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‘Catholic’ university professor issues nasty-gram about Chaput July 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, silliness.

I found this on CatholicVote, which said that this letter represents the exact antithesis of the author of the post at CatholicVote, and my own thinking.  In fact, the professor’s column is a stunning example of the condemned heresy of ‘Americanism.’  And this, from a professor at a nominally Catholic university (Dayton). I will add some comments in red:

It was announced last week that his [Cardinal Rigali’s] successor will be Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, one of America’s most outspoken Catholic conservatives. [I disagree with this assessment – I would argue that Chaput is one of the bishops most faithful to a traditional view of Church Doctrine]. The appointment shows that the Vatican accepts the strange idea that the church’s problems in this country have come about because Catholics are too American – too tainted by America’s “culture of death” – and because U.S. bishops and priests are too sensitive to what lay people and non-Catholics think. [That is, in essence, the condemned heresy of Americanism, which this author evidently fully embraces.  In fact, Americanism, which contains many dispirate beliefs but essentially puts the individual in the position of primacy, against the rights of God and His Church, was rampant in the Church in the US by the 1890s and is still very widespread today. In fact, many of the ideas that today are seen as ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive,’ are actually very old ideas categorized as ‘Americanism’ by Pope Leo XIII].

What is needed, the Vatican seems to believe, are leaders who “put the church first,” [wow, imagine that – Church leaders who put the Church first!] assert the authority of bishops and priests, and make no pastoral or political concessions on supposedly nonnegotiable Catholic teachings about abortion, homosexuality, and female priests. [What the author means is, these bishops and priests actually puts into practice the beliefs of the Church, instead of ignoring them in favor of ‘pastoral’ considerations, which often means, failing to enforce the Doctrine of the Faith.  In fact, these are not ‘supposedly non-negotiable’ beliefs – they are non-negotiable!  The heresy of Americanism asserts that the Church does not have a right to demand obedience to the Doctrine of the Faith]

This winter will see the introduction of a revised liturgy produced by the Holy See, whose handpicked committee made some 10,000 changes to the version approved by the vast majority of bishops in the English-speaking world. Locally, bishops and priests can make use of lay ministers and advisers, but they are required to make the difference between laity and priests very clear – as if this were somehow in doubt. Restoration of hierarchical and clerical power in the church, under the guise of “real Catholicism,” appears to be the order of the day. [As opposed to the collapse of Authority and liturgical and theological anarchy?  Is that what the author prefers?  Is this entire piece just a swipe at the new translations of the Sacred Liturgy?]

Chaput fits this pattern. His promotion most likely came about because of the support of Americans with influence at the Vatican. The most powerful of these is Raymond Burke, now head of the Vatican’s highest court, who regularly makes the restorationist agenda clear. [I, for one, believe the Church can always use ‘restoration.’]  Chaput is cut from the same cloth as Burke, who launched the church’s continuing campaign to humiliate Catholic Democratic politicians when he denied Communion to a respected Catholic congressman, David Obey of Wisconsin, in 2003. [Was that the point of the campaign – to humiliate them?  From a dogmatically partisan political perspective, perhaps, but from a Catholic perspective, the efforts to deny Communion were profoundly compassionate.  Rather than allowing politicians who had committed serial mortal sin in public from compounding their sin by committing sacrilege (receiving Communion unworthily), these prelates both tried to shield them from further sin and imposed a canonical penalty designed to shake them from their sin and return them to the life of Grace.  If they felt humiliated, perhaps that was God’s Word speaking softly in their soul, trying to return them to the narrow path].

Chaput thought that was a great idea, and he made it clear that then-presidential candidate John Kerry should not appear at the Communion rail in his jurisdiction. He wrote a book arguing that real Catholics would reject John Kennedy’s famous distinction between his religion and his public service, and would always support legislative efforts to enforce Catholic moral teaching. [As  indeed they should.  I fully support Chaput’s plain explanation of Catholic belief in this area, as well as his efforts to enforce that belief.  What Kennedy did was a disastrous example of pragmatic, self-serving Americanism]

Like Burke, Chaput makes no secret of his disdain for outspoken Catholic reformers, especially women, [they are not reformers, they are apostates and almost constantly hostile to the Church] and he played a leading role in reducing the influence and resources of the national bishops’ conference. [The USCCB has no authority, except in narrow areas given it by the bishops themselves, which can be undone at anytime.  Personally, I do not think national or most other conferences like this are helpful.  They tend to become their own, self-serving entities] Chaput is, in short, a company man – a churchman.

Like the Americans who serve at the Vatican, Chaput puts the institutional church first, and he seems to think everyone else should, too. [You know who else thought that way?  Jesus Christ!] According to this view, the church is not the “people of God” – a biblical idea restored by Vatican II that conservatives think has done much damage. For them, the church is the hierarchy, and especially the pope. [This is completely wrong.  The Church is both the Pope and the bishops in union with him AND the people who are faithful to the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church.  Or honestly trying to be faithful.  This professor is trying to set up a false dichotomy, pitting the laity against the hierarchy, asserting that power accrued to one is power denied to the other (and, remember, for liberals, it is always about power).  In fact, the most basic tenets of the Faith dictate obedience.  The Church is not a fuzzy body of people who sort of kind of feel the same way about some topics, and who think Jesus Christ may or may not have been Divine, but anyways was a really cool guy who said some really cool things.  We’ve tried that approach in this country for decades and the result is a Church near prostrate and incalculable damage to millions of souls.  From the earliest days of the Church, it has viewed itself as consisting those people who believe what the Church teaches, and the arbiters and enforcers of that belief are the Pope and the bishops in union with him.  The very term ‘orthodoxy,’ which the Greeks maintain as the name of their Church, comes from ‘right prayer/right belief.’  If you pray and believe rightly, you are a faithful member of the Church.  Many of us stumble, that is understood, but it is the orientation to obey that is paramount.  Conscious, intentional dissent from Church Doctrine is, and always has been, heresy, and puts one outside the bounds of the Church. 

OK – so I wrote more than a little bit! 

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