Pope Francis agitates conservative U.S. Catholics

usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/01/pope-francis-catholics-americans-culture/18263293/
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There are some false or misleading statements in this article,such as these:*

< "The conservatives had it all their way for about 30 years, and now the shoe might be on the other foot,’’ says the Rev. Paul Sullins, a priest who teaches sociology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. "Now they feel on the outside a little bit, which is exactly how the progressives used to feel.’’ >
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Conservatives have not had it all their way for the past 30 years. Liberals and lukewarm people have been the dominant influence. *

< Any doubt that times are changing ended with last month’s Vatican synod, or church council, which brought hundreds of bishops and other Catholics to Rome for two weeks to discuss the application of church teaching on marriage and family life. >
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The Church is not changing its doctrine,and the upcoming synod will not likely propose changes to pastoral care that will undermine the Church’s teaching on marriage and family life.
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< Liberals cheered a preliminary report on the proceedings that, consonant with Francis’ inclinations, expressed welcome to gay men and lesbians of faith and hope for gentler treatment of Catholics who live together outside of marriage or have divorced and remarried outside the church (and thus cannot receive Communion).

Conservatives then rallied and struck much of what they found offensive in the first report from the synod’s final one — a move widely reported as a rebuff of Francis. But the damage was done. >
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The mid-term report was not consonant with Francis’ inclinations,and the bishops who opposed it did not rebuff him. *

< In yet another interview, he said that ‘‘everyone has his own idea of good and evil’’ and should ‘‘follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them’’ — a seeming rejection of a black-or-white view of morality. >
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The pope does not have a relativist view of morality.*

< David Gibson, an experienced church observer, wrote in a Religion News Service article that Cupich’s appointment "may signal the beginning of the end of three decades of conservative dominance.’’ >
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Conservatives have not been dominant.*

< Accordingly, many Catholics said they feel the world just doesn’t get Francis. When he made headlines last week for saying that the Big Bang theory of the universe’s origin was consistent with Catholic theology and cosmology, Smith felt frustrated.

Although the pope’s remark frequently was presented by news media as another example of the pope’s outspoken liberalism, she knew he was merely repeating a position announced in 1951 by Pope Pius XII and reiterated by several popes since. >
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Pope Pius XII did not really say that the Big Bang theory was consistent with Catholic theology. He said that science verifies the mutability of things,including their origin and their end,and the teleological order of the cosmos,and that scholars regard the idea of creation as compatible with their scientific conceptions and research.

A scientific theory can only be consistent with Catholic theology if it is logical and true. *

I think the priest quoted in that article is probably correct. Pope Benedict, while certainly a holy and wise man, was more interested in preserving the Church against the world. Pope Francis is more interested in opening the Church to the world.

It’s not a matter of doctrine, but approach, and some Catholics will obviously prefer a certain approach, depending on their own personalities and orientation to the faith.

I think it’s destructive to talk of liberal and conservative Catholics, though. I think we’re all just trying are best to love and serve God. I hope so, anyway!

Pope Benedict was conservative insofar as he wanted to preserve Catholic doctrine and tradition,but his papacy did not enable conservatives “to have it all their way” or to become dominant in the Church. Many priests,bishops,theologians,nuns and Catholic school presidents and teachers were still liberal or lukewarm. They were still dominant and they they still got their way.

Its almost unavoidable that people use the words liberal and conservative,unless we use the words unorthodox and orthodox,or traditional and untraditional,because there really are those differences among Catholics. Liberal Catholics are those who abandon or deviate from Church teaching and traditional practices,and conservative Catholics are those who,more or less,stick with Church teaching and traditional practices.

I think it’s a case of no one really feeling like they’re “getting their way.” It’s like when mom asks everyone what they want for dinner: Dad wants steak, son wants spaghetti and daughter wants meatloaf. So mom makes a casserole.

Its unavoidable that people use the words liberal and conservative,unless we use the words unorthodox and orthodox,or traditional and untraditional,because there really are those differences among Catholics. Liberal Catholics are those who deviate from Church teaching and practices,and conservative Catholics are those who,more or less,stick with Church teaching and practices.

Sure, I don’t disagree with using labels per se. I just think it’s presumptuous and a tad unfair to label anyone “lukewarm” given the obvious allusion to Jesus’s parable. And given what happens to the lukewarm there, I think it comes off as a bit preachy.

I would not take any analysis of the Catholic Church from a secular paper with an agenda. All these people only know how to do is divide and conquer and put political labels on people and ideas that don’t belong. I think I would use it to line a bird cage because that is what it is worth.

Greetings…Spoken so well Seakelp! :thumbsup: Yes… and for sure the doctrinal and pastoral process is transcendent and together with the Holy Spirit! Sending love and Light…

Ever read Ron Conte’s material? Definitely not orthodox yet definitely conservative. If you want to use some kind of mangled logic to suggest that he’s not conservative, fine, but trust me, no one’s gonna mistake that man for a liberal. There’s plenty like him, too.

So I don’t see where you’re coming from on the orthodox = conservative thing.

I think the article means to say that conservatives have had their way inside the church for about thirty years. When it talks about “times changing,” it may not mean that doctrine is changing, but that church culture is shifting to accommodate ‘liberals’ who have felt like a minority voice inside the church for a very long time.

As a liberal person who is only recently Catholic, my impression has been that conservative Catholicism has been pretty strongly dominant for awhile in the culture of the church. For what reason would you say that it has been the other way around?

To be fair, it’s a matter of labels. I think Catholics-who-generally-don’t-like-the-reforms-of-Vatican-II might say that, after Vatican II, the “liberals” have gained too much ground.

Then, the opposite is true: “liberal” Catholics are still put off by some of the “conservative” aspects of the faith.

The real answer is: the Church doesn’t teach what is pleasing, she teaches what is right (we hope). And we are called each of us as individuals, with our own viewpoints and our own failings and sins, to understand the Church as best as we can to live our lives for Jesus.

That’s what I think, anyway.

If they’re going back 30 years, it seems that they are undermining the papacy of St. John Paul II as well. They may regret writing this article; this is not humility.

This is yet another example of trolling.

American viewers of history seem to have an urge to define everything in political terms native to the continent.

Never mind the fact that the Catholic Church isn’t a political organization, is not a democracy, and “conservative” and “liberal” constructs have literally no value whatsoever for it.

Instead, as said before-we have handed down to us the descriptive terms orthodox, and heterodox. That, and the term faithful, and heretical. In Communion, and Excommunicated. (I am not claiming that anyone fits in here)

Why not use them? It’s better to talk about the Holy Church in terms that belong to Her rather than terms from a 2014 political commercial, or a Fox News cast.

There has already been a number of times where the pope has been misquoted. When that happened, what he supposedly said was spread like wildfire. Accident? Maybe, but probably not. Jesus said to know the times. We are also called to know the enemy. Right and wrong cannot be altered. Or else we are suggesting God’s Word is not absolute. Therefor, the Church cannot conform or compromise for the sake of popularity, so long as it is God’s Church. And it is. Even if that meant a mere handful of faithful servants remaining. Pope Francis knows that very well. If people of any mentality want Catholics to suddenly say “hey, you can embrace whatever sexuality you want,” or “abortion isn’t bad after all,” then they wait in vain. The fact that the Church doesn’t conform is what makes my own faith stronger. It’s only all of us Catholics who can do the Church harm by speaking contradictions as to what the faith actually teaches. Or by being victims of hatred, and allowing ourselves to snap in debate and assume judgement, which is one of the most potent poisons satan uses in his war against us. And even those in high positions of the Church have been exposed for such things. But the Blessed Mother gave us warning of that way in advance. All in all, you really can’t trust the media. Where God is not raised at the front by faithful people, satan is at the back pushing those people in the direction he wants them to go. From the daily news to the shows your children watch for seemingly innocent entertainment the enemy spins his webs. There are people out there who will gladly manipulate others into seeing the pope as something he isn’t, while others will simply mark him as evil. unfortunately other Christian denominations seem to be more fond of calling us evil than those without any faith at all. People aren’t the enemy though. And Satan’s key strategy is the same any military uses in war. Go for the General and those in command. If you can’t break them, turn everyone against them.

We can imagine a USSA (that’s not a typo btw) correspondent ’ s view of some of the 1st millennium issues: ’ the Church is softening it’s stance on idolatry as the faithful find it difficult to have one God and so as. a compromise the Council has invented a ‘trinity’. Or ’ In a move displeasing traditionalists, liberal begging or ‘medicant’ orders have been approved against the bastion s of merchants and tradesmen." As Chesterton pointed out, worldly journalists don’'t even understand the world rightly.

Nicely done. Conservatives have not had their way for the last 30 years. In fact, Leftists and anarchists have increased their efforts to undermine the family, to create a public view that cohabitation with sex is no big deal, and promoting marijuana just because they like it. Then we have euthanasia/assisted suicide and signs of media complicity in promoting suicide in general. And the media is constantly presenting us with dysfunctional individuals/couples/families and sexualizing life beyond any norm. To be “traditional” and to live it is to be shunned like the worst disease you can imagine. And what’s wrong with profanity? The list goes on.

Some people have become lukewarm over the last 30 years because the media has worn them down, and spoon-fed the wrong messages for that many years.

Peace,
Ed

:thumbsup: well said!

Amen. I always like to think that a particular view considered ‘right-wing’ in one country has a likelihood to be considered ‘left-wing’ in another. In other words, labels ultimately don’t really mean much. ‘Conservative’ doesn’t really mean the same thing say here in Japan as it does in America. And I’m just talking about politics. :smiley:

There’s an interesting observation I’ve seen made around the internet.

While Rome under JPII and BXVI was “conservative,” it is the case that there was a huge number of “liberal” episcopates. So while Rome may have been a certain way, it is certainly the case that gazillions of chanceries and parishes–probably a majority of them–were hostile places for just plain old orthodox Catholicism, not even considering traditionalism. That’s why these recent Catholic colleges like TAC and Ave Maria were built in the first place: to foster a “regrounding” if you get what I mean in basic good old orthodox Catholicism, going back to the roots of the saints, scriptures and philosophy in a very real, non-ideological sense.

The reaction (key word here) in the post-Vatican II years was decidedly orthodox. That is because, on the ground at least, for huge numbers of Catholics the experience was just the opposite. I want to say this–everyone knows it anyway–without being specifically condemnatory towards persons.

It’s no secret to say that the way Rome was under JPII and BXVI/Ratzinger was often not reflected on the local level. In fact it took until the late 1990s or so to really see a difference. I make this determination based on articles and literature contemporary to that time.

So I don’t see what self-style “liberals” had to complain about during the reigns of BXVI and JPII. While they may accuse them of being conservative, even if it is a misplaced and misguided accusation, it is also the case that the real situation on the ground was anything but conservative. So if I were having a conversation, my question would be, why did it matter to you who was Pope if you had your own little isolated parish that jibed with you ideologically? “Amchurch” doesn’t really exist anymore, no, but still, from historical accounts I don’t think it has ever been difficult to be a “liberal” Catholic since Vatican II. The only people popularly persecuted and ridiculed were the Catechism-toting catholic.com types (I use this description charitably) and self-styled traditionalists.

So, again, my question: When has it ever been hard to be a so-called “liberal” Catholic in the United States since Vatican II? Answer: almost never, almost nowhere. What did these (self-styled) “liberal” Catholics complain about even under the heyday of JPIIBXVI? The vast majority of major Catholic universities to this day are shameful bastions of unorthodoxy at their worst and meek watered-down I’m-okay-you’re-okay institutions at their very, very, very best and it is no scandal, nor is it lacking in charity, to say it.

So there’s this dichotomy of Rome-was-a-certain-way-but-local-Churches-were-completely-different that existed for a really long time. I don’t understand what any “liberal” Catholic had to complain about. For the record I’ve never had anyone say to me, “You’re so pre-Vatican II!” but if anyone did I think I’d become nauseated.

I really really really don’t want to seem uncharitable but I am tempted to say, “What do you care what JPII said in his countless encyclicals, it’s not like you ever listened anyway?” I hesitate to post this sentence but I think it captures sentiments well.

Conservative or liberal, orthodox or heterodox, this Catholic who once thought she knew her faith and has always been true to church teaching is confused and dismayed. (Along with countless others.) Notwithstanding the media reports which I know are mostly pure spin, I still cannot believe all those things that cause the most alarm are always mis-translations or poor journalism. We know what happened with the midterm report and we know by the words of their own mouths that some advocate a radical departure from all we hold dear. Regarding all these threads on the pope said this, or the pope said that, I’ve stopped reading them because I don’t understand what they mean. There must be a point, other than to cause controversy, but obviously it is too deep for me to comprehend. :rolleyes: They leave me hanging in mid-air, bamboozled and left to my own speculations. This is not the way it is supposed to work, nor an effective method to instill a deeper faith. We have a right to clear and concise instruction. So I’m with AB Chaput…'confusion is of the devil."

Greetings…You Ultra Conservatives do not represent the majority of Roman Catholics. The majority of Roman Catholics are involved in their parishes trying to live Christian lives by practicing the Sermon on the Mount! Not talking about doctrinal issues that you people seem to love to do. Re read yesterdays gospel…Matthew 23 … The scribes and pharisees their hypocrisy and vanity! I think Cardinal Burke should take at good lesson from Matthew 23!

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