Time to Rename the Catholic Church
By Mark Judge
There has been an uproar about Sebelius speaking at Georgetown, and a defense of the decision among other Catholics.
I am a part-time teacher at Georgetown University. It's a summer contract position teaching visiting high school kids, so I am far from being regular faculty or even that knowledgeable about the inner workings of the school (I also went to high school at Georgetown Prep). But in the three summers I've been there I have learned that Georgetown is not just one university, but several. There are conservative and liberal Catholics on campus, as well as all other kinds of people. Many conservative Catholics have insisted that Georgetown is no longer Catholic. In fact, Georgetown, a school in the Jesuit tradition, is Catholic -- that is, it represents the Catholic Church in America. And the Catholic Church, like Georgetown, is divided.
In fact the Church is so divided that it is now time to give the different factions their own names. I don't mean this sarcastically or with malice; as a journalist I simply believe that it will help us speak about Catholicism in the early 21st Century with clarity. It would also relieve tensions in the Church because each side, Reform and Orthodox, would know exactly what the other side believes in. When Catholics like the Kennedys or Andrew Sullivan or Kathleen Sebelius speak in favor of gay marriage or contraception, it would no longer be a shock or a scandal. Because giving each side their own designation beforehand would cut down on the outrage that often follows their individual pronouncements.
Forty years after Vatican II, the liberal philosophy of 1960s Catholicism has become a hardened orthodoxy. Liberal Catholics are as doctrinaire and dogmatic as the most reactionary medieval pope. They believe in peace (forgetting that the U.S. military allows said peace), social justice (except for the unborn), sexual freedom (poverty has nothing to do with broken families), and massive government spending (even if we can't afford it).
Is there a more predictable writer in America, particularly when it comes to Catholicism, than Maureen Dowd? When Chris Matthews addresses Catholicism on Hardball, is there any doubt what he will say? Has Andrew Sullivan read a single copy of any one of the dozens of books written by Pope Benedict? To ask the question is to answer it.
Conservative Catholics, on the other hand, are the real reformers.
A couple weeks ago I was at Georgetown to hear Representative Paul Ryan speak about his budget. The man stood there for more than an hour and presented fact after fact after fact about the economic catastrophe that is headed our way if the United States does not control its spending. The Catholic left, including both students and faculty at Georgetown, are protesting Ryan's budget. I should note that I disagree with Ryan slowing the rate of growth (not cutting) programs that serve the poor. But he is spot on when it comes to the absolute necessity of reforming social security and medicare. the rest image by Kyle Rush
Georgetown's In-Kind Obama Donations