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More Catholic bashing – this time from a catholyc July 21, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals.
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This time it’s, uh, Time Magazine……using a catholyc to bash his self-described church:

Rome’s misogynous declaration, tossed into its new guidelines on reporting clerical sexual abuse, did more than just highlight the church’s hoary horror at the idea of female priests…It also pointed up an increasingly spiteful rhetoric of bigotry. When Argentina in mid-July legalized gay marriage, the country’s Catholic bishops weren’t content to simply denounce the legislation; they used the occasion to argue for the subhumanity of homosexual men and lesbians, the way many white Southern preachers weren’t ashamed to degrade African Americans during the civil rights movement. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio not only called the new law “a scheme to destroy God’s plan”; he termed it “a real and dire anthropological throwback,” as if homosexuality were evolutionarily inferior to heterosexuality….

What’s at stake is the Catholic Church’s ability to salvage any moral authority from the sexual-abuse tragedy. The fact is, it can still do that without ordaining women. But it can’t do it while digging itself a deeper hole like a defendant hurling insults at a judge. It can’t do it by excommunicating a hospital nun, as an Arizona bishop recently did, because she signed off on an abortion that saved a mother’s life. It can’t do it by losing sight of the difference between dogged traditionalism and mean-spirited obscurantism, as it so often does these days.

And it’s sounding that way to Catholics as much as it is to non-Catholics. Many if not most of us Catholics remain Catholics today not because of the church’s leadership but in spite of it. In a new Gallup poll, 62% of U.S. Catholics say gay relationships are morally acceptable. Which means we’re not thrilled to have our religion represented by a bunch of homophobes wearing miters….

When it comes down to a contest between leftism and adherence to the Faith, for catholycs, it isn’t even a contest.  I don’t recall that specific poll, but let’s look at some very sad facts:

Fact #1 – Less than 20% of self-described Catholics in this country can be bothered to attend Mass every Sunday
Fact #2 – Fully a 1/3 of Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence
Fact #3 – There is an increasingly large segment of self-described Catholics who are at most “cultural Catholics,” meaning they no longer practice their Faith in any meaningful way but they continue to self-identify as Catholics
Fact#4 –  That 62% of Catholics disagree on a fundamental doctrine of the Faith, which is fully and repeatedly supported throughout Scripture, Old Testament and New, is a sign of incredibly poor formation, and the fact that for these cultural Catholics the doctrine professed by the Church is irrelevant.  They have come to believe, due to a number of reasons but including an incredibly poorly formed Vatican II document, that one can believe whatever one wants and still be a Catholic in good standing.  This is demonstrably false in the light of both Faith and reason, but for cultural Catholics, that is immaterial.

And so, we have a cultural Catholic, who rejects several core doctrines of the Faith and Sacred Scripture, lecturing the Church.  But this is no idle lecture – there is some surprisingly forward communication going on here.   When theauthor, Tim Padgett, states: “What’s at stake is the Catholic Church’s ability to salvage any moral authority from the sexual-abuse tragedy. The fact is, it can still do that without ordaining women. But it can’t do it while digging itself a deeper hole like a defendant hurling insults at a judge.”  This statement is a statement of a quid pro quo that would be acceptable to this particular leftist author (he describes Cuber as a paradise), and it is implied that it would buy off many other on the left, as well.  The Church is being told – “continue upholding your pathetically out of date doctrine, old man, and we’re going to hammer you until you’re completely broken.  But, if you play ball, we’ll back off and even throw you a puff piece of two.”

The writer goes on deeper into histrionics, embracing Dan Brown’s gnostic views of Mary Magdalene as a disciple and that a conspiracy to keep women down is the only reason women don’t get to be priests.  What a joke.  There is no evidence anywhere that women ever served as priests in the Church.  The idea that some few women may have been deacons for a brief period in the Church is the most evidence that’s ever been presented, and even their roles are not well understood and appear to have been extremely limited. 

Expect more of this, folks.  The knives are out.  There’s been a change in the air, and those who hate the Church, even those who claim to be of it, have determined that the sex abuse scandals and the general increase in secularization gives them a great open season to attack the Church with abandon.  What this author is trying to do is to change the Church to his vision, which involves accepting his left-wing ideology as a cornerstone of Church doctrine, trashing centuries of Tradition in favor of his social doctrine glorifying of gays, women priests, abortion, contraception, and divorce and remarriage.  

Go read the whole thing.  (safe link not to Time)

UPDATE:  More on the same subject from IgnatiusInsight. To wit:

The modern heretic, all in all, is a different animal. If he has any interest in theology, it’s usually a negative interest; he wishes it would go away. It is an annoying fly in the ointment of his grand scheme to remake the Church in his likeness and image. He usually embraces heresy not because he makes a mistake while pondering theological nuances but because he has accepted the dominant cultural mores and social attitudes and is now intent on remolding Catholicism to fit them, rather than scrutinizing them in the light of Catholic teaching.

UPDATE 2: Fr. Z has more on this.  His analysis is, as usual, more dispassionate and probing than mine:

You are not supposed to remain Catholic because of the Church’s leadership!

Who says the “leadership” merits anything in the end?  (And note that “leadership” reflects the lens of party politics through which he interprets the Church – e.g., “Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a devout Catholic, and other members of the House leadership today asserted that…”).

We are not a political party.  We are not caught up in the trap of personality or popularity that “Catholics” like this have slowly fallen into.

Catholics belong to the Holy Church of Jesus.  He saved us.  He is the only one who merits anything.  We belong to Holy Church because we are sinners and because the Church was Christ’s gift to us, and because the Church teaches the truth with Christ’s authority and dispenses the sacraments, the ordinary means of our salvation.

Though history we have had to choose to be Catholics in spite of our leadership, which is now and always has been made up of flawed sinners in need of a Savior.

UPDATE 2: My friend Steve B informed me that the number of Catholics rejecting the Real Presence is 2/3, not 1/3 as I stated.

Oh, and Fr. Z fisks this Time op-ed here

Who says the “leadership” merits anything in the end?  (And note that “leadership” reflects the lens of party politics through which he interprets the Church – e.g., “Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a devout Catholic, and other members of the House leadership today asserted that…”).

We are not a political party.  We are not caught up in the trap of personality or popularity that “Catholics” like this have slowly fallen into.

Catholics belong to the Holy Church of Jesus.  He saved us.  He is the only one who merits anything.  We belong to Holy Church because we are sinners and because the Church was Christ’s gift to us, and because the Church teaches the truth with Christ’s authority and dispenses the sacraments, the ordinary means of our salvation.

Through history we have had to choose to be Catholics in spite of our leadership, which is now and always has been made up of flawed sinners in need of a Savior.

Leave aside that our Catholic “leadership” is not nearly as bad as Padgett wants you to believe. 

But look what this fellow has done.  Look at his dependence on polling.

If polling says that 62% of Catholics think that an active homosexual lifestyle is acceptable, all that proves – even if we accept the accuracy of the poll – is that 62% of Catholics are wrong.

Catholic don’t do faith and morals by polls.

Manhattan Declaration – will Christian civil disobedience be required? July 21, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Society.
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Have you signed the Manhattan Declaration?  If you are a person of Faith who supports traditional marriage, the right to life for all persons regardless of age, and a traditional view of the nature of homosexuality, you should do so.  The Manhattan Declaration is an interfaith statement regarding government intrusion into matters that are rightly the domain of faith and the individual.  It was written to oppose the secularist moves towards forcing religion from the public sphere.  Given that the federal government is taking increasing steps to force Christians to tolerate, or even accept, views that are diametrically opposed to the doctrine of their faith, the Manhattan Declaration leaders, Chuck Colson, Robbie George, and Timoty George, ask: are we headed towards a time when Christians must engage in civil disobedience? 

Well, it’s not exactly a speech to send you sprinting to man the barricades, but hopefully you get the point.  Reader Subvet opined the other day about what can we do to further oppose the headlong rush of government and culture in embracing abortion, undermining marriage, and all the other things that concern Christians?  If the government begins to really fund abortion in the US, and electing a different Congress doesn’t change anything, then what?  Civil disobedience may be the next step.  This is non-violent obstructionism to express, in terms of action, not words, that the course of the government and the dissolution of Christian culture can go no further.  I relayed how, at one time, pro-life people used to link arms to deny entry to an abortion mill.  Are we headed for a time when widespread civil disobedience is the only way to communicate to the government and cultural elites that we will not stand idly by and watch centuries of Christian civilization disappear under the hobnailed boot of decadent secularism and militant atheism?   If we are headed in this direction, what form should this civil disobedience take? 

I don’t think we’re there yet.  But depending on how things progress over the next few years, we may soon be.

Patriarch Kirill praises Pope, blasts Protestant secularism July 21, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Ecumenism, General Catholic, Society.
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Ripping this off Catholic Culture from an Interfax translation, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russias had some rather generous words for the Holy Father while at the same time blasting protestant accomodation with the world.  In particular, the Patriarch was critical of protestant accomodation of women’s ordination and homosexuality.  From Catholic Culture:

Noting that the Pope is criticized by “liberal theologians and liberal mass media in the West,” Patriarch Kirill said that “on many public and moral issues his approach fully coincides with the approach of the Russian Orthodox Church. This gives us an opportunity to advocate Christian values together with the Catholic Church, in particular at international organizations and on the international arena.”

On the other hand, some Protestant bodies have “let sinful elements of the world enter their internal world and justify these elements, if they are offered by secular society … secular philosophical liberal stock phrases are repeated within Protestant churches and take root in religious thinking.”

For example, “the word of God is distorted to please the secular liberal standard” on homosexuality, the patriarch noted. “It is written in black and white that it is a sin.”

That latter bit ties in like a champ with a book I’m presently reading: Msgr. Gherardini’s The Ecumenical Council Vatican II: A Much Needed Discussion.   I just finished a section where Msgr. Gherardini just absolutely blasts false ecumenism, false because it compromises Truth in order to achieve “unity.”  And that unity is specious: by discounting core truths, the unity achieved is superficial, and yawning chasms of disagreement and papered over in the most desultory manner. 

What I pray the Orthodox and Catholic Churches are building towards is true unity.  A unity whereby the Seat of Peter is recognized with its proper Primacy and the Orthodox are incorporated back into the Catholic Church through a recognition and acceptance of all Catholic doctrine.  It could work in much the same way as the Ordinariate: on core doctrinal issues, there must be acceptance of what the Church believes, but that leaves wide areas open for individual expression in the Liturgy, in prayer life, and in the governance of geographical regions.  What I pray does not happen is that this recent diplomacy between Orthodoxy and Catholicism is simply a play to further strengthen the position of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, where any ‘compromise’ will be entirely one sided. 

We Catholics must once again have the courage of our convictions.  We cannot have what Msgr. Gherardini describes below:

From the council onwards there was a conciliatory spirit which could even be said to be accomodating, compromisingly uncritical, favorable to the prejudices of others, and almost convinced – even if not openly confessed – that “the other party” [largely secularized protestants in this case – ED] was, in the end, correct. (p. 122)

The good Msgr. is hitting on something I’ve observed in much of the “ecumenical dialogue” that took place during the 60’s, 70’s, and well beyond: the sense of disorder or even panic on the Catholic side, a sense of having lost the debate and casting about desperately for solutions.  This has led to numerous apologia to various groups ostensibly wronged by the Church, to ecumenism disconnected from Tradition that has led to such sloppy ‘agreements’ like the one on justification with the Lutherans, and to far too much accomodation with sects whose theology is demonstrably deficient. 

This trend has diminished greatly in recent years, especially since the Pontificate of Benedict XVI.  Good Pope Benedict XVI has rightly reinvigorated the Truth that all ecumenism must lead to acceptance of Roman Catholic doctrine, for the Catholic Church is the only Church that Christ has instituted as His Body on earth.  I pray that all efforts towards engagement with the Orthodox Church proceed on this basis.  This is not to diminish the truly great aspects of Orthodoxy, it is simply to re-state the obvious: for reunion to occur, the Orthodox will have to accept the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome fully and without reservation.