Saturday, February 17, 2018


It seems to me when the emphasis is on the congregation as is the case in many Ordinary Form parishes, factions do develop both on the left and the right. By this I mean that those on the left encourage those who do not conform to Church teaching to be flamboyant about it by making it known they are gay, or bi or trans or lgbtq and to look the part if they so desire. In allowing this the parish is  being  very inclusive not only of the person(s) but also the sin(s) of the person.

On the right in these kinds of parishes, with the focus on the congregation, one only wants those who are like them and don't want to be associated with those who flaunt their sins in a public way. In this scenario where even conservative Catholics in ordinary form parishes focus on who belongs to the parish, there is an exclusivity of sorts.

Whereas prior to Vatican II, Catholics and their visitors knew to go to Church in their Sunday best to please the Lord and not offend the sensitivities of reverence and awe before God or scandalize others.

A homosexual Catholic in the 50's who might have been living a secret life but going to confession regularly about it, no one would have known his sex life business or try to "out" the person or peer into the person's personal life. And no one would have cared to know about anyone's sex life in or out of marriage. Voyeurism was frowned upon. And certainly voyeurs would have kept it a secret from the congregation if they were one.

Thus, I would say the inclusiveness of the pre-Vatican II Church was expected. All Catholics, be they sinners, even public sinners, were required to attend Mass by way of fear of mortal sin and eternal punishment if one freely chose not to attend Sunday Mass.

But there was respect and prudence for the Church, her teachings and expectations about proper attire and not impinging on other people's space by hand holding, kissing, touching, and revealing the details of one's life be it holy or not. 

In other words, pre-Vatican II inclusiveness was and is more inclusive than the faux inclusiveness of today's Church.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

There is a young man (in his 20's) whom I see occasionally at St. John Cantius in Chicago. He is literally covered in tattoos: his face, head (he wears his head almost bald), arms, legs (I saw him in shorts). His appearance is repulsive.

When he is in church, his remorse and devotion to God is so evident. He barely lifts his eyes above the floor. When in the pew, his head is bowed profoundly all during Mass. I have seen him in line for confession, and as I mentioned, he processed and prayed the rosary in several (perhaps all) of the special rosary processions held by St. John's though the streets of Chicago in honor of Our Lady of Fatima this past summer.

Whenever I see his young man, my heart is moved to pity, and tears even come to my eyes. I beg our Lord to give him abundant graces, and help him, and grant him whatever forgiveness he seeks, and bring him close to His heart. Our Lord even used his physical appearance to teach me a lesson about sin. A thought came to me regarding this young man's tattoos: how will he ever get those off? My answer: He won't. And then I realized that is how my sin is on my soul, like permanent ugly marks that seemed fun and great at the time I did them, but now, not so much. Only with sin, no one else sees those marks but God and me. So I can skate around like a goodie-two-shoes without anyone knowing the depth of my sinfulness, or just how hideously marked up I am. And I can have those ugly sins removed in the confessional. But this young man wears the marks of his life on his body for everyone to see, and will have to go through many painful treatments to try to remove them, if they can even be removed at all. And the sight of him is hideous.

I say all this because of Father McD's post about flaunting of sin in church, and the pretense that it is inclusive to "welcome" all sinners, and invite them to "be themselves" even in their unrepented sinfulness. If this young man set his jaw and strode to the front pew, threw down his backpack, and looked around defiantly, challenging everyone who stared at him and his appearance, I would not feel pity for him, or want to pray for him. I would wonder, "What trouble are YOU bringing here?" If he behaved as if he was there to force the rest of us into an "attitude adjustment" of acceptance of him as he was, with no sense of remorse or shame, I doubt he would get much compassion.

I think it is so interesting how the devil is twisting our religious beliefs and mocking us in our own churches with the lies of "inclusiveness" and "acceptance." These sure are very challenging times to be Catholic.

God bless.