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A 'Centrist' Pope?
Renew America ^ | April 16, 2005 | Matt C. Abbott

Posted on 04/16/2005 6:43:03 PM PDT by vox_freedom

Conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt made a good observation in recent days. He said that "most of the American media is simply ignorant of the pope's critics on the right," namely those who reject the doctrinal developments and disciplinary reforms of the Second Vatican Council, particularly in regard to ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue and the vernacular Mass.

I agree.

The media often quotes Catholic liberals when covering events in the Church. Usually, it's done to show that some, or many, Catholics really don't agree with traditional Church teachings on abortion, contraception, euthanasia, homosexual activity and the male-only priesthood. The picture painted is one of dissent, of how the average Catholic in the pew believes the Church is "out of touch" with the rest of modern society. The Catholic left likes to assert that the "spirit of Vatican II" should always be followed, which, in their minds, means that freedom of (ill-formed) conscience always trumps Church doctrine, or, for that matter, the natural law. Also, the Catholic left believes the laity — not the Magisterium, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit — knows what's best for the Church.

But it's different for the pope's critics on the right. Hewitt mentioned the prime example of the Society of St. Pius X. Founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated in 1988 for consecrating four bishops without the required papal permission, the Society has a number of churches and chapels worldwide. Its adherents not only reject Vatican II and the so-called New Mass (they attend only the Traditional Latin Mass); they also ridiculed Pope John Paul II for reaching out to other religions — something they regard as scandalous. This was perhaps most evident in 1986, when, upon learning of the pope's announced peace conference at which representatives of other religions would participate, Lefebvre asserted that the pope was an instrument of a Masonic mafia and that the "conciliar church is no longer Catholic."

Also of note is what Catholic journalist Thomas W. Case wrote about in a 1992 expose on the Society in the (now-defunct) Catholic magazine called Fidelity. One of the four bishops whom Lefebvre consecrated, Richard Williamson, made a speech in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1989 saying, "There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. The Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new state of Israel.... Jews made up the Holocaust, Protestants get their orders from the devil, and the Vatican has sold its soul to liberalism."

To my knowledge, the Society has never publicly disavowed Williamson's statements. And my guess is that not a few die-hard Society adherents would want Williamson to do so, though I suppose could be wrong about that. In fact, I hope I am. (Though I seem to recall one fellow ranting about how John Paul II committed a mortal sin by visiting the synagogue.)

There are Catholic splinter groups that are even farther to the right than the Society. They are known as sedevacantists, a Latin term for those who believe the Chair of St. Peter has been vacant not just for the past several days, but for the past few decades. Basically, the sedevacantists assert that Vatican II contradicted Catholic Tradition and thus promulgated heresy. So, according to them, Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II have been imposter popes — antipopes — as a true pope would not promulgate heresy. (It's not entirely clear what they believe about John Paul I, who died only after about a month of being elected pope. Some believe he was actually killed by Masons inside the Vatican.) And I sincerely doubt they will recognize the next pope, primarily because he will be elected by cardinals whom, to sedevacantists, aren't really cardinals. Some sedevacantists have even elected their own "popes," at least two of which currently reside in the U.S. Granted, each seemingly has far fewer followers than, say, a Jim Jones or David Koresh. But they're out there.

Do these Catholic splinter groups on the right outnumber those on the left, who desire to see women priests (or perhaps no priesthood whatsoever), the allowance of contraception, abortion, homosexual activity and a more democratic church? Probably not, although I submit the numbers are closer than what some may think.

One thing is all but certain: John Paul the Great's successor will be another "centrist." By that I mean it is highly unlikely he will repudiate Vatican II, which is what Catholics on the right would love to see occur. Nor can he simply change the traditional teachings of the Church on abortion, contraception, homosexual activity, euthanasia and the male-only priesthood — changes Catholics on the left would love to see occur. Thus, whoever the next pope will be, he will still have to contend with opposition from the left and from the right. All the while I will still be labeled "right-wing" (or worse) by the former and a "modernist" (or worse) by the latter.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Matt C. Abbott is the former executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee and the former director of public affairs for the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. He is a Catholic journalist and commentator. He can be reached at mattcabbott@hotmail.com.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: cary; catholic; conclave; nextpop; pope; religion; roman; traditional
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Most of America's (liberal) media is ignorant of ... traditionalist Catholics? Yeah, that sounds correct.
1 posted on 04/16/2005 6:43:04 PM PDT by vox_freedom
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah; AAABEST; murphE; Gerard.P; mandatum; Land of the Irish; pascendi

ping


2 posted on 04/16/2005 6:45:08 PM PDT by vox_freedom (Fear no evil)
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To: vox_freedom
A 'Centrist' Pope?

Yeah. You know. One who doesn't preach that Jesus was God in the flesh and that He died on the cross to cleanse us of our sins and heal us of our sicknesses and all that stuff.

A Pope more like...Jesse Jackson.

3 posted on 04/16/2005 7:06:55 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: vox_freedom
I usually like Abbott, but he comes off as a trog here.

The average FReeper in the religion forum - Novus Ordo and traditional alike - posseses a more sophisticated knowledge of this subject matter than he does.

4 posted on 04/16/2005 7:11:43 PM PDT by AAABEST (Kyrie eleison - Christe eleison )
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To: vox_freedom

Most of America's (liberal) media are ignorant of middle-of-the road" Catholicism. They go to guys like McBrien. He must be in every liberal reporter's cell-phone directory.


5 posted on 04/16/2005 7:13:51 PM PDT by RobbyS (JMJ)
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To: AAABEST
I usually like Abbott, but he comes off as a trog here.

I agree with you.

6 posted on 04/16/2005 7:46:37 PM PDT by vox_freedom (Fear no evil)
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To: Texas Eagle
A Pope more like...Jesse Jackson.

Thankfully there are three criteria/requirements:
+Baptised
+Roman Catholic
+Mentally sane
Well, one out of three might be certified.
:-)

7 posted on 04/16/2005 7:53:57 PM PDT by vox_freedom (Fear no evil)
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To: vox_freedom
namely those who reject the doctrinal developments and disciplinary reforms of the Second Vatican Council, particularly in regard to ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue and the vernacular Mass.

Yea well don't blame the MSM. That's where the rest of us got lost too.

8 posted on 04/16/2005 7:55:29 PM PDT by PistolPaknMama (Will work for cool tag line.)
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To: vox_freedom; mattcabbott

Abbott's an idiot trying to make a buck and find a wife.


9 posted on 04/16/2005 8:12:48 PM PDT by Grey Ghost II
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To: Texas Eagle; vox_freedom
A Pope more like...Jesse Jackson.

There is a good limerick in this statement but I'm too tired to come up with it.

10 posted on 04/16/2005 8:26:35 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
Let's work on it together. I'll start.

There once was a Pope named Jesse.

11 posted on 04/16/2005 8:30:03 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: Texas Eagle

lol, it has to be in Jesse "rhyme".


12 posted on 04/16/2005 8:32:04 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah

Theywunts.....wuzaPope.....nameJesse...


13 posted on 04/16/2005 8:34:26 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: vox_freedom

Sounds like the MSM thinks the Cardinal who hires Dick Morris has the best chance of winning the nomination. ;)


14 posted on 04/16/2005 8:37:20 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("Violence never settles anything." Genghis Khan, 1162-1227)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah

He sent child support to several addressees...


15 posted on 04/16/2005 8:38:28 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: Texas Eagle

lol! We had a string of bad Popes centuries ago. There is precedence!


16 posted on 04/16/2005 8:41:00 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Texas Eagle
There once was a Pope named Jesse.

Who thought leftist behavior would bless-he.

Some leaders in Rome, made him feel quite at home.

Together they made things quite messy.

(Whadda ya want - "Jesse" doesn't rhyme with anything)

17 posted on 04/16/2005 8:41:55 PM PDT by AAABEST (Kyrie eleison - Christe eleison )
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To: Gerard.P

FYI - Williamson bashing here.


18 posted on 04/16/2005 8:41:59 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: AAABEST

not bad!


19 posted on 04/16/2005 8:43:16 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: AAABEST
We're thinking along the same lines.

There once was a man named Jesse
Who sent child support to several addressees
He rubbed shoulders with vermin
Never preached an actual sermon
Now the Left wants a Pope like this sack of feces.

20 posted on 04/16/2005 8:53:25 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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