Archdiocese survey finds diverging views among area Catholics

I think we need to extend a little benefit of the doubt to the archdiocesan spokesperson. Something can be expected and unsurprising and still be a “shock to the system.” Just because the results are shocking and sobering does not mean that she has been wandering around the past 40 years with her head buried in the sand completely oblivious that anything is wrong. That is not a fair interpretation of her words.

Believe me, the bishops and clergy are very aware that problems exist and what those problems are. That doesn’t mean that there is no room for them to receive some assistance in articulating those problems in the specific area being covered by this particular synod (marriage & family).

How is it helpful is all the bishops gather in October without having done any preparation or seeking any input from anyone? Should they just show up in Rome and start griping to one another about how, “Yeah, most Catholics are pretty messed up in what they believe about marriage and family”? :stuck_out_tongue:

Looking at this document one has to wonder why the questions were given to the laity at all since they were composed to solicit information from the bishops. I suppose the questions could have been reworked so that instead of asking (e.g.)5.b.* What is the attitude of the local and particular Churches towards both the State as the promoter of civil unions between persons of the same sex and the people involved in this type of union?They could have askedWhat is your attitude toward same sex civil unions and marriages?
*but frankly they would probably be better off just using any of the several surveys on these subjects that have already been taken. The opinions of American Catholics on these topics are hardly secret.


“We’ve known this since 1969,” Cooper said. “Once (Pope) Paul VI declined to follow the advice of his own commission on family and sexuality, which called for changes, from that point forward, ever increasingly larger numbers of Catholics lost faith in the moral credibility of the teaching authority,”

I presume this commission allowed more than conscience to be used in dealing with the size of the family and the role of sex?

I do read your posts, Brendan and appreciate this response. But I find it unfathomable that the hierarchy is unaware of the devastation in the Church today in terms of the loss of the faith and the resultant affect of dissension and rebellion especially on the issues the synod will be discussing.

It is not the Church that must change, as the Church has the Truth, what needs to happen is that the faithful need to come to a greater understanding of why the Church is correct on these matters.

Then perhaps the first step should be that the cardinals who attended the Consistory should agree:

Not entirely. One Pope managed to push through the infallible decree of the Assumption and cited the popularity of such a move. Same went for eating meat on Friday, the Saturday Mass fulfilling the obligation, and vernacular in the liturgy among other things, I believe.

But your point is taken.

As far as the Assumption goes, I don’t understand your statement that it was “pushed through” or your interpretation of his justification as “popularity of such a move”.

First, was the first time thereb was an ex cathedra use of Papal Infallibility. Since He was infallible, by definition, regardless of whatever reasons he might give, we are to trust that this ruling is true.

Before making this dogmatic decree, Munificentissimus Deus, the Pope had definitely received tremendous support from around the world for this move. He had received requests from bishops, archbishops, clergy, religious brothers and sisters, universities and private persons asking for this statement in light of its widespread and longtime acceptance. He responded in this case as its truth was, in part, expressed by the almost universal acclamation for its acceptance. (In the Early Church, acclamation was used frequently. Even today Popes are proclaimed, “The Great” if there is popular acclamation for it. Some are publicly advocating for this.) At one time Popes could be elected by acclamation.)

There was also more to the decision besides “popular acclaim” The Pope searched out the opinions of the other bishops to help him in his decision. This was not a check on the popularity of the position, but a way of gathering the best theological reasoning available to make this decision. Pope Pius XII also pointed out scriptural support for his decision. This included Genesis 3:15 and 1 Corinthians 15:54, which many bishops had proposed.
This act was also supported almost unanimously by bishops attending the dogma celebration in 1950.

Also, this situation was much different from the current situation. In the current time, the Pope would potentially (if the fears of many were to come to pass) be overturning doctrine, not developing doctrine from scripture.

I won’t comment on the other instances you mentioned, unless I am asked, but they were not based on popularity either.

Yes, that was my point. Perhaps my use of the word “popularity” wasn’t thought out very well.

Again I will post this link that discusses the proper meaning of the “sensus fidelium” which is essentially what is being referred to here.

God bless,

I haven’t read the questions, but in my archdiocese, the questions were phrased in such a way that asked the respondents whether the teachings of the church are well understood, etc. Well, I have no idea. I know what I believe and think, but I can only speculate about what others think, especially since I’m a fairly new convert. That said, I think that it’s clear the majority of self-identified Catholics don’t follow the church’s teachings on sexuality and contraception. This should not be a shock to anyone.

These are the fruits of watered down Catholicism. Poor catechesis as well as virtually no mention during homilies results in cafeteria Catholicism.

Agreed. On a personal note, I am a convert to the faith. I was raised in a Protestant church, but by the time I married a non-believer and my kids came along, I had almost lost my faith, but started going to church for their sakes. Then, after my husband left, I rarely went to church - then stopped entirely. So, I now have a 12 year old and a 9 year old whose father does not approve of them being educated in the Catholic faith. They, being kids, don’t have much desire either. Unless St. Monica pulls out a miracle for us :wink: , they won’t receive communion or be confirmed. It would mean so much to me if, once in a while, when they went to church, they would hear a homily about what the Church teaches.

These survey results are not all that surprising. Keep in mind that the Milwaukee Dioceses had a significant problem with priests sexually abusing children. If I recall correctly they paid out in the millions $ to settle lawsuits (well over $26 or $27 million, I think). This, of course, could radiate with the faithful of the dioceses.

We are not alone. :slight_smile: Found this fascinating article on the Methodists on the website. My background is Catholic, but to me this whole thing is so similar to how the Protestants always split along political, cultural lines. This is just from this year. Clearly they are a lot further gone than we are, but you get the idea., :rolleyes:

Religious News Service
Methodists Approve Same-Sex Marriage Benefits
By Lauren Markoe April 29, 2014

Same-sex partners can’t marry in a United Methodist Church. But if one of the spouses works at one of the denomination’s 13 general agencies, the couple can get benefits if state laws allow it.

The Rev. William McElvaney, seated, defied United Methodist Church law by presiding at the March 1, 2014, wedding of George Harris and Jack Evans. The service was at Midway Hills Christian Church in Dallas. Photo by Sam Hodges, courtesy of UMNS

The decision, made at last week’s meeting of the UMC’s Judicial Council in Little Rock, Ark., affirms one made in October by the church’s General Council on Finance and Administration, which expanded the definition of “spouse” to include same-sex spouses and partners.

Same-sex marriage is roiling the 7.5 million-member U.S. denomination, which in recent years has struggled with a growing rebellion among clergy willing to flout church law and preside over the marriages of same-sex partners. While some welcomed the Judicial Council’s decision, other decried it.

The Rev. Tom Lambrecht of Good News — a conservative Methodist ministry — blogged last week about the extension of benefits: “It adopts a policy that contradicts church teaching on the definition of marriage, not only violating the beliefs and values of church members (not to mention Scripture) but creating confusion by sending a mixed message about what United Methodists believe.”

The decision does not extend benefits to the same-sex spouses and partners of those who work for the church’s general agencies in states that prohibit same-sex marriage…

Also at its April 23-26 meeting, the board affirmed that clergy candidates should be allowed a job interview no matter their sexual orientation. The denomination prohibits noncelibate gay clergy.
The council also struck down part of a gay rights resolution passed by the UMC’s Desert Southwest Annual Conference, because it supported clergy who performed same-sex weddings.

Yes, the tone and wording of that quote are very suspicious.

Is it verified that every person who answers the survey is a member of the diocese? Why has the decision been made to release the survey results? Has is been determined how many of the survey respondents went to Church weekly?

The Rev. David Cooper of St. Matthias Parish in Milwaukee, who heads the Association of United States Catholic Priests, said the results are hardly surprising.

“We’ve known this since 1969,” Cooper said. “Once (Pope) Paul VI declined to follow the advice of his own commission on family and sexuality, which called for changes, from that point forward, ever increasingly larger numbers of Catholics lost faith in the moral credibility of the teaching authority,”

I am curious Rev David Cooper means? Does he think Pope Paul VI should have changed Church teaching because of what the Comission said? But apparantly the Pontifical Comission on Birth Control original purpose wasn’t meant to be about changing teaching:

The study group, formally called the Pontifical Commission on Population, Family, and Birthrate, was actually established by Pope John XXIII on April 27, 1963, six months after the start of the Second Vatican Council. Contrary to popular belief, its purpose was not to consider whether the Church should change its teaching on contraception, but rather to assist the Holy See in preparing for an upcoming conference sponsored by the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

John XXIII died 37 days later and Cardinal Giovanni Montini was elected Pope on June 21, taking the name Paul VI. The new Pope was keenly aware of the problem posed to the Church by the new secular consensus in the West on birth control. Catholics were increasingly using contraception and European theologians were beginning to challenge the received teaching in scholarly journals. He was also undecided on the question of whether the birth control pill, because it did not interfere with the performance of sexual intercourse, was a form of contraception. Advisors from all sides were pressing upon him a sense of urgency about the issue and urging him to take up the topic for consideration.

The Pope agreed that the issue needed serious consideration, but thought that the Vatican Council, now in its second year, was not the proper place to undertake it. He thus decided to expand the membership of the Pontifical Commission, which he did on June 23, 1964, adding physicians, psychiatrists, demographers, sociologists, economists and married couples. Because he did not clearly specify the commission’s new mandate, its members redefined it on their own: to re-examine the content and status of the received teaching in the Catholic Church on the use of birth control.

By the time the commission met in the spring of 1965, Grisez reports, 12 of 19 members of its theological section thought the Church’s teaching on contraception was “reformable” — it could be changed.

Your wife and you can practice whatever plan you want for your family. Other married couples can plan for how many, if any, children they want to have using whatever method they choose to use.

Catholics are not to use any artificial contraception for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.

Catholics are not to use any artificial contraception for the purpose of preventing pregnancy

The vast majority of Catholics in the west have rejected the teaching.

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