Wednesday, March 7, 2012


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.


Anonymous said...

My guess is that people like this who leave the Church never believed in the real presence to begin with, so it's not even on the radar screen as a reason not to leave. Predictably, she falsely believes that the Church hates women, and uses the all male priesthood as an example of that hatred. An old and irrelevant argument. Yes, Catholic-bashing is all the rage, but then it always has been in the U.S. I just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Amen. I just came from having lunch with a good friend. I always believed she was a good Catholic. Has done a lot of volunteering with the Church. She just laid on me that she suggested to her husband (who is a pseuo-catholic) that she wouldn't mind trying out other churches. He said OH NO we are not. I mentioned Eucharist to her but she pushed it aside. She just can't deal with some of the awful things that are going on in the church today such as pedophilia. MY reponse to her was I am a Catholic for our beliefs and not for the people who might administer our faith. I am getting this more and more from friends and am trying not to be upset in front of them but I am seething inside and terribly saddened. I am just not sure how to deal with this. I am not a theologian so cannot site "book & verse" to justify my faith. But darn it, I don't have to justify my faith to anyone.
Sorry just needed to vent.

Anonymous said...

Loved the title of this piece! I drive alot for work and enjoy listening to the in depth interviews NPR does, but every time they talk about anything catholic the rhetoric is so hateful that I end up seething. I agree that they wouldn't let anyone speak unchallenged about any other faith the way Soraya Chemaly did. I think the host was actually uncomfortble with the direction of the interview but didn't have the guts to reign her in or call her to task.

Trevor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trevor said...

The simple answer to the complicated question is that it is easy not to commit. It is very easy to question beliefs, doctrine, tradition, and leadership. It is hard to adhere to structure, discipline yourself to prayer, and flat out have faith. All of that being said if you do the latter, you would find yourself understanding why the former is much more difficult in the long term. It's easy to pick something apart; it's hard to pick up a sword and defend it. Love, your fellow NPR listener