December 29, 2008

[Insert Your Name Here]Catholic Church

There is a resurgance in the "buzz" calling for a "new" Catholic Church. In my dissident days, there was often, in my crowd, a call for an AMERICAN Catholic Church.

For those of you who think that way, what exactly do you hope to gain? True community, a new order, or just attainment of what YOU want?

In this new church, who is going to be the authority? Ok, Jesus Christ.

Then: what?

Who is going to determine what Jesus meant in your new Church? Every community? Each community leader? Each individual person? You?

It is always possible to get what you want. You can reject the Church and get what you want, you can go somewhere else until you get what you want, you can keep arguing about it until you what you want.

In the end, what is accomplished? The confusion about what or who is the real authority will remain. If you are unable to accept the Magisterium authority of the Holy Roman Catholic Church what makes you think that anywhere else you go is going be more palatable to YOU? In the end that is what your seperation is all about; your pride and refusal to accept the rules. Everywhere you go there will be rules. You will spend your entire life searching and you will never find a home.

Think about interpretation and authority. Really think about it. If the only authority you can accept is your own, when you get to Heaven are you going to argue, at that very moment, by what authority God will tell you that you must go to Hell or Purgatory or, even, Heaven? If you are saying, at this point, that you don't believe there will be any Judgement then you still have a problem with authority because you can't even accept that there is responsibility for your own actions. For every action, there is a consequence, right? Even you rational scientist types have to agree with that.

It is in questioning authority that many have converted to Catholicism. True. The flawed "logic" of too many individuals claiming to DEFINITIVELY KNOW the mind of God and His Son became untenable and they only found order and Truth in the Catholic Church.

Think about what authority means in relation to Faith. Pray on it.


Blogger Chris said...

I was mulling over something similar to this yesterday, Cathy. My theory is that so many young non-practicing Catholics are flocking to evangelical/non-denom churches out of pure selfishness. They want a church made in their image and likeness instead of His. They don't want to submit to any authority- they will interpret the Bible and their "conscience" the way they want to, because all you need is a "personal relationhip with Christ".
And if you start to not like your church, get up and go start a new one. Essentially that is what the "dissidents" want to do as well. So I really don't get why they even want to bother "reforming" the Catholic church at all. If you are "protesting" the church and don't believe anything it stands for...doesn't that make you a Protestant?
Don't get me wrong- I am the only Catholic in my nuclear family so I have no vendetta against Protestants. At least people who identify themselves as non-Catholics are being honest about what they believe. It's the ones who say "I am Catholic" but reject everything about the church who are lying to themselves. I just don't know why they bother. In essence, they have already left.

December 29, 2008 2:09 PM  
Blogger Jeff Miller said...

Pope Leo XIII in the apostolic letter Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae condemned Americanism.

It seems some of the most dissident Catholic sites all use America in their name, America Magazine, by St. Anthony's Messenger, etc.

The exception is American Papist

December 29, 2008 3:06 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Chris: I know, but just because they don't bother doesn't mean we shouldn't bother to try and change their minds! I think of how far I've come and realize nothing is impossible with God. However, that doesn't mean He doesn't want our help! :-)

Jester: I'm sure Tom Peters appreciates the clarification! LOL! Good points though. Think of COMMONweal too. Common Good (that we hear a lot from the left), Communism.

December 29, 2008 3:35 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


Along that line, the vast majority of the younger generation these days seem to be the ones who describe themselves in singles ads as "Spiritual, but not Religious." In other words, they like to think about God, but they don't believe anything He said or do what He wants.


Commonweal, Common good etc.

While this might not be 100% accurate, I firmly believe that any Catholic parish that puts the word "COMMunity" at or near the top of its web page would lean heavily towards the dissidency side of the spectrum, especially with respect to conformance with the General Instructions of the Roman Missal.

Another way to say it is that the parish is "horizontally" oriented, with its emphasis towards the community, rather than "vertically" oriented, with the emphasis on worship and reverence.

I am in the process of typing all of the 220 parishes of our archdiocese and am almost 25% finished. So far, 42% would be considered to be "community" parishes.

December 29, 2008 4:35 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Cathy- so true- prayer and Christian example will go a lot farther than snark! ;D LOL

Ray- good heavens, I hope someone is paying you for that.
I think the presence of a "mission statement" should be a red flag too. But that's just me.

December 29, 2008 5:49 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Chris: Ray does many things out of the goodness of his heart.

Chris: I agree. Why does a Catholic church need a mission statement more than "We are Catholic!" or "We follow Christ!" or "Go, and make disciples of all nations!" Straightforward and to the point. No committee needed.

December 29, 2008 7:43 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Chris & Cathy:

I just put another 50 in so I'm about 45% finished and the percentage of "community parishes" jumped up to 43 from 42%.

Actually, I can't find web pages for a lot of the rural and smaller urban parishes so I suppose I'll end up with somewhere between 150-175 parishes.

Yes, I'm doing it out of interest (and a labor of love) and I might make a database out of it for people to more easily find where their Twin Cities area parish's web page is.

December 29, 2008 8:35 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Chris & Cathy:

I've been thinking about the "Mission Statement" issue. You're right. I would guess that the New Testament would suffice for almost all parishes.

I suppose most corporations have "mission statements" and those who create web pages for parishes thought that parishes need one too.

I think I'll stick with the "community" issue right now until we see the results. The more variables go into the equation, the more unreliable it will be.

December 29, 2008 10:14 PM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Parish Mission Statement = modernist invention. What part of go make disciples of all nations was not clear? :)

December 31, 2008 2:14 AM  

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