Friday, June 08, 2007

No Longer a Practicing Catholic
I get it.

Recently, I was listening to a guest on a radio talk show when the host, a friendly, referred to the guest as a “practicing Catholic.” The guest corrected him and said, “No, I’m not. I get it.”

The host didn’t “get it” and asked for clarification. The guest explained he had understood and accepted the teaching of the Church for some time, so he considered himself “a Catholic” rather than someone just “practicing” at it.

Semantics, you might say. But the man had a point. Words have power and no one knows that better than the journalists who use words to make a living. For just one example, note how the liberal press paints us as the bad guys in the fight for the unborn. We’re referred to as “anti-abortion” (granted, some papers call us “pro-life”) and those in favor of killing unborn babies are called “pro-choice.”

The guest went on to ask his host why Jewish people who attended services and obeyed the other dictates of their religion are called “observant Jews” but Catholics who do likewise in their faith are termed “practicing?”

Good point.

From now on call me "an observant Catholic."


Blogger Bruce said...

Also a great article to show the need for the use of a stable immutable
non-vernacular in the sacred liturgy.
We know that the vernacular constantly changes meaning. In the 1940's we
said, "practical Catholic"; more recently, "practicing Catholic;" and now
"observant Catholic" is astutely suggested. The change is necessary to
convey the same meaning because of the inherent weakness of the vernacular. Let us pray
for the Motu Proprio and even more Novus Ordo Masses in Latin!

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a friend, who grew up Catholic, still calls herself Catholic--but never attends Mass, is pro-abortion, pro-gay, anti-Pope(who does he think he is anyway?), and complains that if she went to Mass, she would have to give money(she would be the old two bucks in the basket type). Oh yeah, your really Catholic.

The thing that bugs me about this is we live in a Mormon community, and when she tells people she is "Catholic" I find that offensive--she gives our religion a bad name. Mormons all the time are surprised at how often I attend Mass--"I thought Catholics only went twice a year, Christmas and Easter."

Once, when a was on jury duty, a Federal trial that lasted a month, we were going to have to deliberate the case and one guy asked if we could work through the weekend. I said I HAD to go to Mass under penalty of mortal sin. One older Mormon lady seriously argued with me that Catholics only go to Church twice a year. I said, "I'm Catholic, I think I know my religion better than you do." I also, very unfriendly, asked her where she got her degree in Theology--oh Lord have mercy on me the Sinner.

12:58 PM  
Blogger paramedicgirl said...

Wow! that was very observant of you, Former Altar Boy! ;}

4:26 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

tara, I had an uncle who was a priest and "atch" Catholics were the bane of his existence.

"Atch" Catholics only go to Church when they are hatched, matched and dispatched.

7:01 PM  

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