Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Catholics are stupid!

Oh yes, we really are. I can prove it too.

Many of the people reading this weblog, and countless others on the internet, hold down a job of some sort. Most of us show up for that job regularly, earn our just compensation, pay our bills on time, raise our kids, and do all those big things that grown-ups do.

But one day a week, many of us go to a special public meeting place, where we watch a guy in a robe make a complete @$$ of himself, declare things for which he has no basis whatsoever -- save his own opinion, and that of those with whom he shares a mailing list. Then at some point, we all hold hands across the room, and eat a little piece of bread, which most of us think is just that and nothing more. We'll wash it down with a sip of wine, which most of us think is just that and nothing more.

For this, we get up early on Sunday morning -- which, for what I've described so far, seems like an awful waste of time.

Oh, and that guy in the robe? We sit there in rapt attention while he lies to us through his teeth. We look the other way, as he squirrels away enormous amounts of money for his car, his beach house, and his, uh, video collection. We are flattered that our son or daughter is one of the "special kids" who gets to hang out in the rectory, stay for overnighters, or go on trips to that beach house I was telling you about. All in all, we let the guy in the robe behave in a matter that we would not begin to tolerate from any other adult.

When he's caught doing something wrong, we are outraged, and insist that we should be more involved in running things.

All this we do, because we cast aside our intelligence and good sense, and are prepared to believe anything we are told. Therefore, as Catholics, we are stupid. I can prove it too -- and on a regular basis, I will. Each month, this weblog will devote a piece proving the assertion that when it comes to our Faith, to the very meaning of life itself, most of us are not the intelligent, reasonable people we pretend to be elsewhere. This is not merely to say we are a people of sin, and in need of redemption, which we would be anyway. No, this is to submit that we have little or no idea what being Catholic actually means.

For this segment in particular, comments are especially welcome. Especially if you disagree. Better have your facts straight, though, because I never write anything here that I can't prove.


Mr. Nixter said...

That "guy in the robe" is merely human. Sure, he's been ordained as a servant of God, to lead & serve his flock but only as a temporal being. As such, he's subect to the same wants, desires and proclivities as the rest of his (our) race.

We'd like to think leaders such as this, nay, ALL leaders, are cut from a different ilk. But, alas, we're all cut from the same pattern. This is not to say I'm not outraged when I read/hear about crimes performed by the subject group in question. Indeed, I am.

But are we to hold them or any group to a higher standard? Are they immune from the darker side of human tendencies?

David L Alexander said...

"[A]re we to hold them or any group to a higher standard?"

No. That was my point when I said things like, "[W]e let the guy in the robe behave in a matter that we would not begin to tolerate from any other adult." I think that makes it pretty clear that they be held to the same standard.

But don't mistake this for a bout of anti-clericalism. It's the laity that I'm holding accountable, to a great degree. People who serve us get away with the unthinkable for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that we let them.

Yes, those priests who serve us are only human. But that rationale never got me off easy in the confessional, so...

You know the rest.

Mr. Nixter said...

I see.

Perhaps the old adage "..if you can't do the time then don't do the crime" applies to this particular strata of society, just as it does to the rest of society.

David L Alexander said...


Nice to hear from you again.

In the cases I have read, the laity in question were often so caught up in the prestige of the priest's office, that they were convinced he could do no wrong, even when such delusions enabled the trauma of their own children. It demonstrates the power of some forms of sociopathology. Some of those that I have collected I will describe in detail. Again, I'm placing responsibility in these cases with the laity.

Cathy said...

Perhaps I'm living in a cave.
Is that what goes on in most parishes?
Eek! Ack!
From those types of parishes, libera nos Domine.

David L Alexander said...

"Is that what goes on in most parishes?"

Depends on who you ask. If you read The Remnant, you'd think it happens everywhere. If you live in northern Virginia, there's a few pockets of insanity. In any case, on a national scale, most Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence, or so they say -- which makes me wonder why they even bother.

But hey, that's just me.

Cathy said...

Good point.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, David...

Does the sacrament of ordination convey anything other than permission? Don't you think graces are provided? Graces the laity do not enjoy? Why shouldn't we hold the man who stands in personna Christi to a higher standard? And why shouldn't the man being ordained know that the higher standard will be held against him if he falls? The priesthood is not just another profession, after all.

With regard to the laity not holding them accountable...I can only speak for myself. In my former liberal parish two of the priests I knew were accused. One of them was my particular favorite. There were simply no clues that could have been recognized before the scandal hit the headlines. Well, there was one...he was very good with children. We used to think that was an asset.

Cathy said...

He should be held to a high standard, and he should know that he's
going to be held accountable for all souls lost due to his negligence. But many priests don't even
believe that.
One of my priests said recently, "I shudder when I think of abuser priests standing at Judgement."
(He was making the point that becoming a Christian in baptism makes you more accountable, though not as
accountable as becoming a Catholic, which is not as accountable as becoming a priest. It was his 'This-is-deadly-serious-and-
you-better-know-what-you're-doing" RCIA speech to my husband's class.)
One of the main problems is that priests feel like it's 'just another job'.
And you know what they say about idle hands...
A smart priest is hardly ever idle. He prays the Divine Office throughout the day, visits the infirm, offers Mass frequently,
sits in the Confessional at length, and his entire life becomes a prayer that is easily visible to others.
In short, he doesn't give Satan the opportunity...