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Dear Catholic Church, Your Founding Document Is Not Mao's Little Red Book


The Catholic Church in America appears to be a schizophrenic entity, possessed of a deep-seated death wish — exactly like all the other mainstream churches and most institutions in our western culture. This week, the Church is celebrating Freedom of Religion week.  You’ll see the little flags if you walk past one of the churches.

I have absolutely clue zero — and in fact am a little afraid to consider — what other parishes and sermons might make of this, but our priest segued incoherently from telling us that like St. John the Baptist confronted Herod we are supposed to confront and oppose a president who “has had more than one wife” and who “mistreats the least powerful and smallest of our people” to enjoining us to come to church a great deal and have daily mass for the week, to celebrate Freedom of Religion Week.

I didn’t actually facepalm too hard, because I might have knocked myself out and people might have stared.

But it is a sad documentary on the state of the Church.

Look, as far as I can tell Trump isn’t Catholic.  Besides, let’s be very clear on this, the Catholic Church itself has become very odd on the subject of divorce, as you can’t get a divorce, but you can get an annulment, and while the difference — pardon the cynicism, but I’ve seen a few of these cases play out — should be how informed the consent was of the person entering the sacrament,  in practical fact, it seems to depend on how much money the person who wants to be divorced has and is willing to spend on the process.

But let’s pretend for the sake of argument, and because the church at this point makes my head hurt — particularly since Pope Che Francis has made several overtures to divorced people, anyway — that the church still stands by the no-divorce rule that once cost the religion an entire country.

Good.  So what?  Is the current president of the U.S. Catholic?  No?  Then why would we go bother him about having had multiple wives?  My next door neighbor is divorced and as far as I know not religious.  Am I supposed to go bother him on this too?

What part of this honors the freedom of religion we have in this country?

This makes it sound like the proclamation of Religious Freedom Week is akin to pig farmers of America celebrating kosher food.  “We have the freedom to be religiously distasteful all over you.”

As for the “least powerful and smallest of our people”: dear Father, I thought the documents you were supposed to read were eternal, not the passing eructations of the media.