A faithquake

A strong Roman Catholic of Rod Dreher’s acquaintance has tweeted his “I can’t do it any more.”

Dreher hiimself has “been there, done that,” until he couldn’t do it any more. He sounds an ecumenical caution:

I notice one of you said in response to Tommy’s comment that you joined the Catholic Church during the scandal, and that you don’t “plan” to leave the faith. I gotta ask: do you think that I, or Tommy, ever imagined that we would leave the Catholic faith?

That’s a conceptual barrier that quite a few intellectual Catholics cannot deal with. They think that faith is simply a matter of assenting to arguments, and affirming them with the will. But that’s not how it is, at all.

It is entirely possible to wake up one day to discover that you just don’t believe anymore. This is a very difficult thing to explain to people who have never been through it. I imagine it is like a divorced person trying to explain to someone whose marriage had never been put to the test how it is that divorce can happen, even if you don’t want it to. I’m thinking right now of a couple I know of whose marriage did not survive the murder of their child. It was not the fault of either one of them, but the trauma was so overwhelming that they found that they couldn’t hold it together. If you are supremely confident that your faith could survive any test, then trust me, you are in a very dangerous position. I was once you.

… [F]aith is more a matter of the heart than a lot of people (including me, once upon a time) recognize …

If you really do believe that your Catholic faith is strong enough to survive looking into the Palantír of institutional corruption, then read Leon Podles’s book Sacrilege. It is extremely dark. Podles wrote the book, and remains a Catholic. I’m not actually encouraging you to read it, because it’s like looking into the eye of Sauron. Yet if you cannot bring yourself to read it, then you need to be very, very careful about passing judgment on people like Tommy Tucker.

There are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands.” Be gentle. And pray for those whose faith is being shaken, and may soon be shaken worse by a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report.

Reader John @ReaderJohn
My main blog is the Tipsy Teetotaler, http://intellectualoid.com.