When the Pastor is Preaching What?

My column at First Things today:

And why expend angst and energy about maybe-mentions of Earth Day when there is genuinely bad theology being preached from the pulpit, as a friend relates here:

I was willing to overlook the Good Friday sermon saying Jesus didn’t die for our sins and focusing on NAFTA. But I cannot overlook the Easter sermon that says Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead. We were told that the empty tomb was just symbolism and that Jesus’ rising from the dead wasn’t corporal, “like something out of a Frankenstein movie,” but more like how when your parent or spouse dies and you feel their presence around you. It’s pretty bad when you tell your children not to listen to anything the pastor said.

While my friend did indeed wonder—with great sadness—whether this might be a parish-changing offense, rather than simply bolting she and her husband have made an appointment to talk to their pastor first, for the sake of clarity, and that’s the right thing to do.

Too many Catholics hear a disturbing sermon like this one and simply move on to another parish, or they begin to allow that badly seeded theology to take root, which is much worse. Running away from a parish with a disoriented pastor dooms one’s fellow parishioners—especially if they have been poorly catechized—to eating from his poor crop and being left undernourished. That cannot build up the Body of Christ.

You can read it all here!

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