Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to Influence the Vatican: A Pro-Life Insider’s Perspective

I'm passing this on because I'm in favour of whatever promotes the pro-life cause.

So if this is what needs to be done to favour the pro-life cause, then so be it.

Meaney said that the focus of “lobbying” at the Vatican, is not forcing change, therefore, but bringing needed information to the right people. Despite what many Catholic and pro-life people think, it is not enough just to call up the appropriate Vatican office and get an appointment to speak to the Cardinal Prefect. The key, he said, is developing personal relationships and maintaining them, sometimes for years or even decades. This is, he said, just the way of doing business of any kind in Italy.

For Italians, “it’s very, very helpful to have a personal connection,” he said. “Personal relationships are very important.”

I'll tell you the truth.

The personal relationship aspect is difficult for me, given my background as a Quebec Catholic. And I sense this is true of other faithful Catholics from Quebec.

There's an overwhelming sense in Quebec that if you're not in a marginalized group, or that if you don't have direct business with the priest, he doesn't have the time of day for you. He has an agenda (usually a social justice one) and if you don't fit that agenda, he's just not that interested in talking to you. Being a priest is about the social justice agenda, NOT about saving souls.

I know it's somewhat different in Ontario, especially in orthodox parishes. I find them friendlier.

I suspect that the local institutional church loses credibility not just because of its deviation from Catholic norms, but also because of its ideologically-driven coldness to average people.