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Sunday, October 23, 2016

WASHINGTON — What do the Roman Catholic Church and the American political system have in common? Both are divided into factions that neither trust nor understand each other, and both confront a crisis of governance.

Divisions in the Church are usually seen as mimicking those of secular politics. Conservatives or traditionalists are pitted against liberals or progressives. But Timothy Radcliffe, a Dominican friar and the former head of his order, suggests a more fruitful way to understand the Catholic split.

The conflict goes back to competing reactions to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council inaugurated in the 1960s by Pope John XXIII. The relevant camps — Radcliffe describes them in his 2005 book, What Is the Point of Being a Christian? — are the “Kingdom Catholics” and the “Communion Catholics.”

The Kingdom Catholics, corresponding to those we usually call progressive, were “exhilarated by the council’s embrace of modernity” and “see our church as primarily the People of God on pilgrimage towards the Kingdom.”

“The Christ whom they cherished,” he writes, “was the one who overthrew the boundaries between human beings, who touched lepers, reached out to foreigners and gathered us into the People of God.” Theirs was “an outward-looking theology” that was “rooted in experience” and emphasized “liberation.” The Kingdom Catholics look back to the council era as a time when “everything seemed possible.”

The Communion Catholics view the same period quite differently — as the equivalent of “ecclesiastical urban planning, tearing up our neighborhood.” This group, in which Pope Benedict XVI is the leading figure, insists that the church “stand firm in the proclamation of our faith.”

Radcliffe explains their skepticism of the Kingdom Catholics’ attitude toward modern ideas: “If one embraces the language of modernity too uncritically, then we are likely to lose our identity and be absorbed without a trace. … We must not let ourselves be assimilated to the world. We must not be afraid to underline what is distinctive about our faith, otherwise we will disappear.”

While the Communion Catholics can fairly be seen as conservative, their views do not always conform to what most American conservatives believe. Benedict, for example, was tough on the injustices of capitalism, a view consistent with a traditionalist critique of modern materialism.

  • The Catholic Church has been divided for centuries. At one point it had three Popes simultaneously, one was Italian and elected via the usual college of Cardinals conclave, one was French and another Spanish! The Catholic Church has suffered the effects of divisiveness, corruption, and claims of misbehavior by priests for many years…and remains the largest Christian denomination in the world.
    The biggest problem for them, and for organized religion in general, is their focus on material wealth, the extremes they have embraced to achieve their material goals, and the marginalization of women.
    It would not surprise me if the only countries where religions is still powerful by mid century are the Americas and the Islamic world.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      The marginalization of women isn’t the only group.

      The Catholic Church has made tons of enemies all over the world, just in the name of forcing people to convert to their belief.

      In past centuries and still today to a small degree, in order to make people conform to their beliefs, they have committed atrocities worldwide. For one example alone, a Christian Sect called The Cathars, the Catholic Church waged war against them between 1208 for approximately 2 generations, killing men, women and children alike to a approximate figure of 500,000 people.

      Look up Cathars and Languedoc, it’s all there – (www)(dot)(cathar)(dot)(info)

      And, this is ONLY what we know and only part of it. There is a lot more we don’t know about that is either hidden or not documented of their atrocities.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    The “church” doomed itself to history when they did everything they could to prevent the Renaissance which ended the Dark Ages. The Renaissance was caused not by the church but by people learning about health issues, basic core values, education brought in by traders and scholars from the Middle East (Islam), from Asia (buddhism, Taoism and Confucius), from India (Hinduism).

    While Europe was still in the Dark Ages, these areas of the world were at the height of their civilizations, in their day, modern scientific principals which were applied to improving their county’s wellbeing. This was the knowledge Christianity rejected in every way it could, including murdering thousands of their own believers, imprisoning Priests who dared to counter religious doctrine.

    The Renaissance finally enabled people to have two choices, either get education and improve your life by breaking the chain of poverty and ignorance, or remain faithful to a belief which quashed liberty, knowledge and freedom.

    Most people choose knowledge and freedom. Religion from that point on became less powerful and less dominant in society, at least on a secular level.

    We can thank these far-thinking people who sacrificed their lives in favor of knowledge and freedom, which today have allowed us to have a modern world where science has given us medicines which cure many diseases, modern conveniences which allow us to live the modern life we have today.

    Without people breaking the shackles of religion, we would still be in the Dark Ages, diseases would still be thought of being caused by Evil Spirits, we would still be cooking over an open flame in the middle of a one-room hovel, the Church would still be using torture and murder to keep the faith and our Universe would still be thought of as only our little piece of dirt called Earth and flat, governed by an all-seeing, all-knowing artificial god who never existed, at least not in the way people were “forced” to believe.

    • All I want to know is – if you have been baptized a Catholic and leave that religion,
      how do you get your name off their list?

      • Stop going to church and giving alms. Organized religious organizations are only interested in dummies that donate their hard earned money to charlatans.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        Tell them your Gay. They’ll probably take you off their list faster than greased lightening…………

        But, play with the boys and they’ll elevate you to Cardinal. Emm, maybe even Pope.

      • whodatbob

        Who cares! When you leave you left. If I quit an organization I could care less if they are dumb enought to keep my name on their list and wast money sending me junk mail.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          haha, best of all, don’t open it up and send it back.

          They’ll have to pay the return postage. Most of these organizations use Bulk Mail, but don’t consider people sending it back.

          I do the same with Credit Card offers as well.

    • whodatbob

      Well written post but very misleading. India and the Middle East are back water compared to Western civilization. Moat of the Ivy League Schools were started as Religious Institutions of higher learning. The oldest University west of the Mississippi River is a Catholic University founded by Jusuits. Mississippi River discovered by Joliet and Pere Marquette a French Catholic priest. Columbus, an Italian Catholic, funded by Catholic Queen Isabella of Spain is credited with the discovery of America. It is known that Vickings and Irish Catholic Monks were here before Columbus. Your theory does not hold Water. Most Colonies were founded by religious people trying to escape religious persecution. If religion was holding these people back the Americas would not be what they are today.

      I’ll give you seperation of Church and State is a constant battle, they are so intertwined. Each has a hard time staying out of the others way.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        Yes, they are NOW. But, during the Dark Ages it was totally reversed. The main centers of knowledge and learning was in the Middle East, Asia and parts of India. Some might even claim Africa was at the height of their civilization at that time.

        As far as religion being a Spear Point of any reason for establishing colonies, that is wrong. The Americas, especially Middle and South America was first explored by Gold and Spice Seekers who were under order from the Catholic Church to not only seek Gold but to force populations to convert to Christianity or else IF they found any to convert. The Inca and the Aztec civilization was on decline when they were first discovered. The Spanish decimated the rest of their civilization by giving them diseases which they had no immunity to, along with weapons, in which case, they thought the Spanish were gods. Soon they found out they weren’t gods, tried to fight them and lost. In the mean time though, the Spanish sent back to Spain thousands of pounds of Gold, not converts.

        Even in the very first american colonies, yes, they were seeking religious freedom after colonies were established. But, businesses first stepped foot here seeking cheap labor, and products to bring back to the old countries. They just used religion as a way to attract cheap labor, usually under servitude.

        Even Columbus sought Gold and Spices first. Some might theorize the only reason Columbus even took those voyages was because he was totally broke and hoped to build up his reputation, hopefully finding Gold and Spices in the Americas.

        Religion in all these cases was an Afterthought.

        The Vikings (Norse) set foot on America approximately as far back and the 10th century AD.

        In Ireland, the Catholics didn’t establish itself until around 1111 AD. This would place Catholics being with the Vikings past 200 years after the Viking first came here. Impossible, there were no Catholics among the Vikings during this time. Perhaps much later on.

        • whodatbob

          Again it was people of faith going against the flawed teachings of the faith that ended the Dark Ages. Not all people of faith follow blindly. And the height of civilization in the east and Africa pails in comparison to Western Civilization. I did not set a time fram for the Vikings and Irish just mentioned they came before Columbus. What gave you the idea that I thought the vikings were Catholic? The Scandinavians were never Catholi, doubt they are to this day. Columbus was in search of a shorter route to China and India. The US was the focus of my post. Yes the sponsors of our original 13 Colonies were the Repubilcans (money grabbers) of the day but those who populated these colonies were seeking relious freedom.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            You said:
            “It is known that Vickings and Irish Catholic Monks were here before Columbus”.

            I never said the Viking were Catholic. I only said they may have went along for the ride with the Viking many years after the Viking discovered America.

            Actually, I never heard of a catholic being with the Viking in any context. Also, the Viking weren’t here for very long at all. So, I question even pondering the idea that any Catholic would be with the Viking here at all. At the most, just speculation in all honesty.

            And, you did not set a time frame for when aftermentioned civilizations were higher in development then Europes “western civilization” for that matter. I did.

            Yes, Columbus was searching for a shorter route. But, why? He was primarily looking for routes to ship products such as spice and gold wasn’t out of the question.

            Many of the original colonist came here under false pretenses. Basically, they wanted to get out of Europe so badly, they’d adopt just about anything to do it, even putting themselves into servitude even before they left port.

            Yes, religion was a motivator, but not the only one.

            Have a nice night:)

  • Lovefacts

    The church sent us into the Dark Ages once. Between their denial of science plus reproductive and equal rights for women, it looks like they and the religious right are attempting to do so again.

    Why? Power! The churches have been a very powerful force in the world re government and control of the people. Since the 1970s, the churches have pushed for more power and control of the government and laws dealing with women and reproductive rights. Seems everyone’s forgotten that the Constitution was written to protect us from this.

    Adams believed that religion was stronger if it was kept out of government. The Baptists demanded the separation of church and state after they’d been run out of RI and MD for not converting to Catholism and MA for not converting to Calvinism.

    • whodatbob

      See my reply to Michael.

  • This article is the “sanitized version” of the true systemic corruption that not only exists and has been exposed by the secular press….BUT…BUT….the FACT that the problems are NOT just a product of our 60’s modern era culture, but rather a dawning realization that this secret CRAP has existed for centuries.
    SECRECY still exists and reigns supreme as the mode of daily Vatican operations. It STINKS, and everyone, even Catholics as myself, have to be now honest and admit it STINKS.
    I find it strangely perverse that some Catholics will stand and march for hours in the cold in front of Planned Parenthood facilities all over the country, but these same people have never even considered protesting the atrocities of abuse of children in front of their diocesan chanceries. The Church laity are not “sheep”, but hypocritical “ostriches” with their silly heads in the sand. They are “enablers once removed”.
    I did some primary school math using my diocese (Cleveland) as an example. Between 4% and 5% of the clergy were under investigation AFTER the lid blew off the sex abuse scandal here. That represented about 20 individuals – BUT, what is NEVER pointed out is perhaps as much as 80% of the clergy would have had to have been aware that these individuals were problematic BEFORE the lid was blown off by the secular press. This too is an unsung OUTRAGE, because those who knew and did nothing were true enables. Enablers of CRIMES and CRIMINALS in their ranks.
    As a Catholic – I now call myself an “attending” Catholic rather than a “practicing” Catholic because I no longer accept the temporal leadership of my Church as absolute, and therefore have disqualified myself from receiving Communion. I still believe in Jesus as my Savior. I believe the laity needs to DEMAND a housecleaning of his age old corrupt institution because I believe it is nothing like Jesus intended to evolve into. A Pope and other hierarchy living like a king and princes is an embarrassment – at least to me.
    I also believe, that if I expressed these views under my real name, my life and my family’s lives would be in serious jeopardy…so I have to admit that I am also a coward…and perhaps an enabler of something I find detestable.

    • Michael Kollmorgen


      I bet the Vatican Archives has enough dirt in it that will fill Hustler’s and the Enquirer’s Magazine pages for centuries to come and make Chester the Molester look like a Saint in comparison.

      What the hell, they’ve had roughly 2000 years to accumulate the stuff.

      I used to live in Cleveland before 15 years ago. Lived there most of my life. I know, or at least know some of the stuff you mention. Yes, I was baptized Catholic. Thankfully, I never got involved in the faith.

      I could tell you stories that would curdle your stomach of what the Catholic Church did and believing in it did to my mothers family in Astabula maybe 80 years ago now.

      No, none of it had anything to do with this sex scandal. But, I imagine it happened there just like anywhere else.

      • whodatbob

        Got this one right. All these pastors, priest and whatever the title they go by, are human wirh all the human foibales. All make stupid mistakes, and they all coverup as best they can. The Cathoilc Church keeps records forever. Most others don’t keep centralized records. And the Catholics are the largest Christian denominTION.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          You are right.

          Then logically, they, the Catholics, have the greater responsibility to set the records straight and correct themselves, if nothing else than because of their dominant role in western religion.