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What (the movie) ‘Doubt’ Is About
NCR ^ | January 1, 2009 | Tom Hoopes

Posted on 01/02/2009 9:47:21 AM PST by NYer

As others have noted, the Catholic-school movie Doubt (like the play) is kind of a Rorschach test that leaves audiences forming conclusions based on their preconceptions. The film, set in 1964, pits a disciplinarian nun (Meryl Streep) against a “the-Church-needs-to-change” priest (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) over his abuse of a child.

But having seen it, I think the movie version is open to several interpretations:

1. It might be a “Gay message movie.” (Spoiler alert!) We meet a boy who is misunderstood and abused because of his homosexuality (“God made him that way,” explains his mother. “We’re talking about actions, not inclinations,” answers the nun, sensibly), and the priest character in the film, who is hinted to be homosexual, and abusive to boot, is treated sympathetically. All of this hyper-awareness of homosexuality strikes me as anachronistic in a movie set in 1964, but I wasn’t around then so who am I to say?

2. It might be an “anti-organized religion” movie. The film is sympathetic to benign Christian concepts but every character who takes seriously the hierarchical Church gets twisted by it. The priest alternately thwarts and exploits the system. The older nun describes the importance of the “chain of command” from the Pope on down, but goes around it because the men who run it are corrupt. A younger nun is struggling to live in it, but finds she has to truncate her heart in order to do so.

3. It might be a movie justifying perpetual intellectual adolescence. The movie’s thesis statement is delivered in a sermon at the beginning of the movie: “Doubt can be a bond as sustaining as certainty,” and reinforced in the closing scene of the film. The problem: That’s nonsense. Doubt is isolating, not uniting. Compare your local Unitarian church to your local Assemblies of God church and see for yourself. Doubt can be a powerful force for deepening faith when it leads us to discover why we believe what we believe, but to wallow in doubt is to avoid reality — or, likely, to avoid having to break with some sin.

My answer to the Rorschach test: Doubt shows the deep corruption of 1950s and early 1960s Catholicism. Some want to pretend Vatican II is the root of all upheaval in the Church. To make that case, they employ a post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc argument that points to the numbers of priests and nuns and Mass attendees before the Council and after it.

The numbers do make the Council look suspicious. But the elephant in the room is the state of pre-Vatican II Catholics. If they were so wonderful, why did they respond to a pope and Council’s decrees by walking out en masse?

In fact, externalism — moralism and duty untethered from charity and faith — had already rotted the Church behind the facade. Vatican II didn’t drive people away so much as it ripped off the facade and exposed what was underneath. And, for all the problems in the Council’s implementation, that was what it set out to do.

Too many in the older generations cringe and wince when you mention the school nuns of their childhood. They remember their cruelty, they take what they experienced to be typical of Catholicism, and are glad to be rid of it. Doubt dramatizes that 1950s Catholic experience: A little of its sweetness and power, and a lot of its subtle perversity.

Catholics of my generation grew up in the 1970s and 1980s with a totally different experience of the Church. All that baggage isn’t ours, and frankly, we’re not interested in carrying it around anymore.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: doubt; genx; movie
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1 posted on 01/02/2009 9:47:22 AM PST by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

An interesting contrast of view from a ‘younger’ generation (i.e. post VCII) Catholic.


2 posted on 01/02/2009 9:48:37 AM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

>>If they were so wonderful, why did they respond to a pope and Council’s decrees by walking out en masse? <<

Because everything Catholic was taken away within ten years.
This kid gets it wrong. They didn’t walk out “en masse”. They leaked away as the Kumbaya Catholics took over and feminized the church.

They were told that touching the Eucharist with their teeth was wrong, within a few years, holding it your hand was okay.
The Priest was facing the tabernacle was done because Jesus was there. Suddenly, it didn’t matter anymore and we all had a “meal on a table”

Etc, etc, etc.

I’m too young to remember the Latin Mass, but my parents were traumatized by it all. Kids have no clue.


3 posted on 01/02/2009 10:00:40 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: NYer
I haven't seen the picture, and probably won't, yet as one who grew up in the pre-Vatican II Church (but attended public schools), I knew there was rot already there.

The book THE CARDINAL, which traces the career of a fictional priest from ordination to the Red Hat, written prior to VC II, shows some of that rot already there.

Yes, I think VC II did more damage than good (if it did any good at all), but that doesn't alter the fact that there was a lot of rot in the church before that. The Church is full of human beings, and we're all sinners. That's bound to be reflected in the way people in the Church act. Read any of the letters of St. Paul, and you'll see that there was already rot in the 1st Century.

4 posted on 01/02/2009 10:05:45 AM PST by JoeFromSidney (My book is out. Read excerpts at http://www.thejusticecooperative.com)
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To: netmilsmom
Have you ever read “The Church Impotent” by Podles?

It's a study of the feminization of the Christian church in America. Very interesting reading.

5 posted on 01/02/2009 10:08:04 AM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Abortion has become little more than the New Left's execution of political prisoners.)
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To: NYer

How about: It is an artsy-fartsy make-work project for stars that have faded a bit, and it allows them also to take a bunch of shots at groups that have their own problems. Hollywood is the last set of people that should be criticizing anyone else. Hell, they haven’t made a movie that portrayed religion in a good light since the Father Flanagan movie in the 40s.


6 posted on 01/02/2009 10:13:04 AM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: JoeFromSidney; netmilsmom

The rot was definitely there, but it didn’t affect the Mass or the sacraments, and it was the radical changes introduced into Catholic practices by Vatican II that drove Catholics out the door.

The rot was in doctrine and authority; there were many priests and bishops who were actually extremely liberal and many of them who rejected the authority of Rome, although until Vatican II they were secretive about this and rarely dared to express it openly. After Vatican II, they didn’t feel any need to hide their opinions anymore and they simply went into open rebellion, for which they were congratulated by the press and academy. The real revelation was when they simply rejected Humanae Vitae - with no consequences to them. As faithful Catholics saw the wolf revealed, they were scandalized and fled the Church and these people were left virtually unopposed.


7 posted on 01/02/2009 10:17:21 AM PST by livius
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To: netmilsmom
I think Vatican II was poorly implemented. A radical change like Vatican II should have been accompanied by strict quality control measures and significant instruction to parishioners.

Prior to Vatican II, many people went to Mass out of guilt/tradition/obligation, not celebration of the Eucharist. That didn't change after Vatican II because people didn't understand why the changes were made. All of the efforts to connect the Mass to the parishioners were lost. But the changes that were made were abused by those who had their own agenda...leading to Liberation theology and other nonsense.

I think just as many people would have left the Church had Vatican II not been implemented.

I personally prefer the Mass in the vernacular, but I am appalled at some of the abuses that Vatican II allowed.

8 posted on 01/02/2009 10:18:41 AM PST by kidd (Obama: The triumph of hope over evidence)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

I’ll have to look it up.

But I can tell you that as soon as men are made important in a parish, it grows by leaps and bounds.
Take out the handholding, the female EMHCs and Altar Girls and you see it grow.

We have no problem getting Altar Boys or Ushers. My daughter and I are lectors but you will not see a woman on the Altar after the Liturgy of the Word.

And we have popped out new priests every year.


9 posted on 01/02/2009 10:20:39 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: NYer; qam1; Coleus; ELS

Generation X Catholics like me were taught by the hippie Catholics in CCD. It wasn’t until I went from a public grade school to a Jesuit High School before there was any rigor in my religious education. And I’m still learning today. Alas, my WWII generation parents (had me late in life) did not attend Mass regularly. I went by myself after Confirmation.

I think about the Catholics my age that did not get a genuine education in their faith. It doesn’t surprise me that they became CINOs. Nor does it surprise me that they fell away because they didn’t understand the value of the Church, its history and the compassion of the people involved in it.


10 posted on 01/02/2009 10:26:10 AM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: NYer
One review said that this is basically not an anti-Catholic movie. Not having seen it, I can't say and wouldn't try, but I don't know that we who are of the post-VatII generation can make much of a judgment of what life was like before the council and whether or not a fictional rendition has any truth to it. Was there rot? I'm sure there was and the more I learn about some things that were allowed to happen in this archdiocese, the more I know that a certain red hat who was archbishop was well-versed in the art of PR.

Things weren't all what they seemed, that's been established. just keep in mind, not just now, but if there is another council on the horizon (please, God, can we wait a few centuries?) that after EVERY council chaos happens for about 50 years. I came across that somewhere and it makes all the sense in the world as we are 6-7 years away from that mark and things are starting to resemble some sort of normalcy. Not everywhere, I understand, but as men like Francis Cardinal George demand kneelers in the seminary chapel and Archbishop Chaput gives an unyielding line on life and seminaries become fully credited, pieces are gradually being put back together.

11 posted on 01/02/2009 10:35:32 AM PST by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue (I choose virtue. Values change too often).)
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To: kidd

>>I think just as many people would have left the Church had Vatican II not been implemented.<<

You make tons of sense. VII needed much more education before it was actually implemented. However, while I agree that just as many may have left the church, I don’t think it would have happened as quickly as it did, as in a generation.

The reason I say that is because if one looks back to the times, they were tumultuous anyway. In the middle of it, the Church did a massive change and the liberals ran with it. When one questioned any change, one was dismissed (and that I DO remember). Because of that, people felt marginalized. As it went from bad to worse, no one stopped a thing. If they did, they were basically told, like it or lump it. The politics came in. The Lectors and EMHCs became “just a little better” than Pete in the Pew. They acted that way too. So why bother to show up?

As the liturgy looked more and more like a Lutheran service, Catholics felt nothing like nothing special. For the devout, they lived with it. For the doubting, they left.

People may not have gone to “celebrate” the Eucharist but they did go to be with Our Lord and receive grace. The problem became the “celebration” and the total lack of reverence felt by the people who went to adore and not celebrate.


12 posted on 01/02/2009 10:41:16 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: netmilsmom
We have no problem getting Altar Boys or Ushers. My daughter and I are lectors but you will not see a woman on the Altar after the Liturgy of the Word.

And we have popped out new priests every year.

We've produced a lot of seminarians, too. When you think about it, though, the Cathedral has multiple seminarians there on the weekends and at least one sacristan at any one time. It's so cute to watch them teach the boys to serve. I think they start them at 4th grade, but there's always a "shepherd" with these little boys in cassocks and surplices following him around. And there's an added bonus - when you use incense all the time, they get to play with fire.

Seriously, the girls only serve one Mass and the boys have High Mass to themselves and it makes all the difference.

13 posted on 01/02/2009 10:41:30 AM PST by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue (I choose virtue. Values change too often).)
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To: Secret Agent Man

Hell, they haven’t made a movie that portrayed religion in a good light since the Father Flanagan movie in the 40s.
___________________________________________

Chariots of Fire (1981) might have been one.


14 posted on 01/02/2009 10:43:32 AM PST by Rumierules
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To: Incorrigible
Generation X Catholics like me were taught by the hippie Catholics in CCD.

Ass a gen X Catholic who went to Catholic schools, I can tell you that Catechisis was dumbed down everywhere and the larger culture played more of a role than not. No, we did not get a genuine education in the Faith. And I don't think the people who were supposed to be passing it down were interested in teaching it, either.

15 posted on 01/02/2009 10:45:12 AM PST by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue (I choose virtue. Values change too often).)
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To: Desdemona

>>Seriously, the girls only serve one Mass and the boys have High Mass to themselves and it makes all the difference<<

I think that makes a difference too.
It makes boys feel special.

And I say this having two daughters and no boys.


16 posted on 01/02/2009 10:48:42 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: NYer

I’ve seen the play and am looking forward to the movie.


17 posted on 01/02/2009 10:50:05 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Desdemona

>>No, we did not get a genuine education in the Faith.<<

That’s still going on.
Before I came to this parish, my daughter learned “God made the flowers and God made the trees” There wasn’t much about being Catholic.


18 posted on 01/02/2009 10:51:02 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: NYer
Just what the world needs another movie to throw aspersions on the Catholic church or any other Christian faith. I have become so disgusted with Hollywood and anything that comes out of it. I wish someone would make a movie about the true lives of Hollywood,of course it could be more like a remake of Sodom and Gomorrah.Isn't that what Hollywood does remake of anything or part 2,3,4? How many women in Hollywood have had mutiple abortions,killing of their own children,how many gay men have been leading actors with women,Rock Hudson. We really need a true in your face movie of the sinfulness of Hollywood. Not only is Hollywood so sinful but they evangelize their evil religion of love of self all over the world. This is one of the reasons why the Muslims have no respect for the West,ya I know how they are but looking at it from the point of view of the spreading of evil in the sense of the praise of sin that comes out of Hollywood and the fact that they have so much money and so much adoration that people just want to be like them.I mean I could understand how Muslims would think negative of the West the way women flaunt their bodies and sex is more like a game of spin the bottle. We as Christians were taught that our bodies were the temples of the holy spirit not a cauldron for sexual diseases and abortions.But how many Christian support Hollywood financially which they in turn send money to support Obama. They tell our children abortion is ok especially have sex with anyone at any time,look at teachers today that can't keep their hands off of their students.And then we have Angeline and Brad Pitt who commit adultery and then begin to go all over the world adopting children having children out of wed-lock because they want to wait until everybody can get married,gays.And Hollywood can't sing enough of their praises and all of the wonderful things they have done. Or maybe why not mom marrying son or the man who loves his dog? Once the gates open it will be a fight to see who can get married or what will no longer be an institution of marriage.Or by Christian's as a sacrament. But wait we already have so called Christians and so called Christian churches marrying gays or having their Bishops be openly gay. But isn't the political dream of the gay community to force the churches to accept the sinfulness of homosexuality by making sure they have to marry them? No tolerance there. But we as Christians should make sure if what we really want is to live a life of the gospel or just accept what comes out of Hollywood and the support of it. We must make our Christian leaders accountable for what they say and do in the name of Christ. It makes sense of what is going on with the global economy we as nations are rotten to the core and collapsing from within from greed and pretty much from all the deadly sins. Let's pray for God to have mercy on us and live the lives of the Saints.
19 posted on 01/02/2009 10:52:38 AM PST by red irish (Gods Children in the womb are to be loved too!)
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To: netmilsmom
One of my siblings and I told our mother about the dismal religious education we received and she felt so bad. And the really sad thing is, if Mom had known, she would have raised cain. I don't know that it would have done much good, but I think parents really realized how bad the religious education was.
20 posted on 01/02/2009 10:54:36 AM PST by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue (I choose virtue. Values change too often).)
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To: Desdemona; netmilsmom

Make that parents DIDN’T know what was going on educationally.


21 posted on 01/02/2009 10:55:23 AM PST by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue (I choose virtue. Values change too often).)
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To: Incorrigible; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; InShanghai; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

22 posted on 01/02/2009 10:56:11 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: red irish

Hollywood has known from the beginning that its biggest competitor for the imagination of its audiences was the Church.

It was hard-core threats of boycott by the Legion of Decency and the like (back when most Christians actually followed their pastors’ council) that got the Hayes Code implemented—which, ironically, launched the Golden Age of Hollywood.

When the Church lost its moral self-confidence in the 1960s, the Hayes Code went by the board, and the Legion of Decency became a punchline of every hipper-than-thou comic.


23 posted on 01/02/2009 11:00:30 AM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: Rumierules
Paradise Road which starred Glenn Close showed how faith and music was able to help women in a Japaneses interment camp survive.

An amazing story in itself.

24 posted on 01/02/2009 11:04:24 AM PST by mware (F-R-E-E, that spells free. Free Republic.com baby.)
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To: Desdemona

>> I don’t know that it would have done much good, but I think parents really realized how bad the religious education was.<<

Nothing would have been done. I can almost guarantee it. We had old Polish Felician Sisters. We couldn’t afford new Religion books for a few years so we still worked out of the Baltimore Catechism. But on the other side of the suburb, the Irish (and wealthier) parish could. We rode the bus together and were basically friends. I remember the books they were using. They were like coloring books! We were so jealous.

One of my friend’s moms tried talking to the nuns there. They had hired a lay teacher for religion. She was told that the woman knew what she was doing. Period.


25 posted on 01/02/2009 11:09:55 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: JoeFromSidney
The book THE CARDINAL, which traces the career of a fictional priest from ordination to the Red Hat, written prior to VC II, shows some of that rot already there.

The Cardinal was a notorious anti-Catholic hatchet job.

26 posted on 01/02/2009 11:15:04 AM PST by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (Just because I am an Oogedy-Boogedy kind of guy!)
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To: NYer
Vatican II didn’t drive people away so much as it ripped off the facade and exposed what was underneath.

Holy hermeneutic of discontinuity! Just a minute. The one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church is the Body of Christ. It is made up of sinners struggling to be holy. It is led by popes who have a gift of infalliblilty, and who have been remarkably good, bright, holy men for several centuries, at least. Jesus Christ is the head of this Church. The liberals must disparage the Church prior to VII as this is their only hope to overthrow the doctrines handed down from the Apostles.

27 posted on 01/02/2009 11:56:34 AM PST by Faraday
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To: Incorrigible; qam1; Coleus; ELS
Generation X Catholics like me were taught by the hippie Catholics in CCD. It wasn’t until I went from a public grade school to a Jesuit High School before there was any rigor in my religious education.

This is probably the saddest legacy of VCII. Prior to that, Catholic children were rigorously taught the catechism. Those of us who attended Catholic school, also made First Fridays every year. Yes, the nuns were strict but judging from what passes for 'quality' education today, the nuns made sure we could (and still can) spell, have an excellent grasp of grammer and do mental math.

My daughter was fed a diet of catholic pablum at our prior parish. Now, as Director for Religious Education in my parish, I have implemented a program of solid catechesis to ensure a solid faith foundation on which our children can build their lives.

28 posted on 01/02/2009 12:25:36 PM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: Secret Agent Man

Great post!


29 posted on 01/02/2009 12:28:42 PM PST by Tax-chick (Buy Girl Scout cookies! Send them to the troops!)
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To: Desdemona
Things weren't all what they seemed, that's been established. just keep in mind, not just now, but if there is another council on the horizon (please, God, can we wait a few centuries?) that after EVERY council chaos happens for about 50 years.

I pray God hears your prayer! Not every council is as radical as the previous one. But you are correct, regardless of the change, it takes time to adjust. 50 years later and we are still talking about VCII as though it had been held yesterday. There are certain hierarchs still around who hoped to see VCIII.

30 posted on 01/02/2009 12:40:34 PM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: kidd; netmilsmom
Prior to Vatican II, many people went to Mass out of guilt/tradition/obligation, not celebration of the Eucharist. That didn't change after Vatican II because people didn't understand why the changes were made. All of the efforts to connect the Mass to the parishioners were lost. But the changes that were made were abused by those who had their own agenda...leading to Liberation theology and other nonsense.

A truly astute observation. One of the best summations I have seen on this topic. Kudos!

31 posted on 01/02/2009 12:42:37 PM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

It’s not just the Catholic church,is it? I think chrisitianity has taken a hit in almost all church denominations. We’ve become weak when we needed to become warriors.


32 posted on 01/02/2009 12:58:45 PM PST by Marysecretary (.GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL)
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To: mware

That was a wonderful movie.


33 posted on 01/02/2009 1:02:22 PM PST by Marysecretary (.GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL)
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To: NYer
Is it about Catholics at all?

Why the Salvation Army/Amish/Mormon Pioneer sun bonnets?

34 posted on 01/02/2009 1:07:51 PM PST by x
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To: NYer

“Doubt is isolating, not uniting.”

The journey of faith begins with doubt. Such doubt is not disbelief.


35 posted on 01/02/2009 1:10:23 PM PST by Grunthor (Democracy: Theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard)
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To: x

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Ann_Seton

Looks like the headcover Elizabeth Ann Seton wore.


36 posted on 01/02/2009 1:17:42 PM PST by kalee
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To: Marysecretary
Yes, it is all churches.

It is occurring hand-in-hand with the creeping-in of Leftism into the pulpit (charity=socialism and all that).

37 posted on 01/02/2009 1:27:43 PM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Abortion has become little more than the New Left's execution of political prisoners.)
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To: x
Why the Salvation Army/Amish/Mormon Pioneer sun bonnets?

Because they represent two sisters of The Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent dePaul of New York and Emmitsburg Maryland. They were my nuns at Epiphany School in Manhattan and I was a blessed having them in my formative education as i was having the Jesuits in HS an college.

I found Doubt a wonderful film experience. Extremeley well acted and written Streep was not recognizable in the film. She was Sister Cecile or Sister Seton, two nuns out of my past. Unlike the author of the articvle in discussion I know what this film does. It tells the story of caring, intelligent women, dedicated to a certain way of life and Faith. It tells of their having to be subservient to men, many of whom they knew, were not as intelligent or as dedicated to their Faith as the sisters. Many will have questions about the motives of Sister Aloyisius, but from experience I can tell you that every nun I ever had was concerned for her boys. That is Sister Aloyisius' motive as well.

38 posted on 01/02/2009 2:52:49 PM PST by xkaydet65
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To: x
"Why the Salvation Army/Amish/Mormon Pioneer sun bonnets?"

Different orders of nuns had different styles of headdress. They varied quite a bit, and it's not unlikely that ones like this were used in an order or two.

39 posted on 01/02/2009 3:31:13 PM PST by Irene Adler (')
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To: kalee

Yeah, but Seton lived 150 years earlier.


40 posted on 01/02/2009 4:32:47 PM PST by dangus
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To: dangus

See #38.
Nuns wore traditional habits until the 60’s when they adopted more modern dress. Elizabeth Seton’s order wore a headdress like that depicted instead of the more typical veil.


41 posted on 01/02/2009 4:44:14 PM PST by kalee
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To: netmilsmom
I was a teenager during VII, and what the Church needed at that time was the fresh air of the Holy Spirit, not the toxic air of the world, which is what we got. John XXIII wanted to dust off and polish the gems of the faith, instead they were thrown into the latrine. When I go to the traditional Mass now and hear/sing the beautiful Latin hymns and Gregorian chant, I think that this is what John XXIII had in mind.
42 posted on 01/02/2009 5:08:36 PM PST by k omalley (Caro Enim Mea, Vere est Cibus, et Sanguis Meus, Vere est Potus)
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To: k omalley

>>I think that this is what John XXIII had in mind. <<

I don’t. I think the NO with the sprinking of Latin and all the smells and bells is what he wanted.

My parish has that as well as the TLM. I like the NO. Like EWTN has.


43 posted on 01/02/2009 5:17:22 PM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: Desdemona

I believe that as well. My mom just couldn’t believe that we were not getting the same education at CCD as she did. We went to the same church, same priest that she grew up with. She did what her parents did. She sent us to CCD, we attended church on sunday, and made all our sacraments. She couldn’t understand why we didn’t want to continue to go after we made our sacraments. There was nothing relevant in it. All we heard about was the soft fluffy stuff, the CCD teachers either seemed afraid to say something wrong in the new vatican 2 teaching, or they felt everything old was irrelevant.

Things must have been so different after V2. I am self educated in the Catholic Faith after leaving it for the Baptist faith for 8 years. A long study of early church fathers yielded my error, and now, my children, aged 21, 17 and 15, are well schooled in their faith, from home, but they also attended CCD, due to the requirement to do so for the sacraments. I went in and taught CCD (not their classes) and my kids came to me and informed me when their CCD teachers taught error, or opinion as church teaching.

I feel bad for the kids that don’t know any better and are still hearing things like, I personally don’t believe in purgatory, but the church teaches it so I have to tell you about it, and that there are only 3 marks of the church-yes these are things my kids came and told me their teachers taught, and I was straight in to the DRE to let her know and fix it!

keep watch parents, and don’t abdicate your responsibility to train up your child the way they should go, because others are trying very hard to subvert them, even where you think it is safe.

All 3 of my boys are very devout catholic young men, one called to the priesthood, one to marriage, and one very active in the pro life movement. KEEP FIGHTING, its the only hope our generation has after its poor catechesis.


44 posted on 01/02/2009 6:04:40 PM PST by wombtotomb (since its "above his paygrade", why can't we err on the side of caution about when life begins?)
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To: netmilsmom
Yes, the EWTN Mass and the Novus Ordo like what is offered at the Brompton Oratory are truly beautiful. Unfortunately, the past 40 years at many parishes have been a wasteland. And not just the Mass but the catechesis as well.
45 posted on 01/02/2009 6:29:10 PM PST by k omalley (Caro Enim Mea, Vere est Cibus, et Sanguis Meus, Vere est Potus)
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To: netmilsmom

Exactly. It was changed from Roman Catholicism to Vatican II Roman Catholicism and many of the changes were things people were forwarned about in regards to the dreaded modernism as it was called then.

For those who were “up on” the Catholicism of Pope Pius the 12th, who read or heard the words of that pontificate and the bishops of the 40s and 50s such as Bishop Sheen, the changes appeared to be what earlier Church leaders had seen in a somewhat prophetic manner as something terribly wrong filtering into the Church. Those who walked away felt it was no longer the faith that was passed down to them by their parents, that it had changed drastically.

It is important to understand that parents really understood their immense responsibilities to be the primary educators of their children and to pass on the faith that they received, not the changes from Vatican II if they differed from the faith in which they were raised.

This was a time when Catholics did not put their children into the public system - that would have been absolutely the last resort, and parishes helped educate the children of the parish regardless of their ability to pay the full tuition - often it was partially paid by another parishioner as the subculture of the parish was really functional and strong.

The convents and rectories were full and people went to confession weekly. To be Catholic was not comparable to being Presbyterian as it is now. There was a cultural difference as broad as an ocean. As a child I recall Priests speaking who were very much like Bishop Sheen in their oratory.


46 posted on 01/02/2009 7:30:27 PM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG)
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To: kidd

“A radical change like Vatican II should have been accompanied by strict quality control measures and significant instruction to parishioners.”

ROFLOL and crying at the same time over your words. Man made Quality Assurance measures are left best in the work place. Let the Holy Trinity be Our Assurance. The Mystical Body of Christ has no need for quality control and you can’t apply TQM or JIT to real faith as you must approach it as a child.

Significant instruction and inculcation already was given to the parishioners back in 1960 as they understood their “ordo” better than most Catholics today. This was an age when all Catholics understood latin and were quite literate compared to today’s college graduates. Part of the reason the changes survived was the dumbing down of the culture and the concurrent social revolution of the 60s.

Some would say the poor implementation of the radical changes was part and parcel of the goal of Vatican II if it was intended to undermine the real faith of Catholicism.


47 posted on 01/02/2009 7:54:01 PM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

Yes, and it’s time to put an end to it wherever we are and to stand up for the truth.


48 posted on 01/02/2009 8:24:29 PM PST by Marysecretary (.GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL)
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To: netmilsmom

“For the devout, they lived with it. For the doubting, they left.”

You could argue that some devout left and some doubting stayed too and it is important to see the mixed bag in the aftermath. If for 2 decades you are told from the pulpit and the Vatican to watch out for the evil of xyz and in 1960 xyz is announced as the new format of the faith you might feel confused or you might know exactly what to do.

It is hard to point a finger at the regular Sunday parishioner when their actions were of faith in trying to follow along the path of Truth and Love. For many, it was as if the North and South Poles had flipped. I was in the last class making Holy Communion in latin in my parish. It was an affluent and very well educated parish with a Basilica that had standing room only even with Mass also being said in the Parish School Auditorium. The changes hit this Parish like a nuke.


49 posted on 01/02/2009 8:32:44 PM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG)
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To: Domestic Church

ok poor choice of words.

By “quality assurance” I was being somewhat flip. My choice of terminology was not chosen to diminish the glory of the Trinity. I purposely employed a business term to the discussion as if it were a new plan. Literary technique. To be a little more precise, I think the implementation of Vatican II needed lots more oversight. Most others on this thread understood this approach and did not see a need to belittle me.

My main point was that without significant oversight, radicals within the church were allowed to implement it as they saw fit, which lead to abuses.

I think you misunderstood what I meant about “instruction”. I wasn’t discussing instruction in the Bible...I was discussing instruction on what Vatican II was all about. Vatican II instruction was NOT provided to parishoners. A change was made, and few knew why. The Baltimore Catechism was dropped entirely and was not replaced by anything for about 20 years. Even the present Catechism (which is really quite excellent) is not taught to students...so instruction is still quite poor.

And no, an understanding of church doctrine, the Bible and tradition was quite poor amongst the general Catholic population prior to Vatican II. It might be worse now, but it was what I would call good. For cyin’ out loud...people were saying the Rosary during Mass because they didn’t understand what was going on!

However I will admit that the love and knowledge of the Church was stronger amongst the few truly devout Catholics of the time. Perhaps you and those close to you took the effort to understand the Mass. I admire that. But the general population was disconnected.


50 posted on 01/02/2009 8:56:42 PM PST by kidd (Obama: The triumph of hope over evidence)
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