Listen Respectfully, Then Agree or Disagree…Except on Dogma

Effluvia

Last 5 posts by Clark

52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Grenaid  •  Nov 27, 2013 @11:21 am

    /Catholic golf clap

  2. ArsikVek  •  Nov 27, 2013 @11:22 am

    Now… I'm not a catholic, or even really a religious person, but isn't one of the core principles of Catholicism that the Pope is kind of the living authority of God?

  3. Grenaid  •  Nov 27, 2013 @11:32 am

    Hell, after reading, I'll stand up and clap. Aside from the direct impact of his words on the world, the way he makes me think, and feel challenged to be a better person, are wonderful. It's a great breath of fresh air.

  4. anne mouse  •  Nov 27, 2013 @11:43 am

    I make a conscious choice to read the "real" web, rather than twitter. If I actually wanted to read some columnist's tweets, I'd subscribe to his feed.

    OK, grumpy moment over. I admit I was rather amused that "conservative Catholics" is now apparently a social group with its own identity politics. I'm left wondering what constitutes a "conservative Catholic" – sounds redundant to me. I'm guessing he means "conservative" in some bizarre American-politics sense ?

  5. anne mouse  •  Nov 27, 2013 @11:50 am

    ArsikVek – there's a lot of room in the "kind of". He is infallible if and only if he says he's speaking infallibly at that moment. Or something like that, there is plenty of Googlable information if you have the patience to read theology.

  6. Jacob H  •  Nov 27, 2013 @12:01 pm

    @Arsikvek
    I think in order for it to be infallible, he needs to preface his statement with "Peter says".

  7. HamOnRye  •  Nov 27, 2013 @12:06 pm

    @ Anne Mouse

    With regards to your question, I believe he is referencing the unspoken division of the Catholic Church of those who are nominally Catholic and those who are serious about being Catholic.

  8. David  •  Nov 27, 2013 @12:47 pm

    It's been really fun reading dogmatically conservative Catholics try to re-interpret spin the current Pope's statements their way.
    p.s. sooo not a catholic so don't have a dog in this hunt except as a member of society at large.

  9. CJK Fossman  •  Nov 27, 2013 @12:48 pm

    @HamOnRye

    Who anointed you judge?

  10. HamOnRye  •  Nov 27, 2013 @12:55 pm

    @ CJK Fossman

    You sound a bit defensive.

    If there is something you don't like about my comment, then spit it out.

  11. Dion starfire  •  Nov 27, 2013 @12:57 pm

    @Anne Mouse: Catholic dogma and beliefs include systems whereby they can be changed or updated when necessary. Just as with secular matters there will be groups that want more change, and groups that want less. Hence the 'conservative catholic' label.

    tl;dr Everything is relative. Catholicism has it's own internal range of conservatism to liberalism.

  12. Dion starfire  •  Nov 27, 2013 @1:03 pm

    @HamonRye your statement sounds kind of like '… the wannabe catholics and the REAL catholics'. That sort of comparison (real vs wannabe) is almost guaranteed to offend when used seriously.

  13. TomB  •  Nov 27, 2013 @1:09 pm

    Listen Respectfully, Then Agree or Disagree…Except on Dogma

    Sounds exactly like what the Pope said:

    “Nor do I believe that the papal magisterium [pope’s teaching] should be expected to offer a definitive or complete word on every question which affects the church and the world. It is not advisable for the pope to take the place of local bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory."

    - Evangelii Gaudium

  14. CJK Fossman  •  Nov 27, 2013 @1:15 pm

    @HamOnRye

    I'm not defensive, I'm calling you out for labeling people 'nominal Catholics.' Neither you nor I have any business making judgments about any other person's seriousness about being Catholic.

  15. Jacob H  •  Nov 27, 2013 @1:31 pm

    @CJK

    That's reading quite a bit into what he wrote. HOR was just trying to interpret the tweets in question. If you have a better interpretation, lets hear it. More importantly, recognizing the existence of nominal Catholics is not the same thing as passing judgement on an individual Catholic's seriousness. Just like if I referenced a division between "cultural Jews" (who may even be athiest) and Orthodox Jews, there would be no problem – because I wouldn't be passing judgement on, or even characterizing, any individual's faith.

    Just recognizing the existence of less-religious (but still affiliated) groups can't be considered offensive, that's a real stretch!

    Or are you saying that nominal Catholics don't exist…? Or just that no one can make reference to them…? Could I say it if someone self-described themself that way…?

  16. HamOnRye  •  Nov 27, 2013 @1:48 pm

    @ CJK Fossman

    Anne Mouse asked what was Ross Douthat reference to "Conservative Catholics". I provided my opinion as to what he was referencing, which is based on my interactions with Catholics.

    Furthermore, show me where I have labeled individuals as nominal Catholics, or are you disputing that they exist as a whole?

    If you are having difficulty with an acknowledgment of group of people vs a judgements of them, here is a definitive admission of judgement from me. My comment about you being defensive is dead on the mark.

  17. Jacob H  •  Nov 27, 2013 @1:51 pm

    great minds…

  18. Clark  •  Nov 27, 2013 @1:53 pm

    @anne mouse

    I make a conscious choice to read the "real" web, rather than twitter. If I actually wanted to read some columnist's tweets, I'd subscribe to his feed.

    I'm sorry. I will make sure to never embed tweets, snippets of articles, or anything else. I now realize that one reader of Popehat wants only 100% original content in return for the high cover charge he's paying, and will strive to never ever ever disappoint again.

  19. Clark  •  Nov 27, 2013 @1:53 pm

    @Jacob H

    I think in order for it to be infallible, he needs to preface his statement with "Peter says".

    One conservative Catholic just laughed out loud. Well played.

  20. Clark  •  Nov 27, 2013 @1:54 pm

    @HamOnRye

    @ CJK Fossman

    Anne Mouse asked what was Ross Douthat reference to "Conservative Catholics". I provided my opinion as to what he was referencing, which is based on my interactions with Catholics.

    Furthermore, show me where I have labeled individuals as nominal Catholics, or are you disputing that they exist as a whole?

    I, for one, thought your answer was short, useful, and correct. Not sure why anyone's panties are in a knot over it.

  21. TomB  •  Nov 27, 2013 @2:11 pm

    It's been really fun reading dogmatically conservative Catholics try to re-interpret spin the current Pope's statements their way.

    It's even more fun to hear liberal of all stripes shower the pontiff with accolades when he makes a statement they interpret as supporting them, only to become deathly quiet when he does something, er, Catholic, like lecture Ob/Gyns on the evils of abortion or excommunicate a priest in Australia who supported the ordination of women.

    Oh, how we laugh…..

    I've never been a big fan of the Jesuits, but this guy plays the media like a Stradivarius.

  22. jerslan  •  Nov 27, 2013 @2:36 pm

    @TomB

    The Pope has publicly stated that Catholic Doctrine does not allow for the ordination of women, however that does not preclude them from having more active leadership roles in the Church.

    The Catholic teachings also view ALL forms of birth control (including condoms, the pill, etc..) as a sin (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk … yes it's satirical, but as with most satire it has a grain of truth to it).

    These are both well known "Catholic Teachings"… Not all Catholics, particularly in the US, agree with this… For instance, I've actually heard Pro-Choice Catholics refer to themselves as "Abortion Catholics"…. I find that description odd and almost an oxymoron… Then again, I describe myself as a "Non-Practicing Catholic" (meaning I don't go to Church… unless it's for a family event like a wedding, first communion, funeral, etc..), so who am I to judge? (Note: the "Who am I to judge?" mentality is actually a core teaching of Christ and is essentially what the Pope is calling for when he talks about acceptance of homosexuality and people with different views).

    Why are you shocked that Pope Francis would espouse the teachings of Christ while still upholding the Church's own internal laws? I'm more shocked by people who preach hatred in the name of Christ while quoting from the Old Testament (which held many views Christ later contradicted, part of why he was so controversial in his time).

  23. CJK Fossman  •  Nov 27, 2013 @2:52 pm

    @HamOnRye

    I would never call myself conservative today because so many self-identified conservatives I know are acting like morons.

    Therefore I think you called me a "nominal Catholic."

    That doesn't make me defensive. I know how I practice my faith and how I fail to.

    One of the ways I'm failing right now is to let your ignorant opinion piss me off.

    And did you really forget that you equated conservative Catholics with real Catholics and lumped all the rest into the fake Catholic category?

  24. Marconi Darwin  •  Nov 27, 2013 @3:11 pm

    So when the Pope says that this capitalism thingy has not been practised all that well and/or seems unlikely to produce desirable results, he obviously means that we should all be communists.

    Dunno, but how should Jesus be interpreted? Or do you just repeal and replace him?

  25. Kyle  •  Nov 27, 2013 @3:12 pm

    Clearly there is Catholicism in degrees. When a person is offended by the use of the word "nominal" after it was thrown out there not referencing anyone in particular, that sort of outs said offended person as fearing they are being referenced (as "nominal") for some reason. Helpful debate hint. Now everyone knows about your internal religious insecurities.

  26. Patrick Non-White  •  Nov 27, 2013 @3:20 pm

    Where the present Pope's statements on capitalism are concerned, it's perhaps worth remembering that he comes from Argentina, which has a capitalist economy in the sense that Fascist Italy had a capitalist economy.

    Meaning it's a basket case mix of command economy and crony plutocrats, and has been for decades.

  27. Chris Ryan  •  Nov 27, 2013 @3:30 pm

    being a former Catholic (thats a story for a different day), the conservative (versus not conservative) Catholic is similar to the discussion when I was growing up about being an "American Catholic"

    Generally speaking, when talking strictly religion and not politics, a conservative catholic is one who holds to all the dogma/beliefs/rules as laid out by the Vatican. A liberal catholic tends more towards a belief system that the bible and the church provide an outline on how to live your life, with the majority of decisions being the minor leaves on the tree, as long as you hold true to the core, the rest is a matter of opinion.

    In short, conservative Catholics look to the priesthood (especially the Pope) for all the answers; liberal Catholics look to the priesthood for guidance, and then try to determine the answers for themselves.

  28. Jacob H  •  Nov 27, 2013 @3:32 pm

    @CJK

    He referenced the division between two types of Catholics: "those who are nominally Catholic and those who are serious about being Catholic.". Since you clearly take it seriously, I think he was calling you conservative, not nominal!

    Furthermore, you know what he didn't do? Say that those were the only two types of Catholic that there were

    Therefore, your argument that since you aren't a "conservative" Catholic, that therefore you were being called "nominal" is just flat wrong (as if "nominal" were an insult – certain Catholics self-identify that way). Taking this so personally, and resorting to calling others' opinions "ignorant" does indeed smack of extreme defensiveness

    @Kyle – Nailed it

  29. David C  •  Nov 27, 2013 @3:46 pm

    I would never call myself conservative today because so many self-identified conservatives I know are acting like morons.

    This is rather silly. A football coach could be called a "conservative playcaller" and that would not mean he was associated with Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan; it would mean he tended to call a lot of low-risk plays. And it would be silly for him to object to the term on the basis of his politics.

    In the same way, calling someone "conservative" in the context of their religion is not the same as calling them "conservative" in the context of American politics. As it happens, there is some overlap (mostly on social issues) and some contrast (mostly on economic issues) between those two groups.

    But to be fair, CJK has a point. You can be in favor of certain Church reforms and therefore not be "conservative" in the Catholic sense, and yet still be "serious about being Catholic."

  30. TomB  •  Nov 27, 2013 @3:49 pm

    Why are you shocked that Pope Francis would espouse the teachings of Christ while still upholding the Church's own internal laws?

    Do you have the right person? I'm not "shocked" about anything the Pope says, other than the way he's been saying it.

  31. anne mouse  •  Nov 27, 2013 @3:59 pm

    conservative Catholics look to the priesthood (especially the Pope) for all the answers;

    That's a reasonable definition of a "conservative catholic" (all kidding aside about how redundant that phrase is, never mind how ironic it is that we use "catholic" to mean "sectarian"), but it's clearly not the definition Ross D. was using.

    healthy for conservative Catholics to learn how to disagree w/a pope

    I think he was using "conservative" in a US-political sense, as in "strongly supports the free market, even in situations like education, health insurance or social welfare, where the rest of the world prefers government intervention."
    (Side note: such a person may be conservative in the literal sense (e.g., opposed to further regulation of securities markets such as a return to Glass-Steagal), or reactionary (e.g. seeking to end food stamps or medicare), or in between. What do you call somebody who opposes only the provisions of Obamacare that haven't yet gone into effect?)

  32. Jason  •  Nov 27, 2013 @4:05 pm

    In my church we have a word that describes liberal catholics. We call them "Lutherans."

  33. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Nov 27, 2013 @4:25 pm

    Many years ago The National Review made what I think is the best reply of all time to a self-proclaimed Catholic who didn't want to listen to the then Pope (no idea which one). Somebody wrote a long letter to the Review asserting that he, while Catholic, didn't feel constrained by the Pope's pronouncements. The Review's editors printed the letter, with the reply; "Congratulations, you are a Protestant."

  34. jerslan  •  Nov 27, 2013 @4:26 pm

    @TomB

    "shocked" may have been a poor choice of words…

    Liberals applaud the Pope for making statements that (even if only in a vague sense) support their position. They very likely remain silent when he does something they might oppose, because they're applauding him for teaching a "Judge not lest ye be judged" attitude. It would be hypocritical of them to turn around and immediately criticize him for enforcing Church Law and preaching Dogma.

  35. TomB  •  Nov 27, 2013 @4:34 pm

    It would be hypocritical of them to turn around and immediately criticize him for enforcing Church Law and preaching Dogma.

    It's never stopped them before.

  36. Clark  •  Nov 27, 2013 @4:47 pm

    @Patrick Non-White

    Where the present Pope's statements on capitalism are concerned, it's perhaps worth remembering that he comes from Argentina, which has a capitalist economy in the sense that Fascist Italy had a capitalist economy.

    …or in the way that the United States has a TARP / bank bailout / GM / Solyndra / etc. crony- capitalist economy.

  37. naught_for_naught  •  Nov 27, 2013 @5:12 pm

    Synthesis & Summary: Can we get off the gay marriage and abortion issues and address what actually afflicts the people: "trickle-down economics" and a financial system that oppresses rather than serves. The Pope's statements aren't as much anchored by his experience as an Argentinian, which Patrick suggests, as they are an accurate characterization of reality in the U.S. and Europe.

  38. Patrick Non-White  •  Nov 27, 2013 @5:16 pm

    So he's an autodidact, a man who's learned all about the reality of life in the U.S. and Europe from all the way over in Argentina, by reading magazines?

    God save us all from autodidacts.

  39. TomB  •  Nov 27, 2013 @5:18 pm

    Can we get off the gay marriage and abortion issues

    Not sure who "we" are here, but this pope doesn't seem to be shying away from gay marriage or abortion issues, the media's dreams notwithstanding.

  40. HamOnRye  •  Nov 27, 2013 @5:26 pm

    @CJK Fossman

    @HamOnRye
    I would never call myself conservative today because so many self-identified conservatives I know are acting like morons.

    Therefore I think you called me a "nominal Catholic."

    So here is the heart of the issue! You dont like "Conservatives" and stand in judgement against them. So Ross Douthat's use of the term "conservative catholic" and my opinion of conservative vs nominal has set off a Pavlovian bell for your "Not Conservative Catholic Dog."

    That doesn't make me defensive. I know how I practice my faith and how I fail to.

    One of the ways I'm failing right now is to let your ignorant opinion piss me off.?

    Like hell it doesn't. Whats next? Are you going to tell me that the sky is actually red? Your so damn defensive you just typed an entire paragraph that contradicts your point.

    And did you really forget that you equated conservative Catholics with real Catholics and lumped all the rest into the fake Catholic category?.

    How about I use the term Serious instead of Conservative and you have your "Not Conservative Catholic Dog" cease and desist on humping my leg.

  41. Matt  •  Nov 27, 2013 @5:30 pm

    @Jacob H

    I think in order for it to be infallible, he needs to preface his statement with "Peter says".

    Gotta play Topper, sorry: It's "Simon Peter says" ;p

    @Chris Ryan – as a Catholic who's probably somewhere in between, I'd say that's a decent definition of conservative vs liberal Catholics.

    @Jason:

    In my church we have a word that describes liberal catholics. We call them "Lutherans."

    From my understanding, that's only so long as they're not part of the Missouri Synod ;p (My dad was raised Lutheran, but they were more ELCA).

    As far as capitalist Catholicism vs commie Catholicism (or whatever) – take a look at the Acts of the Apostles, and how the community supposedly would sell what the individual had, to be shared amongst the members, as need dictated. Always seemed pretty close to communism to me.

  42. Chris Ryan  •  Nov 27, 2013 @5:31 pm

    I tried to be careful to state that my definition was apolitical as there is a huge difference between a conservative (religion) Catholic and a conservative (politics) catholic and a conservative (both) catholic (hello current Tea Party manifestation).

  43. naught_for_naught  •  Nov 27, 2013 @5:51 pm

    @Patrick Non-White

    Not just magazines, I'm sure he has basic cable too.

  44. Dan  •  Nov 27, 2013 @6:05 pm

    So he's an autodidact, a man who's learned all about the reality of life in the U.S. and Europe from all the way over in Argentina, by reading magazines?

    God save us all from autodidacts.

    <sarcasm>Yeah, 'cause he's got to have a little piece of paper saying he has a degree in Americaneology before he can comment on America or its economic practices</sarcasm>

  45. Anon-UV-Squirrel  •  Nov 27, 2013 @6:51 pm

    @Jason

    In my church we have a word that describes liberal catholics. We call them "Lutherans."

    We jokingly call ourselves Catholic Lite. LOL

    Oh, and if you don't realize it, we Lutherans have out extreme conservative synods. I always laughed at how the Wisconsin Synod called the Missouri Synod the Missouri Sinners. The Missouri Synod being very conservative is positively liberal in compared to the Wisconsin Synod. LOL

  46. AlphaCentauri  •  Nov 27, 2013 @10:24 pm

    It's an interesting discussion and all, but there still aren't enough men entering the priesthood for the Catholic church to have the luxury of encouraging large families and seeking new converts. They're closing parishes in the US, not because there are fewer parishioners in each than in the average Protestant church, but because they can't provide priests to staff them. And many other parishes now have only a single priest living alone in a big rectory, or a single priest traveling between twinned parishes, or a single priest making rounds to mission parishes, or priests here from Africa or Asia trying to make their English understood over tinny public address systems in echo-y stone churches. So while I'm happy that Francis has made people more enthusiastic about living Christian lives, unless there is a sudden change in attitude toward lifelong celibacy, the Catholic church is going to be getting increasingly less catholic.

  47. G. Filotto  •  Nov 28, 2013 @4:45 am

    Global financial alchemy does not require you to live in the USA or Europe to be discerned. In fact, one could argue that living outside of those regimes helps one be less brainwashed into blind acceptance of them.

  48. PedroS  •  Nov 28, 2013 @9:28 am

    @Matt

    "As far as capitalist Catholicism vs commie Catholicism (or whatever) – take a look at the Acts of the Apostles, and how the community supposedly would sell what the individual had, to be shared amongst the members, as need dictated. Always seemed pretty close to communism to me."

    A few years after those practices, the Church in Jerusalem was in such dire economical straits that Paul had to collect money from the faithful in Greece to help their Jerusalem brethren. Coincidence, or not? ;-)

  49. AlphaCentauri  •  Nov 28, 2013 @9:37 am

    There's a lot of ground between a collectivist system that has no incentive to be productive and a capitalist system that requires growth to function. "We never wanted for anything" is a description of a comfortable life, not one of mindless stagnation. Religions that preach that "desire is suffering" or "blessed are the poor in spirit" try to support people trying to find that sweet spot between the extremes.

  50. Matt  •  Nov 28, 2013 @3:55 pm

    @PedroS – I never said it *worked*, just that there's a biblical basis for it :D

  51. Peter B  •  Nov 29, 2013 @9:23 am

    Meaning it's a basket case mix of command economy and crony plutocrats, and has been for decades.

    Completely unlike any North American economy of course.

    I also note that the Pope, having the authority to define the doctrine for his Church, is also taking it upon himself to define doctrine for other religions as well:

    …authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.

    And yes, that is a direct quotation.

  52. Careless  •  Dec 8, 2013 @11:36 pm

    The Pope calling Mohammed not a true Muslim is pretty funny.