The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Bloggers “shining a spotlight on Catholics who do not live the faith”

posted by jmcgee

504-Catholic_Rage.sff.standalone.prod_affiliate.81.jpg The AP’s Rachel Zoll has discovered something that may not be news to some of us in the blogosphere:

Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it’s not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn’t Catholic enough.

Enraged by dissent that they believe has gone unchecked for decades, and unafraid to say so in the starkest language, these activists are naming names and unsettling the church.

-In the Archdiocese of Boston, parishioners are dissecting the work of a top adviser to the cardinal for any hint of Marxist influence.

-Bloggers are combing through campaign finance records to expose staff of Catholic agencies who donate to politicians who support abortion rights.

-RealCatholicTV.com, working from studios in suburban Detroit, is hunting for “traitorous” nuns, priests or bishops throughout the American church.

“We’re no more engaged in a witch hunt than a doctor excising a cancer is engaged in a witch hunt,” said Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV.com and St. Michael’s Media. “We’re just shining a spotlight on people who are Catholics who do not live the faith.”

John Allen, Vatican analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, has dubbed this trend “Taliban Catholicism.” But he says it’s not a strictly conservative phenomenon – liberals can fit the mindset, too, Allen says. Some left-leaning Catholics are outraged by any exercise of church authority.

Yet on the Internet and in the church, conservatives are having the bigger impact.

Check out some examples at the link.

Meantime, Fr. Jim Martin is (understandably) unimpressed:

This is a disastrous trend for the Catholic church, for several reasons.

First of all, too many of these inquisitorial bloggers attack anonymously, which makes it next to impossible to hold them to any real accountability. Likewise, many commenters on such blogs also hide their real identities when carrying out their own attacks, which also get linked to and repeated by other bloggers. This seems utterly craven and completely cowardly: If you are so sure of your fidelity to the Catholic church, so sure of the veracity of your opinions, and so sure of your mission, why are you hiding behind a pseudonym? Those who are attacked by those bearing fake names have real names, real reputations and real jobs at stake.

Second, many these attack-bloggers betray little theological knowledge. It is one thing to be informed by a theological scholar with years of relevant experience working at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for example, that your article or book or lecture is not in keeping with the tenets of faith. Or to have your work critiqued by someone who has carefully considered your arguments, and after weighing what you say regarding the tradition, responds in charity. It is quite another to be attacked with snide comments by someone barely out of college who spends his days cherry-picking quotes and thumbing through the Catechism in an endless game of gotcha.

Third, the focus of their blogs is almost risibly narrow. Here are the sole topics of interest, in the order in which they cause foaming at the mouth (or on the keyboard): homosexuality, abortion, wormen’s ordination, birth control, liturgical abuses and church authority. Is this the sum total of what makes us Catholic?

Read the rest.



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kenneth

posted October 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm


“Is this the sum total of what makes us Catholic?”
Increasingly, yes, at least in the outward public sphere. These bloggers are only following the example of the Vatican and U.S. bishops in their relentless drive to “purify” the Church and world of all things that aren’t “Catholic enough.” They may be doing so in ways that are theologically unsound and uncharitable, but they very much see themselves as taking up the charge of their leaders, and taking it steps further than those leaders have the guts or political mobility to do. As a historian, I can tell you that this is a (very) bad sign for the Church’s immediate future. Once movements tilt too far toward extremism, they inevitably start eating their own. You can see this in the histories of the French Revolution, the Khmer Rouge, Stalin – basically any group which had a utopian view or charismatic leader and an agenda to create a “pure” vision of society and itself. The exact ideology of the movement is immaterial. It happens to atheist movements, but it also happened at Jonestown, a group of very decent well meaning folks who lost their way.
Take a close look at two of the trends at play here. One, how the circles of suspicion tighten. It started with politicians and people who were obviously “CINO.” It’s rapidly progressing to where even conservative Catholics are under suspicion. In fact, “loyalty” itself will soon become the mark of a traitor. The most ideologically committed will soon find themselves in the guillotine because their loyalty meant they were “trying too hard” and covering up their traitorous intent. The second trend of concern, of course, is the utter lack of accountability or transparency in the mob actions which do the enforcing of the regime.
Folks, you’ve got some VERY ugly forces at play, and if you don’t address them, your organization is going to implode. People who know me on here will wonder why a pagan often critical of the Church would care. Two reasons. One, the ideological movement working to devour your Church has the same thing in mind for society at large. Elements of it are, I believe, hoping to expand it to an armed movement. Call me paranoid if you wish, but I hear rumblings in this society that are not so very different from Germany of the 1920s. Secondly, while I will always work to limit the Church’s undue influence on a pluralistic society, I have no interest in seeing it implode, for the simple reason that I don’t need the waves of spiritual refugees showing up in my faith movement. We don’t need lots more spiritually and emotionally damaged people. We have enough in the pipeline to last us a while.



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Mark Hartman

posted October 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm


No, Fr. Jim, these issues are not “the sum total of what makes us Catholic.” But they DO seem to many of us to be the sum total of what the liberal dissidents, such as yourself, whine about.
Frankly, in my opinion, the mere fact that liberal priests such as yourself have not been laicized long ago is nothing short of a huge scandal in the Church, one almost as large as – and undoubtedly contributing to – the sexual abuse scandal.



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Ryan Ellis

posted October 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm


It’s funny how liberal Baby Boomer types are all about “power to the people” until the people turn on them. They are petty tyrants, and thank God for the Internet. It’s part of the implementation of Vatican II, actually. The laity are asserting their role as full members of the Church. Take that, liberals.
Their day is over. A new conservative-orthodox dawn is getting brighter all the time.
Don’t worry, liberals. There will be plenty of cassock-and-biretta wearing priests ready to give you Extreme Unction (in the Extraordinary Form, of course) when you go to meet your judge.



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Dante

posted October 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm


Hiding behind a pseudonym is done for primariluy one reason, Fr. Martin: RETALIATION. Those of us who were in theology in the late 70s-80’s know much about that word. Books such as “Goodbye Good Men”, “”Sisters in Crisis”, or the “Battle for the Amercian Church” series by the late Msgr Kelly were NOT works of fiction. Those under 30 would do well to pick up any one of these to better understand where those of us 45+ are coming from. Sadly in my archdiocese and others as well these liberal remnants of 1970s theology are still very much in chancery positions or at least influential. Prayer for them and for us is always #1, but action is also required. I would think the liberals should see this necessity for they were among the loudest back in the day to shout out the need to ACT and not just pray when a Christian encounters social and ecclesial injustice. May God bless us all and may His pergect Will be done by us all.



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Ruth Ann

posted October 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm


Deacon Greg, I am happy to see someone is starting to talk about this trend in blogging. I try to take my cues from the teaching office of the Church, but in the way that Fr. Jim Martin has expressed.
For me, who has been a life long Catholic, well-educated in the faith, and faithful to living it out since my childhood, I feel alarmed by the tactics of bloggers who really don’t know as much about the faith and living it as they think they do.
I try to read from a variety of sources so I can get a balance of information and opinions from across the spectrum.
Remarks like those of Mark and Ryan disturb me. They are full of stereotypes, as are many of the blogger posts from people of their ilk.



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Frank Hannon

posted October 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm


“Third, the focus of their blogs is almost risibly narrow. Here are the sole topics of interest, in the order in which they cause foaming at the mouth (or on the keyboard): homosexuality, abortion, wormen’s ordination, birth control, liturgical abuses and church authority. Is this the sum total of what makes us Catholic?”
Father Martin sounds very much like a Cafeteria Plan Catholic.



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Hm

posted October 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm


I am a relatively new reader of the Deacon’s Bench, so perhaps I have missed the goal of the blog. (I came in at the Chilean Miner stories. The deadoc connections about St. Stephan and St. Lawrence were interesting to me since I teach Church History.) I enjoy and usually find informative the posts. However, Deacon Greg, I am wondering what is the purpose of this latest post, to set up a dialogue or propose an agenda?
[Hm … no agenda here. Just looking for an interesting discussion. Dcn. G.]



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Ttarp

posted October 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm


Makes me think of this past Sunday’s gospel. I had the feeling that we weren’t supposed to think, “Thank God I am not like the rest of humanity…”



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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

posted October 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm


This is no excuse for vicious, deceitful, dismembering of the Body of Christ and certainly not for it to be done anonymously, by any so-called “side” allegedly “protecting” the faith. The vitriol and secrecy of these acts is so disturbing and antithetical to the faith we profess as Roman Catholics.
We are called in unity, redeemed by Christ and we must as different members come together in some way. This is not some kumbayah cry for togetherness but the imperative of Jesus himself!
As for anonymity, please – fear of retaliation? Saints and martyrs, known and unknown, have died terrible deaths for us all and we express an online fear of retaliation? God has called each one of us by name, God has written our very name on the palm of his hand. How can we hide? And why would we?



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Katherine

posted October 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm


Frank,
I don’t know what religon you are a member of, but the basic statement of the Catholic faith, to which I am a member of, is the Creed. It is part of the rite of Baptism, from which we are made members of the Catholic Church and it is part of the Sunday Eucharistic celebration, from which we are nourished in the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
There is more to the Catholic faith than the Creeds and the Sacraments, but there is nothing more basic and foundational no matter how certain people have pet issues that ringer their buzzer.



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 25, 2010 at 3:22 pm


Exactly, Ttarp! “Thank God I don’t… fill in the blank (have abortions; use birth control, fornicate, have homosexual thoughts; have unpure thoughts that Liturgy could be improved; and don’t have another opinion than the Pope on anything). It’s “good and holy” that I’m uncharitable, condescending, arrogant in defense of Mother Church.



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Steve

posted October 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm


I’m surprised, I guess, that someone in the comments above has labeled Fr. James Martin as a liberal Catholic, a “cafeteria” Catholic.
Many people–on the right as well as the left–qualify as cafeteria Catholics. I’m one myself, to be honest. But nothing I’ve ever read of Fr. Martin’s strikes me as expressing hesitance about the core teachings of Catholicism. Questioning, yes; thoughtful, yes. But since when do those qualities earn one a badge as a cafeteria Catholic (a term that many people regard as just one notch over from heretic)? Moderate and insightful Catholics are not the Church’s enemies. They never have been.



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm


I am aghast at what you spew, Ryan. At this moment of typing I pray Our Lord will grant you peace and consolation.



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm


Every Catholic is a Cafeteria Catholic, even Bishops. Until religious (in the realm of letter of the law) cloning is approved and intiated this will obviously be the unavoidable reality.
Cafteria Catholic has wrongly been stereotyped by the (same old suspect) issues of BC, married priests, women clergy, etc… That is a puerile definition and ironically limiting. Every faithful is obliged to follow his informed conscience and that alone assures Cafeteria Catholics.



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foxfan6

posted October 25, 2010 at 5:38 pm


Sensus Fidei,
“Every Catholic is a cafeteria Catholic?” I think not! I don’t consider myself a cafeteria Catholic; but before I go on the full attack, maybe our definitions aren’t the same. I consider a cafeteria Catholic, one who chooses to accept this doctrine or belief, but cannot or will not accept that one. An example would be one who believes all the church teaches except the teaching on premarital sex. If a person believes it is, or should be, totally acceptable for two grown up but unmarried eighteen year olds to have sex with each other because they are “in love,” or for any reason, for that matter; I would call that person a cafeteria Catholic. Of course they wouldn’t have to be eighteen; they could be 45 and 40, or 35 and 20, or between marriages. Hopefully you get my drift. I am one who believes in and, at times, with great effort, attempts to follow all of the Catholic Church’s teachings; and by my definition, am not a cafeteria Catholic.
“Every faithful is obliged to follow his informed conscience and that alone assures Cafeteria Catholics.”
Let’s restate this to what it should correctly read: Every faithful is obliged to follow “the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Not all consciences are informed, nor are they active.



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Jim

posted October 25, 2010 at 5:53 pm


This past Sunday’s gospel is being lived out in the here and now. I’m glad I’m like the tax collector. I know I am a sinner and I know God forgives and loves me. The Catholic Taliban, the Priest Police, the Rigid Right, whatever name they live up to, are none other than the modern-day Pharisees. And, let’s remember, when Christ chose the 12 he did not include any of the Pharisees. He chose those who were humble and simple. And let us also remember that God never bestowed upon any individual or church the ability to put themselves in God’s place and judge. How do these self-righteous children of God justify what they are doing?



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Ann Brown

posted October 25, 2010 at 6:08 pm


Please read below, and answer “Yes” or “No” are you a true Christian or a Counterfeit Christian
This is a good and easy way to tell if you follow CHRIST and carry your cross ‘even when it is hard’ we are all sinners and need Jesus to live, but those that claim to be with Christ but still live for themselves are only hurting themselves.
Counterfeit Christian are self deceived.
A) They are unwilling to lose their old life for God’s sake.
“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. –Matthew 10:37-39
B) They are not truly believers as shown by their falling away due to worldly pleasures, ridicule, or the like.
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” — Matthew 13:18-23
A contempt for the Word of God, and the Name of God, as shown by its disuse or misuse. This is rampant in today’s church: preachers and teachers who casually invoke God’s name to justify wrong ideas and ignore, water down, or misuse Scriptures to make the message conform to their own ideas and desires. Beyond church leaders, casual misuse of God’s name (even as an exclamatory phrase) has become an epidemic — not to mention houses full of Bibles that rarely see a page turned.
They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. — Psalms 139:20
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:2
For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. — Philippians 3:18-19
No fruit of the Spirit, rather continued evidence of being a slave to sin. While a Christian may fall into sin for which they will repent, the counterfeit Christian lives in sin. There is a big difference between the saint who struggles to not sin and the sinner who sins.
Worldly pleasures and desires are more important than gods law .The acts of the sinful nature are .: sexual immorality, practicing homosexuals, pro-abortion, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. — Galatians 5:19-23
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. — John 8:34-36
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity-for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. — 2 Peter 2:19
Guilt and regrets. The counterfeit Christian, as with all the unsaved, have no means to ease their guilty conscience. In contrast, while a Christian may struggle (as with any sin) with feelings of guilt and regrets, the Christian has assurance by the Holy Spirit that our guilty conscience was cleansed and our failings and past sins are forgiven and forgotten (see Psalms 103:12, Jeremiah 50:20 and Micah 7:19). The counterfeit Christian often looks to a counterfeit solution for the guilty conscience, training themselves to ignore it, and ending up with a conscience that is seared.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.– 2 Corinthians 7:10
Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. — John 9:41
… let us [Christians] draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience… — Hebrews 10:22
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. — 1 Timothy 4:1-2
False assurance. When their assurance of salvation rests in false belief the individual gains a personal complacency. The strength of this false assurance and complacency is show by the fact that many will even come before God, claiming Him as Lord, and try to justify themselves…
For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. — Psalms 36:2
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ — Matthew 7:21-23
For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. — Romans 10:2-3
False assurance allows churches to be full of religious people who have persuaded themselves (or worse still, have been persuaded by their leaders, see 2 Timothy 4:3) that they’re okay and have no need to change.



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romancrusader

posted October 25, 2010 at 6:39 pm


“The Catholic Taliban, the Priest Police, the Rigid Right, whatever name they live up to, are none other than the modern-day Pharisees. And, let’s remember, when Christ chose the 12 he did not include any of the Pharisees. He chose those who were humble and simple. And let us also remember that God never bestowed upon any individual or church the ability to put themselves in God’s place and judge. How do these self-righteous children of God justify what they are doing?”
Huh? Jesus also said that we are to reproof. Are we not our neighbor’s keeper? Are we not to call sin for what it is? Do you have a problem with AmericanPapist, Father Z and that bunch? I take offense to what you say here. Maybe you should read the scripture of correcting people and exposing evil for what it is.



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romancrusader

posted October 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm


I also think that it is extremely important to heterodox Catholics that everyone know that they are Catholics, while they are openly defying and/or defaming the Church. It makes them feel that they are better off than the Protestants.



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm


Did you take offense to anything Ryan said, Roman?
“Don’t worry, liberals. There will be plenty of cassock-and-biretta wearing priests ready to give you Extreme Unction (in the Extraordinary Form, of course) when you go to meet your judge.”
If not, you have proven yourself to be a Cafeteria Catholic. You either condone his uncharitable characterizations or refuse to correct him. Therefore, you choose to insult others and exude an arrogant, demeaning attitude, rather than a holy one of Christ Jesus.
We don’t have the pleasure of knowing a single faithful Cafeteria Catholic (aka normal holy, prayerful person in the Sanctuary and pews) who has ever indicated they “think they are better off than Protestants.” You and your ilk have claim to that.
“Are we not our neighbor’s keeper?” All we need to do is look at the treasured example of St. Francis of Assisi: DO, give and BE Christ to others and when all has been exhausted, feel free to add words.
The hypocrisy has been exposed and more eyes are being opened. It took awhile for some of us to either catch on or verbalize it because it is perverse that the few who claim to be uberly committed in some cases can be boiled down to “just words.” There exists a small faction of pro-life extremists who will talk anti-choice up a storm (and unconscionably attack faithful servants such as Sr. McBride who saved the life that could be saved) but physically do few womb to tomb seamless garment pro-life acts. They are thankfully few but sadly squeaky enough to make a tragically big impression. And they are delusional because they do not acknowledge realities surrounding us.
Of course we all have ideals, personal ones and community ideals. But when you refuse to admit what is actually occurring so that you can address or change it, your cause is doomed. And yes, this refers to the “most critical issues” in our Church currently — birth control, yada yada.
Foxfan — sincere question: in your definition would you consider Sean Hannity a Cafeteria Catholic based on what he relayed to Fr. Euteneur seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usTWwSbpWRc ? Sean said he teaches his children abstinence (and honors the Sacrament of Matrimony from what we know) but recognizes that not everyone in the world is Catholic and so he would rather they use artificial birth control than end up having abortions.(And yes we all know self-control is the answer and saves the day, but given the realistic nil chance of that being adhered to, which is it for non-Catholics… non-life creating condoms or abortions?



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Lisa

posted October 25, 2010 at 8:50 pm


Bringing in this past Sunday’s gospel can lead to irony, of course, as the liberal Catholics stand in judgment of the conservatives whom they consider too jugmental and thank God for not making them one of them…
By the way, does anyone read Michael Sean Winters? The liberal who blogs at the liberal National catholic Reporter, formerly with the liberal America, who brands his fellow Catholics with “Yahoo watch?”
Because the liberals are all about unity and civility?



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm


Liberal obsessed Lisa, my dear, how do you exist? Independent here, but you probably surmised it… what informed conscience compelled Cafeteria Catholic wouldn’t be!



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Dana MacKenzie

posted October 25, 2010 at 9:23 pm


“And, let’s remember, when Christ chose the 12 he did not include any of the Pharisees.”
Ummm…let us also remember…when he did choose a Pharisee (in St. Paul) he chose a dilly!
I think we can safely say that both sides have their vicious Michael Sean Winters and their weird RealCatholicTV guys. God help us all, but I do think that most Catholics (both “trad” and “prog”) are more interested in treating each other with a bit of respect.
At least I hope that’s true.
And Deacon, may I say one more time, how much I despise this captcha thing, which uses words that are so weird, that even if you try to listen to them, they still make no sense. Death to captcha!



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Belen

posted October 25, 2010 at 9:23 pm


many of these “ultra-conservative catholics” – I find the expression “taliban catholics” to be uncharitable, unfitted and untrue – are, sometimes, doing a good job: exposing the evil, criticizing some of the clergy, teaching what the church actually believes in. BUT, and this is something that I highly dislike about them, they can be VERY LEGALISTIC. Being legalistic is bad, but being VERY legalistic is even worse. They can fall into this “intellectual -arrogant – holier than thou- I please the Lord because I live the faith and your way of living the faith is utterly WRONG even though you’re a good,practicing catholic” kind of catholicism. They CAN become, at times, like the pharisees of the twenty-first century. I think both liberals and ultra-conservatives are damaging to the Church and need to get back to a simpler and more humble way of living the faith.



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Goodguyex

posted October 25, 2010 at 10:50 pm


Belen, I tend to agree with you up to a point. The problem is today there are far too many nominal Catholics/Christians. And all too many nominal Catholics assume a cultural identity without faith or practice just like secular Jews.
The idea of a thoroughly secular Christian is something of an oxymoron. Practicing Jews may accept secular and even atheistic Jews as Jews, but religious Catholics do not have to accept “secular anti-church Catholics” as Catholics. I do not think one should be allowed to call himself a Catholic unless he has Christian faith and does some effort in practice. I am not sure what the boundary should be but it should be out there somewhere.
Concerning last weeks Gospel about the Pharisee and the publican (tax collector), Jesus did not say the Pharisee was evil or even a bad sinner. He was not. His problem is that he came to the Temple not to worshop God but to grandise himself. The publican came to worshop God and confess himself to God even though he was a bad sinner.
And Jesus did not say the Pharisee was eternally doomed, He only said that the publican left the Temple in this case justified and the Pharisee did not.
If the conservative Catholic is proud and agrandizing himself and not considering the “publican” Catholic then he is something of a Pharisee.
The only question today is “where are the “publican” Catholics who break all the rules but then enter a church an confess with real contrition that they are horrible sinners?”



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Belen

posted October 25, 2010 at 11:13 pm


Goodguyex, thanks for your response. I’m not denying the reality of the huge problem the Church has with nominal “catholic christians”. But besides having these “catholics”, we have good, practicing catholics who are living their faith in communion with the Bishop of Rome and still get criticised by these alleged “real catholics”.Believe me, I have seen some of these people criticising some catholic movements like the Charismatic Renewal just because they don’t celebrate the latin mass, e.g., or because their “spiritual language”, if you can call it that way, is a little bit different than the “spiritual language” of the “average” catholic, using expressions like “God bless you”, “ministry”, “the Bible says..”, etc. I’m charismatic and I sometimes have to see some of these people thinking their better catholics than me or my charismatic siblings, treating the movement almost as if it were a heresy or full of heresies (I don’t deny there may be some abuses but, all in all, the charismatic movement has been a real blessing for the Church) and criticising our expressions, enthusiasm, etc. So yes, the ultra conservative catholics are, sometimes (not always), legalistic, because of what i’ve just said and more.



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Goodguyex

posted October 25, 2010 at 11:34 pm


The Catholic Charismatic renewal is basically OK. Or at least it was when I was with it decades ago in Louisiana. It may not be that way everywhere, but I found it quite good. It has its function and can be a great part of the journey and pilgrimage of ones Christian life.
There was always non-denominational and mega-churches trying to pick off people, of course. And I well remember the Jack Chick pamplets being circulated at the time.
Whenever you have something like this there will always be a problem with wineskins.



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kenneth

posted October 26, 2010 at 3:00 am


“I do not think one should be allowed to call himself a Catholic unless he has Christian faith and does some effort in practice. I am not sure what the boundary should be but it should be out there somewhere.”
Here’s the main problem with that reasoning: The Church offers no way by which someone can ever truly NOT be called a Catholic by the Church. There are many tens of millions of us who are not Christian in faith or practice and yet are, according to Canon Law, still Catholics. Why should they feel obligated to take off the label the Church says they can never take off? The Church very much likes to have it both ways these days. They want to claim that essentially everyone in the Western Hemisphere and Europe is Catholic, forever, but then suggest that only “real Catholics” count. You can’t have both.



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Goodguyex

posted October 26, 2010 at 3:23 am


Kennith writes “Here’s the main problem with that reasoning: The Church offers no way by which someone can ever truly NOT be called a Catholic by the Church.”
You have something a point. You were given something of a 2000 year old “tatoo” that you did not ask for.
But the Church is slow to move but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is high time to stop infant Baptism for children of parents who are not practicing. That would be a start.



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Goodguyex

posted October 26, 2010 at 3:32 am


And Kennith, if you are talking about ways to lift off your “tatoo”, without some outrageously egregious public action on your part maybe that can be developed also, but I am not sure how.
Maybe some sort of un-Christening or sorts; with public apostasy or something.



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 26, 2010 at 7:32 am


Think “Count me Out” was instituted in Ireland along these lines — http://www.countmeout.ie/
Terribly sad what we’ve come to, that faithful felt so betrayed and abandoned by scandal.



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Goodguyex

posted October 26, 2010 at 8:01 am


Sensus Fidei, kenneth; maybe one way to ritualize or authentical the removal of your “tatoo” is to have a system where the original Baptismal Certificate in the parish records where you were Baptised be stamped “Apostate” or “Count me out” or something like that. (The Baptismal cert could remain there, not thrown out, because you could always return and have it “revalidated”.)
That ritual should give you the psychic freedom you need from your hang-ups, and it be something of an “official” self-ex-communication and it would get rid of the hypocracy of you being some sort of “Catholic”.
Then you could get on with it and do other things. I think you really should go. You want to go.



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 26, 2010 at 8:13 am


Oh no, I’m not going anywhere, sorry to disappoint you. Your lack of Christian example and concern is stunningly noted. “I think you really should go.”
I was simply relaying something that exists. If you choose not to know the news and reality, carry on.
Hang ups? You jest, don’t let those three fingers tickle you. We the faithful majority serving in the Sanctuary and filling the pews are far past your suggested “hang ups.”



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 26, 2010 at 8:38 am


“It is high time to stop infant Baptism for children of parents who are not practicing. That would be a start.”
Sure would be a jump start to the end. Why are you so intent on slamming the doors? And by what authority?
But if you don’t dare think logically or put on a business cap… theologically then, who is receiving the Sacrament and why punish the innocents? Remember, it’s all alwaaaays about the innocents… these happen to be born innocents, don’t they count too?



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Dave

posted October 26, 2010 at 9:23 am


Deacon Greg,
After reading all these I still have HOPE that God has a sense of humor for all his children. If not we are in serious trouble.



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 26, 2010 at 9:33 am


SOH is the 8th Gift of the Holy Spirit, Dave!



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Tony de New York

posted October 26, 2010 at 10:13 am


For DECADES disidents Catholic have the power and authority in universities, schools, chanceries, priests, bishops, catholic press etc. Now that regular laity had enough of their non sense they r crying wolf.
Son unos cara duras.



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 26, 2010 at 10:21 am


Tony, of what reality do you speak? Are you aware of religious research studies?
Would love for you to name 3 dissident Bishops. They would only be chosen if the Holy Spirit had a say in it.



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kenneth

posted October 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm


There IS a procedure called formal defection whereby you notify a bishop of your formal departure and its supposed to be noted on your baptism record. I did just that over a year ago. However, the Church still doesn’t consider you a “former” Catholic. More recently, they have even apparently gotten rid of this process under a recent ruling pertaining to defection and marriage. So as long as it lays claim to people who don’t want to be a part of it, the Church is stuck with all those who they’d rather not have wear the label.



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 26, 2010 at 12:41 pm


No surprise that we can’t make good on that record keeping task for the dearly departed. To be candid, every single parish we know (great, prayerful people for certain) makes educated guesses and takes numbers from God when it came to completing the dastardly dreaded diocesan reports.



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Dcn Fred Horgan

posted October 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm


WOW – God does have a sense of humor …. surely there’s just too much evidence of it everywhere.
And I wonder if Jesus ever had to raise his voice … hmm
and now I know what CAPTCHA means.



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gustave verdult

posted October 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm


Our Pastor Fr. O’Gorman at sait Anne’s church has removed the kneeling benches. People are now forced to stand during the consecration of the bread and wine. Canon law reads, “KNEEL” But our intelligent pastor has good reason to disobey such laws. In case of an earthquake it will be much easier for the people to exit the church.
gustaveverdult.com



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Tony de New York

posted October 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm


“Would love for you to name 3 dissident Bishops”
Bishop Matthew Harvey Clark
Archbishop Rembert George Weakland
Bishop Raymond Alphonse Lucker



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Smith

posted October 27, 2010 at 8:44 pm


These bloggers are forgetting the 8th commandment…
“Everyone should observe an appropriate reserve concerning persons’ private lives…” “Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty…of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them.”(Catechism 2492 and 2477)



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