“All Catholics are cafeteria Catholics” says Jesuit priest. Is this a good thing?

Maybe Fr. Thomas Reese, editor of National Catholic Reporter, is right when he says, “Welcome to the cafeteria” as a way of expressing Catholic unity.  He explains why…

“The truth is all Catholics are cafeteria Catholics. Conservative Catholics were quite willing to ignore John Paul’s and Benedict’s strong statements on justice and peace, and progressive Catholics are happy to ignore Francis’ opposition to women priests.”

If this is cafeteria Catholicism, then certainly it will continue to obstruct change in the Catholic Church for generations to come. Thus the Catholic Church will remain one big unhappy family adamantly arguing back and forth as we decide what to fight and what to ignore about liturgy, justice and peace, and opposition to women priests, etc, etc.

So what happens to deep Vatican II reform of the Catholic Church…beyond even its pastoral and merciful approach?  Does it simply die of benign neglect or fear of causing schism?

Fr. Reese says, “Catholics need to grow up and learn to live in a church where arguments take place, but we should not let disagreements break up the family. We need to understand that people have different viewpoints and that we can learn from one another by having dialogue. Rather than dividing into partisan factions, we need to model what it means to be a community.”

Yes, “WE ARE Family!”   But family cannot grow if it cannot respect each other’s differences and allow one another the space to grow differently.  And what if certain members of the family are against differences, against change and against dialog?  Do the other family members just bow their heads in submission…in hope that something someday will change before or long after they die?   We think NOT!

In 2015, Cardinal Walter Kasper wrote an article in ORIGINS “Vatican II: Toward a Multifaceted Unity”. (Vol 45, #9). He wrote about the unity in diversity needed if we are to make any further progress in ecumenical endeavors. We suggest it is time to look WITHIN our Church to see the possibilities for a “multifaceted unity” because cafeteria style is definitely NOT working for either side of the Church.  Pick&Choose cafeteria-style offers no challenge for growth on either side.

We say, “NO” to Cafeteria Catholicism and “YES” to Multifaceted Unity!
https://ritebeyondrome.com/2017/09/23/church-unity-is-not-institutional-merger-cardinal-kasper/

Fr. Reese’s article:  https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/more-catholic-pope

Church Unity: NOT about merging disparate factions

Unity is not like a puzzle pieced together.jpg

different puzzle pieces pic.jpg

 

If Cardinal Kasper can say this

about ecumenical unity,

might this wisdom for unity

apply as well WITHIN the Church?

Might this be the wisdom we need
WITHIN our polarized Roman Catholic Church?

Cardinal Kasper.jpg

…a Church polarized by its different interpretations of
the Second Vatican Council

…a Church polarized between

those who hold minimum assent to the Council
and
those who see Vatican II as whole new direction for the Church?

Continue reading

Post-VATICAN II RITE, Theological Activism for the Sake of World Survival, Peace, and Justice

Post-Vatican II efforts to significantly rethink Catholic theology have been suppressed over the past few decades, in the same way that the implementation of a Post-Vatican II Rite has been suppressed. WHY?

  • Because a post-Vatican II Theology would cut across the political and economic agendas of western civilization, both church and state?
  • Because a post-Vatican II Theology created cracks in the wall that kept Judeo-Christian scriptures and tradition within strict political and economic boundaries?
  • Because the foundation and daily functioning of top-down church/state structures depend most heavily on the Roman “God-in-charge” model?
  • Because the survival of western political/economic agendas depends on the  image of an all-knowing, all powerful, judgmental (exclusionary) God-in-Charge?   If that image changes, do political/economic agendas change as well?

Modern communication breakthroughs have chipped away at the religious rationale and justification of the Roman Rite western model of authority and power as the gift and will of God.  This “chipping away” appears to some as an attack on “God-in-Charge” theology, as if there can only be one and only one theological view of authority .

Post-Vatican II progressive theology emphasizes power-sharing images of God as core scriptural and traditional concepts…concepts heretofore minimized and neglected in favor of the Roman Rite western standard.

Constructionist/activist theologian, Joerg Rieger* explains that the “God in Charge” theological perspective is not the only one, nor even the most beneficial one for society in our time.  Rieger explores the popularity and success of right wing theological activism in our time and poses this question:

“Is it possible that Trump’s way of projecting power resonates with the way in which many people of faith perceive God’s power to be at work?”


  • (God/Trump) as a doer who can single-handedly fix things if he wants to.
  • (God/Trump who) acts without consulting others and without asking for permission
  • (God/Trump who) acts without being influenced by anyone else.
  • (God/Trump) projects power…strictly from the top down, from a subject to its objects, from the ruler to the ruled.
  • (God/Trump) can do anything. According to this logic, might also makes things right.

If “Trump’s way of projecting power resonates with the way in which many people of faith perceive God’s power to be at work,” then the post-Vatican II Rite urgently needs to engage in a Theological Activism that highlights shared power as bona fide scriptural and tradition-based concepts and practices…shared power in no way inferior to the efficient Roman model.

The present underlying theological substructure of politics/economics continues to support the political rise and popularity of dictator-type personalities and trickle-down economics.  With no input from progressive activist theologians, is there any hope for substantive change of heart and mind in regard to the stranger? …or any hope, that matter, for change in the ultimately apocalyptic direction in which we are moving at full speed ahead?

Activist progressive theologians, Joerg Rieger* and Kwok Pui Lan*, raise two important questions for us to ponder:

  1.  Is it time for people of faith to think more deeply about the God they are worshiping and the kinds of power they want to support?
  2. SHOULD we be leaving prayer-based theological activism solely in the hands of politically conservative religious leaders? (And, whether we acknowledge it or not, are we already doing so at our own peril and the peril of our faith, country, and world?)

A post-Vatican II rite in union with Rome has no fear to engage in prayer-based Theological Activism in ecumenical dialogue…exploring how we might see God in new ways…in wisdom ways that are invitational, NOT confrontational or polarizing.

——————————————-

References:
*Activist theologian and author of several books on this subject, Joerg Rieger, co-author of OCCUPY RELIGION: Theology of the Multitude with Kwok Pui Lan are both part of the Occupy Theology Movement.

JOERG RIEGER’s Website: http://joergrieger.com/

URL Link for Huffington Post piece: “Divine Power, Donald Trump, and How the 2016 Presidential Elections Challenge Common Religious Assumption” by Joerg Rieger

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joerg-rieger/divine-power-donald-trump_b_12488082.html

On “When bishops give up on episcopal conferences” – Massimo Faggioli

“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.”

Source: When bishops give up on episcopal conferences – Global Pulse Magazine

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.

This is no “truly strange reversal of fortune,” as Massimo calls it, for there are two distinctly different voices speaking in God’s name for Catholicism: the Roman literal voice and the theopoetic-leaning voice of Vatican II. Theology, governance, pastoral concerns and liturgy fall to each different side according to the literal/poetic cultural divide.

There are people on both sides of this Catholic cultural divide, each trying to change and/or disparage the other’s position, with the Vatican II side having become disillusioned by the dominant “Weltanschauung” Catholicism.

Isn’t it time to declare the existence of a Vatican II Catholic Rite/Church in union with the Roman Rite/Church and the 22 Eastern Catholic Rite/Churches which are also in union with Rome?

Sisters Lea and Consilia
https://RiteBeyondRome

 

 

 

Catholic Culture’s “Split Mind”

Some believe we have gone far beyond the need for “aggorniamento,” i.e. updating” of church structures, language and reconnecting to the culture in the vernacular.

Perhaps we have just begun the aggorniamento process which needs to acknowledge that we have arrived at a split mind within the Western/Latin Branch of Catholicism…a place where Roman and Vatican II Catholics see things so very differently, that we speak two very different cultural languages as Catholics, akin to the 1054 East-West mystical/scholastic split mind in Catholicism, including the Eastern Churches which remained in union with Rome.

This “split mind” in our Church drove the direction of Vatican II and, according to the article below and other sources, this “minority mind” had such a great influence on the Church that we are still wrestling with its contributions today.

It was, after all, Patriarch Maximos and his small Melkite band in a sea of Latin Rite hierarchs, who managed to introduce such items as:

  • the use of the vernacular,
  • eucharistic concelebration,
  • communion under both species in the Latin liturgy,
  • restoration of the diaconate as a permanent order,
  • creation of what would become the periodically held Synod of Bishops
  • creation of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity,
    • championing new attitudes to and less offensive vocabulary in ecumenical relationships with Eastern Orthodox and other Christians,
      • recognition of Eastern Catholic communities for what they are, “Churches,” not “rites.”

From “Eastern Christians in Australia” by Lawrence Cross in Australian eJournal of Theology 19.2(August 2012)

So, we ask, “Should so many be so hesitant of even addressing the option of a Vatican II Rite standing next to its 22 Eastern siblings in union with “elder sibling” Rome?

Sisters Lea and Consilia
4vatican2rite@gmail.com

 

On “Relearning critical obedience and faithful dissent” by Massimo Faggioli

Massimo, you say, “…there is actually a deep theological and cultural rift around ecclesiology and in particular about the role of Vatican II in the practical ecclesiology of Catholicism today.”

Could there be at least two different valid interpretations of our Catholic faith, not just “continuity and rupture” or “obedience and dissent”?

As you well know, there is a split between the literal and “poetic” interpretations of Catholicism, well-documented by Catholic philosopher/theologian John D. Caputo in his books, RELIGION WITHOUT RELIGION, THE WEAKNESS OF GOD, and THE INSISTENCE OF GOD.

Vatican II pointed us in the poetic direction while retaining the literal hermeneutic. Might we have need for both literal and poetic interpretations of theology, governance and liturgy in the Church today? https://ritebeyondrome.com/201…

As for the Church, she has the tradition to address this problem in her agreement to allow differing interpretations of theology, governance and liturgy within the 22 other rites beyond her Roman walls. Apparently the Catholic Church, including the Roman patriarchy of earlier time, was not so hell-bent on its hegemony over Catholicism as it is today, you think?

To read Dr. Faggioli’s article and comments: Relearning critical obedience and faithful dissent – La Croix International

Literal & Poetic Interpretations of Catholicism, the real split?

For too long, we have not tackled the task of transvaluing* the very important doctrines which have provided structure and meaning to our faith…for so long.
Could our Catholic doctrines have been so guarded and locked down that they gradually diminished in ability to develop their fullness of spirit in each modern age,
culminating in the rejection of Catholicism so evident today?

As more than one theologian has said, we DO need “right” theology.
We also need to transvalue,* not dilute it, according to each new epoch.
The problem, of course, lies in what is the “right theology” and
what is vehicle for the faith which has carried us into the 21st century.
There are and always will be great differences of opinion on this question.

However, too many people today cannot “buy” the essence of Christianity
according to the literal “died for our sins” version
that many still hold so very sacred.
This rejection of theological understanding in the Catholic Church today
is likewise going on in other Christian denominations.

There is a split  between the literal and “poetic” versions of Catholicism
and it is well documented by philosopher/theologian John D.  Caputo in his books,
RELIGION WITHOUT RELIGION, THE WEAKNESS OF GOD,
and THE INSISTENCE OF GOD.

Could there be at least two different valid interpretations of our Catholic faith
…not just “continuity and rupture”?
Vatican II pointed us in the poetic direction while retaining the literal hermeneutic.
Might we have need for both literal and poetic interpretations
of theology, governance and liturgy in the Church today?
…even if that means “allowing” (if not “fostering”) the development of a new rite
in our Church which has managed to “allow” 22 other rites in union with the Roman Rite of the Jerusalem Church of Saints Peter and Paul and the earliest Christians?

Sisters Lea and Consilia welcome your feedback…even a “like” if you are so inclined.
Thanks!

***

*transvalue here meaning:  “To represent or evaluate something according to a new principle, causing it to be revalued” differently…with the “new principle” being the work of the Holy Spirit in Vatican II and the world.

See Position Paper:  Resolving Polarization of Vatican II and Roman Catholic Visions
https://www.scribd.com/doc/311664852/Resolving-Polarization-of-Vatican-II-and-Roman-Catholic-Visions

No Vatican II Rite!  What Loss to World and Church
https://wordpress.com/post/ritebeyondrome.com/1469

WHY THE CHURCH NEEDS A NEW RITE ALONGSIDE THE ROMAN RITE…

Pope Francis is a good and holy man!  Many think he can save the Catholic Church from ripping apart at the seams.  Maybe so, but we think NOT!

Pope Francis’ job is to hold the threads of unity together as long as possible…
…even if that unity “cannot” surrender hierarchy as the model for God & Church,
…even if that unity “cannot” recognize the sexism of patriarchy,
…even if that unity “cannot” recognize sexual relationship outside man-woman marriage,
…even if that unity “cannot” discuss certain topics like women’s ordination,
…even if that unity must protect the image of the Church AT ALL COST.

Continue reading

Unity pre-supposes Diversity

Psalm 132 (133) which reads: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity.”

Comment Source: Vatican II Essays

Oscar Cullman, guest of the Secretariat of Unity at the Second Vatican Council, is mentioned frequently in Yves Congar’s Book, MY JOURNAL OF THE COUNCIL. Cullman argues that unity pre-supposes diversity; it cannot by definition by mere uniformity. Thus diversity may be seen as a necessary structure of unity…a polarity of unity and diversity as a necessary element within the structure of community.

“A community of one heart and one mind”… We need a “polarity of unity” between heart and mind, a polarity of unity where”brothers and sisters dwell together in unity” as in Psalm 132(133). We need the sacred separateness of inter-independent Catholic rites with their different interpretations of theology and different practices of governance and liturgy. We need the holy oneness of different rites challenging, remembering, creating anew in a dynamic on-going inter-coursing union.

We need a Vatican II Rite!
Vatican II and Roman Visions for the Church: Do They Really Sync?  http://wakeuplazarus.net/v2/ES…

“how far the Church still has to go”

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”

The Future of the Church

Source: Vatican II Essays “The Church in Canada”

Richard Shields: “The “who” in “who will read the signs of the times?” are the People of God. The future of the Church in Canada is in the hands of the people.”

Lea’s Response to quote above:  The future of the Church worldwide is in the hands of the People of God! And right now, walk away they should! The “sensus fidei” is on target.  Unfortunately they are walking away from Catholicism, a universal Church which has so much more to offer than what the Roman Rite holds as its divine right to define and contain as Catholicism.

When will the “gray hairs” who have experienced the power of the Spirit Moving in Vatican II take a last bold step and free Vatican II from its suppression in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church?

When will we together proclaim Vatican II as an equal inter-independent rite alongside the 23 Eastern rites in union with Rome? (Whether Rome wishes to be in union with us at this time is its decision.)

Imagine what this new rite could do for the universal Church in terms of diversity.  Just as the Eastern rites have their own theological perspectives, their own liturgical expressions, and their own methods of governance to contribute to the universal Catholic Church, so could the Vatican II Rite.

Will we not exercise this power we have to open the Church to equal participation in decision-making for women, LGBT persons, and for so many others?

Imagine the possibilities for inculturation and multi-cultural communities…the possibilities for ecumenism that were short-circuited soon after Vatican II!

Should we instead stand back in more and more humble obedience to a Roman Rite which has declared itself the universal Church with sole power to interpret the working of the Holy Spirt in Vatican II?

The Roman Rite NEEDS a Vatican II Rite!  All the Catholic Rites NEED each other as challenge to see differently.  The universal Catholic Church NEEDS a Vatican II Rite as much as it needs the Roman Rite and the 23 other Eastern Rites!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK?
    Email 4Vatican2Rite@gmail.com to become a contributor.

Francis Juggles Vatican II & RCC

“He (Pope Francis) is a Christian certainly but he is also a Roman Catholic, and Christianity is only one component of Roman Catholicism. There is mercy on one side and control on the other. How will he keep both those balls in the air before one drops?”  William Shea From Internet Conference “50 Years After Vatican II”

Very good, honest question! The Pope is a Vatican II Rite Catholic in a Church institution of mostly Roman Rite Catholics. He is struggling with a polarization which is 50 years old and worsening by the day as it did with the past two popes…each side having very different views of God and the God-human relationship.

Isn’t it time to raise the suppressed Vatican II Council to the status of Rite along with the 20+ other inter-independent Catholic Rites in union with Rome?…Rites with different perspectives on theology and different practices in governance and liturgy.

Pope Francis could move the Vatican II Rite forward and Pope Emeritus Benedict could hold Roman Rite Catholicism intact…because both rites are going to need each other…a unity unafraid of diversity.
Just a thought…

Vision for Church as a Living Organism

“I want…churches to be more of a living organism than a fixed institution, responsive to those within and around them

  • to be relational in structure – to eschew hierarchical organization and creatively explore new forms of leadership that facilitate power-sharing
  • I want them to be inclusive of questioning and critique, so much so that their churches are changed by it – willing to die and be born anew.

I also want for them not to fall into the age-old pattern of erasing women’s work from history – so I bring the work of radical feminist philosophers and feminist theologians with me to research with the Emerging Church.”

Xochitl Alvizo, excerpt from her article,  From Mary Daly to the Emerging Church – An Unlikely Dissertation Trajectory

That is likewise our vision for raising the Second Vatican Council to a new Rite in the Catholic Church alongside the 20+ other Easter Rites in union with Rome…Rites with different perspectives on theology, governance, and liturgy.

Doctrine Begs for Change: Why Are We So Afraid of This?

Doctrine is the foundation of all Catholic belief, practice and ritual. Isn’t it time to attend to doctrine and its transvaluation, broadening our understanding of doctrine beyond Trent and even beyond Vatican II?

At the Vatican Synod on the Family, some bishops drew a distinction between doctrine and discipline, but conservatives among the synod fathers said any change in discipline implies a change in doctrine.

I would agree with our conservative brothers that any change in discipline does imply a change in doctrine…doctrine which is sorely in need of change.

The words “change, update, reform” as regards discipline trigger fear in our conservative brothers. These same words trigger fear in many of our moderate and liberal sisters and brothers when the word “doctrine” is mentioned, as if doctrine should be frozen in time or the Church will fall apart.

Yet doctrine is the foundation of all Catholic belief, practice and ritual. Isn’t it time to attend to doctrine and its transvaluation, broadening our understanding of doctrine beyond Trent and even beyond Vatican II?

Or don’t we trust the doctrine and its gold beneath the accumulated dusty clay of ages past?

VATICAN II RITE SEES GOD AND OBEDIENCE DIFFERENTLY

“In the Mass Readings 489 for today, Saint Paul is helping the Faithful keep obedience in perspective. “to lead the Gentiles to obedienceby the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have finished preaching the Gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:18-19). Obedience must be to God, whatever the “politically correct” risks may be.”

  • Some say God is about OBEDIENCE. They see God as the King of the realm and/or the Father of a family of obedient and unruly children. This God-view keeps obedience as the pinnacle of Roman Rite theology.

    Vatican II theology sees God differently. Vatican II theology sees life and love differently, and so sees God differently. Two very different Catholic cultures: Roman and Vatican II. There is no stuffing one into the other without eviscerating one or the other or both.

    Eastern Catholic Rites in union with Rome see God and each other differently. Eastern and Latin/Western Rites see each other differently.  Is there no room for a Vatican II Rite in the Catholic Church?

    Google “Rite Beyond Rome” or go to https://RiteBeyondRome(dot)wordpress(dot)com or email 4Vatican2Rite@gmail.com for link to above site.

“You Still Aren’t Going to Get a Rite.”

JK to Sister Lea:

“You still aren’t going to get a rite. You may get a separate ecclesial community, but it won’t be in union with the Successor to Peter. If that doesn’t matter to you, well…”

 


Sister Lea to JK:

“You think I am advocating for a Vatican II Rite for myself?

Vatican II was effectively shut down and “synthesized” into the Roman Rite by the papacy in the last 30-40 years.

We who have experienced the joy of the Spirit in the Vatican II Rite OWE it to those who follow us to RAISE VATICAN II FROM COUNCIL TO NEW RITE!

Besides, you never know, the Successor to Peter just might find himself glad for a Vatican II Rite. No more straddling the great polarization divide, no more frustration and appeasements for each side of the divide…diluting the vision of both sides.

With a new rite, both Roman and Vatican II Rites can pursue their very different visions of Church… in union with Rome or not, as Rome chooses.”

 


 

JK to SisterLea

“That’s my point, the bit you wrote about “NOT.” That’s what’s not going to happen. If you’re talking about a separate body, not in union with Rome, it’s being done all the time. Lots of ecclesial communities already have a system in place. You don’t even have to set up your own (though I suspect it’s REALLY about being able to call the shots…but if that’s so, you can go autocephalous. There’s even an organization or association that helps facilitate such things).

As for your take on the Council, I’m going with Saint John Paul II and the Pope Emeritus and the idea of the hermeneutic of continuity over that of rupture. They were there.”

 


 

Sister Lea to JK

“I am NOT talking about “a separate body, not in union with Rome, ” NOT one that denounces Rome, but one that sees its brother Rome in all its sacred separateness…the same separateness it has now with the 20+ other rites in union with Rome.

I am NOT interested in “calling the shots” or setting up an alternative system. The model of Church that Vatican II called forth will do just fine.

As you well know, Joseph Ratzinger, then-future Pope Benedict XVI was also at Vatican II as theological advisor to the Council. His book written in 1966, THEOLOGICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF VATICAN II, is full of the joy and spirit of the Council along with the struggle between “integrists and progressives”…the same struggle going on now 50 years later! Only now we look at a hermeneutic of unity through diversity!”

 

 

EXPLORING THE WAY TO A VATICAN II RITE (PDF SLIDES)

VISUAL PDF PRESENTATION FOR PERSONAL THOUGHT OR GROUP DISCUSSION
Click here:  Exploring the Way 4 VATICAN 2 Rite
(Slides are not time-sensitive.  Scroll down at your own pace.)
Download of presentation available at link above.

Too many people think that Uniformity or Schism are the only solutions to the severe polarization in the Catholic Church.  That is not the case!

Too many people think that Catholic priests cannot marry…when Eastern Rites in union with Rome have many married priests.

For too long, other rites in union with Rome have been explained as being different from the Roman Rite ONLY in Liturgy.  That is not the case!

Check out how and why it is possible to have a Vatican II Rite in union with Rome.

(If link above does not work, Click on link below to see PDF Presentation.  Link above loads faster.)

Exploring the Way 4 VATICAN 2 Rite

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