Thursday, April 4, 2013

Joke (i.e. Fact) of the Day

This is the punchline from a fictional conversation between a representative of a church who is contacting a news organization to cover a local Roman Catholic Church's ordination of women as priests.

News organization:  "...there’s a name for Roman Catholics who say, ‘I love the Church but it’s going to have to change this and this and this and until they get their heads out of their narthexes and agree with me, I’ll do whatever the hell I feel like doing.’”

Caller:  “What’s that?”

News Organization: “Episcopalians.  But try the National Catholic Reporter.  They love stupid crap like this.”
You can read the whole of this fictional exchange here.  WARNING:  Some nasty language is used.

As funny as that exchange is, it reveals an important question:  Why don't dissenting Catholics just become Episcopalians?  Why do Catholics who dissent from their church's teachings vehemently insist that they must remain Catholic?  If the Church left them, as they say, why not just go become Episcopalian.  There you can have all the heresy you could want:  women priests, women bishops (here in the USA at least), open communion, ordination of gays in "committed relationships," gay weddings, support for abortion on demand, all religions are equal (except for Evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox), Pelagianism, Sabellianism, baptism in the name of the "Mother, Daughter and Forest Spirit," etc., etc..

The Episcopalian Church welcomes you, goes their motto.  So, dissenting Catholics, just go and leave the rest of the faithful alone?


  1. Not long ago, I had a conversation with a non-practicing Catholic who is very bitter about her experience as a Catholic. I said, "You ought to become Orthodox. The Orthodox Church is everything you hoped the Catholic Church would be but she wasn't."

    "I just now had a very strange reaction to what you said," she replied. found myself thinking, 'If we must go back to being Christian, at least we ought go go back to the real thing,' which is my mind is still Catholicism!"

    It's psychological. Catholicism is the only game in town. It's that or nothing, and these dissidents do not want to settle for nothing.

    1. Well, if it's psychological, then it's cognitive dissonance. They want to be Catholic but on their own terms; they want the "real thing" but concoct a fantasy as to what that is.

      I don't know what beef with the Roman Catholic Church your conversant had (your suggestion to her that she become Orthodox to my mind implied that she was maybe not happy with Vatican II, but I could be completely wrong), but, to my mind, it shows that those who are calling for change within are not a monolith of people who want gay marriage, women priests, celibacy optional for priests, abortion on demand, easier divorce, etc.. There are still a good many people who left the church because it ceased being Catholic in its liturgy, its praxis, etc.

      The media always focuses on the disaffected Catholics who favor changes in her social stances, not those disaffected because of Vatican II or the like (Though when it is brought up it is usually to condemn them as fundamentalist nuts). AGain, I don't know which camp your friend is in, but for her to dump Christianity entirely means she is longing for something that mere institutional reform cannot bring about.

    2. @ Anastasia That seems like a strange response to give regarding Orthodoxy from my point of view. We were always taught that the Orthodox Church totally had valid sacraments, ordinations, apostolic succession, etc., so they're certainly no less the "real thing" than the Catholic Church. I would speculate from her answer that she was just demurring at something unfamiliar.

    3. Tricia, though the Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox have valid sacraments, ordinations, apostolic succession, etc., the ORthodox church DOES NOT teach the same about the Catholics'. Now, some priests or hierarchs may teach such a thing but they do so mistakenly and that is NOT the position of the Church. Though a Catholic is told he may receive communion in an Orthodox church, an Orthodox parishioner may NOT do the same in a Catholic Church. Again, unity of the faith must come first before any kind of actual unity between church bodies. The Catholics seem to disregard this.