What a time to be a Catholic. The USCCB, with its usual cultural aplomb and sensitivity to the real concerns on the minds of American Catholics, put out this beauty as the representative image for this past week’s Catechetical Sunday, bearing the legend Stay With Us:
Because who doesn’t want a “what if Lisa Frank, but less talent and no energy” picture to really drive home their soggy appeal not to be abandoned by the people who pay for their food?
Perhaps I should be more reticent or sadder over my blanket cynicism about Catholic clergy in this country—it is not much of an aid to charity—but I’m not. I can count on one hand the number of American bishops I’d even consider trusting any more, and they’d all still have to earn it. I believe in the validity of our sacraments: that’s all the confidence I can muster. The putrescent slime being excreted from Pittsburgh and Washington and Wheeling-Charleston and Buffalo may, by God’s grace, be the worst the Church has to offer right now, but you won’t catch me betting the price of a coffee on that.
And they have the gall to trot this out.
The utter blindness to why people leave is well articulated, if unintentionally so, in the accompanying article “On Mission to the Nones.” Paragraph upon paragraph of drivel, talking about how the laity are “inclined to ‘spiritual introversion’ rather than missionary outreach” and how we need a leadership “culture change” and a “conversion of our entire leadership worldview.” (Ironically, these things are technically true; as it was true when the Pharisees said “Love your neighbor.”)Perhaps the most offensively oblivious passage is: “The first, and most important, aspect of our leadership conversion is the need to change our ‘leadership identity’ [my God this man loves his scare quotes]. We are not church workers with various titles working with various ages in various ministries. In many parishes, this false belief results in different ministries competing … We are all disciple-makers. That is our common leadership identity. Everything we do must flow from that.”
It’s easy to make the sanctimonious snipe that everything we do must flow from Christ, not from a drippy “change in our leadership identity”—sanctimonious and true. But even that would scarcely be worth doing, without acknowledging in plain English what neither this article nor the USCCB nor any of our bishops has the guts to say. People are leaving the Catholic Church because of the smug, self-centered corruption of her leaders.
There are other reasons, sure. But hear me, fathers: the USCCB is riddled with lies, sexual abuse, broken vows, blackmail, and opulent lifestyles obtained on the very backs of the faithful. The occasional Fr Boniface Ramsey or Fr Ryszard Biernat only illuminate the sink of liquid rot from which you spew your pathetic defenses and excuses and outright lies. Your Excellencies: you are wolves. And even those of you who aren’t wolves yourselves have been pretending for decades that the wolves are just sheepdogs and moving them from pen to pen and shushing the lambs when they scream for help. Of course the sheep are running away from you!
You’ve victimized us. You’ve ignored us. You’ve made fools of us for listening to a word you say. You’ve disgraced the name of Christ and his Bride. This will not be forgotten on the Day of Judgment. Face your sins now like men, and repent like Christians.
Images via Pixabay except the first (protected under fair use)