A reader struggles with despair over quarrelsome Catholics

A reader struggles with despair over quarrelsome Catholics June 23, 2014

…and the least qualified person in the world attempts an answer since he wrote to me–over at the Register.

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  • kirthigdon

    Just avoiding internet forums and blogs will keep you out of about 99% of quarrels, Catholic or otherwise. Of course, it will also keep you out of many interesting exchanges of opinion and even block you on occasion from receiving interesting information, so it’s sort of a prudential judgment call. Of course, if participation is a proximate occasion of sin, it should be avoided and there are many sins – anger, hatred, pride, lust, sloth, etc. – which might be occasioned. All of us probably have specific venues we should avoid and a few should probably avoid interent forums altogether.
    Kirt Higdon

    • Dan13

      I wonder sometimes if Catholicism’s internet presence is counter-productive. Yet, there are often many petty concerns (and, more rarely, legitimate concerns) at the parish level. A Catholic who keeps his or her head down and does charitable work outside the parish community may avoid this, but too often there are conflicts about the priest, the religious education program, music choices during mass, etc.

      • kirthigdon

        Yes, it can happen at the parish level, but in my entire long life, I’ve only had about three disagreements with a pastor and never with another parishioner over parish issues. And I make it a point to be involved in my parish.

        Kirt Higdon

    • Paxton Reis

      There are some places I don’t even go near the comments, and have cut way down on my commenting. Spending more effort to just move on and work on my own patience.

  • A very fine piece. Humble and insightful. Beautifully done. Thank you for this.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    On the one hand, I am always mindful of Jesus’ words that we should be one and love one another, and i share your reader’s frustration.
    On the other hand, as I read through the New Testament, I see that these squabbles are nothing new. The first disciples were clueless more often than not and frequently squabbling. Even after Pentecost, Christians still fell into sin and fought, and even St. Paul, probably the greatest evangelist of his day, could at times be curmudgeonly (toward Mark) or have to correct the errors of a giant like St. Peter.
    I’m not the first to observe that the fact the Church exists at all is the surest sign that the Holy Spirit is present therein. If we were merely a human institution, we would have collapsed under our own sin and stupidity hundreds of years ago.

  • KM

    A fine article, Mark. The Church mirrors our own families and communities in which there are many different personalities who don’t always get along. The Holy Spirit through the Church helps us learn to love each other despite our differences, and helps us understand what community is. I have to remind myself often of 1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” This process is definitely not easy but worth the effort and struggle.

  • anna lisa

    The cake apocalypse made me laugh so hard I cried.

  • Benjamin2.0

    Is it just me, or is that “Steve D.” fellow (if that is his real name) from the other comment section a jack-faced nerd llama? We should pour forth our merciless opprobrium in defense of our glorious host and the point he was making in his article.

    Go, fight, win, Mr. Shea.
    … I mean the meta-issue, of course…
    … I think…

    You know what I mean…

    • chezami

      Nice Edna Mode impression. 🙂

      • Benjamin2.0

        I aim to please, good sir. Even when I hit something for which I wasn’t aiming…!…?

        An Incredibles reference. How can one not love this guy? I’ll defend him from the jack-of-face and nerd-of-llama to the bitter end!

        … with butter!