|Saint Augustine of Hippo and Me. Jesus sent him.|
At first I was annoyed, but then I found it funny. (Apparently some Canadians just don't understand what theology is, o ma foi! Quel dommage! Nous sommes tout simplement aveugles, bien-lá, t*bern*cle, c*l*x!)
As a matter of fact, I did pray before--or while---I read Amoris Laetitia and before I wrote my piece. I remembered very strongly being at a meeting of Catholic feminists who were plotting to have the Vatican removed from the UN: they didn't start with a prayer. Although by then I had drifted into a radical Catholic feminist stance, I found this lacuna disturbing. Surely if you're Catholic and trying to thwart the Pope, you ought to pray first? But they didn't, and they also spoke favourably of "Catholics for Choice"--ugh--and at the end of the meeting, they sadly reflected on how their children didn't go to church anymore, the final shockeroo. "Our children won't carry on our fight," one whined, and I was done. That meeting was a great blessing, for it stopped me in my descent down the ideological spiral staircase.
(For the curious: My Catholic radical feminist period was from c. 1996-2002. You can safely ignore anything I wrote during that period, if you can find it. Anything after August 2002 should be okay. I was (under God) salvaged by Saint Augustine of Hippo: it was a miracle. Picture a particularly woolly sheep stuck in the mud among rusty wire and brambles yelling Maaaaa! Maaaaaa! Maaaaa! Then picture Saint Augustine looking over a fence, seeing the state I'm in and sighing, "Oh, dear Lord." Then Saint Augustine picks up the muddy me-sheep, slings me around his neck and carts me back over the broken fence amid much bleating. That about sums it up.)
So as a matter of fact, I did pray before and while I wrote, and as you know I kept before me the fictional image of beloved Jesuit profs and classmates reading Amoris Laetitia and saying, "This is so consoling!" I was pretty sure I wouldn't agree with them, but that's not the point.
For the record, had I more time to read and absorb Amoris Laetitia, I would have been a lot harder on the minds that wrote it. I see that Mr Lopez assumes Francis wrote it and that I was talking about Francis. If Francis actually wrote that document, than I guess I was writing about Francis. But everything I said about the minds writing that document I gathered from the document itself. (Whoever wrote Work 2 gave a strong impression of being most comfortable with what Bernard Lonergan S.J. calls "commonsense thinking", i.e. pre-abstract.)
Meanwhile, I do feel guilty about one thing: if it isn't good dogmatic/systematic theology, it isn't really good pastoral theology. The harmless parts of "Work 2" (i.e. Chapters 1, 4-7, 9) could be read with enjoyment by ordinary families and simple-hearted parish priests looking for good ideas and themes for their homilies. However, the worst parts of "Work 1", "Work 3" (shudder) and even "Work 2" involved a terribly disdain for the perennial teaching of the Church. I was too easy on the author or authors of "Work 2."
In other news about Catholics of position online, I tried to console a man on Facebook that he had something in common with traddy hothead Steve Skojec. This idea the man vehemently rejected. He and the "rightwinger" had nothing in common! I found this refusal to see ol' Stevie as a fellow Catholic, layman, father, human being, et alia, a tad odd for a Catholic, so I looked up the chap. Head of a major Catholic organization dedicated to, er, peace.
Yeah, you know what? Every one of us who says something on social media, on blogs, on Disqus, or whatever is VISIBLE and potentially MEMORABLE. This is something always to remember.
Meanwhile, now that I am a traddy, I can say that I have learned TONS from progressives, either what NOT to do, or how to love, or learn from, someone whom you don't agree with. Meanwhile, I learned at my mother's convert knee that the Head of the Church is not any given pope but Our Lord Jesus Christ. And that, dear readers, was when the brilliant and holy Saint John Paul II was the Vicar of Christ. For a long time I thought that was her residual Protestantism talking, but now I see that her instincts against papolatry were prophetic.