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.
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"