Damn Catholics…

… In case you haven’t noticed, I am Catholic. Not just any kind of Catholic, but damn Catholic. As in being Catholic to the very marrow of my bones, in spite of myself. Damn Catholic.

Earlier this evening I was thinking about that, and how I suppose I’ve always been kind of “catholic”, even during my younger heathen years. Not to say that being “catholic” is the same as being Catholic, but I do think some people are more predisposed to embracing Catholicism — those lovers of beauty who are spiritually fed by their senses.

A few months back, Patheos made a request for the writers here to explain why they were Catholic. Because I believe brevity is the soul of honesty, I answered the question quite plainly.

I am Catholic because Catholicism is Truth and outside of Truth there is nothing else.

This explains why I am Catholic but it doesn’t articulate how I became such a big damn Catholic. That too is easy to summarize… the Eucharist and beauty.

The sacred art, sacred music, and the beautifully rich symbolism found in the liturgy is what finally lured me in. Second only to the very real Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ miraculously contained within the Eucharist.

Those two reasons alone, and nothing else, is why I sought to convert. You wanna know what had absolutely no bearing on my decision to convert … the pope.

Who was pope didn’t matter to me then, so I suppose it really shouldn’t matter now. It helped that Benedict loves the same things about Catholicism as I do, but it really wouldn’t have made any difference to me if he didn’t. And it just so happens, Francis doesn’t. He’s still loves the Church, just for reasons that differ from my own.

So what of it?

The Church is the Church and the pope will always be damn Catholic, and that is just going to have to be good enough for everyone. And if it’s not good enough, what are you going do; because outside of Catholicism there is nothing else.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Paul G

    Every once in a while I come across an amazing statement of Faith that cements and reinforces my own realization of the good, the true, and the beautiful. This is one of those times….. Many thanks.

  • http://connecticutcatholiccorner.blogspot.com/ CT Catholic Corner

    Well said. I couldn’t agree more.

  • Hilary Jane Margaret White

    Extra Ecclesiam inanis est

  • Alex Cooper

    The Pope, or the office of the papacy rather, is one of the reasons I fell in love with the faith. Would you agree with that?

    Also, I believe I remember you have an affinity for Eastern Catholicism. In your mind what makes you so “damn Catholic” an opposed to considering Orthodoxy?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      “The Pope, or the office of the papacy rather, is one of the reasons I fell in love with the faith. Would you agree with that?”

      How could I disagree with that? You have your reasons, I have mine.

      And what’s really to consider about Orthodoxy when I have Eastern Catholicism & the Divine Liturgy without having to sacrifice the Barque of Peter. I said who was pope didn’t matter to me at the time I was going through RCIA, which says nothing for my love of the office – which came to fruition under Benedict’s papacy.

    • steve5656546346

      Alex, you raise an interesting question: is the papacy one of the reasons I fell “in love” with the faith? Or is it just a pre-requisite for the unity and continuity of faith that I fell in love with?

      I”m not sure: probably a little of both.

  • kenofken

    Damn Catholic doesn’t do you justice. I would go so far as to say you’re “Dangerously Catholic!” :)

  • Quittin’ time at Tara!

    It is only damn Catholics, catholic in their bones like this, who can feel the gruesome, bone-deep pain of modernity, festering afresh with this papacy. This pope tears at the old wounds. A great heroine of mine, Alice Thomas Ellis, wrote this about the Church in her novel The Sin Eater:

    “It is as though…one’s revered, dignified and darling old mother had slapped on a mini-skirt and fishnet tights and started ogling strangers. A kind of menopausal madness, a sudden yearning to be attractive to all. It is tragic and hilarious and awfully embarrassing. And of course, those who knew her before feel a great sense of betrayal and can’t bring themselves to go and see her any more.”

    I don’t want to see Her when she is like this. But, to whom shall I go? Who holds the keys to everlasting life?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      “the once dignified and darling” office of the Pope … this ecumenism to “be attractive to all” at the expense of our Catholic identity… Yes, it is all very embarrassing indeed. That’s why we need to hold our heads up high, and do what we do best, be big damn Catholics. We cannot refuse to see Her out of some sense of betrayal… She’s our Mother and you don’t abandon your mother just cause she got all crazy and menopausal. No, you stay by her side till the madness subsides and talk some sense in Her.

      • Elisa Arruda

        So… you know better than the Pope, Katrina? Also you know better than the cardinals that chose him? If you don’t love the Pope, at least show some respect. Do you really compare the Church to a mother that got crazy and menopausal? And you are the one to talk some sense in Her? How humble of you! Please, you are not as Catholic as you say… a “big damn Catholic’, as you say, might not always agree with the Pope, but still would show some respect and would never speak of the Vicar of Christ that way.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          Do you make a habit of just reading what you want to see? How about starting with the comment above, that I was responding to, before making yourself look like an asshole.

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

    Interesting about being Catholic down to the bones. Yes, that is me too, even in my atheist and heathen days as well. Fantastic observation!

  • James H, London

    There will almost certainly come a time when the Pope is the head of a small, oppressed minority; when the flowery, Baroque Masses with elaborate coreography and professional choirs are simply not possible (like the hedgerow churches of Ireland when the English Puritans were in charge). Is the church without these things not still the church? What about the church of the catacombs, where miracles of healing and deliverance were still relatively common, but the Mass was only a basic framework of what it later became?

    Let’s not assume the worst, folks. We’re being pruned, in preparation for the great tribulation (and to extend the metaphor, to get ready for the New Springtime). Anything not in the Catechism – well, it isn’t really essential, is it?

  • Roki

    Interesting. When I read your original reply – Catholicism is Truth and outside of Truth there is nothing else – it resonated with me, but apparently for exactly the opposite reason you meant.

    For myself, I am Catholic despite my personality and predispositions. My taste in art tends to the spare and cerebral, and I find the Ordinary Form to be too flowery to be attractive to me. I really don’t understand all the fuss about liturgy, and even less do I relate to particular devotions or sacred artworks.

    It’s a good thing I found Protestantism unconvincing for historical reasons (if I’m going to be Christian, I want to be in a church founded by, you know, Christ), because aesthetically I feel much more at home in a puritanical religion.

    But I was convinced by philosophical arguments about the nature of God, particularly that it is fitting that God become incarnate. No other world religion makes the cut, and atheism is absurd. So I concluded that my tastes were at best incomplete and probably just plain wrong. Heigh-de-ho, to the Catholic Church did I go.

    Sometimes I envy people like you, who have such a profound connection to the sensible (incarnational?) expressions of the faith; and other times I sit proud in my stark aloofness. But I pray that we’ll all have the grace to simply receive the goodness that God gives us each day, and to recognize Him in it. Please pray for me.

  • Christopher Lake

    I loved Pope Benedict XVI for all of the wonderful truths and forms of beauty that he helped to show (and, sometimes, *remind*) Catholics about the Church, in his spirit, his words, and his actions.

    I love Pope Francis, because I see him as doing the same thing, in his spirit, words, and actions… just in some different ways, with different expressions, that are still faithfully Catholic. I “felt the Catholic love” from Benedict, and I feel it from Francis too. I liked Cardinal Ratzinger for years, long before he became Pope, and I was overjoyed at his election, and I thought his Papal tenure was a great one.

    I’m enjoying the Papacy of Francis, including when he challenges me in painful ways, ways that I need to grow. Benedict XVI did the same for me too in different ways. Sometimes, honestly, I feel like, in my genuine, heartfelt love for the Papal reigns of *both* men (not only out of respect for the office, but in genuine love for the men and for almost all of their public, teaching, acting choices as Popes, I am in a small minority in the Church… but I can’t help it! As a Catholic, I think that they both rock! :-)