The Paulists
October 1, 2008 6:28 PM   Subscribe

150 years ago, Father Isaac Thomas Hecker, a Catholic priest looking for a way to convert more North Americans, founded the Paulist Fathers. From the start, they took a mass communications approach to proselytizing, from the magazine the Catholic World in 1865 to the website Busted Halo. At the same time, they are also decidedly ecumenical and have a history of disagreeing with Rome, sometimes to the ire of other Catholics.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for the links - especially the Busted Halo one. Their Googling God video on Catholics and politics was a nice reminder of how schizophrenic the Catholic vote must seem to pollsters trying to pigeon hole them. Anti-abortion! Economic justice! Anti-gay! Anti-war! Anti-contraception! Pro-environment!

The ecumenicalism makes me wonder if we've got some Paulists hanging around with our Jesuits up here. Up on the walls of the church, with all the images of saints, we've got Gandhi with a halo around his head. Go figure.
posted by cimbrog at 7:04 PM on October 1, 2008


Someday, I'll introduce my friend Brother Peter from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate to Metafilter. He would love a thread like this.
posted by parmanparman at 7:08 PM on October 1, 2008


Their Googling God video on Catholics and politics was a nice reminder of how schizophrenic the Catholic vote must seem to pollsters trying to pigeon hole them.

Very true. A couple years back, a speaker, funnily enough named Ghandi, was to visit the Jesuit Marquette University, and some students protested because "he demanded departures from Catholic doctrine, including the removal of current language on homosexuality and administration of Eucharist to active homosexuals". To this, the following counterpoint was made by another Catholic student:
These students bring up the issue of practicing Catholics who are also practicing homosexuals. They are right. The Church doctrine does stipulate practicing homosexuals should not receive the Eucharist. Is this a 'core' teaching? It may be, but so was believing the Earth was the center of our solar system for the pre-Renaissance Church. If there is something everyone should learn from the history of the Church, it is that the Church is susceptible to human error.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:21 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Amen.
posted by longsleeves at 7:31 PM on October 1, 2008


Thanks for something a bit more objective and a bit less "Religion is religilous" on MeFi.

My favorite Busted Halo piece of late: why sexual ethics are really about justice.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:16 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, almost forgot: here in DC, I live in the neighborhood of the Hecker Center (where Busted Halo is produced and the DC Paulists reside and teach). They have a killer bookstore in the lobby that covers not only every Catholic and Christian spiritual topic under the sun, but philosophers from Plato to Aristotle to Kant to Nietzsche (yes, even Nietzsche). If you're ever in DC, it's definitely worth checking out.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:25 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is a great post! I'd never heard of the Paulists, or Busted Halo, or any of this.

By the way, that last blog is just horrid - the guy is aggressively stupid, and has clearly adopted the faux-logic and argumentation theory of Bill O'Reilly. But hell, if he hates the Paulists as much as he hates the Jesuits, then there's an order I can get to know!
posted by Sfving at 11:21 PM on October 1, 2008


Any religious group humble enough to admit to a 'busted halo' gets a nod in my book.

This seems like an interesting group of priests, and I will definitely keep an eye out for more information about them.
posted by librarylis at 11:40 PM on October 1, 2008


"Busted halo" sounds kinda like....well, like "busted cherry", but somewhere....else.
posted by telstar at 2:31 AM on October 2, 2008


They still believe in god and immortal souls, though, so really this just puts them among the most moderate of the moderates.

Isn't there an injuction in their big book against being lukewarm?
posted by Crosius at 10:29 AM on October 2, 2008


...but so was believing the Earth was the center of our solar system for the pre-Renaissance Church.
Umm... yeah, it was not a core doctrine... and to argue that it was is just moronic.
posted by Jahaza at 6:58 PM on October 2, 2008


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