I heard Andrew Sullivan on the radio the other night and he ticked me off. He usually does, I'm not prone to be lectured on what I believe, and I really don't like some jackass with a blog change the definitions of what it means to be a Catholic when I KNOW what it means to be a Catholic and even if I screw up, at least I'm not fooling myself into thinking that I am the number one moral arbiter of everything Catholic, decent and moral.
So today I was surfing a little and came upon the Sullivan interview I had heard at Hugh Hewitt's blog but since I've mostly sworn off politics, unless they're my politics which trump all others, I won't comment on Andrew Sullivan's politics which pretty much depend on the tides and the size of the monarch butterfly migration. Instead I will comment on Andrew Sullivan's idea of what it means to be a Catholic, since he's always telling people that he is a Catholic and we are bad Catholics.
Well, I thought after I heard the interview that Andrew was deeply mistaken about Vatican II and after I read the transcript of the interview at Hewitt's I was sure of it, href="http://andune.blogspot.com/">and Hewitt put up this link from a Catholic theologian to prove it.
You see, I don't care about how people define words when it comes to politics, politics in this country is all about changing the meaning of words and well, lying about not only the effect of policy, but the policy itself (see the last South Park for example, or watch the Daily show or listen to Michael Medved). But when you have a major Religion like Roman Catholicism that has a structured hierarchy and doctrine, well, it's really hard to call yourself a Catholic if you don't believe in the things that make you a Catholic. These things are written down in books, so if you are in doubt you can go check and see if you are actually a Catholic or not. It's not real tough to figure it out.
Catholicism isn't an ethnic group and it's not a political persuasion, it's not a geographic area and it's not a state of mind. Nothing, and I repeat, nothing, pisses me off than some idiot telling me that "I didn't leave the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church left me." Uh, no. The Church changes very slowly, almost imperceptibly, it hasn't changed much in my lifetime and it won't in yours. Sure, churches are uglier now and the music sucks, but the basics haven't changed at all.
They really haven't. And like everyone else I was told that the Second Vatican Council totally screwed up the Church. Well, guess what? Take a little bit of time to read it, I don't think it says what you think it says. And all the nuns cluck-clucking their tongues at the long-haired priests in earth-shoes and blaming it all on Vatican II were just as wrong as the long-haired priest who told everyone they could do whatever they wanted to do and still be Catholic.
Now I'm not saying that I'm a great Catholic, or even a good Catholic. What I am is a practicing Catholic, and if I keep practicing I hope that one day, maybe, I'll get it right.