Friday, April 15, 2011

Quote of the Day

. . . There is a difference between teaching and dictating. Jesus taught, the Church dictates. Jesus stated pretty obvious facts like the one about a man committing adultery in his heart when he lustfully looks at another woman. Any therapist can tell you that for most people, that is indeed a fact and one of the early steps to a failed relationship with one's current spouse. If this kind of thing is truly mortally sinful, it's not because of the sexual connotation, it's because it violates a sacred relationship. Hence Jesus also talks about hardness of heart as the reason for Moses allowing divorce. Jesus said nothing about hardness of penises, but the Church takes this teaching about relationship and love, and turns it into a whole host of dictatorial doctrines about correct sex and where to put aroused genitalia. And these dictates have had a harm ratio that is far more devastating for women and children especially when they are coupled with Catholicism's dictates on gender roles.

I keep wondering why it is that the hierarchy has insisted that people be perfect Catholics before they can access the sacraments. (except for priests) I've come to the conclusion they don't believe sacramental grace actually works the way Jesus said it would, as balm for healing souls and hearts. I suspect this failure to believe and trust has an awful lot to do with the fact that in their dictated sacramental lives it doesn't work for them. And then things get all convoluted and the assumption is it won't work for laity either, unless laity are living perfect Catholic lives, and then it doesn't matter if it doesn't work. By definition no one would ever know the difference. Sinners because they can't test sacramental truth, and faithful perfect Catholics because it wouldn't matter if nothing happened.

This is so different from Native tradition in which Native healers expect their prayers and ceremonies to be reality tested. Apparently Catholicism is above and beyond any kind of reality testing. No wonder it's getting so unreal.

– Colleen Kochivar-Baker
"An Archbishop Talks Straight Marriage
– And It's Not Very Pastoral Either
Enlightened Catholicism
April 14, 2011

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