Pastor’s Column


A few weeks ago I used a few terms that several parishioners asked to be defined –
Heterodox Catholic: Heterodox is derived from: hetero, that is, different; and dox, that is, belief. So the term “heterodox Catholic” is a misnomer, since by the very fact of deliberately denying Catholic dogma, one becomes a heretic and excludes oneself from the Catholic Church. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true Faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed (Pius XII, 1943, Mystici Corporis). These are also sometimes styled “cafeteria Catholics” or “liberal Catholics”. We should be careful, however, when using the latter term (i.e., liberal), not to conflate its ecclesiastical and the political use.
Professional Catholic: A person, usually a layman, who generates income in one manner or another from the Catholic faith. While not wrong in principle, in our age of social media, I find that so-called professional Catholics often manufacture or intensify feelings of outrage, anger, bitterness, and confusion in the attempt to generate clicks and thereby increase personal prestige and, of course, ad revenue.
Neo-con Catholic: This is someone that genuinely wants to be Catholic, but who derives his identity mostly from an ultramontane attachment to the person of the pope. Usually such Catholics are morally conservative, but unmoored from the tradition of the Church. The neo-con Catholic looks at the papacy as the origin of Catholic faith, rather than its greatest defender and guardian.
Gaslighting: Psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of his own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator (Merriam-Webster). The term is derived from a 1938 play written by Patrick Hamilton.

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on January 7, 2024

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