Monday, July 04, 2005

Pushing 10K

So the weekend's almost over.... But before I head off for an evening with the (musically) sumptuous Elton John -- and the (musically) uber-luscious Rufus Wainwright -- just wanted to note that sometime within the hour, this blog will receive its 10,000th visitor.... Well, 10K since I started the counter exactly a month ago today.

That's not a bad number at all.

So I just wanted to take the opportunity to again offer thanks to each of you for coming, staying a while, possibly screaming some -- and then coming back for more. Whether you found me through Fair Amy, Fair Google, or something else Fair I don't know about, the support and encouragment I've gotten from you, my gentle snowflakes, continues to mean the world. Keep it comin'!

Possibly for the first time, I'm thinking in these days that I might really be onto something good.

And now, for an appropriate enough celebratory link, Clayton reaches the mountaintop of Mahonyhate, calling LA Catholics "Children of an Addict."

I like Clayton and he's extremely kind and gentle with me, but it's a really harsh take.

His argument springs off the hysterics caused the other day in LA when pro-birth (as opposed to pro-life) protestors ostensibly got a little too ga-ga at the inaugural of Antonio Villaraigosa as mayor of La-La Land. From the accounts, they chanted "You can't be a Catholic and pro-abortion."

Well, you can't be Catholic and a lot of things.... You can't be a Catholic while turning a blind eye to the homeless sleeping on the street (as you scream about abortion and Terri Schiavo). You can't be a Catholic and dismiss the imperative for peace at all costs. You can't be a Catholic and support politicians who rape and pillage at the public trough. You can't be a Catholic and pick and choose which passages from the Gospel you wish to follow.... And the list goes on and on -- but I don't see people risking arrest for these, and often it's the self-anointed Tribunal which imposes a litmus test on one element of doctrine which fails to follow the rest. So much for the cafeteria being closed.

So LA got a pro-choice mayor, people wanted to protest and got out of hand. And the answer for their idiocy is to blame Mahony? You know, every time I hear someone screaming about him, I like him even more -- because no doctrinal charge has ever been brought against him which stuck....

Think about it: In 1997, Uncle Jack (O'Connor) wasn't sent to LA with a Rome-mandated retraction now, was he?

Four words: He. Went. To. Alabama.

As for the abuse cases, which Tom Doyle predicted would make Boston look like "an altar boy's picnic," we'll have to wait and see. But Mahony might just be able to ride it out for this one reason: because, unlike Law, Roger's critics have hated him long from the beginning, and you can bet your money that Rome'll see their complaints not as objective sadness, anger and upset, but as another Trojan horse for the peanut gallery to ruthlessly exploit in the name of bringing him down. Simply put, Rome has no time for inane power plays from laypeople, and it's not hyperbole to rank the Mahony Hate Club right with those renegade Belleville priests and Call to Action in their lack of sophistication and understanding of the way the church works -- i.e. not their way all the time.

To think that Mahony's enemies might well be the guarantors of his survival! Thank you, cons!

So you can't be Catholic and pro-abortion. OK... This from the same people who viewed Cardinal Law as "the great pro-life champion".... And that song-and-dance really panned out truthfully, didn't it?

In a nutshell, snowflakes: the pro-life cause will win respect if it's more about substance than semantics. At the present, it's all about the latter -- and, so the thinking goes, the louder, the better. If you're going to do it right, it's time to get smart and be cool.

What was Fonzie, Yolanda?



Blogger CDE said...

I see that you are equivocating on the life issues, as if they all were of the same gravity. Do you disagree with Ratzinger on this one?

5/7/05 03:21  
Blogger Jeff said...

Most of the conservative pro-lifers I know do stuff like take unwed mothers into their homes. On the other hand, many of the people who make complaints about pro-lifers not being liberal enough do nothing except vote Democratic.

I'm not sure who needs to impress who

Hope you had a Happy Fourth, Rocco!

5/7/05 08:20  
Blogger CDE said...

I've written a response over at my blog today.

5/7/05 09:24  
Blogger Matthew Lickona said...

"Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. 'A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,' 'by the very commission of the offense.' and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreperable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society."
- Catechism of the Catholic Church

It does seem from the above that abortion stands in a special category - the Catholic is called to charity toward his neighbor, but I don't think any of the other offenses you name carry with them such a penalty.

Further, we do the good we feel called to do - no one can do everything. 4,000 unborn a day are being killed in this country alone through abortion, I can see how that should command a certain amount of attention. People don't criticize Martin Luther King, Jr. for not doing enough to fight anti-Semitism. They hail the good that he did. I think there's a reason for this.

Further, I would argue that, while it may be a failing not to address these other evils, it's not fair to call these peoplel pro-birth as opposed to pro-life. They oppose the ending of a life through violence. That's pro-life.

Finally, I don't think it's enough to say that a bishop or cardinal or pastor of any kind is a good (or even likeable) guy simply because no doctrinal charge has stuck. No doctrinal charge stuck to Law, and you're none too fond of him.

Further, Rome paid attention when people fought the gutting of the cathedral under Weakland. Weakland complained and got his way, I believe, but Rome did respond to the laypeople.

Finally, whatever Rome thinks of the coming storm in LA, I think what Doyle was referring to was the size of the financial blow.

p.s. Why do you suppose the people who don't like Mahony don't like him? Have you looked into their grievances?


5/7/05 11:33  
Blogger Matthew Lickona said...

And you thought I couldn't possibly go on any longer...

Final thought on the matter:


How do you know that the pro-life movement is all about semantics over substance? I know from experience that this simply isn't true, that lots of people are doing lots of things to advance the cause, gaining victories here, suffering defeats there, persevering in the face of hostility and misunderstanding. If you don't know about these people, maybe it's because only the screamers get reported on. If that's the case, then maybe the screamers serve a purpose as well, and a good one. They are a witness; they keep the matter from being quietly ignored. You may not think it an effective one or even a prudent one, but they are a witness, nonetheless. Those people, if they are like pro-lifers with whom I have stood, are not there for their health, nor to feed their egos or sense of self-righteousness. They are there trying to combat an injustice; they are there out of love.

5/7/05 12:33  

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