A Vatican Shot Across the Bow for Hard-Line U.S. Catholics
August 3, 2017 8:48 AM   Subscribe

 


good
posted by philip-random at 9:02 AM on August 3, 2017 [19 favorites]


Maybe Pope Francis can boot or reassign the remaining conservative bishops that support this extremism, and then elevate a bunch more cardinals to lock in the succession plan.

If he keeps going, there's some chance you'll see a spin-off extremist 'Traditional' Roman Catholic Church that breaks with Rome while and claiming to be the true church.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:11 AM on August 3, 2017 [17 favorites]


If he keeps going, there's some chance you'll see a spin-off extremist 'Traditional' Roman Catholic Church that breaks with Rome while and claiming to be the true church.

It'll be history come alive!
posted by Talez at 9:15 AM on August 3, 2017 [43 favorites]


Maybe they can renew the homoousios/homoiousios debate while they're at it. I'm not sure the Council of Nicaea did a great job.
posted by radicalawyer at 9:18 AM on August 3, 2017 [12 favorites]


If he keeps going, there's some chance you'll see a spin-off extremist 'Traditional' Roman Catholic Church that breaks with Rome while and claiming to be the true church.

I thought this was already a thing?
posted by brennen at 9:22 AM on August 3, 2017 [13 favorites]


I'm making the Grumpycatgood.gif face right now.

The Vatican needs to shit or get off the pot in dealing with the fact that THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE. So many of the worst assholes in our government right now consider themselves to be devout Catholics. All the most noted granny-starvers (Ryan and Mulvaney) are Catholics with Catholic educations.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:23 AM on August 3, 2017 [47 favorites]


In my fantasy world, Il Papa would just start throwing down excommunications of American Catholic politicians that support Trump, starting with that ghoulish fucking zombie-eyed granny starver that's the current Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:28 AM on August 3, 2017 [58 favorites]


...there's some chance you'll see a spin-off extremist 'Traditional' Roman Catholic Church that breaks with Rome while and claiming to be the true church.

~So many of the worst assholes in our government right now consider themselves to be devout Catholics. All the most noted granny-starvers (Ryan and Mulvaney) are Catholics with Catholic educations.


On the upside, historians will get to document in minute, accurate, real-time detail, the workings of an Inquisition.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:29 AM on August 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


there's some chance you'll see a spin-off extremist 'Traditional' Roman Catholic Church that breaks with Rome while and claiming to be the true church.

You haven't seen Catholic churches that advertise "We offer traditional services in Latin" ? There's that and a few other code-words/dog-whistle phrases for "we don't follow any of the Vatican 2 teachings"
posted by k5.user at 9:34 AM on August 3, 2017 [19 favorites]


I knew back when Francis was made Pope that having a Jesuit in the position would lead to some major shakeups; Jesuits are pretty freakin' bad-ass.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:36 AM on August 3, 2017 [21 favorites]


If he keeps going, there's some chance you'll see a spin-off extremist 'Traditional' Roman Catholic Church that breaks with Rome while and claiming to be the true church.

We already have this. Some groups have even gone so far as to have named alternate popes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:38 AM on August 3, 2017 [8 favorites]


So Pope Francis is to the Catholic Church what Obama was to the US? I suspect the reactionaries can wait him out and triumphantly take their institution back much as they did with the US.
posted by acb at 9:49 AM on August 3, 2017


I suspect the reactionaries can wait him out and triumphantly take their institution back much as they did with the US.

Make Avignon Great Again
posted by haileris23 at 9:54 AM on August 3, 2017 [61 favorites]


I hear they're sick of triumphing.
posted by howfar at 9:54 AM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism: A Surprising Ecumenism."

Yeah, that is not surprising.
posted by maryr at 10:06 AM on August 3, 2017 [10 favorites]


Yayy!! As a very liberal US Catholic who was sickened by my parish priest endorsing Trump( in a very coy way...the weekend before the election he said "remember, only one candidate is pro-life"), I am delighted that Pope Francis has come out against hateful conservative US Catholics. Our Bishop here is a horror, a sour pretentious old man who sees sin and hell everywhere, and holds "pizza dinners" for teenage boys to try to talk them into becoming priests. Ugh.
posted by mermayd at 10:13 AM on August 3, 2017 [13 favorites]


You haven't seen Catholic churches that advertise "We offer traditional services in Latin" ? There's that and a few other code-words/dog-whistle phrases for "we don't follow any of the Vatican 2 teachings"

I have a friend who went to one of these and at confession the priest told her that despite getting married at city hall AND having a wedding before all their family and friends, her children (born two years after said matrimonies) were bastards in the eyes of the Lord because she hadn't been married in a mass and that she should pray for that every week.

When she moved across the country and started attending mass at a univeristy, at her first confession the priest basically told her "Oh, honey, no," and not to worry about it. I liked that priest.

Note: These are my opinions on what she told me. She's reasonably conservative on religion so she may have been more offended by the second priest. I don't know. I just know that anyone who tells a woman with an infant and a two year old that she'd better plan a wedding mass or worry about her and/or her children's mortal souls is an ASSHOLE.
posted by maryr at 10:17 AM on August 3, 2017 [40 favorites]


FTFA:
American Catholicism, he argued, echoing the article’s thesis, “has become different than mainstream European Catholicism and mainstream Latin American Catholicism,” and has fallen “into the hands of the religious right.”
My brother's parish in Minnesota has a pastor who was recruited from Peru a few years ago, and who rolled back the Mass and the parish culture to something around the 18th Century: there are often seven altar servers at each Mass, clouds of incense, and he only washes men's feet on Holy Thursday.

People are heading to other parishes, but it goes both ways. They are being not-quite-replaced by conservative Catholics from nearby parishes, because there are people on both poles in the same area. Minneapolis declared itself a sanctuary city, and a nearby parish named St. Thomas More declared itself a "sanctuary community" in March, angering more conservative citizens/worshipers. I know people there ho have switched because they don't agree with their community's choices.

Unfortunately, people are sorting themselves out on a parish-by-parish basis, leasing to echo chambers and bad feelings all around.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:28 AM on August 3, 2017 [8 favorites]


Conservative American Catholics voted for the living embodiment of the 7 Deadly Sins as president, so I shouldn't be all that surprised there's a growing rift.
posted by frogstar42 at 10:29 AM on August 3, 2017 [32 favorites]


USA-ian society needs three impermeable walls:

church | state
church | capital
state | capital

Unfortunately we barely pay lip service to the first, and the other two, well...HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!
posted by JohnFromGR at 10:36 AM on August 3, 2017 [5 favorites]


For those keeping score, the makeup of SCOTUS includes five Catholics. Gorsuch, while being raised Catholic, attends an Episcopalian church.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:46 AM on August 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm worried about the next generation of Catholics. The kids coming through our local university parish are a lot more conservative than they used to be. They're a lot more like evangelicals. We try to loosen them up some but they're too... wholesome... in a whitebread sort of way. Too much praise and worship and not enough booze and debate.
posted by charred husk at 10:57 AM on August 3, 2017 [21 favorites]


METAFILTER: Too much praise and worship and not enough booze and debate.
posted by philip-random at 11:01 AM on August 3, 2017 [34 favorites]


The Vatican needs to shit or get off the pot

I thought the pope shits in the woods.
posted by dephlogisticated at 11:03 AM on August 3, 2017 [14 favorites]


The kids coming through our local university parish are a lot more conservative than they used to be.

I mean, I'm the only one of my close friends who still goes to mass. I'm certainly the most liberal out of any of my friends who do go to mass. I was shocked at how conservative my old parish in Virginia had become when I was down there on business last year, and it was already really conservative when I lived there eight years ago.

This is what happens when all the liberal voices in the church have been driven away: the liberal families aren't raising their kids in the church. Francis is great, and he's one of the main reasons I'm still going to mass, but it feels like he's fighting a rear guard action here.
posted by thecaddy at 11:14 AM on August 3, 2017 [24 favorites]


I thought the pope shits in the woods.
I thought the pope was jewish.

true story: I never got that saying as a kid.
posted by k5.user at 11:16 AM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


The US Catholic church aligning itself with the "Christian" values of the Right/Evangelicals ("pro life until you're born, then you're on your own" and, to paraphrase "unchecked capitalism is God's will") sickened me to the point that I don't really identify as Catholic, instead saying things, at most, like "raised Catholic" (i.e. not active).

Basically, you're branded a "Cafeteria Catholic" if you pick-and-choose to follow the teachings of the church with respect to sexuality. The social justice aspects won't earn you that slur (and I've watched folks twist themselves into a theological pretzel to justify the contradiction).

But this Pope (along, oddly, with the most prominent Catholic in the US, Stephen Colbert) is challenging this: there is more to being a Christian than voting pro-life. It may be too late for me (I like sleeping in on Sundays), but it may start to track away from this hypocrisy.
posted by MrGuilt at 11:43 AM on August 3, 2017 [9 favorites]


There is already the Old Catholic Church which was apparently a federation of Catholic churches which rejected papal infallability. I know someone who joined them when they left the Catholic gay group Dignity, so they are pretty loose doctrinally (?).
posted by interglossa at 11:48 AM on August 3, 2017


"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism: A Surprising Ecumenism."

Yeah, that is not surprising.


No it is, because they fucking hate each other everywhere else in the world. There is zero chance this would happen most places. But apparently in America all conservative religious people can overcome their difference in pursuit of eliminating poor people and the wrong kind of non-whites.
posted by fshgrl at 11:52 AM on August 3, 2017 [19 favorites]


Racism is a hell of a drug, fshgrl.

I am not Catholic and was not raised any flavor of Christian, but I attended a Catholic high school. Pittsburgh is a hugely Catholic town. Immigrant "cultural" Catholic traditions in large degree (the neighborhood down the street from me still has big parading statues of Mary with dollar bills taped all over her street festivals). My high school was run by liberation theologists (not any more--a local wealthy Conservative Catholic family came in, donated a shitload of money, and that was that). The Catholicism I grew up around was labor-oriented, ethnic and pretty liberal.

Then I moved to southern Maryland, another historically Catholic enclave (like, 17th century historical). But it was quite rural, and had a lot of movement towards evangelicism from newer arrivals to the area. And the brand of Catholics down there was just totally weird to me. They were basically evangelicals with transubstantiation. I always wondered if it was the Catholic parishes finding they had to compete with the evangelical ones and deciding that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:01 PM on August 3, 2017 [8 favorites]


I've been exposed to some of this right wing American Catholic stuff via a Facebook friend. It's really nutty, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised there's alt-right stuff infecting Catholicism just like there is in every other sphere of life.

The article that really floored me was something criticizing the Pope for saying Europe should take in Syrian refugees. Because like he runs a whole country himself, he can take in all the refugees if he wants. Which is not only stupid on the face of it, but is also ignorant of several Syrian families the Pope has personally helped.

(And all along I'm always wondering... you realize your church conspired to let its leaders rape children, right? For 40+ years? This is the moral high ground you're speaking from?)
posted by Nelson at 12:06 PM on August 3, 2017 [6 favorites]


I went to a Catholic grade school and at the time I had no idea how radical the nuns were that taught us. They were hard-core social justice warriors of the best kind. Consequently, I am constantly appalled by the greedy and racist attitudes of so many "conservative" "Christians". The misogyny I understand, it's baked right in to the Bible. And Papa Francesco, as much as I like him, has done fuck all nothing to advance the cause of women. But I guess, YAY for the Vatican for allowing an article to be printed that calls out the evangelicals and ultra-conservatives ...

Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence. ~ St Catherine of Siena
posted by pjsky at 12:15 PM on August 3, 2017 [13 favorites]


Sean Hannity, may he shit out his bowels in the manner of Arius, is Catholic. And the privy that is his mouth is a direct conduit into so many Catholics, poisoning their minds with filth every afternoon and night via their ears and their eyes.
posted by anem0ne at 12:17 PM on August 3, 2017 [17 favorites]


Perfect opportunity for my cool Catholic priest story: So at our church, we have two priests; one grumpy one, and one light-hearted one. A lot of people like the light-hearted priest. He's charming, speeds through mass (never over an hour), and tells jokes. The grumpy one has these super-long theological sermons, and scolds the congregation at times.

FWIW, our congregation is older, overall - I wouldn't say there's much disruptive-progressive thinking going on, but the folks are thoughtful and kind.

But the grumpy priest will always ask the children to come up to the altar, and talks to them. While both priests are kind, the "fun" one never invites them up. He doesn't want to waste time. The grumpy one truly wants to get through to them - ticking clocks and late appointments be damned! - and it's the only time you see him smile.

But the thing that totally changed my opinion of the man was when, before the Our Father, he started to ramble on about how God was more than just a father - that he was both the father and the mother. He started to talk about the vital role that mothers play in the lives of children, and while we all knew his words to be true, it was impressive to hear him go on and on about the significance of women, right before this particular prayer.

And then he said this - "Today, instead of the 'Our Father', we are going to say the 'Our Mother.' " I was floored. All this time I associated him with old-fashioned, patriarchal ways, because of his demeanor, and yet this was one of the most progressive statements that I had heard in my years of church-going.
posted by bitteroldman at 12:19 PM on August 3, 2017 [91 favorites]


Bitteroldman, that's..beautiful.
posted by notsnot at 12:41 PM on August 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


But apparently in America all conservative religious people can overcome their difference in pursuit of eliminating poor people and the wrong kind of non-whites.

In the '90s BC professor Peter Kreeft wrote a book called Ecumenical Jihad, calling for an alliance among trad Catholics, fundie Protestants, Orhodox Jews, and conservative Muslims against secularism and modernity. Granted, that was pre-9/11, but...
posted by non canadian guy at 12:42 PM on August 3, 2017 [7 favorites]


In the '90s BC professor Peter Kreeft wrote a book called Ecumenical Jihad, calling for an alliance among trad Catholics, fundie Protestants, Orhodox Jews, and conservative Muslims against secularism and modernity. Granted, that was pre-9/11, but...

IIRC Dinesh D'Souza wrote a book like that around 10-15 years ago, but I can't recall the name.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:52 PM on August 3, 2017


This is what happens when all the liberal voices in the church have been driven away: the liberal families aren't raising their kids in the church.

But this is true even in liberal parishes and, outside of Catholicism, in the liberal mainline Protestant denominations. That's not the fault of conservatives/orthodox. When you make a point of defining your association with a religion mostly in terms of disagreement with that religion, I don't see how that doesn't wear off on kids.
posted by resurrexit at 12:57 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


there's some chance you'll see a spin-off extremist 'Traditional' Roman Catholic Church that breaks with Rome while and claiming to be the true church.

Somewhere, poor Pope Michael cries in his beer, alone, forgotten, unloved. "What am I?" he asks. "What am I?"
posted by Naberius at 1:05 PM on August 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


Money quote:
The writers even declare that the worldview of American evangelical and hard-line Catholics, which is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, is “not too far apart’’ from jihadists.
posted by adamvasco at 1:16 PM on August 3, 2017 [9 favorites]


There is already the Old Catholic Church which was apparently a federation of Catholic churches which rejected papal infallability. I know someone who joined them when they left the Catholic gay group Dignity, so they are pretty loose doctrinally (?).

There is also the Episcopal Church which considers itself both Catholic and Protestant, in apostolic succession through the Episcopal Church of Scotland (though we're Anglican -- it's complicated); I consider myself a good Catholic and am a member in good standing in the Church along with my (also gay, if that's not clear) husband.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:40 PM on August 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


You haven't seen Catholic churches that advertise "We offer traditional services in Latin" ? There's that and a few other code-words/dog-whistle phrases for "we don't follow any of the Vatican 2 teachings"

*jaw drops*

Whoa. I had no idea.
posted by zarq at 2:20 PM on August 3, 2017 [6 favorites]


Somewhere, poor Pope Michael cries in his beer, alone, forgotten, unloved. "What am I?" he asks. "What am I?"

People like to laugh about millennials' indulgent parents, but that dude's parents staged a conclave where they themselves made up 50% of the electorate to make their special boy a Pope.

My second favorite thing about him is that he was Pope for 12 years before a mysterious, nameless wandering bishop appeared out of the mists to ordain him a priest.
posted by Copronymus at 2:26 PM on August 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


The phrase "cafeteria Catholic" always bugs me. When you go to a restaurant, you don't eat everything on the menu.

It's heartening to see the pope remind the American church that the depths of catholic teaching are so illiberal - in the classical sense - that they will chafe the consumerist, hyperindividualist, libertarian position that has become the defaul position for Americana conservatives.

For the Catholic, freedom can't be separated from an obligation to other people. It's a problematic view, to be sure, but a strong one. It may be wrong about sexual complementarism, the role of women, but it's fundamental world view is that we're all in this together.
posted by john wilkins at 2:37 PM on August 3, 2017 [12 favorites]


"The phrase "cafeteria Catholic" always bugs me. When you go to a restaurant, you don't eat everything on the menu."

Perhaps "a la carte Catholic" would be more accurate, but I assume "cafeteria Catholic" is playing off the fact that at a restaurant, your individual meal is more or less a package deal. You get an entree and it comes with salad and a potato (no substitutions!). At a cafeteria, everything is completely separate.
posted by jonathanhughes at 4:13 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


But this is true even in liberal parishes and, outside of Catholicism, in the liberal mainline Protestant denominations. That's not the fault of conservatives/orthodox. When you make a point of defining your association with a religion mostly in terms of disagreement with that religion, I don't see how that doesn't wear off on kids.

Oddly, my progressive mainline Presbyterian church is doing just fine. I don't know how your church defines your "association with religion", but we define our "association with religion" as we were taught by Jesus: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself." Perhaps you should actually visit a progressive church and see how we love and work and pray and live together, instead of judging us based on something you read in First Things.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:17 PM on August 3, 2017 [5 favorites]


I was raised in both Roman and Maronite tradition, in that I know the mass in both Latin and Aramaic. The tiny Catholic church near me does a Mass in Latin not as a dog whistle, but because it's lingua franca for the entire congregation who may not share any other fluency.

That said, I am not a practicing Catholic, and haven't been since I was told I couldn't be a priest because ovaries = rosaries, not mitres. I still love the magic of the mass, both in Latin and Aramaic, but it's a deep primal love for the Aramaic. Also, Pope Francis is my boo. I adore that man.

I have noticed the change in Catholicism away from social justice and towards evangelism, but just assumed that was because I'm in Texas, where evangelical seems to be a default state.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:33 PM on August 3, 2017 [6 favorites]


The phrase "cafeteria Catholic" always bugs me. When you go to a restaurant, you don't eat everything on the menu.

That's exactly what those who use the term "cafeteria Catholic" as an accusation mean. If you want to call yourself Catholic, they say, you should be all-in, rather than picking and choosing what you want to do.

Although frankly, I'm more bothered when I hear non-Christians making this argument. Even here on the blue, I've seen people argue that practicing Catholics are across the board opposed to contraception or are complicit in the priest abuses or something, and when the Catholics have disputed that, their accusers say, "well, if you REALLY disapproved you'd leave the church. But you're not leaving, so you must be okay with it."

Faith and dogma are both nuanced, and it would be good if people both inside and outside the church would remember that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:48 PM on August 3, 2017 [8 favorites]


Pope Francis: "Don't make me get out the giant spider again."
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:36 PM on August 3, 2017 [22 favorites]


Perhaps you should actually visit a progressive church and see how we love and work and pray and live together, instead of judging us based on something you read in First Things.

Sick burn, bro. But in seriousness you're attacking a person I'm not and point I didn't make. I just responded to someone else's comment that--as borne out by both liberal and orthodox groups' studies of the decline in numbers of adherents--liberals are less effective than orthodox at passing on their religion of choice to the next generation.
posted by resurrexit at 6:54 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


Pope Francis still calls trans people abominations, so no brownie points for him or his advisers, sorry not sorry.
posted by ShawnStruck at 7:18 PM on August 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


Tapas Catholic. Dim Sum Catholic in the East.
posted by axiom at 8:44 PM on August 3, 2017 [5 favorites]


Pope Francis still calls trans people abominations, so no brownie points for him or his advisers, sorry not sorry.

so, Trump is cool then?
posted by philip-random at 9:35 PM on August 3, 2017


But in seriousness you're attacking a person I'm not and point I didn't make. I just responded to someone else's comment that--as borne out by both liberal and orthodox groups' studies of the decline in numbers of adherents--liberals are less effective than orthodox at passing on their religion of choice to the next generation.

When you describe mainline Protestantism as "When you make a point of defining your association with a religion mostly in terms of disagreement with that religion" you are going beyond some study you didn't cite about children following their parents' religion and instead providing some sad caricature of what conservative Christians (Protestant or Catholic) think progressive Christians (Protestant or Catholic) are like. All I did was suggest maybe you should experience progressive Christianity instead of just repeating caricatures.

As far as I know, our primary goal is to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. If my friends' kids choose to stick with our religion, that's awesome and suggests to me that we're doing a good job living out what we believe. But it's not the primary goal.

I feel bad for folks who feel trapped in their parents' religion because, even though they are miserable, they are convinced they have to stay because of fear of hell. Not a parent, but I wouldn't wish that on anybody else's children either.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:46 AM on August 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


"When you make a point of defining your association with a religion mostly in terms of disagreement with that religion..."

But isn't this exactly what's happening on the other side of the coin as well? Conservatives defining themselves as "good Christians" without actually practicing the tenements of their religion? The Bible spends extraordinarily more time on how to treat one another and the greater good than it does on the conservative hot topics like homosexuality and marriage.
posted by dances with hamsters at 12:33 PM on August 4, 2017 [3 favorites]


"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism: A Surprising Ecumenism."

Yeah, that is not surprising.

No it is, because they fucking hate each other everywhere else in the world.


Just to reiterate the strange bedfellows:
Trump's Cabinet Is Allegedly Holding Bible Study In The White House, & It's Probably Not OK
: Capitol Ministries' Ralph Drollinger also believes that Catholicism is a false religion.

That is not an uncommon sentiment among the evangelicals. I grew up in smallish town Texas, I was raised Catholic. Our church went through priests pretty often because they kept getting death threats. Classmates would invite me to come to church with them but they never came to my church (except for my true friends, which is why they were my true friends). It's been very strange to me to see these two groups come together and, while I'm not practicing and haven't even considered going back, it really warms my heart to have a pope who's pushing back against it.
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:15 PM on August 4, 2017 [6 favorites]


without actually practicing the tenements of their religion?

Hey, now, no need to be ghettoizing people's faith here.
posted by non canadian guy at 1:20 PM on August 4, 2017 [3 favorites]


I thought the pope shits in the woods.

I think that's only if you can hear him.
posted by maryr at 12:54 PM on August 7, 2017


radicalawyer: "Maybe they can renew the homoousios/homoiousios debate while they're at it. I'm not sure the Council of Nicaea did a great job."

"The profane of every age have derided the furious contests which the difference of a single diphthong excited between the Homoousians and the Homoiousians."

Par for the course for Gibbon in that it's witty, but not really fair.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:15 PM on August 21, 2017


« Older Most Women You Know Are Angry — and That’s Alright   |   A unique Judaeo-Urdu manuscript Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments