Guest Opinion: Fr. Jay Scott Newman in the Lion's Den
sympathy. Converts told how priests like Father Newman and me gave them hope and drew them to the Catholic Faith. College students and old people wrote saying that they were encouraged in their faith and were determined to renew their pro-life fight because of Father Newman's letter. Priests and religious wrote thanking us for our stand and telling us to fight the good fight. Loyal, informed, and dedicated Catholics wrote simply to express their thanks and goodwill.
The thousands of e-mails we received reveal four American responses to full-fledged, red-blooded Catholicism.
The demonic were understandable: The devil will be a gentle dog as long as you feed him, but if you kick him, he bites back. The lame are those who are largely ignorant of the Catholic Faith, and can best be helped with prayer.
But the "defiant" category makes up the largest number of our respondents, and is the saddest category of all. Statistics show us that these are the Catholics who sealed Obama's victory. They are people who were poorly catechized over the last 40 years in America. They have been nurtured in the Protest Generation and told that it is fine, even noble, to disagree with the Church. They have been taught to act according to their conscience without taking the trouble or time to inform it.
Caught up in the trendy agendas of the day, they have jumped on the bandwagons of feminism, environmentalism, homosexualism, socialism, and sentimentalism -- mistaking their favorite cause for the Catholic Faith. When they are confronted with clear, concise, and consistent Catholicism they are shocked and angry, and their response is (if they haven't done so already) to leave the Church, preferring their own wisdom to the wisdom of God.
In the next 20 years, this sort of Catholic will become extinct. As America descends further into decadence and decline, the lines will be drawn between the forces of darkness and the forces of light. People will have to choose whether to serve God and His Church or the dark side. Catholics will have to choose to be fully committed or not. If they choose to be Catholic, let them be informed and involved and integrated. If they choose to leave the Church, then they should be honest and stop referring to themselves as Catholic.
If those in my "defiant" category are Catholics at all, then what kind of Catholics are they? We have heard the terms "cultural Catholic" and "cafeteria Catholic," but they might as well be called "chameleon Catholics" -- not only because they change color with every new trend of thought, but because there is something reptilian about them.
Rev. Dwight Longenecker is chaplain of St. Joseph's Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina. Visit his Web site at www.dwightlongenecker.com.
- - -
The mission of InsideCatholic.com is to be a voice for authentic Catholicism in the public square.We believe that truth is both attractive and compelling and that in the marketplace of ideas, it will invariably win out.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Politics & Policy News
- Attorney General approved warrant for Fox reporter's emails
- 'Journalism has been criminalized' Juan Williams declares
- Documents reveal US drone policy is scandalously indiscriminate
- Special Report from the Virginia Republican Nominating Convention: A Time To Choose - Life
- Lois Learner pleads the 5th. Was she the crook behind it or was she following orders from higher up?
- Sick of deception! Democrat threatens IRS with appointment of special prosecutor
- FOURTH OBAMA SCANDAL: Did HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius solicit funds for nonprofit group?
- Carney still insists nobody told Obama about IRS investigation
- State Department insider warns more whistle-blowers to come on Benghazi scandal
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?