Conservative Catholics clueless?


#1

I’d be interested in some thoughtful responses to this statement by author Michael Cuneo, in his book The Smoke of Satan:

“Living as they do in an insular, 1950s-style Catholicism largely of their own making, conservatives in general seem almost willfully out of touch with the complex political and cultural dynamics of the contemporary church” (p. 57).

Let me know what you think. Does Cuneo’s comment contain some truth?

God bless,
Don


#2

[quote=Donald45]I’d be interested in some thoughtful responses to this statement by author Michael Cuneo, in his book The Smoke of Satan:

“Living as they do in an insular, 1950s-style Catholicism largely of their own making, conservatives in general seem almost willfully out of touch with the complex political and cultural dynamics of the contemporary church” (p. 57).

Let me know what you think. Does Cuneo’s comment contain some truth?

God bless,
Don
[/quote]

I think he is over complicating the issue. I would say that the group that he refers to would say that there is no reason for there to be such a complex dynamic.


#3

I think there needs to be a recognition that the world sees sin as a good these days, particularly in the sexual/reproductive arena. I would rather be “1950s” with Jesus, than a sophisticated intellectual without Him.


#4

We should note that Michael Cuneo considers the Conservative Catholics to be “the smoke of Satan” in the Church. What pig-swill some people will publish.

Jaypeeto4


#5

[quote=Donald45]I’d be interested in some thoughtful responses to this statement by author Michael Cuneo, in his book The Smoke of Satan:

“Living as they do in an insular, 1950s-style Catholicism largely of their own making, conservatives in general seem almost willfully out of touch with the complex political and cultural dynamics of the contemporary church” (p. 57).

Let me know what you think. Does Cuneo’s comment contain some truth?

[/quote]

It is 99% rubbish. In the main it is the same old liberal argument that originated 80 years ago, and has proved to be disastrous.

The idea being that the church should “catch up to” or “become more relevant to”, the modern world. In other words, the Church should change and adapt its basic teachings and practices to follow those of the secular world in order to be more acceptable.

Of course every time this has been tried, it has led to massive decline in the Church. Why? Because making the Church less visible through not standing out, makes the Church invisible and irrelevant. By being firm on what we believe and what we will tolerate, by sticking to true teachings, however unpopular with liberals, by fasting, clergy wearing clerical dress, by celebrating feasts and processions, by encouraging rosary, benediction and eucharistic adoration, we are a witness to the world and each other. The church remains a strong anchor in a shifting sea.

Abandon this, and blow with every tide and not only are we no longer a witness to others (look at the liberal protestant denominations). But Catholics within the Church lose their bearing. So many people have been confused by blurry relativism that they lose faith in what the Church really believes. Witness the decline in vocations, and the number of Catholics who cannot defend what the Church teaches, because they haven’t been properly taught.

We ought to be in touch with God and the eternal teachings of the Church, not with every new fad.


#6

[quote=Donald45]I’d be interested in some thoughtful responses to this statement by author Michael Cuneo, in his book The Smoke of Satan:

“Living as they do in an insular, 1950s-style Catholicism largely of their own making, conservatives in general seem almost willfully out of touch with the complex political and cultural dynamics of the contemporary church” (p. 57).

Let me know what you think. Does Cuneo’s comment contain some truth?

God bless,
Don
[/quote]

Nope, not in my book… I was born in 1963, so I missed out on all the pre-Vatican II stuff and I also agree with mosher; he’s over complicating the issue.


#7

quote: MichaelTDoyle

I would rather be “1950s” with Jesus, than a sophisticated intellectual without Him.

Why not both/and - rather than either/or ?

Orthodox in theology, sophisticated intellectually.

Benedict XVI is considered one of the leading intellects in Europe.

John Paul II was a brilliant philosopher.

I don’t see the dichotomy.

Best,

reen12


#8

There is a reality, I think, called the a Kempis mindset:

“I’d rather practice … X_…] than know the definition
of same.”

I’ve always found this “attitude”* immensely* annoying.

If I tried to “dialog” with soi-disant “intellectuals” - with
that “attitude” - they’d…clean my clock. :smiley:

reen12


#9

When he refers to conservative catholics is he talking about those who want to go back to the Latin mass, etc.? Or is he talking about those who think priests shouldn’t be married. Or women?
In the later sense, I’m conservative, but if Vatican II had never happened, I wouldn’t be a Catholic today.
Kris


#10

[quote=Donald45]I’d be interested in some thoughtful responses to this statement by author Michael Cuneo, in his book The Smoke of Satan:

“Living as they do in an insular, 1950s-style Catholicism largely of their own making, conservatives in general seem almost willfully out of touch with the complex political and cultural dynamics of the contemporary church” (p. 57).

Let me know what you think. Does Cuneo’s comment contain some truth?

God bless,
Don
[/quote]

I’m going to dissent with popular opinion here and say that Mr. Cuneo is absolutely right.

However, we likely differ dramatically on the solution.

The Church today does have a complex political and cultural dynamic and that is where the problem lies. It is the flourishing of liberals and the liberal agenda that has created this current milleu and the clearest path I see out of the quagmire is to call the liberals to task on it.

This is the Church, these are Her teachings. If you are not willing to submit to ALL of them, there is the door.

Note I did not say agree with all of them. There are probably few of us who truly agree 100% with everything the Church teaches. However, even if we disagree or do not understand a teaching, we are still required to submit to it. With obedience often comes understanding.

Perhaps there is room for change in some areas. Fine, work for that change within the Church, through Her internal channels. In the meantime, submit to what is now in place. Public dissent has generated much of the current tensions within the Church.

We shouldn’t be bringing the world into the Church, we should be bringing the Church to the world. We should be allowing the Church to change us, not the other way around.


#11

[quote=reen12]quote: MichaelTDoyle

Why not both/and - rather than either/or ?

Orthodox in theology, sophisticated intellectually.

Benedict XVI is considered one of the leading intellects in Europe.

John Paul II was a brilliant philosopher.

I don’t see the dichotomy.

Best,

reen12
[/quote]

Amen! :slight_smile:


#12

I agree with the main of your post, but I have to say that I’m not so sure that Catholics who “truly agree 100% with everything the Church teaches” are all that few. I know I do, and I attend a very dynamic and orthodox church where the majority of parishioners fit that description. So, there’s hope…


#13

[quote=Donald45]I’d be interested in some thoughtful responses to this statement by author Michael Cuneo, in his book The Smoke of Satan:

“Living as they do in an insular, 1950s-style Catholicism largely of their own making, conservatives in general seem almost willfully out of touch with the complex political and cultural dynamics of the contemporary church” (p. 57).

Let me know what you think. Does Cuneo’s comment contain some truth?

God bless,
Don
[/quote]

As someone from the other side of the Pond, I have often thought something like that.

I know nothing at all about Michael Cuneo.

I would have left out the word “wilfully”; there is also the problem of defining “conservatives”:
[list]
*]some are conservatives rather than being “traditionalists” (one thinks here of Liturgical matters especially)
*]some are conservatives in some respects, and not in others
*]some are conservatives in politics or religion but not in both
*]some conservatives could accurately be described as Fundamentalists.
[/list]These need not be distinct groups - one can perfectly well be a member of all four groups in succession, or of more than one at a single time. There is nothing to stop someone who is “conservative” in some respects being severely rebuked for his or “liberalism” in some other.

IMHO, using these labels is helpful for thinking, but needs to be corrected and, if you will, relativised, by the fact that people are far too complicated to be tidily pigeon-holed. Life is more complicated than thought - which is saying something. Calling people by labels is reductive, in much the same way as referring to someone by their sexual orientation is reductive.

I can think of several weaknesses in the structure of the kind of Catholicism which tries to live in the 1950s - the greatest irony that comes to mind, is that the modern celebration of the old Mass is probably free of several flaws that were all too common in the 1950s. In matters of detail, ISTM theologically difficult to live as though the alterations in the Mass which the Council desired had not been made - one of the weaknesses of the pre-1962 Mass, is that it is too much the act of worship of the priest: the Council emphasises that the Mass is the offering of the whole Church, united by the Holy Spirit of Christ in time and space. This is a long overdue return to the cosmic vision of St.Paul and many Fathers. OTOH, the abolition of certain prayers, though defensible, is problematic: as it is impossible - one would think - to restore the Mass to what it was round about 600

and

to include in the Mass prayers which the devotion and theology of later ages has suggested. The reform was trying to do both. ##


#14

There is a reality, I think, called the a Kempis mindset:

:smiley:

“I’d rather practice … X_…] than know the definition
of same.”

…oh boy I’m stepping into Apologetics again and getting ready for a hasty retreat indeed! :bigyikes: I do think we can practise a virtue in truth but be unaware of the definition of it…altho I guess in the normal course (aside from a gift of God of which we anyway are unaware)we do tend to define something good/not good as our objective and goal and then set about the steps to achieve it, which does mean that we have A defintion, whether it is THE definition in truth, I guess is another point!

Butting in again Reen where wisdom would tell be to be silent:D

Regards…Peace…Barb


#15

[quote=Donald45]…Let me know what you think. Does Cuneo’s comment contain some truth?..
[/quote]

yes, some


#16

I know that before 1950 when my mother was young, she was taught (in Catholic schools in Houston, in case that’s relevant) that all her friends were absolutely going to hell and many other heresies.

My FIL here in Kansas has stories of the intolerance with which angry priests would physically harm the altar boys for even the slightest slip-up. There was no concern back then nor understanding for altar boys who had to shut up, button up, and take it no matter what.

Other “oldsters” I’ve talked to tell similar stories. They talk as if they were abused, but in a strange way loved it because that was the kind of relationship everybody had of the church. It almost sounds superstitious “step on a crack break your mother’s back” where any suffering at the hands of religious was evidently a badge of honor.

Due to this and similar testimony I’ve heard from those days, before the 60s when I was too young to know about the cultural change going on, there was much fear and stupidity being taught within the Catholic schools as Catholicism.

People became fearful of things that didn’t matter, and certain of things that were false. In those days there was ZERO chance of networking with other Catholics like we take for granted here.

If the Church actually taught the things now they taught 50 years ago – and by Church I mean Catholic institutions whether run by religious or lay people included – then I don’t think we would have members at all because I don’t think people would put up with the stupid fearmongering misinformation for very long. I’m almost surprised we have a church at all given some of what I heard used to pass.

No, I am very happy to live in an information age where I can go around the local authorities and find out how things are supposed to be done. They aren’t all fixed yet, but I don’t think the world has any room for another generation of mindless, verbally and physically abused lemmings that seems to have been common back then.

Alan

Note: I do object to the statement “largely of their own making” because I don’t think anybody could be blamed for going along with the immense social pressures there were those days to conform to this mess.


#17

Oh yeah. In Illinois where I grew up, I found out decades later that the pastor had three sets of books; one for tax purposes, one to show the diocese, and one to reflect what was really going on.

My dad was treasurer and he took these secrets to his grave. It was AFTER he died that I learned of his struggles with the church. Back then it was considered very, very wrong to even tell children of these sorts of things lest we lose respect for authority. Hellsbells, it didn’t very well protect me because all it means is that I am now unable to discuss these things with him. We went to Mass every Sunday even on vacation and did all the motions, but somehow I never really got to talk to my dad heart to heart about religion – probably just as well because he was so conflicted over the evil he saw and was helpless to do anything about. He tried desperately to get the pastor to see why this was wrong but that evidently wasn’t a problem and back in those days there was no such thing as respect for a whistleblower. Gosh, if a person spoke against the Church we would beat them up. Even we little boys knew that; we didn’t know what the hell we were protecting but if anybody said “Catholics were bad” we’d beat them up.

These days things like that just don’t fly, or at least they have to be much better concealed.

So the Church in Texas, Kansas, and Illinois was messed up. I don’t know if these are the sorts of things the author is talking about, but in general I think anybody who sees those days as romantic must have lived in a much different place than the people I’ve talked to, unless they think evil with a pretty cloak is romantic.

Alan


#18

Alan,

I grew up, in those days of which you have no recall.

The Tridintine Mass was…gorgeous.
The respect for the Eucharistic Presence was…enormous.
The “sense of the sacred” was…palpable.
Not a piece of “felt” to be seen. [no “banners.”] :slight_smile:

People took no food, after midnight, when receiving the Eucharist.
“Meatless” Friday’s were mandatory. Statues were covered with
purple cloth, during Lent, and were uncovered…on Easter Morning.

The faith seemed more part of the “fabric” of life [no pun intended.]

Still, there were many realities that needed to be…addressed.
[The sole, salutary change - that would have made the
greatest positive difference, IMHO - would have been the
removal of the Baltimore Catechism, as a teaching tool.]

I do not know, what people now “think”…about the Mass,
the Church…or what their individual “experience” of same
is, at this point in time.

I only know my own thoughts and experience.

Perhaps I would have remained a Catholic, had it not been
for the…Baltimore Catechism.

Best,

reen12


#19

In matters of detail, ISTM theologically difficult to live as though the alterations in the Mass which the Council desired had not been made - one of the weaknesses of the pre-1962 Mass, is that it is too much the act of worship of the priest: the Council emphasises that the Mass is the offering of the whole Church, united by the Holy Spirit of Christ in time and space.

Reading through my 1962 Missal, I wouldn’t have gotten that opinion. The Tridentine Mass is as much of an act of worship of the whole Church as the Novus Ordo Mass is (after all, they are the same Mass). If you pray Mass the way you are supposed to, I feel that I am more a part of it that at the average Novus Ordo. If the Novus Ordo was made more reverent (as it is supposed to be), the two Masses would be remarkably similar.

My FIL here in Kansas has stories of the intolerance with which angry priests would physically harm the altar boys for even the slightest slip-up…

When has ANYTHING ever been absolutely perfect? Just because some bad things happened in the 1950’s doesn’t mean that the whole pre-Vatican II days were evil. My grandparents, great uncles and aunts, etc. lived through those days and don’t have all the bad stories to tell.

The sole, salutary change - that would have made the
greatest positive difference, IMHO - would have been the
removal of the Baltimore Catechism, as a teaching tool.

What is so wrong with the Baltimore Catechism?


#20

quote: ComradeAndrei

If the Novus Ordo was made more reverent (as it is supposed to be), the two Masses would be remarkably similar.

You are familiar with the Tridentine Mass? I mean, you have attended same, regularly? Or are you looking at a 1962 missal and trying to “imagine” the Tridentine Mass.

Or possibly you have attended this Mass, on several occassions?

In terms of:

quote: Comrade Andrei

If the Novus Ordo was made more reverent (as it is supposed to be), the two Masses would be remarkably similar.

I…don’t…think…so…

But then, I am partial to aesthetics.
And I’ve seen precious little of that…since c. 1970.

I don’t at all question the validity of the Novus Ordo.
I just mourn the loss of the innate dignity, beauty and
profundity - that inhered in the celebration of the four-
centuries old Tridentine Mass.

As to the Baltimore Catechism:

I doubt that I could convey to you - not only my objection
to the method contained, therein - but to the ethos that accompanied same.
But then, autre temps, autre mores.

Best,

reen12*


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