Recently, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, issued an encyclical on Climate Change entitled “Laudato Si” , which translates into English as “Praise Be to You.” The reaction to the Encyclical was immediate, as anything the Pope says is. Leftists were praising him and aligning themselves with him in the same way that Gay Marriage advocates did when he said gays should be welcomed and treated as equal human persons (which those supporting gay marriage translated to be an endorsement of same-sex unions, which it was not). Conservatives were calling the Holy Father a Marxist.
I felt like I’d just ordered a morning coffee and asked for the latest newspaper while on a cruise which suddenly went from calm waters to the perfect storm. The only consolation I had was that people from both sides of the political spectrum were going overboard, not me. I just felt very seasick and clung to my deck chair and rosary beads.
What troubled me the most was how Catholics entered the social media sphere attacking the Pope. It is this reaction that my blog addresses today. I am asking all who read this to consider very carefully what I’m about to tell you. No, I am not a visionary or a genius. What I am is a former professional journalist who, even years after leaving that profession, has continued to follow the news. I know what I am talking about here. That’s why you need to listen to me if you are a Catholic who loves and respects our Church.
Folks, there is nothing that non-Catholics love more than seeing Catholics fight each other publicly and air disagreements about the Church. They love it when Catholics bash the Pope. There are a lot of people who do not like our Church or who are suspicious about it (one coworker told me once he viewed the Church as a secret society!). There are others who are indifferent but simply like to watch a fight. They don’t care who gets hurt as long as they are entertained.
If you think I’m exaggerating, let me assure you I am not. For example, I get on Facebook quite a bit and enter into dialog with people who attack the Church. What is of peculiar interest to me here is how many non-Catholics like to get involved in these discussions. There is something which draws non-Catholic people to Catholic-related things. And many of these people enjoy helping Catholics bash their own Church.
So let me ask you, dear reader – are you a faithful Catholic? Do you love the Church? If so, let me suggest that you keep your differences or concerns or questions or anger out of the public sphere.
But wait, someone who is reading this is saying…what if I have differences with the Pope on something? What if I have questions or concerns? Are you telling me I can’t give voice to these?
Not at all. Gather with other faithful Catholics. Talk to your pastor or another priest. Just don’t air your laundry list to the public at large.
If you still don’t see this, let me put it to you in a different way. If you have a family member (spouse, child, sibling, etc.) and they have done something you don’t like or agree with, would you take that person out into the street to correct them publicly?
I hope not. Part of what makes a family a family is loyalty. You should be loyal to your spouse, your children, your siblings. Taking them out into the street in front of non-family members to correct them is humiliating. It is an act of disloyalty.
Why then take your Pope and Church outside and humiliate them? Aren’t the Pope and Church your spiritual family?