Mindless Sheep

Actual Irish sheep taken by yours truly in 2008.

It’s been my experience that when people discuss a controversial issue concerning the Catholic Church, sooner or later, someone in opposition to the Church will argue that Catholic are “mindless sheep”.  We’re not capable of independent thought and we follow whatever the Church teaches without thinking it through for ourselves.  I’ve personally been called a “mindless sheep” more times than I can count.

This pseudo-argument puzzles me.  Many of these same people who will vote to reelect the current occupant of the White House because they’re still waiting for “hope and change” think I’m a sheep because I choose to believe the Son of God and the Church He created.

I’m curious.  At what point does a faithful follower cross the line into “sheephood?   Surely my belief in the Ten Commandments isn’t it.  Even people who have no religious faith at all are against murder.  (Unless the victim hasn’t been born yet, but that’s a topic for another day.)

I believe that Jesus became one of us, died, and was crucified to save us from our sins.  Billions of people share that belief.  Are we all mindless sheep?  I think even our moth ruthless detractors would give us that one.

So, when does one become a sheep?  I think a lot of haters believe that agreeing with the Church and disagreeing  with them qualifies us for sheepdom.  To pro-abortionists, the fact that we believe in the sacredness of ALL human life is sheeplike.  Despite the fact that our support of all life comes directly from the before-mentioned Commandments, somehow extending the prohibition against murder to our future citizens puts us into some brainless caste.

Here’s the thing.  I (and I hope you) believe what the Church teaches.  I don’t fall thoughtlessly in line with every word that comes out of the Vatican (or from my local ordinary) but I’m committed to learning everything I can about an issue.  When I do, the truth invariable comes down on the side of the Church.  How can this be?  Maybe it has something to do with Jesus’ statement to Peter and the other Apostles, “whoever hears you, hears me.”  Could it be that He wasn’t kidding?  Did He really mean it?

I believe that He did.  Does that make me mindless?  I don’t think so.  Not anymore mindless than anyone who chooses to put their faith in something outside themselves.

 I don’t think that anti-Catholics are mindless.  I just think they’re wrong.

5 Responses

  1. We “mindless sheep” weight the situation and then decide to follow the rules set
    down for us by God. Is this so wrong?

  2. No, it’s not wrong! If I’m a sheep, at least I’m following the right shepherd1

  3. Thank you for your faithful witness and topic. I pretty much agree with what you have set forth. However — this issue can be expanded a bit into other swirling waters of discussion. What if you have a pastor who isn’t fully faithful to the magisterium? What if you have a pastor who creates his own liturgical ‘innovations?’ What if you have an un-inspired pastor that doesn’t want to start programs and get people really involved? etc., etc. We have people (perhaps deacons included) who will submit mindlessly to these because of a perception that whatever ‘father does’ is what we should do. There is a parish nearby where the pastor washed four women’s feet on Holy Thursday – no men and not 12 people. Your thoughts?

  4. That can be a problem. I’m lucky in that I’m director of a chapel and am pretty much in charge of the liturgy. But, I have worked with priests who do whatever they want. (Washing women’s feet on Holy Thursday is a good example).

    As deacons, it’s our responsibility to correct such errors, but it’s not always easy. Even though you and I serve at the pleasure of the (Arch)bishop, many pastors don’t feel that way and expect us to go along with them no matter what. My solution was to get myself reassigned but I know that’s not the best solution. If I had it to do over again, I would be more forceful. In fact, there are some abuses in place at my current assignment. (For example, we have the Easter Vigil at 4:30 in the afternoon.) I let it go this year because I’m still trying to gain the respect and cooperation of a congregation that’s still hurting at the lack of a full-time priest. But, next year, we will do it the right way, even if the priest and I are the only ones who show up.

    BTW, Deacon, kudos to you and your wife for your excellent podcast.

  5. […] Mindless Sheep (deaconcast.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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