Saturday, April 09, 2005

Taking the Bull Distributor by the Horns

What I am about to suggest is going to be noisome, even nauseating for some, but it struck me as a really interesting response to a current problem presenting itself. The problem is the media folks are generally hovering somewhere between clueless and useless on matters concerning the Catholic Faith. The worst offender, at least based on comments here, is Chris Matthews. Apparently, during the Papal Funeral, he commented that the sign of peace was the time people say hello to their neighbors. If you don't see the problem with his statement, please stand over there with Mr. Matthews so I don't have to say it twice. The Sign of Peace is a greeting of forgiveness. Peace is not hello; it's "I'm sorry and I forgive you." That's why you don't have to troop all over the parish church to extend it. The people you are sitting near are the ones to whom you must extend forgiveness and from whom you must receive forgiveness -- mainly because they are either your family or your circle of intimates. This matter was so serious that in the early Church at least, if peace was not exchanged, both parties were ejected from the Sacred Liturgy until the matter could be resolved. So, this weekend when you exchange the sign of peace, think forgiveness and apologizing to your neighbor. Tirade complete.

Now, given the sorry history of catechesis over the last 40 or so years, a trend gladly but slowly changing, it really shouldn't surprise anyone that the average joe or jane is going to be clueless about what the Church teaches. When CCD is reduced to cut, color, and draw, that's what happens. But what if we, the reasonably well-informed Catholics, took the bull by the horns and started answering the errors? Don't be nasty or hostile. Don't even assume ill-will. Just presume a certain degree of cluetard-hood and gently kindly explain it. For this to work, we would all have to send emails. Don't just wait for the CRM staff to get whipped up -- grab a book and do the research. Then send a nice, brief email written as though the person receiving it wants to know the facts but simply doesn't have them. The only irritating part of this is we would have to watch their shows. This could be good too though. We could offer it up for all those times we are unwittingly abrasive or rude.

Anyone with me on this?

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