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Is liberal Catholicism dead?

So asks Time magazine - quoting Commonweal to help make its point.


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Sean said: I am tolerant of homosexuality because I would take no action, including outlawing homosexual behavior. But if we refuse to act against the horror of abortion, arent we in fact tolerating it?Jean asks: If you wish to take no legislative action against homosexuality, which the CCC calls a grave sin, why is it wrong not to take legislative action against abortion?I expect your response would be (as implied above) that abortion is not only a sin but a crime.I would agree with that in some, even most cases. But I also see some medically gray areas that won't allow me to embrace an absolutist view on this issue. It is the sticking point over which I feel I cannot, in good conscience, call myself Catholic anymore. That leaves the church smaller but more faithful--a good thing, according to Donohue and others.Win-win, no?

It's not for me to tell folks about their affiliation, but I'm deeply saddened by Jean's last paragraph. And ther eare others who post here who say they've left the church, but whose posts reflect a terrific Catholocity.I agree that Joe Gannon's post on keeping balance was on target and Bernard's post on the importance of searching out the truth as a continuing (I'd say lifelong) proicess is quite germane.It strikes me that the job of being Catholic is hard enough: trying to love Christ and follow his way every day-trying to influence others, especially by showing love and truly listening;-grappling with a world that easily slips into persobnal "spirituality" or gives up on God altogether.Those struggles are not .helped by the all knowing spinmeisters of faith (like Mr. Donahue in the newest threadI'd just like to add I found Cardinal Martini's article in America on living the faith in our post modern world to be both broad minded and spiritual and embarcing a broad view of Church on the (prayerful) search.

Once you introduce a false assumption, the Truth gets distorted. The Catholic Church is a Theocracy, not a Democracy. We are all called to be servants of the Word Made Flesh as He Has revealed Himself to His Church. The Truth is revealed in The Deposit of Faith that has been handed on to the Apostles and their successors through the inspiration of a special Gift of Grace from The Holy Spirit, the Powerful Union of God's Great Love and His Great Mercy. ("I will not leave you orphans") This is a Truth of the Catholic Church, His Church. The Truth of the Way we are to Love one another as He Has Loved us. Only Good can come from God's intention for Love. Peace.

Nancy, I'm not sure what to make of most of your comments. Perhaps you'd care to identify what false assumption has been introduced? Or who has denied that the Church is the repository of True Teaching? Or perhaps you're simply parading your orthodoxy for the rest of us to admire?The discussion is how you respond to the Truth--and whether your response is sufficient to sustain your place at the Table. Which I presume mine is not, so I'm not there anymore, though I still take the Church seriously and struggle to be better.

Jean, how am I "parading" orthodoxy by stating that the Catholic Church is a Theocracy? We are all called to follow Christ. The Deposit of Faith has been entrusted to His Church. This Truth of the Church is the same Truth yesterday, today, and always. The false assumption is that the Catholic Church is some sort of Democracy where we get our own vote to determine what is Truth. We have been given the Gift of Truth through the Life and Death of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who is with us now, as always. We simply need to Believe. That is all. (everything)

P.S. Christ, The Truth, The Word Made Flesh, is absolute. He is not a matter of opinion. You respond to the Truth by being United to the Truth with Love. "If you Love Me , you will keep My Commandments." To be Catholic, one must enter into a Loving relationship with God.

Clearly, you have no point to add in my exchange with Sean about a correct and practical response to the church's teaching about abortion. Your interjections strike me as so much recycled bits of apologetics designed to add I know not what to the conversation. You puzzle me entirely, whatever you're trying to accomplish by this puzzles me entirely.Good day to you.

The Church's teaching on abortion is to be believed and respected as the Truth. It is not open for debate. One does not debate a Truth. I am sorry that you are so puzzled because I am faithful to the Magisterium of His Church. I Believe, that is all.(everything) I am more puzzled that you are so puzzled. He never told us that it would be easy, He only told us that it would be worth it. Peace to you.

I don't know what to call that form of Catholicism that leads to a surfeit of capital letters. Capitalism?Anyway, back to the original article, there is a tendency among American journalists to treat Catholics as though we were arranged in teams wearing jerseys, where one "wins" and another "loses" (probably because they report on politics this way all the time). Among ourselves though, is this any way to talk about Christ's church? The body has many members... Indeed, the purpose of saying one group or another is "dead" seems to me to be an attempt to bully people into silence, and I would submit that this is wrong and wrong-headed both. Time magazine may have no scruples about this, but that doesn't mean it's a fitting way to consider the situation.I have the same gripe about "liturgy wars." What are we doing, talking about a war? I think we are pretending that we can vanquish people with whom we disagree. Maybe that works in politics. It ain't that simple in the church, or so I would like to think. Charity first, charity always comes first. Or have we forgotten that, in our thirst to be right all the time?Where are my fellow Catholics going to go when they've been told they "lost" some sort of war or -- worse! -- that they are "dead"? Will someone come and take away their baptism? Will we introduce swipe cards at communion, coded for conservative orthodoxy, to be sure no one receives who "has issues" with any church teaching? The liberal or progressive Catholics (call them what you will) whom I know would be very surprised to hear that they have been part of a "rebellion," when all this time they thought they were remaining faithful. Benedict has not swept these people away. What the article is implying, by saying that he has, is that we can afford to discount these people now. I don't believe it.

Rita, a nice thoughtful post. Thanks. You ask, "Where are my fellow Catholics going to go when theyve been told they lost some sort of war or worse! that they are dead?"I think the Time article has part of the answer--they ignore church teaching on some issues or shop for another Church. The writer ignroes the many lapsed Catholics who retain some Catholic identification and find it difficult to "turn Protestant" after being Catholic (or, in my case, to "go back" to the Anglo-Catholics). It feels like a step backward.Luckily, we have Nancy to bonk us over the head with exhortations to shut up, stop thinking, and get back in line. No thanks.

With all due respect Jean, I am simply stating the Truth of the Church that Christ Has Founded. Christ has only one voice. The Word is consistent. He did not come to confuse us. He did not say that there are many Ways. There is only one way to Perfect Love, His Way. We acknowledge the Truth of our Faith everytime we recite the Creed:I(We) believe in one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church...I am not asking anyone to stop thinking. I am simply stating that His desire is that we are speaking in one voice, His voice. To do that, we must be Faithful to the Magisterium of His Church. Peace.