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Switch to Forum Live View "Vatican II Priests," a new study coming
3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2012 - 11:11AM #1
mokantx
Posts: 3,820

Came across this article today, and thought it interesting.  What I found interesting is that it's not just me, or a small group of those of us who might be called "disenchanted rabblerousers" here on BNET that feel this way.

Apparently there is a new study to be released next month, and this article provides some thoughts from those in the study.  Should be an interesting read when it comes out.

As to the content, and the underlying issues, I think the priests interviewed did a much better job of putting it out on the table than I might be able to do.

Thoughts?

mo


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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2012 - 11:49AM #2
gilg
Posts: 5,200

Mo,


It does seem to be an interesting study and it does touch on your question of what/who is the Church: I think the quote below taken from your link illustrates the mentality of my cousin who think that the job of the bishops is to analize, interpret, and essentially to think for us:


 “If the church is essentialist, we know everything and there is nothing more to be known and all matters are settled. People have to learn what is established truth. It’s all over. We just have to carry it out. And I think that is pretty much the reigning vision today


This is such a pathetic view of humanity and of God.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2012 - 12:10PM #3
mokantx
Posts: 3,820

Mar 13, 2012 -- 11:49AM, gilg wrote:


Mo,


It does seem to be an interesting study and it does touch on your question of what/who is the Church: I think the quote below taken from your link illustrates the mentality of my cousin who think that the job of the bishops is to analize, interpret, and essentially to think for us:


 “If the church is essentialist, we know everything and there is nothing more to be known and all matters are settled. People have to learn what is established truth. It’s all over. We just have to carry it out. And I think that is pretty much the reigning vision today


This is such a pathetic view of humanity and of God.




Gil


I see a number of really important thoughts woven throughout this article, on both sides.  The few paragraphs that follow the one you highlighted above read as follows:


Ordained in 1962 for the Spokane, Wash., diocese, Westbrook continued, “In an existentialist church, you listen and pay attention to how the spirit is moving among the people, especially in communities of faith. You learn from that. The church has to be a living, breathing, feeling, praying organism. Are we to be an organism or are we to be an organization?


Westbrook admitted, “At times I am very discouraged. It is like the people in charge -- whom I generally call the temple authorities -- are winning. They are winning by attrition. And they have carefully formed what is coming in the future.”


I think the very fact that PRIESTS are having to ask the question I highlighted above, in the post-Vatican II era of the church, speaks volumes as to what's going on.  To the complaints of those who saw abuses after Vatican II, I would have to agree. There WERE abuses: abuses of the liturgy, abuses of the longstanding traditions of the church, etc.  Yet I find it more than a bit disingenuous that those SAME folks who want to effectively turn back the clock because of those abuses, are usually the SAME people who tell us the bishops who botched, and continue to botch, the handling of pedophile abusers in the priesthood, are to be seen as an anomaly, and thus ignored.  Seems to me you can't have it both ways.  There is a moral relativism in that kind of logic that has become a cancer within the church.



You are right about me though: it really comes down to the question of what is church?  For many of us, Vatican II answered the question. At the end of the article there is a pretty powerful quote from a young theologian at Vatican II.  The quote reads as follows:


 “For many people today the church has become the main obstacle to belief. They can no longer see in it anything but the human struggle for power, the petty spectacle of those who, with their claim to administer official Christianity, seem to stand most in the way of the true spirit of Christianity.”


For me at least, that quote spoke volumes.  And Vatican II was supposed to change all of that.  I think this is almost a "theme" from the Vatican II priests that were interviewed.  It almost seems to me that since Vatican II, the Popes and Bishops have been holding the Council's definition of church in abayence, as if they need more time to digest it.  And sadly, this game works out well for them, because if they can keep that question OUT of discussion, they will eventually win with their view, because those who were, for a few short generations, infected with a vision of a new, effective church, led by the Spirit instead of human power and foibles, will die off, or just leave.  Sadly, for them, either seems to be the perfect solution


So I think we're right back to the point that the author of that quote I noted above says the church was prior to Vatican II.  And this is interesting, because the author of that quote was Joseph Ratzinger.



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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2012 - 1:13PM #4
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

Mar 13, 2012 -- 12:10PM, mokantx wrote:



Westbrook admitted, “At times I am very discouraged. It is like the people in charge -- whom I generally call the temple authorities -- are winning. They are winning by attrition. And they have carefully formed what is coming in the future.”




That's the point. this is not like the population of a state or a country riding out a political fad, because when the fad wears off the same people are still there to usher in the next phase. Not so with the Catholic Church, because these old v-II warhorses are dying off and no one is replacing them.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2012 - 2:46PM #5
mokantx
Posts: 3,820

Cher


I think perhaps one of the more chilling things in all of this to me, is what this mindset says to the rest of us, in terms of how those at the top see us.  It's not pretty, by any stretch of the imagination.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2012 - 3:42PM #6
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

Mar 13, 2012 -- 2:46PM, mokantx wrote:


Cher


I think perhaps one of the more chilling things in all of this to me, is what this mindset says to the rest of us, in terms of how those at the top see us.  It's not pretty, by any stretch of the imagination.




And it seems like every time I think I see some glimmer of hope, another story like this pops up and it's back to square one. 


What has gotten my attention ever since about 24 hours after the death of John XXIII is the doubletalk, in this case letting someone like Bill Donohue express their true thoughts and feelings while officially denying that Donohue is saying what they haven't got the balls to say:


Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor told the media, “If there is one group that the higher-ups, the bishops, would like to see silenced, it definitely would be SNAP. And that’s why they’re going after. They’re trying to find a way to silence SNAP.”


 William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, New York said that targeting SNAP was fully justified as “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.” Mr. Donohue further added that the leading bishops he knew about have resolved to fight back aggressively against SNAP. He said, “The bishops have come together collectively. I can’t give you the names, but there’s a growing consensus on the part of the bishops that they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough. We don’t need altar boys.”


Donohue also said that the bishops were rethinking their approach of paying large settlements: “The church has been too quick to write a check, and I think they’ve realized it would be a lot less expensive in the long run if we fought them one by one.”


However, Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that Donohue was wrong and that “there is no national strategy” that indicates bishops have agreed to get tough on SNAP.


Either Walsh or Donohue is lying. They can't possibly both be right about this, and nobody inside the Church is calling them on it.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2012 - 6:11PM #7
mokantx
Posts: 3,820

Cher


I suspect that if not a formal policy, there have likely been discussions among some bishops, and one of them may be talking to Donohue: how else would he get his information?


SNAP in and of itself can be little more than a thorn in the side of bishops.  I suspect the REAL problem is that SNAP is about as close as we have today of ANY group that tries to hold the bishops accountable.  The quickest way to have groups like SNAP and Bishops' Accountability fade away, would be for the Vatican to put forth a clearly stated policy to hold the bishops accountable, and then to immediately follow with a strong action to remove a goodly handful for past actions, followed by quick action the next time one fails badly.  I know that sounds harsh, but the problem here is that there really has been nothing to hold these guys accountable.   And THAT has triggered a host of questions.  Questions like:


+ Do the bishops hold the same moral code as the rest of us?


+ Is there a double standard in the church?


+ If they do NOT see their actions and inactions as wrong, then why not?


+ Can the rest of us adopt the mentality that all we need do when we sin is to confess, and then walk away?  Is there nothing else required when you do (or fail to do) things that in some cases destroy the lives of others?  And if so, might many of us have been taught incorrectly in the past?



I don't see SNAP as the enemy here.  The enemy is the mentality and culture that enabled decades of abuse, and all that went with it.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2012 - 8:56PM #8
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

Mo,


It's only marginally about SNAP anyway. The bottom line is that Bill Donohue is telling the faithful what the bishops really think of both SNAP and the victims, and Donohue has nothing to lose by doing it for them.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2012 - 9:26PM #9
jane2
Posts: 14,295

I've read this thread with care.


About five years ago I moved from a parish with a Vat II pastor to a much JPII pastor and I was back out in a heartbeat. This man hasn't a clue. He loves his role as lord-in-chief and Incensor-in-chief. He is so mediocre, something he doesn't control but the PTB assigned him as pastor, in his mid-thirties to a parish of then 2600 families, now at least 200 families fewer.


Many of y'all know I volunteered to teach bible study as I had in my former parish. Dropped out when I learned all answers would be supplied by a Steubenville tape. Total yikes.


I absented myself from the RCC in the late 60s and I am now absent again.


Intersting fact, perhaps is that my youngest daughter picked up on Santorum's constant referrencing of Steubenville the place before Super Tuesday. She knows all too well what I think about that crowd. Steubenville is huge in Atlanta. Gotta love her............


 

discuss catholicism
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2012 - 9:45PM #10
Mareczku
Posts: 2,220

It is telling that Bill Donahue sees abuse victims as enemies of the Church that must be fought.  Most of these people have been driven out of the Church.  I think men like Donahue just drive more people out.  Most Catholics have sympathy for abuse victims even if many of the bishops do not. 



Peace - Mark 

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