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  #31  
Old Feb 23, '12, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

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I understand and even agree with your reasoning Brother. Where I am afraid I must disagree with you is in your conclusions. That is not easy for me to say because I have come to have a great deal of respect for you. However, I have been doing a great deal of reading, thinking, and praying on this and I keep coming to the same result.


I believe that we are at an important moment in America and that what happens now is going to have important implications down the road. The overwhelming majority of religious in this country are wonderful, dedicated, and faithful to the magesterium. The same thing is true for our bishops, priests, and deacons. I thank God regularly for them. However the ones who are not faithful have caused enormous scandal and confusion to the faithful. The Church seems to have been taking the long view on this issue and allowing those individuals and groups who have gone off the reservation to slowly fade away. Thankfully, the groups (congregations and orders) and seminaries which have a reputation for being faithful seem to be the ones getting the majority of vocations right now. I pray that this is a reality and that if so, that the trend continues.

However, there are times when the long view is not the most effective approach and one must engage a bit more directly. You have said that there is no way we can know what the superiors or bishops have done, and this is true to a point. What we can judge is whether or not the behavior has changed. If not, this leaves only a few possible conclusions, some of which are that: 1) nothing has been done; 2) something was attempted which was ineffective, or; 3) nothing is permitted to be done because of the constitutions. As such, a higher recourse is in order.

I believe that the Church has been given a bit of an opportunity here to stand up and energize the faithful. She has been given an open door through which priests do not need to be hesitant in preaching about sins of the flesh (many priests have publicly and privately stated that they are uncomfortable with preaching on those topics for a variety of reasons). She has been given an opportunity to re-catechize the faithful on all of the teachings of the Church. The question which remains is whether or not the Church is going to seize the chance completely and get her own internal house in order, or only fight this on one front by focusing entirely on the situation with the government. If the battle is only fought with the government and we do not look internally to our own personal conversion as well as our institutions, we will have missed an important chance to strengthen the Church.


I know you do not agree with this and I respect that, but these are my conclusions at this time.
I'm not disagreeing with you, because I'm not debating with you. I would not do that. I too have great respect for you. I'm just sharing what I know from the inside. The Holy Father will not intervene with exempt religious. It has not been done since Leo XIII.

When the scandal broke out with the Legion of Christ, which is also an exempt community, the Holy Father assigned an apostolic administrator to deal with it. He said that he was not going to get personally involved in the affairs of a religious community. I don't know where things are, because once it was handed over to an administrator, the issue was no longer a Vatican problem. It is between the administrator and the religious of the Legion of Christ.

In the end, the pope will be informed and advised. He will sign the papers placed before him, since he is the highest ranking superior of all communities of Pontifical Right. I would be very surprised if the Holy See changed its policy of direct non involvement in religious communities.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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How long have I waited . . .
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  #32  
Old Feb 23, '12, 8:07 pm
jwinch2 jwinch2 is offline
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

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I'm not disagreeing with you, because I'm not debating with you. I would not do that. I too have great respect for you. I'm just sharing what I know from the inside.
I appreciate that. Thank you.

I guess that is one obvious place where the Dominican and Franciscan charism differs. Dominicans approach things with the idea that debate is healthy, and even encouraged, as long as it is done from the perspective of trying to learn from those you are debating rather than merely trying to win an argument. This is a bit new for me and I have always had a tendency to focus too much on the winning and not enough on the learning, but i'm working on it.

Quote:
When the scandal broke out with the Legion of Christ, which is also an exempt community, the Holy Father assigned an apostolic administrator to deal with it. He said that he was not going to get personally involved in the affairs of a religious community. I don't know where things are, because once it was handed over to an administrator, the issue was no longer a Vatican problem. It is between the administrator and the religious of the Legion of Christ.

In the end, the pope will be informed and advised. He will sign the papers placed before him, since he is the highest ranking superior of all communities of Pontifical Right. I would be very surprised if the Holy See changed its policy of direct non involvement in religious communities.
Something along the lines of the Holy Father delegating someone to look into things would be just fine by me. When I said that I hoped the pope would get involved, I meant it a bit more broadly then it perhaps came across.


Peace, and God Bless.
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  #33  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:07 pm
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

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I appreciate that. Thank you.

I guess that is one obvious place where the Dominican and Franciscan charism differs. Dominicans approach things with the idea that debate is healthy, and even encouraged, as long as it is done from the perspective of trying to learn from those you are debating rather than merely trying to win an argument. This is a bit new for me and I have always had a tendency to focus too much on the winning and not enough on the learning, but i'm working on it.
That is a gift that we all need to work on.

Quote:
Something along the lines of the Holy Father delegating someone to look into things would be just fine by me. When I said that I hoped the pope would get involved, I meant it a bit more broadly then it perhaps came across.
In the case of the Legion of Christ as in the case of the Franciscans and Pope Leo, the issues affected the entire religious community, not a few individuals. There was no way that it could be sent back to the bottom. In the case of the Franciscans, Pope Leo decided to take the matter into his own hands, because he was a Franciscan. In the case of the Legion, Pope Benedict decided to give it over to an Apostolic Administrator, because he had better things to do. His greatest concerns right now are Europe and the relation with Islam and Judaism.

They don't assign an Apostolic Administrator to look into the activities of a portion of a religious community. That's never been done. Popes have made it clear to the laity and to the bishops not to bother them with that. They send them to the religious superior. If the religious superior can't resolve it, as I said, he can ask for help from the Sacred Congregation.

A side note that is important to remember here is that we're American Catholics. We're not the most favored children of the Catholic Church. I have always felt that Rome, be it the Vatican or the Superiors General, cringed every time they had to deal with American Catholics. It was not until John Paul II that the ice started to melt.

One of my former superiors explained it to me like this. He said that the problem they have with us in Rome is multidimensional. First, we think that we're important to the world and to the Church. They see is as one of many.

Second, we take our freedom of speech into the Church, as if the US Constitution applied inside Catholicism. They see that as arrogance and the "Great American Heresy". We place democracy over faith.

Third, whenever we don't like something, Americans tend to bash. They see that as rude. We don't know how to beg for attention. We demand it, as if everyone has the obligation to drop what they're doing and pay attention to American Catholics. In other words, we don't always say please.

Fourth, we hurl stones at the Church, but we dare not do the same to our political leaders. They find that offensive, because the hierarchy outranks the politician.

He was explaining to me that there is a chasm of culture between American Catholics and other Catholics. In his opinion, it's the American Catholic who will have to learn to accommodate, because we make up a very small percentage of the Catholic Church. The majority of Catholics around the world think more like the Europeans than like us.

What I'm saying is that while we do have problems, we have to learn a different strategy to get Rome's attention. Demanding it is going to get the opposite result. We're just going to be snubbed.

Currently, we have a crop of bishops and religious superiors who know how to think and speak "European". It took a long time to get there. As a result, we have more Americans in the Vatican than we have ever had. We also have some formidable bishops and religious superiors.

PS. Had I thought this was a debate, I would have backed out a long time ago. The Rule of St. Francis has an anathema built into it against debates. We don't even debate with heretics. Debates are absolutely forbidden. When a discussion turns to a debate, we are to shut up and leave, says St. Francis or we will suffer the penalty for grave mortal sin, because it's under obedience. That's why St. Dominic wrote in his constitutions that the Dominicans were to hold the Franciscans in high esteem and were never to think or utter a negative word about them. He was in awe at the submissiveness of the Franciscans and at the serious consequences to those who debate. There have been excommunications over this issue.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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  #34  
Old Feb 23, '12, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

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Originally Posted by jwinch2 View Post
I appreciate that. Thank you.

I guess that is one obvious place where the Dominican and Franciscan charism differs. Dominicans approach things with the idea that debate is healthy, and even encouraged, as long as it is done from the perspective of trying to learn from those you are debating rather than merely trying to win an argument. This is a bit new for me and I have always had a tendency to focus too much on the winning and not enough on the learning, but i'm working on it.



Something along the lines of the Holy Father delegating someone to look into things would be just fine by me. When I said that I hoped the pope would get involved, I meant it a bit more broadly then it perhaps came across.


Peace, and God Bless.
Hi Jason,

Just throwing a comment out because I've noticed something too. I've seen some of the same stuff you have, and I have some of the same problems you have with wanting to say what I think, and so on. But you know, it's a very American thing to want to jump in and fix things when they seem to go wrong for a little while. And yes, yes, I know it seems like more than a little while that what we've seen has been going on, but in the whole scheme of things it's not been so long.

About as many people on CAF, for instance, want changes to the Church as want things not to change in the Church. We have the SSPX and the VOTF and all shades in between. But where would be be if we started tinkering like that?

Are there abuses? Yes, occasionally, and sometimes even more frequently than we'd like to admit. Do things happen that cause us a world of headaches later. Yes, they do. Such is life. Do they eventually get cleaned up, yes. Does it happen quickly? Not usually, but fast fixes American style don't really fix anything anyway. Look at our national budget.

I'm a six sigma black belt, and I don't know if you know what that is, but it's applying the methods of W. Edwards Deming to research and product design. You can google it. Anyway, the first thing people want to do when they don't like what they see is monkey with the data. Change this, change that, and it should FIX it. No. It never fixes it. It only shifts the problem someplace else. If you want to improve a system you have to work to understand it and the context it's in, and then make it work inherently using the principles of statistics (in the case of research and product design). The Church is similar in a way, although its inner principles are certainly not statistical. I don't even pretend to understand more about how the Church works, or what its inner principles are, than its designer, who is You Know Who. Or the ones he's chosen to operate it....who aren't me.

I hear you though. I get impatient too. It's just something I have to control.

Last edited by iloveangels; Feb 23, '12 at 10:23 pm.
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  #35  
Old Feb 23, '12, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

Some of what Br. JR so patiently tells us about the religious orders and why they exist, I have come to realize, has everything to do with understanding a little bit about the Church's design. I am speaking of the way their charisms prove the livability and living nature of the Gospel and such things. Thank you, Br. JR, for that. This is not something I would have come to on my own.

In a way this is a glimpse of what I'm talking about when I talk about the greater design of the Church that tinkering doesn't really "fix." This is why it is the way it is.

Do we have practical problems? Yes. Do we have problems with some groups? Yes we do. What's more, we always have had. I like history, and through history, it's just been one thing after another. Human beings are an eternal font of mischief and strange goings-on. But the problems get straightened out, and become history and then people only mention them in university classes and on the likes of CAF to make weird arguments.

There is this old saying: If an congregation or a group serves God's purposes, it survives: and if it doesn't it fades away. I think that's true. These things aren't missed by God. He sees it all. The Church is a big system with big pieces and it operates just fine both with and without me, as I've seen in my own little convert lifetime. Even if we run into hard times here, which may happen yet, the Church will keep right on going.

In the meantime, I might as well work on my spiritual life and enjoy the ride. That's my job, that and making myself remember that and stay on topic, rather than being a contentious American character with my fingers all over the "gain" buttons.

Last edited by iloveangels; Feb 23, '12 at 10:57 pm.
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  #36  
Old Feb 23, '12, 11:08 pm
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

Jason....Still, it's hard. I know.

There are practical things that we can do, that aren't monkeying with the Church. I'm speaking specifically about our latest problem, which is the HHS mandate. I've been writing to my representatives in Congress and leaving them phone messages. They may have it in their power to pass legislation to protect conscience rights in the US, no matter what the Supreme Court does. It's been done before in 1993, so there is precedent and it's possible.

The bill is called the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act 2011. The Congress needs to know people care about it and are watching. It's bill HR 1179 in the House and S1476 in the Senate. It needs to pass to protect conscience rights. It looks pretty good in the House, the Senate needs a little convincing by us, the voters and taxpayers.

You can write to your representative by going to the House of Representative page here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
When you put in your state and zip a contact form will come up.

You can write to your senator by going to the Senate page here: http://www.senate.gov/general/contac...nators_cfm.cfm
Find your senator and click and a contact form will come up.

Please consider doing this. This is one way in which we can help.

Last edited by iloveangels; Feb 23, '12 at 11:20 pm.
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  #37  
Old Feb 23, '12, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

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Originally Posted by iloveangels View Post
Some of what Br. JR so patiently tells us about the religious orders and why they exist, I have come to realize, has everything to do with understanding a little bit about the Church's design. I am speaking of the way their charisms prove the livability and living nature of the Gospel and such things. Thank you, Br. JR, for that. This is not something I would have come to on my own.

In a way this is a glimpse of what I'm talking about when I talk about the greater design of the Church that tinkering doesn't really "fix." This is why it is the way it is.

Do we have practical problems? Yes. Do we have problems with some groups? Yes we do. What's more, we always have had. I like history, and through history, it's just been one thing after another. Human beings are an eternal font of mischief and strange goings-on. But the problems get straightened out, and become history and then people only mention them in university classes and on the likes of CAF to make weird arguments.

There is this old saying: If an congregation or a group serves God's purposes, it survives: and if it doesn't it fades away. I think that's true. These things aren't missed by God. He sees it all. The Church is a big system with big pieces and it operates just fine both with and without me, as I've seen in my own little convert lifetime. Even if we run into hard times here, which may happen yet, the Church will keep right on going.

In the meantime, I might as well work on my spiritual life and enjoy the ride. That's my job, that and making myself remember that and stay on topic, rather than being a contentious American character.
I believe you got the right of it. I was in that fix it mode once upon a time and it almost got me dismissed from the order until my then German superior explained to me what I posted above. The more I thought about it the more it made sense why the Vatican and even our general superiors did not pay much attention to Americans. You can ask you Dominican confreres. We all went through this period of about 200 years of being ignored by Rome and by major superiors.

They have an advantage over us. Europe is much older than we are. They are used to seeing things break and waiting and watching the system gradually restore things back to order, only to be replaced by something else that breaks.

We in the USA are a young nation that developed at an exponential rate. In less than 200 years we went from 13 colonies to the most powerful, influential and wealthiest nation on earth. It was almost too fast, to the point that we began to believe that speed and efficiency are synonymous. The Europeans, the Asians, the Middle East and the Africans know better. They have been around longer. They're like the grandmas and grandpas who are slow, but full of wisdom.

The wisdom is the ability to acknowledge that things get fixed when the system is allowed to work and that systems work slowly. The disadvantage the American Catholics have is that we have lost touch with our roots. We're very American. We do things quickly and if it doesn't work we try something else and we continue until we get it right. In the meantime our blood pressure rises and we die of heart attacks more than any other people on earth, because we burn ourselves out. I believe this is why cloistered nuns and cloistered monks live so long. They don't dwell too much on the Church's problems. They take them to prayer and when they finish praying, they don't talk about it again. They move along to the next thing. They too belong to cultures that are very old and wise.

The Catholic Church is not American. The Latin Church is European and the other Churches are Easterners. Those cultures do not operate like we do. They don't worry too much about things moving slowly, because they have lived through so many hard times inside the Church and in their political arena and they always manage to make it work out. They're not in a hurry to fix this today only to have to replace it with another crisis tomorrow, which may be worse than today's crisis. It's kind of a "better the devil you know" attitude.

That's why they shied away from us for so long. Remember, the Vatican didn't even want diplomatic relations with the USA until Pope John Paul came to the papacy. The Vatican was perfectly happy with an Apostolic Delegate that dealt with the assignment of bishops in the USA and had nothing else to do with American Catholics. When asked to send religious to the USA, Pope Pius X once said, "Start you own religious congregations." The religious that came to the USA were not sent by the papacy. They came on their own. Most of them followed the immigrants. Many were invited by the American bishops.

There was always a shyness on the part of the Vatican. They didn't know how to deal with us. It was not that they did not care, it was that we were too different and they did not understand us. I believe that we still don't understand each other. But it's going to have to be we who adapt to them, not them to us. They are older. They are the majority of Catholics and they have experience dealing with crisis. Heck, we've never had a war on our own soil since 1812. Crisis rattles us at our foundations. That's not the case with a Church that is made up mostly of people who have a long history of crises. The know that things will be fixed and that nothing will ever be perfect. One problem replaces another.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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How long have I waited . . .
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  #38  
Old Feb 23, '12, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

There is one other piece of legislation as well called the Blunt Amendment. It's a highway funds bill, to which has been attached the text of S1476, the conscience rights bill I just mentioned.

This amendment has been attached as a rider on a larger bill which is scheduled for a vote next week and is pending on the Senate floor as I type this. Attaching it to this larger bill like this got around the technical difficulty of getting the lone bill scheduled against opposition. It's a strategy. Democrats are expected to want the parent bill to pass enough to sweeten the deal somewhat. We hope it's enough.

Please let your senators know that you want this one passed. The bill is S1813, with the Blunt Amendment #1520 attached to it.
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  #39  
Old Feb 23, '12, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

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..........The wisdom is the ability to acknowledge that things get fixed when the system is allowed to work and that systems work slowly.

........ They're not in a hurry to fix this today only to have to replace it with another crisis tomorrow, which may be worse than today's crisis. It's kind of a "better the devil you know" attitude.
Actually both these things are completely true in engineering too. But you have to get past the beginner panic stage, keep your fingers OFF the buttons, and start really watching the systems to see it. And then mathematically track til you understand what's going on, because these things follow certain types of patterns. It takes patience and experience and some engineers never learn it.

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I believe that we still don't understand each other.
I'm sure this is correct. I remember c. 1996 when the letters about ICEL came about from the CDW. I don't think the Vatican realized what had been going on until the translation of the Catechism, or what it had looked like from here. It's just so very different than anything that probably would have happened there. I think they all thought we'd gone berserk, which is probably not far from where they think we are all the time anyway. They may be at least half right. Okay, mostly right.

Last edited by iloveangels; Feb 24, '12 at 12:05 am.
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  #40  
Old Feb 24, '12, 12:27 am
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

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Actually both these things are completely true in engineering too. But you have to get past the beginner panic stage, keep your fingers OFF the buttons, and start really watching the systems to see it. And then mathematically track til you understand what's going on, because these things follow certain patterns.



I'm sure this is correct. I remember c. 1996 when the letters about ICEL came about from the CDW. I don't think the Vatican realized what had been going on until the translation of the Catechism, or what it had looked like from here. It's just so very different than anything that probably would have happened there. I think they all thought we'd gone berserk, which is probably not far from where they think we are all the time anyway. They may be at least half right.
You're definitely right. The Vatican thinks we're nuts. From their point of view, our problems are small compared to those of the Eastern Catholics who are being executed in Iraq, the Chinese Catholics who are being constantly threatened by government control, the African Catholics who are besieged by war, famine, corruption and tribal conflicts, the South American Catholics who can't stand the European Church, because they can't stand anything that smells of colonialism, the Australian Catholics who have a much greater shortage of priests than we do or the European Catholics who have run away from their faith.

Then they have to deal with the fragile relationship between Catholics and Muslims or Catholics and Jews, which is a major issue of concern for the Holy Father, because this has been his personal apostolate for more than 20 years. They have to face the sexual abuse issue, which seems to be worse in Ireland that it was in the USA. Now they have to watch to see what happens with human rights in the USA. The pope is not happy that Catholics are trying to get the government off their backs. He made a statement in which he said that to protect the religious freedom of Catholics alone is not justice and is unacceptable. We must protect the religious freedom of every citizen.

Look at what just happened with the American Secular Franciscans. Rome blew a fuse when they realized that the Americans were distinguishing themselves from the rest of the order. This had been going on since 1978, but they had not noticed it until they had a general chapter in 2011 and the South American Franciscans complained to the General Minister. The General Minister thought that the American Franciscans had lost their minds. In the mind of the American Franciscans, there was nothing wrong with singularizing themselves, because "we're not European". That went over like an atomic bomb when they said that at the General Chapter. The delegates from the other 113 countries were all over the Americans like fleas on a dog. The reply was, "We're a European order, end of story."

In their mind they wonder why we can't see the whole world instead of just our country. They find it frustrating. The truth is that we're not educated that way. Our education system and our family system is very nuclear. Our focus in our families is the immediate family. We don't have that strong sense of extended family as other cultures have. Our education system is focused on American goals, values, and the building of America. We no longer have a classical global education. As a result, we know very little about the rest of the world. That means that we know very little about the rest of the Church.

Thee is a definite cultural chasm. Thanks to Pope John Paul, they're beginning to understand how we think. Pope John Paul had been here many times as a bishop and a cardinal. He had good relations with American bishops and American politicians. The fruits of these relationships are going to be slow in coming.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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Fraternally,

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"Forget not love."


How long have I waited . . .
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  #41  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:35 am
jwinch2 jwinch2 is offline
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

More of the same...

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/201...act/?mobile=nc
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Old Feb 24, '12, 8:11 am
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

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... One of my former superiors explained it to me like this. He said that the problem they have with us in Rome is multidimensional. First, we think that we're important to the world and to the Church. They see is as one of many.

Second, we take our freedom of speech into the Church, as if the US Constitution applied inside Catholicism. They see that as arrogance and the "Great American Heresy". We place democracy over faith.

Third, whenever we don't like something, Americans tend to bash. They see that as rude. We don't know how to beg for attention. We demand it, as if everyone has the obligation to drop what they're doing and pay attention to American Catholics. In other words, we don't always say please.

Fourth, we hurl stones at the Church, but we dare not do the same to our political leaders. They find that offensive, because the hierarchy outranks the politician.

He was explaining to me that there is a chasm of culture between American Catholics and other Catholics. In his opinion, it's the American Catholic who will have to learn to accommodate, because we make up a very small percentage of the Catholic Church. The majority of Catholics around the world think more like the Europeans than like us.

What I'm saying is that while we do have problems, we have to learn a different strategy to get Rome's attention. Demanding it is going to get the opposite result. We're just going to be snubbed.

Currently, we have a crop of bishops and religious superiors who know how to think and speak "European". It took a long time to get there. As a result, we have more Americans in the Vatican than we have ever had. We also have some formidable bishops and religious superiors.
Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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Originally Posted by JReducation View Post
I believe you got the right of it. I was in that fix it mode once upon a time and it almost got me dismissed from the order until my then German superior explained to me what I posted above. The more I thought about it the more it made sense why the Vatican and even our general superiors did not pay much attention to Americans. You can ask you Dominican confreres. We all went through this period of about 200 years of being ignored by Rome and by major superiors.

They have an advantage over us. Europe is much older than we are. They are used to seeing things break and waiting and watching the system gradually restore things back to order, only to be replaced by something else that breaks.

We in the USA are a young nation that developed at an exponential rate. In less than 200 years we went from 13 colonies to the most powerful, influential and wealthiest nation on earth. It was almost too fast, to the point that we began to believe that speed and efficiency are synonymous. The Europeans, the Asians, the Middle East and the Africans know better. They have been around longer. They're like the grandmas and grandpas who are slow, but full of wisdom.

The wisdom is the ability to acknowledge that things get fixed when the system is allowed to work and that systems work slowly. The disadvantage the American Catholics have is that we have lost touch with our roots. We're very American. We do things quickly and if it doesn't work we try something else and we continue until we get it right. In the meantime our blood pressure rises and we die of heart attacks more than any other people on earth, because we burn ourselves out. I believe this is why cloistered nuns and cloistered monks live so long. They don't dwell too much on the Church's problems. They take them to prayer and when they finish praying, they don't talk about it again. They move along to the next thing. They too belong to cultures that are very old and wise.

The Catholic Church is not American. The Latin Church is European and the other Churches are Easterners. Those cultures do not operate like we do. They don't worry too much about things moving slowly, because they have lived through so many hard times inside the Church and in their political arena and they always manage to make it work out. They're not in a hurry to fix this today only to have to replace it with another crisis tomorrow, which may be worse than today's crisis. It's kind of a "better the devil you know" attitude.

That's why they shied away from us for so long. Remember, the Vatican didn't even want diplomatic relations with the USA until Pope John Paul came to the papacy. The Vatican was perfectly happy with an Apostolic Delegate that dealt with the assignment of bishops in the USA and had nothing else to do with American Catholics. When asked to send religious to the USA, Pope Pius X once said, "Start you own religious congregations." The religious that came to the USA were not sent by the papacy. They came on their own. Most of them followed the immigrants. Many were invited by the American bishops.

There was always a shyness on the part of the Vatican. They didn't know how to deal with us. It was not that they did not care, it was that we were too different and they did not understand us. I believe that we still don't understand each other. But it's going to have to be we who adapt to them, not them to us. They are older. They are the majority of Catholics and they have experience dealing with crisis. Heck, we've never had a war on our own soil since 1812. Crisis rattles us at our foundations. That's not the case with a Church that is made up mostly of people who have a long history of crises. The know that things will be fixed and that nothing will ever be perfect. One problem replaces another.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
Perfect, dear Brother!



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  #43  
Old Feb 24, '12, 8:51 am
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JReducation JReducation is offline
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

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Originally Posted by jwinch2 View Post
They're missing the whole point about religious freedom and focusing too much on the social aspect of healthcare.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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Fraternally,

Brother JR, FFV

"Forget not love."


How long have I waited . . .
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  #44  
Old Feb 24, '12, 11:06 am
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iloveangels iloveangels is offline
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

Government largesse as we now know it isn't the same as Christian works of mercy. Christian works of mercy are done for the love of God and for the love of the people that he loves, and they're done without expectation of repayment. Mother Teresa's work was an excellent example of Christian works of mercy, for example. On the other hand as you've seen with Obamacare, government largesse is done to secure political gain and to "improve" society according to some vision of a secularist utopia. These things are very, very different.

In this country it used to be the case that large social programs were oriented towards goals that had altruistic content, such that Christians could sign onto them with a clean conscience and fully work within them, as they were designed for the common good as understood by a generally Christian culture. They were never really Catholic at the federal or state level though, and we have to admit this. Nevertheless, they did accomplish some general social good and Catholics have long made "common cause" with other Christian groups as part of their responsibility to society. We also were willing to participate in grants and co-operative programs with government for the good of society, within which we could sometimes pursue works of mercy untrammeled. This was considered alright, even if not perfect. In some cases, and in some ways, these programs were substituted for the normal works of mercy that Christians have always done. These programs "substituted" for them because they were easier, reached a lot of people, and satisfied the description well enough in the American mind.

However, things have changed dramatically, even though some people have not realized it yet. Most of our federal programs are now very ideological and it's not Christian ideology they're based upon, nor are they even oriented towards the general good that we can sign onto. For instance, these healthcare programs now don't benefit certain classes of people at all, such as the unborn and those who object to reproductive technologies such abortion for reasons of religion or conscience. These programs have at their root the concept of secular utopia with competing rights of the fittest as their driver. And you are not allowed rights of conscience if those products of conscience conflict with the prevailing ideology. IF this reminds you of something you've heard before, I'd advise you not to disregard that memory, but to think on it and realize what this means. This is completely wrong, and not Christian in any way. This trend in American life must be resisted.

For some people and groups these things appear to have happened suddenly, but no, they've been brewing in the culture for quite a while and gaining power. Their full political manifestations are just now coming into ascendancy though. Are there some groups who mean well and haven't picked up on these recent developments yet? I think there are. I think there are some very confused people out there. And I think there are some who, losing what used to work, are at a loss for what to do now, or are finding it very difficult to see the way forward. They are stuck in their ways, at least for now.

Last edited by iloveangels; Feb 24, '12 at 11:25 am.
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  #45  
Old Feb 24, '12, 11:31 am
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Default Re: CHA Will Review the Proposed New Rules for the HHS Mandate

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Originally Posted by JReducation View Post
They're missing the whole point about religious freedom and focusing too much on the social aspect of healthcare.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
Yes. Christian apostolates are not secular social work. The day-to-day activity may look similar. However, the motivation is entirely different.

Mother Teresa used to get criticized like crazy for serving the poor out of the love of God and not getting into the whole grant-seeking thing where you try to change society by force and influence. Changing society by manipulating the whole society wasn't the goal for her though. Simply serving Christ through the poor and forgotten was.

The Franciscans also live with the poor not so that they can participate in political uprisings with them to foment revolutions or any such nonsense as that. The Franciscans appreciate the poor because of what the Scripture says about the poor. Franciscans are focused on the Gospel to a degree that most non-Franciscans don't realize. The Franciscans realize that in a very real way poverty is not the worst thing that can happen to a person at all, just like the Scripture says. Not finding God is the worst thing that can happen. Poverty helps them to realize the true relationship of God to man and person to person. Christ himself was poor, how can they not be?

Last edited by iloveangels; Feb 24, '12 at 11:44 am.
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