now, i've been called a lot of things

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but being labeled a "creeping fundamentalist" has got to be the best insult for "orthodox catholic" that i've had the pleasure of reading in a long while. the contempt is palpable. see envoy's blog for the progressive entry in question. mind you, the letter was issued by a "social action department" - a phrase that shoots up a red flag almost as quickly as a "gay/lesbian/transgender outreach" does.

10 Comments

Makes me sick. Although I would buy a "creeping fundamentalist" t-shirt if one were available! :0)

When the time comes, we will be standing back to back with those hated and much maligned "fundamentalists" while the guys who write tripe like this will be out there trying to make accomodations with the Antichrist.

So there.

Now don't ride me out of town on a rail or anything, but Allio makes some points I agree with. #9, for instance: it is really hard to be a Catholic Democrat given the state of today's Democratic party. I love the idea of the Democratic-leaning Catholic laity saying collectively, "Hey, your platform isn't working for us."

I think Patrick Madrid is being hasty to assume Allio is pointing the finger at orthodox organizations in #3. He could be wigged out, and rightly so, about Call to Action. Exploiting divisions cuts both ways.

Allio does sound way too waffly in #5, but I also dislike Madrid's response. Is he saying it's always a mortal sin to back a candidate who supports abortion rights? I've heard a lot of different opinions about the meaning of Ratzinger's statement on the issue, but he definitely didn't say it was always a mortal sin.

And I agree wholeheartedly with #10. Too often the media says, "the Pope, who opposes abortion and birth control, said blah blah today," as if they're trying to say, "the Pope, who is clearly a wacko, said something we don't have to listen to because why listen to a wacko?" The Holy Father deserves good media coverage when he has so many good things to say. Agreed, penetrating hearts and minds (and what's with the "thick skulls" cheap shot?) is a greater challenge, but I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.

I would also submit that orthodoxy and fundamentalism are distinct. I know nothing about the Diocese of Cleveland and nothing about Tom Allio. But it seems hasty, again, for Patrick Madrid to assume that Allio is bashing orthodoxy when he could have legitimate concerns about legalism, for instance. "Thou shalt wear a mantilla" is pretty different from "Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist," and I just don't know enough about the situation to assume that Allio's complaining about the latter instead of the former.

A cordial over and out from your friendly neighborhood wish-I-could-vote-Democrat-but-I-think-my-theology's-orthodox-anyway-fellow-mom-blogger...

That's a great term.....makes me want to cue up the Pink Panther theme!

Jamie, I'd never ride you out of town on a rail, even though I'm pretty much a "yellow dog Republican" if there is such a thing!

However, I will say that those of us orthodox Catholics who have worked in any capacity that touches on dealing with the diocese are far more like Mr. Madrid, and far less able to give "the benefit of the doubt" to such waffly communications from a diocesan official. While it is certainly possible that the diocesan official in question was really bemoaning groups like "Catholics for Free Choice" as well as conservative groups, in MY experince it has never meant that.

I also think (and don't take this personally, for I don't mean it that way!) there is an awful lot of thought among folks that Catholics SHOULD REALLY TRULY BE DEMOCRATS IF IT WEREN'T FOR THAT NASTY PRO-LIFE THING. And I think that is a mistaken assumption. There seem, to me, to be numerous issues where I think that people have made the Church's social gospel = to that of the Democratic party. And I don't think that is necessarily the case. Even were the Democrats pro-life, I think you can make a good argument for being a Catholic Republican.

The fact that the Catholic vote has been largely Democratic in the past does not mean that it must necessarily be that in the present or in the future.

But keep posting, Jamie! I read your blog nearly every day!

Thanks for your response, MamaT. I didn't know where you were, but if you have firsthand experience with the Diocese of Cleveland then I'll defer to you (though I still think Madrid could have been more charitable in his response).

I wouldn't tell anyone what her political orientation ought to be -- obviously there are the non-negotiables, which we agree on, but I think Catholics have plenty of latitude in how to approach issues like what size the federal gov't should be, what kind of taxes we should be paying, etc. No argument from me on that one.

Very interesting article. Our priest was, I think, the only priest in our diocese who was called on the carpet for saying that one issue, abortion, should inform our vote above all others. If he's creeping, I like it.

"...one issue, abortion, should inform our vote above all others."

'nuff said.

Jamie, I didn't want to leave you with the wrong impression. I don't know anything in particular about Cleveland--I'm a Texas girl. But we have received several similar letters from our own diocese.

Personally, I think (though I am still thinking through the process) that we are too quick to call a response to such letters "uncharitable". I think the way things that we, as orthodox Catholics, whether Dem or Rep, hate have flourished is because they were never challenged.

In a way, I think it's poetic justice. Many of the folks working in our Diocesan offices never thought the power of the laity would be brought to bear on THEM.

While I hope that we remain charitable while we challenge what is said, it must be acknowledged that in a lot of dioceses (that word looks weird)the call for charity has only gone one way--"You radical conservatives be nice while we cram another mismanaged Peace and Justice ministry down your throats. Oh, and by the way, your diocesan tax rate will be going up to pay for it."

Keep on commenting, Jamie, we love you!

The quoted challenge reads, "A creeping fundamentalism within the church provides space for some to demonize others (i.e. the notion that you canít be a good Catholic and vote for John Kerry)."

My question is, was it simple ignorance, a Freudian slip, or intentional that the author used "i.e." (meaning, "that is") where "e.g." (meaning "for example") would seem to be called for?

What turgid English! Most of it is in the passive voice: "Reflection and dialogue are required . . .", "More than ever there is a need . . ." and so on. You'd think he wanted to make the document as dull and stagnant as possible.

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This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on February 2, 2005 8:54 PM.

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