Masochistic Catholics

Vicki Kennedy, wife of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, was disinvited from being the commencement speaker at a small Catholic college after the bishop of that area expressed concern about her views. The bishop declined to even speak with her about them before intervening.

Kennedy issued a statement that said of the bishop, “He has not consulted with my pastor to learn more about me or my faith… Yet by objecting to my appearance at Anna Maria College he has made a judgment about my worthiness as a Catholic. This is a sad day for me and an even sadder one for the Church I love.” This raises the question of why she loves an institution that clearly despises her and would like nothing better than to have her disappear.

Catholics seems to have a masochistic relationship with their church. Despite all the evidence that their church is corrupt to the core, they still want to belong to it. Pope Benedict XLVI or whatever his number is (that actually may be the Super Bowl number) has suggested that he would prefer a smaller but purer church. In other words, he seems to want the ‘cafeteria Catholics’, who pick and choose which doctrines to follow, to simply leave. And yet they don’t. And even after their church directly humiliates them personally and publicly, as it did with Kennedy, they still want to belong.

Catholics seem to be like people trapped in an abusive relationship, suffering and yet afraid or unwilling to make the decision to leave.



  1. says

    “Vicki was a good choice. A great choice,” she said, citing Kennedy’s work on gun violence and children’s safety. “I find it hard to believe in Massachusetts, in 2012, that this is happening.”

    Oh, well, that’s it. Her work on children’s safety could be very troubling to the Catholic hierarchy.

  2. iknklast says

    He wants to have a smaller but purer church, but Tom Flynn has not been able to get himself excommunicated, in spite of repeatedly blaspheming the Holy Ghost. I suspect they don’t want smaller, because they want to claim numbers. They just want to control who is allowed to say what.

  3. unbound says

    I agree. Unfortunately, my mother is stuck in that situation. When she found out that I’m actually an atheist, she surprisingly didn’t seem overly upset. I’m pretty sure she has severe doubts.

    However, her entire side of the family are devout Catholics with one of her brothers being a pastor. I think the strong possibility of being ostracized from her family is just too big of an issue for her to overcome.

  4. slc1 says

    Gay blogger and author Andrew Sullivan is the textbook example of a masochist who remains in the church despite its disdain for homosexuals.

  5. jamessweet says

    It’s actually worse than all that. If the Catholic church was actually serious about going after politicians that flaunted official Catholic doctrine, then Rick Santorum should be their public enemy #1.

    Turns out they only fuck over their membership if they dare to defy the church on believing that women and gays are human beings. Defy the church on torture, charity, health care, war, etc.? Meh. Knock yourself out. As long as you think women are shit, you’re all good with ol’ Ratzy.

  6. 'Tis Himself says

    As long as you think women are shit, you’re all good with ol’ Ratzy.

    You forgot that Ratzi also promotes homophobia and is against abortion and contraception. Since the Frothy One is also a forced-birth homophobe, he and Benny get along just fine.

    You didn’t actually think Benny cared about charity, torture, the death penalty or all the rest of that stuff? He’s just tossing the occasional bone to the liberal wing of the Catholic Church. “Women can’t be priests because they don’t have penises but hey, look over there, we’re against a war being fought by a secular country in a Muslim country. See how nice we are?”

  7. stonyground says

    Although it will never actually happen, it is fun to imagine Ratty actually throwing out all the Cafeteria Catholics and finding that there is no-one left. He might even end up having to throw himself out.

    The comparison to abusive relationships is spot on. The RCC have had 2,000 years to refine a system to take advantage of this quirk of human nature. So successful is this system that the victims even offer their children up as victims too.

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