DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     April 15, 1999     vol. 10, no. 74

Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
INTRODUCTION
     
    Pat Ludwa, a committed lay Catholic from Cleveland, has been asked to contribute, on a regular basis, a lay person's point of view on the Church today. We have been impressed with his insight and the clear logic he brings to the table from his "view from the pew." In all humility, by his own admission, he feels he has very little to offer, but we're sure you'll agree with us that his viewpoint is exactly what millions of the silent majority of Catholics believe and have been trying to say as well. Pat puts it in words that help all of us better understand and convey to others what the Church teaches and we must believe.

          This week Pat continues his challenge of the upstart liberal group Call To Action and their self-pontificating about what is best for the Church in America. The smallest of minorities seeks to change the majority because of their dissent and Protestant opinions, and herein lie the problems for they seek to change what Jesus established. Pat continues where he left off in Monday's column by taking us through their arguments and successfully refuting their misguided logic in his column A Dysfunctional Family? with part two today.

A Dysfunctional Family? part two

          I'd like to continue today with the second part of this feature on Call To Action's demands and why they don't and won't work. On Monday we saw where they call upon the spirit of Vatican II to rationalize the changes they propose, but only the "spirit" not the Spirit as in Holy Spirit. Today I continue with this vein as I offer more feeble arguments from this group of liberal upstarts who have proven they are a minute minority who adhere to the principal that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

          One of Call To Action's gripes comes in the area of dialogue, where they, because they are not in union with the Church thinking, want to change the Church to suit them. " We see theologians silenced, constructive opposition condemned, loyalty oaths imposed and blind obedience demanded. We call for open dialogue, academic freedom, and due process"

          Here we see that Call To Action would have supported Arianism, Pelagianism, and other heresies which rocked the Church. Constructive opposition is a euphemism for doing as they say. The loyalty oath (given once before) is nothing more than the Creed and Act of Faith which, supposedly, they say every Sunday, and affirm with the renewal of their baptismal vows. In short, error should be protected and given as a truth. Again, Cardinal Law pointed out that: "Dialogue as a way to mediate between the truth and dissent is mutual deception."

          But deception is what Call To Action is essentially all about. " We see groups marginalized in our church because of race and ethnic identity. We call for church leadership to speed up the enculturation of diverse peoples through new forms of liturgy, language and leadership drawn from the native culture of people."

          We have to understand that does not consider race and/or ethnic identity as a 'qualifier'. The black Catholic is no different than the white, the European from the Asian. We are One Church, One People. It is probable that St. Augustine was black, but you will never know that, because his race doesn't matter to the Church. His soul and teachings do. And culture is considered in the liturgy in various places. Religious dance is accepted, for example, in various African nations because dance was part of their religious expression. However, it was never a part of Western religious expression.

          Call To Action also demand a change in the ecclesiastical ranks. " We see many Catholics deprived of the church's sacramental life because of the declining number of priests. In particular, we see Catholics denied regular access to the Eucharist, the center of our worship and spiritual life. We call upon the church to discard the medieval discipline of mandatory priestly celibacy, and to open the priesthood to women and married men, including resigned priest, so that the Eucharist may continue to be the center of the spirtual life of all Catholics."

          Now here is a good one. Everyone, even the Vatican, is concerned with the decrease in religious vocations, particularly the priesthood. (Though there is evidence that this trend is reversing) Without going into the obvious arguments that priestly celibacy is a discipline which may be changed (though they like to lump it together) whereas the ordination of women is closed, it is interesting to note that one reason for this lack of vocations may very well be caused by those who follow Call To Action's agenda. Depriving serious and qualified candidates from entering a seminary if they are deemed "too orthodox". ("Crisis in vocations?" Bishop Curtis of Omaha, Our Sunday Visitor, Oct. 8, 1995)

          We also know from the conferences among themselves, that the continuation of the priesthood is the last thing they want. Firstly, why would they be obedient to any bishop then if they aren't now? Secondly, they prefer "community based facilitators", not priests. " We see women experiencing oppression, violence and inequality. Yet Vatican II's Church in the Modern World expresses respect for the fundamental rights of every person, and asserts that 'every type of discrimination is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent.' We call upon Church officials to incorporate women at all levels of ministry and decision making."

          Here we see the fairness card being played. First, we're asked to believe that the Church is anti-women; a patriarchal monolith working feverishly to keep women poor, ignorant, and under foot. It matters little to them that while the rest of the world had Queens as political footballs, window dressing, and king-making machines, the Church had them founding Orders, running Abbey's, Orders, giving theological teachings, etc. Many were even held up for ALL mankind as examples of Christian faith and courage. Hardly the actions of a Church which is anti-woman. In fact, the Church HAS incorporated women in all levels of ministry. This is both a blessing and curse. The Vatican's representative to the Beijing Conference was a woman (though tainted by Catholicism). However, Call To Action have their own representatives established in Diocese's, spreading the gospel of dissent through the Diocese, Religious Education, Liturgists, etc.

          " Twenty-five years ago Vatican II clarified the mission of The Church in the Modern World to be a sign of God's saving work and a servant to the entire human community. The world is wracked by terrible problems-ecological perils, poverty and injustice, conflict and violence. To be a clearer sign and a better servant to God's global family, our church must reform its own structures. We call on all people within our church, in the spirit of co-discipleship and co- responsbility, to use their imagination and creativity. For the world's sake, let us make the church more faithful to its mission."

          Note here, no mention of people changing their hearts. No mention of following Christ, only that the Church has to change to suit the world, or their definition of the world. Their call for "co-discipleship" and "co-responsibility" is a sham. Their recent "We Are Church" Referendum garnered less than .02% of "American" Catholics. So this .02% of "American" Catholics "demands" the Church change to suit them. However, their document IS an example imagination and creativity, otherwise known as rationalization and justification. For the world's sake, we cannot follow this 'Call To Apostasy,' but rather must heed the true call of Gaudium et Spes, that is, to bring the true message of Christ to a cold, dark, world ensnared in the culture of death. Not to change that message to make it more 'palatable' for those who "refuse to serve." As a Vatican spokesman said: "Schism is terrible, but better schism than heresy."

      Pax Christi, Pat

April 15, 1999       volume 10, no. 74
VIEW FROM THE PEW

DAILY CATHOLIC

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