Saturday, January 28, 2012

Don't Be a Catholic Butt

The following appeared in my parish's bulletin this weekend.

ANONYMOUS GRIPE

What about after the baby shower? Will you support the child financially? How dare you!” (-as it was written, including underlines)

Instead of choosing to write a name and participate in praying for the unborn, this unsigned complaint was handwritten on one of our blue cards last weekend for the spiritual adoption of an unborn child. Obviously the person is in a great deal of pain and anger. Please add him or her to your prayers and others who are still angry for whatever reason whenever they hear the Catholic Church preach on legally protecting the unborn.

I do believe that the Catholic Church does a great deal for babies and families. Catholic hospitals, parishes and charities do tremendous good work. Obviously this person can’t see it. He or she points the finger at “you” but who is this unnamed “you?” The person who wrote the message is also part of the “you”, part of the Church that he or she is alleging does not do enough. In fact all of us are “you.”

We must of course respond with prayer and action to promote life as we constantly say, “from the moment of conception until natural death.” An unborn child must be defended and given dignity, but so must the born at whatever age, young or old.

Another person complained yesterday that, “No one else should have a say over my body; abortion is the mother’s decision alone.” This is a common misunderstanding. We are stewards of the Lord’s gifts. Our bodies do not belong to us; they belong to the Lord. And besides, an unborn child is not the women’s body anyway. It is growing inside her body, but it is not her possession. Children are never possessions; they are miraculous gifts from a loving God whether inside or outside the womb.

Of course we should do everything in our power to provide a child with a warm, welcoming and loving family and community with all the proper resources for good health, good education and a firm faith in God and his teachings. Could the Catholic Church do more? YES. Who is the Church? We are all part of the Church including those who complain and get angry at the Church. Jesus teaches us to love...love...love. Let’s all try to do our best to follow him in living the Gospel of Life.

I am deeply grateful to the 1233 people who turned in spiritual adoption prayer cards this weekend. — Fr Hans Ruygt

A little background:

Every January, on the weekend nearest the Roe v. Wade anniversary, my priest passes out pink and blue cards at each Mass. He requests that parishioners pick an unborn child to pray for, give a name to the child, write the child's name on a card, and put it in the collection basket. He also requests that we pray for these children we've spiritually adopted throughout the year, and he includes information about fetal development milestones in the weekly bulletin so parishioners can track the growth of their spiritually adopted child. In October or so, our parish holds a "baby shower" for these babies, in which parishioners bring in baby items to donate to a local CPC.

It is the spiritual adoption, held last week, that prompted the above gripes, and it is to those parishioners that this post is directed.

How dare he? How dare you.

How dare you suggest that children deserve to die because the Catholic Church is allegedly (in your closed, ignorant mind) not doing enough to help them?

How dare you use an event meant to encourage prayer and fasting for the unborn to advance your own ignorant, idiotic, openly anti-Catholic agenda -- at a Catholic Church, no less?

It is a flagrant myth that pro-lifers don't help mothers in crisis. Please do some research into this as you are apparently severely misinformed.

Have you ever heard the old slogan, "you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem"? If you feel that the Catholic Church, and specifically our parish, is not doing enough to aid mothers in crisis, do something about it. Anonymous bitching and moaning in an offering basket will not help mothers in crisis! Nor will encouraging them to kill their children!

Rather than a nasty note to Father Hans, why not donate to Maggie's Place? I have tried to lead a pro-life group at St. Clare's, but I'm unable to do so due to time constraints. If you start one, I'll join and work as hard and as much as I am able in the service of the unborn and their parents.

As to the person with the nasty comment about it being "my body" -- a woman's bodily autonomy ends where her baby's body begins. It is a human rights violation to deprive an unborn child of his or her right to life. Not only is that Catholic doctrine -- which, if you're attending a Catholic Church, you should be living out and following faithfully! -- but it's also common sense. Non-religious pro-lifers defend life on these grounds.

Both of you need to seriously examine your attendance at a Catholic church. If you think the Church is wrong on the issue of abortion, then I must wonder why you are Catholic at all. If the Church is wrong about this, then what reason do you have to believe She is right about anything else?

When I concluded that my old denomination (ELCA) was wrong, I left it; I didn't stay within the faith that I believed taught error. It made no logical sense to adhere to a faith that promulgated incorrect teachings.

I'm not encouraging you to leave the Church, but I'm asking you to take a look at your reasons for being Catholic. If you're Catholic, you need to adhere to the teachings -- all the teachings -- of the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. You can't pick and choose which ones to follow like you're at a Chinese buffet trying to decide between broccoli chicken or lo mein. It's all or nothing.

We are all one Body but no one should be the butt. The mindset of "I'm Catholic, but I believe contraception is okay" or "I'm Catholic, but I believe abortion should be legal" is absolutely untenable in the Catholic Church.

Don't be a Catholic Butt. We have enough asses to fill the stable as it is.

10 comments:

  1. BRAVO, JoAnna!! I LOVE this!!

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  2. I love that your parish priest put this in the bulletin, and I love that you guys do this prayer campaign. Awesome. My priest is VERY quiet about pro-life issues. :/

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  3. Amen! Love the links at the end, too.

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  4. Thank you for your COURAGE! And I am so grateful for your priest's courage, too! Wow!

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  5. Haha, actually, we are the ones who support the child financially because we adopt the children :). I don't think my daughter's birthmother even thought once about aborting our dear daughter, but I know of at least one couple that changed their mind about abortion and then gave their child up for adoption. So yes, we'll take full responsibility for that baby, gratefully, if God so wills it :)

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  6. I. LOVE. YOU. This is AWESOME!!!!! And God bless your priest! If only they were all so brave!

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  7. It's insane to me that people would stay in a church when they disagree with the church's teachings. Go to another church! We need to pray that God will mercifully change their heart! Great post, and I agree with Leila! You definitely have alot of courage, and we all need that courage the way this world is going today!

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  8. The only Catholic "buts" I don't mind hearing are along the lines of "I'm Catholic, but I DON'T UNDERSTAND why contraception is not okay." Because we may not understand right away all the doctrines of the church but as Catholics we should trust them and accept them first then pray for understanding to follow our faith.

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  9. Late to the party, but this post was awesome. I don't want to be a Catholic Butt.

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