Kimberly Seidel writes an extremely laudatory article about Gina Messina (Sept. 16 Tribune) headlined, “Church depends on strong women to resist and persist.”
I submit that the church needs both men and women to assist and support the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church to be an authentic Catholic.
Messina was recently in La Crosse to speak at the Roman Catholic Franciscan Spirituality Center and Viterbo University. This gives her credibility which she does not deserve and relying on a lengthy front-page interview with Messina (Aug. 21 Tribune) she is anything but loyal to many teachings of the church. She instead stands in direct opposition to them. She insists that she is still Catholic but makes a huge mistake when she seems to believe that she can be a cafeteria Catholic who can pick and choose which teachings to accept and which she can reject.
Seidel states that Messina disagrees with the teachings of the church regarding abortion, same-sex marriage and women priests. Being Roman Catholic means to accept and practice all of the official teachings of the church.
Messina criticizes Pope Frances for having blind spots regarding women LGBTQ issues, poverty and abortion on demand. She says that “a presentation from a Catholic abortions rights activist nurtured her feminist leanings.” Messina is in error when she believes she can refute these teachings and remain in good standing with the church. She joins dissident Sister Joan Chittister and other radicals who use Catholic facilities to spew their decidedly anti-Catholic views. Chittister has previously also been given an opportunity to speak by the nuns at the Franciscan Spirituality Center.
I can tell you that I am a camel, I may even think I am camel but the fact is that I am actually a human being. So it is with being Roman Catholic. Pretense is not a substitute for authenticity.
Messina attempts to present herself as a thoughtful intellectual and through her superb analytical process shares her brilliance with the largely unsophisticated and uninformed. But, like so many of her ilk, she only reveals her truly anti-Catholic and radically liberal political views.
Messina, now divorced, complains that during her pre-marriage classes the priest told her to quit her job and instead fulfill the traditional role of bearing children. It is true that the church teaches that having children is an important part of marriage, but being a lifelong Catholic and having the privilege of having known many fine priests I know of none that would insist that a woman quit her job unless the job was an impediment to having and raising children.
Messina claims to have a good relationship with her father, a practicing Catholic. But when she threatened to run for public office he informed her he would not vote for her. Her father obviously recognized her radicalism and lack of qualifications.
Dissidents such as Chittister and Messina like to hide behind the cloak of intellectual inquiry. Legitimate questions can be answered authoritatively in the official Catechism of the Catholic Church. Direct opposition to those teachings can lead to heresy and/or schism.
The Catechism states clearly that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.” There is not room for equivocation or radical feminist rationalization here. The official teaching of the Church is clear.
In defending Messina, Seidel makes some rather thinly veiled sexist remarks with her heavy emphasis on radical feminism in the church and when she states that we need to “look beyond the patriarchal man made teachings.” Practicing Catholics know that those teachings are based on sacred scripture and tradition and were made by God, not by man. She further states that “God is spirit, merciful and loving, and not a white male judging our every move.” Practicing Catholics know that our every move is judged and is to be in accordance with the teachings of Christ.
It is long past time for the Franciscan Sisters at their Spirituality Center and Viterbo to stop giving a platform to those who openly persist in resisting the teachings of the church. Those considering attending or believing dissidents’ presentations should remember that practicing Catholics “firmly resolve to avoid the near occasion of sin” when they say the Act of Contrition.
I would invite loyal Catholics to join me in praying that those who challenge Church teaching would recognize the wisdom of being in full communion with The Holy Roman Catholic Church.