When liberals, dissidents, progressivists, whatever, sense that things are not going their way, they rise up against the exercise of authority by the hierarchy. “The institutional church is repressing the prophetic spirit-filled people!”, they cry.
When liberals (see above) sense that things are going their way, they rise up and demand that the hierarchy exercise their authority. “It’s time to sweep away the rigidity of institutions through a spirit-filled exercise of power to do what we want!”, they cry.
I saw at Fishwrap that the perennial Sr. Joan Chittister has resurfaced with another spirit-filled prophetic column about yet another coalition of liberal change groups. She is into groups of groups, I think. Remember how she waxed eloquent about the Council of Elders after her Triumph in Tahir? Come to think of it, it has been a while since Sr. Joan has given us a column. I wonder if she has been in Iraq, negotiating for human rights with ISIS. I digress. Sr. Joan was chuffed about the group of groups that has gone to Rome to lobby the Pope and the Synod for “Change!”. Here is a sample:
The joy lies in the fact that they are a sign that the church is taking the church in hand.
The disappointment lies in the fact that anyone could even think of having such a synod on such a subject and not invite them to be part of it in the first place. [It’s called the Synod of BISHOPS for a reason.]
Yes, I’d like to be sitting in the midst of them right now, but not to see the city — much as Rome affects me deeply no matter how many times I see it.
I don’t want to be with them simply to enjoy the pomp and circumstance, the street-side pizza, and the softness of the Roman nights, though I love all of those things.
This group, Catholic Church Reform, is there breathing one spirit, calling with one voice for the single issue that unites us all: the commitment of all facets of the church for the revival of the spirit of renewal in the church. Not just from the people up, but from the top down.
But wait! There’s more. Over at Crux there is a piece about the group of groups mentioned by Sr. Joan… which officially gives them far more attention than they merit, but let’s play the game anyway. A snip that reveals their thinking (any resemblance to a bag full of cats is coincidental):
One recurrent theme in the meeting was a surprising note for many Catholic liberals, who over the years have called for tighter limits on papal authority. Now, however, they want Francis to be bold.
John Buggy from Australia, one of the founders of this group, said he’d like to get a message to the pontiff.
“I’d ask him not to wait for the bishops to catch up because he’s going to be long and truly dead before that happens,” Buggy said. “You’re the pope. Be the pope and tell them what to do.” [Use your power to do what we want, but when you want us to do what the Church has always wanted for us then… power… not so much, thanks anyway.]
If presented with the same opportunity, Reed would express her disappointment over the misrepresentation of the broad spectrum of Catholic opinion in the synod. According to her, the vast majority of the people disagree with the Church’s teaching on contraception, homosexuality, divorce, withholding Eucharist from the divorced, but none of those have been invited.
“There’s not a single reform mind that’s been invited to the Synod,” she said. [Given what they think “reform” is, I suppose we can reaffirm our belief that the Holy Spirit is involved after all.]
Liberals will accuse faithful Catholics of, for example, “politicizing” the Eucharist if we insist that we should apply can. 915 (which exists for a reason). Recently, Card. Kasper accused some of those who have dismantled his own proposals of acting like “politicians”. That was during one of His Eminence’s many interviews with the press, including the secular press. On the other hand, they think nothing of sending what can only be called pressure groups to Rome to function exactly as a political lobbyist.
So, keep your ears tuned and eyes open as you read the coverage of the Synod.