Author Topic: "Catholic Guilt"  (Read 177 times)

Offline Non Nobis

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"Catholic Guilt"
« on: November 07, 2019, 10:56:01 PM »
Someone I know has severe depression and has suffered from extreme, irrational scrupulosity. Someone called this "Catholic guilt".  Very annoyed, I looked up the phrase and actually found it in Wikipedia:

Quote
Catholic guilt is the reported excess guilt felt by Catholics and lapsed Catholics.[1]

The term "Catholic guilt" is considered as pejorative against Catholics and Catholic ethics in general.[2] Guilt is a by-product of an informed conscience but "Catholic" guilt is often confused with scrupulosity. An overly scrupulous conscience is an exaggeration of healthy guilt.[3] Guilt is not considered a positive thing in itself in any Catholic teaching, rather contrition is considered constructive.[4]

"Guilt" is remorse for having committed some offense or wrong, real or imagined.[5] It is related to, although distinguishable from, "shame", in that the former involves an awareness of causing injury to another, while the latter arises from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, or ridiculous, done by oneself. One might feel guilty for having hurt someone, and also ashamed of oneself for having done so.[6] Philip Yancey compares guilt to the sensation of physical pain as an indication that something should not be ignored but attended to. Rabbi David Wolpe says, "Facing up to the hurt we cause others with cruel speech or callous acts, and to our myriad failures to meet the marks God sets for living a true and good life, "makes forgiveness meaningful, not merely a catchphrase".[7]

The Penitential Act at the beginning of the Mass is a liturgical rudiment of this previously sacramental confession. This private confession became the normal way in which this sacrament was and is practiced, with a strict seal of secrecy on the part of the priest. Sometimes the practice of the sacrament emphasized doing acts of penance, sometimes it emphasized making one's sorrow or contrition authentic, sometimes it emphasized confessing all one's serious (mortal) sins, sometimes it emphasized the power of the priest, In Persona Christi, to absolve the penitent of sin, and currently there are forms that include simply one-on-one confession to a priest or communal preparation and then one-on-one confession to a priest.[8]
...
(It might be interesting to read the rest: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_guilt)

I emailed this quote to the person who used this phrase.  I hope she understands that her words were an insult to Catholics, who have as much (and much more of) a right to respect as Blacks or Muslims, but are usually fair game. I don't really expect her to understand the Catholic truth of the matter.

Where else have others heard the phrase "Catholic guilt"?  Any thoughts on how Catholic ethics and practice are sometimes abused as scrupulosity? 
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 12:01:49 AM by Non Nobis »
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 

Offline Jacob

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Re: "Catholic Guilt"
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 11:15:12 PM »
It's not exactly something I see thrown around every day, but back when Catholicism and Christianity as a whole were more well known in the broader society, Catholic Guilt was a term that I saw now and then, either in popular culture or in more formal settings, used by ill-informed protestants and lapsed Catholics with an ax to grind.

For my own part, I always associated it with ignorance and a relic of past times and how prots and the lapsed Catholics who hadn't stuck around to see how things turned out really had no idea how V2 had completely changed the internal mentality of the Church at large so that confession and worrying about sin had by and large become a thing of the past.
“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”
--Neal Stephenson
 
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Offline james03

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Re: "Catholic Guilt"
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 11:18:26 PM »
..

« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 10:27:42 AM by james03 »
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: "Catholic Guilt"
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 11:55:22 PM »
...

This is private business - I made the OP more anonymous as I should have done.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 01:17:10 AM by Non Nobis »
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 

Offline diaduit

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Re: "Catholic Guilt"
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 03:04:29 AM »
Widely used here in Ireland as a sneer or contempt for our faith. Very successful in damaging the sacrament of penance too 😟.
 
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Offline Traditionallyruralmom

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Re: "Catholic Guilt"
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 12:16:16 PM »
used to hear it all the time in the company of new age hippies who were fallen away Catholics..Something they were desperately trying to throw off and ignore.....one guy in particular, would rail against is every time he did not get what he wanted in the corporal way from his wife and "needed" to look elsewhere....but his "Catholic guilt" made him "feel bad" ::)
Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat.
 
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Offline St.Justin

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Re: "Catholic Guilt"
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2019, 01:55:52 PM »
used to hear it all the time in the company of new age hippies who were fallen away Catholics..Something they were desperately trying to throw off and ignore.....one guy in particular, would rail against is every time he did not get what he wanted in the corporal way from his wife and "needed" to look elsewhere....but his "Catholic guilt" made him "feel bad" ::)

Yes Catholics are the people I hear use it the most, as if they wished they had no conscience.