Posts tagged ‘Catholicism’

May 21, 2011

Rick Santorum and His Cognitive Dissonance

by Vince

Is Rick Santorum that patriotic (caring so much to protect our country at the cost of breaking down another human being) that he has formed a level of cognitive dissonance? He is a Catholic yet agrees with using torture on our enemies. Here is the rub that doesn’t add up:

Catholic bishops described torture as an assault on the dignity of human life and an “intrinsic evil” in their 2007 statement Faithful Citizenship. (For a more in depth look at intrinsic evil and political responsibility read this essay by Cathleen Kaveny of the University of Notre Dame in America magazine.) “The use of torture must be rejected as fundamentally incompatible with the dignity of the human person and ultimately counterproductive in the effort to combat terrorism,” the bishops wrote in Faithful Citizenship. As Kyle R. Kupp points out over at Vox Nova, Pope Paul VI described such acts as “infamies” that “poison society,” do “supreme dishonor to the Creator,” and “do more harm to those who practice them than to those who suffer from injury.”

May 17, 2011

UnCatholic Quote of the Day

by Vince

“…everything I’ve read shows that we would not have gotten this information as to who this man was if it had not been gotten information from people who were subject to enhanced interrogation. And so this idea that we didn’t ask that question while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was being waterboarded, he doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works. I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative”, Rick Santorum as he calls out former prisoner of war and tortured soldier John McCain for not understanding torture and its role in American foreign policy. (emphasis mine in the quote).

Foreign policy aside, what does the emphasized quote by Santorum say about treating others made in the image of God? Santorum, sadly, may on purpose conflate torture with Christianity.

March 26, 2011

Eat This Chart: The Catholic Church and Marriage Views

by Vince

Some of these shifts (video) amongst the Catholic church are interesting. Money quote from the second link: “What most cardinals believe is not in line with the Catholic church following and many, many political pundits have it wrong about the church.”


October 13, 2010

City of God, City of Man

by Vince

Kathryn Jean Lopez interviews Peter Wehner about his new book, City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era.

LOPEZ: I’ve seen City of Man described as an evangelical book, but you sure do quote a lot of Catholics. To what extent is it a book for anyone who takes religion seriously?

WEHNER: We sure do quote a lot of Catholics, and that’s not accidental. There are obviously important theological differences between Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism. But the Catholic Church has a great deal to teach evangelicals when it comes to how to engage politics and the culture — to do so in a way that’s both effective and faithful.

Among the things evangelicals can learn from Catholics is that instead of serially reacting to issues as they arise, it’s crucial to stand back and analyze how we should approach politics based on a cohesive Christian worldview. Catholicism has helped deepen our nation’s understanding about the proper role of government based on the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity with the poor. The encyclicals of John Paul II were extraordinarily impressive documents, both theologically and politically. They had a formative influence on Mike and on me. Our view is that the Catholic Church, while a flawed institution, has shown an impressive understanding of the proper role of government and the relationship between Christianity and politics.

September 28, 2010

Hard Journalism

by Vince

Anderson Cooper is the man in the above interview with Renee Ellmers. He follows up with each assertion and gives the Ground Zero mosque debate proper and mature treatment.

September 26, 2010

Childhood Religious Indoctrination

by Vince

Miranda Celeste’s story is chilling:

According to Catholic teaching, humans are born sinners and cannot help but continue to sin throughout their lives. The only way for a Catholic to atone for these sins is to confess them to a priest, do the required penance, and be absolved. As a child, I obsessively recorded in a little notebook anything that I had said or done that could possibly be considered sinful. Then, when the time came for confession, I would recite this list to the priest, my head hanging in shame, my cheeks burning. I’d do my penance and be absolved. For a fleeting, blissful moment, I would feel light and pure and holy. But soon I would sin again, the guilt would return, the little notebook would be filled up with a record of my indiscretions, and I would return to the confessional and repeat the process over and over again.

Although I left Catholicism fifteen years ago, on occasion I still catch myself wondering what I need to do in order to rid myself of the guilt, shame, and feeling of dirtiness that, in one form or another, is almost always my companion. I sometimes find myself feeling frustrated: why, I wonder, can’t someone just tell me what penance to do? I obviously no longer think in terms of sin or feel the need to go to the confessional, but the desire for absolution remains, like an itch that cannot be scratched.

Who can deny that this is a form of child abuse? The mere act of writing this is making my hands shake and my stomach churn with anxiety. Fifteen years ago, I made the choice to leave Catholicism, something that, among the family and community I grew up in, just isn’t done. This choice was, without a doubt, the best and most liberating choice that I have ever made. However, I do not have a choice when it comes to the ever-present guilt, shame, and anxiety that resulted from my childhood religious indoctrination, and which, to varying degrees of intensity, will always be with me.

To a degree, I feel some of the same.

July 12, 2010

A Man of God in Kensington

by Vince

Gerard Shields tells of his own experience with a local Catholic priest that is not of contemporary indictment nature:

After school occasionally, he began bringing a group of us to St. Charles Seminary, where we would swim in the pool – the biggest we ever saw, three times the size of our playground pool, and we had it all to ourselves. He took us to some of the finest restaurants in town, where we learned formal dining manners. He and I even went to our first rock concert together – Elton John at the Spectrum.

He never asked us for a thing. And he didn’t pressure us to consider the priesthood – never so much as mentioned it, even though the neighborhood folks told us that was his goal.

I recently sent him a copy of my third book. I told him it was a product of the immense kindness he had shown me during those years. My inscription to him said: “In deep gratitude for the man who showed me a world outside of Kensington.”

July 12, 2010

The Apostate: A Memoir

by Vince

A Sunday Book Review:

Yet Lax does not seem interested in cultivating a spiritual life shot through with doubt. He doesn’t want an ambivalent (or, one might say, mature) faith; rather, he writes, recalling the aftermath of his parents’ deaths, “what I wanted to have was what I’d always had, but the faith I had accepted without question and could articulate with catechismal rote could not be recaptured.” Of course, many of us come to a place where such faith is neither possible nor even desirable; I suspect my own small Episcopal church would be largely empty on Sundays if anyone who ever questioned the Creed, anyone whose faith life included seasons of aridity, stayed home.

Memoirs that succeed do so in part because the writer’s question is also, somehow, the reader’s. I am a reader who has — amid many doubts — clung with tenacity to faith, and I found that my questions hovered around this sympathetic and engrossing book, too. The explicit question is, How did one man drift away from faith? But for me the book provoked another question as well: What kind of faith might be possible even after the verities of childhood have passed away?

June 13, 2010

The priest…and his Mrs.

by Vince

Philip Johnson, a married minister who began with the Church of Christ, then switched to the Lutheran church and now has made the switch to Catholicism, has caused some discussion over being married and a priest

Men sporting both Roman collars and wedding rings are a rarity in the Catholic Church; it banned married clergy eight centuries ago. In 1951 it made an exception for married clergy who convert, but on a case-by-case basis.

The church has ordained only a few hundred since. “Mr. Johnson’s ordination does not indicate a change of celibacy norms for Latin Rite priests,” the Camden Diocese noted when it announced his May 22 ordination.