I want to bring some stimulating reading to the readership’s attention, lest you miss it.
First, One Mad Mom has a serious rant and it is pretty entertaining! Here’s just a small sample.
What sparked Fr. Martin banning everyone under the sun? He wasn’t too happy about the response to this tweet:
Haters? Are you 15, Fr. Martin? Anyone notice the irony of calling faithful Catholics “haters”, talking about mercy, and then turning around and blocking all those “haters?” Where’s the mercy for them? Oh, yeah, they don’t deserve mercy, since they aren’t cheerleaders for sacrilege against the Eucharist and making people comfy with their sins. Now, I really don’t care if someone wants to give me a derogatory label, although it might be nice if it was something appropriate for their advanced years. For instance, I would say he’s a hypocrite. What annoys me is the actual hypocrisy of blocking people who disagree with one’s definition of “mercy.”
There’s more. Don’t miss it.
Ross Douthat of the NYT really got under the skin of a whole raft of libs who, in typical lib fashion, reacted badly and are now trying silence him. Douthat wrote about how the libs lost at the Synod, how they did not get their Church and doctrine changing agenda through. HERE – go read it now. That made liberal heads explode. They signed on to a group letter whining to the Editor of Hell’s Bible that that sort of thing shouldn’t be permitted. After all, they sneered, Douthat doesn’t have a theology degree.
First, here is a sample of Douthat’s piece that has the spittle-flecked libs popping arteries out of their foreheads:
Nobody, of course, because there weren’t two “sides” or camps or (heaven help us) factions or anything so nasty as all that. It was all a dialogue, a moment of encounter and discernment, an opening to the Holy Spirit that set the Roman Catholic Church free to bechurch in a new way for the third millennium. It was a beginning, an overture, the first chapter in a neverending story, the first step on a permanent journey, because we are all sojourners together. So nobody won, because really everybody won.
As Saint Athanasius would say, LOL. No, look, what actually happened is that conservatives won what was probably the closest thing to victory that they could have hoped for, given that 1) the pope was against them, and 2) the pope stacked the governing and writing committees and the voting ranks, and did I mention that 3) the pope was against them. (People who still argue that Pope Francis was studiously neutral, that he just wanted dialogue, or that his views are unknowable, need to sit down and read the tongue-lashing he gave to conservatives in his closing address — and contrast it with the much more evenhanded way he closed last fall’s synod, when conservative resistance to the synod’s intended direction was much more disorganized.) Which is to say they produced a document that used unfashionable words like “indissoluble” to talk about marriage, that mostly avoided the subject of homosexuality, and that offered a few dense, occasionally-ambiguous, slightly-impenetrable paragraphs on welcoming and accompanying divorced and remarried Catholics without offering either a path to communion absent an annulment or proposing to devolve that question to national bishops conferences, as the German bishops and the rest of the progressive caucus at the synod clearly wished.
So the journalists covering the synod document as a setback for the innovators (and, because he elevated them, the pontiff) are mostly correct, given their ambitions going in. But so, in a certain way, are the journalists covering it as a kind of cracked-door to innovation, because the conservatives didn’t have the votes or the power to keep every ambiguity at bay. The most straightforward reading of the synod text supports the first interpretation, for the reasons that (among others) George Weigel and Robert Royal lay out: There is no abrogation of the ancient ban on communion for the remarried, and plenty of phrasings that indicate that ban is still in force. But at the same time, as Royal also notes, the text is not as plain as the document it quotes, John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio, and it spends so much time talking about discernment and individual cases that it seems to sometimes come “right up to the edge” of communion for the remarried, as Royal puts it, without “crossing over into it in so many words.”
How you interpret that tiptoe act, in turn, depends on how you want to interpret it. If you want to read for continuity with the Catholic past, and interpret the synod document in the light of the prior teachings that it cites, you will end up with, well, a conservative, continuity-based reading. If you want to read for rupture, though, you’ll stress the direction of movement, the fact that the new text is somewhat less clear and more ambiguous than previous texts, and suggest that even such a modest change, by its nature, opens the door to further changes still. This is roughly how many of the documents of Vatican II ended up being read by liberal Catholics, as the English Latin Mass champion Joseph Shaw points out here; “spirit of Vatican II” interpretations of where the church should go after the council, he notes:
So the libs wrote a letter. Here it is with the list of signatories I have at this time.
To the editor of the New York Times
On Sunday, October 18, the Times published Ross Douthat’s piece “The Plot to Change Catholicism.” Aside from the fact that Mr. Douthat has no professional qualifications for writing on the subject, the problem with his article and other recent statements is his view of Catholicism as unapologetically subject to a politically partisan narrative that has very little to do with what Catholicism really is. Moreover, accusing other members of the Catholic church of heresy, sometimes subtly, sometimes openly, is serious business that can have serious consequences for those so accused. This is not what we expect of the New York Times.
October 26, 2015
John O’Malley, SJ (Georgetown University)
Massimo Faggioli (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Nicholas P. Cafardi (Duquesne University)
Gerard Mannion (Georgetown University)
Stephen Schloesser, SJ (Loyola University Chicago)
Katarina Schuth OSF (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Leslie Tentler (Catholic University of America, emerita)
John Slattery (University of Notre Dame)
Megan McCabe (Boston College)
Thomas M. Bolin (St. Norbert College)
Kevin Brown (Boston College)
Alan C. Mitchell (Georgetown University)
Elizabeth Antus (John Carroll University)
Kathleen Grimes (Villanova University)
Fran Rossi Szpylczyn
Christopher Bellitto (Kean University)
Katharine Mahon (University of Notre Dame)
Corey Harris (Alvernia University)
Kevin Ahern (Manhattan College)
John DeCostanza (Dominican University)
Daniel Cosacchi (Loyola University Chicago)
Amy Levad (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Christine McCarthy (Fordham University)
Sonja Anderson (Yale University)
Fr. Robert A. Busch (Diocese of Amarillo)
Brandon Peterson (University of Utah)
Heather Miller Rubens (Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies)
Daniel Dion (Rivier University)
Mark Miller (University of San Francisco)
William T. Ditewig (Santa Clara University)
Stuart Squires (Brescia University)
Gerald O’Collins, SJ (Gregorian University, emeritus)
Anthony J. Godzieba (Villanova University)
Terrence W. Tilley (Fordham University)
Michael J. Hollerich (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Gerald Schlabach (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Luca Badini Confalonieri (Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research)
Francis Schussler Fiorenza (Harvard Divinity School)
Rebecca A. Chabot (Iliff School of Theology)
Mark Massa, SJ (Boston College School of Theology and Ministry)
James T. Bretzke, SJ (Boston College School of Theology and Ministry)
Anne Clifford (Iowa State University)
Jack Downey (La Salle University)
Sherry Jordon (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Julia Lamm (Georgetown University)
Were I made Patriarch of North America by Pius XIII I might start with that list of signers as we began the clean up of Catholic schools.
Rod Dreher jumped into the fray with both feet HERE. Dreher also reproduced the whiny lib letter.
The McCarthyism of Liberal Catholic Elites
The Catholic layman Ross Douthat, according to these liberal Catholic academics, is too stupid to have an opinion about Catholicism, because he has not been trained in theology. And his opinions are invalid because they reach offer a conclusion offensive to the letter-writers follow a “politically partisan narrative that has very little to do with what Catholicism really is.” You will look at the October 18 column in question, and anything else Ross Douthat has written about Catholicism, and I very much doubt you will find anything contrary to the faith and morals magisterially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church. You will unquestionably find much contrary to the faith and morals magisterially proclaimed by the Faggioli-O’Malley crew.
Furthermore, and perhaps most embarrassingly to the letter-writers, they actually try to do the Catholic version of red-baiting Douthat, as if a newspaper columnist’s criticism of heresy (“sometimes subtly, sometimes openly”) actually stood to make a difference in the lives of those so accused. It is ridiculous. That term “sometimes subtly, sometimes openly” is downright McCarthyite. Read the actual column; the word “heresy” doesn’t appear in it, and if it did, so what? Heresy is a constant issue within Christianity, and has been since the beginning.
I must have missed the letters from this bunch complaining about the frequent columns from Douthat’s liberal Catholic colleagues Maureen Dowd and Frank Bruni complaining about Benedict XVI and anything to do with Catholic orthodoxy. George Weigel documented some of Dowd’s charges in her column here:
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League also got into it HERE.
Anyway… do some reading. I think you will see that the libs are in panic mode.