Wednesday, August 1, 2012
EXALTING THE INDIVIDUAL TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE COMMON GOOD
R. Michael Dunnigan writing for The Catholic World Report's The End of the Age of Distraction, which you can read by pressing this sentence, says that the Catholic bishops of this country have begun a new way of teaching the truths of the Church and have moved away from the 1960's through the 90's liberalism that so formed many of their teachings thus diluting the real moral authority of the Church.
I was ordained in 1980 and most of the more controversial teachings of the bishops came out in the 1980's what was called "The Catholic Moment" becasue these teachings endeared the bishops to the main street press of the day and they got lots of coverage.
I tried heroically as a liberal priest in the 1980's to tow the bishops' line on all that they were writing. Bishop Raymond W. Lessard, emeritus bishop of our Diocese who at one time was the chairperson of the Bishops' Doctrine Committee was always very pleased with the work of the USCCB and wanted it promoted in our diocese.
Of course it was a hard sell to rank and file southerners and active military personnel and retired as well, which Georgia has a huge number.
Meanwhile as the bishops were saving the world with their verbose teachings that were winning accolades in the liberal media, their own house was burning down by other liberal leaning characteristics that had compromised so much of what the Church's patrimony was in terms of care and concern for the faithful.
You guess it, it was the sex abuse scandal that was taking place even as the bishops were the toast of the town with their liberal letters on this, that and the other. The sexual abuse scandal would eventually make them just toast in the eyes of the liberal media and rank and file Catholics.
It seems that since the 1960's when the bishops of the Church starting a rather romantic dance with psychology, which up until that time, most in the hierarchy were rather leery of, and as the me-generation of the 1960's infected so much of Catholic theology and practice elevating the individual far above the common good, we saw bishops turning over problem priests to the expertise of psychologists who told the bishops they could cure whatever malady a priest had with drugs, therapy and prayer, that like Jesus and his miracles, psychology could do it again in the imminent escathology theology of the day that said we, yes we, could bring about the escaton! You've heard of "Toys R Us?" Well psychologists were "Healing R Us" and the bishop took the bait, hook, line and sinker.
So the individual and his problems were the most important issues to address and not the common good of parish communities and the Church in general.
Priests who had abused mostly teenagers, but some who had been serial pedophiles were sent to comfortable church run, hotel like therapy centers and pampered for months at a time until they were deemed cured and sent back with a regimen of things to do to stay healthy especially 12 step programs.
Who was left out of this picture? The victims and the common good of parishes and those these priests had abused and could abuse again. It is the exaltation the needs of the individual over the common good, pure and simple.
And it manifests itself in so many other progressive, left leaning ways today. A woman wants to be a priest, so she must have a vocation, ordain her or push for ordination of women. Homosexuals want marriage relationships, their needs trump the common good and so we have liberals pushing the agenda of homosexuals to the detriment of the common good for which they could care less for the individual and narcissism are the high gods and goddesses of this fierce individualism. To hell with divine law and natural law and hello to whatever makes the individual happy.
Look at those who reject Humanae Vitae not only in terms of artificial birth control but also abortion and even late term abortions. Why do they reject it? Because these teachings while promoting the common good call for the limitation of individualism when it comes to sex and gratification. Even a child now is see as a disease by many that can be eliminated through medical procedures even the potential for a child. A child might hurt the individual's lifestyle and ability to get ahead in the world and become wealthy. Why spend money on a large family when a small family can have more and more and now.
It is all rather sad that Catholics have been seduced by the evil one who makes individual so-called happiness to the detriment of all who are harmed,(potential child, unborn child and sex abuse victims) the number one choice in one's life. In other words, the devil is at the core of the denigration of the common good and the exaltation of the individual.
P.S. Don't expect the liberals in the Church or the mass media ever to lump the following victims of fierce individualism together:
potential children, aborted children and sex abuse children and teenage victims. It messes up their agenda.