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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:15 PM
Original message
Catholics have me totally amazed. There are two distinct and opposing...
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 11:44 PM by JanMichael
...sects within the power structure. Yeah, I know that other groups have similar difficulties, but....

There are the Catholic Worker types which are the polar (Economically to the max) opposites of the Conservative side which is lead, covertly I suppose, by those Opus Dei freakazoids.

Yes, there are splits in other denominations, but population wise isn't this the biggest and baddest religious group in America?

I'm a leftist when it comes to economics, I think that the system we we have is (In atheist terms) unethical, and after a 6-pack, IMMORAL.

So I have a fondness for the Catholics that go out and tackle nukes, barricade sweatshops, support unions, demand rights for the untouchables, leave people (women?) to exercise that thing called "free will", and fight for the rights of the average person.

This is not an attempt to slander the "good" Catholics but just a serious inquiry into how these sides are faring among the "masses" and who is primed to dominate.

Are the liberal, no, really Left when push comes to shove, Catholics under fire? Do they have a chance to exert themselves?

And if so...How can we, non-believers that hold very similar Humanistic economic goals, help?

EDIT: Not being Catholic may have lead me to make some generalizations that some may find offensive. Fine. I acknowledge my ignorance, you can acknowledge my abivalence to doctrinaire critiques :-)
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Its a twin reality to the US political scene and has been for decades
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Is it regional? Why is this?
Has the reichwing taken over for the most part, or is there a chance for the nice pacifist types to re-exert themselves?
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alcuno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Catholics who live near evangelicals start acting like them.
My church in Chicago is different from my parent's church in Florida. I really think it is a regional issue.

However, there is an enormous difference between Catholics and the evangelicals. My impression has always been that born-agains believe that prayer will get them stuff. Catholics tend to pray for strength to endure not having stuff.

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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #9
38. as a Catholic in NC it seems to be regional...
There are many Catholics here who behave and vote like the fundies. There are much fewer of the Liberal types like myself. I am always looking for a new Church to attend mass. It is very frustrating. The irony is these Catholics totally miss the fact that the evangelicals hate them!
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
37. No, this is a gloabl shift and has been in place for decades
Rome recognized what airlines did not. Populations shift and with them their economics. Politically, the RCC has and will continue to bend with the wind in any area. However, there is a strong bent toward pre-vatican II concepts and practice.
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
21. Yes, all the bishops who told their flock to vote against Kerry
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 01:22 AM by SharonAnn
show that the liberal wing of the Catholic Church is under fire.

In some parishes, it almost has to be underground.
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TheFarseer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. At the church I grew up going to
I'm almost certain I'm the only one that voted Kerry. abortion abortion abortion The damn bulliten mentions something about it every week. I think East coast catholics are a different animal without actually knowing whether this is true or not.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. My Irish Catholic mother found that when they retired to Florida
so for years they were twice a year Catholics, and eventually stopped bothering altogether.

East Coast Catholics can be just as bad, depends on the church. I remember some in Boston were absolutely virulent. I also remember lighting a charity performance for a truly worthy cause when some archbishop waddled onto the stage and talked at length, not about the cause and no thanks to people who had contributed generously to it, but about abortion, abortion, abortion. Some folks actually got up and left.

I don't know what the Hispanic churches here in New Mexico are like; I'm not a fallen-away Catholic, I'm a stomped off in sheer disgust ex Catholic, and I don't want to intrude. I would imagine they run the gamut much as the churches in Boston did.

I would suggest that Catholic believers who can't find a liberal church check out the Episcopalians. It's the same church, really, but not under the jackboot of Rome. I know a few people who made the switch and never regretted it.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #16
43. Episcopalians = Catholic Lite
or so the joke always goes. Sadly many people in my (very left wing) home parish have begun attending Episcopal services for that very reason
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TheFarseer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #16
58. I actually struggled for a while
trying to reconcile being Catholic and having all these hypocrites and myopic people around me, and then I just decided to believe what I believe and not let politics bother me. Just take to heart the basic love God and love your neighbor. It's not like I *completely* disagree with their politics anyway. The pope *was* anti-war and I like to remind people of that! That's funny about the charity performance btw
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. Just watch them, and do what you can to help them
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 11:27 PM by Selatius
But I wouldn't directly approach them and tell them who I am, a flaming liberal. That'd just drive them away. If they're working for worker rights, then adopt a message that can easily parallel their message at the same time. That way, your group and their group are firing at the same target, and none of you actually directly communicated. You just watched; you observed, and you reacted accordingly. That's one way, perhaps.

If they held a protest outside, say, a tobacco company on Wednesday, then hold another protest in front of the same company on Thursday.
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. I remember the pro-UFW sermons
from my Catholic childhood in the 1960's.

This element of the church has always been around.

Catholic Worker was founded in the 1930's.
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Obviousman Donating Member (927 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. You should check out the Jesuits
Very socially aware. If that wing of the religion had more of an influence, things would be better.
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. My own sense of the situation...
... is that the activist, leftist side (what some call the liberation theology movement) is as much under pressure within the church as the left is generally in larger society.

The recent vocal opposition in some dioceses to Kerry is an example of the rightward trend in the church, as is the volume of the recent talk about Cardinal Ratzinger being the prime candidate to replace John Paul II.

That said, it's possible that the ongoing scandal within the church regarding sexual abuse may cause some to turn away from the machine-politics approach of the church and return to community-based liberation theology-tuned churches that were more common in the `60s and `70s.

Cheers.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. your post shows NO understanding of Catholics or our beliefs....


your position is simply WRONG and inflammatory....


while DUers wouldn't dare make such nasty remarks about other religious groups (try your garbage with Jews, and see how far you get on this board), for some reason, non-Catholics seem to be permitted a full range CATHOLIC BASHING here....


your post makes me ill...
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Oh, sorry, alert it if it's such a nasty portrayal.
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 11:40 PM by JanMichael
If not then suck it up and understand that this is a simple message board on the web.

No harm, no foul.

I hope you're ok and not too offended...Sweet dreams :-)
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alcuno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. What are you talking about? I'm a Catholic and I read the post again.
I thought he was asking questions. I completely missed the bashing part (and I've seen it here often.)
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #11
20. This is to all (Nice ones) that replied to post #8: THANKS!
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 01:02 AM by JanMichael
I truly was not intending to slam Catholics. It was a serious inquiry into the conflict that I percieved, right or wrong, it was simply a question.

Thank you all for not assuming the worst in my motives.

I appreciate your tolerance!
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buddysmellgood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #11
45. I agree. I was raised catholic. An EXTREMELY catholic household. The
post does not bash. I merely points out a division. A basher would point out the blatant hypocrisy of the church. Women cannot be priests. Gays are not allowed. Jesus is a republican. Little boys are sex objects.
The church as a whole has lost its moral authority. Catholics need to evaluate their parish. The moral authority is intact at the parish level.
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. I'm catholic and the poster's observations seemed correct to me!
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 11:45 PM by The_Casual_Observer
Who the fuck are you to act as some kind of half assed arbiter of what is and what isn't.
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #12
24. Just curious ... are you a practicing Catholic?
:(
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #24
32. Yes
And BTW, one would have to be blind or stupid not to see how the church has turned a blind eye to the utter madness that has been wrought by the bastard bush as a result of, and in the name of, his merit-less pandering and duplicitous "campaign" for "pro-life" and heterosexual marriage.
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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Hey, diamond14: chill, for heaven's sake.
The guy (I'm presuming JanMichael is a guy) is just making a common observation that the church seems pretty split left/right at the moment, and wondering how to support the "side" he likes.
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. I'm a 'guy' all right.
However my wife, Stephanie, posts under my usermname quite a lot. That said she almost always signs her name at the bottom of most posts.

This has at times caused considreable confusion however...It's not like my name doesn't cause immediate confusion all on its own...



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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. LOL!! n/t
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #8
22. Amen ! I agree with my fellow Catholic member above :-)
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. Refer to post #20.
Right on sister!
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Um, I was agreeing with poster #8, and no, with respect I'm your peer
not your sister. <Curtsy & EXIT Stage Liberal Catholic Left>
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. No shit. That's WHY I refered to #20.
Right on peer!
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. There's no need to be condescending. I honestly think you
do yourself a disservice by your blatant disrespect for our faith. This is not a BASH but an honest appraisal.

Acting arrogant and condescending is beneath someone as intelligent and one who claims "tolerance" of others.

Peace Be With You

Out
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:42 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. Frankly I thought you were the one being rather nasty.
Perhaps that's the medium? I thought that you'd intentionally ignored my disclaimers which are sincere, no harm intended on my part.

Either way have a nice rest of the night and good luck with you conservative brothers.

I know that I've got enough trouble with the crazy reichwing non-believers, it's just that the scale is different. Hence my query.

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njdemocrat106 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #8
35. I'm Catholic and wasn't offended
I thought JanMichael made some pretty accurate observations, IMHO. I recently switched parishes and didn't realize how conservative my old parish was until I made the switch (We were of the last parishes in the diocese to have girl altar servers, I recall). The pastor at my current church is in his late 30s, and forgive me for gender stereotyping, the younger priests come across as more liberal. My mom still goes to my old parish, and she, not knowing the full extent of my interest in politics, gave me a "Voter's Guide" to guide to read from her church, which of course, praised Bush and attacked Kerry your usual right-wing-type slander. At my church, we were only told to vote on November 2, and a few weeks earlier, another priest who gave a sermon (regarding honesty, I believe) flat out said "On November 2, I think it's time for change" and mentioned the Swift Boat liars without mentioning any names. So yes, we Catholic liberals do exist, and I'm proud to be one.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #8
44. Come on
There is a large amount of Catholic bashing that goes on here, but this post was in no way an example of that. I have a (often too) thin skin at times about this issue, but knowing the posters posts and reading this thread I have found no disrespect at all.
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Mrs. Overall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
14. You have outlined this split within the Catholic Church
very clearly. I am grappling with this issue myself, and trying to figure out just what is going on.

I went to Catholic schools (and a Catholic college)then taught in several Catholic high schools in the San Francisco area, so for years this was my experience of the Catholic church. The Bay Area is quite liberal and my education emphasized helping others, being for the underdog, respecting all ethnic groups and their religious beliefs (in my high school religion class we used to meditate and do yoga), donating time and money to causes, having an anti-war stance, and being willing to protest and go to jail. At one school I taught at we had openly gay faculty members and while teaching a class in World Religions, I had a witch come give a lecture.

When I moved from the Bay Area and attended Catholic Church, I was shocked at how conservative it was and it reminded me very much of a Protestant Church.(This was in WA State)

I think there is also a third group that is operative now in the Catholic Church--the Ultra-Conservatives. I have several family members involved in this movement, which I would call a cult. They believe Vatican II was inspired by the devil and therefore the church should revert back to the Latin Mass, women should be veiled, they take the bible literally and are teaching their children creationism, and they are not tolerant of other belief systems. They believe they must remain secretive or they might be persecuted. They also believe God talks to them directly and so they pass on these "messages"--very scary stuff.

Although I no longer am a Catholic, I take interest in the Church and what is going on within it and I am completely confounded by the turn to the right which seems to be taking place. I do believe these three factions are at war (the liberals, the conservative mainstream, and the ultra-conservatives) and I have no idea where this will lead.

It does seem to mirror what is going on in society as a whole.



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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Yes, and the parallels are worth watching. n/t
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:41 AM
Response to Original message
17. This goes back to the Counter-Reformation.
When Luther and than Calvin started the Reformation to was to "Reform" the Catholic Church (For more details see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12700b.htm ). Most of these Reforms that had been kicked around since the Great Schism of 1378-1415. (For details see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13539a.htm00s .)

Anyway starting about 1560 the Catholic Church started the "Counter-Reformation" (For more details see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04437a.htm ).

The counter-reformation had a two track attack, first was the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits, See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14081a.htm for more details). The Jesuits, while founded by an ex-military man, was intended by its founder to "Fight" for the Church. The Military officer had little education himself but realized that when fighting an idea (Lutheranism and Calvinism) you had to have people who understood that idea and could fight it at an intellectual level. Thus the Jesuits were ALWAYS Highly Educated people. Furthermore they thought nothing of education their own people or anyone else who wanted to be educated. As educated people who studied not only Catholic Dogmas, but the Writings of Luther, Calvin, Mohammad, Buddha and anybody else. To this day the Jesuits have an reputation as being among the most educated of all religious orders (Both inside and outside the Catholic Church). This high education also brings with it a strong tendency to liberalism and identification that their job as an educated elite is to help the poor. In effect the Jesuits were (and are) the left wing of the Church, but also its military wing.

The Second track against the Reformation was the establishment of large gilded courts. Prior to the reformation you had Kings and Popes building larger and larger castles, Palaces, Cathedrals etc, but these were not only for the use of the Ruling elite but to be seen by everyone. In The counter-Reformation this changed. Palaces were made bigger to keep a larger and larger number of the provincial ruling elites around the Kings of Europe. This expanded even more so after the end of the 30 Year war (1618-1648 See the following for details: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14648b.htm ).

This build up of the central Courts of Europe was part of a plan to make sure all of the movers and shakers of a Country was always (or as much as possible) in the Court of the King. This strengthen both the King and the Church Hierarchy (And even Protestant Countries adopted these new centralized Courts to control their Nobility). This is the Right wing of the Church. Opus Dei is just the latest grouping of this wing.

The left and Right wing of the Church have fought ever since the 30 year war. The left saying take care of the Poor and you will win them for the Church, the Right Wing answer was control both the Church and Civil hierarchy and the poor will follow. This split became so bad that France and Spain both kicked out the Jesuits in 1764 (for France) and 1767 (For Spain). While this was one of the way stops to the French revolution (The King of France lost one of his accesses to what was happening in his own Country), it was worse for Spain. In the New World the Jesuits had been the Governmental Bureaucracy, when the Jesuits were suppressed the King of Spain lost almost ALL ACCESS To what was happening in his Empire in the New World (and lost it after 1800 when the Ruling elites of Mexico, Central and South America found an excuse to declare themselves independent of Spain).

The Jesuits were reformed in 1814 as the Napoleonic Wars came to an end, but the former loyalty the Jesuits had for the Pope was not as deep as it had been before the Suppression of the 1760s. The reason for the re-establishment was that with the Defeat of Napoleon the Vatican had to face its new enemy, the raising upper middle class controlled Governments. To face such Governments the Pope knew he had to have access to the working class and the best organization to get to the working class was the highly educated Jesuits.

Furthermore the Highly centralized courts of the Pre-Revolutionary period were dying. The Pope realized he could not rely on them to support the Church so he wanted his "Troops" of Jesuits back.

On the other hand the Right wing still wanted more and more power in the hands of the Pope (and thus more power to the Vatican bureaucracy). This continued through the unification of Italy (and the Pope's lost of the Papal States) and even the Concordant between Mussolini and Pius XI that set up the Modern Vatican State.

This split still exist, the intellectual, working for the poor Jesuits against pomp and ceremony that the Right Wing emphasis in the Power to the pope and bishops (Opus Dei). No one knows how it will turn out for both groups are loyal to the Pope. The present Pope has a strong tendency to the "mysteries" of Christianity, which is the emphasis of Opus Dei and the rest of the Right Wing, while he also likes the intellectualism of people who thinks of the hard issues of the day such as how best to help the poor and how to use the position of the Pope and Bishops to help the poor but also keep the peace.

Pope John Paul II is NOT a Jesuit but a product of the Church Hierarchy. Some of his ideas are the same as Opus Dei but he is NOT a member of it (He is also more Socialist than Opus Dei, often pointing out the problems with Capitalism).

The real question is how will the next Pope be, Opus Dei or Jesuit? This Pope has appointed more Conservative Cardinals than Liberal Cardinals but seems to have also made an attempt to favor Opus Dei or the Jesuits. Only time will tell where the Church goes from here.

Here is Opus Dei's web Site for your Information:
http://www.opusdei.org/art.php?w=32&p=7017

Here is the Society of Jesus Web Cite:
http://www.jesuit.org /
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #17
27. I have Opus Dei family members and they're interesting (or not)
I was raised Catholic and educated by Jesuits, though I left today's Church many years ago. I have a very strong dose of philosophy (and logic and use of reason) in my education background. Any spiritual guidance that told me to shut off my mind, do as I'm told, and not to think for myself would be immediately suspect.

That said, I have several family members who are Opus Dei (one is a numerary and lives in their "house") and what I've learned about how their lives are controlled but especially how their minds are controlled is frightening. Numeraries are not to read any material except what is given to them by their spiritual director. What is given is very little, much of it about the founder Fr. Escriva, and the material must be returned when it is completed.

My Jesuit mind could never tolerate that.

Side note: I was in Chile a few years ago and the family went to an Opus Dei University for a choral and orchestra concert (University of the Andes). It was a hoot! The campus was unbelievably luxurious, buildings like the corporate headquarters of large global corporations. And this included classrooms and dorm facilities! They had landscaping that rivaled Calloway Gardens or Disneyworld.

But, the choral group and orchestra were unbelievably bad. So bad that I almost laughed several times during the performance. However, the choral groups had truly awesome gowns. I can't imagine what they cost.

So, I did a little inquiry about the university. I was told that it's not academically very good, it's kind of a place for rich right-wingers to send their kids to be brainwashed. For a real education, students go Universidad Catolica which is one of the best in the world.

Also, Opus Dei gives their facilities very neutral sounding names (this is tru around the world I'm told) so that they're not too "religious" sounding.
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:40 AM
Response to Original message
29. I'm not sure why you're surprised that Catholics don't all think alike.

There are things we agree on, certainly, but among my Catholic friends and acquaintances are both Democrats and Republicans. A lot of the Catholic Republicans I know volunteer at the soup kitchen, drive cancer patients to their medical appointments, volunteer at the hospital, the library, in nursing homes, etc., as well as giving money to charitable causes. Pretty much the same as the Catholic Democrats I know.

:shrug:
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. It's the magnitude and the degree of conflict that I was inquiring about.
I'm not privy to all of the insider info so I started a thread. Simple curiousity. That's ok here now, isn't it?

When I refer to "magnitude" I mean in reference to population and the new immigrant populations who trend catholic.
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alcuno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #31
47. If you look at the "exit polls," you'll see that Catholics voted for Kerry
in blue states and * in red states. That is if you believe the exit polls.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
33. Our Catholic Church is liberal, very anti-war, almost "leftist."
The peace banners went up before Bush's war began. The Church Community has a strong tradition of worker rights and caring for the homeless and other people living in poverty.

While traveling my wife and I have gone to Mass in Churches that, quite frankly, we would not regularly attend if we lived there.

I'm certain "Conservative" Catholics feel the same way about our Church. Literature they are uncomfortable leaving in the foyer, maybe because someone would confront them for it, they covertly distribute under the windshield wipers of cars in the parking lot while everyone else is in Mass.

The "gay marriage" issue seems to bring out the worst in them.

That is probably my biggest problem with the Catholic Church. My wife and I have friends and family who are gay and lesbian, and a few of them are happily married couples with children.

It is utterly hypocritical that a Catholic Church can harbor, celebrate, and support people who have had multiple marriages, and then turn around to harass gay and lesbian Catholics, especially when the leadership of the Church has some very real and harmful problems with their own sexuality. (Pedophilia is only the most visible facet of that...)

Just as I can say that George W. Bush does not represent my America, I can say that your "Conservative" Catholics do not represent my Church.

I will take my arguments with the United States to the people, and I will take my arguments with the Church to God. Prayer seems to work pretty well for me.

Peace be with you...
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Doremus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:03 AM
Response to Original message
34. Don't know, but from here it looks like the divide is beginning to conquer
DH is Catholic and was surprised and saddened to see the Christmas mass attendance WAY down this year. We're talking at least a third off from last year.

Seems like once politics enters the pulpit (it creeped in at ours this year), divisiveness isn't far behind.
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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #34
49. I'd say the divide is beginning to SORT
which is a VERY good thing. 'Bout time regular, and mostly liberal, Catholics started speaking up. What's going on in the church is very much like what's going on in the country: if liberals let themselves get rolled by conservatives, the frame gets set up that conservatives speak for everyone. So, let the divide happen because it's a VERY good sorting out.
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orpupilofnature57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
36. Recovering catholic, received all the sacraments, what ruined it
Was when i became a Christian.
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hollowdweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
39. All the Catholics I know but 1 voted for Kerry because of the war
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
40. I am a liberal Catholic that is turned off by my local church
not by the priest so much as the virulent conservative catholics who inhabit the pews in the church.

I was at a rally for Kerry where a pro-Bush woman\disrupter was holding a sign that said.."Real Catholics vote for Bush"...

I questioned her and she told me that the pedophiles in the church were all liberals...and then she proceeded to tell me that I wasn't catholic because I was voting for Kerry....that experience made me ill.

Meanwhile my father used to take me to mass every sunday with my brother and we would go to the floral shop to buy mom flowers afterwards...Mom didn't go to church, years of catholic school and church nonsense (including a priest that had asked her to sleep with him after she was widowed the first time ...) it all turned her off.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
41. Catholic: COMPREHENSIVE, UNIVERSAL, esp broad in sympathies
tastes or interests. Or in other words, look out, here comes everyone! We've got stuff to appeal to and/or offend just about anybody. The secret is that while the Opus Dei people are sucking up to the power structure, the liberals are teaching religious education. People under 50 don't know any Church but the post Vatican II Church and they like what they know.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
42. Thank you for brining this up
As with the rest of Christiantiy in this country conservatism, reactionary conservatism is on the rise within the church. Unfortunately it isn't just here that that is the case. With the changing demographics of the church to the more traditionalist societies of Africa and Latin America there is a huge spike in worldwide conservatism as well. In the US many liberal Catholics have abandoned the playing field saying we can't get anything done since they've begun rolling back the more revolutionary aspects of Vatican II. In effect the conservatives have begun seizing most everything making the remaning liberal Catholics feel less and less welcome. Every sign we see from Rome though indicates that we are less and less in control (with a few exceptions on the war in Iraq and interfatih problem solving) as Cardinal Ratzinger gains more and more control.

Unfortunately the two organizations where I have my political and spiritual home have become more and more antithetical to my views and have done precious little to change themselves. The Democratic Party and the Catholic Church are moving away from me and that sadens me no end
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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #42
50. I hear you, youngred.
That's why it's really important for liberal Catholics to start organizing!
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DrZeeLit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
46. You might find "Liberation Theology" interesting a movment in the
Catholic Church. Considered "radical' and yet divinely inspired.
Really quick explain: seeing as how we are stewards of the earth, we don't and can't "own" it and we all need to take care of it -- meaning every piece of land and every animal, plant and every person on it. Equally. So, it often comes off as "communistic" and is a movement that has taken root in many communities where the poor have little voice or resource.

I took a theology course in this at the University of San Diego. It was taught by a priest I greatly admired. I admire him even more now -- he really did divest himself of all and went to work in the most dire of situations.
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davhill Donating Member (854 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
48. We met with our bishop in Florida
After he came out with a strong op-ed piece saying Catholics should not vote for Kerry. A group of us Catholic anti-war activists requested a meeting with him. It was scheduled for 30 minutes but it turned into 3 hours of frank, emotional, and sometimes very heated discussion. This bishop was know for his strong advocacy of immigrants rights and increasing in the minimum wage, and his opposition to the death penalty. He agreed to make a statement against the war. The thing driving his support for Bush was abortion. Though we tried to convince him otherwise he insisted that anyone who believes that a fetus is a human being is obliged to do anything stop abortion, even to point of trampling upon the rights of those who do not believe they are human beings. He also said he did not like Kerry personally because he felt he was insincere in his religious professions.
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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. David: you did good talking with him
If you talk with him again, what guy's like your bishop need to think about is that abortions were DOWN 40% under Clinton (and falling) and UP 20% (and rising) under Bush. If those "pro-life" bishops REALLY wanted to DO something about abortion, rather than just spout pieties, they'd support the policies that EFFECTIVELy meet the problem.
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davhill Donating Member (854 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. Yes I Did
That was one of our strongest points and he did seem taken aback. One thing he did say that got me thinking is that while there are pro-choice polititans in the Republican party (Ridge, Swartznegger, etc) there are no pro-life Democrats on a national level. I mentioned that I though Kosinich was pro-life but I was not sure.
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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. It's a point Dems are going to have to face. But the
frame's important. Being "pro-choice" does NOT mean you're "pro-abortion." It means that in a plural society you accept the legal structure that holds such a society together, and work like hell to lessen the negative implications that come with it. You accept the legal choice of abortion, and work to make sure women have a REAL choice other than abortion.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
52. Being a Catholic is like being a Democrat.
There are so many views within the Catholic Church from the nearly fascist views of some to some of the most liberal economic views of anyone from others.
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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. Lot of truth in that, Zynx! n/t
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prodigal_green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
56. raised in a liberation theology tradition
My family in the south was very active. I'm proud to say that they have had Daniel Berrigan and Ramsey Clark as overnight houseguests and traveled to Central America and Southern Africa to deliver medicine and other material assistance during the 1980s. Heck, my grandmother had a file an inch thick (what they would release via foia) with the FBI. She and her daughters were civil rights activists (white in the south) during the 1960s, draft counselors during the Vietnam War, volunteers with migrant workers during the 1970s and 1980s; and hosts of Dignity (gay Catholics) meetings in their home, etc. etc.

The one point where we disagreed was on abortion. They are pro-life but at least they are consistent about it: anti-war, anti-death penalty, pro-education, pro-healthcare, pro-childcare.
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CatholicEdHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
57. Walking tightrope
at my parish. Most of it is not bad but there are just enough tweaks, espically in the petitions that have a right wing life=abortion slant towards themselves.

Most are pretty reasonable as long as you keep it common sense/issue orientated and stay away from Democrat/Republican/liberal/conservative labels.

You still have a few nuts, but every parish has those.
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bobweaver Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
59. I'm a recovered Catholic myself, and there are plenty of people in the...
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 11:06 PM by bobweaver
...Catholic church who don't buy every dictum the church hierarchy sends down. There are pro-choice-Catholics, pro-gay-marriage Catholics, pro-just-let-priests-get-married-Catholics and even hell-just-let-women-become-priests-Catholics. But, none of these people talk about their dissenting views or organize into groups or anything, that I know of anyway. It's just slient. They just ignore whatever dicta they don't buy and go along with the rest of the stuff. There are, of course, millions and millions of true believers who subscribe to everything handed down from the church hierarchy without question. But it is not 100% of the church membership!
I personally thought the Catholic church made a huge mistake by rejecting Kerry as a presidential candidate. The only Catholic president so far has been JFK. It might have given the Catholic church a much-needed boost to have a Catholic president again! Dumb Dumb Dumb.
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