Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bill Keller offers more advice for liberal Catholics

The same guy who suggested that liberal Catholics should head for the exits (advice I concur with though for different reasons) has written another article reflecting on the plight of his former coreligionists.


The Archer of the Forest said...

I really don't have a lot of sympathy for liberal Catholics. I mean, there is an Episcopal Church near you! You can have the liturgy and the crackpot theology in a welcoming environment. What's not to love?

John (Ad Orientem) said...


Chris Jones said...

What's not to love?

Not being able to call yourself "Catholic" anymore.

Oh, you can say you are "Anglo-Catholic" (as if that means anything in TEC anymore) or "Affirming Catholic" or "Catholic except no Pope" but everybody knows you're not really a Catholic anymore.

I suppose it's fair to say that all that the liberal Catholics have left is a loyalty to the "brand," but it's a powerful loyalty all the same.

Anonymous said...

I suppose that there's a real ignorance about the nature of what Catholicism is.

It's not and never has been a monolithic, one version only, faith completely directed and determined by the Vatican.

There has always been many currents making up the Catholic sream.

I'm not sure what a "liberal" Catholic is in comparison to a "conservative" Catholic especially these days.

From an Orthodox view, is challenging the Papal/ Vatican hegemony "liberal" or "conservative"?

As far as social/political/ economic issues, would one view Bartolomo de las Casas a "liberal" or a "conservative" since he challenged the treatment of Native Americans. Or were the Jesuits in China, who advocated integrating Catholicism with the prevailing Chinese culture "liberal" or "conservative"?

From what I see, those who wish to support the "conservative" Catholics aren't really supporting Catholicism but authority. That's the key term: authority.

Those Orthodox who support the "conservative" Catholics are supporting authority, never mind that that authority has very little validity given the pedophilia scandal among other scandals and never mind that it, Orthodoxy, has always opposed the type of authority the Pope/ Vatican expressed.

I notice a typical phenomenon here; that of the compartmentalized mind. It's sad to see Orthodox indulging in such a type of behavior but it's not surprising.

Phil said...


Let's be careful with our words. Many Orthodox do not "support" conservative Catholics from the standpoint of supporting their ecclesiology. In a sense, after all, you have a point in that some of these conservative Catholics - say, the SSPX - would be more strident opponents of the Orthodox Church than the current Pope.

It seems clear, though, that there is, not "support," but sympathy, for these Catholics as they attempt to return their communion to the the day-to-day beliefs and practices that endured for hundreds of years - until Vatican II. These beliefs and practices were at least within hailing distance of the Catholic, Apostolic Tradition, so why not cheer on their supporters? It is not support for "authority" - if it were, the Orthodox would support Vatican II, which was imposed on the RCC by the same authority that now looks to moderate the council's real-world effects.

Anonymous said...


Interesting...Vatican II sought tp implement a form of church governance close to the Orthodox ideal, definitely a different type of authority or rather, its expression.

Vatican 2 was not imposed by an "authority" but was opposed by it, that is, the very "new", ( yet actually going back to the church pre-1000 A.D.), expression of authority.

Phil said...


I'm no V2 expert, but, of all the things it resulted in (intentionally or unintentionally), church governance wasn't among them. The Pope was the supreme arbiter of faith and moral teaching before, after, and during Vatican II.

If Vatican II wasn't imposed by Vatican authority, why has the SSPX been out in the cold for decades, just for wanting to say the mass as it had been for hundreds of years? Just a big misunderstanding?

Anonymous said...

Anon@ 8:12 a.m.

Political language cannot explain doctrinal issues. Those using authority as an excuse, only have political language in their favour. Drop the political language and you might get an audience.

Another question is why should the church be made relevant to the West, but not to the church in China, which has more people, or to some culture with polygamy?

You just can't please everybody.

The handling of the sex abuse scandals was wrong but it was an administrative error. These are doctrinal issues.

In the Orthodox church as someone previously brought up if someone set up a pro-abortion church group, they would be out in a New York Minute.

Someone can have disagreements, but they cannot impose these disagreements on the universal church.