"Conservative" vs. "Orthodox" Catholic and how to know the difference?


What does it mean to be a conservative Catholic (not American).

(This is not about the Republican vs Democratic party or politics per se — but maybe church “politics”)

And how does this differ from orthodoxy?

Can someone give an example?

For example, take Catholic media/news sources. There are plenty who seem otherwise “orthodox,” technically there is no heresy. However, they seem conservative. I can’t quite point out what this actually means, and how it would be different from a “non-conservative” perspective. For example, many Catholics who are not fans of Pope Francis, but who are generally orthodox, would seem to be “conservative” by my reckoning. Yet, you can still be orthodox and favor Pope Francis.

SO what are some good ways of expressing what it means to be “conservative” Catholic?

Take EWTN. That’s orthodox. But is it more on the “conservative” side?



It doesn’t mean anything.

There is no such thing. Catholic is Catholic.



Conservative and liberal are political terms not applicable to the Church. The word orthodox simply means fidelity to the Church’s apostolic teachings.



I’m closer to “conservative” and I love Pope Francis. As @Paulfromiowa pointed out, these are political terms.



“Conservative Catholics” in USA are persons who are Catholic and who are also politically conservative in terms of which politicians, parties, platforms they support and who they vote for.

The term denotes the political posture of a particular Catholic. That’s all it denotes.



Well, there are “conservative” Catholics. I don’t think anyone denies that.

So Conservative Catholic = Catholic + (whatever)

The question is asking what factors make up that equation.



They’re used all the time for different kinds of Catholics.

But yes, as I said in the OP, I’m not talking about governmental politics.

In other words, you can be an orthodox Catholic and prefer this over that. Or, you can be orthodox Catholic and prefer that over this.

Sometimes, the “this” or “that” aligns more with what a “conservative” Catholic would be.

For example, more likely to favor traditional liturgy like the Latin mass.



On dating sites these days there is a site called catholicmatch.com

They ask if you agree with the church teaching on premarital sex and other teachings. One who is less orthodox will not agree with premarital sex rules while the more orthodox will not have sex before marriage.

I’ve been on both sides of this particular teaching.



Adding political labels to Catholic is almost always divisive.



You don’t think church life is ever political?

Look around!

Let’s not kid ourselves.

There are Catholics, both orthodox, who (1) tend to like Pope Francis and his policies, or (2) tend to not like Pope Francis and his policies.

This is just one example, and both kinds of Catholics tend to be similar in other ways. I think it’s fair to say that “conservative” Catholics tend to be of #2 persuasion.

Or, for another example. Check out the difference in perspective between America Magazine, on the one hand, and a show like the World Over Live, on the other.

It’s not hard t see one as more “conservative” over the other. This is not a matter, arguably, of being more or less orthodox (though sometimes it is).



If there is no such thing as “Conservative” Catholicism, then maybe a lot of the go-to Catholic sources and media that claim orthodoxy are really just conservative, as opposed to orthodox?

That’s always a possibility: Mistaking conservatism for orthodoxy.

And so they end up not being so orthodox after all.



Without some actual data to back up this claim, I think it’s just a guess. The Church may have aspects like worldly institutions but it is not a governmental organization with policies. The Pope is the head of Christ’s Church on earth.

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True. And I don’t think I’m claiming anything, except that certain institutions or media or persons will end up conflating their orthodoxy with other factors. And I think these other factors — various and not necessarily all related — end up making one more readily identified as a “conservative” Catholic. Or traditional. Or whatever.

The point is that there seems to be other ways of identifying churchlife besides JUST orthodox vs. non-orthodox.

If “conservative” is the wrong word, that’s fair. But it’s more than just orthodoxy or lack of orthodoxy. I’m talking about an extra element.



Of course there are “conservatives” and “progressives” within the spectrum of orthodox Catholics in good standing with the Church…
Cardinal Cupich would be a prominent example of a “progressive” cardinal, who is orthodox and in good standing with the Church. Cardinal Burke would be a prominent example of a “conservative” cardinal, who is orthodox and in good standing with the Church.
You would have to be very naive, very obstinate, or just very uninformed to pretend that there aren’t significant differences in approach and emphasis between these two prelates.

An example of a “hot button” topic in recent years would be the proper interpretation and implementation of AL…
In Poland, the bishops have made it abundantly clear that those in illicit second marriages may not receive communion unless they live as brother and sister. In Argentina, the bishops have allowed for exceptions under special circumstances. Both were responses to AL. One was a “conservative” interpretation of the Pope’s document, and one a “progressive” interpretation.

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Thank you.

I think the problem MIGHT be that some people are assuming orthodoxy is ONLY one of these positions, for example. (So they regard the other as not “orthodox”).



This is politics again.



Church politics is hard to escape these days. In the OP I only meant that I wasn’t talking about governmental politics like Republican vs Democrat.



Church politics comes down to politics, doesn’t it? Supposedly, Catholics in the pews can be broken down into groups. Unless actual data can be presented, this is a guess. When I see words like “progressive” being used, it is used as the world uses the word.


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