Monday, June 6, 2011

The Failure of Liberal Catholicism

An examination of its claims - the first of a two-part series.
(The Catholic World Report) No one has yet managed to transcend or synthesize the concepts “liberal” and “conservative,” however inadequate those words are for denoting religious beliefs. 

Conservative Catholics define themselves in terms of obedience to Church authority, acceptance of official teachings, and a strict personal morality, especially in matters of sexuality, while liberals offer a more expansive idea of the Church, a purportedly liberating understanding of what it means to be a Catholic. 

The conservative claim is more modest than the liberal claim, because conservatives do not offer themselves as spiritual paragons—a conservative Catholic can readily admit to being a bad person in need of redemption.  Liberals, on the other hand, claim to have actually found a better way of being Christian. Given human nature, that is a promise they cannot fulfill. 

A former publisher of the National Catholic Reporter in effect defined liberal Catholics as those who “embrace all of God’s people…loving…welcoming…open…tolerant…. Our greatest fulfillment as Catholics is a sense of community and belonging, whatever baggage and differences we carry…. It’s about making room for everyone under a very big tent….” 

But apparently Sister Rita Larivee did not actually read the newspaper that she once oversaw, since it demonstrates how far short liberal Catholics fall in being welcoming, open, and tolerant...

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