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Young Fogeys: Young reactionaries, aging radicals-U.S. Church's unusual clerical divide
The Atlantic Monthly ^ | January/February 2004 | Andrew Greeley

Posted on 01/15/2004 10:24:30 AM PST by Polycarp IV

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1 posted on 01/15/2004 10:24:30 AM PST by Polycarp IV
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To: .45MAN; AAABEST; AKA Elena; al_c; american colleen; Angelus Errare; Antoninus; aposiopetic; ...
Young Fogey ping!
2 posted on 01/15/2004 10:25:16 AM PST by Polycarp IV (http://www.cathfam.org/)
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To: CAtholic Family Association
Dear Mr. Greeley:

As far as the future of the Catholic Church is concerned, your generation is nothing more than an anomaly of the post-WW2 era that will simply be belched into oblivion within a few decades. By the time you are gone, nobody is really going to know that there ever really was a "progressive" movement in the Church.

3 posted on 01/15/2004 10:31:42 AM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: CAtholic Family Association
When I was a young man, I found that the old priests were reliably orthodox, understood the Faith, preached it well, and behaved with the dignity befitting a priest. The young priests, OTOH, were leftist radicals, slobs, liberation theology spouting dissenters, didn't understand the faith, couldn't preach their way out of a wet paper bag, and wanted to be everybody's pal.

Times change. I observe, as an older man, that the old priests (who were the young priests of my youth) haven't changed their stripes, and their radicalism doesn't wear any better with age. Meanwhile, the younger priests have gotten back to the basics of Orthodoxy, Faith, Charity, and Sanctity.

4 posted on 01/15/2004 10:31:57 AM PST by ArrogantBustard
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To: CAtholic Family Association
Many of the liberal 50 something priests, headed straight into the seminary at a very young age. I commend this, but it is true that many of the newer priests attended college, and worked and lived an lay adults before answering the call. In addition, the younger breed has the advantage of a seminary experience that has had time to reflect on Vatican II. The older generation were equipped with a seminary curricula that was pre-Vatican II. That seminary experience was quickly made obsolete. It is the 50 something priest that had to rely on the Greely's of the world for an interpretation of Vatican II. The truth is, it is the new priest that is better equipped to reveal Vatican II in all its forms, orthodox and revolutionary. Let us not forget that the new priest actually read and studied the Vatican II documents.
5 posted on 01/15/2004 10:43:17 AM PST by reed_inthe_wind (I reprogrammed my computer to think existentially, I get the same results only slower)
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To: Alberta's Child
Priests as a group are simply not in touch with the laity.

The "new fogeys" better figure out a way to change this.

Laymen don't care what kind of attire a priest prances around in. And they are not going to be deferential to him just because he wants it.

Cocksureness is a quality of youth, whether in the Church, or in business, or elsewhere.

They'll grow out of it.

6 posted on 01/15/2004 10:52:55 AM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: reed_inthe_wind
Let us not forget that the new priest actually read and studied the Vatican II documents.

A good point.

But, if Greeley's survey is to be believed, younger priests are no more sold on some of the Church's positions on sexual mores than their elders.

7 posted on 01/15/2004 10:55:21 AM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: CAtholic Family Association
I love how Fr. Greeley frames the argument. The young are the reactionary "fogeys" while his generation is the eternally youthful revolutionary change agents breathing new life into the Church--even though most of them are now in their seventies.

No, Fr. Greeley, you've got it exactly backwards. Your generation accomplished a major upheaval which altered many aspects of Catholic life and worship. But it's been a miserable failure, particularly in the West, where it was carried to and beyond its illogical extremes. Now, those who haven't abandoned the Church entirely are recognizing the failures of the Robert Weaklands, Roger Mahoney's, Margaret Steinfels, and Andrew Greeley's.

The cheesy liberal interpretation of Vatican II has been rejected and the young who remain are finding enrichment and fulfillment in the traditions, history, and true teachings of the Church, stretching back hundreds and thousands of years before the 1960s.

The old fogey reactionaries are those who are continuing to focus on things that happened 40 years ago instead of embracing a truly traditional Catholic renewal.
8 posted on 01/15/2004 10:56:49 AM PST by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces †)
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To: CAtholic Family Association
The study revealed a clear divide, too, on the ordination of women

This matter has been defined irrevocably by John Paul II: the ordination of women is not compatible with scripture and long-standing Church teachings. Women cannot be ordained. The matter is no longer open for debate in the sense that it will ever happen.

Greeley is a goofy old radical with many axes to grind. His time about up, he occasionally grouses about something so he can pretend still to be relevant.

I wouldn't put too much credence into any of his opinions.

9 posted on 01/15/2004 11:02:36 AM PST by TheGeezer
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To: sinkspur
Ping for later
10 posted on 01/15/2004 11:03:23 AM PST by BlackElk (The auto-da-fe is God's chosen way to purge sin from the land!)
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To: sinkspur
Priests as a group are simply not in touch with the laity. The "new fogeys" better figure out a way to change this.

Don't worry. The most "in touch" priests I know are those who say Mass at the Latin indult parish I attend sometimes.

Most of the elderly "progressive" radicals can't stand the idea that their precious "gains" are going to be erased by a younger generation that thinks the 1960s crowd did great damage to the Church. Fortunately, most of them will be in their eternal reward (or otherwise) while us youngsters are repairing the havoc they created.
11 posted on 01/15/2004 11:03:26 AM PST by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces †)
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To: sinkspur
Nonetheless, younger priests are more than twice as likely as priests aged fifty-five to sixty-five to think that birth control and masturbation are always wrong, and they are significantly more likely to think that homosexual sex and premarital sex are always wrong.

Did you miss this?

Nonetheless, younger priests are more than twice as likely as priests aged fifty-five to sixty-five to think that birth control and masturbation are always wrong, and they are significantly more likely to think that homosexual sex and premarital sex are always wrong.

12 posted on 01/15/2004 11:05:34 AM PST by B Knotts (Go 'Nucks!)
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To: TheGeezer
I wouldn't put too much credence into any of his opinions.

Don't worry, I just read him for laughs.

If one views this column through conservative orthodox Catholic lenses, its a welcome change. Greeley is bemoaning the passing of his liberal, dissenting and infecund generations' philosophy of life and faith. That's great news for us.

13 posted on 01/15/2004 11:06:13 AM PST by Polycarp IV (http://www.cathfam.org/)
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To: B Knotts; sinkspur
Oops. That was supposed to read thusly:

But, if Greeley's survey is to be believed, younger priests are no more sold on some of the Church's positions on sexual mores than their elders.

Did you miss this?

Nonetheless, younger priests are more than twice as likely as priests aged fifty-five to sixty-five to think that birth control and masturbation are always wrong, and they are significantly more likely to think that homosexual sex and premarital sex are always wrong.

14 posted on 01/15/2004 11:07:48 AM PST by B Knotts (Go 'Nucks!)
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To: Antoninus
The most "in touch" priests I know are those who say Mass at the Latin indult parish I attend sometimes.

Anecdotal experience means absolutely nothing.

That only 2% of the American clergy thinks the sexual abuse situation was a "big deal" shows just how out of touch they really are.

Ask the bishops if it was a big deal. Or their accountants.

15 posted on 01/15/2004 11:08:13 AM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: B Knotts
But only about 40 percent of the younger generation believe that birth control is always wrong;a revealing failure of the Restoration efforts of the past thirty years, which have been fundamentally opposed to birth control.

They've still got a ways to go, apparently.

Sixty-percent of young priests think that there are at least some occasions in which contraception is not always wrong.

16 posted on 01/15/2004 11:11:22 AM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: Akron Al; Alberta's Child; Andrew65; AniGrrl; Antoninus; apologia_pro_vita_sua; Askel5; ...
PING to the fogeys, young and old alike.
17 posted on 01/15/2004 11:12:34 AM PST by Loyalist (To be is to do--Socrates. To do is to be--Sartre. Do be do be do--Sinatra.)
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To: sinkspur
Indeed, that is a problem. The sixty percent are wrong, and need to reexamine their belief. But, at least progress is being made.
18 posted on 01/15/2004 11:13:53 AM PST by B Knotts (Go 'Nucks!)
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To: CAtholic Family Association
Another young fogey checking in!
19 posted on 01/15/2004 11:14:04 AM PST by NeoCaveman (Facts are stubborn things)
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To: sinkspur
=== Cocksureness is a quality of youth, whether in the Church, or in business, or elsewhere.

Hey kiddo ...

I have never observed that counter-revolutionaries and faithful, older trads tend to "prance" in their clericals.

Rather, I see prancing among the sorts who tend to gladhand while the Eucharist sits unattended on the altar or who pull out their clericals only when attending whatever leftist rally or court appearance they think to color with "Catholic" support by wearing a collar or veil for dramatic effect.
20 posted on 01/15/2004 11:20:11 AM PST by Askel5
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To: Loyalist; hobbes1
I get the impression that Greeley is upset that the generation of...
church wreckovating
tabernacle hiding
confitor omitting
OCP hymanal singing
Liturgical dance pushing
Felt banner waving
Homosexual coddling
"inclusive language" pushing
EWTN hating
liberals
...are dying out.
21 posted on 01/15/2004 11:25:05 AM PST by NeoCaveman (Facts are stubborn things)
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To: Antoninus
The cheesy liberal interpretation of Vatican II has been rejected and the young who remain are finding enrichment and fulfillment in the traditions, history, and true teachings of the Church, stretching back hundreds and thousands of years before the 1960s.

Well put.

The most striking difference I see between Greeley's "young fogeys" and his own generation is that the "fogeys" lack the emotion-driven love affair with Vatican II. They view it as one of many Church councils, primarily concerning itself with contemporary pastoral matters, some of which seem rather dated now.

They're only being "reactionary" if you assume Vatican II was a revolutionary break from the pre-Concillar Church. Thankfully, that is not the contention of either the Council itself, nor the post-Concillar popes. But it does seem embedded as such in the minds of the heterodox who dominate Greeley's generation.

22 posted on 01/15/2004 11:25:15 AM PST by Snuffington
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To: sinkspur
"Anecdotal experience means absolutely nothing."

FreeRepublic is a grassroots medium. Antedotal evidence is everything in this forum. You sound like a reactionary one way broadcaster.
23 posted on 01/15/2004 11:27:11 AM PST by reed_inthe_wind (I reprogrammed my computer to think existentially, I get the same results only slower)
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To: Antoninus

This doesn't just pertain to the Catholic Church. Christianity will be much better off when the whole layer of '60s and '70s liberal clergy will be buried. They have done great harm to most church bodies throughout the world.
24 posted on 01/15/2004 11:37:13 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: reed_inthe_wind
FreeRepublic is a grassroots medium. Antedotal evidence is everything in this forum.

Free Republic is anecdotal as well. Taking opinions expressed here and extrapolating them into some larger picture won't work, either.

25 posted on 01/15/2004 11:42:08 AM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: Askel5
OK.
26 posted on 01/15/2004 11:43:13 AM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: dubyaismypresident
For some reason, priests of all generations are unable or unwilling to see the clergy as responsible for the departure of disaffected laypersons;a problem that today plagues the U.S. Church.

Hmmmm....Odd isn't it that such a careful cogent analysis misses the fact that the departure occurs in synchronicity with VaticanII.....

You don't see many Tridentine parishes wanting for attendance....

27 posted on 01/15/2004 11:44:01 AM PST by hobbes1 (Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "I know everything so you don't have to" ;)
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To: sinkspur
Your posts are always amusing - and always selling laymen short. To be sure, you do offer misguided and shallow platitudes to the layman. But you generally presume that the layman is incapable of appreciating the higher, harder truths - ideals that man may not always achieve, but which are worth striving for nonetheless.

You presume that every layman is a hopeless boobus americanus. How very sad.






28 posted on 01/15/2004 11:51:06 AM PST by Notwithstanding (What have you done today to end abortion?)
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To: hobbes1
Hmmmm....Odd isn't it that such a careful cogent analysis misses the fact that the departure occurs in synchronicity with VaticanII.....

Because he is of that generation.....

My take is pretty similar to the repsonse in #22, wish I had articulated it first.

29 posted on 01/15/2004 11:54:41 AM PST by NeoCaveman (Facts are stubborn things)
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To: Notwithstanding
You presume that every layman is a hopeless boobus americanus.

Well, then I'll have to start having someone other than you in mind when I presume.

30 posted on 01/15/2004 11:55:33 AM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: sinkspur
"They've still got a ways to go, apparently.
Sixty-percent of young priests think that there are at least some occasions in which contraception is not always wrong."

I have a true life story for all moralists young and old. From the day we were married my wife and I practiced natural family planning. Among Catholics, unfortunately we are not in the majority. When I started taking chemotherapy and other drugs noted for horrible birth defects, my doctor's had me sign a consent form that required that we use not one but two forms of birth control. A young priest told me that it would be a sin to use birth control despite the situation. I told him that God did not naturally put these drugs in my body, and that my death is imminent and that I didn't want my wife saddled with a child with a birth defect. I don't have anything against people with birth defects, but a single mom/widow doesn't need one if it can be helped. He wisely did not discuss abstinence since married couples have a sensual dimension to their relationship. I finally decided to continue using natural family planning to avoid the abortifacient effect of birth control, and to use the birth control. When I went to confession to this same priest, I told him that I am guilty of not wanting another child given this situation. He absolved me. Finally, I don't know what wording appeared in Greely's survey, but I expect that it didn't begin to cover the nuances of moral decision making. If Greely is smart enough to write such a survey, we can write a computer program to tell us what to do, and we won't need priests, preachers, bibles, Churches and theologians.
31 posted on 01/15/2004 11:57:52 AM PST by reed_inthe_wind (I reprogrammed my computer to think existentially, I get the same results only slower)
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To: sinkspur
Anecdotal experience means absolutely nothing.

True.

I would say it is my experience as well; but I would also say that in so-called "rad-trad" or at least traditionalist parishes (like that of Fr. Weinberger in Dallas), the priest usually *is* in touch with the laity, but it's kind of a self-selecting sample, since there is a certain homogeneity and unity of outlook in the parish composition.

And there is nothing at all wrong with that. It just may not be typical.

Hipness does not automatically conflate with "in-touch" but I will also observe that the young (conservative) priests I know are surprisingly up to speed on pop culture. I think of Fr. Bryce Sibley (who has his own blog) and not only roasted me on a very difficult 80's pop music quiz; he got a perfect score. A couple points behind him was Fr. LaHood.

That only 2% of the American clergy thinks the sexual abuse situation was a "big deal" shows just how out of touch they really are.

The sample size seems large enough (1800+ priests of 30,000+) but I am assuming that the LA Times had to do the same thing we at the Kansas City Star did when we did our AIDS in the priesthood series - mail out a voluntary survey, and respondents were therefore self-selecting.

In other words, those who responded almost certainly were not representative. And in my experience, the more conservative types were usually more distrustful of the media and less likely to respond.

I am especially curious how that question was worded. Even for a self-selecting non-representative survey, 2% seems awfully low.

32 posted on 01/15/2004 11:58:21 AM PST by The Iguana
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To: Notwithstanding
But you generally presume that the layman is incapable of appreciating the higher, harder truths - ideals that man may not always achieve, but which are worth striving for nonetheless.

Where do you get that idea?

I think laymen are pretty smart, smarter than most priests.

They thought the clerical abuse crisis was serious, whereas only 2% of priests thought it was.

In this case, the clerics have the problem with appreciating the higher truths.

33 posted on 01/15/2004 11:58:54 AM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: sinkspur
"Free Republic is anecdotal as well. Taking opinions expressed here and extrapolating them into some larger picture won't work, either."

Please tell us the big picture Mr. broadcaster, and we promise not to open our unworthy mouths:

2 a (1) : inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances -- compare DEDUCTION 2a (2) : a conclusion arrived at by induction b : mathematical demonstration of the validity of a law concerning all the positive integers by proving that it holds for the integer 1 and that if it holds for an arbitrarily chosen positive integer k it must hold for the integer k+1 -- called also mathematical induction



34 posted on 01/15/2004 12:07:44 PM PST by reed_inthe_wind (I reprogrammed my computer to think existentially, I get the same results only slower)
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To: reed_inthe_wind
Please tell us the big picture Mr. broadcaster,

Could be more obtuse?

35 posted on 01/15/2004 12:20:10 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: CAtholic Family Association
Yes, guilty as charged. I've been labelled an old fogey, despite my under-35 status, for quite a while.

36 posted on 01/15/2004 12:26:26 PM PST by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
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To: sinkspur
"Could be more obtuse?"

For once we are unable to disagree. haha
37 posted on 01/15/2004 12:27:15 PM PST by reed_inthe_wind (I reprogrammed my computer to think existentially, I get the same results only slower)
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To: sinkspur
What on earth are you talking about?

Up until the last 2 years lay Catholics did not care much at all about sexual abuse in the Church.

Your agenda is showing.



38 posted on 01/15/2004 12:47:55 PM PST by Notwithstanding (What have you done today to end abortion?)
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To: Notwithstanding
Up until the last 2 years lay Catholics did not care much at all about sexual abuse in the Church.

They didn't know the extent of it. Now they care.

The priests know about it, and 98% of them don't think it's any big deal.

39 posted on 01/15/2004 12:50:38 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: sinkspur; CAtholic Family Association
Priests as a group are simply not in touch with the laity.

The "new fogeys" better figure out a way to change this.

Sinkspur, remember this is Greeley who wrote this.  The guys I went to high school with who became priests (only one a Jesuit despite our schooling!) are generally more conservative than their elders but at the same time, try to avoid getting involved in priestly politics (not easy) and get to know their parishioners.  They don't prance around.  Well, OK, maybe one of them.

There's a traditional Monsignor from Ireland in my current parish (lucky us, he coincidently moved from our old parish around the time we were moving!).  The Diocese usually sends some young guys to serve in his parish for a few years before moving on to more responsible roles.  The current prelate is an all around good guy and very in touch with the laity and the organizations surrounding the parish.

We may be just lucky though.

And Doc, you have to put a "Greeley Alert" warning in the title of these threads lest one reads the content and becomes corrupted!

40 posted on 01/15/2004 12:59:29 PM PST by Incorrigible (immanentizing the eschaton)
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To: Alberta's Child
By the time you are gone, nobody is really going to know that there ever really was a "progressive" movement in the Church.

That's like saying that by the time Lenin and Stalin were dead no one would remember that there had ever been a Russian Revolution. Very unlikely, especially when there are millions of corpses to testify to the reality of what occurred. Same thing with the Catholic Church. There are tens of millions of souls that have fallen away from the faith thanks to the revolution that has occurred since 1962. This is not something to be forgotten, but something to be taught to future generations as an object lesson in the catastrophes that occur when man usurps the place of God.

41 posted on 01/15/2004 1:00:48 PM PST by Maximilian
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To: sinkspur
That only 2% of the American clergy thinks the sexual abuse situation was a "big deal" shows just how out of touch they really are.

This is true. Even if the "young fogeys" are an improvement over the horrendous 70's generation, they still fail to grasp the enormity of the situation facing the Church today. It will take many years before the full extent of the damage from this scandal will be fully appreciated. And that is just one part of the overall damage suffered by the Church since 1962.

42 posted on 01/15/2004 1:04:36 PM PST by Maximilian
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To: CAtholic Family Association
infecund

I learned a new word today! Thank you!

43 posted on 01/15/2004 1:30:11 PM PST by TheGeezer
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To: TheGeezer
I think it is the perfect word for all liberal dissent, literally when it comes to liberal moral theology and figuratively in regards to liberal philosophy. Read especially the "related terms" below.

INFECUND: Unfruitful; not producing young; barren; infertile.

Related Terms:
acarpous, arid, barren, celibate, childless, desert, desolate, drained, dried-up, dry, dull, earthbound, effete, exhausted, fallow, fruitless, gaunt, gelded, impotent, ineffectual, infertile, issueless, jejune, leached, literal, menopausal, mundane, nonfertile, nonproducing, nonproductive, nonprolific, prosaic, prosing, prosy, regrettable, sine prole, staid, sterile, stolid, stuffy, sucked dry, teemless, uncultivated, unfanciful, unfertile, unfruitful, unideal, unimaginative, uninspired, uninventive, unoriginal, unplowed, unpoetic, unproductive, unprolific, unromantic, unromanticized, unsown, untilled, virgin, waste, wasted, without issue
44 posted on 01/15/2004 1:39:02 PM PST by Polycarp IV (http://www.cathfam.org/)
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To: Incorrigible
And Doc, you have to put a "Greeley Alert" warning in the title of these threads lest one reads the content and becomes corrupted!

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima fogey culpa.

45 posted on 01/15/2004 1:41:15 PM PST by Polycarp IV (http://www.cathfam.org/)
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To: Maximilian
This is true. Even if the "young fogeys" are an improvement over the horrendous 70's generation, they still fail to grasp the enormity of the situation facing the Church today. It will take many years before the full extent of the damage from this scandal will be fully appreciated. And that is just one part of the overall damage suffered by the Church since 1962.

The results do seem shocking. But as I said to Sinkspur, I am still a little skeptical until I see how the survey was worded and structured. Were choices given or were respondents asked to provide their own lists? How was the question worded? And when were the surveys sent out or collected? Was it before the most recent wave of revelations?

Moreover the survey had to have been a voluntary one, which means the respondent pool was necessarily self-selecting. On the other hand it was apparently 1800+ priests, which is about 4% of the national population of priests. If only 2% of that 4% honestly think that the sex scandals are a serious issue confronting the church, that's hardly a good sign.

I don't doubt that the real percentage - whatever it is - is lower than it should be.

There is, to be fair, the possibility that some may feel it is not a problem in terms of current and future priestly development: that the seminaries have (motsly, at any rate) cleaned up, decent safeguards are now in place, and that the main offenders are pretty much rooted out. And there would be some justice in that view based on what I know. Unfortunately there still remains the cleanup of past problems, which will dog the Church for years to come; to say nothing of the crisis of confidence that has erupted as a result of the scandals. Even if the root problems have been fixed these aftermaths will continue to be a problem for the Church for years to come.

46 posted on 01/15/2004 1:41:21 PM PST by The Iguana
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To: sinkspur
All of the priests I know, in fact, do think it is a big deal that a small % of priests homosexually abused boys and young men.

They also think it is a big deal when any priest commits the sin of having homosexual relations (or condoning them).

47 posted on 01/15/2004 2:15:38 PM PST by Notwithstanding (Posting from Bavaria)
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To: CAtholic Family Association
Fr. Greeley's findings, Deo gratias, are mirrored in postsecondary education, where the tenured radicals running the academy face an increasingly conservative student body with each passing academic year.

As one of those conservative professors outnumbered ten-to-one by postmodern "progressives," I'm delighted to witness this return to sanity.
48 posted on 01/15/2004 6:37:18 PM PST by Hibernius Druid (Perseverantia Vincit!)
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To: CAtholic Family Association
Many years ago Fr. Greeley and I – being of the same age - studied from a now passé little book called “The Baltimore Catechism” – a simple, yet effective, primer directed at helping to set the course for our character development.

We studied it hard – if for no other reason than to avoid the wrath of Sr. Mary Watchout when her inevitable call came in class to recite from it. Poor motivation? You bet. A reality of our then lives? You bet. Effective? You better believe it! Did we learn the purpose of life . . .why God made us . . . the Works of Mercy . . . the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes? No doubt about it. That snot-nosed little fat Albert kid sitting next to us in class might well trip us in the playground at recess, but – by all that was sacred to us – we were determined that absolutely no one would ever be able to find a flaw in our ability to buzz through the Catechism. Being able to conquer the little book of life was a hell of a lot more important than avoiding Fat Albert’s playground challenges and harangues.

Fast forward some many decades – decades beset with much more ‘learning’ through empathic involvements in the intricacies and nuances of the process called maturation – and, through sound and quiet reflection ask, “. . . what has changed from those pristine days spent in grade school where we sweat the flash card drills, . . . the geography and spelling lessons,. . . the history workbook assignments, . . . the ‘Palmer methodologies’ writing drills, . . . the “stand-at-attention” when Father Highbritches walked into the room, . . . the dreaded trip to the Principal’s Office for talking in class or sassing back at Sister What’s Her Name when she told us to clean the erasers after school?”

Boiled down to one simple word what has changed is simply “focus”; focus drifted away from the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments and now obsessively ‘locked-in’ on annihilating that guy who is still with us – Fat Albert. The Fat Albert then, is, for Fr. Greeley today, none other than his political opposition now – the President of the United States.

With this change in focus blessed and embraced by the “Greeley Generation Clerics”, we have exchanged principle for politics, relegated the lessons of the Baltimore Catechism to the back shelf and replaced them with a new set of rules and procedures. We have embraced expediency at the expense of eternity. In a most disturbing fashion, we have forgotten the one simple and elementary question - “why did God make me?”; a basic question, the answer to which we once so well knew and proudly heralded.

We have permitted the Father, Son and Holy Ghost to be replaced by the “Pro-Choice” tripartite alliance of Beelzebub, the NARAL crowd and Americans United For Separation of Church and State. Playboy magazine outsells Our Sunday Visitor while “God Bless America” has become a treasonous epithet.

We have permitted the prenataly lobotomized relativist thinkers du jour to supplant the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church in our thought processes.

We have embraced a style of expedient manipulation in lieu of forceful frontal confrontation with the patently absurd and fatally flawed egalitarian carpe diem doctrines of the times.

We genuflect at the altar of Political Correctness to such a degree that it has replaced the Promise of Fatima. The once simple and humble concept of public prayer is now as feared as a diagnosis of diphtheria was a century ago. The writings of Fulton J Sheen and Daniel Lord, S.J. have been supplanted by the blather of the social engineers of the day a la ‘Bill & Hill’, Kim Gandy and Gloria Stinem.

In short, we’V made a Faustian pact with the devil himself wherein political advantage trumps the Ten Commandments, the Natural Law and all of the once “good news” we got from that now out-dated and much forgotten Baltimore Catechism.

We are not, with these comments, suggesting that “we put Christ back into Christmas” as Christ has never left Christmas. We are – as with the “new” clerics of which Fr. Greeley complains - suggesting an honest and sincere return to Christmas; a return burgeoning with a rededication to the concepts and tenets so clearly and basically outlined in our Baltimore Catechism; a return, to be very specific, for those among us making up the cabal of miscreant “catholic” social engineers and pontificating political figures who have, with hardly a peep from the bishopric, worked in the past to derail the likes of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, together with other comparable legislation aimed at protecting God’s most delicate and beautiful human treasure; the treasure worth dying for – our kids, in utero and beyond.

With the assistance of the Holy Spirit,and the young clerics about whom Fr. Greeley so vociferously complains, we – as a human race, made in the image and likeness of Christ – shall succeed.
49 posted on 01/16/2004 1:01:21 AM PST by TIPPERARY
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To: sinkspur
The priests know about it, and 98% of them don't think it's any big deal.

Evidence please? I think you are full of $*&@ and I am offended - very offended - that you would actually think this not to mention type it out.

There is NOT ONE priest I have ever met who is not sick about this. Sometimes I think you actually hate priests.

50 posted on 01/16/2004 6:29:27 AM PST by american colleen
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