Skip to comments.Take Back the Church? (dissenting catholic organizations)
Posted on 08/21/2006 7:29:46 AM PDT by NYer
I've come to a conclusion about dissenting Catholics and how they compare to their more faithful counterparts. Here it is: Faithful Catholics start families. Dissenting Catholics start organizations.
If you need proof for the second point, I give you Take Back Our Church, the newest dissident group on the block. Started four months ago by former Jesuit and Newsweek contributing editor Robert Blair Kaiser and California businessman Robert Miller, the group joins an already crowded gaggle of dissenting organizations.
So, what differentiates Take Back Our Church from Call to Action, or FutureChurch, or Voice of the Faithful, or The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church, or any other similar group?
Take Back Our Church's Web site is stuffed with the same nonsense you've read before: the Catholic Church is authoritarian; current Church leaders have turned their backs on Vatican II; the faithful need to reclaim their Church, and reshape it to match their needs.
And so on.
None of this is terribly surprising, given Kaiser's involvement in the project. He came out with a book earlier this year entitled, A Church in Search of Itself: Benedict XVI and the Battle for the Future.
If you don't have time to read it, let me give you a quick synopsis: The Fathers of Vatican II ushered in a golden age of openness, tolerance, and progressive action. Unfortunately, the dark forces of John Paul II and his diabolical collaborator, Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, clamped down on this movement of the Spirit, dragging the Church back to the Dark Ages. In light of this, thinking Catholics need to reclaim their Church and maybe even start an American Catholic Church of their own (more on this in a moment).
Sound familiar? This is the same tired song we've heard from all the other grey-haired dissidents of Kaiser's generation. Of course, there's an added note of desperation in this latest entry. The years are starting to thin the ranks of Kaiser's allies, and even liberal commentators acknowledge that younger Catholics are noticeably more orthodox than their elders.
So if you're Robert Blair Kaiser, now is the time to act, before the dissident generation is no more.
And here's where it gets really interesting.
You see, Kaiser's organization is calling for more than just reform; they want an autochthonous American Catholic Church. An autochthonous Church isn't the same as an autonomous Church, as Kaiser is quick to point out on the Web site. Rather, an autochthonous Church is a native Church, an ecclesial body organized and run by people in that specific country.
In the autochthonous Church of Kaiser's dreams, the faithful would elect their own bishops. But that's not all:
We will write a Declaration of Autochthony, one that will challenge our priest-people and our people-people to work out a constitution for the American Church that carefully puts aside the Rome-based secretive, half-vast, culturally-conditioned legalisms codified in canon law in return for the kind of servant Church envisioned at Vatican II.So a democratic Church with elected bishops and a national ecclesial constitution. If all of that sounds more political than spiritual, it's no coincidence. According to Take Back Our Church's July 4 email to supporters,
This will be a political battle in a Church that has gotten us used to the idea that there's something shady, maybe even something sinful, in trying to overturn the old pyramidal structure. We plead "not guilty" to that charge. But we do plead guilty in our wish to overturn at least in the United States what the last pope called "the divinely instituted hierarchical constitution of the Church.At least they're honest. They don't want a hierarchical Church that disagrees with them, so they need to overthrow it.
Right now, we'd like each of you, 580 of you, to scour your e-mail address books and urge your twenty closest friends to go to our website and sign in. Do it now.Okay, so maybe they need to work on their growth strategy as well.
Hey, guys, hate to let you in on a little secret, but it's already been done.
Oh, and, P.S.. . .
Why don't you go over there with all the like-minded loony tunes and just leave faithful Catholics alone?
It's a serious problem.
Campaigning for full vastness is a moral imperative.
LOL. You're right, half-vast is for weak-kneed pansies. I demand a full-vast Canon Law. I'm writing a letter to the pope right now.... BWAH-HA-HA
If you haven't already, I strongly recommend that you read Peggy Noonan's John Paul the Great.
The priest at a local parish here said in one of his homilies a while ago that "it used to be that when people had a problem with the Catholic church....they left. We call them Protestants. Now, they stay, and they complain and they want the Church to change. If you don't like the doctrine of the Catholic church, you shouldn't campaign to have it changed."
HOOCH is an implacable foe of anybody and anything which rankles or upsets me/us. Kaiser and his take-back-the-church types, and fake women priests, and Catholics for Free Choice, and the Call-To-Action-Voice of the Future With Fidel Fans.
I am holding my first meeting tonight and I wouldn't be surprised to discover a lot of anger, bad language, imprecations, insults, invective and poorly-reasoned responses will be generated to combat the dire threats posed by these bathetic groups.
I mean, they represent, what, nearly 1/100th of 1% of all Catholics in America? They must be taken seriously.
Weapons must be cleaned, ammo stocks refreshed, wine ordered, huge hunks of meat must be bathed in some sort of garlic, olive oil, bitter herbs and wine marinade and lump charcoal must be hauled home in a van...
Then, demonstrations must be planned, placards painted and whatnot. Oh, and ice for the beer...
However, some of their ministers are excellent golfers. That can not be denied
I sense you have exemplary ideas about Apostolic Succession and intimate knowledge about the internal processes twixt Venice and Vatican and so I am anxious to read your opinions
What is your understanding of authority? When the New Testament tells Christians to hear the Churcvh or be treated as heathens in how many ways is that bad advice?
I can't even tell what they're trying to say there. "Half-vast"? It's not even a Typso if I don't know what it's supposed to mean!
Surely they can't mean "half-@$$ed," since the Code of Canon Law is extravagantly complete and comprehensive (if nothing else).
With all due respect. I don't believe you can compare marriage and the doctrine of the church. It's apples and oranges. I happen to agree with this priest. I don't think the church should compromise. Some of the issues that dissenting catholics want changed are things like accepting homosexuality. Should the church change even when it goes against scripture? No way.
It is a filial relationship.
The Church as a loving parent makes the rules and the obedient child obeys the rules.
I guess he doesn't know how to use a search engine, he wants to re-invent the autochthonous wheel:
Quit yammering about it and get on with it, dude. Hire some rent-a-priests and womenpriests and get on with it!
Their grammar could certainly be improved.
*Kaiser's People-Church at Council
There ya go. Mr. K has an existing organizational model to follow. No need to start from scratch.
Discuss the issues all you want but do NOT make it personal! Click on my profile page for guidelines pertaining to the Religion Forum.
This, basically, has been the goal all along. Nothing must do, but an "American" Catholic Church, separate and independent of the Roman Catholic Church. A lot of the dissenters, though, will probably protest that this is not what they had/have in mind; that they want only to "restore" the Roman Catholic Church and make it more "responsive" to today's "modern Catholic." It's about time somebody actually came forward to do what they have been dreaming of for the last 40 years.
Nope, not for me (I used to be an Episcopalian. GC 2003, and our diocese's wholehearted support for same, was the last straw for us.)
In other words, you believe that someone who has attained sufficient maturity has the right to stand in judgment over God's Church?
As both a child and a parent of children I have learned that the quintessence of childishness is disobedience, and that "growing up" consists almost entirely of accepting one's responsibilities and duties and carrying them out without selfishness or whining..
The New Testament holds Christ himself up as a model of obedience.
The point of being a Christian is imitating Christ, not following one's own whims. The latter is a spoiled teenager's fantasy of adulthood, not the real thing.
Interestingly enough, a small group of us had a similar discussion after liturgy yesterday. It is comforting to see that younger catholics are seeking a more reverent form of worship, which is drawing them to the Eastern Catholic Churches. After a few visits, they return with friends. One of those 'friends' yesterday, turned out to be an Evangelical who wishes to become a Catholic. He was quite 'on to' the local RC bishop and the 30 years of damage he has wreaked to this diocese.
I agree! It's interesting to see that all the dissenters seem to be of a "certain age." Which is as it should be, I guess. This kind of rebellion appears every once in a while, but never seems to gather much more membership than the initial "consenters." Given time, this "movement" will cease to "move," through simple attrition.
But the problem is, the dissidents want to "stay" --- but to change the definition of marriage.
You appear to equate obedience with stupidity..Using their intelleigence instead of behaving like little children..." Please enlighten us
What exactly is YOUR "adult solution" to a particular, as yet unidentified by you, "problem?"
I am sure you must have something more than rank insults and references to the "taliban." So far, you are but the pot calling the kettle black.
I have asked you a few questions to which you have yet to respond. I don't know in what way that is an example of "adult behavior." Please enlighten me.
For instance, we avoid flamewars by not allowing a conversation to shift from a discussion of the issues to making it personal. The remark "grow up" addressed to another poster here is making it personal because it presumes the poster's motives and/or is reading his mind.
To avoid future problems, read all of the guidelines on the above link.
If that's the crowd you want to run with, please, go ahead and run with them. After all, they "grew up" and took charge of their church, unlike those authoritarian, mean old Catholics.
The modern, educated, adult Christian in action?
Some people want to "stay" in the church, only to change the definition of Church. They dissent on core issues of faith and morals, and so they stay, but not a faithful believers.
It would like a spouse proclaiming his attachment to "marriage," --- refusing separation or divorce --- and yet insisting that the marriage must be reshaped as a union which is not lifelong, not exclusive, not fertile, and not sacramental.
If people are fundamentally dissatisfied with Catholic faith and morals want to stay in order to undermine the faith and redefine the morals, that's not fidelity; it's subversion. It's not loyalty; it's treason.
The Church of France under the Ancien regime was virtually autochthronous.
But came the revolution and the Church found itself under a regime that cared little for Christian doctrine but wantede to make the Church a department of government for the sake of stability. Rome refused to recognize the Constitutional Church and soon found itself in the gunsights of the French Army. When the pope died, the French said, well, that was the last of them.
"All in all, they're just another clique in the pall"
Just for your information I am opposed to the ordination of women, (but am not opposed to a discussion about it - it just is not my interest ) and I do think the homosexuality of the clergy has been destructive to the Church in many ways. Let me offer an example of Catholics behaving like obedient little children and not taking responsibility.
Catholics in parishes for over 25 years have been aware that more and more of their new priests were gay, there was an obvious problem developing, but they said nothing. Most guilty, it seems to me were the Knights of Columbus, and the women who thought the gay priests were "just wonderful". The knights hobnobed with the bishops with their swords but never really sat down with him to discuss what was going on. We all know the results, and now because most straight men were turned off by what was going on in the seminaries, we now have very few Americans being ordained and our priests speak Polish or whatever - and is the answer lets seriously face this issue and try to solve it as adults - no most likely we are asked to "pray" and I am sure some will think I am against prayer. Oh well - I still think adult discussion and action, not giving in to the crazies
who want to change everything is the answer. If you don't think there are problems ask your own relatives and friends about birth control and annulments. Being willing to discuss these issue does not mean one favors abortion or some other crazy idea.
And furthermore attacking the Episcopalians who admittedly are in a mess,does not excuse us from being honest with ourselves. The Church is a divine institution but it is a very human organization and we are the "grown up" humans who are responsible or should be. One liners or pointing to single issue extremes do not help solve our very real problems but honest give and take discussion could be a start.
Check out the numbers attending Mass on Sunday in comparison to years ago. Talk to your Protestant friends and discover that up to one third of their church membership are fallen away Catholics. and check the reductions of the number of Catholics in South America and Africa. Some would say - good - Let them all go to hell - but would those be the words of Jesus. I say again, though some may not like it - lets all "Grow up".
In the Vatican II documents, the role of the laity is to bring the Gospel message to the greater society. It is not to determine by majority vote the teachings of the deposit of faith, which constitute divine revelation through Scripture and Tradition and are expounded and interpreted by the authentic magisterium founded by Christ, i.e., the successor of Peter and the apostolic college of bishops in communion with him. If one wishes to rewrite the teachings of the faith, in a free society like ours, one should join or create another religion, and I think the modern American Episcopal Church might just fit the bill for these dissenters.