“Cultural Catholicism” and marriage nullity

June 28, 2014 § 43 Comments

The phenomenon of “cultural Catholicism” can be baffling to adult converts to the Faith, because for the most part adult converts to the Faith are, by self-selection, people who take religion seriously.  They cannot imagine what it is like to go to Mass still drunk and hung over from the night before and have to leave Mass early to vomit.  They cannot fathom hearing the same words over and over for years, even reciting them yourself, without knowing or much caring what they mean or how they fit into a theological schema.

In short, religiously serious people drastically underestimate the power of indifference.

Nevertheless I am led to understand that the phenomenon of cultural Catholicism is very real.  I’m not going to look up any polls, because we all already know what they say.  Large numbers of Catholics practice contraception and don’t believe in the Real Presence, just as two examples of divergence between pewsitters and doctrine.  Many of those Catholics receive the Eucharist anyway.

And many of them marry in the Church.

Now, I am not even slightly sympathetic to the post-hoc psychobabble rationalizations commonly used to justify annulments. In the thread at New Sherwood Jeff Culbreath catalogues some examples that would be hilarious if there weren’t large numbers of people taking them seriously.

But I am perfectly willing to believe that many ‘cultural Catholics’ approach the marriage altar sacreligiously, either firmly convinced that the Church is wrong or entirely unaware of and ambivalent to doctrine.  I am sure that many approach thinking that if their spouse ever cheats they will divorce and marry someone else.  Like adults speaking in the world of Charlie Brown, whatever is said by the priest is just noise, part of the ritual: a stream of jabberwocky with no connection to reality.  What else might we expect from a population of Catholics who don’t even believe in the Real Presence?

And given that marriage ideas have marriage consequences, it follows that, just as there are unquestionably large numbers of sacrilegious receptions of the Eucharist, and an unknown number of sacrilegious confessions, there are are almost certainly large numbers of invalid marriages.

And I’ve already given my suggestions as to what ought to be done about it.

§ 43 Responses to “Cultural Catholicism” and marriage nullity

  • A couple of years ago, a member of my immediate family noticed that a lot of the people in line for the Eucharist were receiving on the tongue. Being kind of a germaphobe he did not like the idea of the Priest’s hands near everybody’s tongues right before we ate something he gave us.

    We were already standing, so it wasn’t a matter of not getting up; sitting down would have been embarrassing. He whispered that we should take the Blessed Sacrament and instead of eating it hide it under our chairs! (It was an outdoor Mass.)

    I think the look of total and abject horror on my face immediately changed his mind, as we received the Eucharist with no more comment.

  • donalgraeme says:

    I used to be one of these “Cultural Catholics.” Oh, I believed in God. I even followed the letter of the law when it came to Church teaching. But not the spirit of it.

    It is disturbing now to consider the possibility that a few years back, if I had married, I might have been one of the approaching the altar sacrilegiously.

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    Many see the root of the problem in poor catechesis but I wonder if the problem goes much deeper than mere lack of instruction/education. Could it just be the loss of the sense of the sacred? The triumph of a purely secular, purely material world over a sacramental one?

    Could it also just be the seeming arbitrariness of the post-Vatican II Church? So its okay for the Church to shaft all those condemnations of political liberalism, of religious indifferentism and to above all shaft the ancient liturgy but by golly conservative Catholics* will absolutely fight and die on the hill of pelvic issues! Of course we realize that the Church already lost that battle a long time ago, but that is one plausible perception and I think somewhat reasonable perception.

    * When I say conservative Catholics I am primarily speaking of First Things/National Review/EWTN types I don’t mean Zippy or those who frequently comment here.

  • Sir, I am a convert to the Catholic faith and I’ll have you know that I have first hand experience of going to Mass so badly hung over that I excused myself during the homily to go vomit. In my own defense, it’s not like many homilies are particularly edifying anyway, am I right?

    After nine years within the bosom of Holy Mother Church, I’ve come to understand our Blessed Lord’s words that the tares will grow alongside the wheat until the harvest. I just wish the tares weren’t so integrated into the Church buearacracy.

  • Zippy says:

    BL:

    I’ll have you know that I have first hand experience of going to Mass so badly hung over that I excused myself during the homily to go vomit.

    Sure, but have you ever done the same thing and been unsure years later whether or not you had received the Eucharist before vomiting?

  • Zippy says:

    Ita:

    Many see the root of the problem in poor catechesis but I wonder if the problem goes much deeper than mere lack of instruction/education. Could it just be the loss of the sense of the sacred? The triumph of a purely secular, purely material world over a sacramental one?

    I think it is a fair point that a large number of modern Catholics are not so much uneducated as they are impervious to education. Modernity is very effective at making us impervious to the Good News.

  • Karl says:

    “Impervious to education”

    Well said my friend! But, especially so with those who wear the Roman Collar or the Mitre or Peter’s Ring!

  • Bill McEnaney says:

    Malcom, years ago, when I still attended Masses in English, I watch a parishioner receive Holy Communion in the hand only to drop the consecrated Host into his shirt pocket. During another English Mass, while I knelt in the pew, a woman brought me a chalice, aimed it at my mouth, and asked whether I wanted some WINE. I wish non-integralist Catholics would remember a point Michael Davies makes in, I think, his book “Cranmer’s Godly Order.” Protestant Thomas Cranmer advocated communion in the hand to undermine belief in two things: Transubstantiation and the ministerial priesthood. If you attend the New Mass, which us integralists usually call the “Novus Ordo,” in a church where the celebrant stands in front of the tabernacle-adorned high altar to face the congregation, remember what body part of his faces the tabernacle when he bends down to kiss the altar. Hint: It’ll be below his belt. I can Vatican II, the New Mass, an progressivism deserve plenty of blame for irreverence at Mass.

    At another Mass, one for teens, I watched two young men carry a you woman to the communion rail while one imitated an ambulance siren. They put her on the floor at the rail, the priest knelt, her mouth opened, and he looked into her mouth to, in his words, “check her spiritual wellness.” After most parishioners there received the Blessed Sacrament in their hands, who know how many crumbs the “ambulance drivers” may have trampled.

  • Zippy says:

    Karl:
    I remember reading somewhere (Thomas Kuhn perhaps) that scientific consensus doesn’t change primarily because scientists adjust to new evidence. It changes primarily because older scientists die off.

    Perhaps the same can be said of politics, including the religious politics we label “pastoral”.

  • Mike T says:

    Many see the root of the problem in poor catechesis but I wonder if the problem goes much deeper than mere lack of instruction/education. Could it just be the loss of the sense of the sacred? The triumph of a purely secular, purely material world over a sacramental one?

    It’s something much deeper. Jesus discussed it in Matt 13 with the parable of the farmer who sews seed in different soil. Cultural Catholics are generally, like cultural Protestants, examples of one form of bad soil or another.

    A man can change, but by default most of them are the bad soil in whom the seed of the Gospel simply cannot grow. Pray for them because their good works are in vain and there is nothing in their faithlessness that they can do to please God.

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    form of bad soil or another

    This is why I am an integralist. The whole society ought to be Catholic for the sake of the poor. Living the life of a Christian should not be some sort of Darwinist race of the fittest. Right now real Catholicism is basically a detached past time of the hyper-educated and well-off. Sure not everyone is called to be St. Thomas Aquinas, but if this society was actually Catholic instead of secular-liberal-capitalist the basics would be a lot more intelligible to the great mass of people.

  • Bill McEnaney says:

    Mike, poor catechesis is a major part of the problem. At the church I went to before our now retired bishop closed it, kids studied the Baltimore Catechism, an adults read Canon Francis Ripley’s book “This is the Faith.”

    Years ago, when I sent money to Robert Sungenis’s apostolate, a coworker of his wrote an article about a class for prospective converts to Catholicism. During that class, when the writer told thestudents that the Catholic Church is the true Church, the teacher replied with something like, “Vatican II changed all that.”

    After one of my best friends asked me to be his daughter’s godfather, I said that, if I ever needed to be responsible for her religious education, I’d need to ensure that she learned pre-Vatican-II doctrine and that she went to the Traditional Latin Mass instead of the Novus Ordo Missae. What Masses she’d go to when she up would be up to her. But after I read a printed edition of this book, I promised myself that I’d go to the New Mass only if it was my only way to fulfill a Mass obligation. To avoid the new one, I’ll become an Eastern Rite Catholic if anyone abolishes theTLM.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/ curia/reformof.htm

    Here’s Mortalium Animos, the encyclical where Pius XI condemns the kind of ecumenism that popes have done from Paul VI’s pontificate on, the kind that brought us the Assisi meeting, the Koran-kissing, etc.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/encyc/p11morta.htm

    Popes Benedict and Francis can all they want to say about the “hermeneutic of continuity.” But it seems to me that, if the Church won’t abolish Vatican II’s novelties or change what the council documents say about religious freedom, ecumenism, collegiality, and the nature of the Church, to at least seem to get continuity, someone will need to redefine it. The trouble is that the new definition probably would conflict with Vatican I when it teaches that, while doctrines develop, the need to the same meaning they’ve always had, and that nobody, not even a pope, has any authority to change any of them.

  • Bill McEnaney says:

    I agree with Ita. I’m even willing to bet that after Our Lady of Fatima’s Immaculate Heart triumphs, whole countries will become Catholic. I don’t want to force anyone to convert. The Church has always taught that it’s immoral to try to coerce anyone into doing that, since an act of faith needs to be a free one. Besides, “conversions at gunpoint” are rarely genuine. But today’s ecumenists need to admit two points that Leo XIII makes in Libertas Praestantissimum, I think. Catholicism is the only religion that anyone has a God-given right to practice, the State has an obligation to adopt it as its official religion. Americans, including the American Bishops may not like the news. Still for the US to be a Catholic confessional state, it’ll need to, say, delete the Establishment Clause from the Constitution.

    Mr. Salza may have made a mistake in his YouTube video, because the US Bishops may not be using “religious liberty” in Pope Leo’s sense of the phrase.

  • Bill McEnaney says:

    Here’s a link to Libertas Praestantissimum, Leo XIII’s encyclical about the nature of liberty because parts 19-22 seem very much about religious liberty an the pre-Vatican-II sense of the phrase.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_20061888_libertas_en.html

  • Alte says:

    I struggle with the fact that I’m more orthodox than most priests. I’ll tell people one thing, then they go talk to their priest about it, and he unfailingly tells them I’m full of it.

  • Alte says:

    Most people really are sheep, you know. They live entirely in the present and follow the herd. Nothing will improve until the herd changes direction to avoid something awful, like war or mass starvation.

    There’s a reason why the orthodox tend to be unusually shrewd and future-oriented. We’re waiting for some trickle-down, I guess.

  • Bill McEnaney says:

    Alte, I know what you mean. If I talked with those people and the priests they talk with, I’d show them official documents that the Church published before Vatican II. A few weeks ago, I told a priest who doesn’t know how to say the Traditional Latin Mass about the Ottaviani Intervention because the committee that wrote it said that the Novus Ordo departs from Trent’s theology about the and Mass. Although Cardinal Ottaviani, Prefect of the Holy Office during Vatican II, had signed the Intervention, a priest I see regularly hadn’t heard of that report.

    I probably am more bookish than most other Catholics I meet, and I read voraciously about doctrine, dogma, and Thomism. But most Catholics probably don’t long for the knowledge I crave. Since I try to live like a scholarly monk, too, I need to be careful when I talk with other people. Not wanting to insult their intelligence, I usually assume that they know more than they do know. That’s partly why I’m willing to bet that, if you survey parishioners at many Novus Ordo parishes, you’ll discover that they haven’t heard of the doctrine about Christ’s social Reign. Why haven’t they? Maybe because it’s un-ecumenical and potentially shocking to many Americans who believe in an absolute separation of church and state.

    Sadly, today we even need to think very critically about what priests say when they preach. You may even teach a priest an orthodox thing or two. Go for it.

  • Alte says:

    “They cannot imagine what it is like to go to Mass still drunk and hung over from the night before and have to leave Mass early to vomit.”

    Because we’re smart enough to go to Mass before we get drunk.

    They actually kick off the local Saturday night festivities here with a Mass, both out of piety and because they know it’s pointless to have the Mass after the beer keg has been tapped. Even if people showed up the next morning, you’d quickly wish they hadn’t.

  • Alte says:

    Most of the priests I know are overworked and stressed out, and most probably aren’t as well read as some of us. Priests are people, too, so I try not to get impatient when they are confused or clueless. Things are so crazy now that even the higher-ups don’t seem to grasp what’s really going on out there. They feel like they need to engage and evangelize, but their pathetic errors are painful to watch.

    I don’t think this is new. Under Charlemagne, there was the complaint that many priests were not even fluent enough in Latin to properly conduct the sacraments. It was all gibberish.

  • Mike T says:

    Mike, poor catechesis is a major part of the problem. At the church I went to before our now retired bishop closed it, kids studied the Baltimore Catechism, an adults read Canon Francis Ripley’s book “This is the Faith.”

    It is the problem for some, but not most. Jesus made it clear that God knew that much of mankind simply could not accept the price of being a Christian. When the crowd bemoaned the high price of marriage in the Church, Jesus responded:

    “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given:

    This is as relevant today it was then. Those who cannot accept Christian marriage are not misguided but likely in the same spiritual state as the Jews who could not accept the teachings of Christ during His ministry. That is to say, they are not saved.

    Popes Benedict and Francis can all they want to say about the “hermeneutic of continuity.” But it seems to me that, if the Church won’t abolish Vatican II’s novelties or change what the council documents say about religious freedom, ecumenism, collegiality, and the nature of the Church, to at least seem to get continuity, someone will need to redefine it.

    As a conservative Protestant, I would say the rot is even deeper. The rampant homosexual culture in much of the Catholic Church’s hierarchy and the inability of conservative Catholics to state the obvious (no one with strong homosexual tendencies can be a Christian leader) speaks to a spiritual blindness that makes it difficult to argue the Holy Spirit is guiding them. Homosexuality is not an ordinary temptation; Paul makes it clear in Romans that among sexual deviations it is one of the final stages of depravity wherein God turns men over to their reprobate desires.

    I would also add that one of the most legalistic things I’ve ever heard from any Christian about church discipline, was from a Catholic. It was saying that sure, we can deny the sacraments to a faithfully married couple that uses condoms, but there is no “clear law” on denying sacraments to politicians who openly aid and abet abortion. Sweet mother of God, do you have any idea how f#$%ing stupid that sounds to a non-Catholic Christian? Rubbers are worse than murdering children? It’s “clearer” what direction the church should take on punishing someone who enjoys contracepted sex than someone who conspires to permit the continued slaughter of unborn children? If that is moral clarity, then I do not need the Roman Catholic Church. I’d be better off being raised by a pack of wolves as even wolves have enough natural morality to not slaughter their own puppies.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    and the inability of conservative Catholics to state the obvious (no one with strong homosexual tendencies can be a Christian leader)

    You mean like this guy?

  • Mike T says:

    Being as I am not a Catholic, I will refrain from judgment on whether or not this is actually Catholic teaching (the issue of the sacraments and politicians who aid and abet abortion). However, I’ve seen enough conservative Catholics defend church in-action to believe that most of them are not nearly as bothered by this as they are about things like letting those who practice contraception receive the sacraments.

  • Mike T says:

    You mean like this guy?

    Until the Pope starts enforcing those words, they’re just words.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Until the Pope starts enforcing those words, they’re just words.

    Yes, well, his army will get right on that.

  • Bill McEnaney says:

    Mike T, I think the Catholic politicians you mean get automatic excommunication for being “pro-chouce.” Even if priests are too cowardly to deny them holy Communion, which they’re supposed to deny them, sacrilege is the kind of sin for which someone may go to Hell. And anyone who receives Communion knowingly, willingly and freely under excommunication is committing sacrilege.

    I doubt that God would ask anyone with same-sex attractions to be a priest. If I were in charge, I’d defrock any sexually abusive priest and report him to the police.

    An un-intuitively problem with condoms is that they can promote abortion. Somebody’s condom fails, his sex partner gets pregnant, and then aborts the baby they expected it to prevent. Before 1930, each denomination forbade artificial contraception. Now we have Roe v. Wade, partial birth abortion, and even a president who would let a baby die untreated after a botched abortion.

    For me, there’s only one logically consistent pro-life stance on abortion, the one that would ban all intentional abortion without exception. Being pro-life means, for me, being against abortion, against artificial contraception, and against euthanasia. In fact, one major problem with euthanasia is that its supporters assume that there’s no afterlife when they assume that death will end the patient’s suffering. Tragically, everlasting agony in Hell is infinitely worse than any pain that anyone can feel on earth.

    Since I’m a Thomist, I believe that each person is composed of two unique parts, a human and body and an immortal human soul. After I die, I won’t exist again until Christ reunites our bodies and our souls on resurrection day. Meanwhile, my soul may still suffer in Hell. If it does that, then after our bodies resurrect, I’ll suffer there, too.

    Today some denominations allow same-sex “marriage,” the Catholic Church is the only one I know of that still condemns artificial contraception, and the only one I know of that believes that only death can break the sacramental marital bond.

    Why does this sort of thing happen? Partly because many Christians who disagree with one another think they have no God-appointed authority to settle their disputes. So, unfortunately, denominations democratically what stands they’ll take on controversial issues, let their members decide them, or remain neutral about them. Sadly, thanks to democracy and liberalism, too many people allow too many evils. It’s better to be too cautious than not cautious enough.

    Last, I know libertarians who believe that they should be legally free to do anything they want to do when they won’t harm others by doing it. For me, that’s a questionable desire because it seems to ignore harm people can do to future generations to, say, children who’ll be born 75 years from now.

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    You know Mike T, I find your and the broad “conservative” Protestant attacks on Catholicism re Catholic politicians in this country a bit incoherent. On the one hand you and many (most?) Protestant commentators blast traditionalist Catholics like myself as totalitarian fascists for demanding that Catholics start putting their Faith before America’s Civil Theology but then that is precisely what politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Biden, the Kennedys (and I would add Paul Ryan and Santorum) do. These politicians fundamentally put being “good Americans” over being good Catholics. They worship the “freedom” given to them by American liberalism, unconstrained by any higher moral authority. To extent they are believers it is only their private lives. Sure, it they may not be adherents to the particular branch of American liberalism you prefer, but the Protestants in this country demanded, from the earliest of times that Catholic prove their loyalty to American liberalism. Not only did you guys get what you wanted, American Catholics at times out do Protestants in their devotion to Americanism!

  • Bill McEnaney says:

    Ita, many, including too, too many Catholics, seem to forget that we need to obey God rather than man when we need to choose between them. I say “when we need to choose between them” because sometimes man does what God asks of him. I see Protestantism as liberal. Authority is an essential part of conservatism, especially of traditionalist conservatism, and Protestants reject the papal authority and the Catholic Church’s authority. They may insist that the Bible is their authority. But there are more than 30,000 Protestant denominations, partly because of private judgment. If what the Catholic Church teaches about authority and infallibility is true, even conservative Protestants already do the kind of thing that Biden, Pelosi, and other dissenting Catholics do. They prefer their judgment to the judgment of the authority Christ founded.

    Sola scriptura is largely a meaningless slogan, I think. But here’s an extreme example of the kind of private judgment I’m thinking about now. Years ago, I emailed with a Seventh-Day Adventist about what his religion’s believers call “soul sleep.” If I understand their belief, they think that, after our deaths, our disembodied souls remain unconscious until Christ resurrects our bodies. For the SDAs, soul sleep is like annihilation.

    In reply, I quoted St. Justin Martyr’s First Apology, where Justin writes that disembodied souls to stay conscious. What did the SDA gentleman tell me when he read the quotation? “Bill, that doesn’t matter. We have the Bible.” Never mind that, since St. Justin lived in the second or third century, he lived very near Our Lord’s day when people knew what it was that ancient Christians believed about the soul.

    In the Catholic Church’s sense of the word “rationalism,” rationalism is the belief that human reason is the supreme judge of what’s true and what’s false So I suggest that Protestantism is liberal and rationalistic.

    Biden, Pelosi, former Secretary Clinton, and others are acting like rationalists. Justice Scalia did that, too, when Christopher Ferrara heard him say something like this, “If you feel that a woman should have a right to have an abortion, vote and pass a law. If you feel that she shouldn’t have a right to get an abortion, vote, and pass a law. That’s how most Americans get their rights.” Sadly, His Honor, a legal positivist, still says that he’s a Catholic. I believe him when he says that. But if he’s under full excommunication, he’s no longer a member of the Church. God forbid that he’ll die without blessedness in his soul. If does that, Christ may tell him that he did that partly because of his liberal opinions about abortion.

  • Mike T says:

    Ita,

    You know Mike T, I find your and the broad “conservative” Protestant attacks on Catholicism re Catholic politicians in this country a bit incoherent. On the one hand you and many (most?) Protestant commentators blast traditionalist Catholics like myself as totalitarian fascists for demanding that Catholics start putting their Faith before America’s Civil Theology but then that is precisely what politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Biden, the Kennedys (and I would add Paul Ryan and Santorum) do.

    Conservative Protestants tend to denounce the Catholic Church for its schizophrenia. Catholic leaders will make peace with the left on economic issues, denouncing the free market, demanding government take a primary role in “economic justice” and things of that nature and then act shocked when those same leftist leaders stab them in the back on social issues and use the economic powers they’ve grabbed to further marginalize Christian mercy ministry.

    I don’t know a single conservative Protestant who is bothered by Catholics opposing gay marriage, abortion and things of that nature. In fact, we are more often denounced by Catholics for being “uncaring” or “lacking compassion” because we tend to believe abortion is literally murder and ought to be sanctioned accordingly. (Most conservative Protestants I know support execution for homicide for abortionists; the biggest disagreement is on whether the mother should be executed as well)

  • Mike T says:

    Ita,

    This sort of response from Zippy is informative of why Protestants tend to disrespect the Catholic Church:

    Yes, well, his army will get right on that.

    So the Vicar of Christ cannot defrock a priest or bishop, cannot even denounce a monestary or seminary known to be a cesspool of anti-Catholic and anti-Christian activity? He couldn’t exhort faithful Catholic lawmen to ruthlessly enforce secular law on matters of sexual morality, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, etc. against those people? How can a man be “that close to God” and not just say “f#$% it, I fear the Big Guy more than anything these guys can do?”

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    Mike T,

    You didn’t really answer my question. Catholics put American values before Catholic values, just as Protestants have demanded. You got what you wanted.

    As far as this:

    Conservative Protestants tend to denounce the Catholic Church for its schizophrenia. Catholic leaders will make peace with the left on economic issues, denouncing the free market, demanding government take a primary role in “economic justice” and things of that nature and then act shocked when those same leftist leaders stab them in the back on social issues and use the economic powers they’ve grabbed to further marginalize Christian mercy ministry.

    I could say the same about Protestants who place their faith in the Republican party, Constitution and Tea Party only to get burned by it. Furthermore these same Protestants dogmatically adhere to this failed strategy. Catholicism and capitalism are incompatible. Not only the recent Popes, but the Scholastics, Church Fathers indeed the overwhelming weight of Catholic tradition weighs against it. This isn’t going to change.

    He couldn’t exhort faithful Catholic lawmen to ruthlessly enforce secular law on matters of sexual morality, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, etc. against those people? How can a man be “that close to God” and not just say “f#$% it, I fear the Big Guy more than anything these guys can do

    Because the vast majority of Catholic laymen are good Americans first (just as you wanted) and so of course they will not follow what the Pope says.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    This sort of response from Zippy is informative of why Protestants tend to disrespect the Catholic Church

    So Protestants disrespect the Catholic Church because real world popes don’t act in accordance with the provincial caricatures and expectations of Protestants.

    Good to know, I guess.

  • Zippy says:

    Ita:

    Catholics put American values before Catholic values, just as Protestants have demanded. You got what you wanted.

    Exactly. Like a rebellious wife, protestants disrespect the Vicar of Christ when he gives them just what they wanted.

  • Bill McEnaney says:

    Alte, priests who know that they believe something heterodox need to remember an essential point. Anyone who rejects even one Catholic doctrine rejects them all in practice and removes himself from the Church. He’s no longer Catholic.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    So Protestants disrespect the Catholic Church because real world popes don’t act in accordance with the provincial caricatures and expectations of Protestants.

    Actually we disrespect the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church blatantly does not engage in church governance according to the methodology established by Paul in scripture. But sure, go ahead and play the game of pretending that a minority of Christians in “false churches” are responsible for the “one, true church” being unable to act and govern properly or even make a half-assed attempt.

    You didn’t really answer my question. Catholics put American values before Catholic values, just as Protestants have demanded. You got what you wanted.

    Actually, I did. What was demanded is that you accept the fact that you are one among many and that America will not be a confessional state. As I pointed out, most conservative Protestants have no problem being both “good Americans” and socially conservative whereas most conservative Catholics act like their heads are going to implode from cognitive dissonance.

  • Marissa says:

    The faithful have survived far worse popes than those who were heterodox and “cowardly”.

  • Zippy says:

    Marissa:
    There are “red pills” (little realizations that the truth is contrary to habits of thought) all over the place, and Protestants are very “blue pill” when it comes to understanding the papacy.

  • Novaseeker says:

    As I pointed out, most conservative Protestants have no problem being both “good Americans” and socially conservative whereas most conservative Catholics act like their heads are going to implode from cognitive dissonance.

    That’s because the entire concept of co-equal Christian confessions is inherently Protestant in nature. Catholicism does not see itself as being one among many, and never will. As a result, in a secular state which socially has a de facto Protestant concept of multi-confessionalism, of course there will be tensions with Catholicism. That is inherent in the nature of the set-up.

    As a practical matter, most “conservative” Catholics behave like most “conservative” Protestants in the US, anyway, in terms of following a mindset that sees economics and related issues as beyond the proper realm of Christian teaching. Catholicism does not, but many Catholics are de facto dissenters from the actual teaching of Catholicism about these things. In fact, one would think that conservative Protestants would like the fact that these dissenters are clearly a majority of the conservative part of American Catholics (after all, these people have been heavily involved in the development of the political right in the US in the last several decades), yet there are still complaints.

  • Marissa says:

    To be fair, I’d bet most Catholics are too! I hate to pile on the Protestants since it’s an uncharitable temptation for me. I’ll sit and watch and eat popcorn though.

    I’m willing to bet this is all based on some very bad history.

    I ordered a book about the black legends that have been created about Catholicism. I’m excited to have my entire (feeble) understanding of history revised.

  • Zippy says:

    Marissa:

    To be fair, I’d bet most Catholics are too!

    That’s true: thus ultramontanism. Ultramontanism (the contemporary kind) is a stop on the foothills of Everest, where a couple of the more obvious modern delusions have been shed but the more subtle ones are still upslope.

  • […] have taken to heart what the Bishops have been teaching. Their understanding of marriage has been formed by de-facto practice. They may (or may not) be aware of the explicit rules; but they’ve been taught not to take […]

  • […] Our pastors seem to believe that there are large numbers of putative Catholic marriages which are invalid, that is, which are not really marriages.  I find this quite plausible. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading “Cultural Catholicism” and marriage nullity at Zippy Catholic.

meta

%d bloggers like this: