Toxic. You never want to be a Toxic Catholic. Toxic Catholic’s poison others and lead others away from the One True Faith and make others despise the facts and truths that are a part of the One True Faith. It can be so severely dangerous that, if souls are lost in the process, it can be a source of damnation for you as well. (Thankfully there is confession, Christ’s mercy and grace.)
The term “scandal” in the Catechism is explained in depth here:
2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. the person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.
2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.
2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.
Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to “social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible.” This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.
2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!”
A few examples from this list are:
- treat with disdain good-willed and charitable folks who haven’t come to your intellectual conclusions;
- are OK with turning folks away from Christ, His Church, and Tradition if it means you get to vent your rage;
- act as if and treat others as if you have no faith in grace, no trust that people can change, learn, and grow, and, therefore, you hold people’s pasts against them;
- are really fond of “admonishing sinners” without caring at all about the Church’s teachings about whether, when, and how to go about that;
- treat non-traditional Catholics as immoral and bad rather than simply uninformed and beloved and, quite possibly, very holy;
- equate modesty with ugly or outdated (think “Little House on the Prairie”) attire, and force it on your daughters, thereby setting them up to feel like social freaks (who will likely rebel at the first chance they get);
- think that an occasion of sin for you is an occasion of sin for everyone, and, therefore, accuse people of sinning by putting themselves in near occasions of sin that aren’t near occasions of sin for them, but are for you;
- treat a woman’s wearing of pants as intrinsically evil;
- think anyone liking any music but Gregorian chant and maybe folk or country is being immoral.
I want to show a few more examples of what being a Toxic Catholic is.
Keep in mind, those that hold these beliefs shown may not be completely wrong in everything else they believe or say, but rather the examples shown are what is wrong. It doesn’t make it right to judge these people themselves that everything they do or say is Toxic.
These are just a few. Other examples, that have been told to me, personally (by serious people! All women!) are also toxic:
- “Elbows shown will send men to hell! So cover them up!”
- “Bare feet are a temptation; it is a womans duty to cover their feet!”
- “Women cannot wear t-shirts, but blouses! Only blouses are modest!”
- “A woman who wears pants is a harlot and is sending men to hell!”
- “Sitting on the ground as a woman is forbidden! It is immodest!”
- “Women with larger chests must wear flattening/binding bras to flatten themselves and stop being a temptation!”
- “Bright colors/patterns must never be worn! It is a temptation.”
Alright. We can surely all agree that the mere thought of a woman is a potential temptation, for both men and women. Of course, men are more susceptible (science has proven that. Their hormones and human nature.)
But let us take a look at this poor woman.
If all women dressed as this; even this sight can lead a man into temptation! The word; WOMAN, can be a temptation!
It is not solely the job of the woman to work on being modest! The man must also practice custody of the eyes, and be pure and chaste just as women must be! Both genders are called to practice these things, and it is an equal yoke.
The men have a harder time with attraction to the woman’s body and such, and women have a harder time to dress modestly. Both are called to be pure in their gaze, their apparel, their speech, their thoughts, everything!
“There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.” (CCC 2521 + )
And as different men have different areas that are more tempting for them, it is nonsense to believe that “covering up” what turns on a man is the way to be modest. Why? Because, as before mentioned, it is impossible to cover up everything the turns on a man about a woman! From their wrists to their earlobes; men are attracted to women. Its human nature. Therefore, as Catholic men are called to be pure and chaste, as women, we are all called to dress modestly…
To finish; be very wary of Toxic Catholics, and try your best to be informed on the truth of the Matter, and have a devout prayer life. This will help in your avoidance of becoming a Toxic Catholic. 🙂
Also, for help with being able to talk about modesty “without being a prude”, check out our other post here.