Daily Archives: July 23, 2011
I have written some days ago about the possibility that the Diocese of Orange would bid for the “Crystal Cathedral”.
The Diocese of Orange has now made an offer, that at USD 50m in cash would appear more attractive (for the seller) than the alternatives examined up to now.
I can only repeat here that, whilst the intention to save money is in itself laudable (though questionable; this is a glass building, not something made for the centuries), such a building does not correspond to the message a Catholic Cathedral is supposed to send. If you want to see a sensible alternative you can look here, or at the photo above.
The Diocese of Orange has 1.2 million parishioners. For many centuries, Cathedrals have been built slowly, but in the right way.
I do not doubt that cheaper alternatives were available to our ancestors; but our ancestors did not go for the cheaper alternatives. They started to build cathedrals of which they knew that no one of the initiators would see them completed, and many of their children might not see them completed, either. Every one of those beautiful buildings is a tale of patience, sacrifice, and true faith. We see them today, and we are reminded of Christ not only through the way the Cathedral is built, but through the faith of those who built it. Proposals like “we need a Cathedral now so let’s find a fast solution”, or “there’s a building available that costs half, let’s take that instead” would not have ranked very high in popularity by our ancestors.
It is an indication of the shifted priorities that nowadays the “ready-made” solution should be preferred, because it costs less per seat.
Archbishop Gomez has accused Americans of being angry and “judgmental”, unloading on his poor listeners such a load of commonplaces and fashionable words that they must have thought themselves back in the early Seventies.
“Everywhere in our culture, people seem so quick to condemn. It is very hard to find words of mercy or understanding for someone who has done something wrong,” says the oh so understanding bishop; “many good people out there saying things they know they shouldn’t be saying”, he went on in a rather, well, judgmental way.
“People make mistakes. They sin. Some people do evil that causes scandal and grave harm. We can condemn the offense and work for justice — without trying to destroy the person who committed the sin,” says the bishop again and seems to have found some solid ground, but then forgets what he has just said by stating that “We need to reject every temptation to shame or condemn people. Let us never be the cause of turning someone away from seeking God’s forgiveness and redemption.” Yeah, right. Let us not condemn Pelosi, or Cuomo; it might turn them away from redemption. Coffee, Your Grace? Tea? Some spine perhaps?
I read these words in disbelief, and feel that a couple of words must be said:
1) It is very easy to say “do not judge”. In fact, it is the easiest thing to say. No, let me rephrase this: it is the easiest thing to say when you have no intention of doing your job. No, let me say it better: whenever you hear someone senselessly parroting the “do not judge” mantra, you can be sure that he is trying not to do his job (as a parent, a spouse, a friend, a priest). Archbishop Gomez might profit from the sermon of the young Franciscan talking about “judging” about whom I have written some time ago. As one commenter says, “do not judge, lest ye be judged” is “the first cry of the fornicator”.
I don’t judge you, you don’t judge me, everyone does what he pleases, and everyone feels oh so good. Particularly the Archbishop.
2) If there is a society where no one dares to “judge”, this is the modern Anglo-Saxon world. I do not know any other culture where you can eat yourself to death whilst people encourage you to feel what a wonderful person you are, and even entitled to other people’s understanding; where every kind of sexual perversion is covered under a thick layer of “non-judgmental” attitude; where people behave like adolescents well after getting grey hair and are surrounded by the “understanding” and “support” of all those around them; where there is not even a faint hope that suicide might be stigmatised, and the very probable consequences of such a gesture made very clear.
Elsewhere, if one eats to self-destruction people don’t invent strange genetic predispositions strangely unknown to them; they call one ingordo, that is: glutton; if one is a pervert, they call him a pervert (many names for that, but they all mean the same: pervert); if one abandons his wife of thirty years for a pretty young(er) thing who will be gone in a couple of years’ time they don’t show their “understanding and support” but call him a family wrecker, a child, and an idiot; if one commits suicide, they might have the gut to say a couple of unpleasant truths.
How cruel, says the archbishop. Soooo “judgmental”! What the Archbishop doesn’t consider is that in such societies the morbid (and let me repeat this: morbid) obesity I see around me (and in the US) is purely non-existent (genetic predisposition, my aunt: magna de meno!* says a popular Roman dialect phrase); the strong stigma on sexual perversion helps people to develop in a healthy way; the “judgmental”, rather harsh social control about one’s decision helps prevent people of sixty from behaving like pimple-plagued, cretinous adolescents; the (still) rather strong stigma attached to suicide saves lives.
All this, the archbishop is unable to see. His message is a very superficial, very easy, very popular “do not judge”. That people go to hell because of this mentality, he doesn’t seem to care; he has nothing to say; hey, if you say something it might turn the sinner away from redemption, right?
3) Bishops live in a difficult time: Catholicism is under attack, marriage is under attack, the very basis of Christian morality is questioned, even the seal of confession is now targeted. Is it possible that in all this, the bishop thinks it so important to abandon himself to populist waffle? Shouldn’t he be spending his time sending clear messages to his flock about such “judgmental” things as defending marriage, and Christian decency, and solid values? Is it too much to ask?
4) The bishop completely forgets, nay, willingly obliterates, the difference between private weaknesses and public scandal. Of course everyone is a sinner; of course we all fall short of the mark; of course we see in other people’s private failings – when they come up – a reflection of our own sinfulness and looking at ourselves in the mirror are reminded of how much we need the Lord’s mercy ourselves. But this is nothing to do with the open defiance of Christian values, and if the Archbishop thinks that he can eschew the battle by talking of Mary Magdalen whilst some of his colleagues take the sword of Christ, he is sorely mistaken.
Already that a bishop living in that cesspool of anti-Christian, “everything goes” liberalism that is the diocese of Los Angeles has the effrontery of even saying that people are “too judgmental” is beyond belief. I do not know any other place on the planet resembling Sodom so much as the city of West Hollywood, in the very middle of Archbishop Gomez’ diocese. But hey, do not judge, lest you be unpopular….
Archbishop Gomez would be well advised to wake up, smell the coffee, leave the waffle aside, prepare himself for the battles at hand, and be aware that he’ll have a lot to “judge”.