By Jay Brunelle
What follows is a reprint of a Facebook exchange/debate I recently had with a dear old friend who, many years ago, was quite devout in the practice of his Catholic faith. Yet, not unlike countless other adolescent Catholics of Gen X, his ultimate rejection of, and departure from, the Catholic Church is, in this author’s estimation, not so much the fault of my dear friend as it is the fault of a serious crisis of catechesis within the countless parishes and Dioceses throughout America.
Going a step further, this catechetical crisis of which I speak and of which I have been a first-hand witness, as a volunteer middle-school CCD instructor, is but one of a multiplicity of symptoms that have sprung from this widespread, ubiquitous crisis of faith that we are now witnessing , the magnitude and severity of which would justify a socio-religious diagnosis of full-blown apostasy. For, as I have witnessed in various parishes, countless religious educators themselves are gravely ignorant of many of the most fundamental tenets of Magisterial teaching and the essentials of Catholic theology. Yet, what is far worse, said “educators,” instead of being encouraged by their parish DRE to become better informed and more knowledgeable regarding the faith by taking courses in theology and Religious Education, are instead re-assured that they know much more than they think they do, and are encouraged to simply “share their own personal experiences of having encountered or experienced the presence of God in their own lives.” Certainly, this suggestion would be quite appropriate if the CCD teacher’s main function was to give a one-time public witness – one that included a miraculous, supernatural healing or conversion. Yet, the Christian faith that we are called to hand on consists of the public, Divine Revelation of God to humanity, as recorded in Sacred Scripture and safeguarded by Sacred Tradition. It is precisely of these latter two that a religious educator must possess a fundamental knowledge and understanding. Ideally, the effective religious educator conveys the Sacred Truths contained within the deposit of faith, which have been publicly revealed by God; a Revelation which took place throughout the course of ancient Israel’s history, and which was brought to its completion and perfection in the person, words and works of Christ Jesus, the Eternally Begotten Son of the Father.
Further, many DRE’s are often in such desperate need of religious education teachers that they’ll literally accept anyone, provided the individual’s CORI and other criminal background checks come back clean. How can we possibly expect our children to receive an adequate understanding of the faith when the sole criterion for choosing and accepting so-called “educators” is, simply, not possessing a criminal record?
Here’s my portion of the exchange:
“You raise a vital issue – women’s rights. Certainly, I cannot and will not speak on behalf of all other individuals and/or groups who comprise what is collectively referred to as the “Pro-Life Movement.” Yet, I can and will state with confidence and conviction that most of my fellow pro-lifers are infinitely more supportive of woman’s welfare than anything I’ve witnessed from the abortion industry, specifically, Planned Parenthood – one of the most duplicitous organizations going. Abortion is Big Business, making tons of money by fully exploiting and capitalizing on highly vulnerable, easily persuaded and manipulated women in a state of crisis… I must ask, is this the “respect” for women that you speak of? Moreover, what say you of a pre-born WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE TO LIVE, and not have the tremendous gift of her life as a woman simply snuffed out? Pardon me, but ain’t this just a bit contradictory? I wonder if Gloria Steinem would have championed her own mother’s “right to choose,” while the latter was pregnant with the former?
To deprive a pre-born woman of her right to a continued existence is absolutely the most radical form of misogyny, yet you purport to support womans’ rights? Is not a pre-born baby girl a female human being? Further, if you were to ask any truly objective biological scientist to explain, to the best of his or her scientific ability, and in full accord with his or her biological training and education, precisely what this feminine embryo is, would not the scientist have to state that this embryo/fetus is a pre-natal, female human being? If it’s not a human being, I’d love to know what, from a purely scientific standpoint, this baby is. Is it a cow, a horse, a unicorn!!! Are people so blinded by politics and propaganda that they’ll allow an issue of semantics to serve as justification for a silent holocaust??!!
Further, I quite disagree that it is the Pro-Life movement that is not in support of Women’s health; are pro-lifers the ones using unclean, unsanitary surgical equipment to perform as many abortions as they possibly can – even when women ARE NOT pregnant – lying to them, telling them that some random spot that shows up on their ultrasound is a fetus, embryo, or blastocyte? Don’t believe me? Check this out: http://youtu.be/mXZCOaRVrbg The architects of this “culture of death” in which we live have rejected centuries of sound, logical thinking regarding Natural Law ethics and the social/moral norms that have arisen therefrom.
Throughout the centuries, various cultures have been severely oppressed and enslaved – deprived of their fundamental rights to liberty and equality of dignity. During ratification of the US Constitution, African-Americans were legally considered to be “property,” not persons. During that same period of time, on account of the South desiring greater representation in the House, it was agreed upon that African-Americans would be conceded a modicum of dignity, as they were bumped up from mere “property” to 3/5ths of a human person.
There’s a profound similarity here to the abortion controversy. Both slavery and abortion seek to objectify and dehumanize their victims via a shared and encouraged societal rationalization, coupled with a cultural consensus regarding the acceptability of subjectivism. Rationalization can be defined as the justification of morally illicit, reckless, irresponsible, or even reprehensible behavior through the creation of seemingly reasonable, yet false excuses… With the legalization of slavery came copious free labor, a temptation far too strong for the southern plantation owners to overcome. Likewise, with the legalization of abortion, women are legally permitted to terminate an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy, thereby enabling them to maintain their lifestyle, career-plans, etc. It becomes very easy for a woman to employ the defense mechanism of rationalization when the culture in which she lives not only condones the act, but seemingly encourages it as the exercise of a “right.”
Yet, copious research has been conducted by countless grad students studying bio-ethics at the graduate level, and according to the literature – hard stats – the majority of women who’ve had abortions suffer incalculable physiological and psychological damage and devastation, for which many remain in treatment for the rest of their lives. This is the truth that the establishment doesn’t report on – the countless women who suffer alongside the children they have been manipulated into aborting. Mothers, just as much as their aborted children, are the victims of the social scourge of abortion.
Thank you for reading. Be well.