April 3, 2012

Happy Catholics

I have recently been reading "A People of Hope," which is basically a conversation between Archbishop Timothy Dolan and the author, John L. Allen Jr.  I love Dolan's positive attitude for promoting Catholicism, which is referred to in the book as "affirmative orthodoxy."  He is committed to defending the core of Catholicism, but he believes in doing it in a way that that affirms everything the Catholic Church says "yes" to instead of talking about all of the things it condemns and opposes.  He believes that people should see a place full of happy Catholics when they look at the Catholic Church.  

"The Catholic church affirms, strengthens, expands what's most noble, most beautiful, most sacred, in the human project.  That's what affirmative orthodoxy means to me.  I like to quote a line from Father Robert Barron, that the church only says no to another no, and two no's make a yes.  It's only when the yes of humanity is threatened that the church will say no, to protect the yes." 
- Archbishop Timothy Dolan 

I personally don't find the Catholic church to be oppressive in any way, but I know a lot of people outside of the church feel that way looking in.  It's easy to see why when there are constant attacks on the Church about the Church disagreeing with things society says are okay.  However, "it's only when the yes of humanity is threatened that the Church will say no, to protect the yes." I really do believe the Catholic Church desires for people to have holy, happy, meaningful lives and that rules of the Church exist to protect our humanity.  

I love Dolan's "affirmative orthodoxy," and I think it's really important for us to find ways to promote the positive things about Catholicism.  We need to share with the world all of the wonderful things about our faith that help to give us excitement and direction. 

"My Catholic upbringing, the Catholic ethos, the Catholic chemistry, whatever you want to call it, has given meaning, purpose, and direction to my life.  It's the pearl of great price.  It has given me a worldview, a sense of joy and direction, and an excitement about life.  In my mind it's the healthiest, happiest way to live, so I don't find anything constraining or oppressive or choking about it." 
                                 - Archbishop Timothy Dolan 

What do you love about being a Catholic? What do you think is the best thing the Church says "yes" to? 



  1. Women! We have further to go, maybe, in practice... But the Catholic church claims the highest creature in Heaven is a woman, she protects and defends mitherhood, educates women, praises motherhood.

    1. Agreed! And I find that many people think the Catholic church oppresses women.