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Can the Bishops Heal the American Church?
Crisis: Politics, Culture & the Church | June 2002 | George Sim Johnston

Posted on 06/04/2002 3:03:30 AM PDT by maryz

The Catholic Church in America is at a watershed. The current crisis is the culmination of decades of bad management, errant theology, and sinful behavior. It is partly about sex and partly about bishops. It is also about deluded therapies and an institutional Church that often goes flopping along with the mainstream on moral issues. The crisis is mostly, however, about active homosexuals in the priesthood. Anyone (including an archbishop) who does not admit this is simply part of the problem.

The media have framed the issue as one of pedophilia – that is, the sexual abuse of prepubescent children. But the large majority of the cases in question involve not pedophilia but the sexual abuse of teenage boys. Sexual attraction to male adolescents is technically called “ephebophilia.” But don’t expect Mike Wallace to use this term on 60 Minutes. Not because it is a mouthful, but because the media prefer not to treat homosexual behavior as the issue. Still, it is issue, and if the hierarchy does not root it out – if it takes the easy approach of instituting “new procedures” for dealing with abuse only after it has occurred – then the devastation is going to continue.

In the Wake of Humanae Vitae

Let me tell you a story. Two decades ago, a friend of mine attended a large social gathering sponsored by a diocese in the Northeast. At one point, all the local seminarians arrived, and as the music was cranked up, they all began to dance with one another. My friend expressed puzzlement to somebody familiar with t he way things were under the local bishop, and the reply was, “Of course, all the seminarians are gay.”

The institutional Church has been deeply corrupted by the sexual revolution. Ralph McInerny was absolutely correct in his April 2002 “End Notes” when wrote that many of our problems can be traced to the widespread theological dissent against Humanae Vitae. That 1968 encyclical was the defining moment of modern American Catholicism. It put famous theologians into open rebellion against the Holy See. It made heterodoxy normative in many, if not most, Catholic institutions. In the wake of the dissent, many in the clergy began to issue permission slips to the laity for all sorts of sexual behavior. So why not give one to themselves?

I hope we are beyond the point where any discussion of homosexual behavior that is not entirely favorable is deemed “homophobic.” We are not talking here about priests with a homosexual orientation who are struggling to live the virtue of chastity. We are talking about active homosexuals who have broken their vows. We are talking about a lifestyle that is often marked by compulsive behavior. Homosexuals have a more serious problem with promiscuity and lack of restraint than heterosexuals (see, for example, Spence Publishing’s Homosexuality in American Public Life, edited by Christopher Wolfe). Forty percent of homosexual sex today is reportedly unprotected – this after two decades of safe-sex instruction. Active homosexuals also constitute a relatively high proportion of sexual molesters. And they have been welcomed into the Catholic priesthood.

How did this happen? At some point in the early 1970s, a gay insurgency within the Church began to gain control of at least part of the official Catholic apparatus. Once in place, this network expanded. Many seminaries were turned into “pink palaces” where young, devout, heterosexual men felt distinctly vulnerable. And this is not just a diocesan problem: Many religious orders run seminaries with openly homosexual cultures.

Is it surprising, then, that these scandals have occurred? If you allow into the priesthood men who in many cases have already chosen to flout Catholic moral teachings and are disposed to mix sodomy with their ministerial rounds, which include contact with teenage boys, there are going to be incidents of sexual abuse.

Where the Bishops Went Wrong

Ant let’s be clear about this: There is no greater scandal on this planet than a priest sexually violating a minor. Christ used the strongest possible language to condemn the abuse of the “little ones.” Such acts are the equivalent of spiritual and psychological murder. There are often perpetrated on confused youths who hunger for a father figure and never fully recover from the betrayal of trust.

Just as scandalous has been the handling of these incidents by bishops and administrators. And this brings us to a larger problem in the American Catholic Church. For decades, our episcopate has been in the hands of mildly “pastoral” men who (with honorable exceptions) chose not to see what was happening on their watch. This is true even of some visibly orthodox bishops. It is good and honorable to uphold Catholic doctrine in the public arena, but it is much more difficult to confront diocesan officials who dissent from Catholic teaching. Even in so-called orthodox dioceses there can be found legions of heterodox administrators who have ruined seminaries and made a hash of CCD and Pre-Cano programs. This is where the courage of many bishops fails: They would rather get on with their administrators – some of whom may be openly contemptuous of the magisterium – than be a sign of contradiction. They simply let things happen.

The grossly negligent response of certain bishops to incidents of sexual abuse is of a piece with this “I’m okay, you’re okay” style of episcopal management. Sexual predators have been shifted from parish to parish, their crimes buried in chancery files, and the families of victims in some cases bullied or bought into silence. Bishops have treated the threat of bad publicity, rather than the predators, as the problem. Their response to these wolves loose in the sheepfold has been bureaucratic rather than spiritual and moral.

Even now, I am not sure that some bishops really get it, given the solutions they are venting after meeting with Pope John Paul II in Rome. The crisis is not going to be solved just be instituting new procedures, or tightening up reporting or using more psychological testing. It will disappear only when bishops understand the responsibilities of their office and are not afraid of striking at the root of the problem – which is going to involve, among other things, firing vocations directors, cleaning up the seminaries, and defrocking (with Rome’s permission) a number of priests. We are not talking about witch-hunts, and due process is important. But why should so many teaching centers of the Church be in the hands of people who not only reject Catholic doctrine but don’t seem to mind priests breaking their vows?

One of the benefits of the current scandals is the exposure of the therapeutic culture that has invaded the Church. The Catholic landscape is dotted with therapy centers that purport to treat sexually abusive priests. These centers give bishops the illusion that they are doing something about the problem. But they are often staffed with “experts” who are sympathetic to the gay agenda. These therapists are quick to label their patients as normal and harmless after a few months of counseling and send them off for a new parish assignment. It is worth noting that in 1973 the American Psychiatric Association officially decided to stop treating the homosexual orientation as a problem. In any event, anybody who knows anything about sexual pathologies knows that the rates of recidivism are high after treatment. The credulity of those who have bought into these programs for so long is truly astonishing.

What the Bishops Must Do

The current crisis presents an enormous opportunity for reform and renewal within the Church. There is also a great potential for error. One popular proposal is to allow priests to marry. But there is a good reason why celibacy is a Church discipline. On a practical level, the Church discovered early on that diocesan priests could not fully do justice to the vocation of priesthood and the vocation of marriage, both of which involve a total gift of self. Also, think about it: If the Church were to allow priests to marry, within a decade or so there would be a lot of divorced priests – some clamoring for remarriage. If the sexual revolution is going to adversely affect single priests, it will certainly affect married ones.

There are things the hierarchy can do right now to address the crisis, and there are other policies that will take years to implement. First, the American bishops have to admit that this is their problem, not Rome’s. One of the ironies of the current crisis is that for years parties in the American Church, including bishops, have complained about Vatican “interference,” implying that they have more to teach Rome than vice versa. But the moment the scandals broke, the cry became, “Why doesn’t the Vatican do something?” The Catholic Church is not an American corporation, and the bishops are not functionaries of the pope; they are the heads of the Church in their diocese and are fully responsible.

And they need to do a serious housecleaning. They need to ask a number of incorrigible offenders to leave the priesthood. They may have to close some seminaries or transfer their management to orthodox orders. I recently talked to their one young man who described life in the East Coast seminary from which he was expelled for orthodoxy: lavish parties, plenty of liquor, never any silence, an openly gay vice-rector, a liturgy professor who assigns Protestant textbooks on the Eucharist and refers to the Blessed Sacrament as “bread” and transubstantiation as a “theory.” The only “good” news was that not all his fellow seminarians were gay: One had a girlfriend who regularly visited his bed with the tacit approval of his superiors.

In the case of the abuse of minors, there should be a “one strike and you’re out” policy. The severity of this approach does not violate the Catholic understanding that all sinners are capable of change and repentance. It is simply a prudential recognition that a disproportionate number of sex offenders are likely to bide their time and strike again. We have a duty to protect our youth, and this means we have no business experimenting with more therapies and simply hoping for the best.

The bishops should also consider incorporating Rev. John Harvey’s Courage program in seminaries and treatment centers. Courage is a spiritual support system that helps men with a homosexual orientation to live an interior life of chastity. It works. Yet Catholic bishops and administrators are often hostile to Courage, preferring programs that are more to the taste of gay activists.

The bishops might also consider finally implementing the documents of the Second Vatican Council, which, among other things, are an antidote to the clericalism that still plagues the Church in this country. In too many dioceses, there is an impenetrable clerical culture that does not involve orthodox lay Catholics with real expertise in areas like management and organization – and theology, for that matter. I am not suggesting the “clericalization” of the laity, but it is important for both clergy and laity to grow out of the habit of viewing the church as a juridical machine run by a self-enclosed hierarchy. The current crisis would not have been so bad if the hierarchy had worked with consultative lay bodies that act as a reality check.

Like the Sons of Noah

What is the proper response of the laity to the crisis? Above all, it should be one of prayer and trust in God. We should also examine ourselves as Catholics. The laity constitute 89 percent of the Church, and these scandals among the clergy did not occur in a vacuum. Do we pray for priests? Do we foster vocations among devout and intelligent young men? Are we supportive of parish priests, who have very difficult jobs and often only hear complaints? Are we charitable toward their human failings?

Sometimes it is a good thing for the laity to behave like the sons of Noah, who covered their father’s nakedness with a cloak. St. Catherine of Siena, who lived in a time of great crisis in the Church, reports Christ as saying in one of her mystical dialogues: “It is my will that the sins of the clergy should not lessen your reverence for them . . . because the reverence you pay to them is not actually paid to them but to me.” Our outlook in these matters must be supernatural. Our attention should primarily be on God rather than the sins of others.

That said, the Church has serious work to do in putting its house in order. St. Catherine also wrote: “It is essential to root out from the garden of the Church the rotten plants and to put in their place the good ones.”


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: catholicchurch; catholiclist; priestscandal
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To: maryz
"The institutional Church has been deeply corrupted by the sexual revolution"

But, but hasn't the whole of society become corrupted by the deviant behaviour of certain individuals...The movie industry, sporting,educators, etc have all been tainted by this insidious plague. Why then hold the Catholic Church as the only one to be tried and convicted.... as we write, there are grand plans to hold a Gay(sad) parade through the streets of Jerusalem...does this not evoke the same outrage as has been poured out on the Catholic Church? Do these deviants not deserve to be chastised for the corruption they bring upon the law abiding and God fearing people the world around.....I am just about fed up with the Media, it used to be, a favorite newspaper's bold statement in the upper right hand corner "All the news that is fit to print"

Pleazzze, give me a break. Media seems to be the culprit here.

51 posted on 06/04/2002 9:09:19 AM PDT by ejo
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To: american colleen

But the faith says that we must be obedient to the Pope/Magisterium teaching, does it not? Not going to Mass because all there might be is the "Novus Ordo" is contrary to the faith. Jesus is Present in the "Novus Ordo", is he not? I would rather receive the Body of Christ in a "Novus Ordo" Mass than not receive Him at all. That said, I do love the Latin/Tridentine Mass.

Yes, we must be obedient to the Pope/Magisterium. But obedience is a matter of Justice. It is sinful to obey an unjust command (unjust in this case being contrary to God's Law). This is also a matter of faith.

As to whether or not we should attend the Novus Ordo if that is all that is available, is an interesting question. I have attended Novus Ordo masses where the priest has made it abundantly clear that he does not agree with the church's teaching on the sacrifice of the mass and the real presence. In this case, he would lack intent, which is required, and therefore would not consecrate the host, and I would not in fact be receiving Jesus. Also, the chances that I will hear a heretical homily at a Novus Ordo mass are very high based on my own experiences. Personally, I will attend the Novus Ordo if that is all that is available, but I have a hard time condemning the person who wishes to avoid it.

52 posted on 06/04/2002 9:09:23 AM PDT by Bellarmine
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To: one_particular_harbour
If you already have a grab bag of sorts, doesn't matter much what you add to it, I suppose.
53 posted on 06/04/2002 9:20:01 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Bellarmine
I have attended Novus Ordo masses where the priest has made it abundantly clear that he does not agree with the church's teaching on the sacrifice of the mass and the real presence.

NO KIDDING???? I almost fell off my chair.

54 posted on 06/04/2002 9:21:32 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: MarMema
What we see when we look at JP2 is incredible arrogance, at best. Not one of us sees ourselves as lost sheep. Come to one of our liturgies and get back to me. Ours is from 300 AD. Step back in time to Byzantium and enjoy the experience of a true mystery, a reverent and profound worship of Christ. Now what could your church possibly offer to replace what we already have? Amazing.

That was directed specifically towards the SSPX, not the Orthodox. I don't have any idea why you want want to insert yourself into that situation - maybe you just had the desire to fell unjustly wounded, who knows?

55 posted on 06/04/2002 9:22:55 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: american colleen
I'd just like to ask both of them (and Cardinal Law) how they, as educated, called men, could have been so stupid and hateful towards the young in their flocks.

There was a story in the Herald today about McCormack's deposition -- not much detail, the transcript hadn't been released. But apparently his motivation was that he didn't want to create a 'scandal.' Did it never occur to him that the way to avoid a scandal is to do all in your power not to let scandalous behavior start and, if it should despite your precautions, stomp it out?

Also, according to the Herald story, there was also testimony about "priests who have not previously been implicated in abuse cases."

56 posted on 06/04/2002 9:23:22 AM PDT by maryz
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Comment #57 Removed by Moderator

To: Catholicguy
Or maybe because we take so much heat for attacking your "great shepherd". And because he clearly was wooing us for the last year or so.
58 posted on 06/04/2002 9:28:12 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Catholicguy
But actually we were included in the post of the person who replied to you on the subject. So I guess I thought you were including us as well. Glad to hear you were not!!
59 posted on 06/04/2002 9:32:04 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Bellarmine
Yes, I am. However, you must understand that although obedience is good - Faith is better and is a virtue of higher rank. Our parents, our Priest, our Bishop or even the Pope cannot command me in obedience to do something against God or my soul. (The SSPX position as espoused by Fr. Carl)

Oh, Oh. Sounds like a "personal interpretation" problem.

This view on obedience that you call "personal interpretation" is the view of such doctors of the church as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Robert Bellarmine. Certainly, you are not accusing them of "personal interpretation?"

As the character in Monty Python's "The Holy Grail" said "pull the other one." That response was an attempt to defend the heretical and evil idea that the Catholic Church via Pope Paul VI had promulgated a Protestant worship service and not a new Liturgy of the Mass. Do you want to defend that, Bellarmine?

If you do desire to take on that burden, be prepared to cite Aquinas and Bellarmine in support of such apostate inanity.

Remember, the first law of the church is the salvation of souls. If we obey a command contrary to the faith, the claim that we were just being obedient will not suffice on judgmement day

Everyone is a Pope EXCEPT the Pope, I guess. And I guess it is "Catholic" to think the Pope COULD promulgate a Liturgy of the Mass that is contrary to the Faith.

Bellarmine, if you think that, you ain't Catholic

60 posted on 06/04/2002 9:39:03 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy,bellarmine
Remember, the first law of the church is the salvation of souls. If we obey a command contrary to the faith, the claim that we were just being obedient will not suffice on judgmement day

Wow, did a Catholic say this, did you say this Bellarmine? WAY TO GO!!! (applause, applause)

61 posted on 06/04/2002 9:45:22 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: maryz
We are not talking here about priests with a homosexual orientation who are struggling to live the virtue of chastity. We are talking about active homosexuals who have broken their vows.

The author of this piece knows that there are many homosexually-oriented men in the priesthood who are celibate. There just are. And one might guess who they are, but, because they are celibate, one will never know.

That's why a blanket policy against admitting homosexuals to the priesthood will never work. First, if they're celibate, you'll never know.

And, if they're celibate, why not admit them?

62 posted on 06/04/2002 9:45:23 AM PDT by sinkspur
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To: sinkspur
Or, why not just have heterosexual men for priests and let their wives sing in the choir and help with the management of the church? It's a two-for-one deal.
63 posted on 06/04/2002 9:50:20 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Bellarmine
As to whether or not we should attend the Novus Ordo if that is all that is available, is an interesting question.

It is the Mass available to virtualy ALL the Catholics on this Planet. In what WAY is it "an interesting question" as to whether or not one should attend?

BTW, where does your authority derive from so you can render judgements about which Liturgy of the Mass is acceptable according to the strictures of "justice" as understood by yourself and your personal opinions of Church Fathers? Us lesser lights need to know...

Try to imagine for one-half of one nano-second Aquinas or Bellarmine thinking that Holy Mother Church could promulgate an invalid or defective or illicit Mass?

The Mass is the Mass is the Mass. Liturgy changes the Mass does not. The Mass is the ACTION OF JESUS OFFERING HIMSELF THROUGH THE PRIEST.

Good grief. I lived long enough to hear Nixon tell Republicans "We are all Keynesians now," and I half expect some SSPX devotee or some other self-appointed authority to declare to Catholics, "We are all Protestants now."

64 posted on 06/04/2002 9:52:22 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: all
Isn't it just so annoying to have these Orthodox here pitching in their two cents at will?
Don't you just wish we would go away and leave you alone in your discussion? :-)
65 posted on 06/04/2002 9:53:06 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Bellarmine
Yes, we must be obedient to the Pope/Magisterium. But obedience is a matter of Justice. It is sinful to obey an unjust command (unjust in this case being contrary to God's Law). This is also a matter of faith.

Agreed, by your definition of unjust. It certainly clarifies the original post.

I have been so fortunate in my life - I have never attended a Mass where the priest was a dissenter in The Real Presence. Cardinal Law is pretty orthodox, and therefore, aside of the "normal" things that priests/bishops have done (removing altar kneelers, placing tabernacles on the side altars), I haven't come across a priest who teaches anything other than Christ is Present in the Eucharist. I would walk out if I did encounter that.

66 posted on 06/04/2002 9:57:05 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: MarMema
Isn't it just so annoying to have these Orthodox here pitching in their two cents at will? Don't you just wish we would go away and leave you alone in your discussion? :-)

No! I love the Orthodox. I think you guys have a lot to add (most of the time) to these discussions. You aren't in here calling the Catholic Church the "whore of Babylon" or anything like that!

67 posted on 06/04/2002 9:58:44 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: Catholicguy
or some other self-appointed authority to declare to Catholics, "We are all Protestants now."

Well there is a middle ground, and we have it.

68 posted on 06/04/2002 9:59:24 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: american colleen
Yes, we must be obedient to the Pope/Magisterium. But obedience is a matter of Justice. It is sinful to obey an unjust command (unjust in this case being contrary to God's Law). This is also a matter of faith.

Agreed, by your definition of unjust. It certainly clarifies the original post.

Do you think it possible Holy Mother Church/ The Pope could promulgate a Liturgy of Mass opposed or contrary to God's law?

Did the Holy Spirit die? If so, why wasn't I informed?

69 posted on 06/04/2002 10:07:22 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: american colleen
No, I think the Catholic church, which to me means the people - who are "the church", is a great thing. I confess to not liking your current pope much at all. I have liked some of your past popes very much.
I'm waiting for JP2 to move on and hoping for a great new leader for you all. Just my personal opinion, which is allowed by my church, btw.
I think you Catholics have been victimized by a lousy leader. Some Catholics take offense at that. Many see it as wrong to lay blame at the pope's door.
But in our faith, priests and bishops are human and can be lousy leaders, so you should take it from that perspective. We freely admit to having had lousy leaders of our own. Some of them were probably very holy men in their personal lives, but they still turned out to be lousy leaders. Since we don't have the infallibility thing, it's ok for us to say this. It seems like you are more limited in thinking or saying these kinds of things.
70 posted on 06/04/2002 10:08:55 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: MarMema
Well there is a middle ground, and we have it.

There is the right path of reunion. As this Great Shepherd has said, "We need to breathe with both lungs," in referring to a hoped for reunion of East and West.

There will come a time when even the East will Bless this Holy man and all he did in an attempt to clear away obstacles that opened the path to reunion

71 posted on 06/04/2002 10:11:36 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy,one_particular_harbour
There will come a time when even the East will Bless this Holy man and all he did in an attempt to clear away obstacles that opened the path to reunion

Dream on. He has done more to alienate us than any other pope. My spiritual father has a very hard time discussing it with me at all. Most Orthodox I know consider JP2 to be the worst pope you have had, and he wins the contest of most-disliked pope, hands down.
Would you like to me spell it out for you? Start with Ziggy Brzezinski, Ukraine, kissing the Koran, and all the outright proselytizing. Patriarch Alexi II won't even reply to this pope. The Georgian Patriarch greeted JP2 at the airport and failed to show up for the meeting later to discuss "things". Just couldn't make it.
Keep dreaming, but take my word for it. We can't wait for this pope to move on. And we can't wait to forget about him either.

72 posted on 06/04/2002 10:23:19 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Catholicguy
Oh yeah, and beatifying the Croatian butcher and murderer of Orthodox Serbs didn't go over real well with us either.
73 posted on 06/04/2002 10:25:25 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Catholicguy
Archbishop Stepinac was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Croatia on October 1998
74 posted on 06/04/2002 10:28:38 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: MarMema
I confess to not liking your current pope much at all. I have

ThHis was the third time - on this particualr thread -where you "confessed" your dislike of the Pope. Do you have a compulsion or do you think our memories so faulty you have to continually tell Catholics how much you dislike our Pope?

Your next post (#72) brings the count to four, the number of times you have told us you don't like the Pope. Mar Mena, believe me; we KNOW you dislike the Pope.

75 posted on 06/04/2002 10:34:20 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
Well I always want to be clear, and I don't want people to get confused about the difference. Over-communicating usually causes less problems than under-communicating.
You have my sincere apologies.
76 posted on 06/04/2002 10:51:31 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Catholicguy

If you do desire to take on that burden, be prepared to cite Aquinas and Bellarmine in support of such apostate inanity

"Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who attacks the body, so also is it licit to resist him who attacks souls or destroys the civil order or above all, tries to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will. It is not licit, however, to judge him, to punish him, or to depose him, for these are acts proper to a superior." - St. Robert Bellarmine

Everyone is a Pope EXCEPT the Pope, I guess. And I guess it is "Catholic" to think the Pope COULD promulgate a Liturgy of the Mass that is contrary to the Faith.

Again see the quote above. You should know your church history a little better before you start accusing people of not being Catholic.

77 posted on 06/04/2002 10:58:34 AM PDT by Bellarmine
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To: Bellarmine
Bell, you do your church proud. IMO. :-)
It's good to know about Catholics like you. You leave me smiling and hopeful for your church. Thank you for that.
78 posted on 06/04/2002 11:11:09 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: one_particular_harbour

Can the Bishops Heal the American Church?

What is the church without the trust of people to become or remain parishioners? How can the bishops regain lost trust and those "parishioners" that fled the church? How can bishops stem the tide of parishioners sitting on the fence poised to jump ship?

I doubt this will enable the bishops to "heal" the church. Albeit it is what the parishioners, those that have fled and those on the fence, want from the bishops. They want the bishops to be completely honest and come completely clean about the scandal. However, if the bishops do that it will most likely cause even more parishioners to flee the church than already have. Apparently the bishops, facilitated by the church, have dug their own Catch 22 demise.

As I understand it the church has been sick almost since since it's inception. Or is it that priests sexually abusing people a recent occurrence with a short history?

79 posted on 06/04/2002 11:20:11 AM PDT by Zon
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To: Catholicguy
It is the Mass available to virtualy ALL the Catholics on this Planet. In what WAY is it "an interesting question" as to whether or not one should attend?

To me it is an interesting question based on my experience as a Catholic. I have attended the Novus Ordo my entire life. I had no idea until a year or so ago that the entire liturgy of the church had been changed so radically just before I was born. I remember once attending an Anglican service and commenting to my Anglican friend who was considering converting to Catholicism that the Anglican service was nearly identical to the Catholic mass so that he wouldn't notice any difference. Little did I know at the time that his liturgy was 400 years old and mine was 30. Also, I was unaware that his liturgy was made the way it was by people who despised the Traditional Catholic Mass. So exactly what am I supposed to think Cathilocguy? I will still attend the Novus Ordo, and I don't doubt it's validity, but as far as my own salvation goes, I feel much safer going to the Traditional Mass.

80 posted on 06/04/2002 11:23:12 AM PDT by Bellarmine
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To: MarMema
ROTFLMAO!!!!

I'm laughing with you. And I must say that it's probably not nice, even though laughter is mostly uncontrollable (especially when home alone and reading FR forum posts), to laugh at what amounts to another person's delusions.

81 posted on 06/04/2002 11:34:46 AM PDT by Zon
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To: Catholicguy
No, it is not possible Holy Mother Church/ The Pope could promulgate a Liturgy of Mass opposed or contrary to God's law. I myself mean that I agreed with Bellermine in that "obedience is a matter of Justice. It is sinful to obey an unjust command (unjust in this case being contrary to God's Law). This is also a matter of faith." - I didn't take it (my mistake possibly) that Bellermine was speaking of the so called "Novus Ordo".
82 posted on 06/04/2002 11:37:44 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: sockmonkey
In addressing 3 corrupt Italian Cardinals, Catherine of Siena also said: "You are flowers who shed no perfume, but a stench which makes the whole world reek."

My God we could sure use her here right now. Seems like nobody has the fortitude to really address this problem right now in the Church?

83 posted on 06/04/2002 11:45:22 AM PDT by zbogwan2
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To: Bellarmine
As the character in Monty Python's "The Holy Grail" said "pull the other one." That response was an attempt to defend the heretical and evil idea that the Catholic Church via Pope Paul VI had promulgated a Protestant worship service and not a new Liturgy of the Mass. Do you want to defend that, Bellarmine?

The question stands...

84 posted on 06/04/2002 12:07:33 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
It is the Mass available to virtualy ALL the Catholics on this Planet.

That's a false statement. The Novus Ordo Mass has become so altered and distorted, thanks to extreme interpretations and liberties taken by priests and bishops, that it varies greatly from parish to parish within the same diocese. I know of many Catholics who search out different churches to find a more "respectful" Novus Ordo Mass than that which is geographically closest to them.

Examples: Some congregations stand, some sit and some kneel during the Eucharistic Prayers, some chuches have the tabernacle front and center on the altar,(if there even is an altar remaining), others have it hidden in a "day chapel", out of view.

Your captioned statement was true in the 1950's, when the only difference in the Mass was what local language the sermon was spoken in. It's not true anymore.

85 posted on 06/04/2002 12:13:58 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
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To: Catholicguy
The question stands...

Why are you asking me that question? Are you confused? I have never said that Pope Paul VI promulgated a mass contrary to the faith. I don't appreciate your insinuation that I have...

Charity is the highest of virtues...

86 posted on 06/04/2002 12:14:00 PM PDT by Bellarmine
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To: MarMema
But in our faith, priests and bishops are human and can be lousy leaders, so you should take it from that perspective. We freely admit to having had lousy leaders of our own. Some of them were probably very holy men in their personal lives, but they still turned out to be lousy leaders. Since we don't have the infallibility thing, it's ok for us to say this. It seems like you are more limited in thinking or saying these kinds of things.

You're ignorant of "the infallibility thing". Lurk on some Roman Catholic threads and you'll see plenty of criticism of priests, bishops and yes, even the Pope.

87 posted on 06/04/2002 12:14:16 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: Bellarmine
And I guess it is "Catholic" to think the Pope COULD promulgate a Liturgy of the Mass that is contrary to the Faith. Bellarmine, if you think that, you ain't Catholic

Notice, I didn't say that you were not Catholic. I said IF YOU THINK THAT, you aren't Catholic. Big difference.

Yes, I do know a modicum of history and I have seen that particular quote of Bellarmine's used incessantly by both schismatics and sedevacantists.

I also know that Bellarmine would rhetorically bitch-slap anyone who appropriated his thoughts to defend either schism or sedevacantism.

If you have ever seen the normative Mass celebrated on EWTN, I doubt you would think it was "radically changed." I used to drive 90 miles, one way, to St. Robert Bellarmine in Miami to attend the Indult Mass. I also like the 1962 Roman Missal but hee Mass of Pope Paul VI is supposed to be the normative Mass for every single Catholic. A special motu proprio was issued for those with an attachment to the 1962 Roman Missal and it is a mistake to think that will be the Liturgy one hundred years from now.

Liturgies change but the Mass remains. The Roman Canon itself was changed over the years. Prior to Pope Siricius, Mass was in Greek. Ought the Catholics of 400 a.d. to have started rebelling and establish a specific order in opposition to Rome - the Society of Pope Hyacinth - to celebrate the "mass of all times" the Greek Mass?

88 posted on 06/04/2002 12:25:35 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
- to celebrate the "mass of all times" the Greek Mass?

Hey, it sounds good to me. But then to us "change" is a bad word.

89 posted on 06/04/2002 12:36:48 PM PDT by MarMema
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To: Zon
I'm laughing with you. And I must say that it's probably not nice, even though laughter is mostly uncontrollable (especially when home alone and reading FR forum posts), to laugh at what amounts to another person's delusions.

It is delightful to find something here which makes you laugh aloud. I am glad you did.

90 posted on 06/04/2002 12:41:00 PM PDT by MarMema
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To: Catholicguy
Regarding St. Bellarmine, I hope you won't accuse anyone who proposes that resisting an unlawful order by the pontiff can sometimes be justified of being an inane apostate anymore.

I don't think your statement that the canon has changed over time is specific enough. The Roman Canon was fixed at the time of Gregory the Great. It remained unchanged until Pope John XXIII inserted St. Joseph's name into the Canon, causing a great uproar. Of course now, the canon no longer exists. You can't have multiple canons, it denies the meaning of the word.

I have seen the Mass on EWTN, and I must say that I disagree with you. I do see it as a radical change. Aside from the smells and bells, and the Latin, it is no different from the most outlandish charismatic mass. I have attended very reverent Novus Ordo masses, even in Latin, and they depress me just as much as the worst Novus Ordo masses. As to what the mass will look like in 100 years, who knows?

91 posted on 06/04/2002 12:43:14 PM PDT by Bellarmine
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To: maryz
"The crisis is about active homosexuals in the priesthood.....the cases in question involve not pedophilia but the sexual abuse of teenage boys.....the media prefer not to treat homosexual behavior as the issue. Still, it is issue, and if the hierarchy does not root it out.....then the devastation is going to continue."

Let me not mince words. A priest occupies a position of trust to be true to moral behavior and a Christ-like model for all to follow. A homosexual priest using his position to carry out his base desires upon an innocent adolescent and to then be protected by his superiors is the lowest evil.

I believe the proper penalty for these corruptors of youths is not removal from the priesthood but life in prison. Were a homosexual priest to molest any member of my family and be set free or protected because it's a first offense, neither he nor his superiors would ever be seen again. Guaranteed!

92 posted on 06/04/2002 1:14:16 PM PDT by NetValue
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To: maryz
I know quite a few people who think highly of his work and the way he has led his archdiocese. But for a person who likes spicy food, who likes spicy food, he is a bit like a bowl of porridge, if you know what I mean...
93 posted on 06/04/2002 2:54:36 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: Bellarmine
Regarding St. Bellarmine, I hope you won't accuse anyone who proposes that resisting an unlawful order by the pontiff can sometimes be justified of being an inane apostate anymore.

You appear to have a difficult time following my points. This has happened on this thread before. My comments, AGAIN, were directed specifically to the question as to whether a Pope can promulgate an invalid Mass

I don't think your statement that the canon has changed over time is specific enough. The Roman Canon was fixed at the time of Gregory the Great. It remained unchanged until Pope John XXIII inserted St. Joseph's name into the Canon, causing a great uproar. Of course now, the canon no longer exists. You can't have multiple canons, it denies the meaning of the word.

I will have to go and look it up but, yes, the Roman Canon has been changed frequently throughout history. Jungmann speaks of "thousands of changes" in the Liturgy but I don't have his book before me.

Of course you can have multiple canons - we have them now, and we have had them previously throughout the history of the Church.

I have seen the Mass on EWTN, and I must say that I disagree with you. I do see it as a radical change. Aside from the smells and bells, and the Latin, it is no different from the most outlandish charismatic mass. I have attended very reverent Novus Ordo masses, even in Latin, and they depress me just as much as the worst Novus Ordo masses. As to what the mass will look like in 100 years, who knows?

If a reverent Mass "depresses" you, then I suggest the problem isn't Liturgical

94 posted on 06/04/2002 3:22:08 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy; Bellarmine
Why did you once use "to drive 90 miles, one way, to St. Robert Bellarmine in Miami to attend the Indult Mass", if you consider the Novus Ordo Mass an equal replacement? A Novus Ordo Mass to be mandated worldwide, except for the very few, lucky parishoners whose bishops allow an Indult Mass, often to be offered under such strange sanctions as "every third Sunday".

I, personally, find even a "very reverent Novus Ordo mass", although licit and valid, inferior to the Tridentine Mass. I wish the cardinals, bishops and priests obeyed the Pope's "Eccelsia Dei" and made the Tridentine Mass more available to all those that yearn for it.

95 posted on 06/04/2002 4:27:30 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
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To: Land of the Irish
Frankly, it is because I had one foot in schism. I used to subscribe to "The Remnant," and "Catholic Family News" and "Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXTH Century" and I read "Iota Unum" the History of Vatican Two by Atila Gueameres (sp)and I read the Davies Trilogy of the Council and ad infinitum.

Almost all my reading was from sources opposed to the Mass of Paul VI, the Second Vatican Council. It was only when I began to read other sources that I realised the poor quality of the histories I had been reading, the errors I had been imbibing, and the schism I was courting.

Since that time, I have reread Vatican Two, Jungmann's Roman Rite History and many other orthodox works. I came to realise I had been lied to in tendentious works meant to supplant Divinely-Constituted authority with private judgement, special pleading, emergency situations etc etc.

I now go to a reverent normative Mass celebrated by a convert from So. Baptism; and, yes, I think Paul's Liturgy is every bit as good as the 1962 Roman Missal.

I do think the Pope ought to be obeyed in ALL things; including a wide and generous application of Ecclesia Dei and I think folks ought to be able to worship in peace in union with the local Bishop and the Pope

96 posted on 06/04/2002 4:56:18 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Land of the Irish
That's a false statement. The Novus Ordo Mass has become so altered and distorted, thanks to extreme interpretations and liberties taken by priests and bishops, that it varies greatly from parish to parish within the same diocese. I know of many Catholics who search out different churches to find a more "respectful" Novus Ordo Mass than that which is geographically closest to them.

Look, I am one who spends an inordinate amount of time dealing with Chancellors in various Dioceses concerning Liturgical anomie I have witnessed. I am not defending Liturgical anomie. I was just trying to make the point that the Mass of Paul VI is what the vast majority have available to them.

The Mass is still the Mass however irreverently it is celebrated. The Pope has done what he can to eliminate the abuses - but our Bishops won't comply and we allow our Bishops to get away with it.

We have got to STOP expecting others to fight our fights. We can nip this anomie in the bud with collective action and witholding our tithes. Make it public. Picket. Call the Media; you don't think they wouldn't LOVE photos of Catholics picketing their Chancery?

The Pope has apologised to us in an Encyclical for the abuses in the Liturgy we have sufferred. He has done what he can and now we must act

97 posted on 06/04/2002 5:09:32 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: american colleen
One [seminarian] had a girlfriend who regularly visited his bed with the tacit approval of his superiors.

This is just unreal. This one's not about the PCness of tolerating homosexuals. They are tolerating plain ole fornication without even trying to put up a veneer of any kind. I can't get over it. How can this young man be considered a serious candidate for the priesthood at ALL? What is the rationale for letting this occur? I think these guys, the practicing gays and openly fornicating heteros see the whole vocation of the priesthood as nothing but a glorifed social worker.

98 posted on 06/04/2002 5:16:47 PM PDT by Theresa
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To: Catholicguy
The Pope has apologised to us in an Encyclical for the abuses in the Liturgy we have sufferred. He has done what he can and now we must act

Dominicae Cenae, Feb 24, 1980 "As I bring these considerations to an end, I would like to ask forgiveness - in my own name and in the name of all of you for everything which, for whatever reason, through whatever human weakness, and at times partial erroneous application of the directives of the Second Vatican Council, mayhave caused scandal concerning the interpretation of the doctrine and the veneration due this great Sacrament."

We can't always demand others act when we won't

99 posted on 06/04/2002 5:21:14 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: ThomasMore
He is discerning going elsewhere!

In Seminaries, New Ways for a New Generation

100 posted on 06/04/2002 5:38:43 PM PDT by Salvation
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