Neurotic Catholics


-from an article, by Mark Shea, former Baptist, and now Catholic apologist

“The Catholic tradition has a healthy (?) habit of self-criticism enshrined in the Confiteor. We are sinners, it is true. At the same time, there can be a certain pathology in which we can blame ourselves for sins committed against us. The child blames himself because his uncle beat him. The abused woman says it’s her fault that her husband gave her a black eye. The victim of priest abuse believes (and in some cases was shamefully told by ecclesial authority) that the abuse was their fault because they “asked for it”.

The Church’s actual moral tradition, however, stands against this: the sinner is responsible for his sin, not somebody else. The victim of abuse needs to lay hold of Christ, the innocent sufferer, Who did not say, “Maybe I had it coming”. He knew He was innocent. But neither did He allow the injustice done Him to conquer Him with bitterness.

He showed the way between self-blame and hatred of His victimizers: the way of love rooted in the knowledge that He was the beloved Son of God. You are likewise a beloved child of God and the sin committed against you is not a sign that you had it coming or that God is angry at you. It is a sign only of the fact that we live in a world enmeshed/ensnared in sin. United with Christ crucified, your suffering can even help in the redemption of the evil done you, and can be a way that God will defeat Satan’s attack on you with a good that conquers and overwhelmingly triumphs.”



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