Katie van Schaijik

Joined: Aug. 12, 2011


Restless, melancholic soul of Irish descent. Born and raised in Connecticut, married to a Dutchman, mother of two daughters and three sons. I love books, conversation, friendship, delicious food, gardens, long walks and beautiful places. I am easily ensnared in politics and web-browsing. I crave silence, sweetness, poetry and peace. I am always wanting to write and ever-failing to write. All my hope is in God’s power and will to save; all my trust is in His promise.

Most recent posts by Katie van Schaijik:     (See all of them)

The problem with “consenting adults”

Nov. 21 at 9:46am | Comments: 8 | Most recent comment: Nov. 23 at 8:23am

The operative ethical principle in our society seems to be: "Anything goes, provided there's no coercion. If it's between consulting adults, it's no one else's business." I had a conversation with a Catholic libertarian friend along these lines not long ago, when I linked this article about how Sweden has managed to dramatically reduce prostitution by adjusting its laws to focus on the problem of the exploitation of women. The clients are punished by law; the prostitutes are offered help...

Cutting ties

Nov. 19 at 10:02am | Comments: 6 | Most recent comment: Nov. 23 at 8:40am

I've heard many Christians, including priests, teach that "we have to stay in relationship" and that "nothing is more important than unity." In other words, they hold that it's not okay to cut ties. To me, this seems manifestly false—out of accord with Scripture, Church teaching, and ordinary moral experience.  At 17, I took a life-saving course, and learned that a drowning person has to be approached from behind, because he will instinctively treat his rescuer as a...

Why we need fraternity maybe even more than charity

Nov. 11 at 6:02pm | Comments: 0

Pope Francis upset many on the political right a few months back, when he said that "inequality is the root of social evil." They took him to be calling for socialist-style wealth-redistribution. I heard something different. I heard a deeper (true) point about human relations.  Since the fall in Eden, all human relations have been menaced by the master/slave dynamic. Instead of the "communion-of-love" that characterized our original way of being together, all of us are now constantly...

One of love’s opposites: Contempt

Nov. 9 at 9:31am | Comments: 2 | Most recent comment: Nov. 10 at 9:14am

Some fortunate souls have mystical experiences. I'm not one of them. But all my life I've been subject to profound "moral experiences"—occasions I can only describe as dramatic breakthroughs in my understanding. Some come very suddenly; others are more gradual. They are existential in character, by which I mean, they're not a simple resolution of an intellectual difficulty, but a kind of illumination of my life and self. They are always accompanied by pain—the searing pain...

Interpreting the Pope through personalism

Nov. 5 at 10:35am | Comments: 6 | Most recent comment: Nov. 8 at 10:11am

When an editor at the National Catholic Register asked me to write an article expanding on my short post about the Synod, I came up with a long list of Pope Francis's words and themes that strike me as conspicuously personalist. I wanted to show, pace the anxieties of the traditionalists, how consistent he is with his two great predecessors, and really with all the post-conciliar popes. I only managed to develop one of those points: the emphasis on receptivity....

Latest comments by Katie van Schaijik:     (See all of them)

Re: What would Newman say about the Synod?

Nov. 23 at 9:31am | see this comment in context

Here is one of the comments under my article, calling the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth, "The Destroyer". 

Cardinal Raymond Burke has accused Pope Francis of causing “great damage to the Church”. At the Synod an Ukrainian Bishop held up to Pope Francis a copy of the Cathecism of the Catholic Church, calling upon him to study it. The Franciscans of the Immaculate who done absolutley no wrong were destroyed by permission of Pope Francis. Pope Francis suspended a Paragueyan Bishop without giving him a reason. Pope Francis in the words of Pope Benedict XVl, done the outrageous, “Summorum Pontificum has been wounded”. It is no secret that Pope Francis has been leaving a swath of destruction behind him. I’m sorry to say that this article, in what concerns Pope Francis is only a fantasy. St. Francis of Assisi gave the prophecy of this Pope calling him, “The Destroyer”, can’t argue with that.


Re: What would Newman say about the Synod?

Nov. 23 at 9:21am | see this comment in context

Freda, I wish I could console you with peace! "Don't worry, be happy!"

The Church will not fail. Don't we have Our Lord's promise that it won't? Hasn't it survived much worse crises of confusion than this? How about the 4th century, when 3/4s of the bishops were professing Arianism? How about the corrupt Popes of the Rennaisance, or the time when the faithful weren't sure whether the real Pope was in Avignon or in Rome?

And then there was the Prostestant Reformation.

And, as I said before, the reports from the Synod are not teachings of the Church; they are reports. The Synod will only conclude its discussions a year from now.

Further, look at Jesus' teaching. It wasn't always crystal clear, was it? In fact, it was often open to misinterpretation and caused much confusion, even among His closest disciples. Some found it so hard to understand that they walked away.

The teaching of the Church always has been and always will be a scandal if we approach it expecting to have own views ratified. It is meant to shake us out of our complacency and challenge us to deeper faith and deeper conversion. 

Re: What would Newman say about the Synod?

Nov. 23 at 9:07am | see this comment in context

DI, are you not making yourself, rather than the Church, the arbiter of Truth? It's easy to say the Church doesn't go far enough in granting freedom if you're not concerned with obedience to Truth. Likewise, it's easy to demand a much more authoritarian approach to enforcing doctrine, if you're not concerned with freedom. (This is what many traditionalists do, when they castigate the Pope for not cracking down.)

The Church is concerned with both freedom and truth.

Re: Cutting ties

Nov. 23 at 8:40am | see this comment in context

DI, the word limit came about after experience of the problem of long-windedness. We wanted to keep our discussions as pithy as possible, so as not to discouraged readers. It seems to work.

Often a person will respond with two or three comments, if he needs more words to make his point. But if he really needs more than that, we encourage him to write a member post, where he can fill out his thinking without the limit.

About the temporariness of cut ties. Yes, we have reason to hope they'll be restored eventually, since "everything that rises must converge." The only problem is that not everything rises. There is such a thing in our doctrines as hell.

If we excommunicate ourselves and refuse to recognize and repent the truth of our condition before God, and reject every chance He offers us to change our minds, then we cut ties forever, with Him and with everything good.

Re: The problem with "consenting adults"

Nov. 23 at 8:23am | see this comment in context

Thanks for the kind words, Gary. I really think that this basic insight of JP II's personalism—I mean the way the master/slave hermeneutic menaces post-Eden human relations (including between the sexes) and how the gospel challenges us to replace it with self-donating love and service—is only beginning to be grasped in the Church. We all have a lot of habits to unlearn.

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