The Archdiocese of Chicago is spending $1 million on a Catholics Come Home ad campaign. Nice, right?
But you’ve got to see how the Chicago Tribune reported it:
In order to return to the pews, Cindy Colman first must grapple with the Roman Catholic Church’s failure to forgive, alienating her and her mother from the institution that generations of their family have called home.
“I think I’m still in the process,” said Colman, 35 of Naperville. “I’m at that point where I’m coming back to learn more and understand the whole faith … It’s true. At my core, I know that.”
After fleeing an abusive husband more than 30 years ago, Colman’s mother chose to raise her daughter Lutheran. Though she agreed to annul her previous marriage, the Catholic Church insisted on denying her the sacraments when her new husband declined to annul his marriage.
Colman has since agonized about the way her mother has been treated. Still, she yearns to reconcile with the church where she was baptized. She also longs to give her children the foundation she missed.
So people have to forgive the Church for its failure to forgive? Really? That’s the lede in a news story?
Divorces and annulments are heartbreaking. But the Church has rules. And let’s remember that standards and rules are what makes some people hate Catholicism.
But the story continues from there:
But others say the commercials fail to heal all the wounds inflicted by the church. They wish the church would proclaim a more modern message instead of stressing nostalgia. They say the ads missed an opportunity to reach out to those disillusioned by the sex-abuse scandal. Instead of acknowledging its own mistakes, critics say, the church suggests those who have fallen away should return to make peace with the past.
Sal Boccia, 39, of Alsip doesn’t want the mistakes of his past to take away from his children’s future. Married for less than a year before he divorced and met his current wife, Marissa, he took umbrage when the church refused to marry them until he sought an annulment.
“It just became a big hassle,” Sal Boccia said. “It really turned me off — and that’s when we started moving away from the church.”
But like Colman, the Boccias are contemplating a return for the sake of their three children. Their two oldest — ages 7 and 8 — have begun to ask questions about God and the afterlife.
It actually continues from there but it’s just so silly. I mean, it’s laughably poor reporting.
So the Chicago Tribune is essentially telling the Church that it should stop having rules and standards. Well, it looks like the Trib already has. And I’ll bet that the Catholic Church continues to exist long after the Tribune is gone.