Popularity vs. Strict adherance

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Popularity vs. Strict adherance
6
Wed, 01-14-2004 - 10:02am
A point was made on another board that when a priest publicly goes against an unpopular Catholic "policy" that it is often quite popular with the congregation, or at least it makes that priest popular. This particular example was in regards to bc and the priest considered that issue "minor" and "not worth worrying about". Personally this kind of casual attitude scares me as it leads people to sin against God and it furthers misunderstanding about pretty important issues by dismissing them as unimportant and therefore not worthy of thought or dialogue.

It seems to me that more and more we are being asked to choose between a Church that is "strong in numbers" or a Church that is "strong in faith". If a religion, any religion, needs to be based on popular opinion rather than on faith, tradition, morals, etc. then what is the point of religion at all? What is the point of a Church or a priest calling itself Catholic if it does not intend to uphold Catholic teachings and catechize the lay people of their parish? Has anyone else noticed this trend? Is anyone else alarmed about this?

"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." - Thomas Jeff

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 01-14-2004 - 12:57pm
Yes and yes. I had a priest tell me bc was OK, and even though the answer, if I could have taken him at his word, would have made me happy, it did alarm me. My understanding is that a priest has no authority to teach something that is in contradiction to doctrine. My first thought was of the Bible verse that says something along the lines of "if anyone leads one of these little ones astray, it would be better for him if he had never been born." One priest in a homily told us that didn't mean "little ones" in years, as in children, but rather "little ones" in understanding of the faith. That interpretation would make me think that it's a very serious thing indeed for a priest to teach something counter to Church doctrine.

Even though I don't like all of the Church's teachings, I've always admired it for sticking to its guns on morality issues rather than bowing to popular culture.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 01-20-2004 - 1:07pm
I haven't noticed this trend among priests at all, at least not in my area (I live in the archdiocese of NY). All the parish priests in my area, as well as the visiting priests from the seminary (many of whom are assigned weekend parishes) are very orthodox about both doctrine and moral teachings. They also celebrate God's mercy and forgiveness frequently in their homilies. I consider this to be at least in part due to the influence of the late John Cardinal O'Connor, who was known both for his outspoken defense of all the Church's moral and doctrinal teachings, as well as his compassion for the individual.

We are not as conservative as the Arlington VA diocese by any means, but I don't know many who are. ;) However, we are quite orthodox.

Kelly

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Tue, 01-20-2004 - 1:29pm
I think the East coast in general tends to be more orthodox. Our Bishop is from Western NY and he is awesome, imo. I'll tell you what really scares me is some of the stuff I saw going on out west when I lived in AZ. If you wanted a traditional orthodox mass you almost had to go to a Spanish mass, which is fine if you understand Spanish. :)

"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." - Thomas Jeff

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 01-20-2004 - 3:16pm
I've never been to mass on the west coast, though I have an acquaintance in Arizona who tells me the same thing - though she loves her church's forms of worship. Even the Cursillo movement, which isn't quite charismatic but shares some sensibility with it (I'm a Cursillista), goes even further than we do here on the east coast with some of their customs.

When I've visited a few parishes in Rochester, NY (the western part of the state), I've noticed lots of "liturgical abuse" - e.g. laypeople giving the homily, Eucharistic ministers helping themselves to the bread and wine and administering it to each other, etc. That is the diocese where a priest was excommunicated for letting a woman "deacon" co-serve with him. But that sort of thing would never fly here in my diocese!

Kelly

Avatar for jamblessedthree
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Registered: 10-23-2001
Thu, 01-22-2004 - 4:00pm

Yes..I think I know what you mean.

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2004
Fri, 02-06-2004 - 6:00pm
I have noticed this trend. I can't help but think it is due to the intelligence level of the population rising. I am not being funny or snide. But for real, I think some people may take certain things more literally than it was meant to be taken. The bible has to be written so that even the simpliest individual may understand. Because of that, there is room for overinterpretation. I think as we grow in intelligence we start to understand true messages vs false messages and the growth of the church is reflecting that.

HOWEVER, I do believe that more people in general need to study the bible more in depth and really think about the message God wants us to comprehend. For example, I think before someone gets a civil divorce they should be counciled more thouroughly. And before they marry I think some stricter guidelines should be followed. Have you seen the statistics on catholic divorce lately?! Something needs to be done because the rates indicate a huge problem that should be addressed. So I know it sounds wishy washy but the church has grown in some ways but needs to bukle down in other ways.