Some Catholics talk disparagingly of the “Church of Nice”
They are referring to the modernist church where indifferentism, complacency and tolerance replace the truly Christian virtues. They object not to niceness, but to a church that is nothing but nice.
I’m with them. I can’t stand watered down religion. Modernist Christianity has eviscerated the gospel, removed the supernatural, “de mythologized” the message and turned Catholicism into nothing more than a do gooder religion for the country club set.
As one commentator has observed, “This ain’t a religion. It’s a set of table manners.”
I have written on this blog constantly of the danger to real Catholicism of removing the miraculous and robbing the church of the one power she has: the supernatural power of the sacraments, the fullness of the magisterium, the power of the Holy Spirit and the fullness of truth in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
When Some Catholics sneer at the “Church of Nice” I’m sympathetic.
Let’s not tame the lion or water down the wine. Let’s hold to a full blooded, rip snortin’, Rooster Cogburn Catholicism.
The problem is…what’s the alternative?
If not the Church of Nice do we need to be the Church of Nasty?
In the Catholic blogosphere and Catholic Church generally I increasingly whiff a very bad smell.
It’s what I call the Church of Nasty.
Trying to avoid the insipid, spineless and lily livered “Church of Nice” too many Catholic are falling into the other trap of becoming the Church of Nasty.
It may be someone sending intentionally misleading headlines to a news aggregator to smear another Catholic, or it might be some guy who’s set up a super nasty website full of horrible attacks on others. It might be a radical traditionalist hell bent on attacking all the modernists and compromisers or it might be a radical progressive intent on attacking all his horrible right wing enemies. It might be some Catholic who has his knives out for Muslims, Jews and Protestants. It might be someone attacking homosexuals, sinners, modernists or feminists. It could be a progressive launching endless attacks on traditionalists, conservatives and Republicans.
Sometimes it gets so bad that it feels like, “If you don’t hate the people I hate the same way I hate them, then I hate you too!”
Wherever it is coming from and wherever it is going they’re intent on being the Church of Nasty, and let me tell you it can get real ugly.
I’d link to some of the poisonous websites out there, but I do not want to send them traffic or soil the unblemished minds and hearts of my dear readers….
Suffice it to say that some of the nastiness is very nasty indeed.
Does this immature lack of charity, wisdom, kindness and good will accomplish anything positive at all?
Does it attract people to the gospel?
Does it make people say, “Gee, I’d really like to be like that person!”
Does it make people say, “You sure can tell these Christians because they love one another!”
Therefore, there must be a way between the insipid Church of Nice and the snarling Church of Nasty.
To stop and think it through, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt there are two different virtues vying for predominance: the virtue of charity and the virtue of truth.
The Church of Nice too often sacrifice truth on the altar of charity and the Church of Nasty too often sacrifice charity on the altar of Truth.
There must be a way to be both truth and charitable–both Nasty and Nice.
How do we envision that way? How do we live that way? How do we learn that way? Continue Reading