Matthew 18: 15-17
"If your brother sins (against you), go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that 'every fact may be establishes on the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen to even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Fr. Barron brings up a very good point in the below piece. Catholic education is dumbed down.
My own education was spotty. My mother told me that when my brother went through CCD she paid the fee for his text book/workbook. He never got one so my mother asked the church why. They said that not everyone could afford the fee so not everyone got a text book. My mother's response was "well, we paid for ours." They never asked the parents who could afford if they would chip in some money so that all the other students could receive one.
On another occasion, I was locked out of the school room by a bunch of boys. They had brought in squirt guns. I was wearing something nice for Mass because class was before one Mass and after another. They opened the door and squirted water at me. I told the teacher. Nothing happened about it.
It was those incidents and many others that led my mother to stop sending us to CCD. She felt that if the church could not discipline the children of it's own parish or use common sense when dealing with setting up classes then we shouldn't go to CCD. I ended up working on my 1st communion stuff largely from home.
Although this was the extreme, I know that Fr. Barron's statements are true. I taught confirmation and hs youth group. In our diocese we're required at one point in the year to go over abuse with the children. For the hs group I used it as an opportunity to ask questions about any sensitive topics that they wanted to ask. I put some slips out and pencils and a box so it would be anonymous and as embarrassing free as I could make it. They asked some good questions about gay marriage and birth control. None of these topics were covered in any of the texts for youth group. And apparently, the parents don't follow church teaching or they don't discuss these topics as being not appropriate and against the church.
I'm not surprised though. Many of my Catholic friends don't practice Catholicism. Their Catholics from their families and from their culture, but as I said not in practice. Many of them use birth control and don't attend Mass. The only time they come through a church door is when they get married or baptize their children. And priests know it, but they can't force them through the door.
I think part of it has to do with we dumb down our education. We don't tell children how it is and why it is. We just talk about God and Jesus and the saints in some ethereal way, but I know that many Catholic young adults are craving more. And what's worse is that unlike our Protestant brethren, we don't have any ongoing adult education classes. Once your Confirmed it's like you're supposed to know it all or seek out the answers yourself. I will correct myself here. There are some classes. Most of which meet during the day or the in the case of the Bible study class seem to be for single Catholics. I go to a mom's group that's non-denominational as a result. Taking HB to a Bible class comprised of older adults at 10:00am on a Tuesday will not do. And that's my only other option unless I shoot for a night class, cutting away from family time. I'm not the only Catholic at the mom's group. Additionally, I've done some correspondence work too.
So what does this have to do with division? Okay. I was using the above to point out that everyone is at a different point of their faith journey and do not know everything. This goes back to my point about evangelizing each other. Instead, what I've been seeing is further and further division.
In the outside world, there is this attitude of us vs. them. You are that type of Catholic or you don't do this properly. This is coming from both the conservative Catholics and from those non-practicing Catholics. I know that many of you are seeing this too. "What you don't use birth control?" or "What is that person doing? Don't they know that their supposed to be bowing? That's Jesus for goodness sakes. Be respectful." The Biblical quote above says that if you see something offensive your supposed to take the person aside and tell them what's wrong with it. And then continue on from there. Unfortunately, that's not happening. What I've been seeing is snarkiness and downright uncharitable feelings.
The thing that has boiling my blood lately has come from the internet. I love the site Mantilla with Me because it encourages people to veil but without judgment. The blog posted a link to another blog called extra-ordinary monkeys. I won't post the link; if your curious just google it. The author of MWM suggested that it was tongue in cheek. I clicked on it and about hurled my lap top across the room. There were images of children and priests being made fun of. A priest holding up his hands and the caption reads "I'm a little teapot." I contacted the author and told them that this was entirely uncharitable. How can one know if those images or videos are from Catholic churches or what those people were thinking or knew about their faith when they committed liturgical abuses? Isn't it up to the Bishops to admonish those congregations? Sadly some don't, but I suggest to just keep following Jesus's instructions.
I also told Mantilla with Me who said that perhaps it was a bit uncharitable. The administrator of Extraordinary Monkeys has since put up links to information about liturgical abuses and for the most part it has gotten a little better. The author still refers to EM as Extraordinary Monkeys and not ministers. For the record, I've EMed once. I've never been trained for it. I was asked to do it spur of the moment because it was a huge Mass and not enough EMs. I'm sure that I screwed up royally somewhere. So I wouldn't go around judging other EMs about their faux pas. If I noticed one, I would just point it out to them and let it go. I wouldn't plaster images of people on the internet and make fun of them. It's disgusting and all the more reason people shy away from the Catholic church.
Jesus taught us to follow the spirit of the law. That's why he gleaned food and healed the sick on the Sabbath and as a result royally pissed off the scribes. Are we Catholics who are trying to get more Catholics to return? Or are we Catholics who sit in judgment? Do we condemn a person for their ignorance? Or do we try and evangelize them so that they know for the future? I, for one, will not sit in judgment. If I tell a friend that BC is wrong yet they still bring it up, then they are like a Gentile that Jesus describes. They are my friend, but not my Catholic friend.