Cardinal Dolan: We’re not in the business of being “in touch” with popular opinion

posted at 11:21 am on April 1, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s amazing how many commentators seem fixated on judging religious institutions through poll questions, but Cardinal Timothy Dolan pointed out the obvious in his Easter appearance on ABC’s This Week. George Stephanopoulos challenged Dolan about a recent poll of Catholics, which showed that 60% felt that the church had fallen out of touch with the views of Catholics in the US.  Dolan reminded viewers that the purpose of the faith isn’t to change teachings based on polls — and that means that sometimes people will find the church “out of touch”:

During an interview for “This Week,” Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that the Catholic Church’s very nature means it will be — from time to time – out of touch with the concerns of its followers.

“Sometimes by nature, the Church has got to be out of touch with concerns, because we’re always supposed to be thinking of the beyond, the eternal, the changeless,” Dolan said. “Our major challenge is to continue in a credible way to present the eternal concerns to people in a timeless attractive way. And sometimes there is a disconnect – between what they’re going through and what Jesus and his Church is teaching. And that’s a challenge for us.”

Dolan was responding to a question from Stephanopoulos about a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, which found that 60 percent of Catholics “describe the church as ‘out of touch’ with the views of Catholics in America.”

Stephanopoulos also asked Dolan about the church’s position on same-sex marriage.  Dolan explained that the church isn’t anti-anybody, but the sacramental character of marriage has a specific purpose and definition that the church cannot abandon:

Stephanopoulos also asked Dolan what the Catholic Church can say to gays and lesbians, who feel unwelcomed by the Church, which does not support same-sex marriage.

“Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, ‘I love you, too.  And God loves you.  And you are made in God’s image and likeness.  And – and we – we want your happiness.  But – and you’re entitled to friendship.’  But we also know that God has told us that the way to happiness, that – especially when it comes to sexual love – that is intended only for a man and woman in marriage, where children can come about naturally,” Dolan said. “We got to be – we got to do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people.  And I admit, we haven’t been too good at that.  We try our darndest to make sure we’re not an anti-anybody.”

This focus on issue-driven polling and religious teachings continues the kind of media approach that became very apparent during the papal conclave.  The pundits seem confused as to the purpose of religious faith in general, and the Catholic Church and the papacy in particular.  They want to keep applying paradigms suited for popular governance to institutions that exist to teach eternal truth — because whether or not one believes in the teachings of the Catholic Church or any other religious doctrine, that’s what they claim to teach. That is why most of them missed what actually was at stake in the Vatican this month, and what the outcome actually means.

The debate over legalizing SSM makes perfect sense in the popular governance/election paradigm.  As people change their minds on any question of government policy, the relative popularity of each position has great significance for politicians and political parties.  For religious institutions, though, that’s at best a secondary issue, and only relevant to whether or not effective catechism (teaching of the faith) is taking place.  A religion that changes doctrine based on popular opinion becomes a club with a high name-recognition value, and has no real long-term purpose.

The issue at the papal conclave was never about whether to change doctrine on marriage.  It was about improving the catechism and expanding evangelization through example and the proclamation of the Gospel, whether or not one finds it “in touch” with current popular opinion.  The election of Pope Francis has already proven successful in drawing attention to the evangelization envisioned by Saint Francis of Assisi, who once said, “Proclaim the Gospel — use words if necessary.”  We shall see if more effective evangelization results, and whether that impacts popular opinion by more effective teaching among Catholics as to the purpose of the sacrament of marriage. Dolan hit this one out of the park.


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27 comments or bust!

Bishop on April 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

I’ve got to wonder how many in the chattering class actually have faith in anything but the liberal agenda, skewed polls, and biased reporting.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 11:32 AM

27 comments or bust!

Bishop on April 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Unless the thread somehow turns to Palin or gay marriage. :)

melle1228 on April 1, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Good interview by Cardinal Dolan

workingclass artist on April 1, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Yeah, I thought it was hilarious how people would post the Church must do (fill in the blank). It doesn’t work that way.

Blake on April 1, 2013 at 11:39 AM

We’re not in the business of being “in touch” with popular opinion

The same could and should be said of the US Constitution.

glennbo on April 1, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Dolan’s business is advancing the word of God. Stephy’s business is advancing the cause of people screaming “Oh God, Oh God!”

Mr. D on April 1, 2013 at 11:40 AM

…someone tell Stephy that the polls say his network shouldn’t be on the air!

KOOLAID2 on April 1, 2013 at 11:43 AM

“Our major challenge is to continue in a credible way to present the eternal concerns to people in a timeless attractive way. And sometimes there is a disconnect – between what they’re going through and what Jesus and his Church is teaching. And that’s a challenge for us.”

I would suggest the Pope washing the feet of criminals (including two women) on Good Friday is a step in the right direction. That act seems far more in keeping with Christ’s message than the ritual washing of twelve priests’ feet in the middle of the Vatican.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 11:43 AM

The pundits seem confused as to the purpose of religious faith in general, and the Catholic Church and the papacy in particular. They want to keep applying paradigms suited for popular governance to institutions that exist to teach eternal truth — because whether or not one believes in the teachings of the Catholic Church or any other religious doctrine, that’s what they claim to teach. That is why most of them missed what actually was at stake in the Vatican this month, and what the outcome actually means.

They don’t get eternal truth because their god — King Barry — has a habit of evolving.

Bitter Clinger on April 1, 2013 at 11:43 AM

I believe Pope Francis came to his position, just in time. Cardinal Dolan would also, and may still, be an excellent choice for Pope. As for Stephanoctopuss, he will always be a jerk, and God still loves him! The rest of us will struggle with trying to, “love thy neighbor!”

tomshup on April 1, 2013 at 11:44 AM

It’s not that the church has lost touch with the people, it’s that the people have lost touch with the church.

A religion that changes doctrine based on popular opinion becomes a club with a high name-recognition value, and has no real long-term purpose.

I can think of a few churches that have done this very thing. I don’t expect them to survive in the long term as anything more than a social club.

sadatoni on April 1, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Yes. Preach it, Mr.Dolan.

Truth doesn’t have to be popular or elected, no matter how much liberals rant and rave. Nor can it be remade in their image by unelected oafs in robes.

MelonCollie on April 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

At one point, if Christianity wanted to preach to the polls, Jesus would have asked people to pray to Zeus.

rbj on April 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

A Poll based Bible.

Jesus is coming, and he’s pissed.

portlandon on April 1, 2013 at 11:52 AM

The pundits seem confused as to the purpose of religious faith in general, and the Catholic Church and the papacy in particular.

I think they are quite clear on the purpose of religious faith, they just don’t like the fact that thousands of years of tradition have proven to be harder to erase than Darwin, Marx, and secular society wishes.

fourdeucer on April 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I am not Catholic, but I totally agree with Cardinal Dolan. Jesus’ teachings were not exactly popular in His day either. In fact, they never will be the “Popular” thing, unless most of the people in the community are truly converted.

Let’s take an example, though not Catholic: Brigham Young University.

BYU is somewhere around 95% Mormon, and the outside world thinks the place must be terrible. BYU is always on top of the “most sober” kind of lists, and at the bottom of the “party school” lists. No one must have fun, right? Everyone must hate it, right?

Not at all: everyone who is at BYU wants to be there (I grant the few who are there because of peer pressure or parental pressure, but it’s not significant). BYU has an honor code that many Christians, let alone the Sandra Flukes of the world, couldn’t fathom: no sex or even petting; curfews, and so forth (except for if you are married, of course!).

Sandra Fluke would view BYU as hell, I’m sure. I think there are a few other institutions, like Bob Jones University, like it.

But BYU is great because the peer pressure is to actually be good! You can be a student there and everyone is helping you keep the commandments. People go there because they want to avoid the whole “popular culture” bit. Who wants to have gay stuff shoved in your face, or feel pressured to sleep with a girl (or guy) on the first or even 5th date? It’s a place where if I heard that over 70 % of the unmarried students were virgins, I would actually believe it. The world at BYU is just better.

It’s similar with other self selected communities. I wish it wasn’t limited to places like BYU and Provo/Orem.

Vanceone on April 1, 2013 at 11:55 AM

At one point, if Christianity wanted to preach to the polls, Jesus would have asked people to pray to Zeus.

rbj on April 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Not to split hairs here but, in the interests of accuracy and reaching the goal of 27 posts, I would point out that Christ probably would have asked people to pray to Jupiter, not Zeus.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Good on the Cardinial !
It’s stunning to watch the sybaritic
left squirm . They can’t and won’t
believe in any limits . Amazing !

Lucano on April 1, 2013 at 11:56 AM

At one point, if Christianity wanted to preach to the polls, Jesus would have asked people to pray to Zeus.

rbj on April 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Or, if Jesus was asked, “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?” he would have answered. “You bet! Caesar is the bestest, most awesomest Emperor ever. And for your information, Caesar is a living god, and what we Jews have been believing in this entire time has been a whole bunch of cr*p. Now who here’s up for some Olympian worship?”

Stoic Patriot on April 1, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Too many Catholics have fallen out of touch with the Bible!!

dddave on April 1, 2013 at 11:58 AM

“What is right is not always popular, what is popular is not always right.” In a squishy world, absolutes are uncomfortable for many.

indypat on April 1, 2013 at 11:59 AM

I think they are quite clear on the purpose of religious faith, they just don’t like the fact that thousands of years of tradition have proven to be harder to erase than Darwin, Marx, and secular society wishes.

fourdeucer on April 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

It’s not that they want to erase religious faith they just want the state to be the center of that faith instead of some guy who lived over 2000 years ago. The look at scripture and what is says about sodomy or adultry and pretend that it says something else entirely or surely is part of Scripture that is archaic and should be ignored. And anybody who doesn’t ignore such inconvenient truth is intolerant, bigoted, or otherwise attacked.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Also, FYI to ABC and WaPo and whatnot…

The “Catholic Church” does, in fact, exist beyond just the United States. In fact, there are quite a lot MORE Catholics in the world than in the US.

So, US Catholics opinion – sad as it may be – is not the be all, end all of opinions.

deadrody on April 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

It’s the same age old battle it always was. Look at the time of Judges in the Bible. Samson, Gideon, etc. What was the pressing, ever present battle the Israelite’s faced? Idolatry of gods like Baal, and Molech, and Asherah or Astarte.

Who were they? Asherah was basically sexual promiscuity. Molech loved dead babies, especially when they were killed by their parents. And Baal was the main enemy.

Today, we have sexual promiscuity, abortion, and all the other old sins, except we don’t dignify them with diety. But man, the Democrats sure are coming close to actual worshiping Molech in all ways except by his name. And Sandra Fluke makes a mighty fine high priestess of Asherah.

Vanceone on April 1, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Not for nothing does the Scripture say that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (I Samuel 15:23). All deviance from God’s holy standard is rebellion, ultimately, against His authority. This is why Paul says in Romans that God has given them over to the filthiness of their own minds, to do shameful things and to want others to do it with them and approve of it. Sin, rebellion, hatred – it’s all a sickness. And as Bilbo says in the new Hobbit movie, “It [is ] a sickness of the mind. And where sickness thrives bad things will follow.”

JoseQuinones on April 1, 2013 at 12:04 PM

So, US Catholics opinion – sad as it may be – is not the be all, end all of opinions.

deadrody on April 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

And Catholics cook the books when it comes to numbers. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic. So…… How many of those who responded to that poll are practicing Catholics and how many are Catholics by heritage more than faith?

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 12:04 PM

In fact, I would be curious to see some kind of “devoutness” indicator for the various majority Catholic countries to see just how isolated the US Catholics opinion that the church is “out of touch” really is.

Frankly, the Catholic Church is the LAST one that the media should be attacking over this issues since it is a long standing tenement of the Catholic faith that sex should ONLY be undertaken for procreation. No sex is authorized by the Catholic Church unless the intent is procreation. And since there is no such thing as gay sex with the intention of procreation, they really haven’t voiced any kind of new or controversial opinion, now have they ?

deadrody on April 1, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Not for nothing does the Scripture say that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (I Samuel 15:23). All deviance from God’s holy standard is rebellion, ultimately, against His authority. This is why Paul says in Romans that God has given them over to the filthiness of their own minds, to do shameful things and to want others to do it with them and approve of it. Sin, rebellion, hatred – it’s all a sickness. And as Bilbo says in the new Hobbit movie, “It [is ] a sickness of the mind. And where sickness thrives bad things will follow.”

JoseQuinones on April 1, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Wow, It isn’t everyday that you see an Old Testament reference, followed by a New Testament reference, followed by a Hobbit quote.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

fourdeucer on April 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Not to mention the fact that Darwin robs us of purpose, Marxism has killed tens of millions, and secular society is a piss-poor guarantor of rights.

In other words, what liberals attempt to substitute for the religious concepts they sneer at are hopelessly inadequate and they know it.

MelonCollie on April 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Part of the the problem is we have not effectively “evangelized” the principles and doctrines of Catholicism to the faithful. Over time, they’ve been obscured or conveniently ignored because liberals in the faith saw it as a means to increase popularity or retain parishioners. That’s not only an observation- it’s empirical based on churches I’ve sat it. But it’s ultimately unwise because such posture lacks the perseverance necessary to properly provide steady guidance to the faithful. Otherwise you’ve been diluted to the latest fade. That’s not “modernizing” the faith- it’s ensuring its destruction. Popularity is never a substitute for principle.

In that regard, I am happy to hear the cardinals words that biblical teachings and our doctrine have meaning and don’t bend based on whimsical, contemporary fads. It also bears repeating this is not an issue of hate or judgment. To Catholics it’s a matter of faith.

Since its founding, the Catholic Church has served as a beacon of moral, social and righteous guidance- leading people to the love of Jesus Christ. That people have turned away from religion today, all religion, is a sign that a society has lost its way and needs that illumination.

As Jesus showed us through the Apostle Paul, one cannot walk in blindness and lead the way for others. It takes unwavering principles leadership and open eyes to guide others along the path.

Marcus Traianus on April 1, 2013 at 12:14 PM

The GOP might benefit from similar thinking. Doing what is right is often unpopular and difficult. The problem is “popular” wins elections instead of capable.

dogsoldier on April 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

The thing I take at least some hope in is that the more “conservative” style Christian religions are growing rapidly. Like the Mormons and the Baptists. I don’t think Catholicism is really growing via missionary work, per se, but despite my disdain for the cultural Catholics, I admire the actual church. If they really cracked down (and excommunicated the millions who just claim lip service, while flaunting every commandment there is….) I think Catholicism could really step up its game.

Vanceone on April 1, 2013 at 12:18 PM

There are dozens of religions (ever heard of the Protestant religion) people can go to who don’t like the teachings of the Catholic Church. Some of them are even are chock full of hip and cool and trendy teachings.

The Catholic Church is SUPPOSED to be resistant to change.

No one forces you to join or to practice.

The problem today is we have too many Atticus Finch wannabees who think the they’re living out the script when it comes to anyone who any thing that disagrees with them about anything.

NoDonkey on April 1, 2013 at 12:24 PM

*WHOOOSH* (over my head apparently)

wtF does this have to do with Charlie Sheen?????????

Katfish on April 1, 2013 at 12:25 PM

what liberals attempt to substitute for the religious concepts they sneer at are hopelessly inadequate and they know it.

MelonCollie on April 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Absolutely right and to paraphrase Gilbert Keith Chesterton, ” Religion has not been tried and found to be a failure, it just hasn’t been adequately tried.”

fourdeucer on April 1, 2013 at 12:26 PM

We certainly they are in the business of ‘touching’.

Ba-dum-cha. That was a lame joke. Exit stage right.

ZachV on April 1, 2013 at 12:27 PM

It’s amazing how many commentators seem fixated on judging religious institutions through poll questions,

Why is that amazing? They’re leftists. There goal is to degrade religious institutions by forcing them into irreligious accommodations in the name of popularity.

rrpjr on April 1, 2013 at 12:31 PM

The difference between “Jugear Jesus” and Jesus is that Christ rose from the grave after death.

Hussein will rot with the worms. Just like his buddy Chavez.

As an aside, I wonder if the LSM will hide Obama’s death for months like happened in Venezuela with Chavez?

Thanks to Obamacare, I doubt our cancer treatments will be any better than Cuba’s before long…

wildcat72 on April 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

I would suggest the Pope washing the feet of criminals (including two women) on Good Friday is a step in the right direction. That act seems far more in keeping with Christ’s message than the ritual washing of twelve priests’ feet in the middle of the Vatican.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 11:43 AM

And the new guy is the best thing to happen to the Catholic Church in quite awhile. Discuss. It is amazing how much his actions have changed the perceptions of the Catholic Church. It is a radical change in direction, but it was also an obvious and fairly simple one. Why weren’t previous popes (even the savvier ones like JP II) not celebrating Holy Thursday Mass in jails, etc.? Why did it take someone to point out the obvious.. issue with the Church was that it spent the last fifty years arguing about the finer points of the doctrine (i.e. theological narcissism) rather than professing the faith and helping the poor and defenseless?

I frankly cannot tell you how much I love Papa Francisco. He annoys all the right people, especially the ultra-traditionalists (aka the Pharisees.) I was driven away from the Church because of these sorts, but now I’m back and excited about the new direction that we’re going to be taking. However, now comes the hard part and he’ll need all our prayers. But Bergoglio is definitely a strong-willed person, so there is a great chance this will succeed. I pray that he will make a dramatic gesture against priests abusing children. It is a pity that the Law thing turned out to be an urban myth.

Illinidiva on April 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

There are dozens of religions (ever heard of the Protestant religion) people can go to who don’t like the teachings of the Catholic Church. Some of them are even are chock full of hip and cool and trendy teachings.

The Catholic Church is SUPPOSED to be resistant to change.

No one forces you to join or to practice.

The problem today is we have too many Atticus Finch wannabees who think the they’re living out the script when it comes to anyone who any thing that disagrees with them about anything.

NoDonkey on April 1, 2013 at 12:24 PM

And none of those mainline churches are doing quite well. The problem with the Catholic Church has been discovered and it had nothing to do with its teachings.

Illinidiva on April 1, 2013 at 12:41 PM

The GOP might benefit from similar thinking. Doing what is right is often unpopular and difficult. The problem is “popular” wins elections instead of capable.

dogsoldier on April 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

It’s unpopular to take “free” Obamaphones, government cheese, and fraudulent disability payments away from the Looters. Hint: Giving stuff way for “free” with no obligation to pay for it bought with other people’s money will ALWAYS be popular, but it’s the societal cancer that destroys free nations.

Fact of the matter is that all of that IS coming to an end, and sooner than most think, because we’ve run out of money to spend, and we’ve run out of money to borrow (only 39% of 2012′s deficit was sold as bonds) and sooner or later, because we’re simply printing it by the trillion, that money runs out too. Once the dollar is worthless there won’t be any more “free” stuff.

It’s the Republicans job to start TELLING PEOPLE THIS and to prepare for it.

But they won’t, because 90% of your DC beltway GOP like giving away other people’s money for votes just as much as the democRATS do.

wildcat72 on April 1, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Interesting that Dolan didn’t mention anything about the Church’s position on sex outside of marriage for heterosexuals, or their position on contraception.

Gay people and straight people alike tend not to live up to the strict standards that God give us.

hawksruleva on April 1, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Doing what is right is often unpopular and difficult. The problem is “popular” wins elections instead of capable.

dogsoldier on April 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

I don’t like this idea of popularity any more than I like Dolan talking of attractive presentation. For me anyway, that seems a tad superficial when it comes to matters of faith. Akin to a church putting a sign out saying “We have donuts!”

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 12:47 PM

I liked his comment another time better. The one about, “…you think in terms of right or left; we think in terms of true or false.”

That one’s a keeper.

Cleombrotus on April 1, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Interesting that Dolan didn’t mention anything about the Church’s position on sex outside of marriage for heterosexuals, or their position on contraception.

Gay people and straight people alike tend not to live up to the strict standards that God give us.

hawksruleva on April 1, 2013 at 12:44 PM

All George asked about (and all America seems to care about) are the gays and their feelings.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 12:49 PM

27 comments or bust!

Bishop on April 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Blew the lid off!!

itsspideyman on April 1, 2013 at 1:11 PM

A Poll based Bible.

Jesus is coming, and he’s pissed.

portlandon on April 1, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Reminds me of this.

PatriotGal2257 on April 1, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Happy Nomad. Think of attractive presentation as not discussing legitimate rape when talking abortion. The Church needs to find a better way to get its message out.. Say by washing the feet of youthful offenders.

Illinidiva on April 1, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Interesting that Dolan didn’t mention anything about the Church’s position on sex outside of marriage for heterosexuals, or their position on contraception.

Gay people and straight people alike tend not to live up to the strict standards that God give us.

hawksruleva on April 1, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Cardinal Dolan didn’t, but Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington did. Below is an excerpt from a very thorough Good Friday reflection.

Welcome to the whirlwind. Yes, we heterosexuals have misbehaved for over fifty years now, and, in process dispensed widespread confusion about sex and distorted its purpose. We have loved the darkness, and now the darkness deepens with the obvious absurdity of homosexual “marriage” a misnomer before it is even uttered. But so is contraceptive marriage.

PatriotGal2257 on April 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Hey George: it turns out that Satan is perfectly fine with Catholics behaving however they want. Go ahead and take an ABC/WaPo poll in hades when you get there:

“Do you still support gay marriage, abortion, and assisted suicide?”

Let us know how it comes out, Stephy baby.

PD Quig on April 1, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I’m not Catholic but I appreiate Dolan’s perspective opn this. If God is willing to change the nature of sin based on polls, religion in and of itself is worthless. That is not the case, as the Cardinal points out so well.

MikeA on April 1, 2013 at 1:35 PM

It’s the hubris of the 60′s generation. (not all of them, of course. This is a generalization)

But they got it in their heads they knew better than everyone.

They should have free, promiscuous sex.
There should be lots of drugs.
Marriage is passe.
People should just love each other. No judgement about what’s right & wrong.
Religion is bad because it tells you what to do.
The government should take care of us.
They’re not responsible for my own actions.

So now we’re stuck with the fruits of the societal change. New Catholics believe that they Church and its 2000 years of wisdom should cave to the beliefs of Nouveau Enlightened.

And if you want to know about that, look up Oprah’s Master Class. Instead of going to Church on Sunday morning, hang out with Oprah and her celebrity pals as they teach you what you should really know about the world.

My in-laws are into that crap. They wanted my wife to watch it this weekend. I almost blew my top.

I mean, who would you rather spend time with? Jesus & the Church, or Oprah and Jane Fonda?

Nethicus on April 1, 2013 at 1:46 PM

We certainly they are in the business of ‘touching’.

Ba-dum-cha. That was a lame joke. Exit stage right.

ZachV on April 1, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Yeh those gay priests make me sick.

CW on April 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Not to mention the fact that Darwin robs us of purpose

LOL

Good Lt on April 1, 2013 at 2:05 PM

I am not Catholic, but I totally agree with Cardinal Dolan. Jesus’ teachings were not exactly popular in His day either. In fact, they never will be the “Popular” thing, unless most of the people in the community are truly converted.

Let’s take an example, though not Catholic: Brigham Young University.

BYU is somewhere around 95% Mormon, and the outside world thinks the place must be terrible. BYU is always on top of the “most sober” kind of lists, and at the bottom of the “party school” lists. No one must have fun, right? Everyone must hate it, right?

Not at all: everyone who is at BYU wants to be there (I grant the few who are there because of peer pressure or parental pressure, but it’s not significant). BYU has an honor code that many Christians, let alone the Sandra Flukes of the world, couldn’t fathom: no sex or even petting; curfews, and so forth (except for if you are married, of course!).

Sandra Fluke would view BYU as hell, I’m sure. I think there are a few other institutions, like Bob Jones University, like it.

But BYU is great because the peer pressure is to actually be good! You can be a student there and everyone is helping you keep the commandments. People go there because they want to avoid the whole “popular culture” bit. Who wants to have gay stuff shoved in your face, or feel pressured to sleep with a girl (or guy) on the first or even 5th date? It’s a place where if I heard that over 70 % of the unmarried students were virgins, I would actually believe it. The world at BYU is just better.

It’s similar with other self selected communities. I wish it wasn’t limited to places like BYU and Provo/Orem.

Vanceone on April 1, 2013 at 11:55 AM

I got my undergrad degree from a private christian college here in MN that is similar to what you describe. We had a biblical lifestyle statement (no drinking, no smoking, no sex outside marriage, etc.) that we had to agree to and sign if we wanted to attend, and they took offenses pretty seriously. After all, it was stipulated on the premise that we wanted to be there and agree to the terms. Mandatory chapel every day. (Minus a few free skips throughout the semester) ;) Not that there weren’t students that didn’t abide by it, of course.

It was a wonderful experience for me though. I met several professors who have been great mentors to me, even after graduating. The atmosphere from the law school I attended two years after I got my undergrad degree was totally different. At my undergrad, it was Christ-centered. We prayed at the beginning of every class, I didn’t have classmates and professors trying to shove liberal crap at us, etc. Law school was different. It wasn’t as bad as I imagine a non-religious undergrad institution would be, but there was definitely a strong liberal presence there. Most of my professors kept it business, but a few would slip in a comment here and there. Of course, by that time most of my fellow students were mature enough to ignore it and not be suckered in by everything their professors said.

The only thing I would’ve done different is that I would have lived on campus my first year at least. I commuted from the beginning, and it was hard to make friends, particularly after I changed majors mid-way and stopped having classes with most of the folks I already knew.

With regard to the topic of the post: The world *should* hate Christians. If the world loves you and has no problem with you, you better start looking at yourself through the scriptural mirror.

I’ve got major problems with Catholic theology (I’m a Reformed-leaning Baptist), but I will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Catholics in defending marriage and the unborn.

Othniel on April 1, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Who were they? Asherah was basically sexual promiscuity. Molech loved dead babies, especially when they were killed by their parents. And Baal was the main enemy.

Being demons, these wretched forces are still around and active.

Mason on April 1, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Liberals are obsessed with polls, because they are obsessed with the idea of being popular. They never outgrow the high school clique phase, and hard core Leftists count on this to manipulate them.

The MSM, Hollywood, and academia try to brainwash the masses into believing that there’s a correct position and an incorrect position on all the issues, and that the correct positions are embraced by all those who are enlightened, educated, cultured, kind hearted, etc, while the incorrect positions are embraced by all those who are stupid, ignorant, hateful, etc.

It just so happens that all the so called correct positions on the issues dovetail perfectly with increasing the power of the government and taking freedom away from the people (along with undermining religion, which is essential to increasing the power of government).

So Liberals are basically giving away their freedoms and enslaving themselves to government in exchange for being able to think of themselves as both hip and virtuous.

ardenenoch on April 1, 2013 at 2:42 PM

At one point, if Christianity wanted to preach to the polls, Jesus would have asked people to pray to Zeus.

rbj on April 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Not to split hairs here but, in the interests of accuracy and reaching the goal of 27 posts, I would point out that Christ probably would have asked people to pray to Jupiter, not Zeus.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Okay. I lol’d over this one. Kudos. You are the trivia king.

davisbr on April 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

“My kingdom is not of this world.”

mabelee on April 1, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Othniel….spot on Brother spot on…….

crosshugger on April 1, 2013 at 4:32 PM

60% felt that the church had fallen out of touch with the views of Catholics in the US.

Some small part of that 60% just might be those who feel the church isn’t conservative enough.

JimC on April 1, 2013 at 4:35 PM

I would suggest the Pope washing the feet of criminals (including two women) on Good Friday is a step in the right direction. That act seems far more in keeping with Christ’s message than the ritual washing of twelve priests’ feet in the middle of the Vatican.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2013 at 11:43 AM

And the new guy is the best thing to happen to the Catholic Church in quite awhile. Discuss. It is amazing how much his actions have changed the perceptions of the Catholic Church. It is a radical change in direction, but it was also an obvious and fairly simple one.

I frankly cannot tell you how much I love Papa Francisco. He annoys all the right people, especially the ultra-traditionalists (aka the Pharisees.) I was driven away from the Church because of these sorts, but now I’m back

I pray that he will make a dramatic gesture against priests abusing children. It is a pity that the Law thing turned out to be an urban myth.

So much here to deal with…first the rules thing…having grown up in Illinois I appreciate how the Diva could be so upset the “ultra traditionalist” are actually talking about the rules again…I know it made you feel icky…but now you’ve got a Pope who apprently doesn’t care about the “rules” at least not the one about Jesus washing the feet of his apostles, who just happened to be all men and not a muslim in the group. I give the Pope a “nice try” on symbolism.

As far as Law and urban myth…so you want the Pope and the Church to break the rules but you seem outraged that some priests, and that means a very little number, decided the rules didn’t apply to them and then their Bishops decided the rules didn’t apply to them either…so which is it, the rules are important or aren’t they?

ironmarshal on April 1, 2013 at 4:40 PM

I can think of a few churches that have done this very thing. I don’t expect them to survive in the long term as anything more than a social club.

sadatoni on April 1, 2013 at 11:46 AM

I left the Episcopal Church for this reason (convert to the Catholic Church). The Episcopal Church became “the church of what’s happening now”. It used to be the largest church in the country, but now only about 2% of the churchgoing public calls themselves Episcopalians.

SubmarineDoc on April 1, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Stephie seems to be incredulous that Cardinal Dolan is………Catholic. Apparently so are 60% of the Catholics in this country. The Cardinals are not supposed to be “in touch” with what Americans want. That isn’t the point. The rules are there and are meant to be followed. If you can’t follow them then maybe Catholisism isn’t your religion after all. Find another church or try harder. It isn’t supposed to be easy and no one is perfect.

BetseyRoss on April 1, 2013 at 6:18 PM

ironmarshal

Umm… Women foot washing has been going on in many parishes as part of the rite. Bergoglio has always liked to celebrate Maundy Thursday with criminals, poor people, the sick, etc. And he has always washed women’s feet. There is nothing to suggest that this wouldn’t be coming to the Vatican, especially considering that this is an important part of his ministry. Bergoglio style has been imported for everything else. Guy is impressively strong willed. And it was quite a moving ceremony. Geez… that was a speck of dust in my eye.

And yes. I consider Bernard Law covering up the sexual abuse of children more important than whether or not the Pope, aka the guy who makes the Church laws, decides to ritually wash women’s feet.

Illinidiva on April 1, 2013 at 7:40 PM

The Episcopal Church became “the church of What’s Happening Now”.

Does that mean that Raj, Dwayne, Shirley, and Rerun were Episcopalians?

JimLennon on April 1, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Frankly, the Catholic Church is the LAST one that the media should be attacking over this issues since it is a long standing tenement of the Catholic faith that sex should ONLY be undertaken for procreation. No sex is authorized by the Catholic Church unless the intent is procreation.

deadrody on April 1, 2013 at 12:06 PM

You’re wrong.

The Church’s teaching is that sex needs to be open to procreation but it does not say that sex should be undertaken ONLY for procreation. Perhaps you find that a subtle difference but it is an important one.

For example a loving Catholic couple can enjoy marital relations when they know there is little (essentially none) possibility of conception using a variety of methods to determine when the wife is fertile (and when she is not.) In so doing, they violate none of the tenets of the Church’s teaching on this issue.

PackerBronco on April 1, 2013 at 10:47 PM