism and hypocrisy. The immature rage and hypocritical self righteousness of such folks (and their total blindness to it) is always a wonder to me.

Being truly Catholic simply means that we strive to love God and love our neighbor. Locked within that truth we will discover and work out all the peace and justice that we and our whole world so desperately needs.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07215093180074844386 the Egyptian

    As Christ said, the poor will always be wit you. If you examine the P and J movement you will find it is Marxist and progressive to the core, the belief that the great unwashed is not capable to make decisions and the elite must be in charge in all things, (I have a brother like that, Princeton ruined a good hard working farm boy) P and J is is anti catholic since for it to work it must be the ultimate authority the church and Christianity are a threat, I cannot believe how many liberal priests and sisters have fallen into that trap

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14058286668713203201 servingblogger

    "The immature rage and hypocritical self righteousness of such folks…."Hey, Father D., sounds just like YOU !You should read your own stuff some time and try to see it as it appears to the rest of the world. Immature rage. Yep.Hypocritical self-righteousness. Yep.I'll keep an eye out for self-descriptors of Father D in your writings and let you have them back.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06809675435011421276 Reticent Rogue

    Ah…Father D, it seems you've called one out in our friend 'servingblogger.' A good rap on the immature ego does it every time. The biggest shortcoming of progressives I see is that, in trying to be moral, they view human virtues as separate characteristics rather than the package deal they truly are. You cannot feed someone, for example, and leave his sloth unattended. I am often struck by the bact that progressives always seem to be trying to 'help' those who do not need help. If you try to help those who aren't needy what you are really doing is neglecting those who need your help. God's work can be done without violating the law or the practical virtues. This is what Marxism does–it tries to throw out religious morality while fulfilling its basic social tenets. I recall back in the day, an ole southern conservative making the laconic remark that "If Marx had only been a Baptist, we'd all be communists today."

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01701790992756242324 Alice Seidel

    Yes, Father, it is "faith" (Catholic faith) and good works that will save us in the end. I wish and pray that so many despisers would come to "see" the pietistic beauty of our faith! Please remember my mom today, who passed away five years ago on this date; a devoted Catholic all her life, who taught me the beauty of it all!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    In my old parish, I joined the Justice and Peace group (and Amnesty International). We used to join in with other Churches feeding the homeless one night a week. The Hari Krishnas did it more than once, I seem to recall. I got in trouble with the Vicar General, because a guy, who was a bit violent demanded to be hugged! So I hugged him, and the priest said I was putting myself and others at risk, and they might have to stop women attending. Well, that would have put us out of the deal, as it was mostly women anyway. Angry people don't always scare me, because sometimes, you just know it's pain speaking. Not always ofcourse. And I do appreciate the Vicar General had to take a responsible position. I also used the time, when giving out food to remind the homeless of the love Jesus had for them. One guy, who had stabbed someone, but thank God, the man wasn't seriously hurt, and was due in court, couldn't believe God would forgive him, but he did ask me to pray for him. I felt, these times of feeding homeless people were good opportunities to speak about Our Lord. My friend, Vicky, when we would go shopping, in town, would say to me, "How come all these homeless guys know you, where the heck did you meet them all?" They would all shout to me, and say "Hi!" when they saw me in town, you see. My own life took a down turn, (as did Vicky's oddly enough)with alcohol issues, so I am in no position to judge anyone.servingblogger, why not pray for Father? It takes less energy, and will warrant you mighty blessings.How are you getting on with your Rosary?Father, I know you don't particularly like really long comments with more than five paragraphs, so I have deliberately only used three ha-ha!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10606385448003416857 KT

    I have struggled with this issue for so long–it seems as if you can do peace and justice "without conversion"–and precious little fruit of the Spirit. In recent years, the Church has been careful to clarify that its primary mission is the salvation of souls, and that although the Church does social work at the command of the Master, Social work is not its mission.Excellent parsing of this issue in Fr Neuhaus' book "the Catholic Moment." It helped me to get some clarity.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    servingblogger…your slip is showing

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02416179882756576300 Pebbles

    I read an article recently that made my skin crawl: ‘Resurrection Politics.’ Using the resurrection as a ‘symbol’ to drive home a political point about global governance. Ugh. It’s good justice isn’t in my hands. I've always been big on peace and justice but I never say so anymore since the whole P&J; crowd has been taken over by a progressive movement that has never served either end. True peace and justice require spiritual progress, not some ill-conceived plan for an earthly utopia that has, btw, NEVER worked. Unfortunately, mention the word ‘spiritual’ these days and you’ve landed in more quicksand. Think liturgical dancers, hand-holding and kumbaya rather than the Eucharist, prayer or kenosis. Try to promote a spiritual path to peace and traditional religious people run. Who can blame them when the words have been co-opted by political activists that are rarely spiritual or peaceful?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07215093180074844386 the Egyptian

    Hey servingblogger, get a mirror, the sight might frighten you, you run the risk of becoming what you critize

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00098504849466846551 Arkanabar T’verrick Ilarsadin

    Father,I think it would do us all well to pray also for servingblogger.Lord, look with favor upon servingblogger. May he always be an example of Your love, and a conduit of Your grace and peace, to all with whom he interacts.Our Father …Hail Mary …Glory be …

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07215093180074844386 the Egyptian

    I should have added, I wish we could see a priest dressed like that around here, most act as if the insertion of the little plastic strip is almost too much "sigh"

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    Arkanabar said…Father,I think it would do us all well to pray also for servingblogger.Amen, Amen, Amen!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00401320931083843046 K

    Father, please read the book "Who Really Cares" for illumination on who works for peace and justice. Whenever I donate a baby blanket to the crisis preg. center, that's working for peace and justice. Whenever my son and I sort cans at the food bank, that's working for peace and justice. Whenever I write a check to support a mission parish or diocese, that's working ofr peace and justice. The Catholic Church of old *invented* working for peace and justice. What the modern P&J; crew want to do is superficially similar, but at its core is very different indeed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03712388905946305690 Cathy

    Thank You for saying what I cannot!! Amen

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06948159680027721738 Ricky

    Thank you, Father, for making it so clear about Social Justice when so many make it cloudy. I am fighting it in my diocese in Oklahoma City (I met you when you came here in March). Please pray for my diocese and the parishes that are partnering with an Alinsky community organizer, IAF, and for the priests! I really think they have fallen into the P&J; Koolaid. Those who do know, I still think they are doing what they think is best but have been misled. They need our prayers desperately, and we need prayers that the IAF will not be successful! We have many links about the Social MisJustice on our website. http://www.johntwo24-25.net

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03426948649931014185 Soulever

    Well said Fr.http://www.wouldjesusattend.com/Great avenue for others to get enlightened on the modern P