Situations like Charlotte Catholic have been created in large measure by the poor catechesis and heterodoxy that permeates so many Catholic parishes today. In diocese after diocese (and sadly mine is not exempt), stridently disobedient laity can easily find a parish which will accommodate their cafeteria Catholicism.What’s most troubling, however, is that everyone knows the breakdown. Often incorporating the language of contemporary political analysis, people speak of the “conservative” parishes and the “liberal” parishes.While these terms are often used to describe how the liturgy is offered, they can also reference the overall orthodoxy of the parish. The identifiably more “liberal” communities attract many dissenting Catholics when orthodoxy is re-introduced at their parish. These same dissenters know they will avoid hearing about the challenging and unpopular truths of the faith by running off to these oases of heterodoxy. That there are priests who openly accept this recognition as a badge of honor is scandalous. It is also a betrayal of those priests who do not seek the easy way for themselves, but instead embrace the cross in defense of the truth.We have seen for decades this widespread refusal on the part of many priests to tackle the tough subjects, such as contraception, abortion and same-sex attraction. No doubt many remain silent because of their own dissenting views. The tacit approval of contraception in private often manifests as a deafening silence from the ambo. It is that very silence that also betrays their brother priests.
We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.