But there must be a lot of sadness in embracing the Catholic faith once again (or at all). One could lose a lot of friends. Of course, to re-embrace the faith would be a real falling in love, and so the sacrifices may feel well worth it. After all, I moved away from a lot of friends and family that I miss very much to marry B.A.
So I was very moved to read this conversion story by a returned Catholic. And then my blood ran cold when he wrote about a subsequent confession. It isn't that he continues to sin (duh); we're all on a narrow and upward path, after all, and we're supposed to confess all the sins, not just the big ones. It was the response of his heretical confessor.
And it wasn't just the heresy that disturbed me. It was the testimony that "being nice" and "being tolerant" don't help sinners in the long run. It was message that passive betrayal of Catholic sexual teaching can lead to the end of Catholic belief in the lives of many Catholics. We have to guard the line, and guarding the line can be agonizingly hard, especially when, at the same time, we love the people crossing it but will give us almighty hell for saying anything. It's easier not to say anything, really, in certain cultures, especially mine.
For example, I once listened to a fellow theology student publicly discuss his latest boyfriend. He found him very attractive, but he was sorry he was a Protestant because he really wanted a fellow Catholic as a boyfriend this time, someone who shared his theological and spiritual interests. However, the good news was that this guy could put him on his work health insurance at once, which would be a real relief, etc.
Well, to quote someone we all know, "If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge him?" Or, rather more to the point, if a Catholic falls short of Catholic moral standards, and he seeks the Lord and has good will, and is not someone I love very much, why should I stick my nose in to be bitten off? Which, when you think about it, is pretty freaking cowardly--even if according to time-tested Canadian social norms.
I was going to say something obvious about the mid-term relatio, but I have sworn off the Synod for the week. Instead I will look at super-cute gypsy caravans.
H/T Fr. Z.
H/T Fr. Z.