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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Compendium Of Progressive Saints

Reading as much progressive Catholic drivel as I do, one theme that is frequently repeated in their essays and articles is an appeal to non-Catholic figures and an extolling of their virtues. The most prominent tends to be Gandhi, followed by Dr. Martin Luther King. It strikes me funny that, despite the two thousand year history of the Church, these and others are held up with the highest esteem.

And if non-Catholic men and women aren't praised, then former Catholics, or "faithfully dissenting" Catholics, are regarded as important as any Doctor of the Church, or early Fathers of the Faith. Sometimes more important. "Victims" of Church hierarchy are often paid homage to more often than martyrs, it seems. Leading that list is Martin Luther, John Calvin and Hans Kung. Yep, to be a progressive Catholic saint, death isn't a requirement.

I'm not saying, by the way, that non-Catholics aren't capable of living virtuous lives, or don't have something to tell us about how we ought to live. Gandhi's commitment to non-violent resistance is legendary and commendable; King's fight for civil rights - his call to judge a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin - and subsequent assassination because of his mission should be recognized and celebrated. There's no legitimate reason to do so, because numerous Catholic men and women throughout the ages have preached similar messages and many suffered death for their beliefs. The problem with the progressives is that Catholic martyrs died defending all the truths of the Church. And since progressives are incapable of upholding the totality of Church teaching, they're compelled to lift up people who so obviously don't.

And when progressives do get around to talking about Catholic saints, it's either to a) reform them (a la St Mary Magdalene) or b) exploit them - such as Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter - on at least one occasion, a prog Catholic compared Franz to Pope Benedict, stating that Franz was a better man for refusing to serve in the Nazi army due to his Catholic faith, and subsequently being martyred; Benedict, though, didn't display the same show of faith, because he was a Hitler Youth. Pretty deplorable, eh?

Sooner or later, though, they'll tire of reciting the same list of heroes and saints - after awhile, listening to the same names and the same stories has to get boring and uninspiring.

So you know what? I'm going to help them out. Yeah, I'm feeling gregarious. Their devotees need more saints to look up to as Examples To Live By, just in time for their upcoming Council in 2011. These "saints" don't need to be real or anything - a lot of what progressives believe isn't real anyway, like women's ordination - they just need to sound real and espouse the kinds of values they like and live down to.

Without further ado, I introduce to you the first entry of the Compendium of Progressive Saints.

1) Saint Percy MacWafful the Tolerant (1352-1396)

Percy MacWafful was born in a small Scottish village, Llylewlyen-on-the-Ness Loch, the fourth of thirteen children. His dad was a haggis stuffer. Not much is known of Percy's early years, except that at the age of 15, he started working in the village's quarry. He helped deliver stones to a group of monks constructing a nearby monastery, and that exposure convinced him to convert to Catholicism. This made his parents very upset, because they were High Priest and Priestess of the local Pagan Chapter, so he promised to continue his participation in the pagan rituals to make them happy.

In 1391, Percy became magistrate of Llylewlyen-on-the-Ness Loch. He was the youngest magistrate in the village's history, selected because he stood for not making a stand for anything - as a result, graft and prostitution increased dramatically, but everyone got along. He enacted the 'Law of Noble Intentions' in 1392, which stated that no one could be held liable for their actions if their intentions were noble.

In 1396, he instituted the first (and only) Scottish Multi-faith Symposium, despite the protests of the close-minded diocesan bishop. Representatives of the local Pagan Chapter, members of the "Nessie Lives!" worship-cult and one monk from the nearby monastery attended. Arguments among the three groups ensued. Percy, while attempting to prevent the fanatic monk from throwing the pagan Tome of Incantations into the fireplace, fell over a bench and impaled himself on a bagpipe. His dream of an all-faith inclusive village ended that fateful day in 1396, but his spirit lives on among modern day like-minded diverse progressive Catholics today.

St. Percy is the patron saint of CINO politicians, and his feast day is celebrated March 5. If you prefer to celebrate on any other day of the year, go right ahead. St. Percy would want it that way. Whatever makes you happy!