(Actually, it might be better to just go here - look the right side at "Hot Video." 'Cause it's hot. - "Judgment Day for Sean."
In short: Sean Hannity running all over Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International for questioning his rejection of the Church's teaching on birth control.
For example, last Friday Sean Hannity took a few moments out of his afternoon radio show to make an apology. When I heard that the rather brash Hannity was actually going to apologize for something I was interested to find out what that would be. At first he sounded very
sincere in saying we have to take responsibility for our mistakes. Fine so far. Then he went on to tell his hearers that he had taken two bites of a chicken sandwich that day because he had been traveling and literally forgot it was a Friday of Lent. He stopped eating it when he
realized it was a Friday, but he used the opportunity on the show to make a fairly big deal about the "eat meat on Friday and you can go to hell" issue.
Well, even though he claims to be a "good Catholic," Hannity is hardly a credible commentator on Catholic matters. The chicken sandwich scandal was fairly trivial in the overall scheme of his show, but it said much more about the depth of his faith than anything else. I suspect that a great number of Catholics live their faith in the same
way—rule-bound and juvenile—but we need something better from a public "Catholic" like Hannity. We need a vibrant witness of someone who knows and embraces his Faith as deeply as he articulates his political passions.
Just for the record, he did not commit a sin when he ate the chicken sandwich—he had no intention to violate the Church precept, and he corrected himself immediately when he realized what he did. That's not a sin, and issuing a dramatic "apology" for doing that is, well, entertainment, not witness. This, unfortunately, is what passes for a deep discussion of the Catholic Faith in the public forum nowadays.
If apologies are the order of the day, then the repentance I would like to hear out of Sean Hannity's mouth is for his shameless—even scandalous—promotion of birth control. Yes, I have heard him personally say, "I have no problem with birth control. It's a good thing." (Another bit of profound theological reasoning.) Given the size of his audience and the importance of his status in pop culture,
Hannity's anti-witness to a fundamental tenet of Catholic moral doctrine is just devastating for the faith of others who may be weak or vacillating in this area. His impact is greater, and so his judgment will be stricter. "To those who have been given more, more will be required…"
And then go back to the first link to see how Hannity "dialogues" with Fr. Euteneuer. Typical.God forbid the out and proud Catholic should say something like, "I really don't understand the Church's teaching on birth control, Father, could you explain it to me? Since you're a priest and the head of Human Life International, I'm thinking you might know something about it..." instead of "JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED, FATHER. THAT'S IN THE BIBLE YOU KNOW! AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT THE SEX ABUSE SCANDAL?"
(Duly noted: Hannity's untiring work on behalf of Terri Schiavo. But the point still remains. If Bill Maher had been all over a priest like this, refusing to give him three seconds to actually explain Church teaching, then turning the discussion to the sex abuse crisis...folks would be all over him.)
The larger point is that, as I've noted before, "We are all good Catholics now," good Catholics whose status as Good Catholics we wear as a badge and hold as a ticket no matter what we happen to believe. Which stands in opposition to the traditional stance of a Christian through a couple of thousand years, which has been the acknowledgment that we are all Bad Catholics in some sense, but uttered in the deep hope and trust that God is merciful and that filled with new life in Christ, we are redeemed, not by our own power or by our own wisdom, standing in judgment of what we think should be true, but by the love of God, the medicine in which we sinners stand in deep need.
There is an (annotated by the blogger ) transcript here:
Hannity: You know what I’m going to say this. I don’t really care that you’re judging me Father. I really don’t care. But I’m going to tell you this: You know what? With what you’re doing here. You are doing more to chase people away from the Church. And I would suggest to you Father. Why don’t you work on real important issues. Instead of superfluous issues? If I eat meat on Friday or you want to call a public figure who is a devout Catholic a hypocrite. Why don’t you work on the corruption in the Church? Why don’t you work on the sex scandal? Why don’t work a change in the attitude that contributed to the atmosphere that allowed a level of corruption that frankly is absolutely morally beyond anything I ever seen in my life for any Church? Why don’t you work on real important issues, sir?
NOTE: Comments are held for moderation (a new thing I'm trying instead of shutting off comments.) So your comment might not appear for a while - just post it once, please!