March 01, 2006

Catholic Town!

Coming soon, to a warm, humid environment near you.

Hm. I think utopian communities are interesting, but I tend to have mixed emotions about those based on religious beliefs.

For some reason this particular project bothers me, probably because I think some of the best conversations going on right now are between the orthodox of various monothistic religions—in particular, within the various strains of Christianity (including Roman Catholicism) and between Christianity and Judaism. No interaction means no healthy exchange of ideas.

Via Laurence, who suggests that "more good than bad will come of it." I'm still ambivalent, of course. And, naturally, I would never live in such a place.

Posted by Attila Girl at March 1, 2006 10:27 PM | TrackBack

A university town?… With pharmacies that won’t sell condoms or birth control?


Posted by: Yolanda at March 2, 2006 04:03 AM

Surrounding towns will do a brisk business in all of the aboves, along with liquid KY.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 2, 2006 07:57 AM

I have friends who attended Ave Maria School of Law (paid for by Monaghan) and I attended another Catholic university on whose board Monaghan sat. He was a huge donor to the university. My school was/is VERY conservative. There were certainly kids screwing around, but the general peer pressure was to not be sexually active or drunk or stoned. I knew many of the people in such a small school (1,800) and the people I knew were either chaste or hiding their sex lives very well. (Which is unlikely considering the level of intimacy we all shared spiritually, socially, and politically. Most people were in “Households.”) Still, there were a couple shot gun weddings in my four years there. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you might be surprised to learn that people actually do practice what they preach. I did for a long time.

Also, consider the Amish. They’re odd and have their own problems, but they are surprisingly successful at maintaining their way of life.

Posted by: Patrick at March 2, 2006 08:32 AM

Well, I was probably being a bit glib, but I worry about the emotional backlash re: such phenomena as "shotgun weddings." I see that leading to ill-considered marriages. I think it might be preferable to wink at some adolescent experimentation vs. encouraging young people to trap themselves in that way.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 2, 2006 08:59 AM

"Surrounding towns will do a brisk business in all of the aboves, along with liquid KY."

LOL! And shaving cream… for those hairy palms!

Hey Patrick,
I hope you didn’t take offense. I’m a catholic too, albeit, not a good one.
Kudos to the students of your university, but you have to admit, college students with priorities other than study, booze & sex (in whatever order) are a rare thing indeed.
However, if it’s anything like the all-girls parochial high school I went to… the image of chasteness put forth was vastly different from reality.

Posted by: Yolanda at March 2, 2006 09:22 AM

It is the custom of the Roman Church which I unworthily serve with the help of God, to tolerate some things, to turn a blind eye to some, following the spirit of discretion rather than the rigid letter of the law.

Pope Gregory VII

I think it’s better to hold up the ideal with the understanding that it is an ideal. Striving to live up to it does not always mean success. I can think of many more shot gun weddings among my non practicing Catholic friends and family.

Posted by: Patrick at March 2, 2006 09:25 AM

Yes. One ought to have ideals to strive toward.

However: I cannot think of a worse reason to get married than an unintended pregnancy--particularly when there are so many couples who would love to adopt the baby.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 2, 2006 10:06 AM

Hey. I got an idea. If you want to live there, go ahead. If you don't, stay away. I would bet that there are at least a couple of dozen other towns in the US, if not more.

Posted by: Darrell at March 2, 2006 10:11 AM

However: I cannot think of a worse reason to get married than an unintended pregnancy

I can think of several.

Posted by: Patrick at March 2, 2006 11:16 AM

Marrying because on an unintended pregnancy doesn't bode well for the future harmony of the marriage, or the well being of a child. Specially in religion where divorce is considered a grave offense.

”It is the custom of the Roman Church ~, to tolerate some things, to turn a blind eye to some”
That’s OK, as long as we are not turning a blind eye to those priests with histories of sexual abuse and pedophilia. This recent incident in the Chicago Archdiocese where a priest accused of abusing a boy, was left in his post after the first allegation, and proceeded to abuse two more kids… is not good!

Posted by: Yolanda at March 2, 2006 03:27 PM

I'm catholic. The prospect of an all catholic town seems a little scary. Unless we had Little Miss Attilia & Hub, and likeminded neighbors. What would be scary is pre-Vatican 2 neighbors. Ugh.

Posted by: chuck at March 2, 2006 06:57 PM

My attitude is, "artificial birth control and IVF are dreadful, just dreadful. Have you seen my nail file? What should we wear to the fundraiser next month?"

I guess, contra Oscar Wilde, I think one can be entirely too earnest about these things.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 2, 2006 07:13 PM

Yolanda, you might want to review the story of Rev. Daniel McCormack and Cardinal George a bit, before you repeat it anywhere else.

The matter(two boys coming forward saying they were molested between 9-2001 and !-2005) was turned over to the County's State's Attorney's office when it first came to light. Rev. McCormack was assigned a watcher, another priest, to assure that he was never alone with another child. The priest was eventually charged on Jan. 21, 2006 with abused charges stemming from those allegations. He was removed from his duties at that time. In early February, another boy came forward saying that he was abused, and at least some of the incidents happened when the priest was supposedly under watch. Remember the civil authorities are free to arrest anyone they choose to when they have a sufficient case. This is the first case in Chicago that deals with real-time abuse allegations. The other cases during George's term have dealt with cases where the abuse dates back years--more than thirty years in a few instances. Obviously, some adjustments have to be made in the Archdiocese's procedures to deal with allegations of abuse.

Posted by: Darrell at March 2, 2006 08:53 PM

"artificial birth control and IVF are dreadful, just dreadful." Is holding a pencil between one's knees considered artificial?

Here's a story from The Chicago Tribune: Priest accused of sexual abuse pleads not guilty

I hope it means the end to the "blind eye" where child abuse is concerned.

Posted by: Yolanda at March 3, 2006 11:22 AM

Yolanda, I find it irrittating that you took the quote I shared from Pope Gregory the Great and posted a sort of snorting, eyes rolled reponse to it. It just bugs me.

Yolanda, don't be such a cynic. Catholics are well aware of the failings of a handful of priests and some of our hierarchy. If you go to mass on any random Sunday you might come across ANOTHER talk about the issue or the announcement of a new program or the announcement of a hotline. Whatever. Yeah, yeah, we all know about it. We want to solve the problem. Can we not make this the only thing we talk about?

For the record: I would not want to live in an "All Catholic town." However, my college years were some of the funnest, most intense and life affirming years of my life. I was surrounded night and day by "all Catholics" and things weren't so bad.

Posted by: Patrick at March 3, 2006 12:45 PM


I assure you, I wasn’t snorting or rolling my eyes when I wrote that comment.

But we have been invited to state our opinions. In this case, Ave Maria town, which I personally have no issues with except that I doubt they’ll be able to restrict the use of contraceptives. In fact I’m pretty proud of my faith and those that practice it, to the point that currently, the only thing I hold against it, is the child abuse scandals. So I apologize if that’s the only thing I’ve been ranting about. I could sit here a list all the things that are great about my church... like Pope Benedict XVI… he ROCKS!!! But I doubt anyone would read such a long post.

I’m proud I’m able to be critical of my church. When the Catholic Church was fraught by scandal, to the point that I couldn’t open a newspaper without being embarrassed by some editorial cartoon lampooning the tragedy of a few children abused by a FEW priests… I turned my anger on my church, and demanded they do better, and spare us such embarrassment, unlike other folk that demand the heads of the editorial cartoonists.

Oh, and about abusing your quote of Pope Gregory the Great... Point taken.

Posted by: Yolanda at March 4, 2006 09:07 AM

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