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Author Topic Carol Squire USA 173 Posts
Posted - 01/06/2009 : 3:20:16 PM
Have any of you ever experienced non-Catholics accusing you of being consumed by Catholic guilt? I have been getting really frustrated with a couple relatives who tell me I need to get over my Catholic guilt. This term seems very derogatory towards the Catholic faith, a way for them to insult me. Does anyone else feel this way when the phrase is used?Though Catholics take sin and holiness very seriously, we are released from our sins through the Sacrament of Reconcilliation and at every Mass (venial sins). Consequences of our sins may remain for us to deal with, and we do offer reparation for our own sins and those of others, but remaining consumed by guilt over repented sin is ridiculous. Our Church has never taught this! Personally, I don't think enough people take sin seriously these days. But to hear certain non-Catholics talking, you'd think we walk around like a bunch of joyless, neurotic sadsacks! ClareFrancis Squire USA 354 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2009 : 7:02:26 PM
Hi, Carol,I'm sorry about the ongoing troubles with your family. I'll pray for you tonight.I've heard of Catholic guilt but amongst Catholics teasing each other. It was the type of teasing that was used to bond and show support, not to degrade. I've also heard the phrase, Jewish guilt and Catholic shame (maybe it was vice versa?). Again, it was an inside joke used to bond and show support. Hmm...I wonder where it originated? Maybe it was originally meant to degrade and we responded through stealing the phrase and making it our own?

ClareForgiveness of sins is a greater work than raising the dead. ~St. Augustine
Carol Squire USA 173 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2009 : 10:30:43 PM
Thanks for your prayers and kindness, Clare. I'm hanging in there!Out of curiosity, I just googled the term Catholic guilt to see what would come up. Much of the returns were offensive and not worth mentioning, but I did find that the most common definition seems to be the guilt lapsed Catholics (or Jews, as the case may be)feel whenever they violate what they know to be teachings of the Church.I also learned it definitely can be used in a derogatory sense and some even use the term to describe a condition of genuine spiritual maturity, which makes zero sense to me given my understanding Church teachings on reconcilliation.I never did learn how the phrase entered popular use though. I suppose exactly how the term is used makes all the difference in how it is perceived. I didn't grow up Catholic, so I guess I missed much of the inside jokes. Bro. Ignatius Mary Iustus Ridiculum USA 1788 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2009 : 4:26:05 PM

I recently answered a Q&A; that discussed Catholic Guilt.Catholic Guilt

God Bless, Bro. Ignatius Mary
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