Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Least Common Denominator Catholicism

I don't follow American Catholic controversies much because I've never lived there as a Catholic, but a couple of recent ones stand out as illustrative. Take for instance the recent complaints against a "network is acting out of deference to Church authority" — Defenders of Fr. Corapi attack EWTN. Or take the guy who's taken it upon himself to define what a "real Catholic" is being at odds with an ordained bishop — Michael Voris and the Diocese of Scranton. Here's the same guy arguing "that we may not all belong to the same Catholic Church" — Michael Voris... what's up with that? (Thank you, Terry Nelson, for keeping me posted on these happenings.)

In both cases, we're supposed to side against Church authorities and with supposed "victims" about whom the best their defenders can muster is to say that they are "orthodox" or "faithful," with no mention of holiness or even humility. Only in America. (The last saintly American public figure I can think of, and she'd be the first to disagree with me on this, is Servant of God Dorothy Day. Also only in America.) Of course, these controversies say as much about the supposedly "liberal" Church hierarchy as they do about the supposedly "conservative" members of laity who've taken it to task.

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Blogger love the girls said...

"we may not all belong to the same Catholic Church"

Micheal Voris is stating the obvious. And his example on his video is well within reason.

If I were to run down a list of Catholic doctrine, I doubt those people in the video would agree with the Church on but a few, and those few they would agree on would be the ones that any secular pagan would likewise agree with.

11:09 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I'm a big tent Catholic. I confess that I went to "Call to Action" gatherings as part of my job in the '90s, so what Mr. Voris shows in his video didn't shock me too much. Just a bunch of old folks having fun and reliving their glory days.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Baron Korf said...

Where do you get that Voris is playing the victim? From what I hear, the heart of this controversy is a pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion speaker was allowed to use the same venue that Voris has been denied with the bishop's only caveat being that the president of the university had to be present to monitor what was said.

Voris submitted to the bishop's ruling and is moving his talk off of church property. I guess you could call it playing the "victim" by pointing out that someone who promotes intrinsic evil is allowed to speak at a Catholic university, but someone who teaches only what the Church teaches is not.

Fidelity to the Church and teaching what the Church teaches is what you want coming from a public speaker. Holiness is a much more difficult metric since Voris is a lecturer, not a spiritual leader. Humility is show by obedience to authority, which goes hand in hand with orthodoxy since you must teach the faith even when it rubs you the wrong way.

11:11 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

The defenders of Fr. Corapi and Mr. Voris are making them out to be victims, and it seems the latter is trying to milk it for what it's worth.

The "pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion speaker" thing is of course very disturbing, but who knows what technicalities were behind it? Even assuming the worst, the bishop's the bishop, and Mr. Voris has expressed his intention to speak within the diocese at a non-Church facility. That, and the fact that his own bishop is not behind him, suggest that something's wrong.

I've only seen a few of Mr. Voris's videos, but they strike me as slick parodies of the bloggers I used to read after I converted in '02, whose "faith" consisted of throwing temper tantrums over heterdoxy and liturgical abuses. I wouldn't accuse him of being a charlatan, but neither would I be surprised if he were exposed as one.

1:01 AM  
Blogger Baron Korf said...

So what you are saying is you've done no due diligence but are willing to snark him all the same?

1:10 AM  
Blogger love the girls said...

I'm glad Micheal Voris is out there. Just I am glad that Frank Morris, writer for the Wanderer, was there to call the press over when he burned his Regis College diploma as Gov. Dick Lamm, the father of abortion in the US, was presented with the man of the year award by Morris' alma mater.

1:13 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Maybe it's just that his medium turns me off, Glenn Beckian as it is, but a far more profound Catholic thinker did once say, "The medium is the message."

2:06 AM  

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