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Can We Please Have Our Own Church? Print E-mail
By Robert Royal   
Monday, 30 April 2012

When I was in junior high school, I went to watch Whitey Ford’s artistry on the mound at Yankee Stadium with a Jewish friend and his father. His mother made us some sandwiches to take along. A couple innings in, we pulled them out – quite lovely roast beef. But it was Friday. I was Catholic. As Jews with their own dietary disciplines, they immediately understood. Back then, people took it for granted that different faiths have particular ways of following God.

My friend’s family was largely assimilated and not especially observant. He went on to become one of Oliver North’s lawyers during the Iran/Contra trial. But I often think back to those days, when America not only honored religious tolerance with its lips. It – meaning we, and the institutions supposed to be by, of, and for the people – honored various faiths in simple practice as well – and mostly in silence, without theatrical gestures in front of TV cameras.

When you make arguments like this today, inevitably someone stands up and says, yes, but you’re forgetting the racism, inequality of women, and other prejudices of those times. I haven’t forgotten them at all. But whenever someone tries to change the subject, without dealing with the specific issue at hand, I also don’t forget that evasion has its reason.

It’s good that we overcame some of those earlier injustices; not so good that we lost the civic friendship and basic fairness towards religion that once surprised visitors to America.

It’s unbelievable to some people, but we’ve also arrived at a narrower sense of what religion is. After all, haven’t we all been to college now and come into contact with a “diverse” group of people, and maybe even studied other cultures with their religious traditions? And done semesters abroad?

Perhaps so, but much of this is what Camus once called “the usual mouthwash.” People may now have a superficial sense of different world religions, but just as many – believers and non-believers alike, to judge from appearances – have no experience with a rich, concrete, lived faith.

That’s the only possible explanation to some of the rude reactions this past week to the Vatican statement calling for the reform of American orders of women. If you read through it, you’ll see that Rome commends our nuns for the many and obvious contributions they have made to our religious and secular life.

But it’s less than delighted by the many and obvious departures from Catholic teaching by some members of the Leadership Conference of Women’s Religious (LCWR), an unfortunate remnant of an unfortunate time, namely the two decades following the Second Vatican Council.

In other words, it’s the religiosity and Catholicity of a segment of those women’s religious leaders that Rome has carefully identified and called on to reform. Those of us who owe much to the old dames and many of the nuns nominally “represented” by LCWR themselves know exactly what Rome means.

In one way, it’s unnecessary. The orders that most vigorously embraced the old sixties agenda are rapidly aging, without new vocations, and soon destined for the history books. By contrast, new and already reformed communities are generally begging for help – to support the significant numbers of young women they attract.

The defenders of the LCWR, however, have no eye for the disputed religiosity or the nonviability of an ill conceived and highly secularized model of consecrated life. Instead, they change the subject to the things no one is disputing, like the work of nuns in hospitals, schools, and relief agencies, which for anti-Rome purposes count as religious activities – though not when it comes to HHS regulations.

And like the more radical elements in LCWR – they judge, and I mean these “non-judgmental” types judge, Rome on the basis of flimsily crafted feminism, secular criteria, the bishops’ manifest failure in handling sexual abuse, and a conception of Church organization that is not and never has been Catholic.  

It’s often asked about dissenters: why do they stay? If you think Rome has no special authority to determine the full truth of Christianity, why stay connected with it? Talk of going “beyond Jesus” and “the evolution of consciousness,” two recent LCWR featured items, has a decidedly sixties odor – and non-Catholic feel.

By the 1970s, seeing the post-conciliar chaos, even the maverick theologian Karl Rahner warned, “The Church cannot be a debating society: it must be able to make decisions binding on all within it. Such a demand cannot be a priori contrary to man’s dignity if. . .he is indeed a social being.”

That’s the big picture. But it has humbler application. In most places, there’s probably a church building near the local Catholic church that has everything you may believe in: women priests, gay clergy and homosexual “marriages,” higher or lower forms of liturgy, structures that allow you to pick and choose among doctrines and practices. It’s called Protestantism, and a widely available option for whoever thinks it’s the right choice.

Protestants are generally quite decent human beings, often enough more devout than the average Catholic. Their churches are not what I think Jesus intended His Church to be. But as Vatican II stated, they still retain many authentic elements of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Insofar as that’s so, it’s an honorable choice for people who remain unpersuaded, for whatever reason, by Catholicism.

But it’s disrespectful, disingenuous, and offensive for non-Catholics to criticize the Church for being Catholic. Tell us we’re wrong, but don’t tell us – even our bishops – that we don’t understand Catholicism.

And Catholics who seem inclined towards traditionally Protestant modes ought frankly to acknowledge it. If you can’t accept Catholic teachings, perhaps it’s time go where your head and heart already are. God be with you. And may He have mercy on us all.

But for God’s sake, leave the Catholic Church alone, if only out of simple respect for those of us who believe in Her.

Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, now available in paperback from Encounter Books.

The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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Comments (34)Add Comment
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written by Deacon Ed Peitler, April 30, 2012
One thing that needs to be understood about these dissidents: theirs is not an intellectual dissent. It is the immature emotional reaction of a group of still-adolescents. They, having been stalled in their human development, are rebelling against parental figures - most notably the father. They are troubled and ambivalent in their emotional relationship with men. If they truly had an intellectual argument with the Church they would have departed for some Protestant church a long, long time ago. They are simply acting out their emotional conflicts. It perhaps goes to the essential reason why they became religious in the first place. The more mature ones left their religious communities in the 60's and 70's, got married and raised a family. Those who remained spent their time being angry and dissenting.
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written by Manfred, April 30, 2012
"But as Vatian II stated, they still retain many authentic elements of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."
I am sorry to have to comment but the Reformation sects do not have the Apostolic Succession, The Eucharist nor the sacerdotal priesthood to confect the Eucharist. They were declared heretical at the Council of Trent and that has never been lifted. They have also allowed divorce, abortion and contraception for decades. They broke with 5,670 years of Mosaic Judaism/Catholicism and ordained women. There are 30,000 christian(sic) sects today. Very few go back to the Reformation and they are therefore not Protestant in the true sense.
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written by Other Joe, April 30, 2012
Yes! The ultimate religion cafeteria for Christians who like to load their trays with a little of this, but not that and certainly not those, is Protestantism. The number usually thrown around is that there are currently 30,000 denominations. Once cut off from the hierarchy of the apostolic succession, the only limit to the number of interpretations of scripture that may develop is the tendency of new interpreters to demand conformity to the new interpretation. There is nothing to stop the “evolution” of new interpretations. Yet either the text or the deliberative body must be the source of authority in a fallen world. Both have problems because man is sinful, but it doesn't take a post-modern to understand that the text alone offers less support than the text standing on a foundation of prayer, inspiration (the Holy Spirit) and thousands of years of tradition in which ideas are tested, sometimes to destruction. The most dangerous arrogance of the moderns is to believe that all that went before has been rendered meaningless by "progress". They believe and admit they believe that human nature may be re-engineered given sufficient tooling and power. We are the potters and we are the clay.
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written by Michael Paterson-Seymour, April 30, 2012
A not dissimilar question arose here in Scotland, in the case of Bannatyne v Overtoun, usually known as the Free Church case.

The Free Church wished to enter into a union with another body, the United Presbyterians and had produced an agreed statement of principles that a small minority of Free Church members (the “Wee Frees”) claimed represented a change in church doctrine.

In the House of Lords, the Lord Chancellor (Lord Halsbury LC) acknowledged “the right of any man or any collection of men, to change their religious beliefs according to their own consciences.” He insisted, however, that "when men subscribe money for a particular object, and leave it behind them for the promotion of that object, their successors have no right to change the object endowed." He added, "there is nothing in calling an associated body a Church that exempts it from the legal obligations of insisting that money given for one purpose shall not be devoted to another." He also remarked that a church that was free to change its doctrines was “a church without a religion,” a phrase borrowed from Sir William Smith, in the Irish Case of Dill v Watson.

Their lordships held that the endowments of the church had been given for the support of Free Church principles and belonged to those who maintained them, however few, to the exclusion of those who had abandoned them.

The application of these principles to a religious community is obvious enough.
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written by Frank, April 30, 2012
The Wall Street Journal had a good article on this issue a few days ago. When topics such as "Beyond The Church," and "Beyond Jesus" are finding their way into LCWR forums and gatherings, the red flag has been raised for all to see and those who ignore those warnings are asking for future trouble. Secular feminism and pedophilia have infested the church. It's the same old tired screed of patriarchy, chauvinism, victimization and being left out as some in the LCWR contend, the power loop of the Church. Don't ask me why Jesus chose men as his apostles and vested them with the authority described in scripture, while at the same time, adoring and holding in highest regard, his Mother.
As a new Catholic who has been studying the Church and attending Mass for over 18 years, the one thing that impressed me at the beginning and continues to this day is the firm foundation upon which the Church testifies to the world, "This is who we are, this is what we believe and we will be happy at any time to discuss with you the what and why of our beliefs. We are two thousand years old, out theology and beliefs are borne out of much study, struggle, caution and prayer; it has not come easy for us and we are not going to change. If you don't like what we have to say, you are an agent of free choice and are welcome to go find your faith and happiness elsewhere.
The small group of secular feminists within the LCWR continue their whiny hissy fits because what they REALLY want is POWER through ordination in the priesthood. The Holy Father and the Magisterium have flatly refused and will continue to refuse women to the priesthood and they will do so on scriptural grounds they themselves cannot change but nonetheless, will always be perceived by the LCWR and their fellow travelers as men oppressing women. It's the same old tired song of the 60's that should have faded a long long time ago.
And power is something I am familiar with. For 22 years, I exercised power as a military officer. Yes I could order men and women to do things without explanation without subject to question and I could discipline any one of them through monetary fines all the way to confinement for disobedience. i too was subject to that same power when my superiors ordered and directed my actions. Over the years i learned one immutable fact; with power comes responsibility and accountability in far greater proportion than the power itself. Those who wish to lead must do so accepting the responsibility and accountability first and must exercise such with humility and servitude for without these traits, power is nothing but craven. That faction of the LCWR craving for "the power" has no desire to apply that power in the context of servant leadership and if ever given that power would either not know what to do with it or misuse it to the detriment of Christ's Church.

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written by Robert Royal, April 30, 2012
Dr. Peitler: What you say is quite true. There have been accounts of the psychological "counselors" who advised religious orders about maturing in the 60s and 70s - sometimes by the very perpetrators themselves who later repented - describing how, far from renewing these orders, they were destroyed by such methods. But there are other elements in the mix now, people who want to use the nuns for one or another political purpose, naturally, but also people who have been malformed in their Catholicism and want to use the nuns as an example to be followed. The NYT's Nicholas Kristoff, in the column linked to in my column, calls it "We're All Nuns Now." Really? We're all dissenters from the Catholicism put forth by the Church over its history and the authority vested in the apostolic succession? It seems to me that this internal division is being utilized, yet again, for various aims. My question is a simple one: since there are many churches in which your supposed heart's desires can be fulfilled, can we - please - have our own Church? If you're right and we're out of touch and moribund, you don't have to worry about us anyway. A French friend read this article and said that in his country it's a struggle between the Christian faith and a suicidal modernity that thinks it's the pioneer of a humanity yet to come. He also adds that how this struggle is resolved here in the United States will have a large impact on how it plays out elsewhere.
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written by Trish, April 30, 2012
When are they (and all of us, really) ever going to learn that the real "power" to effect any change whatsoever in the Church and in the world is union with God and personal holiness?
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written by Dave, April 30, 2012
Trish hits it the nail on the head, in many respects; but union with God and personal holiness come about through adherence to Christ and His holy will. This will is revealed to us in personal prayer and union with the Lord, but also through reception of the sacraments He ordained for the purposes of our sanctification and through adherence to divine revelation as given in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition and interpreted and taught authentically by the Magisterium. I've met many godly Protestants; but glow-in-the-dark holiness and the good odor of Christ I have encountered only in the Catholic Church and, I have to imagine, it exists in Eastern Orthodoxy as well. Frank gets it right that what the religious and those who share their worldview want is power -- to fix the ills of the world? -- no: to reshape it in their own image so that they are never wounded again in the way they once were. So Bob Royal gets it right, repeatedly, in the article and in the observation reported by his friend in France as to what the struggle is really all about, the Christian faith or a suicidal modernity that thinks it's the pioneer of a humanity yet to come -- that pioneering, "revolutionary" outlook is precisely what one sees in the current Administration, which uses the language of centrism and reasonability to hide its true agenda, the destruction of everything traditional in the West so that the new thing, whatever it is, can emerge. Rep. Gowdy's skewering of Sec. Sebelius shows the intelletual tenuousness of that entire enterprise.

With regard to the religious, I appreciate that they are wounded; we all are. "By his stripes you are healed." So the question before them, and before us, is "do you want to be healed by his stripes, or do you want to go it alone?" Tragically, the more outlandish -- "progressive" of the religious have decided that they want to go it alone. I've commented before that it is out of tender pastoral care that the hierarchy does not consign them to condign neglect -- pastoral care for them, but also for their clients who perhaps willingly, perhaps naively, accept what these religious present as the Faith. Perhaps one of the key struggles of life is learning to accept that one really cannot have one's cake and eat it, too. Christ is an all-or-nothing proposition, as he makes clear throughout the Gospel.

Thank you, Bob, for the fine observations in this column. There is a collapse of civic friendship and real respect of other religions; the reactions really have been rude; and liberals are "Catholic" when it means defying the Pope -- but not the HHS mandate. Odd, isn't it, that authentic Catholicism is seen as rejection of religious authority, the very point that leads you to wish they might leave.

I don't wish that the religious would leave for Protestantism. They are Catholics; they are daughters of the Church, who is exercising maternal solicitude for them; they need the guidance of the Magisterium; and they need the sacraments. They are tiresome, it is true; but so, too, are we, in our way, and in order for there to be room for us, there has to be room for them too. I do wish that by some miracle of grace they will see the error of their theologies, or at least accept the authority of the Church to impose some limit upon what they can publicly say and write -- for the sake of their souls, and, in a way, for ours, too.
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written by Jacob, April 30, 2012
I'm reminded, believe it or not, of a Bob Marley song when I think of the so called crises in the Church and the impending renewal: 

"This could be the first trumpet, 
might as well be the last. 
Many more will have to suffer, 
many more will have to die
 don't ask me why, 
things are not the way they used to be.
I won't tell no lie
One and all have to face reality now
Though I try to find the answers 
To all the questions they ask
Though I know it's impossible 
to go living through the past
Don't tell no lie..."

Come, get up its time to face the Philistines now 
We can't run and hide
We must live the mighty faith of Constantine now
Can't keep us down!
--Though all the men who look up
Though all their eyes are blind
Mine eyes can see so clearly
A Chi Ro in the sun
Don't tell no lies
When you know that the battle 
rages on
The war is not won!
Not before the return of Christ our king now
Not before we hear the trumpets
Of the mighty Seraphim
Not before we give our witness:
"Heaven is not a dream"
Can't keep us down!
One and all have to face reality now
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written by Trish, April 30, 2012
Dave, that actually was my point; in aiming to be concise, I was just operating under the assumption that when you aim for holiness, one automatically accepts all the things you mentioned as part and parcel with pursuit of holiness. The member communities of the LCWR seek power (as Frank noted), but they have lost sight of the real goal and, by not seeking holiness first (or at all...), they have thrown aside everything that can bring about real power.
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written by PewSitter, April 30, 2012
"...leave the Catholic Church alone, if only out of simple respect for those of us who believe in Her."
Didn't happen in 1 AD, not happening today, never will happen.
"If the world hates you, it hated Me first." Catholics will ALWAYS be picked on.
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written by Deacon Chuck, April 30, 2012
Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is neither judgmental nor intolerant to suggest that if someone is not at peace within the particular Church, then they should go where their heart and soul will be...
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written by Flamen, April 30, 2012
With the Tridentine Mass making a comeback and the changes in the words of the Liturgy, why wasn't the Sign of the Cross changed back to the Holy Ghost instead of Holy Spirit?
Much more like the old tradition.
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written by Thomas C. Coleman, Jr., April 30, 2012
I applaud and am thankful for the succinct wors of Trish and PewSitter. But I cannot help but be amazed that no one has addressed the causes for this misrepresentations of Vatican II that have become the magisterium of heretics who seek to make a Workers Paradise on Earth and make us all forget the Cross, the Resurrection, and Eternity. Could all of this happened without intense organziation planning. We are all helpless to deal with this rampant evil--and that is what we dealing with--unless we connect it with Our Lady's messages at Fatima. We are so afraid of being called McCArthyists--a term coined in the Kremlin--that we shrink from naming this form of Satanism for what it is. Is it mere coincidence that many of those who tell us that Our Savior did not institute the Sacrament of Pennance also tell us that ever since Vaticasn II the Catholic Church no longer categorically denoucned Communims or forbids membership in Freemasonry? If we are afraid to expose and denounce these Satanic forces we cannot expect victory over these forces that have hardly gone away despite the graying of its current leaders.
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written by Aeneas, April 30, 2012
@Jacob
"I'm reminded, believe it or not, of a Bob Marley song"

I will believe it, not only for the lyrics, but for the simple yet often unacknowledged fact that Marley, became a convert, specifically to the ethiopian orthodox church.
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written by Tony Esolen, April 30, 2012
The thing that the nuns want to overlook is the most obvious thing of all. They trumpet their vocation to serve the poor -- for example -- and will not acknowledge the devastation that their apostasy has caused for the poor. Instead they primly speak for the Holy Spirit, saying that the very withering away of their orders is a GIFT of God to be embraced cheerfully. Tell it to the millions of kids who are thereby sentenced to the horrible and amoral schools in our cities. Tell it to hospital patients who no longer receive any spiritual care. Tell it to people generally who desperately need some evident sign in their daily lives that this world of Newarks and Detroits is not the end of all things.
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written by Paul Rimmer, April 30, 2012
I entirely agree. I used to be Catholic. I found that I did not agree with essential Catholic teachings. Now I'm happily Protestant.

But I still have great respect and tolerance for the Catholic faith. Everyone should have freedom to comfortably practice what they believe, without having to compromise their beliefs because of others.
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written by Mack Hall, April 30, 2012
WELL said! Thank you.
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written by will manley, April 30, 2012
Mr. Royal, I was struck by the first part of your essay...those days in the late 50s and early 60s when Catholicism meant something to its members and was respected by its non members. You are correct. Those days are long gone. Our culture has changed in ways we could never have anticipated. I often wonder how things would have evolved in the
Church if Pope John XXIII had never "opened the windows." Catholicism has been on a downward slope ever since Vatican II. How would our church be different today if Vatican II had never happened? It would make a fascinating essay. MIght you give it a try?
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written by Rob Federle, May 01, 2012
Thank you, Mr. Royal, for putting into print a thought that has been buzzing around in my cranium for quite some time now. It's time for the dissidents to be honest and to find a new home!
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written by Achilles, May 01, 2012

Manfred,

It is a little like fingernails on a chalkboard to continually hear you speaking poorly of Pope John Paul the Great- It is clearly a case of misattribution of cause and effect- and for someone claiming to be so steeped in ‘tradition’ your logic skills leave more than little to be desired.

Fr. Rutler said correctly, “Tradition is the DNA of civilization, but just as racism is a misuse use of race, traditionalism that has become preoccupied with itself is a misuse of tradition.”

Of greater concern is your apparent sense of history- you sound as ideological as the dissenting sister at times and I ask you to ask yourself, what is the foundation of your assertions? Perhaps you are your own magisterium?
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written by Robert Royal, May 01, 2012
Sue, exactly which are my unkind statements? I've said there are a range of options in Protestantism. That I don't believe Christ's Church is fully there, but that some of it is and that Protestants themselves are often better Christians than the average Catholic. And that Catholics ought to have a right to choose their Church as Protestants are able to make their own choices. Is to say this, which is almost entirely descriptive, somehow unkind?
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written by Tammyt, May 01, 2012
The problem is, although heresy is a sin, it's a sin to schism also. And if we let them schism we would probably have to start going through a long dialgue with their leaders like we do with the SPPX to get the return of the union. I'd like them to no longer be able to hurt ignorant Catholics too but we should try cleverly and calmly (if we just yell they'll feel to defensive and too hyped-up to accept the truth promptly) to correct their ways since the church wants them to be saved also.
I always think they don't they make ignorant clergy go to a manditory speech where the historial reasons and facts for papal power, and church teaching are explained throughtly or something. And the documents of Vatican II with quotes /excerpts from it. My mom met one nun who thought catholics do not believe in the real presence (Eucharist) and that my mom was orthodox catholic not catholic.
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written by Thomas C. Coleman, Jr., May 01, 2012
Would we as parents tolerate heroin dealers lurking around around neighborhoods? Although tempted have at them ourselves we would call the police with hopes that the authorities would put the fiends away. So when priests and nuns such as Tammyt describes above who call those who believe what Holy Mother Chruch teaches "fundamentalists' or, or comically for it is accurate "orthdox" what do we do? Pope Benedict has suggested that we might need to have a smaller Chruch. Then for the sake of the immortal souls of our children let us, and him, get on with it! Any of those of you who have not been exposed to this Satanic treachory ought to consider yourselves fortunate. But please understand that for many who live in the shell of what was once Christendom daily enounteres with those who spread doubt and outright error have become the norm. Some of them are innocents who have been misled, but others do not believe in Christ any more than a pig believes in Sunday, and they are intent on destroying the Church founded by Our Lord on the Rock of Peter and repolacing it communalism and sexual anarchy. They are not all graying. They will see to it Obama is reelcted and then they will be hailed as the Good Catholics, while those loyal to the True Church will be labeled traitors to the New Order who support monogamy, patriarchy, and homophobia. It does no good to be kind and patient with those who seek to cruicfy Christ again. That is foolish and cowardice. A huge portion of two generation of baptized CAtholics whose grandparents would never miss Mass have become like the charactere in The Godfather who only use churches for weddings and funerals. Cardinal Dolan has said, "We didn't pick this fight." Really, now? How is that so many Catholcis voted for the most clearly pagan person ever to lead this country on the grounds that such issues as the protection of human life were less imortant than revenge agasint the rich and denying the right of our country to protect its borders?
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written by Newly Minted, May 01, 2012
Though you do not directly ask why these people do not leave the Church, that is what I am interested in.

My belief is that, as Deacon Peitler says, they are emotionally and spiritually immature. I say that as someone who finds that every day I have to struggle with this myself.

They do not want to go to another Church. They want ours to cease to exist as we know it. In this sense they are anything but tolerant. Or as I've seen it in practice, they are tolerant of anyone who agrees with them.

The hardest part rest with all of us. I believe that our task to to do battle with the ideas that they represent without losing our Christian sense of calmness. That last part is going to be hard, especially for me.

I hope that this makes sense to all of you.
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written by enness, May 01, 2012
Manfred: My job took me to a Congregational church, which is considered a Protestant denomination (I'm sorry but I don't know what you mean by "in the true sense"), on Holy Thursday. The liturgy that night so resembled the Catholic Mass that for the briefest of seconds I wondered where I was, and it occurred to me that one could theoretically switch buildings and celebrants while people weren't looking and most of them might not even know the difference. I did not partake of their communion, which I did not believe to have been properly consecrated. I did, however, find the whole thing remarkable -- "They're Catholic and just don't know it yet!" Well, maybe that's a stretch, but I can dream, right?

Flamen: for good or ill, 'ghost' has a different connotation to a large number of speakers of a certain incredibly prominent language, in part thanks to TV programs that weren't around a couple decades ago. It even implies something potentially malevolent. I think they have good reasons for not wanting to invoke such an image.
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written by Maureen, May 01, 2012
Amen! You've summarized the issue perfectly.
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written by Jason, May 02, 2012
This post was masterful and refreshing. You hit the nail on the head.
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written by Manfred, May 02, 2012
enness and others: May we clear something up? One of the most disciplined religions in this country is Mormonism. They marry for life, they do not abort,they frown on contraception.Why,they do not even consume caffeine! The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is outstanding. Unfortunately, none of their religion can stand scrutiny. Christ never visited North America, the American Indians were not the lost tribe of Israel,they are not the Chosen People,there never was a person named Moroni and there were no Golden Plates. If you attended a Mormon service and found it edifying, great. Congregationalists determine their beliefs by vote. A friend who resides in Vermont had been Presbyterian but as there are no Presbyterian houses of worship in VT, he attended a "Congo" (his term)church when one day it was suggested that since the mental image of the Holy Spirit was so difficult to conjure up, the congregation would only worship the Father and the Son.This was accomplished by a show of hands.
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written by Grady, May 02, 2012
Well said Thomas and I completely agree with Mr. Royal’s article. That being said, I have an uneasiness about this I don’t fully understand but will attempt to explain. If supposedly loving parents not only allow destructive dissent for all of the formative years of their children (and in many cases praise it), when the children become adults, the parents then question and criticize the same behavior, won’t their children become indignant and rebel? I am not attempting to let these nuns off the hook for their choices, but I understand why they are scratching their heads saying to themselves; how could this be? “We along with many priest and bishops were the darlings of the church for so many years doing and promoting the exact same things (heresy) and now WE are visited upon?” The sensitive feminist types may be prone to declare male chauvinism. It’s as though we are cutting off the serpent’s tail rather than his head leaving him capable and very likely to regenerate another tail. Personally I would find more optimism if the Holy Father would at least tell them they have been misled by some unfaithful and heretical Shepherds, but they are being visited because of the overt and continued manner of their disobedience. If families operated with such vagueness and nuance about truth, right and wrong and with lack of fraternal correction wouldn't they show the sames signs of dysfunction society and the Church are exhibiting?
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written by anthony sistrom, May 02, 2012
The LCWR has the bishops over a barrel. When the Immaculate Heart nuns left they took valuable LA real estate with them (having transferred ownership to their own account. The Jesuits are to blame for the collapse of the sisterhoods having lobbied for the marginalization of the Sacred heart seeing it as an obstacle to ecumenism. The Vatican hangs tough with th SSPX demanding conformity. With the LCWR it grants itself 5 years to cajole them. I recently previewed a dissertation by Msgr Nydegger (Seton Hall) on priestly formation. I was horrified at the surrnder to educational psychology in the place of tradition. I would send any candidate for the priesthood to an Eastern orthodox Seminary where he would get a strong dose of tradition.
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written by lethargic, May 04, 2012
"One of the most disciplined religions in this country is Mormonism. They marry for life, they do not abort,they frown on contraception.Why,they do not even consume caffeine! "

I am a Catholic living in Utah in a county that is 80% Mormon. This is simply not true. They divorce just as readily as anyone else. They abort, but usually only before marriage. They contracept with abandon; it's easy to mistake their enjoyment of larger families with "frowning" on contraception, but it is not at all the same thing. Most of them even drink caffeine, though many eschew coffee and tea.

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