In this weeks editorial of The Southern Cross Gunther Simmermacher writes: “The internal division in the Catholic Church, and the acrimony that often accompanies it, are a scandal, in both senses of the word: they are a public disgrace and they can tempt people to sin.” Then later he writes: “It is indefensible when the self-appointed guardians of orthodoxy, some of them answerable only to themselves, go as far as to pass judgment over whether practising and loyal members of the Church may be regarded as Catholic.”
It is clear from this editorial, and from his many other editorials, that Mr. Simmermacher is of the firm opinion that there is only one group of people in the Church that is the cause of internal division and acrimony in the Church – it is the “guardians of orthodoxy”. The others, according to Mr. Simmermacher, are simply those harmless good-hearted well-meaning folk who wish to “open the windows of the Church to the world”.
It really is amusing that Mr. Simmermacher brands only the “guardians of orthodoxy” as the cause of division and acrimony. It is they who are a public disgrace. It is they who tempt other people to sin. On the other hand those who are running around wildly throwing opening the Church ‘windows’ to the world are, according to Mr. Simmermacher, blameless.
This editorial is actually hysterical. It is a huge own goal by Mr. Simmermacher. You see, what Mr. Simmermacher is in fact doing in this editorial is exactly what he is actually accusing the “guardians of orthodoxy” of doing.
While claiming that there should be room for all ideas in the Church, Mr. Simmermacher is in fact using this editorial to brand anyone who is not willing to throw open the Church windows in a most uncharitable manner. Worse still, he is actually using our national Catholic newspaper to do so.
Really what Mr. Simmermacher and the other open window crowd want is to be permitted to challenge the Church on just about everything – divorce, contraception, abortion, same sex marriage, clerical celibacy, women priests and so the lists go on, without opposition. If anyone does dare to oppose their open window ideas, they resort to doing exactly what Mr. Simmermacher has just done in this editorial – force consensus by branding them in exactly the manner that Mr. Simmermacher does in this editorial.
Nice, Mr. Simmermacher. This is so charitable of you.
PS.: Mr. Simmermacher expresses concern about those who pass judgement about who is and is not Catholic - this is of course easily resolved. Catholics are those who accept and strive to abide by the teaching of the Church.