Is Liberal Catholicism Dead? - Time Article

Is Liberal Catholicism Dead?

He may not have been thinking about it at the time, but Pope Benedict, in the course of his recent U.S. visit may have dealt a knockout blow to the liberal American Catholicism that has challenged Rome since the early 1960s. He did so by speaking frankly and forcefully of his “deep shame” during his meeting with victims of the Church’s sex-abuse scandal. By demonstrating that he “gets” this most visceral of issues, the pontiff may have successfully mollified a good many alienated believers — and in the process, neutralized the last great rallying point for what was once a feisty and optimistic style of progressivism.
The liberal rebellion in American Catholicism has dogged Benedict and his predecessors since the Second Vatican Council of 1962-65. “Vatican II,” which overhauled much of Catholic teaching and ritual, had a revolutionary impact on the Church as a whole. It enabled people to hear the Mass in their own languages; embraced the principle of religious freedom; rejected anti-Semitism; and permitted Catholic scholars to grapple with modernity.
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Very interesting article. I can only hope it is truly dead - or breathing its last dying breaths. It’s about time. We’ve had enough destruction by the “progressives” in the Church, we don’t need it any more.


I actually agree with the conclusion, but not the analysis. The author says:
***To some extent, liberal Catholicism has been a victim of its own success. Its positions on sex and gender issues have become commonplace in the American ***
I don’t think liberal Catholicism is dying out because it was so successful, but because after 40 years American Catholics now accept the teaching of the Church that such thinking, essentially moral relativism, led to the culture of death and moral decay. In short, those who demanded changes on Church teaching to make the Church keep pace with our “anything goes” culture either recanted, or left the Church. Few were happy with the modest changes that occurred in the Church itself. In short, the truth didn’t change, as the story implies, rather the advocates of a new truth, either went so far they left the Church, or accepted the error of their ways. I know few who would claim the Church really accomodated these forces for relativism. IMHO, this is a thinly veiled effort from the left to claim victory where none really exists. Yet, I am pleased by the conclusion that accomodating these pressures within the Church are finally dead and gone. :thumbsup:


We can hope!

REAL hope and change?

I’ll believe that the Church has reverted to the old “traditionist” mode when the Catholic divorce rate becomes significantly lower than that of non-Catholics and when ABC is no longer as much the norm among Catholic women as non-Catholics.

I don’t think that the old mentality of “pray, pay, and obey” will become universal again.

Almost everyone agrees that the “millennial generation,” born in 1980 or later, while sharing liberal views on many issues, has no desire to mount the barricades.

I too agree with the conclusion, despite the press trying to stir things up with the pope lately. However, I don’t agree with the quote above. Being just on the tip of the “mellennial generation”, I think there is still a lot of passion and desire in us. But those around me are mounting the barricades in support of our church and bishops.

Pax Christi

Barna report: Variation in divorce rates among Christian faith groups:
Denomination (in order of decreasing divorce rate) % who have been divorced

Non-denominational ** 34%
Baptists 29%
Mainline Protestants 25%
Mormons 24%
Lutherans 21%
Catholics 21%

*This comes from a non-Catholic source.

I believe that is statistically significant.

As far as the Church is concerned is concerned it was never alive.

I found the more recent report. It has the same conclusion. American Catholics have a lower divorce rate than others. My guess is that like with voting behavior, if you divided Catholics between Church going and non-practicing, the gap would be even greater.

Divorce Among Adults Who Have Been Married

(Base: 3792 adults)

Population Segment Have Been Divorced No. of Interviews

All adults 33%
Evangelical Christians 26%
Non-evangelical born again Chrisitans 33%
Notional Christians 33%
Associated with non Christian faith 38%
Atheist or agnostic 30%
All born again Christians 32%
All non born again Christians 33%

Protestant 34%
Catholic 28%

So you will beleive the Church has reverted to the old traditionalis mode when Catholics quit sinning???

I think it still exist in a zombie like fashion, just waiting for its chance to eat our brains :D. Now all kidding aside. The so-called “liberal” (I hate that term) movement within The Catholic Church, have lost a lot of its momentum. I think a part of it is due to a change in attitudes between the different generations, so the article gets it right. The “liberal” baby boomers generally stayed in The Church while also rebelling against it, whereas the “liberals” of my generation have a tendency to leave the Church to become Protestants, Wiccans, Atheists, etc. I am not sure if it is an improvement or not, perhaps it is neither.

God bless

I am never glad to see people leave the church, but I am glad on some levels that many of the people leaving are taking their divorce rates with them. If you want to look at more telling statistics… look for some NFP statistics… Every stat I’ve seen is under 5% divorce rate for couples practicing NFP. That is a better tell of who is catholic than surveys imho (in my humble opinion).

Honestly, I may be in the wrong with my thinking, but I don’t mind shedding some of the dead weight from the church so that the light it bears can be seen more clearly. Then we can start pulling people back in that see the church for what it is, instead of looking at our marginal catholics (and then walking away).

Praise Jesus,


Is that what you think I said? :hmmm:

How about for couples who don’t use birth control at all? If the number is greater than 5%, then it would seem that it’s better for a marriage to use birth control than not. I’m not sure that such would be sound reasoning.

Better than most, sure, but 21% isn’t anything to crow about, given that Catholicism holds that marriage is supposed to be indissoluble.

Appears to me that is what you said. Why else would you single out ABC and divorce?

Because they’re big items.

In what way?

I hope Sestak’s military honor prevails in this.

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