“The Church challenges all its members, in different ways over different issues.” Just like Life Itself

Two great reads for you as I head out to Adoration:

1) Sister Mary Ann Walsh hits a homerun as she observes the media going batshit crazy over basic Church teaching as though it’s all brand-new:

It amazes me when basic church teaching is received as if it were somethig brand new. This morning’s New York Times brought the latest example with the headline: “Dolan Says the Catholic Church Should Be More Welcoming to Gay People.” A glance at other media outlets finds similar news accounts. From the NBC website: “Cardinal Dolan: Church Must Embrace Gays, Lesbians.” Then from the NY Daily News: “‘Jesus died on the cross for them as much as He did for me’: Cardinal Dolan says church should not push away gays.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York created this media storm with basic pastoral comments on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” and CBS’s “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer. Cardinal Dolan said the church is there for everyone.

I have two reactions.

1. The word “catholic” means all-encompasing, so how can people get the impression that the church is exclusionary? No one is carded at a Catholic Church. Shunning is not the Catholic tradition. Other news reports this week give homey examples of the church’s inclusionary nature. Ann Rodgers, a reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was selected to carry olive braches in a Palm Sunday procession at the Vatican. Ann said she wasn’t Catholic, but that wasn’t a problem for orgnaizers at the Holy See. A few days afterwards, a Muslim girl in a Rome youth detention facility had her feet washed by Pope Francis at the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Her standing outside the fold was no problem for the papal advance men. To reiterate Cardinal Dolan’s point: Gays ae welcome in the church. So are divorced people. Heck, even in the rare instances that people are excommunicated, they’re still expected at Sunday Mass. Although some sects ban you from the property for violating their rules, the Cathoic Church still wants you in the pew.

2. More people have been excommunicated by their Aunt Minnie than by the church. Much of the media, and many Catholics, miss the fact that the Catholic Church is a church of mercy and forgiveness, and most of all, communion.

Read the whole thing, as Walsh articulates what many of us want to say — and what many, many more have said, throughout the ages. Now that we have a “popular” pope, perhaps people are more willing to hear, but really, why pretend it’s “new”?

2) A bittersweet chronicle of Holy Week that has nothing to do with gay marriage. It simply illustrates Sister’s point that yes — we’re all challenged over different issues.

When I was driving earlier, the kids were all sitting behind me writing notes on small pieces of paper and passing them back and forth. My daughter wrote a mean note to one of her brothers, which he swiftly reported to me. Her note was heartless, really, and without cause, so I asked her, “Why did you write that to him?”

There was silence from the backseat.

Then, after a few minutes had passed, my daughter handed me a note folded into a tiny little square. I unfolded it, and read in her writing; “I don’t know.”
“I have the same problem,” I said. “I am unkind, and I don’t know why.”

Read it all. Yes, it really is bitter, and it really is sweet.

We’re challenged — we’re all challenged. And the great challenge is the challenge to love, when love, ultimately means the sacrifice and surrender of your own self, your own will.

Yes, it’s really, really hard. But we keep stepping into the box and slugging away, with the help of grace. That’s what makes it great. Yes, I have baseball on the brain, today.

This is good, too.

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About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://cause-of-our-joy.blogspot.com Leticia Velasquez

    If the Church isn’t challenging you to radically change your behavior, then you are probably in need a good confession followed by a good homily, cause you are not paying attention.

  • bill bannon

    She’s so right about aunt Minnie excommunications versus Church excommunications.

  • Knower

    Regarding selecting a non-Catholic to carry olive branches in a Palm Sunday procession at the Vatican, and a Muslim girl in a Rome youth detention facility to have her feet washed by Pope Francis at the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Pope Benedict had an interesting take, IMO, on the real closeness of a non-Catholic to the heart of the Catholic Church, the kingdom of God; specifically, agnostic nonbelievers: As reported by John L. Allen in his NCR blog dated Dec. 30, 2011, in September of that year in Germany, Pope Benedict praised “agnostics who … suffer because of our sins and are desirous of a pure heart.”

    Benedict said such folk are actually “closer to the Kingdom of God than ‘routine’ believers who only see the apparatus of the church without their hearts being touched by faith.”

    Allen there reported also that in October, at Assisi in Italy, Benedict said genuine agnostics are “inwardly making their way towards [God], inasmuch as they seek truth and goodness,” and even thanked them because they “challenge the followers of religions not to consider God as their own property, as if he belonged to them, in such a way that they feel vindicated in using force against others.”

    [Yes, Benedict was very wise, but a lot of people didn't listen to him, either because they were convinced by the msm that he was not worth listening to, or because he wasn't dynamic enough to get attention. Thanks for that. I added the link and also created paragraphs for easier reading. -admin]

  • Strife

    You said “batshit” hee hee hee

    [I am channeling Katrina! :-) -admin]

  • Victor

    The dark sometimes rises to the surface in The Eve ning because “IT” wants to do terrible things due to our original parent’s sin but then there are moments in times brought about by prayers and good deeds that “IT” then really wants to sing to U>S (usual sinners) while observing the media going batshit crazy about the lust of night and for some reason “IT” gives these dark forces a high that GOD (Good Old Dad) and His Angels can only understand and control and because of The vast LOVE that GOD has for all His Children who were made in His Own Image, on occasion through LOVE of Prayer, The Light can sometimes shine through the darkness and cure a LOT of what troubles U>S if His Children hold strong in Grace.

    Does that make any sense in trying to explain why spiritual Church challenges of all its members react in different ways over different time issues within Life Itself?

    Just thinking out loud NOW! (LOL!)


    See what “I” have to put UP with while trying to take care of Victor’s soul and that Jesus “ONE” per sense cells of theirs!


    Be nice sinner vic cause YA know as well as “I” do that LOVE conquers all in the long run and we humans are all product of our father’s endless love NOW!

    Go Figure Victor! :)

    I sure hope that you had me in mind during Adoration Anchoress.


  • Eddie S

    “In particular, the Catholic Church is the friend of the poor. Like Christ, she welcomes without exception all who approach her to hear the divine message of peace, hope and salvation. Moreover, in obedience to the Lord, she continues to do so without regard for “tribe and tongue and people and nation” (cf. Rev 5:9), for in Christ, we “are one body” (cf. Rom 12:5)”. ~Pope Benedict XVI
    CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 19, 2011

  • http://stagesofprayer.wordpress.com Antonius

    Judge not, that you be not judged.
    For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. (Matthew 7:1-2)

    You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
    So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.
    A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
    Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
    Thus you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:16-20)

    We must have the wisdom/morality to know “what” is right and wrong, and the compassion/mercy not judge the person.

  • Knower

    I appreciate Mrs. Scalia’s correcting my botched-up double-entry on Benedict’s remarks in continuity with Pope Francis’s actions. (I’m forever not blowing bubbles but pressing wrong keyboard buttons; heh.)

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    My three year old son says similar things when asked why he was bad or not listening. “I don’t know.” Isn’t that amazing? I can tell that he’s being honest with his response. When does sin all become conscious? Teenage years? This is a very profound observation. I just don’t know what the full dimensions of the human trait are. Certainly worth pondering.

    Sister Mary Ann is right on. The main stream media doesn’t understand us and don’t want to understand us. They have their caricature and they insist on it. It serves their purposes.

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