Truth and Relevance

Truth

 

Gregory Baum at age 90 has launched yet another book, Truth and Relevance a great boon to English speaking Canada, hopelessly ignorant of the fascinating theological currents in Quebec after Vatican ll. Here he introduces and contextualizes the writings of several theologians.

 

DownloadedFile

 

One of these is a brilliant Dominican J.P.Audet.

 

Audet was but one of the theologians invited to address the priests for the Central Conference in the mid 60s.

 

Tom Cain, a married priest (like most of the priests from the 60s) recalled the work of Audet and the gutsiness of the young clergy in those years before “the set decorator” priests arrived.

 

In my book Never Neutral:A Teaching Life (thebookband.ca) Tom Cain recalled the impact of this Francophone priest.

Audet, a brilliant Dominican, gave this talk on looking at the Church in an evolutionary way. Each step on the way proceeds from the one before. The next species looks like the one before. But what happens when there’s a break? That’s what happened to the Constantinian Church when it adopted the trappings of the Roman Empire. A whole new set of values invaded the Church and we lost the spirit of Jesus. We must get back there.

 

When I asked Bishop Pocock, who had attended the conference, if Audet was clear to him, “Very” was his answer. He was not pleased. Another time I told him that, in reading the Vatican documents, there was an emphasis on brotherhood, so I don’t think I can call you, “Your Grace.” He just looked at me. What a period that was. We were not afraid to challenge the bishops on these ideas.

Advertisements

19 Comments »

  1. 1

    But Ted, if the Church is to be looked upon in an evolutionary way, if that is the proper paradigm in which to understand the Church, then it is inconsistent to demand that we go back. That’s devolution. Should we go back to being Apes? Evolution is a moving forwards; the fittest survive. There is random mutation and natural selection. The old paradigm within the first 3 centuries of the Church’s history did not survive, so we cannot go back to that; if we do, it will die out as it did before.

    If we are going to think within an evolutionary paradigm, then let’s stick to it. What we have now is superior, just as what we have now in Homo sapiens is far superior to Neanderthal. Gosh, we got Mother Theresa and the tremendous work she did, we got Catherine Doherty and Dorothy Day, we have St. John Paul II who inspired more young people than the entire body of Catholic high school teachers in Ontario, we have St. John XXIII who touched the hearts of millions of people, and I could go on and on. We always had reformers throughout the history of the Church, and we will always have them in the future.

    So, I’m not sure what you are complaining about. If you want go back, you are not thinking within an evolutionary paradigm. You are just using it half baked for the sake of a limited agenda you are trying to push. Go all the way, Teddy.

    In fact, maybe we need to just evolve right past “Jesus” and adopt a universalism, like John Dewey envisioned. After all, doesn’t Jesus exclude our Muslim brothers?

    Universalism, the next stage in the evolutionary paradigm.

    What do you think, Ted?

    • 2
      wmgrace Says:

      (I realize the question is not addressed to me…)
      No one is suggesting that the church ever has, or ever should in the future, live within an “evolutionary paradigm”. Clearly the use of the evolution analogy is very helpful in describing and understanding the church’s growth and development, but that’s the only purpose the analogy serves. It is not a useful “paradigm” for the church, by any means – that’s a totally different concept. Anyway, this is about what happened to the Constantine church when it veered away from the simple yet universal truths of Jesus (away from its natural origins) and allowed itself to be influenced by, or consumed by the power of the Roman Empire. To be honest I have not read Baum’s book but this post may give me the incentive to pick up a copy.

    • 3
      tschmidt Says:

      It is obvious that post Darwin we are living in an evolutionary paradigm. .Where is God and Jesus within this comparatively new understanding…Berry,Swimme, Elizabeth Johnson’s new book on Darwin Ask the Beasts, Ilia Delio’s work,David Toolan,Haught etc and modern cosmology..

      • 4
        wmgrace Says:

        That may be obvious to you Ted, but it is not obvious from your blog. You state that Audet looked at the church in an evolutionary way, and a [evolutionary] break occurred when the Constantine church adopted the trappings of the Roman Empire. There is no further elaboration around the idea of evolution beyond this reference. The word “paradigm” does not appear in your comments. So I think its fair to say that this (“evolutionary paradigm”) was not your intended subject.

        Perhaps you could give a brief explanation to the rest of us or include it your blog down the road.

        thanks Ted.

  2. 5
    mushafta Says:

    49 Francesco.. Good to see your appearance again!
    You keep bringing up Catherine Doherty and Dorothy Day- good for you! These were both radical women within the church. Both fearless in fighting the clerical system of the day. Both true saintly women in the great work that they did. But they were definite church reformers. Both well deserving of credit for revolutionizing the church. I suggest that they would be front and center of opposing much of what has been going on in the church today. Imagine– the scandal of the church regarding the sexual abuse of minors. Horrific stuff. Where was the hierarchy? The pope? Bishops? And where among the lay people was the discernment of what was going on?

    One Catholic voice fearless in speaking out on this and other issues- Ted Schmidt. Prophetic and courageous voice!!

  3. 6

    Hey there WM and Mushafta: I know you are not asking for my advice, WM, but if you are looking to buy a book, skip Baum; there are so many good books you can read out there. Baum’s writings are characterized by the same level of “obsession” that we find in “right wing” reactionaries. They’re too preoccupied with the issues that occupied them in the 60s. That’s the irony; they speak of development and evolution, but they never seem to get past the things that preoccupied them half a century ago.

    As an example of a great book, take Dear Bishop by Doherty. It is a great one. It came in the mail and I’m almost finished it. The delivery cost 5x the price of the book. In any case, I have to bring up a point, mushafta. Catherine Doherty was asked by the bishop to write that book. He wanted to know what people, young people in particular, were thinking at the time (during the war). It’s not an “in your face bishop” kind of book, which is sort of what I was led me to believe, as though these bishops are so high up in the ivory tower that they need to be brought down to reality, etc. That’s not what the book is at all. That’s someone reading into the book what is not really there at all. It’s a false interpretation.

    It does open a window onto concrete life in New York in the 40s, a small window, and it is true that all of us need to be reminded of what life is like outside our own circle, including bishops, priests, doctors, MPs, Prime Ministers, teachers, superintendents, CEOs, etc. But we should be clear on one thing: Catherine Doherty and Dorothy Day were not anti-clerical at all. Doherty had tremendous reverence for the priesthood. Read Dear Priest. She would kiss the hands of priests–not because the priests were so holy, but rather because she saw those anointed hands as Christ’s hands, for they can consecrate. Personally, I can’t go there, and I’m not anti-clerical. But she goes there.

    And Dorothy Day was opposed and disgusted with the welfare state. She wouldn’t dare think of voting NDP. And, she honored the priesthood. “Clericalism” is another matter; that’s an abuse, that’s Pharisaism, But she honored the priesthood. And, both of them would comment on the sexual abuse scandals, and they would trace it NOT to the Church’s requirement of celibacy, but to the moral laxity that began to seep into the Church in the early 60s–not to mention the rather lax psychological testing that was in place at the time (almost anyone could be a priest or a brother, unlike today). Many priests had become morally liberal. They confused what John XXIII was doing. Opening the doors and windows of the Church to the world was not meant to be a relinquishing of the Church’s moral teaching and a compromising with the culture of moral relativism, as many clergy interpreted it as. That’s not what it was about. The misinterpretation of Vatican II by journalists at the time, as well as many theologians, is very similar to the deliberate misinterpretation of Pope Francis we see today–he comes out with a line, such as “If a homosexual priest is doing his best to stay close to God, who am I to judge”, a line that is true, indisputable, nothing new, …and next thing you know Pope Francis, according to the media, is open to same sex marriage.

    The sexual abuse of minors is a symptom of serious narcissism, and many pathological narcissists who had a homosexual orientation were drawn to the priesthood, because it was an all male environment, one had access to children, and lay people fawning all over priests and bishops, you have a comfortable life, and you can hide your orientation behind celibacy. What an opportunity!

    There is no doubt that this elevating clergy, placing them on pedestals, is a serious vice among the laity, and it has not completely disappeared–although great progress has been made in this area.

    But many of the hierarchy simply did not know about the abuse going on. It was hard to believe something like that could happen. And not all bishops shuffled the abusers around. I know of one bishop in Southern Ontario who called up a priest (in the late 70s I believe) and told him to pack up and get out. No mercy. I don’t think that was a case of sexual abuse of a minor, but it was something sexual. There were lots of bishops who reacted that way, but that’s not newsworthy. We don’t hear about these guys; we hear about the irresponsible scoundrels who were deep into either the boys club mentality, or who were so empathetic that they confused inordinate empathy with mercy.

    The Church, like any other organization, learns from her mistakes in history, and she never stops making mistakes, and so she never stops learning. But the gospel (good news) is that all those who end up being hurt by the Church have a remedy, and the remedy is in the hands of the Church who has hurt them. That remedy is Christ.

  4. 7
    mushafta Says:

    I very much doubt the Bay and Wall Street capitalists have a copy of the beatitudes hanging on their wall- and least of all Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation in which his condemnation of capitalism and strong emphasis on social justice strikes at the very heart of the society we live in.

    Dorothy Day not an NDPer? Probably not. And neither was Jesus in a hypothetical world. I’ve never heard anything like it.

    49 Francesco presents a very strong case for the beautification of two very honoured and holy women of our modern era- and no argument whatsoever from this poor sinner. Dorothy Day and Catherine Doherty both experienced the negative effects of Communism. Both loved Christ and the poor. Doherty had an aristocratic background and had a certain leaning towards a benevolent dictatorship as she lectured her crusading way across North America denouncing Communism.

    The problem my dear Francesco 49 is that Doherty was deeply into social justice. In the days of Bishop Neil McNeil Communism was a filthy word and social justice was a relatively new concept for Catholics. Precisely why this man commissioned this great persuasive anti communist speaker to preach the new gospel of social justice and the beatitudes. Her soup kitchens and friendship houses in Harlem and later in Canada was ideal fertile environment for preaching the gospel of social justice.

    Day was a well respected journalist with a deep love for the poor. She was greatly influenced by Peter Maurin , the ex Christian Brother from France. While his Franciscan way of life had a direct appeal to Day’s love of the hungry and homeless- both became leading American anti war crusaders. Both Day and Doherty had a huge effect on the famous anti Vietnam War Trappist monk, Thomas Merton. Merton by the way proved to be just as human as the rest of us, having had an affair before his untimely tragic death. Another argument against forced celibacy.

    What I’m trying to point out is that these two women were revolutionary thinkers in their day, and while they greatly loved the church and its clerics, they would fearlessly stand up against social injustice.

    Francesco 49- your attack on Baum I find to be unwarranted. He has been a leading light in this country on matters of social justice- a radical and revolutionary thinker whose voice was necessary against a silent Catholic Canadian hierarchy.

    We are all part of the church- saints, sinners and the rest. I’m not sure how you can stand up and defend capitalism- Walmart and MacDonald’s included , while at the same time applauding Pope Francis whose Apostolic Exhortation takes a blindside hit against Capitalism and the horrors of consumerism today.

    With great respect 49 Francesco, we’re living in a new world of inclusion and acceptance. I suspect Pope Francis gets that intuitively but he’s handcuffed by medieval policies like canon law and fossilized thinking Vatican clerics. Not a lot of room for ecumenism – but Francis is definitely trying.

  5. 9

    I very much doubt the Bay and Wall Street capitalists have a copy of the beatitudes hanging on their wall- and least of all Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation in which his condemnation of capitalism and strong emphasis on social justice strikes at the very heart of the society we live in.

    I’m not sure what you mean by Bay Street capitalists. That’s far too general. What about someone who is just trying to make a living by running his own business (i.e., his own garage, or landscaping company, or hairdressing salon)? Why is it so unthinkable that such a person, who believes in the free market and lower taxes so that he can raise his family and perhaps hire another two or three employees, would at the same time believe in the beatitudes?

    I also think it is far too general to suggest that two paragraphs in his latest Exhortation is a condemnation of capitalism. That’s not very careful thinking. But let’s assume for a moment that you are right. John Paul II affirmed the free market. The Church has always condemned socialism and extreme capitalism that is rooted in a radical individualism. Either the two popes are in conflict, or they are not. I think Pope Francis would say they are not in conflict. But if they are, which one do we choose to embrace? Is Pope Francis suddenly infallible because you agree with him, but not JPII? Or are they both infallible on this issue?

    In any case, they are not in conflict. What Pope Francis says is true, there must be a solid legal infrastructure in place before Capitalism can what it was meant to be. What you have in the developing world is not capitalism, but crony capitalism. That’s what Pope Francis was describing very well. Many people have written on this, so there’s no need for me to go into it.
    But assuming you are not a fan of capitalism, what would you offer in its place? I would like to know that. What would work, in your mind?

    The problem my dear Francesco 49 is that Doherty was deeply into social justice.

    That’s not a problem. Anyone with the mind and heart of Christ hungers and thirsts for justice. That’s nothing new.

    In the days of Bishop Neil McNeil …and social justice was a relatively new concept for Catholics.

    No it wasn’t. Catholic social teaching was merely the application of the gospel to the new situation brought about by the Industrial revolution.

    Precisely why this man commissioned this great persuasive anti communist speaker to preach the new gospel of social justice and the beatitudes. Her soup kitchens and friendship houses in Harlem and later in Canada was ideal fertile environment for preaching the gospel of social justice.

    There’s no such thing as the gospel of social justice. There’s just the gospel. The good news of the gospel is addressed first and primarily to the individual person: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand”; “What you did for the least of my brethren, you did it for me…” Because the individual person is a social animal, the gospel has social implications. The employer ought to pay his employee a fair wage, which no Pope can determine (see Leo XIII’s comment on this), and so much more than can be articulated here. But it is not a new concept at all. What was new was the attempt, by those hoodwinked by Socialism (Baum et al.), to turn Catholic social teaching into a religiously based socialism.

    ….had a huge effect on the famous anti Vietnam War Trappist monk, Thomas Merton. Merton by the way proved to be just as human as the rest of us, having had an affair before his untimely tragic death. Another argument against forced celibacy.

    Come on! That’s astounding that you can say that. Have you thought about the logic of this argument? That’s no more an argument against celibacy than it is an argument against monogamy. “My neighbor had an affair. That’s just another argument against this monogamy idea, this forced fidelity nonsense that we get from the 10 commandments….” He was a monk, for crying out loud. He wanted to live a celibate life, he wanted the life of a monk. How can you freely choose to be a Trappist monk, but at the same time choose married life????? Also, I have no idea whether or not he had an affair. I would be very careful about believing that too quickly.

    Francesco 49- your attack on Baum I find to be unwarranted. He has been a leading light in this country…

    What does that mean “a leading light in this country”? I’ll tell you what it means. It means you liked him. That’s all. Asserting that someone is a leading light says nothing other than you like him. Father Robert Barron is a leading light today. I can say the same thing. What does it mean? Is that an argument that you should listen to him? Because I say he’s a leading light? It’s like Ted, when he refers to some unknown as “the brilliant so and so”. It just means that he says things that Ted agrees with, and since Ted thinks he himself is brilliant, the unknown who says the same things is “the great and brilliant so and so”. It means nothing. It’s a weak version of the logical fallacy of appeal to authority. Baum was popular at a very confused period, the 60s, the time of the sexual revolution, Individualism, socialism, marijuana, …etc. He’s a non- issue today. At least Catherine Doherty and Dorothy Day are not non-issues, but will be canonized. They were the real deal, not Baum.

    on matters of social justice- a radical and revolutionary thinker whose voice was necessary against a silent Catholic Canadian hierarchy.

    Silent? On what?

    We are all part of the church- saints, sinners and the rest. I’m not sure how you can stand up and defend capitalism- Walmart and MacDonald’s included , while at the same time applauding Pope Francis whose Apostolic Exhortation takes a blindside hit against Capitalism and the horrors of consumerism today.

    Who shops at Walmart? Who eats at McDonald’s? Those who cannot afford to shop anywhere else, and those who cannot afford to pay $20 for breakfast. Who works at Walmart? Students who need to make some money to get them through school. Same for McDonald’s. I went away last year and the Hotel where I was saying charged $3 for a large coffee. I walked 4 minutes down the road and got the same size coffee, and one that tasted a lot better, for $1. Thank you McDonald’s. All I had on the road was $8 in cash, and I was hungry, but I needed something healthy, a salad, maybe a wrap. I couldn’t afford any other option, so I went to McDonald’s, got a salad, diet coke, and a wrap. I wasn’t able to afford $16 for lunch, and I got nice service from some sweet young girl with a nice smile who was heading off to university in September. I don’t quite get your complaint. Take away Walmart and what do you have left? Higher prices from competitors, fewer employees, etc. Explain to me where there is an injustice that is unique to Walmart and McDonald’s, an injustice that Canadian Tire or Homehardware somehow was able to avoid.

    With great respect 49 Francesco, we’re living in a new world of inclusion and acceptance.

    It’s the same unjust, broken, self-centered world that we’ve always lived in. I have no idea what planet you are living on, but this is no new world we are living in.

    I suspect Pope Francis gets that intuitively but he’s handcuffed by medieval policies like canon law and fossilized thinking Vatican clerics. Not a lot of room for ecumenism – but Francis is definitely trying.

    This is pure imagination. As Hitchens says: What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Canon law is medieval? Even the updated code of canon law? You simply do not understand the Middle Ages. Wasn’t Francis of Assisi from the Middle Ages? And what Vatican clerics are you referring to? The ones Francis has sent off packing? Do you have any names? You have made so many inferences without any facts, just pure imagination. You have a picture of things, and you’ve formed this new picture of Francis on the basis of a number of assumptions that go with the pre-established picture you have. That’s a polite way of saying that you simply do not know what you are talking about. You’ve got all these pre-conceived notions that shape all that comes into your mind now.

    I say that with all due respect. You are making the same mistake that everyone else makes, something that the best cognitive psychologists have been addressing for the past little while—you have a host of cognitive biases that you are unaware of, and these form a filter that gives a pre-established meaning to everything that passes through that filter. You have to re-examine the filter. Until you do that, nothing changes, just as with Ted, nothing has changed. He has the same filter, which is why all data that passes through it is interpreted in the same way: blah, blah, blah…

  6. 10
    mushafta Says:

    49 Francesco- you need to do some serious reading. Also, start connecting with real people. Where in the name of heaven do you live?

    Merton didn’t have an affair? You seriously doubt that? You don’t think priests around the world don’t have affairs? They are otherwise known as human beings friend- subject to the same temptations as any of us.

    As for the rhetoric on the Apostolic Exhortation- it speaks for itself. Pope Francis couldn’t make himself any clearer denouncing capitalism. Your defence of the system does not hold up. Large corporations spending millions on lawyers to save billions on taxes says it all. Corporate greed and avarice has become the new entitlement. Give me a break!

    By the way- have you checked out the clergy in your diocese lately? So many foreign priests across the land struggling with the English language, trying to interpret canon law; administering the sacraments to a largely foreign audience. So sad we have failed to attract a Canadian clergy. I suspect you are well aware of the exodus of many Catholics over the past number of years. Take a good hard look Francesco. It’s a church in big trouble if it fails to reform. And yes it is still stuck in the middle ages!

  7. 11

    49 Francesco- you need to do some serious reading. Also, start connecting with real people. Where in the name of heaven do you live?

    Actually, I have begun to read what you recommended, and I’m glad I did (Dear Bishop). I think now it is your turn to read something I recommend. I recommend a Best Seller that you can pick up anywhere: Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. I would read it twice. Very important book.

    Merton didn’t have an affair? You seriously doubt that?

    No, it’s not that I doubt it, I just don’t know that, and neither do you. You believe that, because others have told you that (perhaps in writing). You should distinguish between belief and knowledge. Most people don’t. I have heard all sorts of things about people, even gossip coming from priests, and they too often treat these things as “knowledge”: “…I know that so and so did this, said that, …etc” But they don’t. They just believe what they hear, they trust what others tell them, because it makes sense to them. They have not yet learned that because something makes sense, does not mean it is true necessarily.

    I know people like to talk, they love to dirt, especially on someone with a reputation for holiness, and they will find dirt, either imaginary or real. I have enough experience with this to suspend my judgment.

    You don’t think priests around the world don’t have affairs?

    Some do. But take note of your flawed statistical reasoning:
    k% of priests have affairs.
    Thomas is a priest.
    Therefore, Thomas had an affair.

    If k is below 50%, you have a flawed argument. If it is above 50%, you have a probability at best, and the uncertainty remains.

    They are otherwise known as human beings friend- subject to the same temptations as any of us.

    Yes, but you overlooked my point I made. Married people have affairs. Does that mean that we need to get rid of the requirement of fidelity, since it is just too hard to keep?

    As for the rhetoric on the Apostolic Exhortation- it speaks for itself.

    No, that’s how Fundamentalists respond to Catholics when it comes to Scripture: the word of God speaks for itself, we don’t need hermeneutics, context, Greek or Hebrew, etc. You have to carefully read what he says. I will comment on that later if you wish, if you are open. But it does not speak for itself. What is speaks to you is shaped by your filter. You have all these prejudices you are unaware of, and so when you read that paragraph or section, something rings loudly in your ears. But that isn’t Pope Francis, that’s your prejudices getting confirmed. Big difference.

    Large corporations spending millions on lawyers to save billions on taxes says it all. Corporate greed and avarice has become the new entitlement. Give me a break!

    Again, you are speaking in generalities. What corporations? All of them? You have to be specific. And you have not shown that they are NOT justified in doing so. Not all taxes are just and fair. You have not shown there is greed. You need to get into the details of the numbers, but you don’t have the numbers, you don’t have the facts, because like Ted, you don’t think you need them, you can just speak in generalities. You trust the left wing ideological journals you love to read. Again, filters, filters, … The right have filters as well.

    By the way- have you checked out the clergy in your diocese lately? So many foreign priests across the land struggling with the English language, trying to interpret canon law; administering the sacraments to a largely foreign audience.

    Yes, I have. The picture is not what you describe. Our new priest is white anglo. 5 years ago we also got a white anglo. And when I look around, we need more brown and dark skin. Too white.

    So sad we have failed to attract a Canadian clergy.

    Or, teachers like Ted have failed to inspire his young students to become the prophets and reformers he would have liked them to have become. Instead, they sold their souls and have joined the culture that his special brand of socialism wasn’t able to address in any significant and lasting way. You see, you pick and choose according to your prejudices.

    I suspect you are well aware of the exodus of many Catholics over the past number of years.

    No, what is striking is how many are returning, how large the RCIA classes are every year. Isn’t this the Pope Francis effect? Or is that a myth? Actually, it was JP II who inspired so many to return. No, there is no mass exodus you speak of, and if someone leaves the Church, there are all sorts of possible reasons for it. You assume it’s the fault of the Church itself. People walked away from Jesus in John Chapter 6. Was that Jesus’ fault? Was he being insensitive? Did Jesus fail to connect to the people?

    Take a good hard look Francesco. It’s a church in big trouble if it fails to reform. And yes it is still stuck in the middle ages!

    The Church always reforms, always changes. But you forget what Christ said: “The gates of hell will not prevail against her” (Mt 16, 18ff). The Church is not a mere human institution. It will last till the end of time. Why? Because Christ said so.

  8. 12
    mushafta Says:

    Francesco 49- good to dialogue again with you!
    So you are disbelieving of so many of the goings on of priests. What about the religious women? The Leadership Conference of Women Religious represent more than 80 per cent of the 57,000 nuns in the U.S.
    Your good friends in the Vatican have been hammering away at these nuns for some time- again thanks to JP2 and Ratzinger the German Rottweiler.

    After thousands of years of life giving service to the church, building its hospitals, schools, orphanages, catechetical centres and the like– down comes the Vatican crack down. Why?

    You disbelieve thousands of Catholics are leaving in droves. Well– what do you say about all these religious women? Are you surprised to see them lend support to Obama’s Health Care reforms and the mandatory coverage of birth control?
    Are they all to be self excommunicated for their radical feminist beliefs?

    What say you on Sr Joan Chittister? Good reading material? Or just plain heresy that the good and all pius Monseigneur Foey would damn to hell in the same basket as Baum?

    In October 150 bishops will flock together as “Fathers of the Church” to discuss the family.

    Will there be any dialogue? Any true debate? Any feminine voices?

    You wonder why I refer to the Church being stuck in the Middle Ages! Get with it brother Francesco.. This church needs true reform. Without dialogue, debate, understanding of all points of view– it goes into oblivion. Don’t give me any of these well worn out chunks of self affirming Vatican scripture plucked from your Baltimore Catechism about “Thou art Peter and upon this rock…” Blah blah blah.

    Hard core evidence of what’s wrong? Only today I heard of a priest supplying condoms for a young couple years ago because they were too afraid of condemnation and excommunication. He is still in good standing, but very few knew of this because of his fear of going public. He followed his conscience as did Baum in publicly preaching against Rome! That’s what happens my friend when edicts and such are issued and there is no debate. Then comes polarization. No one then gives an inch and they keep spinning their wheels in the mud!

    I hope your voice does not go silent!

  9. 13

    So you are disbelieving of so many of the goings on of priests.

    What? What does that mean? What I said above was that “I don’t know if Merton was unfaithful to his vows”. You don’t know, you have chosen to believe what you heard. That’s not wise. Are there priests who have affairs? Yes, but I don’t know who, and I don’t know the percentage. Most priests are good and faithful.

    What about the religious women? The Leadership Conference of Women Religious represent more than 80 per cent of the 57,000 nuns in the U.S.
    Your good friends in the Vatican have been hammering away at these nuns for some time- again thanks to JP2 and Ratzinger the German Rottweiler.

    I know no one at the Vatican. The nuns of the past thousand years are not the same as the current U.S nuns who are pro choice, and who have simply lost their way. There are so many new religious orders of nuns who are not dying, but growing, and the only ones that are growing and bursting at the seams are the ones who wear habits, who are faithful to Church teaching, who pray the divine office, etc. The ones that are dying are the ones who look like overweight female CEOs, who are pro-choice, and who have reduced the good news of the gospel to social work. What young ladies want to join them? Why not get married and have kids instead of that. But the Missionary Sisters of Charity who pray daily, Mass every morning, who are faithful to Catholic teaching, and who live in abject poverty, they keep getting postulates. Go figure! The nuns that the Vatican was getting after have simply lost their way, and their declining numbers prove it.

    You disbelieve thousands of Catholics are leaving in droves. Well– what do you say about all these religious women? Are you surprised to see them lend support to Obama’s Health Care reforms and the mandatory coverage of birth control?

    Not surprised at all. As I said, they have lost their way. That’s why they are dying. No one is joining them.

    Are they all to be self excommunicated for their radical feminist beliefs?

    Not necessary. They are a non issue. No one is paying any attention to them.

    What say you on Sr Joan Chittister?

    The name is vaguely familiar. I like Caryll Houselander. Now that’s a brilliant mystic. Sr. Joan? Can’t really say. I suspect she’s just another sister overly preoccupied with old issues of the 60s, like Ted. People like that only reach those who carry the same wounds. They don’t reach the young today.

    Monseigneur Foey would …damn to hell in the same basket as Baum?

    Monsignor Foy? Now there is a hero of the Church.

    In October 150 bishops will flock together as “Fathers of the Church” to discuss the family. Will there be any dialogue? Any true debate? Any feminine voices?

    There has been all sorts of dialogue, including women. But the bishops are the official teachers of the Church. They have the charism of office.

    You wonder why I refer to the Church being stuck in the Middle Ages! Get with it brother Francesco.. This church needs true reform. Without dialogue, debate, understanding of all points of view–

    But what you fail to understand is that the official teachers of the Church live in the world, enter into dialogue and discussion. The Church is ‘catholic’, all nations, kata holos, it embraces all points of view, but the Church has the charism to discern what point of view is consistent with the gospel, and what is not. We see that early on in the Acts of the Apostles. We see it in the 2nd century, 3rd century, etc. The U.S. nuns who have given up on the difficult matters of sexual morality and the life issues and have stuck with the simple and obvious issues, the Church has discerned that they’ve lost their way.

  10. 14
    mushafta Says:

    Francesco 49- so you are writing off 80 percent of the U.S. Nuns! Amazing!
    Including Joan Chittister- even more amazing! Thankfully, not even Pope Francis is doing that.

    Your conclusion is that they have lost their way and only the bishops know the true way as the official voice of the church. There is no room in your understanding of Catholic church for anything like dialogue.

    I would hate to ask your opinion on Fr Charles Curran- another dissenter on official church teaching. And if Monseigneur Foy is your hero.. Say no more. A completely paranoid man obsessed with Canon law- much like so many prelates who cannot find anything better to do with their time than filter everything through an archaic Roman book of rules- completely divorced from the gospel of Jesus.

    If this church is to be reformed, it will depend on people like yourself brother Francesco 49. Good honest discussion, debate, sharing of ideas, intellectual honesty. I quite enjoy our dialogue. I wish there were more Catholics like you to articulate your point of view. You should apply for work in the chancery office. I’m sure the good Cardinal Collins has a position open for you! Perhaps communications director!

  11. 15

    Francesco 49- so you are writing off 80 percent of the U.S. Nuns! Amazing!

    No, not really. You know, with all due respect, like Ted you could use a course in logic and analytical philosophy. You are a bit sloppy with ideas expressed in words. You went from “The Leadership Conference of Women Religious represent more than 80 per cent of the 57,000 nuns in the U.S.” to 80% of U.S. nuns. Perhaps even a basic course in Stats would help. Let’s get into this a bit.

    Sister Laurie Brink (a Dominican nun who no longer looks like one), proposed a direction for Religious Congregations of Sisters, one that “moves beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus …a sojourning congregation that has grown beyond the bounds of institutional religion, beyond the bounds of the Jesus narrative, which is not the most important narrative.” She continues: “Jesus is not the only son of God. …Who’s to say that the movement beyond Christ is not, in reality, a movement into the heart of God?”

    She said these words at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Do 80% of the U.S nuns believe this? I would hope not. I would doubt it.

    In any case, there you have it. There’s an example of a nun who has lost her Way.

    Including Joan Chittister- even more amazing! Thankfully, not even Pope Francis is doing that.

    But didn’t I say that I don’t really know who Sr. Joan is? Why do you misread what I say? And do you really know what Pope Francis thinks of Sr Joan or the LCWR in the U.S? Does he even know who Sr. Joan is? You make an awful lot of assumptions.

    Your conclusion is that they have lost their way and only the bishops know the true way as the official voice of the church.

    No, some bishops have lost their way as well, and have in the past. Some of the worst heresies were started by bishops. It’s very simple: Christ is the Way. If you believe that, you don’t believe Laurie Brink. But it is the Magisterium as a whole that determines what belongs to the deposit of faith, and what is inconsistent with it. Not a majority vote of American sisters who are impressed with Obama.

    Without a magisterium, which is the actual organ of the charism of infallibility that belongs to the Church as a whole, what is to distinguish Catholic from Protestant? Please answer that for me. I’d be really curious.

    Incidentally, you clearly do not want to dialogue, because you’ve ignored my questions above, as you will ignore this one. I asked you what you would propose instead of Capitalism. no answer. Is that dialogue?

    There is no room in your understanding of Catholic church for anything like dialogue.

    Irony! Have you noticed how often Ted comes on his own blog to dialogue?

    I would hate to ask your opinion on Fr Charles Curran- another dissenter on official church teaching.

    You really need to get out of the 60s, just as some people need to get out of the Middle Ages and start reading and studying modern stuff. Charles Curran is a “has been”, he’s a non issue. He’s not a brilliant thinker. If you want some good moral philosophy, try reading someone like John Finnis, or Robert P. George, or Elizabeth Anscombe, or Thomas Hibbs, Daniel McInerny, etc. They’re a bit more up to date.

    And if Monseigneur Foy is your hero..

    There you go with your words again. he’s not MY hero; he’s a hero of the Church. He was a lone voice. Talk about challenging Bishop Pocock.

    A completely paranoid man obsessed with Canon law

    You are a very judgmental person. You are into name calling. You put way too much trust in how you interpret people who disagree with you. You label them, package them up, and then send them off. Human beings are far more complex than that. The reason fundamentalists are the way they are is that they think just like you do, they fail to realize how much larger reality is than their own individual perspective. We are always limited, we always see reality through a limited paradigm, and it needs to be constantly enlarged. But that does not happen when we quickly label our opponents in debate, package them up within a very ugly wrapping paper, and then dismiss them. You do that a lot.

    If this church is to be reformed, it will depend on people like yourself brother Francesco 49. Good honest discussion, debate, sharing of ideas, intellectual honesty.

    Well then let’s see some of that from you. But notice how little dialogue there is on this blog. There’s a lot of ridicule, name calling, dismissing. That’s not dialogue. Could this perhaps be the reason so few people come on this blog? It has a flavor of being old (60s), somewhat obsessively anti-right, obsessively left, and closed to dialogue? The irony is amazing.

    I quite enjoy our dialogue. I wish there were more Catholics like you to articulate your point of view.

    But there are more Catholics like me. You just refuse to dialogue with them, because you dismiss them, label them, ridicule them, in short, they make you angry, because you’ve already judged them. If you want others to change, you have to change. You are not always right. You might have adopted some shaky principles and drawn some false conclusions many years ago, and they’ve stayed with you over the years, and so you’ve assumed that they must be true, have not subjected them to critical scrutiny, and so the opposing points of view appear to you as absurd.

    It really is true that we tend to see in others what we see in ourselves. We hate in others what we see in ourselves.

    I can’t think of anything less rewarding than working in the Chancery office. Yuk!

  12. 16
    mushafta Says:

    Francesco- you claim you don’t really know Joan Chittister. I did some research and discovered your own judgement of her last year here on Ted’s blog. Just to refresh your all powerful and brilliant non judgmental, non bullying mind, take a good look at your own words:

    49francesco on March 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm
    Is Joan Chittister a man? Why do all these women look the same? Unattractive, thick neck, broad shoulders, overweight, etc. They look like union presidents. Is that why they are so anti-male? Because no male has ever taken an interest in them? Why is it that nice looking women, attractive, beautiful, intelligent, married, love being women and have no use for all this talk of patriarchy and inequality and domination, blah, blah, blah? Why is it that they just don’t identify with “women” like Chittister? Why aren’t they on fire with all this anti-male ideological nonsense? Probably because they feel good about themselves, they feel loved, appreciated, their daddies took an interest in them, hugged them, told them that they were pretty and beautiful, etc. The result: They’re okay with men. They are attracted to men. They don’t look with suspicion upon men. They don’t read into them a desire for power and control. They are emotionally healthy. Unlike all these “broken” women who love the navel gazing retreats that people like Joan Chittister give, where they all read people like Henri Nouen and Jean Vanier talking about our “brokenness”, our “woundedness”, our need for healing and hugs, yada yada yada, etc. Why don’t we see any of these young healthy attractive young women on these retreat? Because they can’t identify with these WWF Women’s Wrestling types like Joan Chittister who are so wounded they just can’t look at a man with any kind of objectivity. There’s the irony. An entire retreat on our woundedness, brokenness, weakness, frailty, etc., and yet they cannot see that their entire worldview is shaped by their own real woundedness. Get help, people! Just get help! There are all sorts of good psychologists that will gladly offer you help. They’ll sign you up for some major league hug sessions, you can cry, get it out, and then get on with life. Get a real job, do something for the country, quit living out of the past. The 60s is behind us. It’s over. It’s 2013. Parenting has improved tremendously, there are all sorts of healthy young ladies around, who pray, who love the Church, who are not all caught up with the need to wear a clerical shirt and be the center of attention and in positions of authority. The Church has always known that women do the most important work. Who was the most important person in Christ’s life? A woman! Yes, a woman! His own mother. There are 2/3 more female saints than male saints. Being up front in the spot light is NOT wear it’s at, so get over it! Get a membership at Goodlife Fitness, lose some weight, get a real job, and stop you’re damn whining.

  13. 17

    Ah, that’s where I’ve encountered that name before. I knew it was familiar. I think I remember the picture too. Yeah, that was mean and judgmental. I think that was way back then I first discovered this blog. I was quite astounded (offended actually) at Ted’s arrogance and over confidence. But yes, that was pretty rude and judgmental. Very ad hominem. Please accept my apologies for that lapse in maturity.

    I still don’t know who she is. But people do lose their way. Some people may not like what Catholicism is, but it is not Protestanism. For the Protestant, the bible is the sole rule of the faith. You have the luxury of being your own pope. That’s not the case with Catholicism. You have to choose. If you like the independence idea, then be a Protestant. There are lots of good ones.

    • 18
      mushafta Says:

      Well Francesco- I won’t waste my time on here bantering back and forth with you. I have my faults. I’m not perfect. I’m guilty of being forgetful at times and illogical as you so judge me. But I am learning to be a better person today than I was yesterday. I live by the grace of God and yes I do believe in Jesus and I know that my redeemer liveth.

      Having grown up in the Catholic church and aware of its influence on me, I am trying to be more open to gays, women, the environment and protestants- including other religions. Not always easy given that strong influence.

      It is not a Catholic pope or a monseigneur Foy who will judge me with his standard of Canon law but hopefully a God of great understanding of all creation.
      My sincere wish is that you be a little more open and a lot less judgmental.
      At least you apologized for the most awful condemnation you gave Sr Joan Chittister. And by the way- it was a very good Catholic priest friend who gave me a copy of one of her books on spirituality this Christmas- a most delightful read. And not once did she say a negative word about anyone!

  14. 19

    Mushafta: Everything you said above is true and good. I need to be a lot more open, not just a little more open, and yes, a lot less judgmental. And my comment way back was not really directed against Sr. Joan Chittister, even though it was completely unjustified. I just hope she did not read that. I hate to think I caused her any suffering. It was more directed towards Ted. Still, that’s no excuse.

    And it might be true that she did not once say a negative word about anyone. But you have, and so has Ted, and so have I. We have that one thing in common.

    Dialogue is a two way street. The contempt we might have towards others–and most of it is not entirely justified, but has more to do with our own issues–shapes the way we see them, distorts the way we see them. Sr. Joan is probably much better than what I imagine her to be, and so too is Ted. But notice that you are more offended by my negative remarks against someone you like than you are of Ted’s scathing and rather judgmental remarks against the hierarchy, St. John Paul II, and others. That’s a double standard you have, and he has it too. And I can’t say I’m entirely free from that error either. Dialogue is difficult. The first step is to maintain a skeptical attitude towards ourselves, our own judgments and impressions. And members of the hierarchy also have the same struggle, some more than others.

    This blog, however, is replete with negativity, judgmentalism, contempt for others, ridicule, etc. That’s why I visit it now and then, to see who he’s criticizing now, who is he misjudging, misreading, misinterpreting, ridiculing, etc., now. You should get after Ted. He might listen.


RSS Feed for this entry

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: