"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion." John Adams

Featured Posts


Creative Minority Reader

The Catholic Party

Normally we post links to interesting articles on the Reader. Every once in a while I find an article that I think you absolutely must read and put it here on the main page.

Michael Brendan Douherty's piece at "The Week" is one such piece. It puts so many of the currents in today's Catholic debates into perspective and accurately perceives their weaknesses. I commented on Facebook simply the "I wish, I wish, I wish I wrote this."

Give it a read and let me know what you think.


*subhead*Outstanding article.*subhead*

Your Ad Here

24 comments:

Patrick Archbold said...

Yes, he's right.

Patrick Archbold said...

I think he makes some great points. But I think he also continues to fall into the party mentality. I think to be a "conservative Catholic" requires this mentality. Much better to just be Catholic and make arguments than to stake out the ground of the conservative Catholic.

Patrick Archbold said...

The comments over there...accusations that the article is "anti-Catholic", accusations that the author is telling people to "leave the Church". Bizarre.

Patrick Archbold said...

It's encouraging to see increasing signs of resistance to the machinations of Bishop of Rome Francis and his allies: whether that resistance will become strong enough to rein him in is another thing, no?.


My feeling, at this point, is that it won't.

Patrick Archbold said...

I suspect paid posters.

Patrick Archbold said...

Why does being a "conservative Catholic" make one different in a party mentality than being a "liberal Catholic"?

Patrick Archbold said...

"Machinations" -- ooooooooooooooooooooooooooh. Shiver.

Patrick Archbold said...

People have lost, in this "polite" age, the perspective of how hard it is to fight against sin and fight for the immortal. Marriage is our strongest sign of the immortal bond on Earth. Or it's a fun party that you "wish could make work." And I often see the decay or growth in people's souls in how they view it.


If Germany becomes the new Reno, where Catholics can vacation and get a free annulment with their Breakfast basket, the Church will survive, but it will certainly make it more difficult to have the "easy" conversations/soundbites that we Americans love so much.

Patrick Archbold said...

That author is writing some things that many faithful Catholics hesitate to put into words. Many are NOT confident that this Pope will stand fast for ALL the truths and teachings of holy mother Church. But we who do know those teachings must remain faithful to them because dogma and truth do not change. No pope can change them. Also this holy father who has called faithful Catholics many bad names does not seem to love the ones who wish to embrace all the beautiful traditions of the Church as much as he seems to care for heretics, atheists, non-Catholics, and "liberal" Catholics. That hurts.

Patrick Archbold said...

Both represent a party mentality.

There is a lot of irony to this question. The fact that a mention of "conservative Catholic" immediately brought a comment contrasting to "liberal Catholic" shows how deeply engrained this party mentality is.

Patrick Archbold said...

Just read "America Alone" by Mark Steyn if you want to learn more about this topic of declining birthrates in developed countries. Unfortunately, Japan has dropped to a birthrate that historically, no civilization has ever bounced back from. In a few generations, the crowded Japanese cities will look more like the outskirts of Detroit.

Patrick Archbold said...

Paid by whom?

Patrick Archbold said...

Sad that rather than start a dialogue on an important and interesting topic, Mr. Dougherty's article seems to have kicked off a firestorm of crazy comments attacking the author, publisher, pope, Catholics, Christians, non-Christians, etc.

Not sure why I am constantly disappointed in comment box discussions though. You think I'd learn by now. (and yes, I'm aware of the irony of writing in a comment box to decry it - delivered in my best Sideshow Bob voice)

You'd think there would be the means and audience for facilitating some type of meaningful online debate on these issues that didn't devolve into the equivalent of electronic stone throwing. Although if the current setup isn't what most people wanted, I guess we'd have something different.
Speaking of getting off topic ... The linked article itself is very good, and raises a key consideration when it comes to the Church and the dynamics of a "party". I think this is partly do with how secular politics have shaped the thinking of so many American Catholics (myself included) who have a hard time shaking off the artificial constructs of the current political establishment and its media enablers.
Although there is a risk of this idea coming out wrong, I also wonder if the fact that many of the currently prominent Catholic voices (those who make a living as Catholic authors or personalities) are converts to the Faith plays a role - in the sense that they used to criticize or attack the Pope from a protestant standpoint, and in converting, adopted an extreme in the other direction of reflexive defense of the Pope, or a well-meaning unintentional over-emphasis of his role in life of the Church.

Patrick Archbold said...

Happily MARRIED couples, go and multiply. No sense in having more children that have no stable home life. :-(

Patrick Archbold said...

There are many companies who pay disrupters. Astroturfing, sockpuppets.
Take your pick.

Patrick Archbold said...

I agree, Peter. The Catholic blogosphere has gotten depressing lately.


I'm not ready to write Francis off as one who flirts with heresy, but the hysterical reactions and name-calling ("sedevacantists", "more Catholic than the Pope", etc.) by many otherwise conservative or orthodox Catholics to even mild criticism of the Pope makes them look like mindless cheerleaders. Some who post comments on their blogs saying "amen" are anything but conservative or orthodox in their theology.


Dougherty makes some excellent points, like reminding us that the laity is sometimes responsible for steering the Church in the right direction, as did St. Catherine of Siena. Or maybe she was "more Catholic than the Pope".

Patrick Archbold said...

Yes

Patrick Archbold said...

Carl Keating.

Patrick Archbold said...

I don't think he's right about the synod but he IS right about the history of the Church. If it DOES endorse something wrong, it wouldn't be the first time! We are too used to big groups making "policy" decisions that we can't change. The Church governs but she is not a government. We're supposed to believe the Faith, not everything every pope or bishop says or does.

Patrick Archbold said...

I hate to say it, but the US is heading in Japan's direction. We can slap ourselves on the back for not being in Japan's boat; however, the last 5 years of demographic data looks depressing. Compared to 2008, 2013 had 400,000 fewer live births. For 3 years now, our birthrate (as measured in live births per 1000) has hovered around 62-64 - the lowest in our history. Our Total Fertility Rate (which takes into account the age of the female as well as the number of births) remains around 1.85 children per female. Just to keep out population stable without using immigration, we need a TFR (Total Fertility Rate) of 2.1 births per female. We have only met the 2.1 level a half dozen times since 1972. And since 1972, our median age has gone from 24 years to 37.

What is even more disconcerting is the age of our women giving birth for the first time. The only demographic that has seen an increase in births is the over 39 demographic. Women between 18 and 34 are just not having children anymore.This is especially true even of Hispanics, where during the last 5 years birthrates have plunged. This is critical as women having their first child at such advanced years will only have one child. This essentially halves their birthrates.

Patrick Archbold said...

I think those Catholic blogger, who go extreme in response to even mild criticism of something the Pope may have done, are themselves actually showing their insecurity to his actions. It's an attempt to stay away from the question of, "well if he is wrong about this, what else is he wrong about?"


In some regards, they are the flip side of the extreme group who couched every action of the Pope as proof of him being a heretic.

Patrick Archbold said...

Art Bell

Patrick Archbold said...

How about Orthodox Catholic versus Heterodox Catholic? The labels Conservative v Liberal was created to describe political-social views and not theological views.

Patrick Archbold said...

Exactly. Defending the Pope and trying to reassure their readers that the Pope is not going to lead the Church into heresy is one thing, but the attacks on Francis' critics, notably by Mark Shea, do betray a certain insecurity and uncertainty that they seem to harbor in secret.

Post a Comment