Raised Catholic but

When you have been lurking around the web for a while, you begin to identify certain opening salvos that are red flags to red meat Catholics:

“I was raised Catholic”

“I used to be an altar server”

“I am an ex Catholic”

“I am a devout Catholic”

You can bet a winning mega lottery jack pot, that the writer or speaker is going to attack the Church’s teaching on just about everything. Your winnings will remain safe in the bank.

They are almost always my age or older.

A recent guest opinion writer in our local news paper, The Des Moines Register, has the genre down pat. He writes, in an ever so cloying and condescending tone, that the big bad ole Catholic Bishops of Iowa is endangering families.

Here is how Thomas J. Jochum begins his article:

As the lobbyist for One Iowa – whose mission is advocating for the gay and lesbian community – I have been working for over three years to keep discriminatory language out of the Iowa Constitution. My counterpart and my friend with the Catholic Conference, Tom Chapman, has been trying to get the Legislature to ban same-sex marriage.”

“I was raised Catholic. I had to learn Latin in order to be an altar boy at Sacred Heart Church in Dubuque. Even though I no longer practice, I still consider myself a Catholic. I continue to defend the right of the church to add its voice to the debate over public policy. I believe the church has every right to declare certain things sinful, but it oversteps its authority when it seeks to prohibit private matters or to deny equal protection under the law.”

What Jochum is addressing is the latest push to have a Constitutional Convention in order to ban same sex marriage in Iowa.

Background:  Iowa law defines marriage as between one man and one woman. But in 2009 The Iowa Supreme court ruled that Iowa’s ban on same sex marriage treats same sex couples unfairly.

Most Iowans, however, are against same sex marriage. The very liberal legislature, however, refuses to address the issue.

There is, therefore, a growing movement to call a Constitutional Convention to address the issue.  Jochum argues that such a convention might not only be unfair to same sex couples, but other unforeseen amendments might hurt families. He writes:

“The American Catholic Church has a rich history of standing up for social justice. Church leaders need to understand that a convention that would offer Iowa voters an anti-marriage equality amendment (that might pass), would likely pass amendments enshrining in our constitution amendments denying health care and education to the children of undocumented workers – and polls show a majority of Iowans would ratify them.”

His arguments are weak and show his ignorance of Catholic Social Teaching. He claims, for example, that “ the Church supports progressive taxes”.  The Church supports no such thing.  She does maintain that citizens have the duty to pay taxes and that they should be used for the common good. It does not advocate for a particular type of tax.  She only states that “ Jesus does not consider it unjust to pay taxes” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church #379) .

While it is true, as Jochum asserts, that the Church calls for a living wage for all workers, the Church does not address an amount. Since most low level Church workers in the US are paid the minimum wage, I have to assume that the Bishops think that the current minimum wage is a living wage.

In addition, while Mr. Used to be Catholic, is correct that the Church supports some kind of universal health care, it does not mean that we have to support the recently passed health care legislation. In fact the US bishops have some grave reservations about  this particular bill. But it is important to note that Catholics are free to disagree on a particular legislation.

I am pleased that the otherwise progressive lobbyist does realize that there is such a thing as sin, “Amendments that would have the effect of denying some children and families basic necessities would be a sin. I ask the leaders of the Catholic Church, is it worth it?”

Too bad, though, that he does not recognize that homosexual acts are grave sins.

So this deacons wife thinks that it is worth it. As Catholics we can never advocate evil even if the result is a good. The end can never justify the means.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry and I have been married 39 years. But the deacon’s wife gig is a new twist. Larry was ordained in August of 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren. The oldest grandchild is ten and the youngest is three. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
This entry was posted in Catholic Church, Politics, Sin, Social Teachings and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Raised Catholic but

  1. Mary South says:

    I agree with you Susan that yes it is worth it…

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