What does it mean to be a Catholic with Orthodox, Conservative, or Liberal Views?

Hey CAF people, like the thread title says, can someone give a good explanation or a site that goes over these 3 views, and some examples of each?

Thanks guys, and God bless! :slight_smile:

“Orthodox” just means “correct in doctrine” so we should all be that. Conservative and Liberal are political terms and qualfiers that people have imported into Church parlance, but which vary wildly in definition from one person to another to be meaningless.

It’s best to do what Pope Benedict XV had to remind Catholics to do a hundred years ago:

[LEFT]24. It is, moreover, Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as “profane novelties of words,” out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: “This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved” (Athanas. Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim “Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,” only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself.

An orthodox Catholic is someone who doesn’t pick and choose which Catholic rules to follow.

Liberal and conservative almost always on here refer to American or Western political ideology.

Thanks for the explanation and link, but the problem I run into is I see many people using these terms, and saying things like, “this is a good website because it has orthodox views” (I think I usually see people saying NCRegister, EWTN, and Fr. Z’s blog as being orthodox?) and I remember reading recently in one of the threads here that was answered by one of the CAF apologists about wearing a hair shirt, and it was answered that “it is generally not adviseable for modern individuals to take up such penances without guidance from a trusted, balanced, and orthodox spiritual director.” ~ Notice the term “orthodox”. Here’s the thread if interested: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=10356&highlight=penance

As I mentioned, “orthodox” just means one professes the true faith. It is historically used to contrast with those who oppose the true faith (the heterodox or heretics–someone who obstinately denies revealed truth commits the sin of heresy.)

I haven’t seen people say “conservative Catholic or liberal Catholic.” If they did, they probably were referring to people that pick and choose what they want to follow from the Catholic Church. A conservative might want an absolute free market with zero government regulation. A liberal might support contraception in a marriage. Neither position is in line with Church teaching. A person cannot call themselves Catholic if they do not follow the Church 100%.

There are some who call those who prefer or think better the Mass in Latin who are generally called Traditional Catholics (which has a wide span of opinions), and there has been mention of calling those Catholics who have no problem with or prefer the current Mass but who totally adhere to Church teaching conservative.

This is due to stuff that happened above-ground during and after the 1960s. There were many who wanted the Church to change in a direction in line with the overflowing licentious far-left agenda of the 60s. Because their agenda was so closely allied to what was later considered liberalism, they were considered “liberal Catholics.” These would be those who rejected Humanae Vitae, espoused Liberation Theology, etc.

However, we now have something of a change in the meaning of the word liberal, and so there are people who are orthodox but who consider themselves *politically *liberal. They do not want to have “liberal Catholic” mean something which they themselves are not, so they reject the term, which is probably too closely allied with politics to be very useful anyway.

I heard Fr. John Corapi say once something along the lines of “There are no conservative or liberal Catholics, only faithful or not.” I was actually asked by my wife which I was, conservative or liberal… my response was that I hope and pray I’m a faithful Catholic.

Liberal Catholics are those who want the Church to allow such things as:
*]women priests (can’t happen)
*]contraception (could happen, but won’t)
*]married priests (could happen, but very unlikely)
*]gay marriage (never)
They have a very relaxed idea of sin, and a very relaxed idea of “outside the Church there is no salvation.” They are inclined to believe that hell, if it exists, is empty or sparsely populated.

Contraception is an intrinsic evil - it will never be allowed, as contradictory to the true nature of sex and marriage.

The use of such political terms is a useless generalization, as are all political terms for Catholicism. Catholics may be politically or socially conservatives, liberals, democrats, republicans, laborites, or whatever titles a given nation may use for its political parties. Catholics are none of these as to faith and morals. There are faithful Catholics (as Cardinal Ratzinger affirms – those who “endeavour to be in reality” what they call themselves) and unfaithful Catholics.

No Catholic teaching is “liberal” or “conservative” on anything, as these terms are political and may be interpreted in multitudinous ways

But a faithful Catholic can advocate for a married priesthood. This is, after all, only a rule, not a doctrine, and the rule could be changed on a whim by any Pope without doctrinal repercussion.

Orthodox = just like me
Conservative = more legalistic and judgemental than me
Liberal = less faithful than me


DavidFilmer #12
a faithful Catholic can advocate for a married priesthood.

So what?
The Apostolic Norm from the beginning was a celibate priesthood, and the Magisterium has extolled the virtues of a celibate priesthood as Pope Paul VI and St John Paul II have reiterated.

Christ, by remaining celibate, wrote Pope Paul VI, signified his total dedication to the service of God and men (The Celibacy of the Priest, June 24, 1967). If Christ found celibacy to be central to His service of God and man, we should not be surprised if He finds the same to be central to the lives of His priests; to those who act in Persona Christi. The celibacy required for priests is from the time of the apostles, and obligatory, as confirmed by all scholarship, and by the Fathers and Popes.

In Pastores Dabo Vobis (I Will Give You Shepherds, 1992), Bl John Paul II, with the Synod of the world’s bishops, has reiterated this. John Paul II stated that he did “not wish to leave any doubts in the mind of anyone regarding the Church’s firm will to maintain the law that demands perpetual and freely chosen celibacy for present and future candidates for priestly ordination in the Latin rite” (no. 29).

The following article by Fr McGovern does cover the Trullo problem:
The Compulsory Marriage of Priests

While Trullo did not in fact forbid celibacy in the strict sense for priests, the tone of the canons was such that priests were expected to be married and to live conjugal life like the rest of the lay faithful. By the eleventh and twelfth centuries this counsel had in fact become a precept, and celibacy as known in the Latin rite for priests and deacons was definitively rejected. [71]
[71. Cf. Stickler, *The Evolution and Discipline of Celibacy, pp 544ff.]

The Council of Trullo blithely assured all who would listen that by their decrees they were only “preserving the ancient rule and apostolic perfection and order.” 11 The Catholic Church, of course, has never recognized the Council of Trullo.
11. Quoted by Roman Cholij, *Clerical Celibacy in East and West *(Herefordshire: Fowler Wright Books, 1988), p. 115.

It’s also useful to note that: “One of the consequences of this is the lack of emphasis on the supernatural aspect of the priestly vocation. Another is that all the higher positions in the Eastern Church are reserved for celibate monks who are generally better trained, as well as being free from family ties. It is not surprising, then, that a system which effectively accommodated two priestly castes gave rise to its own particular problems. [73]
[72. In Greece since 1923 civil law prohibits celibates from being appointed as parochial clergy- cf Cholij, op. cit., p. 137].
[73. Cf. ibid.].

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