How do you define "fundamentalism"?
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Just curious since our Holy Father said yesterday in one of his infamous airplane interviews:

    In the Catholic Church we have some – many – who believe they possess the absolute truth and they go on sullying others through slander and defamation and this is wrong. I say this because it is my Church. Religious fundamentalism must be combatted. It is not religious, God is lacking, it is idolatrous. What religious leaders need to do is convince people who have these tendencies. Fundamentalism that ends in tragedy or commits crimes is a bad thing but it exists in all religion.

    So . . . according to the standard, accepted, orthodox definition of fundamentalism, a Catholic or Christian who upholds a literal interpretation of Scripture and adheres to a set of basic principles, namely, for a Catholic, the beliefs cataloged in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which are based on an absolute, immutable truth rooted in God, is a Fundamentalist.

    I can see no other way around it; it is time to come out of the closet:

    I profess that I am a Catholic Fundamentalist according to the definition above. I believe that, by the grace of God and through the grace of my baptism, and not by my own merits, I do indeed possess the Absolute Truth which has been handed down to me through the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ. I believe in the literal interpretation of the Holy Bible, and I assent and adhere to every tenet of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    Do with me what you will, Your Holiness. Label me as an idolater and irreligious and lacking in God and an evil-doer. Declare that I have a disease and that I'm the scum of the earth. You can even throw me out of your church if you have to. I do not understand your absolute contempt and disdain, but all your vituperation and insults will not shake my certitude in the Faith of my fathers.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,707
    this is the definition

    Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

    Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri; per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est, et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis.

    Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre (Filioque) procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Je suis Catholique fondamentaliste!
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  • @francis: There are many who liked His Holiness's speech and think that this "Catholic fundamentalism" must be stopped, who wouldn't even be able to read what you just wrote, i.e. they don't know what it is because nobody speaks Latin anymore .
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  • Give me a fellow fundamentalist ANYTIME rather than a progressive liberal clothed in luciferian pseudo-light.
  • I think the holy Father has a point that is worth making, but he (as usual?) casts it out in a far-too-wide of a net that generalizes and lumps together many diverse people unfairly. His method of talking is as a populist, and thus is usually lacking in nuance or specifics.

    It is not religious, God is lacking, it is idolatrous

    I think of fundamentalism as an obsessive focus on a few, very narrow foundations of a train of thought, to the exclusion of reason and to the exclusion of weighing these foundations in relation to the totality of the faith. So, idolatrous of a few ideas, to the exclusion of reason and discussion...I think that makes sense?

    For example, if you took three or four sentences of the Creed and said, "These are THE MOST important! Sure, the rest of Creed matters...but it's really ALL ABOUT the Baptism for the forgiveness of sins. If you don't have that, you have nothing!" That sort of militaristic, "Join my train of thought or die" way of looking at things.

    This quotation is very poorly worded, based on the Catholic Church's....uh...claim to being Catholic!!
    In the Catholic Church we have some – many – who believe they possess the absolute truth
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    I am a Byzantine fundamentalist. ;-)
  • BenBen
    Posts: 3,114
    I tend to think of a Catholic fundamentalist as one of those pesky types who believe in absolute truth and all that.
  • In the Catholic Church we have some – many – who believe they possess the absolute truth and they go on sullying others through slander and defamation and this is wrong. I say this because it is my Church. Religious fundamentalism must be combatted. It is not religious, God is lacking, it is idolatrous. What religious leaders need to do is convince people who have these tendencies. Fundamentalism that ends in tragedy or commits crimes is a bad thing but it exists in all religion.

    I believe you are reading this quote wrongly.

    The above quote suggest that the people who he is railing against do or think two things -
    one) they believe they possess the absolute truth, and
    two) they sully others through slander and defamation.

    or again:
    one) they believe they possess the absolute truth, and
    two) they are not religious, lacking God, and idolatrous

    and the proof of these things are: that they commit crimes.

    So he is not talking about people who believe that Jesus is the Truth, and has instituted His church to teach that truth definitively.

    he could be talking about someone, oh, say for the sake of argument, a cardinal, who believes that he can set aside the clear teaching of Jesus and his church to promote his own version of the truth, making a God out of something else (like sex), slandering and defaming others who do hold to Jesus' teaching (like laughing at the faithful African prelates) or again a cardinal might who commit crimes (like trying to cover up criminal activities like child abuse).

    I am with the Pope on that one. Failing to combat these tendencies in the Church will certainly have tragic outcomes. And so i will continue to oppose people who believe that they, not Jesus, teach the absolute truth, and I will continue to proclaim the absolute truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    And I will continue to pray for our Pope. I tremble at the thought of my own judgement day encounter with the Lord, what must it be like to go to him having been given the care of every living soul on the planet to answer for.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    The original definition of the word, coined in 1920, refers to a 1910s American pamphlet series on the "fundamentals": points defending classic Protestant doctrine and rejecting the new biblical analysis of the 1800s: the historical-critical merhods.

    Later (I would guess in the 1970s or so) academics expanded the word beyond Protestantism to refer to criticism of historical-critical methods in any religion.

    Many speakers unfamiliar with these contexts use the word pejoratively to express disapproval of anything they consider anti-intellectual or extreme in religion.

    Heaven only knows which meaning the Pope is invoking.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,169
    As a musician, I'll take the fundamentals, with all the overtones thrown in. :)
    Posts: 175
    OK, off the rails.

    Riddle me this, Chantman:

    Who said: "…at that point modern art disappeared up its own fundament."
  • Yes! I do believe in absolute truth - GOD and the LOGOS!

    Thanks Chonak for helping in the original understanding of this term and meaning. Perhaps others are confusing a true fundamentalist / orthodox conservative from a fanatic nut!
  • To be fair, a new translation has appeared which makes HHF seem much more reasonable and orthodox.... as generally happens in these cases.

    I don't think we should be using "fundamentalist" as a snarl word, because it puts us in common cause and practice with the enemies of Christ. And I don't find the "5 Fundamentals" to be objectionable (#1 is a little dicey because Prots usually manage to smuggle Sola Scriptura in there). So yeah, I'm a fundamentalist. So?

    In a desperate attempt to bring this thread on-topic: two of America's best Catholic composers (plus me) were into it with Mark Shea on his Facebook page, on this very topic.

  • "Catholic fundamentalist" are found at TLM Masses, but they are in a minority. When vocal, they can be destructive to one's faith and sanity. When they achieve a position of power, they are dangerous.

    Yes, I have been told that "My womb was made to create organists." and efforts by the pastor and the director of music to fire one of these teenage organist-created-by-the-womb organists failed and cantors schemed to never, ever, have to sing with this organist.

    The Diocesan HR office met with the priest and DM and said, "So, why haven't you fired her?"

    At a later date, I was told by the same person a daughter had heard a formed DM of the parish talking to me and she had spoken critically of the family and as a result I had sinned and had to go to confession.

    When the TLM Mass moved on to a another parish it was a relief to many.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • Wombs produce organs, not organists... who are made, not born.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Now this sounds like an episode from the Twilight Zone. It's very sad that your experience with the TLM was so negative, Noel. I might tentatively submit that while every demographic has its fruits and nuts, the "Catholic Fundamentalists" I know from my generation (in their 40's and 50's) who come from both the EF and the OF, don't seem that loopy to me, though, of course, everything is relative. Oops---everything is relative but the moral absolutes, that is.
  • actually wombs produce organisms...
    Posts: 175
    Surprisingly, my mother also cried "My womb was made to create organists."

    However it was phrased: "MY womb was made to create……ORGANISTS???" She was incredulous - looking for a quarterback but only getting passing tones. Sigh!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    I understand Noel's glee, but those dysfunctional people - I am being charitable and trying to be nice - showed up at my place. Fortunately, they have their own mass time and I rarely see most of them. Their current organist is talented and quite nice.
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  • Fundamentalism and fundamentalists exist.
    They are persons who believe in a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation account(s) (but don't observe the Mosaic dietary laws); who have a very Pauline concept of women and a literal view of most of our Lord's acts (but cough and sputter over 'This is My Body', etc.); they are people who believe that if they observe all the rules and regulations of the Church (but have not love, compassion, forgiveness, etc;) they are destined for heaven as surely as the right 'combination' unlocks the lock; they are those who delight in every facet of canon law but have hearts of stone. They are those who think that the EF is, sui generis, more efficacious than the OF; or, conversely, those who think that their version of the OF is more genuine than the EF. And then, there are those who believe, for one reason or another, that they are 'more Catholic (or more Protestant) than thou' and, therefore, closer to God. One could go on, and I trust that any of our forum companions could add a few things to the list - but the point is made. Fundamentalism is a substitute for a living, loving, spirituality. It is a love of adiaphora that exceeds the love of what they represent; of the outward and visible sign more than the inward and spiritual grace. This is, I think, what our holy father meant to address. We are not accustomed to popes speaking so informally. The fact that this one does is both refreshing and didactic. Sometimes the wording may lack finesse (and politesse), but the substance is spot on - every time.
    Thanked by 2MBW Gavin
  • My experience with TLM has been excellent and I support it in every way!

    The vast majority of those who emigrated are lovely people, they have a great choir director and singers and are well appreciated by the community. I do remember there was also a family there that would not let their children attend school Masses, calling each day to find out which priest was saying that they would not show up with the former Episcopal priest turned Roman. They became infuriated when the pastor would not expel their children for missing Mass, which was a requirement for students.

    Those were the days.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,225
    Oh, yes, there are Traddie fundies. They are the ones who--inter alia--KNOW that singing a Chant Mass is forbidden if one is a member of the congregation.
  • Here's a puzzle. Why does the man who decries name calling seem to engage in it so much?
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  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    While it's fine that our Pope deigns to enlighten us constantly on the evils of a flawed and superficial Christian dogmatism, it would be equally beneficial to be reminded of the evils of moral relativism, but somehow that never gets mentioned.

    In the Bergoglian worldview it would seem that the only really evil people are those who have a strict Judeo-Christian moral code and believe in moral absolutes. It does not seem to occur to him that it is possible for people who believe in a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, uphold the Ten Commandments, adhere to Gospel values and attend the Latin Mass to be at the same time kind, compassionate, cheerful, honest, honorable, equitable and rational.

    Could this be because Pope Francis never met any preconciliar Catholics who practised their religion well? That is truly unfortunate since those sour, mean, hypocritical, self-righteous folks helped create a man who equates traditional Catholic dogma with a skewed, dysfunctional, shriveled form of Catholicism.

    However, since everyone must have dogmatic principles and moral absolutes of one kind or another, Papa Bergoglio has, in reaction to his own life experiences, obviously formed his own dogma and moral code by which he operates and judges the world---the only problem being that nobody is really 100% sure if the Bergoglian dogma and moral code is the same as what one might reasonably expect of a Roman Catholic pontiff. Certainly, this pope's obvious antipathy for rules, laws and doctrine is disconcerting, to say the least, and makes one wonder how far his antinomian antagonism will lead him in the end.

    One lesson I see in all of this: the validation yet again of lex orandi statuat legem credendi et vivendi. It's a darn shame the preconciliar Latin-Mass-going Catholics of Pope Bergoglio's past were apparently such wicked people. One does not get the same impression of Pope Benedict's upbringing, in whose native country the Liturgical Movement was quite strong. Perhaps if the Liturgical Movement had been influential in Argentina, Pope Francis would have a different perspective of traditional Catholicism? Perhaps if the preconciliar Catholics of Argentina had been well instructed in the "active participation in the most holy mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church," then perhaps they could have been more able to assimilate the mysteries of Christ and His Church in a way that would make their lives resonate with faith and love.

    As Catherine de Hueck Doherty said so well in 1938, speaking of the Vetus Ordo, "in the liturgy we learn to know Christ. And if we truly know Him, we shall recognize Him everywhere, but especially in His poor, and we shall set our faces toward the liberation of Him from the yoke of injustice and pain, helping to bring about the reign of Christ the King in this world. And with it order, peace and love, so that we shall be able to say: "I saw Christ today, and He was smiling."

    Let me repeat that in my own words: "I saw Christ today at the traditional Latin Mass, and He was smiling." That is my experience at the Latin Mass I attend and that ought to be the experience of the usus antiquior that we endeavor as EF musicians to share with the world.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    I can't figure this pope out - granted, being eastern I have a skeptical view of popes to begin with. Perhaps I don't understand him and all will be clear at a later time when his theology "gels". Or perhaps, as someone else said, this bumbling fool isn't worthy to sit on the throne of St. Peter. Who knows? Time will tell.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • JulieColl and CharlesW - I whole heartedly agree!
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Perhaps the missing ingredient in many liturgical celebrations is a kind of subdued joy---not giddiness or excitement but a hopefulness and contentment that embraces the present and gives strength for the future. It seems to me that's the true spirit of Catholic liturgy and what ought to be present for all to assimilate, even at a Missa pro defunctis. And there is indeed a measure of joy in the Requiem propers.

    Cardinal Ratzinger commented once how "sadness" is present in some celebrations of the EF. The EF offers "the extreme conservation of ritual form, the greatness of which is still quite stirring, but, when it becomes the expression of stubborn isolation, in the end it leaves only sadness." ("In Memory of Klaus Gamber," p. 536, Joseph Ratzinger: The Collected Works.)

    Whether that stubborn isolation is because a particular community refuses to become integrated with the wider Church, or whether it is a result of the individuals who prefer to remain in their own private devotions and resist a communitarian environment at all costs, the result is the same.

    I have even heard that some priests like to foster a certain sombreness in the EF liturgy. They want the Mass to be to some degree emotionally arduous. They discourage participation and like the congregation to be silent since they think that is spiritually "good for the people."
  • Hi, Julie,

    I published an article on the subject of Catholic "fundamentalism" two issues ago in The Latin Mass. Here's a PDF:

    God Bless,
    Thanked by 2JulieColl kenstb
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    JulieColl, your comments strike me as dead on, particularly:

    "Whether that stubborn isolation is because a particular community refuses to become integrated with the wider Church, or whether it is a result of the individuals who prefer to remain in their own private devotions and resist a communitarian environment at all costs, the result is the same."

    I have seen that refusal time and time in numerous EF communities. Instead of joy I see Pride, and a misplaced concern for being Catholic above all else. Being Christian appears to be secondary.
  • Oh, yes, there are Traddie fundies. They are the ones who--inter alia--KNOW that singing a Chant Mass is forbidden if one is a member of the congregation.

    I can see some sense in this....really. They see it as a slippery slope which the church opened up that created Haugen and Hass.
  • AOZ,

    Demographically speaking, are the particular people at the EF which you reference old, grey-haired, or young?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    It could be any of them: but maybe the problem is in being too particular.
  • Speaking of 'particulars' -

    ...maybe the problem... people.

    There are Catholics

    Then there are the Irish
    the Germans
    the Italians
    the ultramontanists
    the ones whose Church is their diocese
    the ones whose Church is their parish
    the 'spirit of' Vatican II' types
    The actual Vatican II types
    the ones who regret that Vatican II happened
    the Benedictine minded
    the Cistercian minded
    The lovers of beautiful liturgy
    The ones who don't care at all for 'beautiful' liturgy
    the novus ordo lower-than-low purists
    the novus ordo high churchmen
    the Ef high church people
    the EF low church people
    the ones who all but worship their clerks
    the ones who find clericalism onerous
    the ones who believe (they really do!) that the BVM is a goddess
    the ones who know better
    the ones who love Latin
    the ones who loathe Latin
    Then there are the various rites and uses, each made up of.... more such people
    I'm sure others could add to the list of anitpodal convictions.
    Myopia to a greater or lesser extent (sometimes terminal) may often be noticed amongst any or all the above.
    Spiritual Pride to a greater or lesser extent (sometimes terminal) may often be noticed amongst any or all the above.
    Put representatives of each in the same room and there would be mayhem.

    But they are all 'Catholic' (or are they?)

    And then there are the Orthodox
    (We won't go there!)

    And then there are Anglicans
    (We won't go there, either!)

    And then there are Protestants
    having, as a category, even more divisions
    divided into too-numerous to enumerate 'denominations'
    each with even more internal strife
    with co-equal myopic vision
    But they are all 'Protestant'

    And all the above are 'Christian'.... nominally or otherwise.
  • You don't call someone a "Fundamentalist" to his face unless you're trying to insult them, or otherwise start a fight. It's one of those labels that tells us more about the user than the target. A universal definition is futile.

    In His Nov. 30 remarks, the Holy Father is saying is that he is against Fundamentalism, then effectively invites us to fill that category with our bêtes noire. He is adopting a stance as the liberator from whatever bothers you about the Catholic tradition - as a practical matter having to do with sexual activity rather the role of, say, labor unions in the economy.

    Where he goes with this remains to be seen.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    There is still a Fundamentalist theological movement within Protestantism, with denominations such as the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International professing the classic doctrinal points of the movement (along with a few Baptist-specific details) in its statement of faith:
    * biblical inerrancy
    * the Holy Trinity
    * Jesus Christ, the eternal Son made flesh, our Redeemer
    * the Holy Spirit, a divine Person and source of spiritual gifts; rejection of Pentecostalism
    * Man, created sinless but now fallen
    * Salvation by the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ
    * Sanctification
    * Separation from false teachers
    * The Church: local, congregational, non-hierarchical
    * Two "ordinances": baptism and the Lord's Supper
    * The Great Commission
    * The Last Things
    * Marriage as a union of one man and one woman
  • actually wombs produce organisms...

    ...which have organs.
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  • You don't call someone a "Fundamentalist" to his face unless you're trying to insult them, or otherwise start a fight.

    I take it you don't live in the deep south...
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955

    I take it you don't live in the deep south...

    That is a compliment, not an insult to many southerners.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Thanks for the excellent article, Professor K.! It was good to be reminded of Fr. Ott's book and the grades of theological certainty.

    Considering the following papal statement about fundamentalists, it would appear the pope might consider me a "fundamentalist" since I believe, thanks to the grace of God and the gift of faith, I do "possess absolute truth."

    Fundamentalism is a sickness which exists in all religions. We Catholics have some people, not just a few but a lot, who believe they possess absolute truth and go around slandering and defaming everyone else; they do a lot of harm. And we have to fight against it. Fundamentalism, which always ends up in tragedy or crime, is something evil.

    There is no sin in possessing a Catholic lex credendi and believing in a set of definite, objective, dogmatic, unchanging truths. Sin occurs when one professes and knows the Catholic creed or lex credendi but fails to abide by the Catholic lex orandi and lex vivendi.

    Orthodoxy does not guarantee orthopraxy (correct ethical and liturgical behavior) but orthopraxy is not possible without orthodoxy. Correct belief compels correct behaviour. Incorrect belief compels incorrect behavior.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    There is a big difference between slandering and defaming non-believers and mission activity. Teaching the truth to them is something that has been a significant part of the church's mission until recent times.
  • Julie,

    Do you go around slandering other people? If we read His Holiness carefully, there are two conditions: they think they possess absolute truth and they go around slandering and defaming everyone else.

    In order to avoid accusing His Holiness of attacking all the Popes back to Peter, we have to read both conditions as necessary.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    No, I'm guilty of a lot of things, Chris, but perpetrating slander and defamation is not my usual modus operandi. The problem is that the Pope's statement contains a false equivalence. If I remember my logic class correctly; he is pairing fundamentalism and slander together on an equal basis so one assumes they are both evil. On another occasion, he paired fundamentalism with rigidity and neurosis so that is the same dynamic.

    So, if you're a fundamentalist who doesn't slander or defame people, or you're a fundamentalist but not rigid and neurotic, then you're okay?

    You know, it seems to me, unless I'm missing something, that every time the Pope speaks about the traditional wing of the Church, there's always vituperation and a negative connotation.

    Didn't we hear numerous sermons denouncing those legalist, pharisaical Catholics which statements were widely interpreted as meaning those Catholics who are against the Kasper proposal? Hasn't he also spoken of "the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge"?

    This, taken with his remarks against neurotic seminarians which could without much difficulty be taken to refer to traditional seminarians, along with his remarks about those attached to obsolete rites which are no longer culturally relevant, make people wonder what kind of straw man he's trying to set up and knock down.

    To whom he is referring? What part of the Church is he talking about? Who are the doctors of the law? Are they people who believe in the indissolubility of marriage and the Church's teaching on who may or may not receive Communion? Who are these Catholic fundamentalists he is denouncing? Are they people who refer to Ludwig Van Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma and take it seriously?


    Are they people who believe that theological opinions should be judged whether they are in line with the doctrine found in standard dogmatic manuals such as Denziger Schonmetzer?


    Finally, should seminarians and priests who own copies of these books as well as copies of "culturally obsolete" liturgical books revert to the bad old days of hiding these things in paper bags and in the back of their lockers and of not discussing or being seen with them for fear of reprisals?

    The question must be asked, are we headed back to the bad old days of McCarthyite witch hunts against clerics who are suspected of attachment to these things?

    Just askin'.

  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,155

    Fundamentalists tend to be holier than thou kind of people. They are the 'you don't believe as I do so you are all going to hell' crowd. I don't think you fit into that group. Do you?
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  • I know a lot of people who call themselves 'fundamentalists'. Yes, some of them are loud and judgmental. (So are some liberals, some evangelicals, unitarians, postmen, pet lovers...) Most of them are not.
  • call themselves 'fundamentalists'. Yes, some of them are loud and judgmental. (So are some liberals

    Fundamentalists - liberals..... not necessarily distinct categories.
    Judgmental-liberals...... also not distinct categories.

  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003

    I think MD's distinction starts with people who embrace a fundamentalist identity as a positive thing per se.
  • True, Liam, although my point was not so much to make any distinctions but to point out that the existence of a few loud, judgmental, people in category X is not good grounds for supposing that as a general rule people who identify themselves as being in category X are judgmental.

    Most of the self-described fundamentalists whom I know take very seriously the various suggestions by our Lord to avoid judging others, leaving that role for God alone.
  • Michael,

    I would suggest that while what you say is true, being part of one of the mentioned groups is also NOT prevention from being judgmental.
    Thanked by 1MichaelDickson
  • being part of one of the mentioned groups is also NOT prevention from being judgmental.

    I completely agree.
  • The problem is that the term fundamentalist can be used pejoratively, to mean someone who is too stupid to be nuanced, because if they really understood the nuances of the situation they would agree with the opinion of the person throwing around the term fundamentalist in the pejorative.
    I have always held that when the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin he does so in a precise way, helping us to repent of specific wrong actions, attitudes, motivations etc. It is the evil one who spreads a vague fog of condemnation, which leads to nothing but gloom, introspection, and slacking off from the pursuit of virtue.
    however i also believe that 'God works all things for the good of those who love him' and my final take away from the Pope on this one is to be sure that when I have an opportunity to comment, critique, teach or otherwise have input into an ecclesiastical situation, that I do my utmost to be precise, grounded in the Magisterium, Scripture, the writings of the saints and so on. I will ask the Holy spirit to give me wisdom and discernment of spirits, and courage to speak forthrightly, even to those in power.
    And it just dawned on me that I should start praying and fasting for the Cardinal electors in the next conclave now. I didn't pray much the last time.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl