Let me begin with a disclaimer. No, call it an acknowledgement. Perhaps even an admission.
- I have, a time or two — perhaps three or four — written posts which a sensitive person of Roman Catholic persuasion could have understood to be critical of that church or insultingly dismissive of its leadership.
It was nothing personal. That is, other than confusing my childhood with a weird and counter-factual belief system, neither the Church nor its minions ever injured me. It did, on the other hand, introduce me to essential Christian concepts, for which I am grateful and by which I — generally and haltingly — still try to live. I feel no remorse for my critique of Catholicism; and believe I am better situated to assail it than someone who never experienced its features first-hand. (Just as it is the reformed sinner who is likely to be the harshest critic of the sin, so it is the reformed — say “converted” if you will — believer who can be most stringent in attacking the old beliefs.)
By that logic then — if you will concede a degree of logic is there — even more suited to criticize RC is one of the formerly-faithful who is also a member of a community which the church has systematically denigrated and mistreated. Women, for example.
All of which is a pompous introduction to an essay by Maureen Dowd. Her column yesterday was on the Church condemnation of a nun who wrote a book on sexual ethics.
The denunciation of Sister Farley’s book is based on the fact that she deals with the modern world as it is. She refuses to fall in line with a Vatican rigidly clinging to an inbred, illusory world where men rule with no backtalk from women, gays are deviants, the divorced can’t remarry, men and women can’t use contraception, masturbation is a grave disorder and celibacy is enshrined, even as a global pedophilia scandal rages.
Read the whole column. Maybe, if you’re still of and in the Faith, you could print it out and drop it in the collection box next Sunday.