Common sense

One of the most appealing aspects of Catholicism is its enduring common sense, its unfailingly perfect blueprint for living happily and peacefully in this life and achieving eternal salvation in the process. The beauty, logic, and grace of its sacraments can be found in no other religion. Even though the gate is narrow, we have been promised by Our Divine Saviour that we can gain heaven if we persevere in our Faith. And yet, the simple and virtuous life to which most good Catholics aspire has become complicated lately, due in good part to the confusing behavior and leadership of the Catholic hierarchy and especially its embrace of ‘political correctness’.

Political correctness is, in fact, a manifest incorrectness.

Political correctness leads to many contradictions and much confusion, especially when found in the Mystical Body of Christ and particularly in the successors of the Apostles. Others have written extensively and more expertly on the subject but let me consider for the moment a few examples which help make my point.

Many good Catholics today are strongly committed to and actively involved in the fight against the destruction of human life by abortion on demand. They make enormous personal sacrifices on behalf of pro-life causes and are willing to take to the streets to win this battle. Yet, most of their bishops give only lip service to this struggle and, in the name of political correctness refuse to chastise publicly political and other Catholic public officials who aid and support these murderous practices. They ignore the example of many of their own  (e.g.:  John Fisher)  who refused to be intimidated by the King himself.

The Catholic Church has been involved recently in one of the most despicable sexual scandals in its history, a scandal that has virtually destroyed the Church’s credibility and its moral authority. In answer to this scandal, the bishops formed committees, they pleaded for forgiveness and understanding and for our patience while they  allegedly corrected the situation. Yet they refuse to admit to the rampant homosexuality responsible for the problem, they refuse to cry out against this terrible sin, mainly for fear of offending the homosexual activists within and outside of their ranks.

What about putting a stop to those public figures receiving communion but are clearly living in mortal sin? What about  obedience to the Pope and providing the extraordinary form of the Mass in all parishes? What about ‘holy anger’ against the rampant corruption among African bishops?

All of these violations of common sense and good will are to the Catholics in the pews a widening of the credibility gap to a virtual chasm. Oh, if only these bishops had the courage, the conviction, the faith of St. Thomas Becket! If only there were a St. Francis de Sales   or a St. Charles Borromeo among our bishops today!

There are countless other glaring contradictions driven by the poisonous posturing of political correctness that have surfaced in today’s Church. One in particular comes to mind in the form of the so-called outreach for unity with other religions. This false ecumenism (nothing to do with the encyclical ‘Dominus Jesus’  is one of the most deadly forms of political correctness, with its constant apologies and its unworthy search for areas of compromise on both doctrine and liturgy. The Roman Catholic Church is the only religion in the world that holds and professes the full and essential body of truths necessary for man’s salvation. That is why our leaders and all of us who are Catholics and enjoy the fullness of the Faith are obligated to believe and to propagate these truths to our fellow men without blemish.

Common sense tells us that if our Catholic message is to be fully understood and accepted it must be taught clearly and in its entirety and our personal example must reflect our beliefs with no compromise. Jesus spoke unambiguously and without fear of men’s opinions.  As His faithful followers we can do no less.

The Catholic Faith makes perfect sense – let’s use our common sense in living it, in teaching it.


17 Responses to “Common sense”

  1. 1 churchmouse December 4, 2009 at 11:15

    Totally agree, Gabriella! Amen!

    The question is — do many priests have the mettle to preach common sense, Catholic teachings and the Scripture? Do they have the fire of the Holy Spirit burning within? Some do, certainly, but some do not. Guess this is where the laity need to fill the vacuum.

  2. 2 Cara December 4, 2009 at 11:55

    There’s so much ridiculous political correctness everywhere! We hear plenty about the word “diversity” but behind this word is a growing, single-minded intolerance toward anything resembling conservative beliefs or traditional morality.
    I agree with you in full. Bishops, please heed our call!

    Churchmouse, you’re right: Guess this is where the laity need to fill the vacuum ..

  3. 3 Victor S E Moubarak December 4, 2009 at 11:57

    Money money money … money makes the Church go round … the Church go round … the Church go round …

    The Catholic Church, and other churches for that matter, will do anything to appease the congregations and to ensure they don’t drive them away. The main aim of the game is bums on seats. Call it political correctness, call it progress, call it keeping up with the times … church leaders will do nothing that will threaten the cash coming in and the continuation of their well-established hierarchy.

    They’ll even install fast-food outlets in church if the parishioners ask for it.

    • 4 Judy December 8, 2009 at 17:15

      “appeasing a congregation so as not to chase them away”

      I feel THIS, even more than MONEY, is what drives many a Bishop, a Pastor, a DRE, a ministry, a PARENT in our modern Church community…SADLY thus.

      When the Holy Father Benedict XVI first took the Chair of Peter, he was asked how he felt about all of those who would LEAVE the Church if he refused to allow certain things (priests to be married, women to be priests, etc…) in the modern day Church.
      His response was “Let them leave”.

      So too, does Our Father in Heaven, “LET US LEAVE” whenever we choose to reject HIS TRUTH…He does not appease, nor CHANGE what has already been revealed, but He also does not FORCE us to comply. HE LETS US LEAVE…even unto eternal damnation in Hell.

      We must pray for our priests, bishops, cardinals, popes…that they will reflect this image of the Almighty God to their faithful and stand for CHRIST and TRUTH, not wavering, nor compromising in order to gain a buck or draw in a crowd.

      I am one to be anxious about what others think…it is a terrible fault of mine…especially when I know that someone has been given FALSE information…I feel compelled to “clear the air”…whereas my wise and stable husband ALWAYS handles these things with the utmost calm, dignity, and grace, saying “You needn’t worry…the TRUTH will ALWAYS, somehow, some way, at some time manifest Itself”

      I suppose we, who cringe and grow depressed at the current state of our “politically convenient” Church (as Karinann so aptly described) must be more like my sweet husband and TRUST THE HOLY SPIRIT to MANIFEST HIMSELF in the face of it all…so that the COMMON SENSE Gabriella writes about will WIN IN THE END and further…will be the GUIDING FORCE of our daily lives!

  4. 5 Karin December 4, 2009 at 14:04

    Thank you for this excellent post. My own definition or synonym for political correctness is political convenience. Preaching the simplicity and common sense of the Truth is just not convenient for some bishops and priests, not to mention those of us in the laity. But we need the firm and solid example of our bishops.
    I tend to agree with Victor about the money aspect.
    I also can’t help but think of Bishop Martino of Scranton, PA here in the US. He was not afraid to speak the common sense and truth of our faith, and because of that he is no longer bishop there. I may not have always agreed with his tactics, but I applauded his courageousness in doing what a bishop is called to do.
    We all need to do our part but I believe it has to start at the top.
    Thanks and God Bless!

    • 6 churchmouse December 4, 2009 at 14:08

      Thank you, Karin, for mentioning Bishop Martino. Prayers for his happy and carefree retirement. I felt so sorry for him at the end when he said he was just too tired to fight any more battles. He really did do the Lord’s work. Would that more bishops were like him.

  5. 7 anne bender December 4, 2009 at 15:17

    Excellent post! Thank you for this Gabriella!

  6. 8 Raman Chakravorthy December 4, 2009 at 16:18

    Gabriella, you couldn’t have chosen a better illustration than Overbeck’s “Italy and Germany” 😀
    I love the Nazarenes and they were wrongly put aside and sacrificed in the name of modern art!

    Until recently, the general judgment of the once admired and influential Nazarene painters of early-nineteenth-century Germany, among those who paid any attention to their work, was that in rejecting everything that came after the young Raphael and seeking inspiration in the Italian “primitives,” they had taken the wrong road and ended up in a cul-de-sac, in contrast to contemporaries such as Géricault and Delacroix, Constable and Turner, who had taken the road that led, without break, to modernity.

    To the Nazarenes, however, as to the neoclassical artists of the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (David, Flaxman, Carstens) and their theorist Winckelmann, going back meant going forward—beyond illusionism. The obscurity into which Friedrich Overbeck, Franz Pforr, Peter Cornelius, and Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld and all the other Nazarenes have fallen raises questions about the degree to which the long dominant and ideologically loaded narrative of art history as a “development” toward modernity has determined not only how viewers today respond to works of art but what art they get to see.

    Thank you.

  7. 9 Cinzia December 5, 2009 at 07:43

    Victor – I have to disagree with you on this – I believe that the very fact that bishops and priests are wishy-washy, without backbones, and trying their hardest to keep people in pews, being politically correct … THESE ARE THE VERY THINGS THAT ARE DRIVING PEOPLE AWAY.

    The faithful, like us here, do not want this garbage to pollute Catholicism and what it stands for. I believe we are sick of all these stupid “reasons” that are used to keep people from running away. That is why we crave so much and long for traditions to come back. We long for priests who have the courage to stand up and speak the truth no matter what – to truly represent Christ – we want bishops to be the finest example to all of us.

    We are absolutely sick and tired of political correctness in our religion, and all the damage that it has caused.

    These priests who are so anxious to keep the money rolling in and the people to keep coming HAVE GOT IT ALL WRONG. All their efforts are achieving the opposite effect.

    If they think that giving people what they want all of the time without question, and twisting truths and Catholic dogmas to suit the times and the whims of a moral relativistic society, sweeping wrongdoings under the carpet, and so on, is helping the Church, they are completely off track, without mentioning how unlike Christ they are behaving.

    Who is going to tell them that if they continue this way the pews will very soon be COMPLETELY empty!

  8. 10 churchmouse December 5, 2009 at 10:29

    Both Cinzia and Victor have a point. It seems to be that the wishy-washy clergy and hierarchy will do anything to get bums on seats, the money is that important. So, in order to make their targets, they water down the Church’s teachings, sermons and liturgy. Let’s not even get into the scandals which run concurrently alongside all this. Some of these men are spiritually bereft.

  9. 11 Victor S E Moubarak December 5, 2009 at 13:56

    Hi Cinzia,

    Hey … I agree with you 100%. The Catholic people don’t want this wishy-washy political correctness. But the Catholic hierarchy of prietss and bishops has still not got the point. They are focussing too much on getting bums on seats and the money rolling in. The end result, as you rightly say, is driving people away and empty pews. So we agree, although I may have put my point badly. SORRY !!!

    Here are two examples of what I mean by chasing money.

    Our church has special colections because we have a set annual target to give money to the Bishop in our diocese. Nothing wrong in that.

    Our church needed to build an extension so we could have a church hall. It cost £k.

    We had to go to the bishop and get a loan, to be repaid, with interest, over a period of years. So basically we are borrowing back the money we gave the Bishop over the past years and repaying it with interest in future years. Stupid or what?

    We couldn’t get a straight loan from a bank – that’s not allowed. You have to go to the Bishop. Meanwhile, the poor bums on seats struggling in a world financial crisis, have to dig deeper in their pockets each Sunday collections – for there are more than one believe me.

    Another example. In the UK the Government donates back to charities any tax you may have paid for each £ you give to charity – i.e. you give £1 to the church the Government gives 38 pence to the same church. Our church now pesters you every so often to fill in forms saying how much you itend to give to the church. Again, nothing wrong in that, but I feel it’s too much focus on money rather than focussing on the Word of God.

    So let’s now all join together and sing:

    Money makes the church go round … the church go round … the church go round.

    • 12 churchmouse December 5, 2009 at 19:26

      Errgh, those forms! So irritating! Because if you’re unemployed or no longer working and not paying enough tax to cover all your donations, then you have to write to all the charities and to your church and have yourself removed from their Gift Aid list. Otherwise you could be in trouble with Inland Revenue.

  10. 13 J. Escapa December 5, 2009 at 18:50

    I see by clicking on the little ‘Visitor location’ map here on the right that surfers from Vatican City do land on this beautiful blog so I wish to say to them:


  11. 14 Cinzia December 6, 2009 at 00:02

    Thanks for illustrating your points so well Victor … so I see we are all basically on the same track, just expressed things in different ways.

    All this money business is truly revolting! I refuse to fill in forms and do “as I am told” by churches and priests. I am so against the very principle. I hop around different churches all of the time and I donate whenever I can or feel like it. And I am always waiting for the opportunity of giving anyone a piece of my mind if anyone dares to approach me to ask why I “behave differently from the norm.” Grrrrr …. I love a fight!

    I believe they should abolish those awful money collections that take place right in the middle of the holy sacrifice of the Mass and relegate them to the end of mass at the very least. Talk about the worst possible way of distracting people from prayer and from the Consecration.

    This constant asking for money and giving out envelopes is the PITS! 😦

    If Jesus came back today, I can just picture him doing exactly what he did 2000 years ago, overturning tables at the temple and shouting to everyone to get out, that this is a house of God, and you have all turned it into a den of thieves.

    2000 and more years and nothing has changed. Us humans are pretty damn thick!


  12. 15 Brian December 7, 2009 at 03:10

    Thank you Gabriella!

    You will be happy to know that the US Catholic Bishops, with advice from the Vatican, completely changed the formation program for the Permanent Diaconate – teaching good sound Catholic doctrine. Hopefully it will make a difference, in a country where faith is being displaced by worldly affairs – many are in danger of losing their Christian hope.

    God bless…

  13. 16 Robert Nicodemo December 10, 2009 at 01:41

    Bravo, Gabriella, Cultural warrior!
    Yeah, P.C. is the ultimate mass control instrument. Very much supported by the already controlled mass media.
    If I make you speak in such and such manner, then you will think accordingly…
    Thus, who knows…maybe the N.O. mass, in fact, have became the ultimate Modernist-Catholic instrument to convert the Catholic into liberals, anything-goes ‘believers’…

  14. 17 MPD January 1, 2010 at 16:09

    Gabriella, considering that there is comment moderation, if you should decide to publish my comment, please publish this one, as I had sent my first comment by mistake without re-reading. Thank you!

    “Yet they refuse to admit to the rampant homosexuality responsible for the problem, they refuse to cry out against this terrible sin, mainly for fear of offending the homosexual activists within and outside of their ranks.”

    When I first heard that the Church had decided to exclude homosexuals from seminaries, I was very upset because the decision was based on the belief that this is the cause of the sex abuse scandals. As a survivor of child sexual abuse in a Catholic ambience (Catholic grade school, though not by a priest), through years of work, study, prayer and sacrifice on my path to healing, I have acquired a deep understanding of the phenomenon of pedophilia.

    In all of the scientific studies and books I have read, the clear picture which emerges is that it has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality, which is defined as sexual attraction towards a person of the same sex. No studies on the subject would ever affirm such a theory. A pedophile is sexually attracted to children of either sex, not to men. It is a crime as old as humanity itself, because the urge to mar an innocent creature is strong in human beings of all cultures.

    Very simply said, pedophilia is nothing short of a way to exercise total power over a helpless creature. It is the desire for power that drives predators, not homosexuality, and this should be understood by Church authorities and the general public.

    Common sense measures like the steps taken by the American Church in assuring safe conditions for children, by first of all teaching them to recognize and denounce inappropriate behavior by any adult; training for adults who work with children, on how to recognise the signs of abuse in children and on how to approach them about their suspicions; sacrifices, prayers and liturgies for this specific intention offered by communities, or better yet I dare say, by the Universal Church (for wherever this sin has been committed, there have always been others who knew or suspected, and who pretended not to see) are just some of the measures which may help to bring healing to the wounds in these children of God and to the Church itself.

    Furthermore, priests who commit this grevious sin must be turned over to civil authorities, tried and sentenced to prison, while at the same time receiving psychological and spiritual help to avoid recidivism (help which should be given to all pedophiles, not only to priests).

    The reaction of the Church, even now after years of this quagmire, is still not forceful enough. The Pope’s recent comment on the Irish scandal is totally insufficient: a letter to Irish Catholics can be defined as a tepid, hypocritical reaction at best, because the Murphy report was an initiative of the Government of Ireland, not the Church. This is a scandal within the scandal.

    That said, although I cannot be defined either as a traditionalist or a progressive, but rather as a normal, practicing Catholic, in love with Jesus Christ, and in love with the Holy Catholic Church.

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