Actually that’s not true. I still listen to NPR. As a matter of fact I was listening to it on Monday going to the grocery store and I heard a segment about Soraya Chemaly who wrote an article for the Huffington Post entitled, “I’m No Longer Catholic. Why Are You?” The thing that I find most interesting about the segment is that it existed in the first place. When was the last time you heard radio programs or read (besides blogs and such) about people saying, “I’m not longer Methodist, how about you?” or “I’m no longer Presbyterian, or Jewish, or Hindu?” Certainly except on the most rare occasions do hear about the great numbers of people who become Catholic every year (or even specific persons.) Until the event was moved to the Cleveland Diocese cathedral, those coming into the Catholic Church every year in this diocese alone was so large as to fill the floor of the convention center in Cleveland. Was there ever even a mention of this? Once?
Hundreds of thousands of protesters converged on our nation’s capitol on Pro-life Sunday, hundreds from north east Ohio alone. Did you hear a peep anywhere? The major media that did report on it tended to focus on the relatively miniscule group of people who were protesting the protesters.
It is “in” not to be Catholic. (Yet another good reason to be Catholic.) It is going to get a LOT worse before it gets better – A LOT WORSE and for a long time. There is a love/hate relationship between modern culture the Catholic Church. That is why we say that the Church is counter cultural and if you are “counter” you will be demonized. Forget black clothing, multiple piercings, tattoos on your neck, and pentagrams hanging from your neck, if you want to be counter cultural, be Catholic.
If you want to be Catholic in these times you are going to have to pray and THINK. When you hear a radio program like the one mentioned about ask yourself, “Why is this program being aired? Where is the balance? Who else is treated like this?” If you rely on the popularity of being Catholic to be Catholic you are in for some rough times. (Conversely, if you are a contrarian and Catholic this is your time to shine!) But for most it will be a daily grind. Get used to it.
The most important thing to keep in mind is the Eucharist. When I hear people like Soraya Chemaly state the reason why they left the Church – for many reasons that are very important to them – never is the Eucharist mentioned. Here is the source and summit of our lives and it is not so much as mentioned as a regret having to leave it behind. Could they have ever understood what it means to be Catholic? If they found that they “had to leave” but could not so much as say how much it will hurt to leave the Eucharist behind tells me that they never got it in the first place.
Are there issues to work through in the Catholic Church? You bet. Are they worth giving up the Eucharist? Not even remotely. In these times keep your eyes in Him.