Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pope John XXIII - Vatican II – Social Justice & Hope --- Quit the Church? Thanks but no thanks - E. J. Dionne Jr. – 5/14/12

         Recently, a group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation ran a full-page ad in the Washington Post cast as an "open letter to 'liberal' and 'nominal' Catholics." Its headline commanded: "It's Time to Quit the Catholic Church."
          “...By remaining a 'good Catholic,' you are doing 'bad' to women's rights. You are an enabler. And it's got to stop."
          ...They may not see the Gospel as a liberating document, but I do, and I can't ignore the good done in the name of Christ by the sisters, priests, brothers and laypeople who have devoted their lives to the poor and the marginalized.
          And on women's rights, I take as my guide that early feminist, Pope John XXIII. In Pacem in Terris, his encyclical issued in 1963, the same year Betty Friedan published "The Feminine Mystique," Pope John spoke of women's "natural dignity."
          "Far from being content with a purely passive role or allowing themselves to be regarded as a kind of instrument," he wrote, "they are demanding both in domestic and in public life the rights and duties which belong to them as human persons."
          I'd like the FFRF to learn more about the good Pope John, but I wish our current bishops would think more about him, too.
          …Oh yes, and the nuns are also scolded for talking a great deal about social justice and not enough about abortion (as if the church doesn't talk enough about abortion already)…
          A thoughtful friend recently noted that carrying a child to term is an act of overwhelming generosity. For nine months, a woman gives her body to another life, not to mention the rest of her years. Might the bishops consider that their preaching on abortion would have more credibility if they treated women in the church, including nuns, with the kind of generosity they are asking of potential mothers? They might usefully embrace a similar attitude toward gays and lesbians.
          Too many bishops seem in the grip of dark suspicions that our culture is moving at breakneck speed toward a demonic end. Pope John XXIII, by contrast, was more optimistic about the signs of the times.
          "Distrustful souls see only darkness burdening the face of the earth," he once said. "We prefer instead to reaffirm all our confidence in our Savior who has not abandoned the world which he redeemed." The church best answers its critics when it remembers that its mission is to preach hope, not fear.    
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Pope John XXIII - We are not here to guard a museum, but to cultivate a flourishing garden of life.

Interesting to note that this important Opening Address of John XXIII to the Second Vatican Council is in Latin and not translated other languages.



Die 11 octobris menis a. 1962

Venerabiles Fratres,

1. Gaudet Mater Ecclesia quod, singulari Divinae Providentiae munere, optatissimus iam dies illuxit, quo, auspice Deipara Virgine, cuius materna dignitas hodie festo ritu recolitur, hic ad Beati Petri sepulcrum Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum sollemniter initium capit…

Qua ratione hodie doctrina promovenda sit

Attamen nostrum non est pretiosum hunc thesaurum solum custodire, quasi uni antiquitati studeamus; sed alacres, sine timore, operi, quod nostra exigit aetas, nunc insistamus, iter pergentes, quod Ecclesia a viginti fere saeculis fecit…

(However, it is not our only precious this treasure to keep, as it were, to study, to one of antiquity, but with enthusiasm, and without fear, the work by which our age demands, now insist upon, thus pursuing the path which the Church has almost twenty centuries has made ...)

Reference to Second Vatican Council
          In 1962, Pope John XXIII, named Man of the Year in 1963 by Time magazine, opened the Second Vatican Council with the intention of internally renewing the global Roman Catholic church. When asked about his motivation for convening the council, Pope John XXIII moved to the window and threw open the sash — his rationale being, "I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in."
          The Council published 16 documents and produced many visible changes in Catholic life and doctrine. Most basically, it began to open up Catholic thought and doctrine, leading to a less hierarchical governance, increased roles for the laity, Masses spoken in native languages rather than intoned in Latin, and an openness to the practice of beliefs and practices of other Christians and Jews — as in the declaration on religious liberty, Dignitatis Humanae…
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The Second Vatican Council - "I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in." Pope John XXIII
          The Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, was an ecclesial, theological, and ecumenical congress convened in the autumns of the four years from 1962 through 1965. Pope John XXIII convoked the Council on October 11, 1962, and with bishops from all over the world, sought to define the nature, scope, and mission of the Church. Of the 2,908 clergy entitled to attend the Council, 2,450 did so. The Council closed December 8, 1965. Photo
          The Council produced 16 documents some of which are described as the greatest expressions of Catholic social teaching in church history.
          Vatican II marked a fundamental shift towards the modern Church. The decisions of the Council, especially those regarding the liturgy, affected the lives of Catholics around the world. After Vatican II the use of the vernacular language was permitted in the celebration of the Mass and in 1970 the new Sacramentary and Novus Ordo (New Order of Mass) were established. Increased participation by the laity distinguishes Catholic life after the Second Vatican Council. Bible study groups, Marriage Encounter, social action organizations, and the charismatic renewal movement are all fruits of the Council. Vatican II made possible the many post-conciliar official Church documents on Catholic social teaching…

Catholic Social Teaching - Encyclicals and Documents
An "encyclical" in Latin refers to a "circulating letter". The following list of encyclicals has become the widely accepted, though unofficial body of documents commonly referred to as "Catholic Social Teaching."

An "encyclical" in Latin refers to a "circulating letter". The following list of encyclicals has become the widely accepted, though unofficial body of documents commonly referred to as "Catholic Social Teaching."

Catholic Social Teaching is grounded in the values and principles of Judeo-Christian religious experience, which are reflected in the Christian scriptures and the Church's lived tradition. It has evolved as each generation has attempted to live in society with reflective fidelity to those values and that religious vision. An active commitment to social justice is now recognized as essential to authentic Catholic faith…

Pope John XXIII, 1958-1963 - Gerald Darring
Pope John XXIII was Bishop of Rome from 1958 to 1963. He convened the Second Vatican Council and shepherded it through its first session in the Fall of 1962. One of his great accomplishments was the full entry of the Catholic Church in the ecumenical movement for the unity of Christendom. He will also be remembered for his two major contributions to Catholic social teaching, his 1961 encyclical Mater et Magistra, and his 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris. All the popes of the twentieth century have been loved by Catholics; Pope John was perhaps the pope most loved and respected by non-Catholics, and this universal appeal contributed to the positive reception of his social teachings.

Mater et Magistra (Christianity and Social Progress) -- Pope John XXIII, 1961
Pope John XXIII begins this encyclical by reviewing the major points of The Condition of Labor and The Reconstruction of the Social Order. He notes that new political, social, and economic developments have necessitated Christianity and Social Progress. He confirms previous papal teaching on the value of private initiative, just remuneration for work, and the social function of private property. John XXIII then treats the questions of agriculture and aid to developing countries. He urges a reconstruction of social relationships according to the principles of Catholic social teaching and states the responsibility of individual Christians to work for a more just world…

Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) -- Pope John XXIII, 1963
In Peace on Earth, Pope John XXIII contends that peace can be established only if the social order set down by God is fully observed. Relying extensively on reason and the
natural law tradition, John XXIII sketches a list of rights and duties to be followed by individuals, public authorities, national governments, and the world community. Peace needs to be based on an order founded on truth, built according to justice, vivified and integrated by charity, and put into practice in freedom.

Vatican Crackdown – Archbishop HUNTHAUSEN of Seattle, Washington for Supporting GAYS & LESBIANS – … CRUEL & DEMEANING treatment of Hunthausen – to effectively - INTIMIDATE - fellow prelates - 1983

Archbishop Weakland’s - 1986 - Warnings to Vatican inquisitor – valuing RIGIDITY OF DOCTRINE over PEOPLE – Mistreatment of Archbishop HUNTHAUSEN – 9/28/1986 ---
…He contended that previous efforts to monitor and safeguard Catholic doctrine have been undertaken in an atmosphere where ``amateurs-turned-theologians easily became headhunters and leaders were picked (on the basis of) the rigidity of their doctrine, so that often second-rate and repressive minds, riding on the waves of fear, took over.
          ``Religion under such circumstances then can become an ideology that tolerates no obstacle and that values ideas more than people,`` he wrote...
A Catholic pastor in Maryland dissents from archbishop on gay marriage -  October 29, 2012
          A Catholic priest in Maryland on Sunday read a letter from Archbishop William Lori urging that parishoners vote against same-sex marriage on their November ballot, and then delivered a sermon declaring that he will “continue to attend the weddings of gay and lesbian persons whom I love and support.”
          The Rev. Richard T. Lawrence, pastor of Baltimore’s St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church for 39 years, received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his sermon
          But Lawrence offered a different read of a Catholic’s conscience.
          Religious and civil law are separate, and “evil” civil law should be resisted out of conscience even as other laws are complied with “even when we disagree with them.” As to marriage, the Catholic Church hires and provides spousal benefits to employees whose marriages are not recognized as valid under church law.
          “It seems to me, therefore, that even if we do not believe that gay marriage ever could or should be allowed in the church, we could live with a provision that allows civil marriage of gay and lesbian couples,” Lawrence added.  “Personally, however, I will go farther than that.”
          The Catholic pastor noted changes enacted a half century ago by the Second Vatican Council, and noted that the church might eventually “come to recognize the total, exclusive and permanent union of gay and lesbian couples as part of the sacrament of matrimony.”

Minnesota voters reject marriage amendment
November 7, 2012

THE REV. MICHAEL TEGEDER, Minneapolis – writes –  
As a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, I would ask our archbishop, John Nienstedt, to prayerfully consider stepping down from his office. It would be healing for our state and our church and would show some magnanimity on his part. His misguided crusade to change our Constitution, spending more than a million dollars and, more importantly, much goodwill, has been rejected. Elections have consequences.
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Marriage amendment: There's no single 'Catholic view' on this vote – 10/20/12
          Last fall, Nienstedt told priests and deacons that he expected them to support the marriage amendment and that "there ought not be open dissension on this issue."
          He had more specific instructions for the Rev. Mike Tegeder, priest at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Minneapolis who's been a rare internal, public critic of the church on this issue.
          "If you choose not to offer your resignation, but continue to act openly or speak publicly about your opposition to Church teaching, I will suspend your faculties to exercise ministry and remove you from your ministerial assignments," Nienstedt wrote to Tegeder in a letter last November.
          Asked why the archbishop hasn't removed Tegeder, given the priest's continued public criticism, spokesman Jim Accurso said the archdiocese doesn't comment on personnel matters. More generally, Accurso said, "we are not aware of a single incident where the conduct of an employee regarding the marriage amendment has raised the issue of discipline." …

          Seated at a St. Paul coffee shop last week, the Rev. Thomas Garvey opens a book containing the documents of Vatican II and points to a passage. "Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths," the text reads.
          "You read that, and you say 'Who is anybody to tell me how I ought to think?' " Garvey said. Photo
          Garvey, 83, is retired but still serves in the archdiocese.
          He was offended by Nienstedt's telling priests to fall in line on the marriage question.
          It might be OK for the archbishop to require unanimity on a clear topic, Garvey says -- "Jesus Christ the son of God? OK, I'd buy in to that." But not an issue like same-sex marriage, where people's life experiences lead them to different places of conscience.
          Garvey's own conscience on the matter was formed over more than five decades in ministry.
          He saw a film years ago in which a young lesbian was sobbing over the isolation she felt in her own family. "Watching her mourn her treatment said to me pretty clearly we got the wrong position on this," he said.
          Working with gay and lesbian parishioners solidified his view that they were no different from any other church members and deserved the right to be united with someone of the same sex under law, if not as part of a Catholic sacrament.
          He and two other retired priests wrote a public letter to that effect this past spring, representing, they said, "many other priests who support this position." …
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Seattle WA - Catholics defy bishops to pray for Gay Marriage – "AUTHORITY NEVER SUPPLANTS CONSCIENCE" - 10/29/12
Gay Marriage - A WELL-INFORMED CONSCIENCE --- Protects Religious Freedom – but not TYRANNY in Religion --- Kids Are Being Hurt!!! - US Presidential Elections - 2012 --- President Obama Gay Marriage Endorsement May 2012 - Is 'Political Bravery'
Catholic pastor applauded for shunning anti-gay marriage drive - April 17, 2012
          The congregation at Seattle’s Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church gave the Rev. Tim Clark a standing ovation Sunday when he announced that the parish would not gather signatures for a referendum to repeal same-sex marriage.
          The parish became the sixth in Seattle to opt out of the petition drive for Referendum 74 that has been endorsed and foisted on parishes by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain.
          “I am happy to report that Our Lady of the Lake parishoners have been overwhelmingly and, thus far, unanimously supportive of the decision I made NOT to gather signatures in support of this Referendum,” Clark wrote in response to an e-mail…

Seattle's largest Catholic church won't join anti-gay marriage signature drive - April 12, 2012
          Seattle's largest Catholic church will not be taking part in signature-gathering to stop same-sex marriage, despite a recent call by Western Washington's Catholic leaders.
          Father Michael Ryan, head of St. James Cathedral, tells parishioners in a letter that gathering signatures for Referendum 74 would "prove hurtful and seriously divisive in our community." …  Photo

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