Setting aside discussion of traditional versus contemporary, as associated with religious practices and worship, I want to focus on two terms often used: Progressive and orthdox.
Let’s also keep the words liberal and conservative off the table, as well since these two terms have proven consistently to be problematic.
I want to know if my views are “off” and if they can be countered. If so, provide examples. I would like to see if there are examples of progressives that are somehow orthodox. The only way this can happen is if how i view “orthodox” and “progressive” are in error. Therefore, please feel free to share your view of what progressive and orthodox mean. However, I simply want to caution that one can be orthodox and contemporary in their worship preferences, and one can probably even be traditional in worship preferences yet progressive - but less likely. That’s why I want to stick with belief systems and stay away from worship preferences in this discussion.
My view of “orthodox” is synonomous with “loyal to the Magisterium” or “assenting to the Magisterium”. Orthodox views do not conflict with magisterial teachings, nor do they conflict with magisterial explanations of scripture. An orthodox priest will encourage confession of things like masturbation, which, even though the CCC allows mitigating circumstances to reduce the level of personal gravity, remains “intrinsically disordered” and worthy of continued frequent confession in an effort to bring to an end. Orthodox-minded priests also encourage frequent confession, if only for venial sins and imperfections and will put the time in the confessional to coach the penitent through these challenges. Orthodoxy reflects something acknowledged by Fr. John Corapi using electrical current as an example: Electricity doesn’t run only on a positive. it requires a positive and a negative or you don’t have it. Therefore, you cannot eliminate talk of sin, sacrifice, mortification, and hot ethical issues of the day (abortion, cloning, etc.). This is reflected in homilies that are balanced with positive and negative.
My view of “progressive” is often synonomous with “dissent” because so many progressive issues involve: Women’s ordination (dissents against Ordinatio Sacerdotalis), or contraception (dissents against Humanae Vitae), and in some cases, even makes allowances for some abortions or dismisses all cases of masturbation as “not sinful” because the CCC allows for mitigation. Some will go so far as to say that it is not necessary to confess this. Progressive priests, in my mind (and experience), will often discourage confession of venial sins and imperfections, even calling such behavior scrupulous in some cases. Progressives subscribe to interpretations of the scripture, which may not be reflected in the magisterial teachings on the subject. Not all of these elements are required for one to be in the progressive camp. Progressives attempt to run electricity on the positive only. Homilies will avoid uncomfortable “negative” subjects in favor of positive or ones that are comforting. This leads to a type of banality in those homilies.
Subjects such as priestly celibacy may very well be one example of where one could be progressive (in wanting to allow for married priests), while remaining orthodox. This is one of those issues that the Church has the right to change, unlike ordination of males only, which is now in the deposit of faith and requires definitive assent. However, maybe it is in how a person handles this issue: If they humbly accept the Church’s position today, which is in favor of celibacy, then they are acting in an orthodox manner, respectful of her decision. If they are speaking against the Church defiantly on the subject, then I would throw them right into the progressive-exclusive camp.
All this having been said, can my views be countered? If so, how?
If there are theologians who could be considered progressive, yet orthodox, please provide supporting information. If someone beleives otherwise, please provide counter-information. I would like this discussion to focus on information that is available - writings, CCC, canon law, published works of various theologians, etc.
Please spare me the blanket statement that we should not use “labels”. This is a discussion about ideals - orthodox and progressive and what these two terms might mean. If you want to debunk the labels themselves, present a good argument that would contradict the labels in some way and that will support the cause of “no labels” without making that blanket statement.