Liberal?Conservative? What's the difference?


Seems like it should be a no-brainer, but I’m confused. I’m pretty liberal in that I’m a “live and let live” type of person and I vote Democrat :wink: But please explain to me the difference, as you see it, between liberal and conservative Catholics. Do you have to attend Latin Mass to be consertive? Does enjoying a folk Mass mean you’re liberal?

Which Orders are Conservative? Which are considered liberal?Why does it matter? Is a Priest a Priest kind of like a rose is a rose?

Not trying to start an arguement. I really want to know.


Technically, “liberal” and “conservative” are terms that properly belong in the sphere of politics. Political liberals generally want the government to play a greater and more active role in dealing with social issues, such as poverty. However, when people talk about liberal Catholics, they are referring to Catholics that oppose and wish to change some of the social/moral teachings of the Church, such as its teachings on abortion, homosexuality, contraception, and divorce. A Catholic that believes that government should play a greater role in society is not necessarily a religious liberal if they hold to the Orthodox teachings of the Church. However, many political liberals are religious liberals as well.

God Bless,


This is but a great tragedy

Liberals are from the word liberty which is the control of ones own. They are known as liberal because they show not great respect to the King, Government, or much of any man made form of authority. True liberals do not want a large government.

Conservatives are from the word conserve which mean to preserve the existing or said another way: to reduce, prevent, or fight change. If your country has a King conservatives are for a standing King. If your country has a big government conservatives are for big government. In the 1960 in the US a war on poverty was declared as a liberal idea to liberate the poor. The Republican Party protested this change which is the base of current terms as used in US politics.

In the Church it is much the same definition so the Church conservatives favor communion rails, no touching the host, woman dressed to the ankle with a cloth on the head, mass in Latin, ccd with the ruler( okay that is a joke) ccd straight from the Baltimore Catechism, etc, etc While liberal Catholics want the church to get out of the bedroom, accept homosexuals fully, allow equal rights for women, etc


Conservatives are known as “the right”, because when you look at the floor of the House and Senate, they sit on the right side.

For the same reason, Liberals are know as “the wrong.”



For most of us liberals are left of us on the political, ideological spectrum and conservatives are those to the right of us. We are on the other hand are moderates.:smiley: .


Oops. Guess I’m a wrong. Hope you don’t mind me lurking and learning:o



Traditionalists favour the Latin Mass. Conservatives favour a tough line on issues like contraception and ecumenism. Liberals tend to believe in lay involvement in decision-making by the Church. However there are few formal parties.

The Jesuits and Salesians are quite liberal, the Carthusians conservative, the Benedictines quite conservative but in a laid-back type of way. Opus Dei is a very conservative organisation. My favourite is the Catholic Land Association, so reactionary that they want to abolish machinery and go back to a subsistence economy.
A priest can be religious, that is a monk, or he can be diosescan, that is works for a bishop, and there are a few who are independently wealthy or suchlike, and find odd niches maybe as academic theogians or papal nucios.


Like many definitions that depends on what you are talking about

The modern use of the word liberal comes from a movement in political thought a few centuries back that wanted to free people from the constraints of government. To liberate.
As such the liberal movement was pro-democratic and anti authoritarian and called for the dismantling of archaic government structures.

In a sense most people in the west today are Liberals
Some are just conservative liberals.

It is difficult to take the political term and apply it to religion. I have found here that there are folks who treat both words as pejoratives.


I agree. Sometimes “conservative” is used to mean “orthodox”, but other times it is used to describe a non-expansive view of the faith i.e. emphasizing private devotion as opposed to emphasizing social action.


In England the “liberal party” were those who wanted no government interference in trade or commerce. It seems that today we might call these people Republicans while the other party, the Democrats, are considered liberals. Go figger!.


You claim to be a “live and let live” kind of person and that you vote Democrat.

Do Democrats typically extend that philosophy to unborn infants?

Or is abortion to your liking?

I hope you will vote to let more live.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


Yes. Technically speaking, ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ have to do with the locus of authority.

If I believe that the locus of authority is in me, then I’m 'liberal.'
If I believe that the locus of authority lies outside me, then I’m ‘conservative.’

Following these definitions, all Catholics are ‘conservative’.


IMHO, it’s the extremist POV in each faction that ruins it for everyone. I have never voted a straight ticket, never will, I am a moderate and don’t jump bandwagons.


As I said. I’m not here to start an arguement. This was supposed to be a discussion on RELIGION, not POLOTICS, but since you seem determined…

Is war to YOUR liking?

Do Republicans extend a “right to life” philosophsy to Iraqis, or to our military personal for that matter?

I hope **you **will vote to let more live.



Should have warned you Kim, don’t state that you are Democrat on here…you will get flamed for sure.

However, I LOVED your answer!:thumbsup:


I notice that you did not answer the question. Perhaps the idea of the wholesale slaughter of millions of unborn babies due to (largely) Democratic efforts makes you squeamish.

Are we to take your comparison of armed combatants and innocents seriously? You honestly equate the regrettable loss of several thousand innocent Iraqi civilians with 30,000,000+ million unborn ripped from their own mother’s wombs?

War is not to my liking but freedom is. With Sadam, his murderous sons and their cronies removed from power, the Iraqi people have a chance at freedom that they have not known in a long, long time.

What they do with the gift we have given them is entirely up to them, and I hope they make the best of it - though I have my doubts about their willingness to defend their own liberty at this point. You can lead a camel to water, but you can’t make him think.

Yes, I voted for Bush in four presidential elections (with two more to go), and I still support the mission. :clapping:

As for the troops, they are part of an all-volunteer army. They have chosen to be where they are.

Unborn babies don’t have a choice, do they?


My experience within the church as to liberals and conservatives has been both type of people help out in the church. Our social issues ministries like a SVDP are made up mainly by conservative(orthodox) people. Pro life and social justice by conservatives. Social gathering, women’s groups and RE teachers is where we generally find liberals as well as conservatives. I haven’t met a lot of liberals in my ministries like SVDP.


You assume much.

Actually the wholesale slaughter of innocent humans makes my stomach turn. Let’s be real. Bush isn’t fighting to make the Iraqis free. You seem to forget this war was originally called Operation Shock And Awe and had nothing what-so-ever to do with Freeing Iraq. This is a Holy War that Bush has decided to lead against the middle East. Iran is next on his list. Bush is an Evagelical Extremist at best.

Yes, the the troops are part a volunteer military. They are doing their job and I very much respect them for it. It just makes me incredably sad when another one is murdered by Bush’s bloody war.

The Iraqi babies don’t have a choice either! When a town is bombed it’s not the just armed combatants that are killed.



In regards to what is left and what is right (pun not intended but fitting ;)) there is a lot of confusion. And it is confusing, depending on the era of history which you examine, etc.

In general however, when talking about the Church those who favor tradition (Latin (or at least accurate literal translations and not “feel good”), women covering their head, No EMHC, No communion in the hand, altar rails, etc) are conservative, while those who favor novelties (liturgical dances, new translations, laity participation, a loosening of sexual morality, ordination of women) are liberals. Liberal Catholic really is a contradictory of terms in my opinion.

In politics however you need to understand that there are a whole bunch of different liberals and conservatives. In the conservative party for instance there are the neo-cons and the paleo-cons. The neo-cons favor free trade for instance, believing that it helps businesses and ultimately the people as well. While paleo-cons, like those conservatives from the early 20s, believe in helping American business (lowering taxes, less regulation, etc), but keeping them American (meaning tariffs, and no out sourcing). In away they are both trying to help the businesses, and even it could be said the people (trickle down effect) - but, IMO, the paleo’s position is better because it provides a controlled environment for the American Economy, less reliance on foreign manufacturers, and jobs for Americans (again, Neo’s believe per the Honkong example that more white collar jobs are created, but then again…there is more reliance on the rest of the world). The only liberal I really know, however, holds a favorable view on tarriffs as well - but that is understandable, because it reduces “American interests” in other parts of the world. Which would reduce war. I can also assume that he believes that it would give the environmentalist’s more control - but that is just speculation.



Then again if a women was in a battered situation for years and then got out of it she tends to go back into it with another man. Then she may finally learn.

The Iraquis have been beat for years, its taking a bit to relearn its hard to adjust from that. We have no idea what they have been through. and we cant put our thoughts and feelings on them. the average guy doesnt know how to fight however some are their forces are trying but its taking the beaten and makeing them soliders, its daunting because the terrorists dont want to loose power.

and this was a great point

As for the troops, they are part of an all-volunteer army. They have chosen to be where they are.

Unborn babies don’t have a choice, do they?

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