Is it Possible to Cancel “The Way of the Cross” Culture?

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

I believe Bishop Zurek still has “no clue”, or at least a Catholic perspective of “Cancel Culture”.

…In today’s reality the Sadducees and the Pharisees belong to what is being spoken of and practiced all too much, not only in the United States but in the world, what is called, “Cancel Culture”. As we begin Holy Week, with all that WE have been through, not only we but all our brothers and sisters throughout the world in regard to the virus. This past year was too much! The pandemic was one thing. The rioting, the toppling of monuments of great civil leaders, even saints! Even authors now of children’s books. It’s time to do a little reflecting on our role as Christian people in this battle, if you will, with the new ideology.

I had no clue a few weeks ago what this “Cancel Culture” was about, so I figured mmm, “Maybe I should just go to Miriam Webster, she seems to have it down. This is what I found to my surprise:

‘Cancel Culture refers to a popular practice of withdrawing support or cancelling out public figures or companies after they have done or said something’, now key words, ‘considered objectionable or offensive by someone. It is generally seen’, she continues, ‘in fierce debates on social media and takes the form of shaming.’

I would parallel that with the Amish when they remove someone, it’s shunning. We can extrapolate a little more. ‘Cancel Culture’ begins when one does not agree with what another says or does or even gives a look that is not appreciated. It’s all personal judgment. It’s described as being destructive, and of course judgmental, but destructive of people, social groups, businesses. Very divisive!

For any slight flaw a person can be destroyed; but it doesn’t relegate itself just to people. It is also capable of destroying a culture, a society; and a couple of days ago I heard the aim is now turning to Christianity itself.

This is totally in opposition to our Scripture and the words of Christ, “Love one another as I have loved you.”…

Bishop Patrick Zurek’s Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion Homily, March 28, 2021

I believe Bishop Zurek still has “no clue”, or at least a Catholic perspective of “Cancel Culture”. Maybe this year, as the Holy Father stated, “Is more trying” for him. Perhaps after going to Miriam Webster our bishop should have turned to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If he had he would have determined after reading paragraph 1761 that ‘Cancel Culture’ is not among “concrete acts”, such as abortion, “that it is always wrong to choose, because their choice entails a disorder of the will,” .

Pope Francis recalled this was the second Holy Week celebrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. While last year was experienced more as a shock, this year “it is more trying for us” and the economic crisis has become very burdensome.

The devil “is taking advantage of the crisis to disseminate distrust, desperation and discord,” he said, but Jesus is taking up the cross, taking “on the evil that this situation entails, the physical and psychological evil, and, above all, the spiritual evil.”

“What should we do?” he asked.

People should be like Mary, the mother of Jesus, and follow her son, he said.

If we followed Bishop Zurek’s reasoning we would be “totally in opposition to our Scripture and the words of Christ,” when we give to the United Catholic Appeal which funds a large portion of our diocesan’s Family Life Office budget, which in turn works to cancel the pro-choice culture in our society.

However, I do believe, we must follow Jesus’s example of the Way of the Cross, and, “Love one another as I have loved you.”, as both of our shepherds stated, and which our local bishop reminded us of today, as he stood in front of and gestured towards, the magnificent Crucifix at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Nevertheless, acting in love for the “common good” is seldom a clear-cut path.

In August of 2019, did not Bishop Zurek utilize, what he termed the Amish practice of “shunning”, when he wrote a letter to St. Mary’s Cathedral condemning the actions of “the few” who were taking part “in fierce debates on social media and (took) the form of shaming.“? Is it not possible that both Bishop Zurek and “the few” were acting in love, at least partially, for the “common good”? A Catholic perspective would lead me to answer, “Yes!”

On this first day of Holy Week, after hearing the Lord’s Passion proclaimed, I have hope based in Catholicism, that just as the Sadducees and Pharisees could not “Cancel Christ” 2000 years ago, neither will the “Cancel Culture’s” aim on Christianity, that Bishop Zurek seems to fear, prevail today because:

“the fact that (Jesus) achieves glory through humiliation. He triumphs by accepting suffering and death, things that we, in our quest for admiration and success, would rather avoid.”

Pope Francis’s Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion Homily, March 28, 2021

4 thoughts on “Is it Possible to Cancel “The Way of the Cross” Culture?

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