Catholics

The haters in the Catholic Church

church

There are lots of them; lots. Especially in the United States; in particular, the South. And they all seek one thing: to stop the direction in which Pope Francis is taking the Catholic Church. A spiritual delusion born of unacknowledged pride and, yes, hatred.

Attempting to regain the 'glory' days of old both in the Church and in the public square (not going to happen in the expected way/s as we are moving toward increased brotherhood as the Church was in the beginning, not greater hierarchy), they mix politics with religion under the pretense of knowing more than others the will of God for both His Church and for humanity. They experience neither guilt nor shame in recruiting and attempting to impose their 'cause' by force on everyone else. By their own deeds, they fail to understand the very meaning of the word Catholic at its most basic.

Described as "American fundamentalists," "Catholic integralists/militants/Bible-thumpers," and so on, these individuals and cliques of individuals have been baptized into the Catholic Church, but they manifest to others neither its goodness nor its motherhood. They only show what exists deep down in their own heart – a "cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol," that is neither Christian nor Catholic. Roundly condemned for their proselytizations on multiple occasions by the Pope himself (and not just by this Pope), these armchair theologians - evangelizers of "this rotten world," or "the [purported] remnant; foot soldiers for Christ," as they call themselves – operate on the premise that the more you 'thump,' the more people will listen to you and come around to your way of thinking. A fallacious, boastful premise if one ever existed.

Promoting schism instead of unity in the Church, they consider themselves the only ones who are going to save the Catholic Church from utter ruin and destruction; this even from her own clergymen, according to them. A proven delusion on both counts, given what Christ said about His Church. Moreover, woe betide anyone who either dares to disagree with them or points out the cognitive dissonance in their thinking, in particular within the contexts of the universal versus the tribal (skewedness evident to even a five-year-old), for they will revenge themselves by engaging in libel, slander, and then some; making a public mockery of the very God they profess to defend, turning both the internet and social media into "a graveyard of corpses strewn all around."

As one senior clergyman said, these

obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering, virtual guardians of the faith or of liturgical practices are very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life, and so resort to the internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners.

They conveniently forget that speaking in the manner in which they speak and acting in the way/s they act, they are scourging anew Christ Himself in His own Body. But who cares about that? For the record, never has Pope Francis said anything against the deposit of faith. Never. Not once. If they truly knew Scripture and the teachings of the Church, they would know that. But blinded by pride and ideology, these individuals 'know better.'

One thing seems to repeatedly elude these Catholics in their unbridled fanaticism. It is this: God is God and He will not be mocked. Not even by you; no matter what you may try. He will not be mocked, in particular by those who claim to speak in His Name.

By their fruits you shall know them

It has become the fashionable custom in developed societies, first world nations, to identify as a Christian, in particular in the face of perceived or actual not-so-friendly secular governments. Hard identity Christianity or hard identity Catholicism, they call it. And it is considered both a counter-cultural statement in the public sphere and one of the ‘solid’ markers of a true Christian or Catholic – as though a strong denominational membership identity and its oft-resultant oneupmanship attitude win one an automatic pass to heaven. But this begs the questions, Who or what is a true Christian? Who or what is a true Catholic?

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, has left us a very simple yardstick with which to discern the answer to the above questions. “By their fruits you shall know them,” He said (Mt 7:16), adding that “Not all who call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 7:21).

Who, therefore, is my brother and who is my sister? Who is a true Christian? Who is a true Catholic?