Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Well, What IS it, anyway?

Sunday, 3/5/06. George Williams, of White (excuse me, WEST) Roxbury writes in his letter to the Boston Globe:

"What is lost in the latest turmoil over Catholic Charities of Boston and adoption is that the
Catholic Church is not a social service agency...."

I wish again that my late Irish grandmother was still with us, if for no other reason than to see her lay one upside the head of anyone thinking this way. "Gaga" knew the best and the worst of the church. She grew up in circumstances that make "dysfunctional families" look like the garden of Eden. Her one anchor in the decade of hell one could sardonically call her childhood was the Diocesan orphanage that used to stand near the Cathedral. I'd like to see what she'd do to you, George, if you told her the church wasn't about social service.

During her years as a foster child, Gaga also saw the worst side. She never forgot the spectacle of children burnt to death by stove accidents as their parents sat entrapped in Mass listening to interminable drivel from priests whose spiritual reinforcement wasn't coming entirely from the communion cup. Could the parents miss Mass to care for children? What, and burn in hell forever? The church helped them avoid a metaphysical fire as their children died in real ones.

It may be that the socialism of my paternal side had a touch of the theoretical about it. What I got from the other side, from Gaga...along with a good dose of anti-clericalism...was the product of brutal and bitter experience. It burnt white hot in her...and it still does in me.

It also seems to me there was someone back aways who said "whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, that you do unto me." That sounds an awful lot like social service and pinko liberalism to me. Never mind: the chain of command seems to stop at Rome these days.

Busy day in the Globe, 3/5/06. A while back I scribbled something here about cultural Catholicism. I'm eloquently answered by Joan Vennochi's column. It truly is time to pack up the sentimental memories and hack away any emotional ties one ever had to this institution. It doesn't care. Walk away, shed a tear, and find another centre for your life. In the long run, the betrayal of people of compassion by the catholic institution may be the best thing that has ever happened.

The paper even has something from Alan Dershowitz that I can quote (Q&A column), and that has some relevance to this rant:

"You need not to have religion to have morality. Morality based on religion is often no morality at all. If you do it because of heaven or hell, or because an instruction book told you to, it's not morality. It's morality when you have decided yourself, without benefits or threats, that this is the right thing to do."

Gaga could get behind that.


Blogger Mass Marrier said...

What about the belly of the beast? Grawing from the inside seems by far the most heroic posture, at least for those who believe in the RC liturgy and sacraments, if not the infallible politicians up top.

3:59 pm  
Blogger Uncle said...

Belief leaves me out of the loop at this point. If it didn't, I'm trying to lose a few pounds, and I think that's more than I could chew. Then again, all that bile might leave me no appetite for anything more entertaining.

11:14 pm  

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