Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"I do not think it means what you think it means"

The Boston Globe reports that Kerry Kennedy "strives to reconcile her Catholic faith with the teachings of the church." Diogenes asks the same question that struck me: "If she's a Catholic, aren't her faith and the faith of the Catholic Church one and the same?"

Silly us. On reading the article it looks like the reason she's able to have a contradiction between her faith and her belief is that "faith", to her, means tradition and culture, the things she did as a child, something that "informed my view of the world, and the work that I do every day on social justice issues." She says, "My Catholicism is so deeply important to me - it was my sense of connection to the Almighty, to humanity, to my heritage, my upbringing." One thing it doesn't appear to be, for her, is a creed, a statement of truth that she actually believes. So she's able to achieve the remarkable state of "having" a religion she disagrees with.

(Not that she's not right in criticizing the sex abuse scandals-- that was a reprehensible contradiction between what the Church teaches and what some of the clergy actually did, a contradiction that is all too easy to achieve.)

Example two of an odd statement from the media, from the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Touchstone magazine:
"The rise of 'political anti-fundamentalism' is largely a reaction to messages about conservative Christians from the media," while "those most tolerant of others holding moral values different than themselves were also most likely to feel antagonistic toward fundamentalists," reported Religion Watch, summarizing a paper by two political scientists delivered at the meeting of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture in early November.
The most tolerant were the most antagonistic? How did they measure "tolerance"-- by self-reporting?


Mary Rose said...

Yeesh. For the love of pete... I loved your last line. Right on, right on! To those who cannot submit to the teachings of the Catholic Church, they focus on self-serving causes. Once again, that article you linked to pointed out that with social justice, "nobody does it better" than the Catholic Church.

But the Catholic Church is first about sanctification. And how does that start? By obedience. By submission.

Submission is a very tough thing and often collides head-on with our intellect. It would seem to me that Kerry Kennedy is trying to say now that she's all "grown up," she knows better.


Mary Rose said...

Oh, and those polls? Isn't it interesting they make this broad statement ("polls suggest that an overwhelming majority of American Catholics support women's ordination and that American Catholics reflect the general public's split over abortion.") but yet where is the proof? Where are they pulling these number from? Who says this?

When I dug for the answer a few months ago, I found the Boston paper had taken a small poll and found a majority - but this was nowhere near a clear case for the rest of the nation.

I can't stand sloppy journalism.