At a very recent luncheon of the Catholic Fresno Professionals, a member of the organization addressed that body. He stated: I believe in the Pope. I believe in bishops who follow the pope and I believe in priests who follow their bishop. I also believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.
At this point another member of the organization leaned over to a prominent business person and asked: “How many children does the speaker have?” “Two.” The professional who asked the question, remarked dryly: “I guess he also believes in artificial birth control.”
The late John Paul II used to refer to individuals like the speaker as “smorgasbord Catholics.” The irony here is that the speaker failed to see the obvious incongruity between his highly emotional protestations of devotion to all the moral pronouncements of the pope and his deviation from those pronouncements in his own sexual practices.
As the Gospel according to Matthew 7:2 states: “the measure by which you measure shall be used to measure you.” If your definition of what is morally acceptable is a very narrow literalist reading of official church pronouncements then, you must be prepared to apply all of those to yourself as well.
It is not only this “Catholic” professional who is at odds with official Church teachings which prohibit the use of artificial birth control by married couples. Most bishops, while not publicly dissenting from official church teaching on this matter, simply chose to remain silent on the subject. Only a statistically tiny percentage of US Catholics actually practice natural family planning.
Such obvious contradictions between what we preach/teach and what we actually practice are not limited to Catholics. Many Protestant fundamentalists are quick to cite condemnations of homosexuality in the Epistles of Paul or in passages from the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet, when was the last time that a fundamentalist pastor ascended his pulpit and condemned those in the congregation who have divorced and remarried?
Christ himself in the Gospels unequivocally states “ Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” Mark 10:11 I promise you, you won’t hear that anytime soon at your local mega church. Why? Even though the scriptures are very, very clear and even though these are the actual words of Jesus in the Gospels, they are ignored because, half the congregation would stand up, walk out the doors, never come back and take their cash & checkbooks with them.
The Catholic church in the USA has made a “fine art” of granting annulments, as a way out for Catholics on this matter. A Catholic attorney wrote a book entitled: “Annulment: Your Chance to Remarry Within the Catholic Church Using the New Code of Canon Law.” The church in the USA is one of the great “cash cows” for the Vatican. Perhaps on this point of $piritual theology, Fundamentalists ministers and the Catholic hierarchy are much closer than they would care to state. It seems that some “sins” are more acceptable than others. Some are certainly more profitable.
- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- How It All began
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight