Dignitas Infinita: Lowering the Bar

I see many commentators saying that because this document is not as bad as they thought, it is a relief. When did the bar for Church documents get so low?

In my study of the current crisis in the Church, I have learned that it can all be summed up by one core problem: a collective lowering of the bar.

Every parent, teacher, coach, manager, supervisor, or babysitter knows that children are overachievers. They will do anything they can to meet your expectations, no matter where they are set. So where you set them is of critical importance. We carry that childlike desire (and ability) to meet high standards into adulthood as we enter our careers or vocations.

This has always been true in the life of the Church as well. Christ set the bar for how to love unfathomably high in His passion, death, and resurrection, but He also explicitly called us to a high standard many times in the gospels:

You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34)

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:40)

Following Christ’s example, the Church has always encouraged giving our best and setting the bar high both practically and spiritually. This is why our physical churches, our music, our art work, our liturgy, our scholarship, our hospitals, our universities, and every other aspect of Catholic culture is – no, was – the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the standard on which the West was built.

Continue reading at One Peter Five