Depression is not a sin

But cruelty to scrupulous depressives is.

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. – Matthew 18:6

Schneider is an inveterate enemy of the Pope and a darling of the deadly Reactionary sect that regards the rest of the Church as vermin. The anti-Francis cult that has been so wrong about so much so many times for so long that only an absolute fool would trust its counsel about anything in the whole world continues doing what it does best: hurting people for no good reason at all. It is a cult of death.

Take it from a fellow depressive. Ordination is not a psych degree and sadists who try to pile guilt on top of depression are not the less sadists if they happen to wear a bishop’s beanie. Do not listen to this ignorant enemy of the Holy Father or any of the hordes of Reactionary enemies of the Church who get their thrills inflicting cruelty on the wounded. Just as you would take your meds for a physical illness, so you should take your meds for psycho-emotional illnesses too. (Indeed, such illnesses are often rooted in physical causes too, which is why meds work.) There is no sin in depression. Do not let sadists who derive a sick feeling of power from hurting people lie you into believing there is. Jesus Christ is with the hurting, not against them.


12 Responses

  1. As a long term reader but first time commenter I want to thank you so much for what you’ve said here. I always knew this nonsense for the cruel and sanctimonious ignorance that it is, but still … You are doing truly good work to remind chronically depressed and scrupulous people like me of a healthier and more compassionate perspective. I hate to think of the damage this aspect of toxic traddery could do to someone.

    1. As a fellow depressive, know that you are not alone and that Christ crucified and risen is with you and joining your trial to his in his love. There is light, hope and resurrection. Also, don’t be afraid or ashame to seek medical treatment for it, any more than you would seek it for any illness. I’ve found Zoloft helps.

  2. Jesus was enveloped by the worst form of depression to the point that he questioned the goodness of God. Mother Teresa felt so panicked by the evil that surrounded her that she asked her confessor in desperation, “where is God?!” I see this as the proof of a soul that has completely given God everything; one who has consumed the cup of suffering to the dregs.

    I for the most part have never felt this utter desolation. But the saints have.

    I just got kicked out of teaching religion at what is supposed to be a Catholic school –for teaching the kids about suffering. I was always searching for compelling subject matter to engage them, and found a talented Catholic graphic artist (on Aleteia) who came back to the faith after reaching fame and respect in Hollywood, –but still felt empty.

    In our Catholic school class, we experienced bullying, death, a horrific molestation and a brother who almost died of cancer. I can’t begin to describe the pushback I was given for pointing at Jesus, tortured on a cross who makes sense of all of it. My students had never even heard of Mother Teresa–and I didn’t stop with her! We covered saints like St. Peter Claver, Damien of Molokai, Maximilian Kolbe, Teresa of Avila..Carlos Acutis. They ate it up. Heroes.

    Check out imbeggar’s work, (the one I got in trouble for)–it electrified the kids. They begged me to show them more.

    And now I need a new job.

    1. You are in good company in being rejected, dear:

      For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing abuse for him. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (Hebrews 13:11-15)

    2. @anna lisa:

      Are you able to share what grade levels were you teaching?

      I was recalling my childhood religion classes and I think I would have greatly enjoyed your curriculum.

      K-1st was mostly How to Pray, and How to Behave at Mass (which is probably appropriate for those ages).

      2nd was very interesting I found – mostly Reconciliation and First Communion Prep

      3rd -7th was a wasteland.

      8th was Church History, but that really has to be taught with care, and mixed in with philosophy, ethics, and theology, because honestly, Church History is not sympathetic….

  3. Thank you for your kindness Mark. Thanks for all of your wisdom throughout the years. I’ve missed reading your excellent articles because I was so consumed by my job this year.

    I started out writing a response to you to tell you in a nutshell, what I’ve been through, –the craziness it was all steeped in, but I just kept writing. An hour into it I realized how much I needed to put my story into words, and especially after my pastor (a former lawyer from Orange County) blew me off. At first he looked appalled when I told him everything that happened, and then, at our next meeting he doubled down acting like *none of it* was actually, a big deal. My husband had assured me that as pastor he would make things right, but my oldest son was right about the doubling down. I expected so much more from a Catholic priest.

  4. He was talking about being “depressed” or sad about the state of the Church and how Catholics have the tools to do with an ecclesial crisis. He wasn’t talking about clinical depression. You don’t have to agree with his assessment of the Church, but you shouldn’t misrepresent his words and the context of them. Bearing false witness and all that…

  5. The bishop also speaks 8 languages (English is not his first)…perhaps apply the principle of charity when parsing his words.

    1. Listening to pleas for charity for the guy who has spent years and years fomenting hatred of the pope and putting the darkest possible construction on his words and deed while laboring to destroy the unity of the Church is rich. As ever, Reactionary Catholics continue to bear out my thesis:

      1. Or maybe you just misrepresented his words and that’s not a nice thing to do to anyone (Luke 6:31). And yes, I think you should be charitable to everyone…including Bishop Schneider (Luke 6: 27-28). Isn’t the way forward in the Church and world is to cool things down, be accurate and charitable in our language and, as St. Augustine said, practice the virtues we see lacking in others?

        PS: I disagree with that Bishop on many things and find Lifesite to be deplorable. I’m
        also not a trad (I go to local Novus Ordo parish), also not MAGA/Trump fan (I’m not even American). Maybe I’m just a regular Catholic who doesn’t agree with your take on that issue. Please stop automatically name calling on putting people into idealogical boxes. Your early works helped me in my conversion. Thank you for that. I guess you’re approach has changed. I think I’m done commenting on your blog, I being serious when I say this, I wish you every good thing…take care.

      2. The bishop knows English well enough. He is ignorant though. He lost me when he started talking about “global ideology of the political elites.” That’s a QAnon dog whistle terminology. So, no, the bishop does not get a pass for not having English as a native language.

        Look you can’t just bash the “global ideology of the political elites” when
        (a) the Church is a global organization and is called to be. “Catholic” comes from the Greek “kat’holon” which means “the whole” and
        (b) Francis is trying everything in his power to NOT be an elite. Standing up for the poor, and wanting the Church to be more inclusive. And yes it is okay to actually fight for that.

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