Daily Archives: January 19, 2012

If Priests and Parishes Care About the Church’s Teachings, Why Don’t they Hold Up Catholics Who Exemplify Them?

This is one of those periodic “Older Brother on the Porch” rants. I see it over and over again: in parish council elections, biographies of Church employees, people who win parish or diocesan awards, etc.:

“X is a proud father of 2, military veteran, with a long history of volunteerism with various civic groups.” If you’re lucky, the person in question is a Knight of Columbus.

Then, on the flip side, your average liberal or “run of the mill” Catholic will say something like, “Do you think saying the Rosary every day makes you a better Catholic?” “Do you think having seven kids makes you a better Catholic?” “Do you think being in a Third Order makes you a better Catholic?”
Uh, yes, objectively, a person who prays daily, doesn’t use birth control or is a member of a Third Order is a better Catholic (especially the latter, since it involves scrutiny and evaluation. It doesn’t make one automatically a saint or “holy” or whatever, but it *does* make one objectively a better Catholic.

“But we’re not supposed to judge.”

Then why are you telling me that I should judge someone to be a “good person” because he’s a military retiree, Rotary Club member, successful worldly professional, etc.??

Conversions and reversions are great, but when we hold up secularly successful people as the models of parish life–because they’re the ones with the money, of course–it really enforces the idea that the other things don’t matter.

Just once I’d like to be told that I should support someone for parish council, or support some parish employee, because he or she is doctrinally sound and a person of great prayer.

Otherwise, it just sends the message that a) Catholic doctrine doesn’t matter and b) Money is all that matters.