Richter Scale, Please


“Seismic shifts reshape US Catholicism,” by Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter, Jan. 17, 2012

Excerpt:

“Catholics are developing a complex relationship between their Catholic identity on the one hand, and the way they understand what it means to practice their identity in the traffic of daily life on the other.

“They are changing their mind and their behavior when it comes to the moral authority of the hierarchy and their commitment to the institutional church and its policies and regulations.”

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12 Responses to “Richter Scale, Please”

  1. I am less concerned with the “shifting ground,” and more concerned with the shifty leadership.

    There are always things that distract us from the shifty leadership… “the shifting ground,” the liturgical changes, the school closings, the parish closings… The Church is corrupt. That should shift all of us in a monumental way.

  2. This is bizarre. I cited this article, and did a paste and copy of the quote identified above (actually I did a somewhat longer version) on the ‘Breaking News’ blog, went for a walk, came back and added this link to the other blog, and found it was now the posted article for our consideration, on a new blog!!!!

    More than once on C4C, I have attempted to say that folks out here (west coast, Blue States) have quite a different take on institutional Church, than I think is the case ‘further east’. Tom Roberts has said it a whole heck of a lot better in this NCR article!

    The essence of the Roberts piece, from a West Coast point of view, is certain aspects of faith and practice are important to folks out here, BUT taking the peculiarities of institutional church seriously, just doesn’t factor very much.

    We have had an open SOL window, thank God…

    Most of us have taken Western Civ and are aware of the evils of the Inquisition, the Borgia popes, the papacy in Avignon et al and don’t hold a lot of illusions about institutional Church.

    And that ‘complex relationship’ alluded to in the article would have a lot more to do with primacy of personal conscience, reasonably adult lay behaviour, and a proportional view of the Church relative to many other entities that factor in our lives. Also, as a general statement folks I know are making their financial contributions to charities of choice, for the most part not to the Church.

  3. The most significant misconception about the Church is that everyone should think and act the same, or rather, in exact uniformity and conformity with the Church. If history has proven anything it is that the Church is not free from error, hence to follow blindly any organization, entity or individual is completely erroneous. That is why our Creator gave us a free will and intellect. We are witnessing a Church whose laity are finally coming of age, intellectually, philosophically and theologically. No wonder the hierarchy is terrified, “how you gonna keep ’em down on the farm” after they have been educated? Nothing is more dangerous than an idea whose time has come!

    • “That is why our Creator gave us a free will and intellect. We are witnessing a Church whose laity are finally coming of age, intellectually, philosophically and theologically”

      But if they are, and are “more educated etc.” what has that to do with their eternal life”

      What has that to do with the God breathed Word: 1TM1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ
      Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

      • I’m sorry Gerald, It has a lot to do with eternal life.
        Too hard to explain theologically for me, but on a simplistic basis, we are our brother’s keeper, we are accountable to what is done in our name, have to stand up and be counted as decent citizens and more especially because we Catholics.
        Christ came into the world to save sinners yes, but I’m afraid the crimes that have been committed in his name warrant a little more than that, this side of heaven.

    • “Authoritarianism suffocates truth, reducing everything to a rigid and empty formalism that is dependent on outside discipline. It curbs wholesome initiative, mistakes hardness for firmness, inflexibility for dignity. Paternalism is a caricature of true fatherliness. It is often accompanied by an unjustifiable proprietary attitude to one’s victim, a habit of intruding, a lack of proper respect for the rights of subordinates.” John XXIII

  4. “I’m sorry Gerald, It has a lot to do with eternal life.
    Too hard to explain theologically for me, but on a simplistic basis, we are our brother’s keeper, we are accountable to what is done in our name, have to stand up and be counted as decent citizens and more especially because we Catholics.
    Christ came into the world to save sinners yes, but I’m afraid the crimes that have been committed in his name warrant a little more than that, this side of heaven.”
    When Susan titled this one “Richter Scale Please” I took it to mean she was introducing a “thought piece.” The implication being that if a “seismic event” weoccurringing in the Roman church, she needed the Richter scale to “prove it”, since so many are apathetic and seemingly unconcerned. I may be right or wrong on that assumption. But to clarify my point if I can—
    Mr. Armbrust’s remarks seem to me to be about the folk we find writing and commenting on NCR frequently; as well as groups such as American Catholic Council and the like— so-called
    “reform” groups. And what I tried to say using the quote from St. Paul in I Tim. 1:15 is that when those people are no closer to biblical , or “from God’s viewpoint” understanding, how is that good? Someone here lately gave a link to a YOUTUBE clip where a young manis becoming rather famous [viral] with a poem titled “I love Jesus, but I hate religion.” It is said to have gone “viral” and millions have seen it. I watched it twice and I did find some true statements in it, one being “Religion says DO, but Jesus says DONE!

  5. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    “I’m developing a theory that one of our major challenges today is that American Catholic leadership is being strangled by trying to maintain the behemoth of the institutional Catholicism that we inherited from the 1940s and ’50s,” New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan told NCR’s John Allen in the recently released book-length interview A People of Hope.

    Developing a theory? Cardinal-elect Dolan, the FACT of institutional Catholicism strangling the faith, its growth and its future has been quite obvious for many, many years. Cardinal-elect, if you are realizing this FACT just now, then maybe we need other leadership to become “A People of Hope.”

    • Michael…I had NO idea you were a retired Phillychief of police officer!!!! I was on the Justice4PAKids site and wanted to see who was a contributing supporter.

      Your presence speaks volumes…so do your words.

  6. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply January 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    survivor’s wife……thanks for the kudos. But, you are the one to be commended, a survivor’s wife.

    By the way, here’s another little item that I posted at NCR regarding the Roberts “Seismic shift” article:

    “By dint of circumstance (and perhaps by intent of the East Coast’s two Franciscan prelates) the church is being stripped of some of its earthly grandeur.”

    Earthly Grandeur reduced here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia??

    It’s a shame I cannot post the picture of the luxurious mansion, prime real estate where our Archbishop resides (rumored to be for sale) and right down the street, St. Charles Seminary where the dwindling numbers of seminarians clearly warrant that this luxurious real estate, sitting at the entrance to the fashionable Main Line of Philadelphia, be sold and seminary facilities moved to a smaller, more utilitarian and practical building and location.

    And there’s a lot more “earthly grandeur” in the real estate portfolio of the Philadelphia archdiocese! Who says it’s being “stripped”?

  7. “And Jesus had nowhere to place his head” ….

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