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View Diary: Top Comments: Lighten up, Francis edition (82 comments)

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  •  As yet another lapsed Catholic, (11+ / 0-)

    and a gay one no less, I have to admit that though I do not voluntarily darken the door of any Catholic churches except for Christmas mass with my sister's family, I am still stuck with a Catholic mindset.  Of my three nephews, two of them went to a Jesuit high school (the one my brother-in-law went to), but they have also lapsed.  We are a family of bad Catholics.  It's probably a good thing my mother isn't around to see this...

    The pundit and Catholic commentator Garry Wills has said in the past, during the late JP II period of encroaching conservatism, the Catholic Church is made up of the congregants, the laity.  The Pope can say whatever he wants, but the flock will ultimately do as it likes.  What are the bishops going to do?  Excommunicate everybody?  Then who would they lord over?  (Besides, it's exceptionally rare for the Church to excommunicate any member with a rank lower than a bishop, much less lower than a priest.)  In that sense, the laity of the Catholic Church is way ahead of the so-called leadership.

    On Monday, I am scheduled to participate on a panel discussing Francis' first year as Pope (from my perspective as a gay ex-Catholic).  I will take what you've written here under advisement.  Francis has said many things that will help to heal some of the wounds made worse by the conservatives, and he has made some real attempts at reforming the corrupt Curia.  However, much of what he has done is still purely symbolic, and for much of the intervening year, the child sexual abuse scandal has been pushed to the side.  In order to secure lasting credibility, Francis is going to have to fashion some kind of policy to prevent the Church from ever acting to protect and enable child abusers ever again, and see to reparations for the victims.  It's not clear to me that he, or any of the higher-ups in the Church, realize how great a wound this scandal has become, and remains.

    -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

    by gizmo59 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:38:53 PM PST

    •  I wish I could hear that panel discussion. (7+ / 0-)

      By the way, what you describe as "bad Catholics" I have found to be the rule rather than the exception in terms of being "lapsed". I have also found that to be true in other denominations as well.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:41:29 PM PST

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    •  I think he was more concerned (7+ / 0-)

      with cleaning out the financial House first -- can't do much without money, even if you're supposed to be storing up treasures in Heaven instead.

      My sister converted from Lutheran to Catholicism because she wanted a High Nuptial Mass and that was the only way to get it. (Actually I think it was her mother-in-law who wanted it -- and she typically got what she wanted.) Back then (late 1960s) the Catholic Church required my sister to get rebaptized, which gave my mom a major sad; to her it totally went against the Nicene Creed of "one baptism for the remission of sins".

      Flirted with the idea of becoming Catholic at various points (mainly when I was dating Catholic boys), but ended up with a nice Episcopalian boy instead. Ed, I found this part interesting:

      Damon Linker appears to think that a religion with a lax attitude may not be worth attending. Indeed, my best friend’s brother once asked me about what I thought a congregation should do for people. I answered that it could provide you with the tools to make ethical decisions, whereupon he thought it should answer those questions for you. I don’t think he is a fundie, but his religious need is for that type of church … and before he moved west, I think he attended such a congregation.
      I find that to be a very Episcopalian/Anglican attitude. I find it refreshing to reflect upon the "three-legged stool" of Anglicanism -- Scripture, tradition and reason. It's the leg of reason that keeps most Episcopalians from falling into the trap of Young Earth Christianity and Biblical literalism; it's why my father-in-law could see no conflict between science/evolution and his faith. Yes, we have Scripture, but reason tells us that the authors of the Bible had no knowledge of modern scientific theory, and were forced to describe things from that point of view.

      As for the Catholic Church itself, Francis is not going to turn 2000 years or so of tradition around overnight. I would prefer a lifting of the strictures against married priests (especially since the Church has been recruiting conservative Anglican priests and allowing them to keep their wives and kids) before opening the priesthood to women, but that's just my personal opinion. Perhaps combine it with a larger role in the Church for women, both religious (nuns) and laity.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 08:24:59 PM PST

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      •  Even in those days, a re-baptism would have only (5+ / 0-)

        been done by an ignorant priest UNLESS, her baptism was not Trinitarian. The only exception I can find for that is if one is going to convert to Catholicism was not Baptized in the name of the Trinity. Otherwise, it's accepted.

        Today, any Nicene-Creed accepting catholics (RC, Anglican, Lutherans, Orthodox, and others) would NEVER insist on re-baptism. Because you are correct: it actually violates the creedal structure of those churches to "re-baptize" a person who has been previously Baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 08:31:13 PM PST

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