Daily Archives: January 16, 2023
Protestants, Saintliness, And Us
Of all people Catholics try to make themselves beautiful glorifying, Martin Luther King seems one of the most improbable.
Even my cat knows the guy was a serious, extremely dedicated philanderer. I am now informed he was, on occasion, violent, too. Let us leave aside for a moment the explosive detail of the Black guy beating White prostitutes, and let us focus on the matter at hand: nobody can even begin of boast of any (even for protestant standards) saintly behaviour, who behaved in that way.
On the contrary, it seems to me that King’s serious sins (of which, I am sure, he was fully aware, because he was an intelligent man) were the very reason that propelled his social activism; because, as I have explained many times, religious professionals (Catholic or otherwise), when they know they are utterly deficient in what is expected of them in their role, start finding for themselves other roles that help them feel that they are good guys. Thus, the social justice preacher, or the enviro-priest, and all the rest.
I might, of course, be wrong, and it can that MLK’s serial philandering started after a vast notoriety was achieved, whilst he was quite the chaste preacher beforehand. But I doubt it, because I have seen too many examples to the contrary.
But let us come back to the saintly behaviour, and let us reflect on this: that the idea of a Protestant going straight to heaven at death is totally extraneous to Catholic thinking. Yes, certainly many Protestants are saved and land, at some point, in heaven, and even Mr Feeney agreed with this, renouncing his heresy, before he died. But this does not mean that you have two ways of becoming a saint at death, one of which is the Protestant one.
I wish MLK salvation with all my heart. I even think he was well-intentioned, before sinking in that marsh of proto-communist, bleeding heart activism that was already his mark when he died (I see here another sign of a strong and easily misled ego at work: when a mission is accomplished, you have to find another one that gives you fame and women). But I cannot avoid a strong sense of discomfort when I see Catholics talking of their “good Protestants” and completely forgetting the main fact: that they were Protestant.
Many Protestants are, of course, saved. But they are not saved because they were Protestant. They are saved notwithstanding the fact that they were Protestant. By God’s grace, they enter the Church just before death, even if they were – let me emphasise this – out of her their entire life. If you are cut off from the Church, how can you develop those qualities that make a living saint? You will be, at best, an excellent candidate for purgatory; which, honestly speaking, is not more than what I realistically hope for myself.
We need to stop our wishy-washy mingling of “good guys” irrespective of their religious affiliation, and start the process of recovery of the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant as the main trait that differentiate the one from the other.
I wonder how many priests would want to base a homily on this.
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