Gina Christian

Between projects this week, I made the mistake of opening an email of a kind that’s all too common these days – a quasi-news message with a heated headline, a short rant about a controversial topic, and a link to the full text of the author’s article, which in turn contained another link at which I could buy the author’s book on the subject.

In this case, the email probed a particular spat among several Catholic personalities that, instead of sensibly dismissing with an eyeroll and a prayer, I decided to research so as to know which party was really in the wrong. Lacking sufficient coffee, I neglected to ask myself the actual value of undertaking such verification (the answer being “none”), and I pattered away at my laptop, calling up as much information as I could to form a reasonable opinion on the matter.

After spending more minutes on the task than I’d like to admit, I reached a disheartening conclusion: we Catholics are spilling quite a bit of digital ink on accusing, mocking, demeaning and judging each other. From social media to print to broadcast platforms, we’re tearing ourselves to shreds.


Politics, papal authority, the magisterium, the holy sacrifice of the Mass itself – all are seen as fair game for a fight among the ones who are, by virtue of their baptism, “incorporated in Christ” and “constituted as the people of God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 871).

Such a smackdown among the so-called saints is contrary to the “life worthy of the calling (we) have received,” as St. Paul notes: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph 4:1,2-3).

Without that cohesion, we can’t hope to bring Christ to our own dinner tables, let alone to a lost and wounded world that desperately needs him.

And although (especially as Americans) we’re quick to sound off about the right to express ourselves, St. Paul reminds us that we have been liberated by Christ for purposes greater than our own: “For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Gal 5:13-14).

Even from a practical perspective, such strife is counterproductive. While we’ve been busy “biting and devouring one another” (Gal 5:15), how many of our hungry brothers and sisters have gone unfed? How many unclothed and unsheltered? How many enslaved by human trafficking, addiction, persecution and injustice?


As we’ve tapped out our wrath on our cell phones, how many hours has Christ in the Blessed Sacrament remained unadored in our tabernacles, unwelcomed in the Eucharist? How much dust has gathered on our Bibles; how many rosary beads have been left untouched?

How many persons have breathed their last, unevangelized, because we would not quit our soapboxes for the sake of souls?

Division doesn’t come from the Triune God who is one, but rather from the enemy, who from Eden to the internet and everywhere in between has sought “only to steal and slaughter and destroy” (Jn 10:10). Indeed, the moments I wasted on my recent cyberspace excursion were lost to “foolish and ignorant debates” that do nothing more than “breed quarrels” (2 Tim 2:3).

The enemy, who “(prowls) around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour” (1 Pt 5:8), has done enough damage on our watch. Let us reclaim the time by dressing the wounds within our Catholic family, and working to build the kingdom of God on earth.


Gina Christian is a senior content producer at, host of the Inside podcast and author of the forthcoming book “Stations of the Cross for Sexual Abuse Survivors.” Follow her on Twitter at @GinaJesseReina.