In this post, Michael Sean Winters tries to get people to believe if Domino's delivers pizza to Planned Parenthood,
I see what he's saying.
Sorta like waitress at Bickfords who served the Taliban before they hoped on the plane and crashed into the twin towers is the same level of cooperation with evil as the people funding them.
Maybe he's onto something.
Could the war on terror could be won peacefully if Homeland Security would only shut down the restaurants in airports?
The wisdom of Winters little story, the morals of which seem to escape me, are supposed to be the antithesis to Catholics outraged over the United States
What doesn't Winters get about the distinctions between Catholic Bishops funding groups lobbying rights to kill other people and the guy delivering a pizza to Planned Parenthood?
The sole purpose of the Catholic Bishops is the Apostolic duty to uphold the teachings of the Church and guide the discernment of the Catholic population in the public square. The Church has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, training each Bishop
The Church got the money to train these men from the Catholic consumers in the pews who expect a return on their money.
The money the Bishops are giving to groups who fund abortion has been given to the Bishops for the sole purpose of upholding the teachings of the Church so that their children and grandchildren, relatives, friends, neighbors and the faithful at large have the guidance they need to get into Heaven.
People making pizza, delivering pizza, eating pizza and disposing the remnants of our food into the dumps and incinerators aren't the institutions and people dedicated to uphold the teachings of the Church. Catholics in the pews aren't donating their money to the pizza store owner for the sole purpose of upholding the teachings of the Church.
A reader sent a post about Michael Sean Winters to me yesterday which was news to me.
I discovered that a guy I went to seminary with more than twenty years ago had turned into a kind of quixotic shill for the Catholic Church's opposition to DC Gay marriage. Michael Sean Winters was a very flamboyant gay man in the seminary. There is literally no other way to describe him. I always liked him in those days, and was always pleased that there did not seem to be any erotic energy
between us. I liked hearing all his liberal postulations and glosses. I shared many of his views. But by nature I am more reserved about letting people know what I am thinking, even though gregariousness is a part of my nature. When I trust someone then it is a different story. Michael Winters was not someone you would trust, because he was really all over the place. It saddened me to hear other seminarians constantly make cruel fun of him for his psychological difficulties and his labyrinthine liberalism. I recall sitting in the refectory with him being entertained by his analysis of certain Church trends as "fascism". Being given personally to trying to understand systems of thought qua systems, I marveled that Michael did not seem to grasp in the inherently inhospitable nature of Catholic polity towards his logic, such as it was. Further, I remember humorously that Greg Rohde, who I think went on to be a Assistant Secretary of Commerce, was sitting there amazed by Michael's scattershot discussion, especially when he digressed into one of his favorite topics -- what a big girl our rector Larry Terrien was. (It really is amazing how far "big girls" go in the Roman Church. I remember seeing Terrien after I left the seminary in a famous gay restaurant in DupontCircle).
This inability to understand the context of ideas still afflicts poor Michael Winters. Or Michael Sean Winters as he uses for his blogging. What can you say about a guy with such vaunted conceptual ambitions who spent many, many years as hostess with the mostess at Kramerbooks in
Dupont. The chicken sandwich on focaccia was always good, and still is. It was always fun to run into him and hear about his perpetual search to get that doctorate in Church History. Fun and sad. Michael seemed more and more conceptually bereft as the years went on, ad the florid confidence of youth, settled into the bizarre juxtapositions of middle aged addled attempts at comprehensivess. Gossip replaced thought. It became too much to even listen to that at some point. It made me reflect on how hard it is to be a gay man in some ways. It brings psychological stresses for all of us. And the gay community has in some ways taken on that nasty fun-making cruelty I saw in those conservative seminarians. So I don't judge Michael. But I will not sit by while his mental confusion is used by right-wing nuts in the Catholic church to create a subtle conceptual space for their essential bigoted positions.
I'm not really tapped into the details of the characters posting Catholic dissent and so the fact that Winters is a gay man who was once in the seminary completely escaped me.
Interesting post here too. (Occasionally, my friends or colleagues will say to me - what world are you living in! "I don't know", I'll say, "one that is gone 12 hours a day for work and then taking care of a house, family and friends? I don't think we are reading the same blogs? "
There is a lot to digest and discuss in this post, including the personal and spiritual impact of realizing the Church considers us "lost sheep" when our flesh and early desires leads us to reject Church teaching. At one point or another in our lives, we have all been there on one Church teaching or another. The alienation brings on a plethora of emotions that are very hard to set aside to get the motivation going to take a stab at understanding the the wisdom of the Church. Personally, I see promiscuity outside of Sacramental marriage, any promiscuity,pre-marital, extramarital, etc., as the same level of inequity in sin (apart from rape of course which piles theft on top of the sin of promiscuity).
Too much to discuss for this post, but a few observations about how Michael Sean Winters is conducting his apostolate are worth noting.
When Winters is discussing sins of promiscuity and abortion at America Magazine and the National Catholic Reporter, the twists and turns of his logic are always baiting people into malice for the teachings of the Church. He characterizes the people who have surrendered their will to the teachings of the Church,out in the public square teaching the tenets of the Catholic religion to others, as the enemy.
His posts give his readers the notion that the Church hates, which further alienates them from perhaps ever setting their emotions aside to conduct due diligence on the actual teachings of the Church. He's holding people hostage, away from the unconditional love of Christ and the Sacraments of His Church. I cannot imagine a worse offense against God.
I've spoken many times before about my own history (past history, thankfully) of railing against the teachings and disciplines of the Church - mostly about contraception and priestly celibacy vs. married priests. I was away from the Church and the Sacraments of the Church for several years. Fools they were in my eyes back then.
Like most mothers raised in the Catholic faith, there was enough seeds planted in my own conscience to want my own children to be raised Catholic and so I returned. When they were old enough for CCD, I went to the priest, told him I wanted to volunteer but spoke candidly about my feelings about the teachings of contraception. I made it clear to him that I would never pass on my own internal conflict to children and that I would study the wisdom of the Church and then teach it and keep my own doubts to myself. He agreed (to my surprise) to let me teach (which I did for ten years on the high school level).
Of course, teenagers have a way of posing questions that are actually quite deep. Because I was sincere in my own pursuit to not infect them with any scandal that they may take with them their whole life, I would often tell them their question was a good one that I would have to think about it, and do some research and get back to them on it. Off I'd go to do the research on how the Church answered their particular misgivings - really without the intention of learning it myself but crafting their answer so they would walk away with the fullness of the reasoning of the Church, while holding onto my own reservations.
It didn't take long before I realized they weren't the fools, I was! And, the next thing you know, I was teaching with conviction, zeal and fire.
Similar to life when friends come to us with troubles over a colleague at work, family, friends and we find ourselves giving them giving advice that we have been overlooking in a situation in our own lives. God in His mysterious ways sets things up so that we are imparting wisdom to others, He's killing two birds with one stone.
Personally, it's always a blow to me when the light goes on for me in those kinds of situations. Often, I've been struggling in dealing with a situation that I think I've been managing well but without real results. Realizing the divine intervention always catches me off guard. If you can't laugh at yourself, you're pretty much screwed in this life.
The picture in this post is another from my favorite artist William Bouguereau, a soul on it's way to Heaven.
Feeding and fueling resentment and animosity over the tenets of the Catholic religion is causally related to the anguish and false sense of rejection of so many souls. Can't they see what they're doing?
Many times over at America Magazine, people have tried to post factual information about Church teaching. They deliberately remove it or bar it. What is going on there is more than confusion, it is a deliberate indoctrination into false teaching and fueling internal rage against Christ's Church.
If you've got your own problems with the teachings of the Church, it's wiser to keep it to yourself.
Holding people hostage to your own animosity so that they're distracted from finding the wisdom of the Church? Good luck with that in the hereafter.
“This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
Today you are making this agreement with the LORD:
he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways
and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees,
and to hearken to his voice.