Even though polls indicate approximately half of U.S. Catholics follow Pope Benedict XVI’s magisterial decrees on how Catholics should evaluate voting issues, that half is a rather large bargaining chip for the present church-state alliance in which Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan engages a certain political party.
Although the Catholic vote is now almost evenly divided between opposing political parties, half of the 51 million adult Catholic population distributed nationwide still represent a large bargaining chip for the present U.S. Catholic Church. A much-needed bargaining chip, indeed, as the U.S. Catholic bishops struggle to avoid large-scale legal prosecution for past clerical abuses in pending court cases nationwide.
While striving to avoid parish and diocesan bankruptcy, the U.S. bishops are also making every effort to save the Church’s approximately 6,000 Catholic schools serving close to 2 million U.S. students (20% of whom are not Catholic).
The present situation of the U.S. Church-state alliance with the GOP, though embarrassing for some bishops, claims justification in the magisterial teachings of Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and even early Church Fathers as cited and propagated by Eternal Word Television Network, EWTN Global Catholic Network.
Meanwhile, the GOP is determined to pack the court and do whatever it takes to over-turn Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision that protected a woman’s right to privacy under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Imagine what other rights to privacy can be overturned if this one passes Supreme Court muster! Genetic testing? Doctor-patient confidentiality? Business trade secrets? Lawyer-client privilege? Financial confidentiality?
“I am surprised that the presence of Christ has been reduced to the male sex,” said Sister Ruth Schönenberger, head of the Benedictine Priory of Tutzing, the Bavarian motherhouse of a worldwide missionary order.
Where YOU Stand Determines the Future of Authentic Catholic Identity and Authority in the Church and in the World Today.
As you seek to show genuine repentance for your communal part in the worldwide sex abuse scandal, you might consider the present immigrant situation at our national borders an opportune moment to exercise your own authentic leadership in the Church.
You must stand, be counted…and be seen, in your full clerical garb, as opposition to the world in its reliance on force as the solution to crisis.
THE SIGHT OF YOU at the borders would do so much more for the local and universal Church than diocesan letters on new reform policies or photo-ops in sanctuary cities.
BODILY STAND TOGETHER BETWEEN the immigrant poor at the border and the guns that greet them in their request for refuge from violence. YOU have more power than you realize, both individually and as a group.
Apart from your national conferences, you have the individual power to single-handedly act not just speak for the Church as the strong and powerful witness that strengthens the faith of people everywhere …as the sainted Bishop Oscar Romero did for his people in the remaining years of this life.
Where YOU Stand Determines the Future of Catholic Identity and Authentic Authority of the Catholic Church in the world today! Perhaps your action would even inspire bishops from different countries to stand in visible solidarity with each other…witnessing opposition to the world in its reliance on domination and force as the solution to crisis.
We offer our prayers for all in leadership of the Catholic Church.
Rome Reports on film “Romero”
Link to Remastered film “Romero” (film available on Amazon) https://www.amazon.com/Romero-Raul-Julia/dp/B002BU729E
Everyone Catholic, even Pope Francis
scurrying to pin blame for Church failure
as if laity are immune from
such sins of sexual abuse and cover-up.
Yet I can attest,
as a good number of others can,
that molestation and rape of children and women
are hardly reserved to the clerical caste.
An unknown number of fathers, mothers, family members and others
have long been complicit in both the act and/or cover-up
of the abuse of children.
Might the frenzied hatred toward any group
held in contempt and horror…May that frenzied hatred
be toward something yet uncovered in thy group,
thy family, thyself?
Could some of the moral outrage and self-righteous venom
spewed upon the sex offender or power abuser
be out of deeply-rooted dread that such
desire to abuse has or could occur
Isn’t moral indignation simply cheap grace
when it stands around Jesus at the stoning of the woman
caught in adultery?
Lest we forget, so Jesus reminds us,
Let him or her who is without sin
cast the first death-dealing blow of the stone.
There is something weirdly satisfying and grotesquely sick
about self-righteous condemnation of the other,
As for hierarchy, it is only an attempt at order that has worked for a long time.
Hierarchy grows bureaucracy which naturally fails to deliver
as each age calls forth from it more and more…
until that more is more than it can manage.
Hierarchy is simply one attempt at order that isn’t working very well these days.
Yet each radically altered age is subject to the workings of evolution and new creations.
Instead of bashing hierarchy as the ultimate problem,
why not work at thinking hierarchy into new forms,
like nested hierarchies or rotating hierarchies?
…or even look at the possibility of moving away from hierarchy in the future
toward some yet undiscovered structure of order?
There was a time when damage control worked well for the church. That time is no more!
Now, damage control like sincere apologies, policy changes and even sacrificial scapegoats fail to convince Catholics and others that the Church is determined enough to change its fundamental “modus operandi”.
Fortunately for the church, Catholic consciousness has been raised by the Spirit of Vatican II to expect more than damage control. This new consciousness cannot be rolled back any more than a born child can go back into it’s mother’s womb.
Those who talk about the need for structural change in the church rarely, if ever, recognize the origin of church sex/power abuse in theology itself.
In the past several decades, Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and now Pope Francis have adamantly steered the church away from the deep theological reform that Vatican II set in motion. Their unwavering resistance to deep theological reform unwittingly supported the clerical power abuse and cover-up that we find today in the global Church. Continuation of this resistance will only lead to more virulent and deeply-entrenched power abuse cover-ups.
If the connection between theology and power abuse is not recognized now, then any policy and structural changes enacted by the Church will be worthless. As empowered as the laity will appear to be after all new policy/structural changes are in place, laity will NOT be allowed to cross the boundaries of “religious freedom” around well-guarded Church doctrine.
If Augustine could assimilate Roman ideals into Christian theology, surely by this time, Catholicism is capable of assimilating the best of modern findings in scientific, philosophical and theological research. Vatican II brought attention to the need for updating and adapting the Church to new conditions. With the extent, horror and gravity of the sex/power abuse scandals in the Church, one would think that the Church would wake up to Vatican II and its focus on the many momentous new questions that modern society must deal with in terms of human survival, not to mention the survival of its religious institutions.
The sex/power abuse scandals bring into question the domination model of traditional Biblical understanding and its application in doctrine. The domination interpretation of power in Scripture has been seriously questioned by many post-Vatican II theologians. Even so, the institutional teaching authority of the Church has opposed little, if any, change in this ancient theology of power.
NOW IS THE TIME to re-evaluate theology that sanctifies and sacramentalizes domination. We must ask ourselves: Should modern scriptural interpretation be supporting the understanding of God as the One Who Desires Power Over Us?…justifying the way that we desire power over the earth and each other?
“WHY WOMEN MATTER”
Livestreamed from Rome on
March 8, 2018
Voices of Faith International Women’s Day Event
Sponsored by The Fidelis Götz Foundation
“The Voices of Faith network is committed to action
and guided by fact and faith.”
“We live in times marked by change, but there are places where gender equality is being systematically overlooked.
The Catholic Church is one of them.”
Source: Voices of Faith
One-minute video link to 2018 key speaker, Professor Mary McAleese
Click on the links below to access video of individual speakers:
Power to transform: will the Catholic Church survive the 21st century?
Panelists: -Mary McAleese, former president of Ireland
-Tina Beattie, director Catherine of Siena College
-Father Luke Hansen SJ, writer and Jesuit
-Elise Orbananos Hernando, Jesuit Refugee Service
-Nicole Sotelo, journalist and author
-Alina Oehler, theologian and journalist
“Unless you let your bread break and bless and feed others,
you will have no life in you.”
When he said it, they walked away.
Nearly everyone’s looking for better life,
more life, greater life than what is given.
Where’s it at? Or is there no such thing?
Where’s it at and do I want to go there?
MY bread, MY everything,
My everything I think important,
I need let it break?
How could that be?
Let my bread be broke?
for WHAT?…I choke.
“No bread, No broke,
We’ll die,” they spoke.
And then they walked away.
Ah, there’s the rub against my soul:
MY Bread, MY BREAD…
No breaks allowed.
I want it how I want it
when, where and why.
MY Say…all else at bay.
You gotta have bread,
your very own bread.
Can’t give it away
or let it be taken.
Let your bread break?
Let it BREAK?
Let it break as it will?
Let it or NOT?
Won’t that make me a loser?
“Don’t we all lose our bread anyway?
Can’t take it with us.
“No, …but somehow it sustains us.
Broken bread, the hopes and dreams and visions
and things that seldom come true…
’cause life don’t make itself small enough
just all ’round me and you.
Can’t break my bread…
for life has broken it on me.
“Poor me” the only bread I got…
Co-miserating’s what keeps me going
and going and going, round and round
over and over, back to where I began
…unless I let my bread break?
…those precious plans for how things ought to be?
how me and you and she and he
just “rightfully” ought to be?
The still small voice inside
the one that calls elsewhere,
the where and how and why that has no reason or resources,
the crazy call from unknown quarters…
So, unless I let my bread break,
there will be no life in me?…no life in what I do,
or just something terribly missing…
They said I’d be happy; they said I’d be safe.
Certainty and Security, my bedfellows, chafe.
Where, O where, is the bread I need break?
by Sister Lea
Poor Pope Francis, his hands are tied by literal interpretations of tradition regarding women’s ordination, GLBT, Communion for the divorced and other issues.
As Patriarch of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church; he is caught between a rock and a hard place…between:
- ancient interpretations of papal leadership rooted in monarchical male dominion with its considerable $$$ support
- modern understandings of leadership rooted in a cultural consciousness which rejects monarchic models for that of democratic unity.
How ironic is it that democracy-oriented “Catholics for reform” maintain that Pope Francis should speak as a monarch and command the Roman Rite to change. How strange it is that reform-minded Catholics also express great satisfaction when Pope Francis demotes or dismisses Romanist ultra-conservatives from office, no?
Doesn’t this type of reform-minded Catholicism wind up advancing the same “get rid of the opposition” uniformity position…a position that reformist Catholics have long criticized Romanist Catholics for using against Vatican II cardinals, bishops and pastors?
Despite the Roman Catholic position for a tradition against change,
reform-minded Catholics console themselves with the belief that Roman Catholicism will change eventually, even if they do not live to see that change.
A thousand years ago, Roman Rite Catholicism could not force the Eastern Catholic Churches to accept and practice Western interpretations of catholic theology, governance, and liturgy. And so they worked out a settlement.
The settlement worked out to keep unity between East and West. You might call the settlement a “toleration policy”…allowing Eastern Rite/Church differences such as married priests and collegial governance… as long as they promised to recognize the Patriarch of Rome as head of the Catholic Church.
This tradition of “friendly toleration” has been applied most recently with the Anglican Catholic Rite/Church which promises union with the Pope as Patriarch of Rome. SO, why can’t dissent on this matter of women’s ordination and other matters be resolved by our Church’s ancient “toleration” policy…Roman Rite toleration of a Vatican II Rite/Church with its different interpretations and practices of theology, governance and liturgy? …a Vatican II Rite in union with Rome? Why not?
“One aspect typical of Catholicism today is the division among bishops. The first division follows geo-cultural fault lines…
…The bishops of the region of Buenos Aires in Argentina (endorsing Amoris Laetitia) talking about the possibility for divorced and remarried Catholics who cannot live “in chastity”to receive communion after a process of discernment with their pastor.
…In North America the bishops…deny the idea that the Synod and Amoris Laetitia brought any kind of change…
…what is happening in the reception of Amoris Laetitia among bishops shows… the difference between the pastoral reception and what I am calling the worldview or Weltanschauung reception.”
Response to above article: “Weltanschauung bishops” of the Romanist persuasion have successfully silenced Vatican II pastoral bishops over the past 30+ years in the USA, Canada and other countries. The few Vatican II bishops who remain are not likely to speak against brother bishops steeped in “Weltanschauung” theology.
To read Dr. Faggioli’s article and comments: Relearning critical obedience and faithful dissent – La Croix International
“Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. This is what it will be like. It will be as if a household of five were divided, three against two and two against three…” From Luke 12:49-53
“At present there is increasing talk of schism. Will it be necessary for conservatives to separate, as the Old Catholics in Holland did after Vatican I? Or is it time for progressives to break away and form ‘The People of Vatican II’ as some are advocating?
In the end the question is, can we be in communion with people who have different thoughts and attitudes to ours? Historically, when divisions occur, at some point we break off communion. Religious people, whether catholics or protestants, christians, muslims or jews, take the matter of being ‘in communion’ very seriously. We value purity of doctrine above family bonds. We can’t break bread with you! This is very sad. It is very odd. I wonder is this the aberration that Jeshua knew they would not avoid?
What is the ‘unity’ he prayed for? Was it uniformity of thought and expression in a world whose very evolution and development is a product of diversity? Was it conformity that is changeless in a living world where adaptation to different environments is the rule of life’s survival? Was it to be unchanging in a cosmos where there is nothing that is not moving? Sameness, permanence, being still: these are all illusion.
Or was he thinking of a family bond that would hold us together, even while we find many different paths through life. Unity in diversity.
What is the touchstone? What is the bond that makes us one? Why do our divisions hurt more than the divisions that are part and parcel of politics in a democracy, of business interests, of sport and even of football codes? Why do we treat difference in our Christian Family as worse than criminal? Why do we cut off communion and refuse to talk with the ‘others’? Is it reasonable? Or is it childish recoil from the pain of family hurt where any disharmony is magnified into trauma.
I believe that, in the last analysis, it’s a matter of trust. We do not trust those who are different, or go a different way. The sad fact is that our rejection of them shows that we do not trust God to lead them along their paths. We judge them because the thought that there might also be another way threatens our security. Without understanding them, we reject them on the measure of our own perception of the truth. To cement our stance in place we all claim that God’s approval makes our position absolute. Children! Children! Behave yourselves. Remember where you are!
In our Father’s house we must first trust him. It is the embodiment of believing – to trust. It takes faith out of the airy intellectual and makes the heart big enough to embrace other sisters and brothers, God’s other children. It is not foolish or irresponsible to trust God. But it is silly to try to run his world our way.”
Article excerpt reprinted with permission.
Click link below to read Full article by Tony Lawless at Catholica.com:
He Brings Division? Sunday Readings
For too long, we Vatican II Catholics have understandably confused Roman Rite Catholicism with the Universal Catholic Church,
…mainly because Roman Rite Catholicism is internally confused about that one as well.
Vatican II, however, was definitely a rupture in that kind of confused thinking.
More than that, Vatican II was a rupture in the very theology that
…supports what Rome defines as bona fide Catholicism.
Meanwhile, Roman Catholicism has tried to quietly stitch together that rupture between
…Vatican II theology and RC theology with authoritative words
…like “continuity,” “tradition,” and “unity”.
The justifiable effort here was to spiritualize the aggiornamento (updating) of the Church …in order to save the Church from the “excesses” of Vatican II.
The unintended consequence of this action was to shut down /melt down Vatican II …into business (theology/governance/liturgy) as usual.
The Holy Spirit, however, was not to be shut out or melted down into business as usual.
Just as the first Pentecost was a rupture in the Judaic vision of itself, humanity and God,
…so was Vatican II a rupture in the Roman Church’s view of itself, God and the world
…a rupture in Roman Catholic Theology.
(Vatican II expert Richard Gaillardetz discusses “micro-ruptures evident in the teaching of Vatican II” in Boston College School of Theology video, “Fulfilling the Unrealized Vision of Vatican II”.)
With Vatican II, the Holy Spirit initiated a challenge to Roman Rite theology,
…as well as RC hierarchic style of governance and its liturgical/sacramental practice.
Vatican II also challenged the ROMAN Catholic vision of the Church
…as well as its concepts of Catholic identity and Catholic culture.
Any kind of rupture, even sacred micro-ruptures in theology alone;
…these were not the intent of Vatican II,
…but these ruptures were definitely the consequence of the Vatican II event.
The purpose of Vatican II was the updating of the Roman Catholic Church,
…and some cardinals/bishops didn’t even see the need for that.
The Holy Spirit had different ideas, inviting the Council to move in other directions
…right from the start
…as typified when the cardinals/bishops resisted
…the imposition of a curial-fixed agenda on the Council proceedings.
How often, the Holy Spirit calls us in one direction, only to take us off down a road we never expected, always with results beyond any we could ever have imagined.
Can you believe….the Roman Catholic Church is not THE Catholic Church. It is an autonomous or sui juris (of one’s own right) church like the Eastern Churches…in union with the bishop of Rome! It is that “union with the bishop of Rome” which is the tie that binds ALL the autonomous churches together.
“The Latin Church is an autonomous or sui juris particular church in communion with the Catholic Church. There are several such sui iuris particular churches within the Catholic Church. Other examples are the Maronite Church, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. They differ from each other in liturgy (ceremonies, vestments, chants, language), devotional traditions, theology, canon law, and pastors (even if in the same territory as another), but they all hold the same faith, and all see union with the bishop of Rome, the pope, as essential to being a Catholic.
The Latin Church is the largest of these sui juris churches, with a membership far greater than all the others taken together. It arose in Western Europe and North Africa, an area once encompassed by the Roman Empire, throughout which Latin was widely understood and spoken. It is sometimes called the Western Church. All the other sui iuris particular churches, of which there are 23, originated farther east and are, therefore, collectively known as the Eastern Catholic Churches. Because of the facility with which people can nowadays take up residence in a different country, members of all of these sui iuris particular churches are no longer confined to their areas of origin and can be found all over the world.”
Excerpt from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Church with footnotes from Modern Catholic Dictionary and other Catholic sources.
Four significant quotes from Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, principal of Hekima University College in Nairobi and well-known African theologian:
1. “My reading of it (Amoris Laetitia) tells me that Francis reaffirms in uncompromising terms the church’s teaching on abortion, contraception, birth control, and marriage. What we must not forget is that (Pope Francis) is just as uncompromising in affirming the centrality of conscience (#303), discernment, pastoral accompaniment, and compassion.”
2. “Part of his message to us is that we need to refrain from the common practice of equating “irregularity” with “mortal sin” [paragraph 301].”
3. “If African bishops are wise, they would realize that the pope gives them license to be creative in addressing pastoral situations of family life and marriage. Francis is actually saying: “Don’t hide behind the veil of magisterium!”
4. “I believe that there is still a long way to go before we actually make the bold steps that are long overdue with regard to critical issues such as the role of women in church, homosexual unions, reproductive rights, all of which are broached and addressed in the document.”
RITE BEYOND ROME Response:
Fr. Orobator’s last quote about there being “a long way to go before we actually make the bold steps that are long overdue with regard to critical issues,”…this is why Catholicism needs a new inter-independent Vatican II Rite in union with Rome as part of the universal Catholic Church.
As an historic example of what a non-Roman Catholic Rite has already contributed to the universal Catholic Church, take “the small band of Melkite Eastern Rite/Church leaders, in a sea of Latin Rite hierarchs,” who brought their wisdom and long-term experience to the Second Vatican Council….”introducing such items as the use of the vernacular, eucharistic concelebration, communion under both species, restoration of the diaconate as a permanent order, creation of what would become the periodically held Synod of Bishops and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, while championing new attitudes to and less offensive vocabulary in ecumenical relationships with other Christians…” (From article “Eastern Christians in Australia” by Lawrence Cross in Australian eJournal of Theology 19.2, August 2012)
Do you think that the Second Vatican Council would have ever been an “event of unparalleled significance,” as Vatican II expert Gailliardetz calls it, without the contributions of the inter-independent non-Roman Melkite Rite/Church in full union with Rome?
Could a Vatican II Catholic Rite/Church, with every intention of remaining in union with Rome…could it help shorten what Fr. Orobator calls the “long way to go before we actually make the bold steps that are long overdue with regard to critical issues such as the role of women in church, homosexual unions, reproductive rights, all of which are broached and addressed in “Amoris Laetitia”?
More than shorten the time for change, could that inter-independent Vatican II Rite help save the Catholic Church itself, including the Roman Rite/Church?
Google Rite Beyond Rome.
(See National Catholic Reporter for full article on Fr. Orobator by Joshua McElwee , April 11, 2016. http://ncronline.org/news/african-theologian-responds-amoris-laetitia)
How Far the Church Has to Go..
M…. says: “My take on 2015 for the church is that it is the first time in a long time, we’ve seen some reason for hope. But if so, we’re still early in this Advent of hope. As others have noted here, there are many serious problems to be overcome. So perhaps the assessment here might better be framed as being an early step, where the church is finally showing itself some of the work that’s needed.
*Splits among the bishops are no longer whispered in gossipy tones: they themselves have brought the battle out into the open.
*The scandal has YET to be dealt with as it should. Yes, Francis created a Commission, yet, by all appearances, they have been relegated to the sound proof, communications proof rooms deep in the Vatican, for virtually nothing of note has come from that group. So yet another year has gone by with only minimal cases of accountability: cases that simply had to be dealt with because the issues were so public.
* Little or no change took place with respect to the role of women in the church, and the few changes that were made, make it clear that women remain seen as second tier in the church.
Yes, Francis offers hope, and for that I am thankful. But if anything, the promise of that hope, as it played out in 2015, only adds emphasis as to how far the church still has to go, and THAT story is far from uplifting.”
Sister Lea responds to comment above:
“Yes, M…! To add to the “how far the church still has to go”, don’t we have to face up to the fact that Vatican II vision for the Church is very often in direct conflict with Roman Rite vision for the Church?”
Google: “RITE BEYOND ROME”
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