Is Catholocism About to Break Into Three?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    Interesting article which defines 'tribes' in American Catholicism. Notice the mention of "good music"
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  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,912
    That was a very interesting read, and I think that his definitions of the three camps are spot on. I'd like to point some things out, if I may, for the sake of discussion.

    Maguire sums up their attitude pretty well: Progressives “don’t need the Vatican. Their conscience is their Vatican.”

    I think that's Protestantism.

    While some progressive Catholics find a home in the “Independent Catholic Churches,” more find their way to the the mainstream liturgical Protestant churches. With the same progressive agenda, and a stronger infrastructure, the Episcopal, Lutheran, and Methodist churches also offer a Catholic atmosphere for Catholics who are bonded to the Church, but not to the Roman Curia.

    I need help with this one. Isn't that apostasy? I could only find the following relevant section from the Code of Canon Law 1983 (emphasis mine):

    Can. 1364 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 194, §1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication; in addition, a cleric can be punished with the penalties mentioned in ⇒ can. 1336, §1, nn. 1, 2, and 3.

    Although the question of the definition of apostasy still remains. Here is what has on it:

    The word itself in its etymological sense, signifies the desertion of a post, the giving up of a state of life; he who voluntarily embraces a definite state of life cannot leave it, therefore, without becoming an apostate. Most authors, however, distinguish with Benedict XIV (De Synodo di£cesanâ, XIII, xi, 9), between three kinds of apostasy: apostasy a Fide or perfidi£, when a Christian gives up his faith; apostasy ab ordine, when a cleric abandons the ecclesiastical state; apostasy a religione, or monachatus, when a religious leaves the religious life. The Gloss on title 9 of the fifth book of the Decretals of Gregory IX mentions two other kinds of apostasy: apostasy inobedientiæ, disobedience to a command given by lawful authority, and iteratio baptismatis, the repetition of baptism, "quoniam reiterantes baptismum videntur apostatare dum recedunt a priori baptismate".

    I had no idea there were so many splinter groups, some with their own popes (or really, anti-popes) even! Also, with all the hubub about the SSPX and traditionalist groups that are either potentially schismatic or in formal schism, I'd like to point out that traditionalist groups don't have a monopoly on that sort of thing, as mentioned in the article. I'd also like to say the following in the form of a question: why don't we hear about the progressive splinter groups, most of which, according to the article, endorse and embrace positions that are contrary to Catholic teaching?

    From the article:

    Most of the progressive groups endorse remarriage after divorce, women’s ordination, married clergy, same sex unions, and contraception.

    Wouldn't they be subject to Canon 1364, as mentioned above? (perhaps this question is better suited to a different place and time)

    Like I said, it is a very interesting article, and it provoked the above thoughts.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,576
    Offhand: faithful; heretics; people who cannot yet figure out which is which?
    Okay, now I will read the article.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,606
    Allen was being soft on Maguire's advocacy piece that was passing for a diagnostic piece.

    I'm not going to fisk Maguire here, but it could be done and well.

    In terms of sacred music, I learned long ago never to assume a correlation among a preference regarding liturgical praxis with theological positions or political positions.
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  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,428
    (perhaps this question tiresome parade of articles from the paranoid pundit class, and the inevitably pointless discussion that follows, capped off by the instigator pretending to take some sort of concern-troll high ground is better suited to a different place and time)


    I mean really.

    I like you. But this forum is dedicated to sacred music and liturgy, not a forum dedicated to fear mongering, paranoid speculation, rumors of apocalyptic prophecy, or any of the rest of the related insanity.

    If you think the current Pope is bad, you are free to say so. If you think the current liturgy is bad, that's fine too. And if you think that there are evil people within the hierarchy of the Church, actively working against it, I would say: Yes, of course. It has always been this way.

    But do we really need article after article by everyone with an opinion and a WordPress account thrown onto the forum as if THIS ONE, THIS IS THE SMOKING GUN THAT PROVES EVERYTHING?

    Do you, personally, find it spiritually edifying? Aside from "just asking questions" what is your purpose?


    My use of the phrase "paranoid pundit class" was not intended to impugn the writing of Fr. Longernecker, who I think is an excellent thinker and writer.

    I should also point out that Fr. L does not seem to think that the church is about to break into three.

    Also, see:'s_law_of_headlines
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,083
    No, Catholicism has already broken into innumerable parts. (The Great Schism broke the Church into at least 20 parts and the Protestant Reformation broke what remained into thousands of parts.)
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    What a mess.

    Fr. Longenecker's piece from October 2015 spends most of his supposed description of the Catholic traditionalist movement trying to associate it with tiny, ridiculous groups.

    Along with listing the two or three largest traditionalist organizations [PS: and omitting to mention the hundreds of parishes in this country where people happily attend Masses offered according to the old rite lawfully -- apparently these do not exist in Fr. L's world!], he lists a bunch of "noteworthy American anti-popes" whose followers couldn't fill a school bus. These guys generally have no episcopal ordination, and if they do, it's with a suspicion of simony.

    He goes on to cite other tiny groups that do not even share the traditionalist movement's beliefs or its priorities. The Palmarians do not follow the old rite of Mass, and a few months ago their would-be pope announced that he had stopped believing and left the sect. The groups Fr. Longenecker lists that "meld not only Catholicism and Anglicanism, but also link with Eastern Orthodoxy, Syrian, Coptic, and Celtic Christianity" do not arise from disputes about Vatican II or the modern Roman rite. They get their theological orientation from the Old Catholic movement of 1889, which embraced vernacular liturgy and rejected papal infallibility. For Fr. Longenecker to present these people under the category of traditionalists is a misrepresentation.

    As for the idea that there are "progressive", "traditionalist", and mainstream varieties of Catholics in the U.S., that's not new with him or with Maguire. It's a rehash of a rather funny 1985 commentary by ad executive Jack Cashill, published in The Wall Street Journal, about applying "brand segmentation" to American religion.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    yea, we are definitely in a mess.

    Adam... This IS a Catholic Forum and our music springs from the Faith. The two go hand in hand, and IMHO if one ignores trends in one or the other, one has his head in an ostrich hole. I am very careful about who I play music for these days on account of what flavor of Catholicism that is running the show in a particular location. You really can't go by the sign on the door what flavor the Church is peddling unless it's an FSSP or an SSPX. It's more up to the Pastor in charge and what flavor of Catholicism he personally wants to put forward.

    and... thanks for liking me.
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    The "mess" I was referring to was Fr. Longenecker's piece. Pace Adam, I do not think he is an excellent thinker and writer. Despite having arrived in the Catholic Church not long ago himself, he has adopted bien-pensant clerical attitudes about how annoying those Catholics on the periphery are.
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  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Why not debate the merits at the priest's blog rather than here? We don't ignore stuff, we just put it all in different egg baskets, francis.
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  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,821
    Uhh, the Oldest Daughter of the Church has already broken into three, if that's what you mean:
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    “Our Catholic church here split into three pieces: (1) the American Catholic Church whose new Rome is Cicero, Illinois; (2) the Dutch schismatics who believe in relevance but not God; (3) the Roman Catholic remnant, a tiny scattered flock with no place to go. The American Catholic Church, which emphasizes property rights and the integrity of neighborhoods, retained the Latin mass and plays The Star-Spangled Banner at the elevation.”
    ― Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    Oh, and Adam... my thread on two popes has 300+ comments. Apparently people have a lot to say about the state of things, including yourself, for or against. Wouldn't you agree? The moderator has to sink these large threads because it will never end, I suspect. *sigh*
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937

    I have never done the Star Spangled Banner at Mass, but almost every year a rousing rendition of America the Beautiful is a standard. And I usually improvise those chromatic sappy harmonies in contrary motion that really tug on your heartstrings. (God deliver us from this stuff)
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    Francis, it's satire.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    Yes, I know... but it still reminded me of what we rev up around the holidays! It may be satire, but I have done it many times! (at end of Mass, of course)

    I made this just now for you! The chromaticism is a bit over the top, but it gets that sap going!
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,067
    Also, it was just the 100th birthday of Walker Percy. Somehow, having read some of his work, I was still ignorant of the fact that he is a native son of Birmingham, where I now live. In fact, I drive by the site of his childhood home every day taking my kids to school at St. Rose Academy!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    I'm re- reading his The Second Coming right now. So brilliant.
    Thanked by 1Paul F. Ford
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    I don't understand why Fr. Longenecker is making such a dramatic announcement about the fact that there are three dominant strains of Catholicism in America. I think the real news is that very soon there will only be two, since we all know that the conservatives are a vanishing breed, and few if any people take them seriously anymore.

    Now, before anyone gets too upset at me, let me clarify. What I mean is that, for the most part, there aren't many people left parroting the old Wanderer and CUF line from the '80's that everything will be fine as long as we faithfully implement according to the letter every official novelty and reform coming from Rome.

    Think about it. How many conservative/traditional-minded people think that if we rigorously and with gusto implement Amoris Laetitia, and according to the mind of Cardinal Schonborn (the best interpreter of the mind of Pope Francis on this issue), that it will lead to the widespread and instant renewal of marriage and family life?

    How many conservative/traditional-minded Catholics still believe that one day a more faithful implementation of the Novus Ordo (whatever that means) will fill the churches again?

    Honestly, I think most conservatives have either died off, or have moved on to accept the reforms in their entirety or have evolved into traditionalists of one stripe or other. Most homeschooling families, who are the bread and butter of the conservative movement, are heading to the TLM, if they're not there already. They may not be SSPX, but then again, if the Pope regularizes SSPX, there may not be much to stop them from heading there given papal approval if and when it comes.

    Do you realize the SSPX had 3300 people at their ordinations in Winona this year? Can anyone tell me of an OF ordination that has beat that number of people attending? Again, I'm not saying that because I'm an SSPX'er, but rather I'm talking about broad trends, and I think poor Fr. Longenecker has really missed the boat. He's about 30 years too late in his analysis, the way I see it.

    In the end, doesn't the proof of what I'm saying lie in the fact that even though very few of us on this forum are SSPX'ers, (I'm not one, as you know) aren't there so many of us that are probably very sympathetic to them and would love to be part of a community that has all their good points, if we could drop those points we don't like? If we could just tweak their presentation a little bit and get the necessary approvals, couldn't they very easily go mainstream and take a number of us with them? Just asking, in all honesty. Maybe we should start a "What would it take for you to join the SSPX?" thread. : )
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  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,821
    Maybe we should start a "What would it take for you to join the SSPX?" thread.

    I did the "SSPX thing" before it was cool. Well, sort of. If I was really in it to win it, I would've joined before 2007/2009. But I think I was still busy speaking in tongues at that point . . . :$
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    Go East, young man....
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,821
    :) I've flirted with it, Charles. Gotta stick with the Rite of my baptism.
  • Gotta agree with Adam.
    It seems to me that if someone were to come to this forum seeking discussion on sacred music, they would be confused at best by the number of threads like this.

    Truth in advertising is important. A focused forum staying on focus is a worthy goal.

    Francis, do you have a blog? I would visit it. You bring up important non-musical ideas that belong in a place focused on the issues that most concern you.