Saturday, March 12, 2011

Old Boys' Club?

I was intensely annoyed when I read the article that originated in the National Post re. Lifesitenews vs. Fr Gravel. Read it here. I was going to analyse it, but I see that the editors of Lifesite beat me to it, and presented most of the arguments that were forming in my brain as I contemplated it today. Read their editorial here. They gave most of the arguments I thought of, but not all:

1. The seemingly self-righteous tone of Fr. Rosica's observation that He and God are in agreement that isn't it great how two extremes are leading us back to the centre? Bah. That's the most insulting bit of hubris I've come across in ages. Thanks for giving us a glance into the inner-working of you and the Blessed Trinity, Father.

2. Lifesite did well to register their surprise and dismay at how Fr. Rosica would automatically 'side' with a dissenting priest against a zealously Catholic organization, whose single goal is to protect the lives of the unborn. And side he did. While he called to mind the virtues of Fr. Gravel, it was only the excesses and errors of Lifesite that he cared to mention. I will add something to their observation of this disappointing, but oh so typical position taken by the beautiful people of God's holy Church - I mean the washed people, the clean and exalted types - clergy mostly - and those they let 'in,' that is to say, those who have agreed to play by the rules and follow the etiquette that doesn't embarrass. Now, obviously any organization run by lay people would be in the wrong if they accuse one of the insiders of something impolite and messy. Here's the thing, I don't know Fr. Gravel from Adam - but I'm sure he possesses many virtues to be commended, such as, I imagine, the cardinal virtue of liberals, compassion. I do, however, know one of the editors of Lifesite, John-Henry Westen, fairly well, nor do I simply imagine that he has some virtues to be commended; I know he does. Did you, Father, ever think of that? He has a beautiful family: a lovely wife, several lovely children. They work hard, they fight for the Faith, they live the Faith. They worry about paying the bills, how to be good parents, how to be good servants of the Church. Nothing was ever handed to them, unlike the case for people in a certain line of work who enjoy absolute employment security, even when they completely fail at the job they are paid to do: like people who are payed to teach and promote the Catholic Faith but don't do so, as in the case of certain priests.

Funny, I didn't see a picture of the Westens attached to the National Post article. Just a picture of this 'marverick', 'courageous' priest, Fr. Gravel. Why? I guess the Westens just don't belong among the beautiful people, you know, beautiful like the Kennedys. However, they are beautiful to me.

 I don't agree with everything Lifesite does. In fact, it's true I don't agree with everything anyone does. But such an admission that I disagree over some smaller things with John-Henry, is not an admission that the truth lies equidistant between John-Henry and Fr. Gravel! Give us a break, Fr. Rosica! God - and yes, I too pray, Fr. Rosica - cares a great deal about the lives of the unborn, and I am quite sure would not take too kindly to the soft-pedalling that is going on here with your truth is somewhere between Lifesite and Fr. Gravel approach. We all believe we sit in the sane 'middle,' Father. This tendency to so believe this about ourselves is an effect of original sin. Some of us, however, are blessed to be aware that this conviction of ours is presumptuous.

I hear from more and more of the faithful how tired they are of the protectionism that goes on in the Church. Priest get away with everything. I have heard of priests living in rectories with their boyfriends, pro-gay, pro-abortion, pro-contraception homilies. We all have. A certain somebody in Quebec is not one of a kind. He just takes it a little bit further and more publicly than most. But what really bugs me is that bishops usually do next-to-nothing about these things. That a priest like Fr. Rosica would make it his personal crusade to target the zealous lay people at Lifesite, while not seeming to give a flying fig about the graver abuses rife in the Church makes him an elitist, clericalist. And you know what I have learned from years of living with priests? They know way more than you and I ever will about what's actually going on with the clergy. I bet you Fr. Rosica could in about 30 seconds make a list of grave, grave abuses he is aware of in the clergy of his own diocese that would just horrify us dirty and naive lay people. How do I know this? Because I could too, and I'm an outsider, far and away from a beautiful person in-the-know! So the gall of Fr. Rosica straining a gnat.

Save your wrath, Father, for bigger evils. For instance, try taking a stand against the status quo enforced by the beautiful people, especially that chunk of beauty personified by the radically secularized clergy of Quebec. No, they won't invite you to their dinner parties any more, unfortunately. But I bet the Westens would have you over for hamburgers!They're good folk.

Oh, and btw, why does the fringey, Taliban-Catholicism of Lifesite have almost 8,000 people 'liking' them on Facebook, whereas golden mean Salt and Light (Fr. Rosica, CEO) has only 3,000? I guess 'fringe' is a relative notion.