Sunday, March 09, 2003

WHY STUFF LIKE THIS BOTHERS ME SO MUCH
Warning: This is more of a reflection on my feelings than a logical argument.

I work very hard to align my conscience with that of the Church. I am inclined to think that the Church ought to open ordination to women, I have not seen a convincing argument otherwise. Yet, I keep quiet about this as much as possible, in part because orthodox Cathoics like Mr. Dreher tell me that such "dissent" is harmful to the Church, and at the root cause of the sexual abuse scandals. So I try to keep quiet about it.

I am deeply troubled by the way our Church treates homosexuals. I think that many are puzzled and confused and feel unloved by the Church, and given few options about how to live their lives. But I am told that even the Church's current stance towards gays and lesbians is too tolerant, and this tolerance is part of the root cause of the sexual abuse scandals, so I keep quiet.

I am not sure about the Vatican's position on the war in Iraq, yet I have spent the past week in this blog defending the Church's position against smears from non Catholic commentators. Then, when I look to support from some of these orthodox commentators who have been shouting me and others like me down, I see them undermining the Church's position by comparing it to its response to the sexual abuse scandals.

Commentators like Mr. Dreher rightfully point out that dissenting from the Vatican's position on war is not the same as dissenting on issues like birth control and abortion since the former is a prudential judgement by the Holy Father, and the latter is a matter of faith. But then they feel free to compare the position on war to the response to the abuse scandals, and these seem to me to be even further apart. If comparing dissent on matters of faith to dissent on prudential judgement is comparing apples to oranges, then comparing prudential judgements on current issues to response to scandals is comparing oranges to steak.

It is very disappointing to me that commentators like Dreher who have been so quick to blame those with a hint of daylight between their own position and the Church's on sexual issues for every problem under the sun, now feel free to slam the Vatican because they don't agree with its position on war with Iraq.

As someone who is working hard (albeit not perfectly) to align his conscience and public statements with the Church, I wonder why I bother. It would be nice to feel like I was joined in this struggle with those who find themselves in disagreement with the Church on other things. But that doesn't seem to be the case.
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