There is a new type of Catholic I have seen popping more often today. In addition to cafeteria Catholics, A & P Catholics, and traditionalist Catholics to a new type of Catholic can be added. Perhaps they have always existed but with the Internet they have a new way of injecting their poison into the minds and souls of their fellow Catholics. They are the Drama Queen (or King) Catholic.
According to dictionary.com a drama queen is “a person who often has exaggerated or overly emotional reactions to events or situations.” It can be a person of either gender. It is a person for whom everything is a crisis and always find themselves in the middle of a struggle.
In terms of Catholicism these are the people who always seem…
- To find the Mass where the priest is saying something heretical in the homily
- To go to Masses where the prayers are constantly being omitted or changed.Even when they travel they always manage to find that Church
- To find the priest who will not let them kneel for communion
- To find the church where confession times are always cancelled
- To find the baptismal fonts are empty
- To find the choir singing “inappropriate” hymns
- To sit next to the parishioner who talks, sings, mumbles, constantly wiggles during the entire Mass
- To complain about how parents don’t know how to get children to behave in Church or complain that there are no children in church
- To want to write their bishop when the priest does not proclaim Eucharistic Prayer I
- To question the faith commitment of the parish priest if he wears a cassock or does not wear one
- To refuse to believe that the Liturgy of the Word for Young People is a legitimate option at Mass
- To always find the most visually distracting altar boy or girl in the entire history of Catholicism
- To automatically assume that anything seen or heard at Mass that one has never experienced before must be heretical.
- To complain that the Rosary group is too loud before Mass or can’t pray after Mass because people are talking
Well you get the idea. Now, before people go ape and want to write to my bishop let me get a few statements off my chest:
- I believe that every Mass should be celebrated with reverence on the part of the priest and the congregation.
- I not naïve and yes, mistakes and incorrect choices are made either intentionally or by accident.
- I try to give people the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.
- I believe the term “liturgical abuse” and “blasphemy” are used too freely.
- I believe that if a person wants to find fault, he or she will eventually find something wrong.
- And yes, I know complaining about complainers opens me up to being a Catholic Drama Queen (King).
So how does an Everyday Catholic deal with the Drama Queen or King in your life or in your parish? Psychologists who work with individuals who suffer from these traits have concluded that
- Trying to cheer up the person does not work
- Suggesting solutions does not work
- Ignoring or avoiding the person in a church situation may not always be possible
- Joining them doesn’t work
- Confronting them with facts doesn’t work
The one thing that seems to work is to say, with seriousness and no sarcasm, “Wow. This sounds terrible. How do you deal with all these problems? I don’t know how you are able to stay at this church.”
Often, but not always, the individual may respond with comments like, “Well, it’s not really that bad.” The key is stop the catastrophizing.
Anyway, that’s the theory. Personally, I never tried it. I’m more of the avoidance guy.
Of course, the key is to take it to prayer no matter what our response to be.
How do you deal with a Catholic Drama Queen or King in your parish? Share your thoughts.
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