Disputes You Will Always Have With You

Disputes You Will Always Have With You November 18, 2022

Looking around social media and reading the various comments from different personalities in religious sections, it would be easy to conclude that Catholicism is not one united front with unified belief in all things Catholic. For example, in Catholic theology we believe in the primacy of  Peter and that the Pope is God’s vicar on earth. But you can’t get a uninformed consent from all Catholics on who is actually pope.

What Oscar hopeful 'The Two Popes' misses about Francis and Benedict's relationship - The Washington Post

You get the sedevacantists who claim that 1958 was the year that the last pope reigned on the throne of Peter.  Every pope after that was a modernist heretic freemason who they wouldn’t even let be an altar boy let alone head of all the Catholics in the world.  You then get the folks who think that when Benedict resigned as pope he  didn’t really resign due to some technical violation of canon law. He is either ignorant he’s still pope or he is deceitfully sitting out on the sidelines while he lets Pope Francis wreck the church. Which leads to the majority view held by most Catholics and non-Catholics alike that Pope Francis is indeed the current pope. To some he’s the best pope ever and some the worst pope ever. Even worse than the popes that murdered and fathered children out of wedlock. Until recently a small group of people thought Pope Michael from Kansas City, Missouri was actually pope until he died.

The one common thing that all Catholics seem to believe is true is that when someone deviates from your vision of what a Catholic should say and do, you should trash talk them with loudness. Engaging in civil and kind talk towards others who claim to believe as you do is a bunch of hooey. Dumping on your theological opponent with trash talking is the right way to show the world  you will know true Christians by their practice of admonishing the sinner and instructing the ignorant. Catholics who do this act as if their overturning of the ideological tables of the victual temple is an  endorsement and seal of approval from the perhaps the Holy Spirit.

Catholics who are considered Conservative MAGA Rad Trads from the Rigorous Vortex engage in this type of online behavior. But the  liberal left leaning social justice warriors on the other side of the Catholic faith can also muster their contempt just as loudly. Both groups like to point out how the other side is not living the life of Christ according to their world view of Catholicism. A lot of disagreements I have witnessed tend to be centered around a certain emphasis on a particular Catholic practice or doctrine. If you don’t emphasise a particular brand of spirituality the other side thinks you should be carrying on about you must be canceled and eliminated from public discourse.  You must also let the Catholic in question know you despise them.

 James Martin, SJ@JamesMartinSJ  (Nov 3, 2022): Always amazed by the DMs I get from people who say, “I hope you burn in hell.” “I hope you die soon” and, of course, “You f****t” and then see profile descriptions like “I love being Catholic.”

Disagreements and disputes have been part of our church since the early church. You can read about these things in the New Testament. The apostles tossed around contempt to one another while walking around with Jesus. In more recent history the first Vatican council had a group of disgruntled Catholics who separated from the sea of Rome over the issue of papal infallibility just like the SSPX separated from Rome over liturgical and other Vatican 2 related documents. Argumentation about what God wants has always been with us from the beginning and will be with us till Christ returns.

The problem with our Catholic civil war today is that it is on full public display in front of the whole world.  Our obligation to evangelize others have been set aside so we can sling mud at one another. Legit discussion about disagreements are necessary and even helpful. But if a good chunk of your Catholic platform is dedicated to why the pope sucks or why all pro-life Catholics are horrible hypocrites, all its gonna do is stir up your tribe to hate the other side.

It’s easy to blame the other side and think our group is the only one not being hypercritical.  In reality we all err in our display of authentic Catholic faith. But any individual who realizes this must ask for forgiveness, forgive others and try to be kind to others with the realization that one only becomes Catholic due to the grace and mercy of God who revealed it to you. Admonishing others is only one of the 14 works of mercy. Try practicing all of them and being the example and change you want to see in the church.

If your tone is mostly criticism of what you see wrong with other Catholics less holy then your ideal, then meditate on this…

 We who are strong ought to bear with the shortcomings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  For even Christ did not please Himself, but as it is written: “The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me.”  For everything that was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope.

Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement grant you harmony with one another in Christ Jesus,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:1-6

To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved. CCC 2478 

In this essay I tried to cover the main idea that we should all try to be more civil with one another and not be in a constant state of anger towards our fellow Catholics. I hope this  causes someone

To see Christ more clearly
Love him more dearly
and follow him more nearly.

Day by Day.

It is good to remember that the other thing Catholics have in common is that they have decided to be and remain Catholic, love being Catholic and want to share that love on social media with others.

And one last thought…

 Were all going to be in purgatory till we learn to get along. 

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