Recently Fr. Longenecker closed the comment box on his Patheos blog so people are no longer given the opportunity to reply to anything he says- at least not publicly. Personally I hate that, so I have stopped going to his Patheos website- until today when I saw by way of another Catholic outlet his opinion on what he terms “Church of Nasty”.
That reads "Nasty Catholics" vs. "Nice Catholics" to my mind because the "Nice Catholics" belong to the "Church of Nice" where they treat everyone so 'nicely'. On the other hand, he's got the "Nasty Catholics" belonging to the "Church of Nasty". These Catholics are described like rabid dogs on his Patheo's blog 'Standing on my head'.
Because there was no option to leave a comment there, I decided to write a much longer one here on my own personal thoughts of Father Longenecker's "Church of Nasty" view. Since Father gave no links to whom he was specifically thinking of when he wrote his blog post, I can only assume based on what I myself have seen around the web- and nothing I have seen comes close to Father's depiction. Sure, there are lots of disappointed, hurt, angry, confused, fired up Catholics out there filling the blogosphere with their thoughts and opinions but there isn't a single blogger out there that I know of which I would slap that "Nasty Catholic" label on- not one.
So not surprisingly, I see things a bit differently than Father and I mean this with no disrespect. Just my opinion, on his opinion.
[Longenecker quote] If not the Church of Nice do we need to be the Church of Nasty?In the Catholic blogosphere and Catholic Church generally I increasingly whiff a very bad smell.It’s what I call the Church of Nasty.Trying to avoid the insipid, spineless and lily livered “Church of Nice” too many Catholic are falling into the other trap of becoming the Church of Nasty.It may be someone sending intentionally misleading headlines to a news aggregator to smear another Catholic, or it might be some guy who’s set up a super nasty website full of horrible attacks on others. It might be a radical traditionalist hell bent on attacking all the modernists and compromisers or it might be a radical progressive intent on attacking all his horrible right wing enemies. It might be some Catholic who has his knives out for Muslims, Jews and Protestants. It might be someone attacking homosexuals, sinners, modernists or feminists. It could be a progressive launching endless attacks on traditionalists, conservatives and Republicans.Sometimes it gets so bad that it feels like, “If you don’t hate the people I hate the same way I hate them, then I hate you too!”Wherever it is coming from and wherever it is going they’re intent on being the Church of Nasty, and let me tell you it can get real ugly.I’d link to some of the poisonous websites out there, but I do not want to send them traffic or soil the unblemished minds and hearts of my dear readers…. [end quote]
Again, since Father gives no links to who or what he is referring, we are left to assume all sorts of horrid things about Catholics who are sick and tired of modernist Catholics in the Church who corrupt the teachings and bark “Who are you to judge” at you if you DARE to oppose gay rights.
Now I can see in Father's quote that he places "radical traditionalists" beside "progressives" and Catholics attacking non-Catholics beside a guy's "super nasty website". But lets get to the heart of this. The "Church of Nice" are those who won't speak up against anything, while the "Church of Nasty" (as he refers to them) are those who won't be silent.
That is what it boils down to. This (my post specifically) isn't about progressives vs. traditionalists. It's about those who speak up and those who keep silent about ERROR among the Faithful.
"To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind."
--Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae
What Father neglects to mention is that those opposed to the Church of Nice didn’t start this "battle" (if you will), but they do intend to finish it because keeping silent is not an option.
They are NOT the “Church of Nasty”, they are THE CHURCH.
The AUTHENTIC Church- the people who believe ALL the Church teaches. They don’t want to change the Church, they LOVE HER JUST AS SHE IS. They despise the deceit of those who seek to ruin Her, to change Her, to mar Her magnificence with their heresies and deceit. They won’t stop opposing heresy, sin or deceit. And they won't be bullied into shutting up and playing "nice" when what they love is so brutally attacked. And they won't stand by in silence while souls are being lost to heresies and scandal.
These Authentic Catholics simply won’t tolerate people twisting the word “charity” to fulfill their own purpose either. These Catholics have had enough of the Church of Nice.
Father Longenecker says…
[quote] Therefore, there must be a way between the insipid Church of Nice and the snarling Church of Nasty.To stop and think it through, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt there are two different virtues vying for predominance: the virtue of charity and the virtue of truth.The Church of Nice too often sacrifice truth on the altar of charity and the Church of Nasty too often sacrifice charity on the altar of Truth.There must be a way to be both truth and charitable–both Nasty and Nice. [end quote]
You don’t understand “charity” any better than the Church of Nice does Father.
It is NOT charitable to ignore sin or the sinner. It is not charitable to standby biting your tongue so you don’t hurt someone’s feelings when their salvation is in jeopardy.
It is not charitable to DO NOTHING when you see people working to destroy what you hold dear. It is not charitable to ALLOW modernism to spread in the Church and do nothing.
Charity is love. Love is wanting the sinner to repent so he/she can have eternal salvation. THAT is what charity is. When progressives WORK to destroy the Faith and the "Church of Nice" remain silent so as not to cause offense that is not charity.
The Church of Nice crowd by their silence actually embraces liberalism and modernism not only in the world, but in the Church. These people are the lukewarm who will be vomited out of God’s mouth for refusing to do anything.
Revelation 3 - 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot. 16But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.
The progressive Catholics WORK to bring about legalized abominations: abortion, gay ‘marriage’, artificial birth control, embryonic research etc, while the Church of Nice crowd smile at them and wave at them marching with their gay pride banners.
The Church of Nice crowd wouldn’t dare tell someone their sin might lead them to hell because it might offend them, so instead they smile and keep silent as they watch souls going to Hell.
This is NOT charity, it is hatred, selfishness and cowardice.
Authentic Catholics WORK to stop modernism and heresy. Authentic Catholics aren't afraid to risk themselves for the sake of another- even if it comes with a cost.
If Uncle Bobo and his partner invite you to their 'wedding' it is NOT charity to accept and bring them a gift.
The most charitable thing you can do is sit down with them (or write to them if they won't meet with you) and tell them WHY you can't support them and why their relationship is a sin.
That is truly loving them and wanting the best for them.
Buying them a gift and attending their "wedding" because they are "nice guys" and you don't want to "offend" them is NOT an act of charity.
You have an opportunity to HELP someone avoid MORTAL sin...you WILL be held accountable for how you respond to that opportunity.
Charity is loving others enough to RISK being hated, rejected and mocked because you hold another person's salvation MORE VALUABLE than your self pride or ego. You are willing to be mocked, humiliated and hated if it helps even ONE soul turn from sin and return to God.
The Church of Nice crowd will never risk themselves for another. They are too selfish and comfortable to do what Jesus commanded. Picking up our crosses and following Jesus is NOT easy, and often it is NOT comfortable. It was not supposed to be.
When Catholics stand by and say NOTHING when Cardinals lead parades with gay banners declaring the right to gay ‘marriage’ that is NOT charity.
When Catholics stand by and do NOTHING when priests march for women priests it is NOT charity.
When Catholics stand by allowing ‘Catholic’ politicians to support abortion, birth control, gay ‘marriage’ and adoption it is NOT charity.
When Catholics stand by and do NOTHING when Catholic clergy cause scandal it is NOT charity.
Catechism #826 Charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it "governs, shapes, and perfects all the means of sanctification." 297If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn't lack the noblest of all; it must have a Heart, and a Heart BURNING WITH LOVE. And I realized that this love alone was the true motive force which enabled the other members of the Church to act; if it ceased to function, the Apostles would forget to preach the gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. LOVE, IN FACT, IS THE VOCATION WHICH INCLUDES ALL OTHERS; IT'S A UNIVERSE OF ITS OWN, COMPRISING ALL TIME AND SPACE - IT'S ETERNAL! 298
Hmmm...now WHO does that sound like?? Oh yeah, the Church of Nice!
It is not the “Church of Nice” who reminds Catholics they need to attend weekly Mass. When Catholics no longer believe the Eucharist is what the Church says it is, it is not the Church of Nice who correct them. Oh no, that might hurt their feelings.
It is not the “Church of Nice” crowd who encourages Catholics to go to Confession when they learn a brother or sister has fallen to mortal sin. Oh no, that might upset them and “who are we to judge” them anyway? If they don’t believe in sin or the need to confess because they think God is sooo nice that He won’t allow THEM to go to Hell- the Church of Nice crowd won’t correct that thinking. Oh no, Hell is for the Hitler’s of the world, not Catholics who love each other.
What unity do Authentic Catholics (those who believe ALL the Church teaches) have with the “Church of Nice” crowd who support (by their silence and smiles) unrepented sin and modernism in the Church?
The Church of Nice crowd don’t understand charity because they have interpreted the word to be an inactive term. Charity is something we DO. It is action, not in-action. The Church of Nice crowd are in-active pew warmers.
Catholic Catechism #1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one's passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.
Do Authentic Catholics get angry when they see Cardinal’s leading parades with gay pride banners? You bet.
Do Authentic Catholics get angry when they see Catholic priests attending gay pride parades causing scandal to the faithful? You bet.
Do Authentic Catholics get angry when they see Catholic Bishops more concerned with political issues like immigration reform than teaching the Faith? You bet.
Do Authentic Catholics get angry when they see "Catholic" politicians supporting artificial birth control, abortion and gay marriage while their priests and Bishops turn a blind eye? You bet!
Do Authentic Catholics get angry when they see authentic parishes being closed down in favor of liberal dying parishes? You bet.
You can call these Catholics “Church of Nasty” if you want to Father Longenecker, but I will call them AUTHENTIC CATHOLICS and God will never vomit them out of His mouth for being lukewarm Church of Nice pew warmers.
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner
****Since Father Longenecker’s comment box is closed feel free to use my comment box to share your thoughts on Father’s article or my own. I’d like to hear from both the “Church of Nice” and the “Church of Nasty”(or as I like to call you, Authentic Catholics) crowds.
Patheos link: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2014/09/church-of-nice-or-church-of-nasty.html
Father Longenecker and I have been going back and forth in emails over this post I wrote. In his first email he indicates I was "biased", "unfair" and had gotten worked up into a "lather un-necessarily".
Why did he feel this way? Because I didn't quote this particular part of his blog post (I reminded Father I linked to his blog so that people could read it in its entirety).
Quote: Some Catholics talk disparagingly of the “Church of Nice”They are referring to the modernist church where indifferentism, complacency and tolerance replace the truly Christian virtues. They object not to niceness, but to a church that is nothing but nice.I’m with them. I can’t stand watered down religion. Modernist Christianity has eviscerated the gospel, removed the supernatural, “de mythologized” the message and turned Catholicism into nothing more than a do gooder religion for the country club set.As one commentator has observed, “This ain’t a religion. It’s a set of table manners.”I have written on this blog constantly of the danger to real Catholicism of removing the miraculous and robbing the church of the one power she has: the supernatural power of the sacraments, the fullness of the magisterium, the power of the Holy Spirit and the fullness of truth in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.When Some Catholics sneer at the “Church of Nice” I’m sympathetic.Let’s not tame the lion or water down the wine. Let’s hold to a full blooded, rip snortin’, Rooster Cogburn Catholicism.
I'd also like to add that Father gave me the link to the "Church of Nasty" website that influenced his blog post. Personally, I don't even think it is Catholic- and I told him so- seems more anti-Catholic but I will let you all decide.
I will share the offending link with my readers so you can decide for yourselves.
Be warned it is hateful and trashes the Holy Catholic Church.
Here is the link Father Longenecker gave me in email: HERE
Note this hate filled blog has no comments and I can see no followers so I don't think its having much of an impression on anyone.
Father and I were respectful of each other even though we saw this situation very differently. We had (in my opinion) a good conversation about all of this and I am happy he decided to write to me to share his thoughts on what I wrote.
OK, that's it. Just wanted to update this story.