Thursday, May 02, 2002

A BAD IDEA
There's been lots of grumblings from people about witholding money from collections until the Church "shapes up" on abusing priests, whatever that means. Amy Wellborn has been beating the drum on this.

This is a terrible idea. If we really love the Church, why would we respond to its cirsis by witholding from it?

This is especially true for the diocesan appeals, which people are talking about boycotting. The Catholic Church continues to do important work in education and care for the poor through these donations. It would be wrong to hurt this work because of the actions of a few in the hierarchy. I plan to pledge more than I ever have before this year, and I hope any other Catholics reading this will do the same.

Yes, most of these people say that will joyfully double their contributions if the Church does what it should, but is this the way we want to relate to our Church? Through blackmail? I'm sorry, but I don't see this as consistent with Christ's message. I'm also not convinced that all these doublings of contributions would come to fruition.

I also don't buy the argument that all diocesan ministries are tainted by the clergy's sins. They continue to do important work, and continue to need our support.

The Church needs us. Do you think the problem is bad Catholic education? Get involved -- become a catechist! Liturgies bland and not-engaging? Join the choir, volunteer! Is witholding money from the Church really the best way to help it in this scandal? Is that the only thing you can think of to do?

I find these calls to refrain form giving to be petty and childish ("Yeah -- we'll hit 'em where it hurts!"). It's seems to me to be a far cry from how Jesus would respond to such a situation.

If you really think the Church needs to make some changes, then how exactly will cutting off its funds help? I hope we in the laity can find better ways to help our Church reform itself than witholding funds from it.

People are angry, and that anger is justified. But let's channel that anger into a paschal Resurrection on the other side of this, rather than revenge and hurting people who have done nothing wrong.

If you're still concerend, Fr. Shawn O'Neal has some suggestions for how you can make sure your contributions are used as you want them without punishing your local parish for the sins of the hieratchy.
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