It's no wonder you have so few! ~St. Teresa of Avila (about God)
Father Tim Moyle over at Where the Rubber Hits the Road has highlighted two recent articles focused on anti-Catholic bias, and prejudice, here and here.
As a Roman Catholic lay person, I have a view on this topic. I have been witnessing a lot of incidents of what I would call bias against the Catholic Church.
If you take for example the one-sidedness of the sexual abuse scandal, and how it has resulted in reaction from American bishops in particular to accusations against their priests, and then seeking out the facts you see two things at play. First of all, sexual abuse carries on in our society regrettably, but it does not by and large occur in the Roman Catholic Church anymore. That boat has sailed, and not largely because the US bishops finally in 2002 created the Dallas Charter to protect young people.
I have written often about Father Gordon MacRae, a guest of the state of New Hampshire prison system for a crime that was never committed, and if it was, it was not by him. His case is an example of prejudice run amok. The detective examining the evidence or lack of it in the first place, had a clear prejudice against Catholic priests, and so was less inclined to look for incontrovertible proof than he was to believe the lies against Father Gordon. The prosecutor and then the judge were similarly inclined to believe in their prejudice, and so Father Gordon did not get a real chance to prove his innocence. But, in a case of the Church knuckling under to the prejudice, and in fact supporting it, he was abandoned by his bishop and the successor to his bishop at the time, and left to his own devices. And so, he sits in prison for a crime that he did not commit. If he were not a Catholic priest, would he have ever been tried, and convicted? I think not.
But, the prejudice is often more subtle and also often comes from sources one would not expect. In the US, there has only been one Catholic President, and we saw how that ended up. In Canada, we have had a number of senior politicians of some Catholic persuasion, though from their actions, it appears that their Catholicism is nominal, and therein lies the rub. Here in Ontario, we have a Premier, Dalton McGuinty, who claims to be a Catholic. However, he leads a government bent on removing the Catholicism from the Catholic School System, with education policies that are meant to give precedence to homosexualist agendas at our expense. One of our own is putting the screws to us.
While on that, if the Gay Pride parades and celebrations, rife with overt sexuality, and nudity, are not an affront to all that we Catholics hold reverence for regarding the sanctity of the human body, then I miss my guess.
And there is more. Much more, but I am preparing to head to the LifeTeen Mass at Holy Family Parish around the corner to celebrate the Sacred Mystery of our Saviour's Passion and Death on the Cross, in the midst of like minded individuals.
Prejudice has been there always, and will be until He returns, and we, as Catholic Christians will bear the brunt of it, along with many of our other Christian brothers and sisters, but we will bear more of it. God allows it to occur. He could certainly stop it, if He chose. But, he does so for our greater good, and for the strengthening of our faith with trials.
As we grow in our individual faith, the existence of prejudices and trials matter very little. Our vocation is to grow in holiness, and the trials and prejudices help us with that, if we look with our eyes of faith at what is going on in our lives and in the lives of the Church.
Father Gordon, for one, is being tried and is growing daily in his own faith, and love of Our Saviour. If his life had been peachy keen, it likely would not have happened.
So, I say bring on the prejudice and the trials, and Lord mold us into Your Image.