Contentiousness in our Society

01-16-2022Pastor's CornerRev. Robert J. Deehan, V.F.

There’s been a lot of contentiousness in our society these days – on many fronts. Some of it is sparked by a growing fatigue with the pandemic and the irritability around having to wear masks when indoors in many places – even in church. Then, there are the political divisions that have affected relationships among family members and friends, and in some cases, have pitted vaxers against anti-vaxers, not to mention the differences between a conservative outlook as opposed to a liberal outlook. Unfortunately, along with these differences has been a growing tendency to demonize the other. The lack of civility, which has been growing for many years, has only been amplified in such a climate.

Interestingly, Cardinal Sean wrote in his blog recently about the effect such contentiousness is having among seminarians and more recently ordained priests. After noting the more traditional tendencies among many of those entering seminary and religious congregations these days, he writes, “In many ways, I am very happy that our young clergy care deeply about the content of the faith, are happy to wear clerics, are committed to celibacy and love the Church’s liturgical tradition and piety. I share all of those sentiments deeply, but I worry when seminary professors express to me their concern that seminarians and young priests are influenced by the toxicity of some social media. Like all bishops, I want our priests to find joy in their vocation, the joy that can be robbed by the negativity and anger that often characterize a social media that is quick to judge and condemn, imputing the basest motivation to the people they are anxious to attack. Christ meant for the Church to be his family.

At times we have become a dysfunctional family. That dysfunction can be overcome only by recommitting ourselves to the values of the Gospel, a deeper life of prayer and patient dialogue.” Such negativity, alienation and lack of peace and harmony are clearly not from God, but is evidence of the evil one. That’s why I included a special Prayer of the Faithful this past weekend to address this sad situation: For a new dawning of peace and reconciliation within society, that God will melt hardened hearts, help those at odds to recognize the good in the other, and inspire new opportunities to advance civility and charity… We pray to the Lord. We need to pray for deliverance from such contentiousness that is impacting even our most sacred institutions. I invite you to make that a special prayer intention of your own during these challenging times. Our nerves may be frayed and our patience tested, but we cannot let the evil one destroy us from within. We need to call upon the grace of God to help us overcome the darkness.

To read the full entry from Cardinal Sean’s blog, visit: