Well, this week, one way or the other, the Catholic Church in America has lost both a supreme embarrassment and a great hero. Which one is which depends upon which side of the Culture Wars you’re on.
Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton is apparently getting ready to formally announce his resignation at the age of 63. Reasons as yet are unclear, but it is a tragedy to lose such a stalwart defender of orthodoxy and the right to life.
Sadly, this has given great rejoicing to the kinds of Catholics who say Ted Kennedy made them “proud to be Catholic” yet call Patrick Madrid “hateful”
More on the Kennedys and the Catholics who worship them as false idols later.
But, reading someone on National Catholic Reporter’s blog call Martino a “homophobe”, especially amidst all the discussion how we should not “judge” Ted Kennedy, and “we are all sinners,” etc., I really got to thinking.
From now on, when liberals call us “bigots” and “homophobes,” we should start calling them hamartiaphiles.
“What?” you ask?
Well, I looked it up, and “hamartia” is apparently the transliteration of the Greek word for “sin.”
First, there’s the old issue of the grammatical idiocy of the term “homophobia,” which literally means “fear of self.”
If we take the spiritual advice of St. Augustine, whose feast we celebrate today, fear of self is a good thing, so homophobia, literally taken, is sound advice 🙂
The fact that I do happen to fear homosexuals does not have any effect on my view of the morality of what they do. I don’t particularly fear people who use contraception, but I still believe that those who use contraception use their spouses as prostitutes.
No. But the Left could very easily be accuesd of hamartiaphilia, the love of sin. The Left takes “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and then leaves out the part about “Go and sin no more.”
They may try to say they just want to end discrimination against homosexuals (even though Casti Connubii teaches that homosexuals *should* be discriminated against). They may say they just want to protect women’s “freedom of choice” or to help women in desperate situations. But by saying these things they are still implying that homosexual behavior and abortion are good, or at least morally neutral, acts, acts which can be licitly performed under certain circumstances.
In any case, the “i’m a sinner too” argument ignores the many teachings in the New Testament that call for admonishment of sinners, which is also taught by the Church to be a Spiritual Work of Mercy. Read the letters of St. Paul and then compare them to the average “orthodox” Catholic blog. If St. Paul were alive today, the folks at NCR, Commonweal or America would likely call him a “homophobe,” a “bigot,” a “hater,” and “out of touch” with “the rest of the Church” (indeed, I’m sure many of them do).
And that’s just St. Paul, who’s kind of wishy-washy and softspoken compared to Peter, John, Jude and James.
There is a difference between outright heresy and private sin.
There is a difference between public scandal and private sin.
There is also a difference between repeatedly, privately sinning and always repenting and trying better, on the one hand, and insisting no one can do better, on the other.
The thing about the Left is that they don’t want to demand a higher standard, because they love their sins. Liberal A may not personally be guilty of abortion or homosexuality, but he may be guilty of contraception or divorce or adultery or swearing or engaging in unnecessary business on Sunday. And he *likes* doing it. He likes using and dumping women, relegating prayer to God to last-place status in his life and/or praying to Satan with every other sentence.
It isn’t a sense of guilt behind, “We are all sinners” but a sense of solidarity with the drug addicts, homosexuals and abortionists, which motivates the Catholic who votes Democrat.