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Saturday, December 27, 2008


Dave Deavel

I feel like partying like it's 1969.


I truly do not understand why the writer of that screed struggles to remain Catholic. There are plenty of other denominations that would be a perfect home for someone with such deep doubts. I have read other Catholics' essays about struggles, but most of those recognize and believe deeply about at least a few core Catholic beliefs. This one simply seems to have disbelief about the whole thing. While that's sad, it has no place in a national Catholic magazine other than to attempt to persuade others that they too should lose their beliefs. You would find many faithful Protestants who are a heck of a lot more "Catholic" and express far more certainty about shared beliefs with the Catholic Church than this Catholic person is and does.

Robert Miller

I may be mistaken, but Rose Murphy's drivel really smells like a Boomer thing.

If you go into a Catholic church these days, you'll notice that it's Boomers (and some of their elders) who experience the "Sign of Peace" as a transcendental moment -- the younger folks (who've "earned" their faith) just go through the motions, no doubt wondering how this folksy interlude came to be just before we receive the Body and Blood of Christ. But while their Boomer elders are sticking out their hands for Communion, you'll notice that many of the younger folks are genuflecting, receiving on the tongue and kneeling when they get back to their pews. I can't wait (literally -- I'm a 59 year old Boomer, for crying out loud) for the Boomers to depart the scene, taking with them their narcissism and bad faith.

If Rose isn't a Boomer, she deserves an honorary induction.

Ed Peters

The capacity of the Left to write sentences laden with flat-out contradictions, and not blink while doing so, never ceases to astound me.

Sheryl D.

Don't you mean the National "Catholic" Reporter, not the National Catholic Register?


This juvenile essay is straight out of The Onion. A wonderful self-parody!

Who anyone shed a drop of blood for such nonsense?

Francis Beckwith

Why do people like Rose never employ their skepticism to those who question the Church? It's as if Chris Hitchens just needs to mention the inquisitions, and the inquiry is over. But if Pope Benedict publishes a book on Jesus, the questions never end.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's important for believers to ask questions and seek answers. But what galls me is this pretentious bourgeois skepticism that does not play fair. If you're going to question, be my guest. But apply the same rigor to the Church's critics, to philosophical materialism, to the idols of this age. It is a sort of naive presentism, for it assumes that the loudest and most ubiquitous voices of one's present time are the only ones that harbor truth, and the Church ought to get with it.

It's time to take the "Who's to say?" question and turn it on the truisms that make-up the cobwebs of our culture. I say, question the authority of the guy who has the "Question Authority" sticker on his bumper.

Shaun G

I can certainly understand, and indeed have deep sympathy for, people who are struggling with their faith, who are having a hard time accepting certain doctrines, etc. And that they are willing to stick it out at least a little while longer before abandoning the Church is commendable. So, though I think she is very misguided, I don't really have any beef with Ms. Murphy sharing her own struggles with Church teaching.

The only thing that REALLY irks me is Ms. Murphy's final line: "Despite all the ambiguity, I would like to think I am still welcome at the communion table."

While the Church still welcomes her to participate in the Mass and to be an active member of her parish community, I would hope that she would respect the Church's teaching about the Eucharist: If you don't believe that what you are receiving is the body and blood of Christ, you ought not present yourself for communion.

To disregard the Church's teaching about reception of communion is not only profoundly spiritually damaging to oneself (which is the Church's primary reason for the rule, founded on 1 Cor. 11:29), but also, it is profoundly disrespectful to one's fellow Catholics who make up the Church.

It is one thing to say, "I have a few issues with the Church." It is another, more serious thing to commit a sort of fraud against the Church by presenting oneself as able to receive communion when, objectively, one is not.

I would liken it to an engaged couple who wishes to get married in the Church merely because they think it's a pretty backdrop, not because they believe anything the Church teaches about the sacrament of marriage. So, they go through the motions, they say the words, but they don't mean them in their hearts ... and they have no consideration for the Catholics whose Church they are taking advantage of in pursuit of their own selfishness.

My hope and prayer is that God will find a way to renew Ms. Murphy's faith -- but that, in the mean time, she will respect the Church enough to abide by its guidelines for receiving communion.


"People do what they want to do." My grandmother used to say this a lot. Until I began study Catholicism, I dismissed it as nonsense. Then I slowly realized that her saying captured the truth, in its own folksy, Southern way (if you could only hear the way she said it). Rose is yet another example of the triumph of the will over the intellect. A sad sight.


"While the Church still welcomes her to participate in the Mass and to be an active member of her parish community."

Why would it welcome her? Does the Church welcome unrepentant heretics? Hasn't her embrace of heresy in fact separated her from the community? That essay spouts numerous heresies. I'd like to see a fisking of it.

Ed Peters

Right on, FB! I always wanted a trove of little stickers to apply next to those incredibly obnoxious and imperious "Question Authority" stickers. Mine would read: "Says who?"

Shaun G

Hi Jackson,

I suppose I meant "welcome" in the same sense that God welcomes all of us, the saintliest to the most unrepentant, to better know him. Heck, I'm fine with an avowed atheist joining me for Mass -- my hope is that the experience will somehow bring the person closer to God.

But I get what you mean -- it probably wouldn't do to have Ms. Murphy participating in her parish community by teaching RCIA candidates, etc.


A wonderfully biting bit of baked goodness. Unfortunately, I know quite a few people who have used that recipe to [im]perfection.


Shaun, I get it. Thanks. On a related note, I'd say to those who charge the Church as being insufficiently inclusive that it's as inclusive as it's possible to be: It invites all sinners to repentance and salvation.


Yawn, enough of your "me me me" mentality. This article's been done before and the Church's constancy has driven them out. I say begone! A more "holistic" and "compassionate" church that the Spirit of VII folks yearn for has lead to this heretical thinking.

This kind of post-modern self-absorbed gibberish really gives the NCR absolutely no credibility as a Catholic journal. The Church is not pluralist just because the Journal thinks so. What irks me is that they give credence to this kind of rubbish and say that this is what the mainstream Catholic thinks. Then two problems come to mind: it's read by a sizeable number of unknowing Catholics who are faithful to the Church, and it's breeding dissent. You don't have to believe in the divinity of Christ, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Laws of the Church but still call yourself a Catholic. Seriously? This is the real smoke of Satan brewing in our midst and the editors should be ashamed.

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