The battle over Kasperism has made the entire subject of Catholicism unpleasant to me. It all feels so futile. Once again I realize that the battles that really matter were all lost before I was born. During the JPII years, it felt like, after conceding so much ground, we were finally going to turn around and fight the world. A fight for truth and virtue, even if from a fatally compromised position, would have had something splendid about it. Now the Church has directed her energies to figuring out ways of surrendering to the world by ways of vague and sentimental speaking, and it’s painful to watch. It’s not even intellectually fun. Liberalism and Marxism are at least wrong in interesting ways; one really learns something unpacking what’s wrong about them. I had a lot of fun attacking feminists and communists, and maybe they should take it as a compliment. But with Kasperism, there’s no “there” there. It’s just a bunch of soundbites about “mercy” and whatnot that nobody even attempts to apply consistently (e.g. no mercy for “racists”). They’re not even ideas; they’re just slogans meant to signal piety and throw skeptics momentarily off guard. And this is where the Church has chosen to direct her collective mind. Not only is it stupid and boring, even its refutation is an uninteresting intellectual chore, patiently pointing out the equivocations and inconsistencies while the world ignores and Francis moves on to his next harangue.
Maybe this is good for me spiritually. I once read that an interest in theology is often a bad sign in a seminarian, and an interest in ecclesiastic politics is probably bad for anyone. Faith shouldn’t be an intellectual or political game, although when intellectual or political challenges arise, they must be met. (Even so, was it not arrogant of me to think that I should be a part of it?) For a while I’ll be limiting myself religion-wise to thinking about those things it’s actually my job to think about: dealing with my own sins, teaching my children about God, and stuff like that.
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