Learned watching cable news, #8

Week of April 9, 2012

From Lawrence O’Donnell’s Rewrite I learned the Catholic Church has survived, and even flourished, because of its critics from within.  History tells us the Church has been corrupt in various ways.  Inside critics have often been the “good guys,” but this didn’t stop them from suffering the Church’s wrath.  Martin Luther is the best example — excommunicated for his 95 theses concerning the 16th century church, many of which criticized the institutional greed of selling indulgences.

Forgiveness sales are now a thing of the past. Has the Catholic Church apologized to Luther, a man with a protestant religion named after him? We know the answer.

Recent sex-abuse scandals illustrate another corruption of the Church.  Incidents may not have been caused by a policy that permits the ordination of only unmarried men, but the culture that grew up around that policy led to the practice of moving pedophiles and covering up for them.   We now know there is no better cover for the sex abuse of boys than a closeted homosexual culture — way to go Catholic Church.

I remember when our parish priest said the Church needed to change its policy against the ordination of married men.  The reaction from the congregation was spontaneous applause.

As O’Donnell points out, Church critics throughout history have helped reconcile the institution to Jesus’ teachings.  This happens with clarity when critics demonstrate the virtues Jesus modeled — understanding, imagination, strong character, courage, humility and generosity.

Why don’t Christians (including Catholics) know the six virtues of the educated person?  Was Jesus not the model of an educated person?  Didn’t He want his followers to be educated?  Hasn’t His Church let Him down?

Catholics are like everybody else.  They don’t want to teach the six virtues, but they want to teach all kinds of other things.  Why?



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