I read Mr. LaVigne's comments on the Catholic church's effort to make women second class citizens with interest.
His comments no doubt represent the opinion of many others, including some Catholics. But I am a practicing Catholic and do not share his opinion or his logic.
The Catholic church's sole challenge is to be a protector of Christ's teachings. The church does not have the authority to add or subtract from those essential teachings. Through the ages of its existence, the church has only attempted to interpret and clarify Christ’s intent in the changing conditions of contemporary societies. It's as simple as that. Few would deny that our particular culture here in the United States is heavily hedonistic and self-centered.
In the last 50 years we have transitioned from a society of moms at home, to moms at work. Some would argue that this is an economic necessity. But perhaps it is only a necessity because of the desire for the accumulation of wealth… A bigger home, bigger TV, snazzier car, etc etc Jesus did not have a high regard for the accumulation of wealth for its own sake. He did have a very high regard for children and human sexuality. Two attitudes that our culture does not embrace.
For the first time in human history, children are sometimes regarded as inconveniences and burdens. They are not regarded as the blessing Jesus intended them to be. They are to be taken care of, but perhaps not loved… And, sadly, we have taken the sacredness out of our daily sexuality.
Our culture’s desire for titillation, stimulation, and gratification have removed sexuality from the realm of sharing a life-giving experience with God. Sexuality is merely another entertainment to be over indulged in. Perhaps our overweight nation is a subtle commentary on our lack of self-control.
Much of our innate dignity (we are made in the image of likeness of God) has been lost over the last decades… Unwed mothers have been ‘cleansed’ to single moms, and our school aged children are being taught to indulge themselves in sexual experimentation with absolutely no restraints – except maybe the use of a condom.
Would Jesus do this? Would Jesus be pleased with our headline grabbing stars and athletes parading their infidelities and even their out of wedlock children without even the intent of a lifetime commitment?
The Catholic church is intended to be a beacon of light when a culture embraces the darkness. And, I am proud to say, the lamp of the Church’s teaching is lit – even though there are those complaining of its brightness.
As to the failure of some of its priests and other religious to live out their vows… It is truly a sad fact. Even Jesus had one who betrayed him… The remarkable thing is that through centuries of human weakness, the Holy Spirit has protected the church’s teachings from error. Errors our current society appears desperate to embrace.