Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is the Internet helping to destroy 'liberal Catholicism'?

During the last couple of weeks it seems that the Tablet, Britain's leading "liberal Catholic" magazine, has drawn the fire of not one but two prelates.  The first instance involved inaccuracies in a Tablet editorial about a Latin Mass Conference and a local auxiliary bishop called the authors to task for a "skewed understanding of Catholic liturgy."

The second instance involved criticism from Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput centered around a Tablet editorial on U.S. healthcare.  His Excellency wrote that the editorial contained "unhelpful and badly informed opinions" and "sounded like it had been written by President Obama's 'Acolytes.'"

All this comes from a report published today by Will Heaven at  Mr. Heaven expands his analysis as follows ...

The magazine’s present crisis seems to hint at something more profound. The concept of liberal Catholicism, it seems, is crumbling before our eyes. Of course, it was always flawed. Liberal Catholics want a Church that: moves with the times and is “progressive”; allows for the use of contraception and abortion in some instances; is more lenient towards homosexuality; allows for the laicisation of the Catholic world and freedom to experiment with liturgy.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, hasn’t budged. It is unchanging in its stance towards the sanctity of human life and remains quite clear where it stands on homosexuality. It wants the laity to remain active, but in their rightful place. In other words, if liberal Catholics want a Church that moves with the times, they’re in the wrong place.

So just what is behind this perceived decay of "liberal Catholicism"?  Well, for one thing Pope Benedict XVI strikes Mr. Heaven as more traditional than his predecessor. But he thinks there's more to it than that:

The Internet - and how Catholics are using it to communicate with each other - has played a huge part as well. Ten years ago, you would not often have a US archbishop criticizing a wayward editorial in a British Catholic magazine. Nor would the laity have access to Vatican documents which they can print out to show to their local parish priest. The Internet has changed all of this.

Sure, the Catholic Church has always been about universals. But now Catholics have formed an online community they’re becoming a more coherent force, and they won’t be sidelined or misrepresented. President Obama and his liberal Catholic friends should take note.

So should some U.S. bishops.


Anonymous said...

"But now Catholics have formed an online community they’re becoming a more coherent force, and they won’t be sidelined or misrepresented."

That's especially true of Catholics in the Diocese of Rochester.

~Dr. K

Ben Anderson said...

nice post, Mike. The Internet is definitely the biggest technology boost since the printing press - perhaps even bigger than that.

In the choir loft said...

It's about time that the liberals get kicked out of their ivory tower. They are so smug and self-serving.

I wonder if anyone has looked at Ray Grosswirth's video about "Conservative and Liberal Dialogue". Maybe he means well, but, honestly it isn't the nature of liberals and conservatives to get along. I would be nervous if they did. They both should fight like cats and dogs. What would you think if the liberals and conservatives in government got along? I would be VERY distrustful. We stand for different things. I want the conservatives to fight like hell and never give into the liberals. The conservatives will win because they stand for Christ and the Magisterium of the Church.

Just think if we had the Internet back when Vatican II was going on. I don't think everything would have gone as far as it did in the years after Vatican II.

In the choir loft said...

I forgot to post above "I greet Ray with relish" *choir holds up a jar of relish*

Mike said...


That would, of course, be dill pickle relish?

In the choir loft said...

hahahahaha, Mike...It looks like one of those crazy new liturgically designed pieces of ?art? that you see in a ?Catholic? church nowadays.

The "jar of relish" comment won't make sense until you look at Ray's video.

Ray wants Traditionalist and Conservatives in the faith to sit down and talk in a "spirit of friendship" with liberals and ultra-progressives....HELLO!!! What do we have in common...ZERO!!

I looked on the American Catholic Council website. Ray would like us to dialogue with "organizations with broader agendas such as ARCC, VOTF, CTA and FutureChurch". Notice the word "agenda" in that sentence.

I don't know about you all, but I have zero, nada, niente, nulla, nothing, absolutely nothing in common with them. "Can't we all just get along".........Yes, we could if you people (notice the inclusive word "people") would follow the 2,000 year old Magisterium of the Church. This is all such mental masturbation to the nth degree.

I guess I appreciate the olive branch extended by ol Ray, but no thanks, no way, no how.

Again, I would love to see you back in the fold of the Roman Catholic Church and when that happens I will truly, no jokingly, greet you with "relish". And I do relish that thought.