Is the Catholic Church in America Becoming Conservative?

May 07, 2024 00:39:16
Is the Catholic Church in America Becoming Conservative?
Crisis Point
Is the Catholic Church in America Becoming Conservative?

May 07 2024 | 00:39:16

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Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

A recent AP story claims that the Catholic Church in America is being taken over by conservatives and traditionalists, pushing liberal Catholics out the door. Is this true, and if so, what does it mean?
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:17] Speaker A: A recent AP story claims that the Catholic Church in America is becoming more traditional, more conservative, and booting liberal Catholics out to door. Is the AP right? And if so, what does that mean? That's what we're talking about today on crisis pulling. Hello, I'm Eric Samuels, your host header in chief of Crisis magazine. Before we get started, just want to. [00:00:36] Speaker B: Tell people to smash that like, button. Tap it, hit it, click it. [00:00:42] Speaker A: Whatever you do, just make sure you like this video. If you actually like it, you can wait till the end. If you really want to. Also subscribe to the channel. But don't hit the notify button because you have a life out the outside the Internet. You don't want your phone telling you what to do. Also, you can follow us on social media at crisismag. I really want to encourage people to subscribe to our email newsletter. Just go to crisismagazine.com putting your email address, and you'll get articles sent to you every day, two a morning, every day. [00:01:10] Speaker B: Okay, so I want to talk about. [00:01:13] Speaker A: This AP article a lot of people are talking about. Associated Press did article and it was first titled parishes perishes, turmoil as traditionalism sweeps us Catholic Church. I think they changed the article title after that, but. [00:01:27] Speaker B: But before I do, I just want to. [00:01:29] Speaker A: I think this is part of a larger issue about the, the Catholic Church in America supposedly becoming more conservative. And just a spoiler alert. [00:01:37] Speaker B: I do think it is, but I. [00:01:40] Speaker A: Think there's something to think about here. [00:01:42] Speaker B: We, we often talk about the fact. [00:01:45] Speaker A: That the Catholic Church is declining in the western world, particularly in America, that. [00:01:51] Speaker B: The numbers are very obvious, that less and less people are going to mass regularly. [00:01:56] Speaker A: Less and less people are identifying as Catholic. [00:01:58] Speaker B: And it's been a huge drop in. [00:02:00] Speaker A: The last 20 years and been a significant drop in the last 50 years. I mean, that's just the reality. And we often talk about the people who leave. Rightly so. We focus on those who have left the Catholic Church. Why did they leave? What were the reasons? What are they doing now? All that type stuff. [00:02:16] Speaker B: We talk about that. [00:02:17] Speaker A: What we don't talk about very much, though, is who is left. Because when you have people leave an. [00:02:24] Speaker B: Organization, it reshapes the existing membership of that organization. [00:02:33] Speaker A: And I think that's exactly what's happening here in a lot of ways. [00:02:38] Speaker B: To use an example from outside, the catholic communion, the United Methodist Church, which. [00:02:43] Speaker A: Is what I grew up as, they recently voted to allow gay people to be ordained. I think it was something like that. And it was pretty overwhelming. And so one could see that and say, because they've been debating this for years, and somebody could say, wow, look, the United Methodist Methodist Church is becoming more liberal. And it is. But is that because they're recruiting more liberal people, people in the United Methodist church are becoming more liberal? Why is it that now they're voting. [00:03:13] Speaker B: For this, but in the past, they didn't? [00:03:16] Speaker A: Well, what they don't mention in the story, in the headlines about the United Methodist Church now accepting gay ministers is the fact that over the past few. [00:03:26] Speaker B: Years, a lot of United Methodist local churches, what we Catholics call parishes, have. [00:03:33] Speaker A: Left the United Methodist Church. This has been a huge movement because basically what happened was they were allowed to leave by the United Methodist Church. Globally. They were allowed to leave and join other denominations that are kind of unmethodist, but more conservative. The church I grew up in, that. [00:03:50] Speaker B: My mom still belongs to, they left. [00:03:53] Speaker A: The United Methodist Church because they didn't like what was going on, the push for more, you know, for homosexuals to be ministers and gay marriage and things like that. So they left. And a lot of United Methodist local churches did that. [00:04:07] Speaker B: So what that meant was the only. [00:04:10] Speaker A: People left in the United Methodist church. [00:04:12] Speaker B: Were the people who already supported the gay agenda. [00:04:17] Speaker A: And so it wasn't that the United Methodist church became more liberal because they. They added more liberal members or their existing members became more liberal. It's because all the conservative members left, or at least a large portion of them. [00:04:31] Speaker B: Well, the same thing is happening in. [00:04:34] Speaker A: The catholic church in America, but in reverse. What's happening is, and by the way, you know, I met this church is going to die out probably in the next 30 or 40 years because of this. But this is happening in the catholic church, but in reverse, because what's happening is, is that lots and lots of. [00:04:54] Speaker B: Catholics have left the catholic church, meaning. [00:04:58] Speaker A: They no longer practice the catholic faith. And this is accelerated over the years. [00:05:03] Speaker B: Well, who is it that's leaving, and. [00:05:05] Speaker A: Who is it that's remaining? [00:05:08] Speaker B: And what you see is the people remaining are those who are naturally more. [00:05:13] Speaker A: Conservative, because to be Catholic, a practicing Catholic, means to be conservative on some level. Now, I will be the first to say some of these labels are not great, because when we think conservative, we think political, Trump, things like that. We think liberal, we think Biden, Democrats. That's not always a perfect fit. And, in fact, this ap story, when I get into it, you'll see they fall into that sometimes. But generally speaking, to be Catholic is to be conservative, meaning you're conserving the. [00:05:41] Speaker B: Traditions handed on to you by previous generations, all the way back to the apostles. [00:05:48] Speaker A: St. Paul talks about this. And so naturally, people who remain in the catholic church in this time of. [00:05:55] Speaker B: Crisis, compared to those who leave, are. [00:05:58] Speaker A: Going to be a lot more conservative. Thus the overall makeup of who's remaining. [00:06:03] Speaker B: Practicing Catholics is going to be more. [00:06:05] Speaker A: Conservative than it was. And this also speaks to a dynamic that I've thought about for decades and I've seen play out for decades. Sadly, what we see is we have, you have a generation of Catholics that believe what the church teaches. [00:06:23] Speaker B: They practice the faith, and then you. [00:06:25] Speaker A: Have a generation, this is, now we're. [00:06:27] Speaker B: Getting to the baby boomer generation that still go to mass regularly, but they. [00:06:35] Speaker A: Don'T believe everything the church teaches. This is what happened in the 1960s, starting the fifties, sixties, seventies, you have an entire generation, which is mostly the baby boomer generation. [00:06:46] Speaker B: They go to church still, but they. [00:06:48] Speaker A: Don'T believe everything their parents went to church and did believe. They go to church, but don't believe everything the church teaches. Well, then their kids, what do they do? They simply don't go to go to mass anymore. [00:07:01] Speaker B: They go when they're growing up, but then they leave. [00:07:04] Speaker A: And it doesn't always fit perfectly. The baby boomer next generation, all that. But the point is, is that if you don't believe what the church teaches, one generation will stay in the church. They'll try to change the church, they'll still go to mass because it basically is baked into them. But if you are raised not believing everything the church teaches, not believing it. [00:07:26] Speaker B: Really is a divine institution founded by. [00:07:30] Speaker A: Jesus Christ, and that it cannot err when it teaches on faith and morals authoritatively. [00:07:36] Speaker B: If you don't really believe that, then. [00:07:37] Speaker A: There'S no purpose to continue to go to mass. So a lot of people, they will then leave. And so this is exactly what's happening. This is something that's often missed, I. [00:07:47] Speaker B: Think, when we're talking about these changes. [00:07:51] Speaker A: The catholic church becoming more conservative, is the fact that what we're really seeing is a lot of non practicing, a lot of Catholics who didn't really believe and were more liberal, they've left. [00:08:01] Speaker B: And so the only people left are the conservatives. [00:08:06] Speaker A: And this is a little bit of a challenge to fellow conservative traditional Catholics, is we, we have to, we can't act like we're taking over the church because necessarily we're doing great evangelization. I do think some organizations are doing good job evangelization, doing things like that. [00:08:21] Speaker B: But a lot of it's just by. [00:08:23] Speaker A: A process of elimination. We're the only ones left. [00:08:27] Speaker B: And so that's why we're, we're kind. [00:08:29] Speaker A: Of starting to take over. [00:08:30] Speaker B: The main generation that was still going to mass but yet wanted to change. [00:08:37] Speaker A: Everything, didn't believe what the churches is. The baby boomer generation, of course, they're dying out. They're going to start to really die out soon. They're in their sixties, seventies and even eighties, I think. Well, I don't know if any of them are in their eighties yet. Sixties and seventies. So let's look real quick. I'm going to pull up the article. I'm not going to keep it on the screen because it has constant, like, movement on it or something, but like the idea. [00:09:00] Speaker B: But what we see here is it. [00:09:03] Speaker A: Says, oh, now the new title is a step back in time. America's Catholic Church sees an immense shift towards the old ways. And again, and so, like, you know, they changed. They have this nice little video here. And so it's this article by Tim Sullivan for AP, and it basically is. [00:09:18] Speaker B: Detailing what's going on in the Catholic Church in America. And I will say this, I was impressed by the article. [00:09:27] Speaker A: Not to say it didn't have some of the typical biases, typical misconceptions that somebody who's not really in the world would, would understand. I get that it's not going to be perfect. [00:09:38] Speaker B: That being said, it actually was pretty. [00:09:42] Speaker A: Accurate for a mainline corporate media account of something they don't really understand. [00:09:49] Speaker B: They didn't do a bad job. [00:09:51] Speaker A: So I'm going to go through the article a little bit and kind of give my thoughts on parts of the, parts of what said I'm not going to read the whole article. It's very long. I link to it in the show notes. Feel free to read the whole thing. But there's a few points I wanted to bring out because I think they really kind of reflect what's going on actually in the catholic church today. This is vitally important for us to understand kind of the battle going on within the catholic church so that we. [00:10:13] Speaker B: Can, I mean, frankly, make the church. [00:10:17] Speaker A: More conservative, more traditional, so that we can be more faithful. Jesus Christ. And that's what it comes down to, is faithfulness to. [00:10:26] Speaker B: Christ. [00:10:27] Speaker A: So it starts off and just says it was the music that changed. Or maybe that's just when many people at the pale brick catholic church in a quiet Wisconsin neighborhood finally began to. [00:10:37] Speaker B: Realize what was happening. [00:10:39] Speaker A: The choir director, a fixture at St. Maria Goretti for nearly 40 years, was suddenly gone. Contemporary hymns were replaced by music rooted in medieval Europe. [00:10:49] Speaker B: Okay. [00:10:49] Speaker A: I just thought that was kind of funny, because I've said for many years that the one thing that I feel. [00:10:55] Speaker B: Like was the hardest thing to change. [00:10:57] Speaker A: In a parish was the music. I've been involved, and I've seen other parishes where they get some good priests in a lot of good families there. They do some good stuff, good homilies, relatively reverent liturgies, and just terrible music. It's like the hardest thing to get rid of is what this article calls contemporary hymns, which we all know means the 1970s from full crap music that goes on so many parishes. And so the fact that it starts. [00:11:25] Speaker B: This article starts with the music, is. [00:11:28] Speaker A: What the first thing it starts with? I chuckle, because that exactly does represent, in a lot of ways, the last stand of progressive catholicism is the crap music that they foisted on us in the 1970s. Once that's removed, I feel like you've won the battle almost. It's almost over at that point. So they. So then it continues. It was like a step back in. [00:11:50] Speaker B: Time, said one former parishioner, still so. [00:11:54] Speaker A: Dazed by the tumultuous changes that began in 2021 with a new passage that he only spoke on a condition of anonymity. Okay, this is in the article a few times, is the radical break with tradition that these parishes had. And I use that, that phrase on purpose. That is the radical break from being a progressive parish to being gasp. And actually catholic parish. And they make it like this is like it was just done overnight. I mean, can you, can anybody here. [00:12:26] Speaker B: Believe that a catholic parish would change. [00:12:29] Speaker A: Its liturgy so quickly and overnight and so radically overnight? That's probably the first time that's ever happened in the history of the church. [00:12:37] Speaker B: Oh, wait a minute. [00:12:38] Speaker A: That's what happened in every catholic parish in the late 1960s, early 1970s. So it is kind of an irony that this is often portrayed by liberal Catholics as, how dare you break with the tradition we have in this parish, a tradition that dates back only maybe 40, 50 years, whereas what happened before was a break from thousands of years. So I do think that's interesting. It says, you know, across the United States, the Catholic Church is undergoing an immense shift. I mean, I give AP credit. They're not like this writer. He's not downplaying. He's not acting like it's not a big deal. It is a big deal. Generations of Catholics who embraced the modernizing tide sparked in the 1960s by Vatican II are increasingly giving way to religious conservatives who believe the church has been twisted by change. What's interesting. It says, like generations of Catholics who embrace the modernizing tide. Well, remember what I was just saying? No. What happened was, is a lot of Catholics actually left. A lot of Catholics just simply stayed because there was nowhere else to go because they know the Catholic Church is the only means of salvation. And then, yes, some did embrace the. [00:13:48] Speaker B: Changes, but to act like Catholics in. [00:13:52] Speaker A: The sixties, seventies, and eighties embraced the modernizing tide like they were like, oh, yeah, we're all for this really is not the reality. The fact is we were stuck with it. It was forced on us, and there. [00:14:05] Speaker B: Was nothing we could do about it in general. [00:14:07] Speaker A: And so we just kind of had to ride it out more than anything else. Like I said, there were pockets, especially in the baby boomer generation, who did embrace these changes, but it wasn't like there was a ground up upswelling of we all want these changes. So it also then goes on to say the changes are not happening everywhere. There's still plenty of liberal parishes, plenty that see themselves as middle of the road. Despite their growing influence, conservative Catholics remain a minority. And I think that's true, but it depends on how you define it. I would say that what you have in the Catholic Church today is you have a segment, almost exclusively older, of very progressive Catholics that's declining, decreasing because of age. Like they're dying out, they're leaving the Catholic Church. They're just like, no, why even bother to be here? But that, that is one segment. [00:14:58] Speaker B: You have another segment that's growing, which. [00:15:00] Speaker A: Is the conservative base. And I would lump in conservative Novus Orda Catholics with traditional latin mass attending Catholics here. But basically those who would say we need to embrace our traditions rather than run from them. But then I do think you still have a large number of Catholics who are just middle of the road, meaning. [00:15:19] Speaker B: They don't really, they're not on either. [00:15:22] Speaker A: Side and embracing like, oh, I'm a conservative Catholic. Just like, yeah, I'm Catholic. But they might not really think about it that much, honestly. They're like, yes, it's important that I go to mass each week. It's important that my kids receive the sacraments. But honestly, I don't really care about Pope Francis. I don't really care about the latest goings on in the church. I don't really care about a lot of this stuff. I might vote Democrat. I might vote Republican. [00:15:44] Speaker B: It just, my faith isn't that big. [00:15:46] Speaker A: Of an impact on my life. I think that's still a large number of Catholics. I think that segments also shrinking because you end up leaving after that. So it says, okay, so article continues. Generations of US Catholics are giving way to religious conservatives, is reshaped parishes and universities across the country, leaving them sometimes at odds with much of the catholic world. The progressive priests who dominated the US church in years after Vatican two are now in their seventies and eighties. Many are retired, some are dead. Younger priests, surveys show, are far more conservative. It was interesting, I was actually talking to my mom about this recently, and she's not catholic, so she doesn't really understand a lot of the inner workings of the Catholic Church. But I told her how seminarians on whole are conservative. They're not really liberal. And she was asking why that was. And I was saying, well, think about it. If you grow up in a progressive catholic home, first of all, there's probably. [00:16:44] Speaker B: Only going to be two, maybe three children. [00:16:46] Speaker A: So there's less, less potential vocations, priestly vocations already. And then also you're going to be taught a faith that is very watered down, that questions the catholic church on fundamental issues. And so why would one of those young men in one of his family say, you know what? [00:17:07] Speaker B: I'm going to give up the good. [00:17:09] Speaker A: Of marriage for this to become essentially a social worker. I'm going to embrace celibacy for social work. [00:17:17] Speaker B: Very few will do this. [00:17:19] Speaker A: I mean, a few who do might be ones who in previous generations were basically were homosexual. And so they basically like, well, this is a career I can go into. I'm not going to get married anyway. I'm talking about priests, maybe in the seventies, eighties, but now that's just not going to happen anymore. I mean, if they're homosexuals, they're just going to leave the catholic church. And so the point is, though, is you can get very few vocations from. [00:17:43] Speaker B: Those families on the other side. [00:17:46] Speaker A: Think about a conservative, traditional catholic family. [00:17:49] Speaker B: They have more kids, therefore, just by. [00:17:52] Speaker A: Definition, more potential priestly vocations. And then also they're being taught from a young age. The Catholic Church is the true church founded by Jesus Christ. It's a divine institution. Being a priest is being a Persona Christie being another Christ, that the sacraments are life giving, that they're the most important thing in the world, and a priest is the one who gives it to us. [00:18:17] Speaker B: When you're raised like that, oh, yeah. [00:18:20] Speaker A: You are maybe willing to look into the idea of giving up the good. [00:18:23] Speaker B: Of marriage and embracing celibacy for that. [00:18:26] Speaker A: Because that's far more than social work. You realize how important that is and that how life giving it is to. [00:18:32] Speaker B: Be a priest, not in the biological. [00:18:35] Speaker A: Sense, but in the spiritual sense. [00:18:36] Speaker B: So, of course, almost every seminarian entering. [00:18:40] Speaker A: The seminary in the United States now. [00:18:42] Speaker B: Catholic seminary, is already leaning conservative. [00:18:45] Speaker A: That's just the nature of things. It's not like there's been. That's the funny thing. It's a bottom up thing, not top down. It's not like the seminaries went conservative and then formed these young men to be conservative. That's not it at all. The seminaries did eventually become more conservative. I mean, I know there's still problems, but trust me, compared to, like, the. [00:19:06] Speaker B: 1980S and nineties, seminaries are way better now than they were back then. [00:19:11] Speaker A: But even that's not really what's really happening, is the young men started shaping it, the seminarians started shaping it, and it just got a more conservative culture. And so this is what. What has happened is it's really this bottom up effort that's happened. So, okay, so continuing on, it talks about why it is that some like it talks about. It gives these kind of sob stories about these people who, liberal Catholics who are no longer feel welcome, supposedly, and they're leaving. But then it does give credit the. [00:19:43] Speaker B: Fact that a lot of people just. [00:19:46] Speaker A: Simply, they welcome this new. This new old church. [00:19:49] Speaker B: They call it. [00:19:50] Speaker A: We want this ethereal experience as different from everything else in our lives, said Ben. I apologize. I mispronounce your name, who, until recently, left St. Maria's Goretti's young adult group. [00:20:02] Speaker B: Which saw membership skyrocket even as the. [00:20:05] Speaker A: Pair shrank amid the turmoil. Okay, there's a lot to unpack in that one sentence. [00:20:09] Speaker B: There first is Ben. [00:20:12] Speaker A: I don't know how pronounced your last name, so I'm not gonna say it. So I. Again, I apologize. Ben says, we want this ethereal experience as different from everything else in our lives. That's exactly it. And that's what I've been saying. And I'm not. I'm not like, I'm the genius who thought this. A lot of people are saying this. The church needs to zig when the culture zags and vice versa. When you see the dangers of our culture and the just complete emptiness of it, you want something different. And so when a catholic church imitates the culture, it's not attractive. [00:20:44] Speaker B: But when it is different, when it. [00:20:46] Speaker A: Says, no, we are something completely different, that's when it becomes attractive, and that's what's happening here. I also think it's funny that it says that he led the youth group, which saw membership skyrocket even as the parish shrank them into turmoil. In other words, it was young people who were embracing this change to go back to the old ways. This is the paradox that a lot of people outside the catholic church, or like progressive Catholics, they can't really see. And that is, as you go more back to the old ways, you attract the young, because the problem is older people, especially baby boomers, even people my generation, generation X, they're more set in their ways. They're just used to a certain thing, and so they just go through the motions. Whereas a young person's looking for something much greater, looking for like, how do I establish my identity in the world? Who am I? What kind of person am I? What kind of things do I believe? They look around, they see that there's just death and destruction and emptiness and meaninglessness out there and like, wow. What I see, though, in the Catholic Church, in the traditional catholic church, meaning the church as it's been for 2000 years, that's something outside of that, that's something above all that, that's something better than all that. And they embrace that. So it is interesting that it's the young people that are most attracted. So it then talks about something I thought was very insightful by this author. Again, what's his name? Tim Robinson, I think, or something like that. [00:22:14] Speaker B: He says if this movement emerged from. [00:22:17] Speaker A: Anywhere, I mean, this movement to more traditional ways, it might be the now. It might be a mild, demolished Denver football stadium and a borrowed military helicopter carrying Pope John Paul II. Some 500,000 people, including yours truly, descended on Denver in 1993 for the catholic. [00:22:35] Speaker B: Festival, World Youth Day. [00:22:37] Speaker A: When the pope's helicopter landed just outside Mile High stadium, the ground shook from the stomping. I think there's a real insight here. I do think World Youth in 1993 in Denver was a turning point in the Catholic Church in America. It's not when they were turned overnight where all of a sudden, you know, a month later, the Catholic Church is way more conservative, better than it was, you know, a month before. I do think that was a moment where there was a shift. So before World Youth Day in 1993, when the pope announced he was coming to Denver for this World Youth Day, the catholic establishment in America basically said, this thing is going to be an epic failure. Now, remember, John Paul was popular at. [00:23:21] Speaker B: This point, but the real rock star. [00:23:23] Speaker A: Status he achieved was, was starting with this in, later in the 1990s. So it's not that he was unpopular, but he wasn't the rock star he became at this when it was announced. At first in 1991 or 92, I can't remember exactly when. So the catholic establishment said, this thing's going to be an epic failure. Nobody's going to come. It's going to be embarrassing for the Catholic Church. It's going to put the Denver archdiocese in bankruptcy. I mean, that's what everybody was saying. [00:23:52] Speaker B: Yeah, he came. And not only did he come, but. [00:23:54] Speaker A: Like I said, 500,000 young people came. I was there. I had become. I'd been receiving the church six months before world youth day. And it was just wild, because what it did, the catholic church in America before that was moribund. I mean, it just was going through the motions. [00:24:13] Speaker B: Almost every parish was just run of. [00:24:16] Speaker A: The mill, bland, bleh, like nothing. [00:24:20] Speaker B: Then all of a sudden, there's like. [00:24:23] Speaker A: This woodstock for young Catholics where you get hundreds of thousands of Catholics super excited about the faith, super excited about the old man who's dressed up in a crazy outfit, and he's the pope. [00:24:35] Speaker B: Nobody thought that would happen. [00:24:36] Speaker A: It did. And what you saw from that was an inner energizing of the Catholic Church in America. You saw the founding of organizations like focus, which is mentioned here in the article. You know, the St. Paul center. Biblical theology was found a few years later. But kind of part of that whole movement, catholic answers, really took off. It was founded before this, but it really took off. I mean, you see, all of a sudden, there's this. [00:25:00] Speaker B: This movement of energy away from the kind of blandness and deadness that was. [00:25:09] Speaker A: Like, against apologetics, against, like, evangelization, and really was kind of the deadness of the catholic church in the 1970s and eighties. Now, again, it's not that all of. [00:25:20] Speaker B: A sudden the catholic church was transformed. [00:25:22] Speaker A: Or that it's even transformed today. But it did. It did. Did mark a turning point. And I think that's. I think that the author was very wise to mention that. So. Okay, later, and let me skip that part. I don't think that's important. [00:25:39] Speaker B: Okay. [00:25:40] Speaker A: So it then talks about how, on a national level, conservatives increasingly dominate the US Catholic Bishops conference and the catholic intellectual world. They include everyone from the founder of Domino's Pizza to six of nine US supreme court justices. And it's talking about how. And this is true and not true. I mean, I think it would be hard to say conservatives dominate the USCCB. I mean, I think that that would not be true. I would also say, though, that the USCCB is nowhere near as liberal as Pope Francis wants it to be. Or cardinal super. I mean, you look at the people that Pope Francis has, has appointed to the highest positions in the Catholic Church in America. [00:26:20] Speaker B: Cardinal Cupich McElroy, Cardinal Gregory, people like. [00:26:24] Speaker A: That, they are not the dominant forces at the USCCB. They just aren't. And in fact, they're often voted down and not really listened to. And I think that does say something. I think generally the USCCB, an american bishop is more conservative, for example, than a european bishop. I don't, obviously, they're not like traditionalist or anything like that, but I do think they lean to be more conservative than like a, a european bishop, or obviously a Pope Francis type bishop would be. And then it talks again about how there's a bunch of conservatives in the seminary. Okay, so then it goes on. It's talking about the people who are not happy with the changes. This one Catholic said, I'm a lifelong Catholic. I grew up going to church every Sunday, but I'd never seen anything like this. Talking about the changes that at his parish, St. Maria Greti, again, I just. [00:27:18] Speaker B: Have to chuckle, because guess what? [00:27:21] Speaker A: Every Catholic saw that in 1970. Everyone, without question, without exception, and without. [00:27:28] Speaker B: Their input, it basically was just told them one Sunday, guess what Mass is in English. [00:27:32] Speaker A: Now we're going to radically change the prayers. The priest is going to turn around. [00:27:37] Speaker B: We'Re going to change the music, and. [00:27:39] Speaker A: If you don't like it, too bad. And so I have a hard time having sympathy, frankly, for these progressive Catholics who don't like the fact that their parish is radically changing. [00:27:48] Speaker B: When I guarantee, by the way, I. [00:27:51] Speaker A: Can guarantee the priest who's implementing these changes has been as pastoral as possible. I guarantee he has been as pastoral as possible, because that's always the way it is. He knows I'm not. I don't want to change things overnight. I want to gradually make things better. And that might mean step on a few toes, but I'm going to do it. And so I think it's kind of funny to talk about this being some sudden change, considering what's happened in the past. So then it goes on, the article says, but the movement, whether called conservative or orthodox or traditionalist or authentic, can be hard to define. I think this is a very good point, because we know, those of us who are kind of in this world know that when we talk about conservative Catholicism, it's an umbrella term that involves a lot of different people who have different views of how things should be done. It ranges from Catholics who want more incense to latin mass adherents who have brought back ancient prayers that mentioned the perfidious Jews, which I think was like a hilarious dig because it's like they're making it claim that those of us who like the Latin Mass, the only reason we like it is because they bring back prayers against the Jews. I mean, that's just a joke. We all know it. In fact, like, my parish did 1955 mass, and they used the prayer for the Jews that was revised by Pope Benedict because Pope Benedict 2008 asked that even the pre 55 uses that revised prayer. Nobody was up in arms like, no, the only reason we go to latin mass is so we can pray against the Jews. It's ridiculous. It's literally one prayer, one time a year. And it's not like that was the reason we all are embracing latin mass. There are right wing survivalists, celebrity exorcist environmentalists, and a handful of quasi socialists. There's a catholic news outlet railing against the Vatican's wicked entourage. I wonder which catholic news outlet that was talking about. And a small town Wisconsin priest who traces COVID-19 to a century old prophecy and warns of a looming dictatorship. There's a recent catholic prayer for Trump. And yet the orthodox movement can also seem like a tangle of forgiveness and rigidity, where insistence on mercy and kindness mingle with warnings of eternity and hell. [00:29:53] Speaker B: This is a part where the AP. [00:29:55] Speaker A: Writer just totally doesn't get it. And I don't blame him necessarily, because it's a paradox to the world. It's foolishness to the world that somebody can be rigid yet forgiving, that somebody can be talking about mercy and also talking about hell. To the Catholic, the believing Catholic, this all works together. There is no contradiction here. There is no difference between the two. They all are of one, because that's what our Lord Jesus Christ did. If you look at the gospels, what did he do? He talked about forgiveness. He talked about mercy. He also talked about going to hell. He talked about people not following him and things of that and rejecting him. And he condemned them. So there is no contradiction between this. In fact, later in the article, it says that talking about a young woman who embraces these changes says she takes the church's rules seriously, from premarital sex to confession. She can't stand modern church architecture. She's seriously considering becoming a nun. [00:30:58] Speaker B: But she also worries about poverty and. [00:31:01] Speaker A: America's wastefulness, and the way Americans, including herself, can find themselves slide into political divide without even knowing it. What was the purpose of the. [00:31:08] Speaker B: But there, it's like he's contrasting somebody. [00:31:13] Speaker A: Who wants to become a nun with somebody who worries about poverty. And there's actually a couple different times in the article where he talks about poverty helping the poor somehow. Anti conservative, anti traditionalist. This is where I think there's the problems of confusion with, like, the political world, because a political liberal thinks that political conservatives don't care about poverty because they don't endorse their government, big government solutions to poverty, which actually make poverty more prevalent. [00:31:39] Speaker B: But, like, they don't understand that a. [00:31:42] Speaker A: Conservative Catholic, traditional Catholic, very much cares. [00:31:44] Speaker B: For the poor, wants to help the. [00:31:45] Speaker A: Poor, but not necessarily in the way that you. That you might think. I mean, they have a thing. They make it sound like having a church food pantry is something a progressive parish would do, and a traditional or. [00:31:57] Speaker B: Conservative catholic parish would not. Excuse me. Which, of course, is ridiculous. [00:32:03] Speaker A: So there is this idea that. And I think this is, like, the real attraction that people have to authentic Catholicism. However you want to label it, when it is practiced in full, it escapes from the divides of our world, the divides that say that, okay, if you're. [00:32:22] Speaker B: Going to be rigid on sexuality, for. [00:32:26] Speaker A: Example, that means you must be non forgiving. But the opposite is true, because ultimately, and against mercy and against caring for people. But the opposite is true, because ultimately, the reason why we're rigid on sexuality is because we know how harmful it is to break the church's guidelines when it comes to sexuality. We know how much it harms people. But at the same time, when somebody. [00:32:51] Speaker B: Does break them, we're the first to. [00:32:54] Speaker A: Forgive them and grant them mercy, because we're the ones pushing confession. Remember, it's the liberal Catholics who kick confession out of the Catholic Church. It's the conservative, traditional Catholics who want to bring confession back, want to make confession more available and more promoted. [00:33:12] Speaker B: And proclaimed. [00:33:14] Speaker A: And that's because we really believe in the mercy of God. We're not a social work where it's like, okay, we're just gonna be nice to people, and that's it. [00:33:21] Speaker B: No, we're gonna demand this high, high standard of followers of Jesus Christ. [00:33:27] Speaker A: But we're also gonna offer, at all times, confession for when we don't meet those demands. Cause every one of us don't meet them at times. So I really think that this is something that people see when they see it in action. They see a true conservative slash traditional parish in action. They understand all the things they were set that were said about are not true. The idea that it's a bunch of rigid people who don't really care about forgiveness, they don't really care about people or the poor thing, that is just not true. So I just want to. I kind of want to. So ultimately, let me kind of finish it up here. [00:34:01] Speaker B: Ultimately, I think it is true that. [00:34:04] Speaker A: The catholic church in America is becoming more conservative. I still think the fact is, as of right now, 2024, May of 2024, the typical catholic parish in America is not in good shape. It's still too bland. It's still too much. Heavily influenced by the, like, 1970s, eighties Catholicism, still watered down, still non confrontational, still kind of like moralistic therapy. Religion is what it is more than anything. But that doesn't mean things aren't changing for the better. [00:34:32] Speaker B: That essentially what's happening is more parishes. [00:34:36] Speaker A: Are becoming more conservative. Sadly, it's because a lot of people are leaving. But at the same time, that's a good thing, because now we have. We'll have a base of operation, like a base to build from. We'll have a solid base. We could never grow the catholic church as long as most parishes are progressive or middle of the road. We're only going to grow the catholic church as long as the, the typical parish is conservative or traditional. Now, I've been saying throughout this podcast, traditional, conservative, kind of doing it. [00:35:05] Speaker B: I know they're not the same thing. [00:35:07] Speaker A: And I will say here is, I personally believe that the push should be to be more traditional, not just conservative. What I mean by that is, yes. [00:35:17] Speaker B: Embracing a real embrace of wanting things. [00:35:23] Speaker A: To be like they've always been in the church. [00:35:25] Speaker B: That does not mean we want them. [00:35:28] Speaker A: To be like they were a snapshot in the 1950s. But it does mean that we look to our ancestors first. We look to popes and theologians and saints from centuries ago before we look to even a current bishop or a current pope or something or a current document. And we evaluate things in that context. We don't say, okay, this encyclical was written in 1850. This one was written in 2020. So we take the 1851 first. And we also don't say we take the 2021 1st. What we say is, okay, how did. [00:36:01] Speaker B: The church look at this issue over hundreds of years versus how is it. [00:36:07] Speaker A: Talking about right today? And we value the hundreds of years perspective over maybe the writings of a current cardinal or bishop or. Or even the pope. That's, I think, a key difference here that I think has to be, to be noted. I also think ultimately, Lex Credendi. Lex Orendi. Sorry, other way around. You know, I mean, what. How we worship is how we believe. And I really think that ultimately the way forward is a more traditional liturgy. [00:36:39] Speaker B: And. [00:36:39] Speaker A: And because I really do think that. [00:36:41] Speaker B: Changes fundamentally how people look at their faith. [00:36:46] Speaker A: I was actually, just at Mass this morning, thinking about this, it just came to me as the priest was celebrating latin mass, adorantum. I was just thinking about how my experience of mass, my common experience of Mass, is to see the priest's back. [00:37:02] Speaker B: As he leads us in worship of. [00:37:04] Speaker A: God, and how different that was from the days when I would watch the priest as he looked like he was talking to me more than anything, as he, as he celebrated towards me. And that shifted my whole view of the liturgy. But it also started to shift my view of God and how we are related to him, how we interact with him. It really did change that perspective. Just going to an ad, orient to mass. Now, in my case, it was a mass, the traditional latin mass. [00:37:32] Speaker B: But the ad or antim aspect, fundamentally. [00:37:36] Speaker A: I know, has changed the ways I look at God, the way I look at my relationship to him. I think in a good way and in a better way, a deeper way. So I really do think that while I do think the Catholic Church in America is moving to be more conservative. [00:37:50] Speaker B: More traditional, I think that's a good thing. [00:37:52] Speaker A: I do think that we should all encourage that. I just want to make sure that's clear. I'm not trying to create a divide where there isn't one. I do want conservative Catholics, those who kind of identify as that, or authentic Catholics, to really think about what does it mean to be catholic, a conservative Catholic, what does it mean to conserve Catholicism? What are we conserving? Are we conserving simply the good of Vatican II, or are we trying to conserve 2000 years of catholic teaching, catholic practice, catholic belief? So I'll leave that with you again, I think this is good news in a way, in the sense that, yes, is true. The catholic parishes are becoming more conservative, more traditional. Obviously, it reflects an overall bad news that a lot of people are leaving the church. But I think ultimately we have to kind of go through this to get to the other side. We're not all of a sudden tomorrow going to start attracting tons of people, the catholic church, until we kind of clean up our parishes. Once the parishes are cleaned up and. [00:38:50] Speaker B: They'Re, and they're all, or at least. [00:38:52] Speaker A: Most of them are far more conservative, traditional, then we can actually start to go out and grow, I think, grow the catholic church and be more attractive to the world. Okay, I'll wrap it up there. Until next time, everybody. [00:39:04] Speaker B: God, love.

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