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Monday, 18 May 2009

Aha? Eureka? Sumpin' like that...

It's a relief when the light bulb goes off.
"Pontifications" used to mean a blog by the brilliant Fr Al Kimel.
So why do I read quotes from it that seem to be the worst sort of "Yeah, we Catholics believe that, but we don't really BELIEVE that" prevarication?

Aha, because now, it refers to the thoughts of this guy.
One of the obligations [of claimed adherence to the Catholic Faith] or at least challenges beyond baptism is belief, and the baseline there is the Creed, the Nicene or the even earlier and simple Apostles Creed. [which would differ from the obligations of Methodism, or Lutheranism, how exactly?]

Q: I attended Catholic schools in the 1970s and 1980s. We learned great lessons about social justice, community service, tolerance and how to love our neighbors. The music in church was even spirited and good back then -- guitars, flutes and drums. What has happened? The church has been reduced to several highly politicized issues, and the music stinks! The message in Catholic schools seems to have turned to "worship" rather than "service." What caused this tide to change, and how can we bring back the "good 'ole days"?

A: Well,... your "good ole days" would be another Catholics "bad ole days"! In fact, a prevailing trend is to go back further still, to before the Second Vatican Council and the reforms that critics say unleashed all that social justice "kumaya" [sic] Catholicism.
You are in many respects--as are we all--caught up in something of a backlash against the post Council reform. It is what Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, calls "the reform of the reform." That does often mean a priority on "high church" worship and what is called a more "cultic" view of the priest (vertical) as opposed to the more horizontal and communitarian view of the "priesthood of all believers" and the servant-leader model of priesthood.
These two are necessarily in tension--the vertical and horizontal make a cross, after all--but the focus on "right belief" (orthodoxy) seems to be winning out over the earlier emphasis on "right action" (orthopraxy).

Q: Vatican II opened up the church to the real beliefs of Christ. It has been the conservative bishops like Bishop Darcy and Bishop Doran that have tried to close the church again. They are losing members because they are not understanding the real nature of the church....

A: You make a very strong point, and one that finds a great deal of agreement in the wider society. ...

Q: I'm a cradle Catholic who is constantly struggling with my faith, thanks to the bashers both inside and outside the Church who tell me that if I'm not a judgmental right-winger I must be doing it wrong. As a faithful Catholic I would never have an abortion myself or recommend it to any girl or woman I cared about, but I fail to see why the Church's prohibition should be a matter of law. ...

A: Well, as I tried to say in the Outlook piece, we are all cafeteria Catholics now--conservative or liberal.

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