Coarse and duplicitous anti-Catholic piece in The Washington Times

The other day there was a particularly tasteless and mendacious article in the Washington Times (I thought better of them) entitled “Is ‘bad Catholic’ the new Catholic?” written by Nicole Pandolfo.

This piece is so bad that she does not deserve a pass.

Let’s have a look at a few points.

“I am, no doubt, at the top of the papal naughty list. But what would Jesus say? While I’m no saint, I’m certainly not the worst of the sinners. I try to be kind and generous to others, give to the poor, be accepting of my fellowman, fight for what I believe to be good, and generally do unto others as I would have done unto me, which explains the progressive viewpoints I listed above. If Jesus could speak for himself, he might just say us “Bad Catholics,” are doing something right.”

In early Christianity pagans made the same arguments as this woman. They were basically good to their neighbor (though in favor of infanticide). They gave to the poor (when they were wealthy). They fought for what they believed was good. But they didn’t call themselves Christians and didn’t want to be.

She continues,

“Sure, all those years of CCD taught me to obsess over guilty feelings, but it also taught me to love thy neighbor and help those many less fortunate than myself in any way I could.”

Are you kidding me?  Where was that CCD class?  I ‘d like to send the teachers an award.
Is there anyone who believes a word of this woman’s tripe? In the last 30-40 years NO ONE who has done CCD was “taught to obsess over guilty feelings.” That era ended long before this young woman was born.

This thing about Catholic guilt is a “locus communis” (for Nicole that’s a “cliché”). It hasn’t been true in anything like the last 40 years, especially not in these USA.  Anti-Catholic catholic writers revert to this “Catholic guilt” line when they are pouring out their anti-Catholic feelings in articles like this one.

They wouldn’t know Catholic guilt if it bit them in the … ankle.

She continues,

“It’s not easy being religious in a city like New York, where ashes on my forehead at lent elicits the type of gawking one would expect if I had excrement smeared across my face.”

Like she went to Mass on Ash Wednesday. Surrrrre she did. And from what I know about NYC, seeing the ash Cross on people’s foreheads wouldn’t elicit even a second glance.

Finally, juxtapose these two statements in her piece:

“My mother raised me as a single parent, and in my writing both for the stage and page I’ve exploited my past sexual experiences for artistic purposes.”

and…

“Visitors to my apartment see several art pieces relating to Our Lady of Guadalupe and a crucifix nailed firmly above my bed.”

Riiiight.

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49 Responses to Coarse and duplicitous anti-Catholic piece in The Washington Times

  1. Supertradmum says:

    Server problems. Let me try again.

    One, I do not see liberal Catholics running around helping the poor. On the contrary, they vote for socialist policies which create bloated governments which are supposed to be helping the poor. Two, how is she loving her good Catholic neighbours by dissing them? Love of neighbour means dying to self and self-opinion. Three, how many 1930s Jansenist Catholics do you” meet in the street everyday” (Sesame Street song) ? Crazy comment. Four, like Madonna, who stated that she lost her virginity in a career move, this lady exploits her own sexuality. Gross. Last, but not least, how DO these people get writing jobs? She must have a goodie bag of clichés from which to write her articles. Just stick in her hand and pull out….

    There is so much bad and misleading writing on Catholicism in general out there this week, that it behoves all of us to keep up with facts, common sense and charity. Sadly, a lot of it is coming from Catholics.

  2. al007italia says:

    Went over to read the entire article. Had to answer here question about what Jesus would say to her. I am sure she won’t like it but i said what I knew He would. “Repent.” & “Sinno more.”

  3. al007italia says:

    Went over to read the entire article. Had to answer here question about what Jesus would say to her. I am sure she won’t like it but i said what I knew He would. “Repent.” & “Sin no more.”

  4. acardnal says:

    “Nicole Pandolfo”?? Never heard of her.

  5. wmeyer says:

    Apparently an actress and playwright. Author of such lovely pieces as “Love in the Chlamydia”.

    With luck, she will fade away quickly.

  6. frjim4321 says:

    I did not think much of the article either.

    Seemed loaded with cheap shots.

  7. Titus says:

    I’ll believe she went and heard Mass on Ash Wednesday. The downtown parish across the street from my office was packed to the gills, same as last year. There are orders of magnitude more people who hear Mass on Ash Wednesday than on any of the days of obligation throughout the year.

    But being gawked at in a cosmopolitan place like New York City? Has she seen what people walk around looking like every day there? And there are how many million Catholics in that town? If you want to be gawked at, come to the South. “Child, you’ve got somethin’ on yor head!”

  8. Scott W. says:

    You ain’t seen nuttin’ yet. Watch as Sally Quinn vomits ignorance and bigotry like someone after eating a bad oyster: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/will-the-catholic-church-become-its-own-relic/2013/02/22/4271e8e8-7c88-11e2-9a75-dab0201670da_story.html

  9. sw85 says:

    The uncharitable side of me wants to know how many “visitors to [her] apartment” have seen the inside of her bedroom.

  10. Rich says:

    In light of the article, the headline implies that the ‘bad’ Catholic is indeed the new Catholic. This goes to show how little these correspondents know what they are talking about. For about 15 years I have spent much time about many, various Catholic circles, and ninety percent of the young Catholics I run into today are fired up about their faith and are either strongly convicted of what the Church stands for, and if not are at least open to learning how to be more devoted to what the Church stands for. Fewer young Catholics today are like that depicted in the article. But the fact is that such people’s view are so commonplace that they are not taken very seriously and do not have much sway with the 90% of other young Catholics.

    To make a comparison with young Catholics a generation ago, one could say that back in the 60′s and 70′s it was hip to espouse liberal views as younger Catholic then as they fell in sync with the cultural revolution at the time. And, one did not have to be so savvy in articulating those views as they could easily fall back on the criticism that those who though differently from they needed to “get with the times”. But now, such liberal views are so commonplace that younger Catholics who are now more fired up about what the Church truly stands for have already dealt to an extent that their faith doesn’t mesh with the times, and are able to more easily shrug off the criticism of not being “with the times”. Conversely, such young Catholics are finding a countercultural energy of their own and are finding solidarity in a collective effort to remain strong in their faith.

  11. NoraLee9 says:

    I am so upset by this I don’t even know where to begin. I have lived in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area since coming here as an undergraduate in 1977. I spent close to 20 years living in Manhattan. I have NEVER felt “gawked at” for practicing my faith. We have some of the most beautiful European-style churches this side of the Atlantic. One evening, when headed in to Holy Innocents, a family of tourists were standing outside, and the wife was convincing her husband that there was something beautiful inside. I took them aside and gave them some history.
    In New York, we have many faiths. Nobody gawks at the Hasidic Jews, or the Sikh cab drivers, or priests and nuns in clerical garb, or women in burkas. Ash Wednesday sure does bring the RC’s out in force. Even the lapsi I know go in for their ashes.
    This article is a crock of crap. I can’t believe anyone would even publish this slanderous, anti-Catholic screed. You know, Father has been talking about the coming trials, and to be truthful, I have tried to ignore it, because it’s scary. I’m a woman. I want to say my prayers, raise our daughter, and hang out my wash. Nonetheless, reading this I am reminded of the types of articles published in Germany in the early ’30′s regarding the Jews…. One of the first tools used is to build a stereo-type….
    I’m just sick over this.

  12. OrthodoxChick says:

    I wonder if Ms. Pandolfo was the model for the young lady in that Lutheran video posted here?!

  13. Dave N. says:

    Never lose sight of the fact that this paper is owned and operated by the Unification Church.

  14. Gaetano says:

    As a New York/New Jersey native, I’m calling shenanigans on her claim that she grew up in an Irish-Italian town in New Jersey and didn’t meet a Jewish person until she moved to New York City. Nice tag line to assert the illusion of a Catholic ghetto, but a total fiction.

  15. catholicmidwest says:

    That’s not Christianity. That’s moralistic therapeutic deism.

  16. teomatteo says:

    This is soooo unoriginal. Like, every budding actress has to use the catholic shtick to get attention. Its Black Patent Leather Shoes old. She gotta get her some new material if she’s gonna make it as an actress or writer. Sheeessshhhhh…..

  17. Mari-Lynn says:

    As an Islamic convert to the Catholic Faith, I find it confusing that she wants so badly to be identified as “Catholic” by others–hence her outward show of the crucifix and icons above her bed–while espousing views totally antithetical to what Catholic doctrine teaches. Lady, if you’re gonna buy the beautiful Lipizzaner Stallion, you get the whole horse, and it’s your job to exercise him properly and treat him with the care he needs! I don’t find “Catholic Guilt” demeaning or demoralizing, rather, it is a call for self-examination and for recourse to the Sacrament of Confession and Absolution.

    So she believes in “safe, satisfying, sex” (words spoken at the recent Filipino Congressional debate about legalizing contraceptives)? What about the sanctity of marriage and the great gift given to us of creating life WITHIN that union? That is a beautiful sacrament, beautifully articulated. And as far as gay marriage and abortion are concerned, frankly, what business is it of mine, or hers, what goes on in someone else’s bedroom–unless it is being paid for using our tax dollars! Which it is! Abortion is a sin because it kills a human person. (period)

    I felt very sad for this lady. She was brought up with all these great riches around her by being a “Cradle Catholic” in the Church, and has squandered them for the sensual, earthly world and a few measly pieces of silver. I pray that she comes to her senses, finds a parish without a heretical priest and comes truly back into the faith. And I also pray that she starts valuing her femininity and chastity more than being used, and “exploiting” this for her writing.

    [I hope I haven't offended anyone with my views--I am just a "beginning Catholic" and still haven't read all the way through the full Catechism, even though I've (naturally) been through RCIA class and the "easy" catechism book for RCIA students. If I've said anything wrong, please do correct me. Thank you kindly.]

  18. Stumbler but trying says:

    Is there not a special “chamber” in Hades for those who practice the art of smug? Her vapid article reeked of it.

  19. NoTambourines says:

    From this past Sunday’s second reading in the OF:

    “or many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18-19).

    Don’t people ensnared by the “Dictatorship of Relativism” ever find it funny when their religious views coincide with everything they want to do and nothing they don’t, and everything that’s fashionable and convenient?

  20. dominic1955 says:

    The Church does acknowledge that folks like her exist-we call them heretics.

    Hopefully someday she’ll look back on writtings like this and be ashamed of how stupidly vapid they were.

  21. anniemw says:

    Along with “bad Catholic,” we can add “bad writer” – did she actually say “If Jesus could speak for himself he just might say us ‘Bad Catholics,’ are doing something right.” … no, us are doing something wrong! :-) UGH!

  22. silicasandra says:

    Mari-Lynn, I am a convert as well (almost six years) and I agree with you. I grew up in a nominally Protestant household but secular in reality, and for a long time I bought all the lies about “Catholic guilt” from nominal and ex-Catholics alike. After all, there were SO MANY of them, so they had to be right, right? (cue eyeroll)

    Since feeling the pull of the Church and becoming Catholic myself, it strikes me that many of the people who complain about “Catholic guilt” are confusing it with a kind of Puritanism now only found in select independent fundamentalist churches (the “you are so bad that if you screw up just a tiny bit God won’t love you anymore”) and/or have bought into the mentality that being asked to be responsible for anything is asking for too much responsibility. My mother has made the joke about my conversion that Catholicism was really the only suitable place for someone with a “perpetually guilty conscience,” but I don’t suffer from scrupulosity. I just like to be held accountable when I screw up, and I grew up in a generation that was taught from many sources that accountability didn’t and doesn’t really matter unless we’re asking it of someone else (I’m in my mid-20s.) Sure, there’s a lot of young folks who have embraced this thinking (it’s very attractive in the short term), but some of us are waking up (and seem to be doing a better job of it than our parents’ generation did in many cases.)

  23. happyCatholic says:

    Mari-Lynn and silicasandra,

    Welcome to Catholicism! And I think both of you expressed yourselves very well! Quite encouraging, really!

  24. Gulielmus says:

    The Washington Times is perplexing. Politically very conservative, it nonetheless has been no friend to the Catholic Church. Gleefully reporting on sex abuse and misbehavior, and painting every Archbishop of Washington and Bishop of Arlington VA in the worst light possible. ANY accusation against the Church is always reported as if it were established fact. Yes, an organ of the Unification Church, and unbalanced on many levels.

  25. Jim R says:

    Unfortunately, her epistle seems to me to reflect exactly what has been taught as the faith from 1970-2000+/- in sooo many PSRs. (Has the term CCD even been used anywhere since 1975? That’s “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” if you are under 40) She tries to do good, so that’s it. That’s the sum total of the faith as taught by Fr. Cool, Sr. Feminister and Brother IM-OK/YOURE-OK – what’s a “brother” anyway?

    Catholic guilt indeed went out when Crosby Stills Nash and Young came in to replace the Gospel – to make the faith relevant to the young. The young then duly left en masse – who can really blame them? They were never really taught the faith in most cases. And, what they were taught was little more than a syncretic pablum that no self-respecting 16 year old could possibly swallow – let alone form a basis for an adult embrace of the Faith.

    Honestly, she has some culpability in not going forth and learning the faith as do her parents. But, the real villains here are the sisters, brothers and priests who affirmatively taught and promoted this stuff – and the Bishops who tolerated it. The kids were confused. The parents were confused and confounded when they sent the kids to PSR/CCD.

    That’s the real unpleasant part of this: she is the creation of the 70s-90s Church – exactly what you’d expect. Miserere nobis!

  26. Here is one of my favorite dissident-Catholic techniques in operation: have an imaginary conversation with Jesus where He ratifies and endorses your favorite sin(s). 100% effective!

  27. inexcels says:

    Tedious and unoriginal. Comes across like a massive egoist.

    And that’s already too much thought wasted on this nonsense.

  28. muckemdanno says:

    This is neither surprising nor hard to believe…”I happen to live in close vicinity to a church where the priest in charge shares many of my unorthodox views, to the dismay of some in his congregation. Attending mass in this priest’s congregation is the first time that I truly felt I fit in both in regards to my spiritual self and my political self.”

    She lives near an “I’m okay, you’re okay” “unorthodox” Catholic parish…they are in full communion and have full faculties as long as they don’t question certain teachings of Vatican 2.

  29. Imrahil says:

    Hm… not commenting on anything on the rest… but there might be something to her “obsessing with guilt feelings”.

    I do not mean that her teachers insisted and insisted on the human wretchfulness.

    But if they insist and insist and insist about not to have guilt feelings and to accept oneself as one is…
    and if they nevertheless cannot quit moralizing (which would be better), because religion must mean something after all, and insist and insist and insist about how one must do everything according to one’s very best abilities…
    but all in general terms, not one precise command…

    and, most important of all, if the very institution supposed to deal with guilt feelings is passed over and thought to belong to the Dark Ages, first, and reserved to the scum of mankind which she still didn’t want to confess to belong to…

    then there may be something to these guilt feelings.

    “Catholic guilt” is, psychiatrist issues set aside (to which scrupulosity belongs), almost exclusively found among those neglecting Holy Confession.

  30. Gail F says:

    “If Jesus could speak for himself, [WHICH HE DID] he might just say us “Bad Catholics,” are doing something right.” Hmmmm. Let’s check what he DID say. Did he say, “Be sure you’re not the worst of the sinners, TRY to be kind and generous, give to the poor, accept your fellow man, fight for what you believe to be good, and GENERALLY do unto others as you would have done unto you”???? No. He said (to paraphrase): even the tax collectors do that.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  31. MarrakeshEspresso says:

    Had the same tripe here in Australia not too long ago from a certain lady comedienne, whose name now escapes me (not Judith Lucy; a kind of overweight blonde Judith Lucy wannabe). I read an interview with her and her fascinatingly original and witty views on everything. The mean nuns at her Catholic school. The Catholic guilt. Her naughty schoolgirl days. Blah blah blah [face down on keyboard snoring]

    I looked at the photo of her, and did the math, and thought, hang on, lady. You’re YOUNGER THAN I AM. And I when I was going to Catholic school there were almost no nuns left at all, let alone mean ones. And no Catholic guilt in sight – just social justice and effective contraception.

    Horsefeathers.

  32. majuscule says:

    I tried to comment on a stupid opinion piece in the L. A. Times. I was unable to log in after registering, so I couldn’t comment. Just as well (maybe they don’t want comments.)

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-pope-benedict-resignation-20130226,0,6964036.story

    The author makes outrageous claims about what “conservative” and “traditionalist” Catholics are thinking. Did he even talk to any? He couldn’t have been referring to SSPX…LOL!

  33. Kate says:

    anniemw-

    Yes, “us are doing something wrong” !

    I’d like to have it all turn around, and I have great faith that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, will help make that happen. The prayers and sacrifices that he intends to make for the church during the remainder of his life will strengthen the Church.

    As for our bad catholic and bad writer, I am sorry to say that I come across her type everyday.

    I live in two worlds, in a sense – traditional Catholic and adjunct professor. While I know many wonderful, strong young Catholics in my personal life, I know many cast in the mold of Miss Pandolfo in my professional life.

    I think Fr. Z might rethink his ideas about what’s been being taught in CCD for years- (certainly not real Catholic guilt, but the language that surrounds it). Parents (often contracepting and okay with it) play an important role, and peers, too. If, in your CCD class, you are surrounded by young people who do not care or are saturated in the secular world, it will have an effect on you.

    I have never met a young person of strong faith who “graduated” a childhood of CCD, public school, and nominally catholic parenting. A child brought up in this atmosphere, and there are many, will think they are catholic (albeit) a “bad” catholic. The tragedy is that they know nothing else.

    We need to reach them and teach them, not ridicule them.

  34. Philangelus says:

    “But what would Jesus say? While I’m no saint, I’m certainly not the worst of the sinners.”

    I’m told that toward the end of his life, St Francis was asked by one of his companions what he really thought of himself, and St. Francis answered, “That I am the worst of sinners.” The brother asked him why, and St. Francis gave him to understand that because of the many graces he’d received, he should have done so much better, and that in fact, anyone else (given the graces he’d been given) would have done exactly that.

    The thing is, I suspect that in our spiritual lives, typically we do plateau and feel we’re doing “good enough,” and we don’t understand just how much further we have to travel while we’re on a local plateau. Then God comes along and pushes us off the local plateau, and if we can pick ourselves up and start climbing again, with God’s grace we end up at a higher peak until we plateau there for a while. This woman sounds young. She probably hasn’t had many of those kinds of experiences yet, so she undoubtedly thinks this is all there is, just being an Okay Catholic.

  35. Philangelus says:

    Imrahil, good point about Confession. I’ve always thought Confession was the Catholic answer to “Catholic guilt.”

  36. La Sandia says:

    I’d be willing to bet money that she doesn’t really lift a finger to “help the poor and unfortunate.” Like so many liberals, she probably thinks that she is being caring and virtuous by pulling the lever for certain candidates and parties, but assiduously avoids any actual contact with poor people.

  37. FranzJosf says:

    I happened to be in NYC on Ash Wednesday. No one gave me a second look. I saw others with ashes on their foreheads. No one was gawking at them.

    Side Question: I went to Saint Thomas Church (Episcopal) for their noon service because I wanted to hear their men and boys choir sing Allegri’s Miserere. (If you don’t know it, listen to it on youtube; at one time it was only sung in the Sistine Chapel). I did not receive communion, of course, but I did receive ashes. How do sacramentals work? Graces are associated with them, but only from the hands of a validly ordained priest, right? What graces? For example, if at Christmas I pray at a Creche which has been blessed by a priest there are more graces than if I merely pray at a non-blessed Creche? (But their are always graces associated with prayer.)

  38. Mari-Lynn says:

    Kate, bless you for your “reach them and teach them” comment. I felt very good about your comment when I read that. Your comment shows true compassion in action. God Bless! :)

    silicasandra and happyCatholic — thank you for your kind welcome to the faith! :)

  39. downyduck says:

    Kate said:

    I have never met a young person of strong faith who “graduated” a childhood of CCD, public school, and nominally catholic parenting. A child brought up in this atmosphere, and there are many, will think they are catholic (albeit) a “bad” catholic. The tragedy is that they know nothing else.

    I attended a horrific CCD (absolute chaos… looking back I feel embarrassed for our behavior and sorry for the stalwart souls who took on the duty of trying to teach us), I did attend and graduate from public school, and my one “Catholic” parent was relativistic (encouraged me to live with my boyfriend because “it’s the 90s!”). I went to Confession exactly twice as a child and can count on two hands the number of times I attended Mass. I am now a Catholic that I hope is true to the Faith in all matters and is trying to lovingly pass it on to my six kids. I bet there are a lot of us “lost Catholics” of the 70s and 80s who have made the conversion from aimless spiritual drifters to faithful adherents to the Truth. Our stories are just not as spectacular as the conversions highlighted on The Journey Home or Surprised by Truth. I thank God that he took the scales from my eyes and placed good and faithful Catholics in my path during college (my sister had the same upbringing and was paired with a very opinionated roommate and she is now a non-denominational anti-Catholic). And I can’t neglect to mention the internet- it was a wonderful tool for exposing me to the real teachings of the Church and providing encouragement whenever it was lacking in real life.

    So there is always hope for those brought up in the kind of atmosphere about which you commented or any other kind of atmosphere for that matter because “but for God, all things are possible.”

  40. Elizabeth M says:

    Bleech. I hear this sort of thing all the time from fellow Catholics. Do the Fathers preach about the Publican and the Pharisee, and what Jesus meant by that? The true beauty of the Catholic Faith is not found in the icons and ashes but in repentance and Grace.

  41. LarryW2LJ says:

    To Jim R.

    Ms. Pandolfo claims to have been raised in New Jersey. The term “CCD” is is still widely used here.

    Kudos to Gail F – spot on!

    Mari-Lynn and silicasandra – Welcome to the Faith! May your journey towards Christ be a good and holy one.

  42. Kate says:

    downyduck,
    A point well made. God works miracles every day.

    Mari-lynn, welcome!

  43. Random Friar says:

    An anti-Catholic piece in the Mass Media? In other news, the Sun was observed to rise in the East this morning. (Gotta keep a sense of humor)

  44. eulogos says:

    I think the point is that the Washington Times is conservative, but they still published this.

    I was once interviewed over the phone for a potential article in the Washington Times about people from liberal or no religious backgrounds who converted to traditional/orthodox religious beliefs. (A friend of mine studying at Catholic U recommended me to the reporter.) The interviewer kept trying to get me to say things along the line of “the family that prays together stays together” or “Religon saved my marriage” or “Religion cured my compulsion to X” or “Religion fixed X other problem for me” . I said to him, “You are trying to get me to say that God is *useful.*” I told him the primary reason to convert to a religion is because you believe it is true. He seemed perplexed.

    I don’t know if the article ever appeared; I didn’t live in DC at the time and there was no internet then. But even back then, the Washington Times was going for the easy cliche.

    The only thing worse than the shame this writer will feel over the smug, self satisfied, shallow, inane, and callow thoughts she expressed in public, if she ever becomes a real Catholic….is what she will feel on Judgment day when she doesn’t. However, perhaps she is not entirely to blame for her cluelessnes. There may be others who should have known better who are responsible for her lack of understanding.
    And those of us who do understand a bit more, have a lot more to answer for.
    At least, we all ought to say a prayer for her. At least one.
    Susan Peterson

  45. Evovae says:

    This reminds me of a young woman I knew in college. She seemed to consider herself something of a gadfly to the chaplaincy, and was constantly “challenging” the rest of us on the usual hot-button liberal/secularist matters. Invitations to actually investigate those topics in a serious way went predictably nowhere, and any time she was informed of how she was running afoul of clear church teaching, she’d get all huffy and say something about how she was “baptized and raised Catholic” and “no one had the right to take that away from [her]“. In other words, this was someone who already knew what her beliefs were and was trying to browbeat others into them by exploiting Christian charity.

    So it was the same typical psychodrama as on display in this article, i.e., the moral frisson obtained either from imagining oneself as oppressed for what in fact is quite mundane behavior (e.g., going out in public on Ash Wednesday…WITH ASHES!!!; showing your trendy friends that your domicile contains…RELIGIOUS ICONOGRAPHY!!!; asking…QUESTIONS!!!; being…A WOMAN!!!; etc.), or when imagination fails to satisfy, then from positioning oneself as a contrarian among real people in order either to extort acceptance (e.g., “I’m a bad Catholic”; expected charitable response: “Oh, no. Of course you’re not.” Repeat until disagreement) or to elicit the disapproval (or puzzlement, or anything other than whole-hearted affirmation, really) necessary to cast oneself as a martyr.

    Prayer and disinterested congeniality seems like the only way to avoid getting roped into these power/mind games.

  46. Medjugorje Man 07 says:

    Amateur hour in the TIMES

  47. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Prayer and disinterested congeniality seems like the only way to avoid getting roped into these power/mind games.”

    Wasn’t, Disinterested Congeniality, the runner-up in the Miss American Catholic pageant?

    The Chicken

  48. Mark R says:

    She said it is hard to be religious in a place like NYC? Baloney! When I was there I gorged myself on the Russian Catholic Church, St. Patrick’s, Old St. Patrick’s, St. Agnes, Fr. Rutler’s parish, and many nice visits elsewhere.

  49. michellerenee says:

    Having been born and raised in the Catholic Church, I see a diverse participation in the Church in conjunction with a universal identification as being Catholic. On one end of the spectrum, the devote person who attends Church regularly, sends their kids to Catholic school, and fully embraces all the teachings of the Church. On the other end of the spectrum is the indifferent person whose connections come from preceding generations and lives a secular life.

    Everyone else falls somewhere in-between these two and they all call themselves Catholic. One can see the disparity by simply comparing the attendance at Mass between one held during Ordinary Time and a Christmas or Easter service. All these people count themselves as Catholics as does the Catholic Church. Catholics, meaning those people who call themselves such, whether or not they go to Church or have any clue as to what the Church’s positions are, are still Catholics.

    The Catholic Church taught me that Jesus had compassion and love for everyone, regardless of their sins. This article is one self-identified Catholic’s personal truth. Like it or not, that personal truth does represent portion of the Catholic population. By insinuating that the writer is also lying is off the mark in my opinion. I do not doubt that she goes to Church on Ash Wednesday, has a crucifix in her room, has feelings of guilt as learned in CCD class and thought everyone was Catholic until she got to college. There are many Catholics that honor various traditions and teachings of the Church while holding opposing views to other parts of it. While some may not agree with this type of approach, “good” Catholics should have compassion for our fellow human beings and encourage spiritual growth. That is what I learned through my Catholic upbringing.