spiritual quitters…

Photobucket Vecellio Tiziano, Bacchanal of the Andrians c.1523

… have you ever noticed the reoccurring theme when you converse with ex-Catholics about their faith, or their current lack of it?

They all have the same basic lament about Catholicism… the guilt. Oh that famous “Catholic Guilt”. According to them, Catholicism represents an ideology that everything is a sin and a source of shame. It’s oh-so-inconvenient to have a moral conscience. Especially in this day and age when every modern psychologist will tell you it’s unhealthy to feel guilt. Don’t be ashamed to masturbate. Embrace your homosexuality. Pornography is good for you; it will spice up your sex life and improve your marriage. Don’t repress your desires, your desires are natural. Those bad old Catholics just want to ruin every body’s fun.

So when I hear people say that Catholicism is losing followers in records numbers and should “get with the times” [read- condone homosexuality/immorality/hedonistic behavior] it’s not an indication to me that the Church is the problem. In fact it says to me the exact opposite. The Church is doing something right if people who can’t cope with having morals and realizing that sin has consequences are leaving. It’s so much easier to leave or blame the Church when things start to get uncomfortable.

When I have conversations with these ex-Catholics all I hear is someone who gave up when things got a bit squeamish, spiritual quitters if you will.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14249011691189216258 Paul, just this guy, you know?

    Well said! I’ve noticed the same thing. The people who leave are most often those will not be taught by the Church; usually they’ll have some sin they refuse to repent.But also look at who joins the Church. They are often already Christians, people who want to get deeper into their relationship with Christ, who want to know more about the apostolic church, to worship as the first Christians did.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02555563784788482596 Clavem Abyssi

    Any Catholic culture that does not seriously embrace Confession and Penance will be full of whiners who feel, with some justification, that they always feel guilty no matter what they do. They sin, they feel guilty. They skip confession, they feel more guilty. They make a partial confession, they feel guilty for leaving things out or soft-pedaling their sins, etc… They never come to the tranquil rest in God’s grace because none of their actions are infused with charity. Their yoke is neither sweet nor light. There seems to be a 50 year block in the 20th century where this was near universal, preceeding and succeeding the 2nd Vatican Council by several decades. Thanks be to Jesus that some signs have appeared lately that this fever is breaking.To me, guilt is like the “Check Engine” light in your car. Sometimes it comes on for no reason and it is a bit annoying, but you can ignore it or cover it up with tape and keep driving. But usually, it means something is wrong with the engine, so you stop and fix it. To blame the light because a week later, you’re pulled over on the side of the highway with black smoke coming out of your hood seems to me a bit misguided.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14823464458933233001 Dan Hunter

    Excellent comments! Properly recognised sincere guilt is one of the geat gifts that a merciful God has given the properly formed conscience of man.Guilt is one of the factors that has immensely strengthened my faith in the Church and the Lords mercyI actually, if you can believe this, did not, for many years, or did not listen to my parents, know that masturbation was grave matter and a mortal sin if engaged in knowingly.It took watching a Father Corapi sermon for me to realize this.The guilt I felt went a long way to hopefully saving my soul and I immediately confessed this horrendous sin against purity and I have now been given the grace to fight temptations of the flesh in a much more effective manner through both a desire to please Almighty God and fear of Hell.Guilt is awesome and is a natural gift given to the man who has a tender heart and has not thouroughly killed his conscience.God bless you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00540186205959897960 Owen

    And of course while the quitters are quiting many more people like me (and an estimated 1000 other protestant ministers in the year 2005 counting the US only – so I was not in that count) are coming Home. As well, conversions in other parts of the world are up. America’s perspective of itself and its Catholicism is bent and that needs to be taken into account when listening to someone tell you people are leaving in droves.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11975456892778482598 a thorn in the pew

    I found out last night that Palin was baptized a Catholic. Just an interesting tidbit…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01562944653624224107 Adrienne

    a thorn in the pew – Everyone validly baptized is a Catholic. Some are just imperfectly united to the Church.I LOVE guilt. I just wallow in it. Guilt is GOOD. How the heck would we ever know when we did something wrong if we didn’t feel guilty??

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06015803653090711740 LarryD

    Great post, Crescat – have you ever considered ghostwriting homilies? I’m going to link to this post at my site.a thorn – I heard that too. Her parents left the Church when she was still an infant.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16795566831031491371 Cathy_of_Alex

    Quitters or just spiritually immature? Both? Great post but I’m always thinking out loud!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00540186205959897960 Owen

    C of A, I am uncomfortable with the term quitters, though I used it. Yes, spiritually immature and ignorant (in the dictionary sense of the word). Thanks for thinking out loud.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06117353945124506952 The Crescat

    immaturity & ignorance are the cause/source, the result is giving up… so quitting is an appropriate term. It's not meant to be malicious. Cross my heart. ;-p

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16293781636265029035 Matt

    “Pornography is good for you; it will spice up your sex life and improve your marriage.”I’ve known three couples who tried this. THey are all divorced now.