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Take Back the Church? (dissenting catholic organizations)
Catholic Exchange ^ | August 21, 2006 | Brian Saint-Paul

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?

Good question.

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.

Easier said than done. While Take Back Our Church may be long on ambitions, they're falling short on methodology. Indeed, right now, their principle concern appears to be finding members. As of July 4, they had a total of 580 people on their roll. Not terribly impressive. But don't worry, they do have a strategy for growth:
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.


TOPICS: Activism; Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: religiousleft
Brian Saint-Paul is editor of Crisis Magazine.
1 posted on 08/21/2006 7:29:47 AM PDT by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
Have a good laugh ..........

TAKE BACK OUR CHURCH

2 posted on 08/21/2006 7:33:09 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
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.

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?

3 posted on 08/21/2006 7:47:15 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: NYer
I've always said that the worst thing about Catholicism is how half-vast the Code of Canon Law is.

It's a serious problem.

Campaigning for full vastness is a moral imperative.

4 posted on 08/21/2006 7:50:24 AM PDT by wideawake ("The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: NYer
dissenting catholic organizations... aren't those called protestants?
5 posted on 08/21/2006 7:59:24 AM PDT by kawaii
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To: wideawake

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


6 posted on 08/21/2006 8:08:41 AM PDT by Juana la Loca
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To: NYer

If you haven't already, I strongly recommend that you read Peggy Noonan's John Paul the Great.


7 posted on 08/21/2006 8:10:35 AM PDT by Mercat (Luke 1:46-55)
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To: AnAmericanMother
First - it was not that long ago that bishops were selected by the local diocese or at least by the national hierarchy rather than by Rome, but I'll leave that to a better historian than I.

BUT if you want an interesting contrast consider Southwest Florida, the Catholics in Venice just got foisted upon them a vatican bureaucrat with practically no parish experience.
Chances are he will be there a very short time and then moved up to an Archdiocese and eventually to a see which will give him a bright red scull cap, a la Cody, George, Rigali etc. Now he may be a very nice guy, so I am considering the process not the man.

NOW - check out the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida and consider the process they are going through to select their next bishop - consultation with their priests, laity;
character and interests desired. etc. They seem to have some trust that maybe the holy Spirit working through the people of God - all that Vatican II type of language - might help them get a good pastoral bishop. Now of course they might get a gay one but historically their odds are probably less then that of their Roman brothers - especially if they choose a married (to a woman) man. Interesting, isn't it.
8 posted on 08/21/2006 8:32:58 AM PDT by VidMihi
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To: Mercat

Loved it!!


9 posted on 08/21/2006 8:36:05 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
priest-people and our people-people

People-people...
10 posted on 08/21/2006 8:38:47 AM PDT by Dominick ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." - JP II)
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To: NYer

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."


11 posted on 08/21/2006 9:03:52 AM PDT by Krista33
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To: NYer
I'm Chairman of "Hands Off Our Church, Hebetates".

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...

12 posted on 08/21/2006 9:19:05 AM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: VidMihi
The Episcopalian Community is not a Church. They have no Apostolic Succession or Eucharist.

However, some of their ministers are excellent golfers. That can not be denied

13 posted on 08/21/2006 9:22:21 AM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: Krista33
You wrote about your priest friend -
"
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."

Let us hope he does not do marriage counseling.If you have a problem - just leave the marriage.

Many Catholics I know love the Church enough to stay and try to work out the problem. In any situation of working things out both sides must try to understand the other. It does not work when one side says "I don't want to listen - this is the way it is - if you don't like it leave"
14 posted on 08/21/2006 9:24:01 AM PDT by VidMihi
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To: VidMihi
BTW, I am a frequent Communicant at The Catehdral of the Epiphany in Venice. Do you know the name of this Vat-Bur with no experience?

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

15 posted on 08/21/2006 9:26:54 AM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: VidMihi
So, when many left Jesus after He explained the Eucharist, they really should have stayed and Jesus ought have compromised and worked things out?

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?

16 posted on 08/21/2006 9:29:51 AM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: wideawake

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).


17 posted on 08/21/2006 9:34:08 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Mother of a horde: it's not just an adventure - it's a job!)
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To: VidMihi

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.


18 posted on 08/21/2006 9:35:23 AM PDT by Krista33
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To: VidMihi; bornacatholic; Krista33
VidMihi, you are using the wrong metaphor - the relationship of the believer to the Church is not a spousal relationship.

It is a filial relationship.

The Church as a loving parent makes the rules and the obedient child obeys the rules.

Period.

19 posted on 08/21/2006 9:40:10 AM PDT by wideawake ("The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: NYer
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

I guess he doesn't know how to use a search engine, he wants to re-invent the autochthonous wheel:

A PROPOSED CONSTITUTION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Quit yammering about it and get on with it, dude. Hire some rent-a-priests and womenpriests and get on with it!

20 posted on 08/21/2006 9:40:36 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: NYer

Their grammar could certainly be improved.


21 posted on 08/21/2006 9:41:21 AM PDT by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed.)
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To: siunevada
We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week... ... But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting... By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,...but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

*Kaiser's People-Church at Council

22 posted on 08/21/2006 9:53:27 AM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: bornacatholic
We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune.

There ya go. Mr. K has an existing organizational model to follow. No need to start from scratch.

23 posted on 08/21/2006 10:14:59 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: wideawake

Grow Up


24 posted on 08/21/2006 10:38:31 AM PDT by VidMihi
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To: VidMihi

Discuss the issues all you want but do NOT make it personal! Click on my profile page for guidelines pertaining to the Religion Forum.


25 posted on 08/21/2006 10:41:23 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: NYer

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.


26 posted on 08/21/2006 10:50:33 AM PDT by redhead (Alaska: Officially Termination-Dusted: Aug. 19, 2006)
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To: VidMihi
Well, I don't know where the Diocese of SW Florida stands on the current Episcopalian continuum, but if they are with the Schori/Griswold crowd, they are going to get worse than a Vatican bureaucrat, they'll probably get a non-believer. And if they are with the Network crowd, they have far more difficult issues to deal with . . .

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.)

27 posted on 08/21/2006 10:50:47 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: VidMihi
Grow Up

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.

28 posted on 08/21/2006 10:52:11 AM PDT by wideawake ("The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: redhead
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.

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.

29 posted on 08/21/2006 11:25:15 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Religion Moderator
Sorry you are offended by what was one of the messages of Vatican II -that Catholics should begin to grow up and assume some responsibility for using their intelligence instead of behaving like little children ' Sister said" and "Father said". In a pilgrim church in the modern world we need honest adult discussion and adult solutions to problems. That is why we have more involvement of laity such as in parish councils etc. We are beyond the time when the Church demanded of their laity that they pray, pay, and obey.period. If we treat each other as children, or if church leaders treat their people as children or ask our people to behave like good little boys and girls then we are no more than those under the control of the taliban. We educated our people in our Catholic Schools and Universities to think, to be responsible, or in other words to "Grow Up".
30 posted on 08/21/2006 11:32:50 AM PDT by VidMihi
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To: NYer

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.


31 posted on 08/21/2006 11:39:09 AM PDT by redhead (Alaska: Officially Termination-Dusted: Aug. 19, 2006)
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To: VidMihi
"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."... Let us hope he does not do marriage counseling.If you have a problem - just leave the marriage.

But the problem is, the dissidents want to "stay" --- but to change the definition of marriage.

32 posted on 08/21/2006 1:20:51 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Purity of Christ, save us.)
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To: VidMihi
Please post the relevant passages from Vatican Two which changed Christian Doctrine on the nature of the Hierarchial Constitution of the Church.

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.

33 posted on 08/21/2006 1:25:41 PM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: VidMihi
As the newcomer to this Religion Forum, you must become familiar with our guidelines for posting here.

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.

34 posted on 08/21/2006 1:34:56 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: VidMihi
FWIW, I looked up the diocese of SW Florida. The bishop, Lipscomb, is a classic "yes man" who wishes the whole controversy over Scripture and modern mores would just go away -- but he is standing with ECUSA and won't disapprove of any heretical notion approved by GC. As one of the posters on an orthodox Anglican website noted, if you're a "yes man" for ECUSA, Griswold is your PB, Schori is your Bishopess to be, you approve of divorced, adulterous, and homosexual priests and bishops, you deny Scripture, and you won't even affirm that Christ is the way, the truth and the life.

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.

35 posted on 08/21/2006 1:59:44 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: AnAmericanMother
Accusations and slights abound but responses to specific questions are non-existent.

The modern, educated, adult Christian in action?

Apparently so.

36 posted on 08/21/2006 2:12:57 PM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: VidMihi
Oops--- I had to leave before I finished that post which compared leaving the Church to leaving a marriage.

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.

37 posted on 08/21/2006 2:17:33 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Purity of Christ, save us.)
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To: VidMihi

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.


38 posted on 08/21/2006 2:17:36 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: bornacatholic
The Second Vatican Council did not do anything that is claimed by "dissenters". The Council itself produced a Constitution on the Church and a Constitution on the Liturgy, both of which reiterated the traditional dogmas and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, including Papal Infallibility when defining faith and morals. Note too that this doctrine was not confined to "ex cathedra" pronouncements. The Council affirmed that when a general council of bishops in union with the Holy Father defines matters of faith and morals, those teachings are infallibly taught. The apostolic nature of the Church is explained and the role of the hierarchy is defined in traditional terms. More participation among the laity is certainly encouraged, but always in line with the fundamental faith and practices of the Church. The so-called reforms of Vatican II did not come from the Council. They were the products of subversive infiltration of the post council commissions. These were not a part of the Council itself and were misused by extremist dissenters to subvert the actual product of the Council. That is why they always beckon to the "spirit" of Vatican II. They know that the actual Second Vatican Council was very traditional in fundamentals. It's purpose was to make these fundamentals more available to the modern world.
39 posted on 08/21/2006 2:29:17 PM PDT by tmbrrr
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To: tmbrrr
"Teaching Church, leave the kids alone," is the chorus of dissenters.

"All in all, they're just another clique in the pall"

40 posted on 08/21/2006 2:40:37 PM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: RobbyS

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".


41 posted on 08/21/2006 3:04:04 PM PDT by VidMihi
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To: NYer
If someone is going to take back our church, I hope it includes taking it back from those who condone illegal immigration, or more accurately - foreign invasion.
42 posted on 08/21/2006 5:03:42 PM PDT by Barnacle
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To: VidMihi
If by "grow up" you mean take responsibility for holding members of the Church accountable when they teach error or create scandal, I wholeheartedly agree. The Church in America is truly in crisis and individual lay people and those in Catholic fraternal organizations need to take proactive steps to prevent the further erosion of our faith. However, you ask how Jesus would respond about those who leave the Church. Well, He did respond. He told the disciples to go and preach the Gospel, but if the people of a town refuse to listen, they were to brush off the dust from their feet and move on. It is far more important to expel those who would subvert the Church than to fill the pews. Pope Benedict has expressed this sentiment. The Roman Catholic Church requires fidelity to its fundamental teachings. A Catholic, by definition, is one who not only follows the Magisterium, but BELIEVES it! So, to "grow up" is to learn the Faith, practice it, and then pass it on.
43 posted on 08/21/2006 5:24:24 PM PDT by tmbrrr
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To: VidMihi

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.


44 posted on 08/21/2006 7:41:59 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: redhead
There IS an American Catholic Church. It's diabolical. That's why when you read that "75% of American Catholics favor abortion" or whatever, you have to be sure of who they're talking about.
45 posted on 08/24/2006 9:19:55 AM PDT by ichabod1 (Peace In Our TimeŽ)
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