Pithy

One of my readers writes: “Progressives hate the idea that Peter and the Apostles can bind. Traditionalists cannot fathom that Peter and the Apostles can loosen.”

That about sums it up.

  • Stu

    One of the things I like about my so-called Traditionalist Parish (FSSP) is how often Confession is available. Everyday before both Masses and all day Sunday even THROUGH both Masses. And the lines are always full. Lot of “loosing” going on there and thank God for that.

    • http://agapas.me Bob LeBlanc

      Confession before Mass is such a great idea. I wish more parishes would implement this.

      • midwestlady

        One stop shopping. A great idea. Oh, I think someone else already invented it.
        Catholics are minimalists, no getting around it. Sigh.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Problem: What can be done if there is only one priest in the parish (like in mine)?

        • http://redcardigan.blogspot.com/ Erin Manning

          And mine! And in our case, we’re the mission church, so Father’s Sunday schedule looks like this:
          7:15 a.m. Mass at the main church
          8:30 a.m. Mass at our church (25 minutes away)
          10:00 a.m. Mass at the main church…etc.

          Sometimes a retired priest will say one of those three, but it’s not regular enough to schedule Confessions around it!

    • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

      Same here at the Grotto. Confession is avaiable every Saturday for one hour. Then roughly 45 minutes before Mass all the way up through the Gospel. And there are normally 3-4 priests handling confession. (The Canons of the Holy Cross happen to be nearby, so we take advantage of it!) They are always going through the Gospel.

      Marthe, when there is just one priest around, that can certainly be difficult. First, pray for an associate pastor. But even if you can’t, this is one area where perhaps the layity could help out in getting things ready beforehand for Mass, or the altar servers. Even just a simple meeting with the priest “I’d like you to make confession more available, and if there’s anything I can do so it will be easier for you to do so, I’ll do it” will probably surprise the priest, and even if he can’t grant it, it will be a nice gesture.

      Or just ask the priest if instead of 30 minutes on Saturday, he could do an hour. Or if an hour, a little bit longer. Or maybe even confession available for a little bit of time during the week. There’s NOTHING wrong with asking and doing what you can to make it a reality.

      • Beccolina

        Just a question, but: the idea of going to confession DURING mass seems really odd. Isn’t it disrespectful to the Liturgy of the Word? I’ve always been at very small parishes where there was only one priest (or at a mission, where the priest is not in residence); is this typical in larger parishes (was it historically common, I’m curious)?

        • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

          I would say that at least during the Latin Mass, when the Gospel is proclaimed, that is when confession stopped.

          I wouldn’t neccessarily call it disrespectful to the liturgy of the word, but i can see why some would come away with that. People should be focused on the readings. I guess when I’m in this situation, I still do my best to follow along in the liturgy, and to either read in my hand missal while waiting in line, or read it enough beforehand to semi-memorize it, and reflect on the reading, and how it can help in the confessional. At least that’s what I strive to do. i’d be lying and hence need confession if I said I did that perfectly. :)

          I really can’t speak about whether or not it was the case historically. I’ve heard of some parishes offering confession more often, but a lot of them still sticking to the typical Saturday afternoon times only. If it is an innovation, I think it’s a darn good one, just as Pius X’ s “innovations” regarding communion for the young, and encouraging daily communion for the faithful.

          The more people have access to the Sacraments, the better. At Old St. Mary’s in Greektown (downtown detroit), they offer just the Ordinary Form, but they have daily confession from 11:30 (or 11:45) until technically 12:15, but in reality, they will stay there until nobody else comes up. These parishes have it a little different in that they have several priests of the Spiritans. Yet really, in any Church where there is an associate pastor, and confession isn’t being offered before mass, I’d wager they are doing it wrong.

          • Beccolina

            My stepdaughter did a research paper on St. Pius X her sophomore year of home school. It made me wish I had known him-he’s a favorite saint of mine.

        • Stu

          From Redemptionis Sacramentum 76:

          “Furthermore, according to a most ancient tradition of the Roman Church, it is notpermissible to unite the Sacrament of Penance to the Mass in such a way that they become a single liturgical celebration. This does not exclude, however, that Priests other than those celebrating or concelebrating the Mass might hear the confessions of the faithful who so desire, even in the same place where Mass is being celebrated, in order to meet the needs of those faithful. This should nevertheless be done in an appropriate manner.”

          So it’s an encouraged practice.

          • Molly

            I’m confused about this as it relates not to the priest but to the parishioner. If the person is going to confession during the Mass that they are attending to fulfill the Sunday obligation does this constitute missing part of the obligation? Does that question make sense?

            • Stu

              Makes sense.

              It does not interfere with fulfilling your obligation.

            • midwestlady

              Gettin’ it all done in 45 minutes or less. And no rules broken. Efficient.

  • J Jaeger

    Catholics know both.

  • Will J

    I think most Catholics are in the “middle”. Most are progressive about some issues and tradional about other issues. Labels do not always fit.

  • Jack

    “Progressives hate the idea that Peter and the Apostles can bind”

    Yet Mark thinks he has something in common with post modernists.

    Pithy plus.

    • http://www.parafool.com victor

      And with that, Mark’s blog was suddenly turned into one big pithing contest.

      • Mark Shea

        Oh dear.

        • Chris M

          Urea-lize you set yourself up for this. Urinal sorts of trouble now.

          • Mark Shea

            Oh dear. I don’t know whether toilet this punning go on or not.

            • Chris M

              It should settle down in a bidet or two.

              • James H, London

                Guys, settle down. You don’t want to pith our host off.

    • Stu

      Oh, pith off.
      —————

      • SouthCoast

        I thought about joining in, but I’m just not a whiz at these things.

        • Dave P.

          We shouldn’t let this thread leak out…

        • midwestlady

          You’re not getting yellow now, are you?

          • Chris M

            oui, oui, I believe he is

            • Stu

              Pith poor showing.

  • Joannie

    What seems to be not kept in mind for those who are not of the more Traditional mindset is that we are still mourning over the loss of the last Pope the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. We already know Pope Francis has the power to bind and loose. But we lost the last pope so fast and have not had the time to even be able to grieve over his loss. Yes we know liturgically he can do whatever he wants but what I sense now is a “Personality Cult” over this new Pope like we did with John Paul II and yes even John XXIII. You know what I mean. Paul was not outgoing and warm like John, and now Benedict was not as outgoing or as friendly as Francis,etc. To me this kind of mentality is bad because now you or anybody can’t even criticize this Pope on anything without being dissed themselves. I for one am sick and tire of it. Pope Benedict is STILL being criticized even NOW just for his decision over a month and a half ago (among other things) All the Popes are EQUAL in their dignity because they are Vicars of Christ NOT because of their PERSONALITIES. Get Educated by reading Bob and Penny Lord’s new book just released on the History of the Papacy. It’s Spot on.

    • Will J

      I do not think most practicing Catholics are into personality cults about the Pope. Maybe 10% on the left and 10% on the right. Most go with the flow and appreciate the strengths of the particular pope.

    • Bill

      I don’t think it’s a personality cult. I actually think Francis hates them… he did live under Peron and during the Junta. That’s part of the reason why he’s going small ball on the Petrine Ministry, focusing on the Diocese of Rome and taking a primus inter pares approach.

      I do miss Benedict too. I think Saturday’s meeting will be very good.

    • http://lydiapurpuraria.wordpress.com Lydia

      I generally don’t comment, but I’ve seen so many people saying that BXVI wasn’t friendly or warm. I don’t think they’ve been paying attention for the last eight years. When he was in DC, he was embraced in particular for his warmth and gentleness. An altar server friend of mine at his vespers service described him as shy and quiet but friendly and kind and deeply appreciative. I remember footage from his trip to Africa-breaking away from a security detail to wade out into the pressing crowd to kiss a disable baby. His catechesis with little children was, for lack of a better word, charming. His writing is filled with clarity, yes, but is also so very kind-hearted. It seems so obvious to me, I just can’t understand the narrative on both sides of the aisle that BXVI wasn’t friendly or warm. He’s shy, an introvert. So am I. Francis seems to be an extrovert, and that’s fine, too. maybe it’s easier understood by the world. Maybe that’s what the world needs right now, without in any way denigrating or thinking anything but wonderful things about the Pope Emeritus.

  • Mr W

    Sorry for what may seem like a stupid question, Mark, but what did Jesus mean when he conferred the authority to bind and loosen?

    • http://www.thewordinc.org Kevin O’Brien

      To forgive sins or to retain sins (this is spelled out clearly in John’s gospel); beyond that to write precepts and disciplines and to amend or excuse the following of precepts or disciplines.

      • Mr W

        Thanks, Kevin. The reason I ask is that it could be interpreted to give Peter carte blanche to do anything. I will revisit John’s Gospel.

        • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

          One helpful thing to always remember is that Christ is the King. When the King bestows the keys upon someone, it is always with a “limit” in mind. Afterall, they aren’t the King, otherwise it would be a pretty pointless exercise. So the keys are bestowed upon Peter to the extent that he uses the Kings authority to fulfill his mission properly.

          Now that doesn’t really seem like much, but even from the beginning, it presupposes built in limits on papal authority. A classic example: in order to get a better understanding of the Eucharist and reception of communion, The Pope (or the bishops in communion with him) could mandate people receive communion under both species. (relax traditionalists, they did this during the Manichean crisis!) What the Pope (or the bishops in communion with him) could not do is state that one receives more or less grace based on the manner in which they receive communion. That determination was fixed by the King from the beginning, that even the smallest bit of communion contains the totality of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

  • Thinkling

    Suggestions: 1). qualify the word “traditionalists” somehow so it is clear those traditionalists like Taylor Marshall and Dave Armstrong are NOT included. 2). Make both verbs the same, either both ‘hate’ or both ‘cannot fathom’.

    Otherwise, what a great meme.

    • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

      Dave Armstrong a Traditionalist? In what alternative universe? This isn’t a difference between “rad-trad” and “sane traditionalist”, Dave isn’t a traditionalist period. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that.

      Dr. Marshall attends the Extraordinary Form every Sunday and is pretty involved in promoting the Extraordinary Form. There’s a chance Dave travels to the various EF liturgies available on rotating weeks across 4 parishes in the Detroit Archdiocese, but he’s not a regular at either the Grotto or St. Josaphat (or at least he wasn’t the latter as of a few months ago). Something may have changed though.

      • Mark Shea

        See, here’s a problem. I would say that anybody who believes the Catholic Tradition is a Traditionalist. Traditionalists tend to say that anybody who embraces a particular aesthetic is a Traditionalist, with the unfortunat correllary that those who do not embrace the aesthetic do not embrace the Tradition. That, unfortunately, is part of the messaage that tends to get telegraphed and those of us who embrace the Tradition, but can take or leave the aesthetic, feel as though we are regarded as second-class Catholics. It’s something Traditionalists *urgently* need to address.

        • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

          Mark,

          It’s been something we have addressed for a long time, if you care to listen. Hate to sound snide, but by your own admission, you have no desire to actually go out into the world and talk to traditionalists. So how would you know if that distinction has been made?

          It is an accepted classiciation that Traditionalists tend to center around the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy. We place a major form of emphasis on traditional forms of prayer, devotions etc which all Catholics do, and they are our welcome allies in that. I don’t think Charismatics have a lock on the Holy Spirit, I tend to believe in the power of the Holy Spirit quite strongly, but you wouldn’t see me at Christ the King Church in Ann Arbor MI or Christ the King Chapel at Stuebenville. (The pros go to Saint Pete’s instead!)

          When the Little Sisters of the Poor took their name, nobody screamed and cried that “Hey, we are for the poor as well! How DARE those people identify themselves with the poor, as if everyone outside of them isn’t for the poor.” Or when Ann Arbor’s pride, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, nobody believes with a straight face and sane conscience that those outside that order somehow love our Lady less or have a secondary love of the Blessed Sacrament.

          But people have hurt your feelings or made you feel like second class citizens? Welcome to the club. Loyal traditionalists have been putting up with that for a looooonnnng time, and with all due respect, from time to time (I think you’ve come close to conceding this) part of that was by your hand. We’ll take responsibility for them once you take responsibility for the garbage on “your side.” Or we can admit that we aren’t responsible for the actions of others, we speak out when we can, and leave the rest to Holy Mother Church & the Holy Spirit to solve. I mean this as a serious question Mark: what more can sane traditionalists do that we aren’t already doing, and how do you know we are doing it, since by your own admission you have no business in building bridges?

      • http://socrates58.blogspot.com/ Dave Armstrong

        Dave Armstrong a Traditionalist? In what alternative universe? This isn’t a difference between “rad-trad” and “sane traditionalist”, Dave isn’t a traditionalist period.

        I’ve said all these things 4,387,190 times (and Kevin was in on the multitudinous calumnies that were directed towards me two weekends ago, saying, e.g., that I think devotees of the Tridentine Mass are my “enemies” — which is sheer nonsense), but here goes again:

        1. I am an orthodox Catholic, who accepts (and defends) all the infallible teachings, doctrines, and dogmas of the Church, and Sacred Tradition.
        2. I’ve attended Latin Mass (Novus Ordo) for 22 years.
        3. I occasionally attend the Tridentine Mass: usually at my own parish.
        4. I’m highly concerned about both aesthetics and liturgical propriety (rubrics) and reverence.
        5. Per #3, this is why I attend what I consider to be the most beautiful church building in Detroit: a German Gothic revival building from the 1870s, with gorgeous wood carving and statuary and some of the best stained glass in the country.
        6. I always receive Holy Communion on the tongue, leaning at the altar rail.
        7. I have been in favor of availability of the Tridentine Mass for anyone who wants it, since I became a Catholic in 1990. I first attended a Tridentine Mass, in 1990 or 1991, back when Kevin was learning his time tables. Thus, I held Pope Benedict’s position in his Motu Proprio for about 17 years before he asserted it.
        8. I oppose eucharistic ministers unless there are huge crowds. I also believe it is much more preferable to receive from the priest, who is the alter Christus.
        9. Recently, I put together quotations books for both St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas.

        People may decide what box to put me in. I think I’m in a pretty good place. I continue to use the word “radtrad” (as Mark does) for folks who want to classify obedient, orthodox Catholics such as myself as somehow second-class Catholics. Hence, I’ve been called a modernist, neo-Catholic, neo-conservative, Vatican II lover, a Novus Ordo Catholic, an integrist (by Kevin: completely asinine!), even a money-grubbing, unscrupulous apologist who makes a living by ill-gotten gains, by some (like Kevin’s bosom buddy, Shawn McElhinney).

        But I’m just an . . . orthodox, obedient, devout Catholic, who loves Holy Mother Church, loves the Holy Father, and the Blessed Virgin Mary (to whom I have a great devotion: lots of writings defending her and Catholic Mariology).

  • fats

    I love the Tradition of the Church, how else can you fill out some of the sparce information given in Scripture about various people and events? Oh wait, are you talking about superficial things like clothing? It doesnt take much to find treasure in what the various Popes have to say, it’s called reading. Liberal or Conservative, we should be able to do THAT.

  • Bill

    I wrote it off the cuff. There are MANY loyal traditionalists and progressives to Mother Church.

    It was extemporaneous rather than impromptu though. I think the rad progs hate because they’re rational. So they know explicitly what the Church is, in their historical construct sort of way and react against it. So even the Holy Father’s compassion toward the disabled man is, as one tweeted On the Daily Beast’s timeline just good PR. The angry leftist is the cynic.

    The rad trad I think isn’t cynical. I think it’s not hatred that motivates then, but insecurity. Liturgical garments and other components are a kind of Linus (not the Saintly pope) like security blanket that reassures them of a bulwark against evil. Any loosening Is unfathomable because it seems like the Church is abandoning them. I tend to see this as really a private interpretation of Sacred Tradition, as Protestantism was of sola scriptura and private interpretation of Scripture. It’s all a neo-Gnosticism

    • Stu

      I’m sure with some of the more traditional mindset, there is a comfort in things unchanging. That’s human nature and let’s be honest, we look to Holy Mother Church to stand for what is right and traditional.

      However, many (if not most of us) simply see Mass as the pinnacle of worship for Christ, who is truly present on the altar, and want the Liturgy to reflect that in all things, being beautiful and reverent. He is our Creator, Savior and King and we are there to worship Him, not say “Hi” to a buddy. I’m fine with a simple Mass. I’m fine with the Novus Ordo. What I can’t understand with why those things often equate into ugly and tasteless vestments (liturgical nylon), minimalist artwork or music that is just schmaltzy. It doesn’t have to be nor should it be.

      Some of us just want to anoint His feet with the perfume when He is with us.

  • Bill

    Indeed it’s even a kind of sola traditio

    Scripture doesn’t seem that important to the sedevacantist.

    • Dave P.

      Here’s the thing: the Rad Progs and the Rad Trads both essentially agree that VII is a break with continuity. One wing reads things into the Council which aren’t there at all – indeed, the opposite of their sentiments is often contained in the documents – but this is explained as being in the “Spirit” of the Council and as part of being a “changing, evolving” Church.

      The other extreme, traumatized by the radical changes and abuses, have reacted by elevating customs, subjective preferences, and (worst of all) private revelations to the level of paradosis. Hence the assertion that the chapel veil is preferable to hat or scarf, the rejection of anything resembling contemporary art and music (even if reverently done), and the fascination with Fatima, La Sallette, and The Mystical City of God.

    • midwestlady

      Scripture isn’t important to a LOT of Catholics. They’re only nodding piously when they acknowledge what’s said about it. Most of them don’t really read it. Not really. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told, “Well we hear Scripture in the mass. We hear the whole thing every 3 years.” Do they not know that they’re only hearing selected passages? And that, even at that, those passages have been massaged for “proclaimability?” This is coming from people who will nearly crucify you if you suggest reading any version of the Bible besides the Douay-Rhiems or the NAB.

      • Dave P.

        people who will nearly crucify you if you suggest reading any version of the Bible besides the Douay-Rhiems or the NAB.

        Scratch the NAB. The Rad-Trads are Douay-Rheims only – even the Knox translation (pre-V2 and from the Vulgate) isn’t good enough for them. The Dissenting Left prefers castrated translations of their own devising.

      • Stu

        Small point….the 3 year cycle is in the Novus Ordo only.

        I can’t comment on the apparent knowledge gained though mind-reading.

      • Claude

        When very young I bought a Bible, and my mother said, “We’re Catholic. We don’t read the Bible.”

        Influenced by American Protestantism Catholics are now more inclined the read the Bible. Even my mother, born and educated in an intense Catholic environment, went to Bible study late in life, where she read the Old Testament for the first time–and was appalled.

        • midwestlady

          ROFLOL. The old testament IS appalling. It’s the story of salvation history, and boy do we need salvation. I have to be honest–I’m a convert. Deep familiarity with the OT, the kind many bible-thumping Protestants acquire, is chastening.

          Many Catholics still don’t read the bible. They’re quite afraid of it. I’ve been in parish programs from time to time as a participant and it’s always interesting to see what people in those things say about Scripture. They’re afraid to get the wrong version; they’re afraid to interpret it wrong; they want it given to them by someone else spoon-feeding style.
          They apparently don’t realize that version to version, the text of every version is almost identical (barring things like the Gideon bible which isn’t even a bible at all). Where the denominational differences come in is in the footnotes and study notes of Study Bibles. And it’s easy to tell if you have a study bible–it says so on the front. :p If you do a cross-text comparison of the 10 most popular versions, you’ll find that the one that diverges the most from the others is none other than the Jerusalem Bible, Catholic Edition. True.

          • Claude

            Protestants have an advantage by knowing Scripture. After all, the Old Testament was the religion of Jesus.

            But…there is this Catholic tradition of receiving Scripture mediated by the Church. I don’t know how things are now, though it’s obvious the Church has assimilated some Protestant influences. However, from what you say, old habits die hard.

            • midwestlady

              “Mediated by the Church” does NOT mean sitting around until a prince of the Church reads it to you as a bedtime story. Here is the document, coming from the Pontifical Council and meant for the whole Church. It has a lengthy introduction by Pope John Paul II, and it’s signed by him.

              THE INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE IN THE CHURCH
              Pontifical Biblical Commission
              Presented on March 18, 1994, with a forward by Pope John Paul II
              http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM

              If you want to know what the Bible says, read this, and then get yourself a good copy of a Catholic Study Bible. I recommend the New Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic Edition. Best one currently on the market, and available online at a reasonable price.
              http://www.amazon.com/The-Ignatius-Bible-Standard-Catholic/dp/0898708338/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363730287&sr=8-1&keywords=nrsv-2ce

              Go for it.

              • midwestlady

                Typo: RSV-2CE. Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic Edition.
                Some people don’t like the New Revised Standard Version. In my view the RSV is somewhat better too, although in my view, this isn’t a huge deal.

                • Claude

                  I like my RSV and Lattimore NT. I also have a KJV somewhere. The next Bible I buy will probably be a NRSV Study Bible for the notes; I don’t care for what little I’ve read of the translation.

                  For a non-believer I guess I dip into the NT pretty regularly. Apparently more often than some practicing Catholics, anyway!

                  • midwestlady

                    You may well be right, Claude. You might want to look for a good Study Bible, no matter what version you choose next. The footnotes and textual features are very helpful for deeper understanding of the text, as well as for knowing what to do with it, once you’ve read it.

                    Have you ever used a Bible dictionary? They can be very helpful for understanding the things you’ll find in Scripture.

            • midwestlady

              Want more? There’s also all kinds of commentaries, some of them very good, that are starting to be available. Example:
              http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Scriptures-Complete-Course-Didache/dp/1890177474/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363730414&sr=1-3&keywords=study+bible+scott+hahn
              The document by the Pontifical Biblical Commission that I linked above will tell you how to use them.

            • Mark Shea

              Protestants have an advantage in knowing *some* Scripture. A good Catholic Scripture scholar can run rings around your average Evangelical.

              • midwestlady

                What percentage of the average parish would you classify as being “good Catholic Scripture scholars?”

                • Mark Shea

                  No idea. But the number has leapt precipitously due to the influence of Scott Hahn, Jeff Cavins and other scripture study apostolates like Catholic Scripture study and Little Rock.

                  • midwestlady

                    Mark, I’d like to think you are right on this, but I doubt that the leap has been precipitous anywhere. I go to the local diocesan “faith events” and I’ve seen for myself that people want to be spoon-fed. And I get around quite a bit. People will follow along as long as the priest is in the room, and nod piously at him when he talks, but when you talk to them later, there are still the same reservations, the same inhibitions about reading scripture. It’s really not working yet at this point for most Catholics. There are exceptions, yes, but as for it being the general rule, no. Not really.

              • midwestlady

                “The conciliar constitution “Dei Verbum” (No. 25) is equally insistent on an assiduous reading of Scripture for priests and religious. Moreover—and this is something new—it also invites, “all the faithful of Christ” to acquire “through frequent reading of the divine Scripture ‘the surpassing knowledge of Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 3:8).”

                THE INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE IN THE CHURCH
                Pontifical Biblical Commission
                Promulgated by Pope John Paul II on March 18, 1994

                There is a lot more on this topic in the document above. It is absolutely recommended for all the faithful by the Church’s Pontifical Biblical Commission in Rome.

              • Stu

                My experience with protestants “knowing” Scripture is the ten or so verses they have memorized for AWANA.

                Catholics just get intimidated by that showing when in reality they “know” what’s in Scripture. Might not the Rainman-esque regurgitation, but it is there.

                • midwestlady

                  Right, uh-huh. And this is worse than not knowing a single word of it, like most Catholics?

                • midwestlady

                  Look, I know it’s more than possible to get into a big pith-ing match (sorry, Mark) about this subject because a lot of Catholics just don’t like hearing about Scripture at all. I’ve been down this road before with Catholics of the intransigent sort. But for those who want to know what’s in scripture, the documents are available to you. Moreover, the Church recommends it to you. You are free to read all the scripture you like, and the guidelines for interpretation are there too.

                  • Stu

                    Worse? Can be when they base their who theology on those ten verses. I realize you have a crusade of sort about promoting Scripture. I applaud that. But at the same time I reject this notion that Catholics don’t want to hear about Scripture and from being on both sides of the fence I am confident that both Catholics and protestant are each equally ignorant of Scripture. Protestants just put on a better show of it.

                    • midwestlady

                      I disagree with you. It would be convenient to be able to say I”m wrong, but I’ve simply seen too much evidence to the contrary. I can’t ignore the obvious any more.
                      Nevertheless, what you’re telling me is the “party line” and it’s not the first time I’ve heard it in a combox before, for sure. Catholics don’t like to admit they don’t know scripture and they like to pretend it doesn’t matter. Same old, same old.

                    • Stu

                      I see your “party line” and raise you with cliche, which is how I see your viewpoint. Really same old, same old and all too obvious.

                      But I know, my disagreement is obviously proof of your assertion.

                    • midwestlady

                      Yes, and that ought to tell you something.

                    • Stu

                      It does. Indeed, it does.

            • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

              Have they really? Pope Leo XIII at the end of the 19th century started a renewal in Catholic Biblical scholarship, and in encouraging Catholics to engage in Daily Bible reading. reclaiming things from our seperated brethren might have something to do with it, but I think a lot of “conservative” catholics do themselves a grace disservice when they act as if reform was mainly a product of the Second Vatican Council, when the truth was that the “reform” began back in the 1880′s and reached it’s culmination in the Council, and Popes JPII and Benedict XVI tried (in their own ways) to strengthen the reform efforts with a greater emphasis on catholic identity in especially moral teachings (JPII) and doctrinal/liturgical aspects (benedict XVI.)

              • midwestlady

                You are right! The attention to increased biblical studies began in 1893, with Providentissimus Deus by Leo XIII. But there was a lot of controversy around the turn of the century and many people, even scholars, were very put off by those controversies. Most lay Catholics did not read scripture in those days, and the controversies added to that effect, making it so that bible reading by the Catholic laity was very rare. Very briefly, this encyclical warned about the reduction of Scripture to history, and the use of Scripture to attack the Church.

                Then in 1943, a new encyclical was promulgated by Pius XII, called Divino Afflante Spiritu. This encyclical warned against the overly pietistic avoidance of Scripture and invited the Church, including the laity to study Scripture freely. Not much happened among the laity, if you want to know the truth, as a result of this encyclical, although religious congregations and scholars were encouraged by it.
                Then came Verbum Dei, one of the documents of Vatican II, which re-affirmed and made clear that scriptural study for all, including the laity was to be encouraged.
                Finally in 1994, the Pontifical Biblical Commission wrote, and Pope John Paul II promulgated the document linked above, called The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. This makes it unmistakeably clear, in many places, that scriptural study for the laity is not only recommended but expected.

                • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

                  I think you need to remember how the Church reforms: Organically.

                  In between Leo XIII and Pius XII, there was Benedict XV. He wrote Spiritus Paraclitus, proclaiming St. Jerome a Doctor of the Church. Now when this happens, it is for a reason. Attitudes amongst Catholics still develop over generations. And in the 130 some odd years since Leo XIII began his reform, the attitudes of Biblical studies between Catholics then and catholics now are night and day.

                  I would say that among my generation, faithful Catholics read their Bible quite a bit. What they don’t do is engage in Biblical exegesis. they don’t weave stories together to make a point drawing off of various sources in the Bible. That’s probably the next step. Encourage real exegesis of Scripture, not in the having to know Greek sense, but in the making known the totality of Scripture.

                  Would that a Pope would declare a “Year of Scripture” and ask the Bishops (ask with strong hinting they need to do so) to disseminate through the parishes a renewed sense of focus on Scripture and encouraging not just lay bible studies, but Catholics to committ to biblical studies as a discipline. Over that time the creative genius of the faithful can do some pretty exciting things.

              • midwestlady

                I’m not talking now about conservative vs. progressive animosity. I’m not talking about moral stances or liturgical rulings that have come during various papacies. I’m talking about the study of Scripture as a whole, as recommended by these encyclicals and publications by the various popes and by the Pontifical Biblical Commission in Rome.

            • http://www.thewordinc.org Kevin O’Brien

              I, too, used to think Protestants read Scripture. But I’m learning that (generally speaking) if they read it, they don’t read it to understand it. The ones who come at me on my blog can’t even proof-text relevant passages; and context or themes or story arc – forget it. Biblical illiteracy is alive and well in Protestant churches. Reading the words doesn’t mean you are living the words or even have any clue what the words mean.

              • midwestlady

                Catholics have got nothing on them. Ask a Catholic to open a Bible and find the book of Matthew. Many of them can’t do it without a ton of fumbling around. Amazing but true.

                • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

                  And ask a Protestant who the rock of Matthew 16:18 is, and grab the popcorn.

                  • midwestlady

                    Ask a Catholic about whether he has a personal friendship with Christ or not, but you’d better sit down first. About 1/2 of American Catholics don’t even think it’s possible. And it shows.
                    Reference: Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus, by Sherry Weddell of the Siena Institute.

                    • Stu

                      That’s because most faithful Catholics see Christ as their King and Savior and not “buddy” who lives down the street.

                    • midwestlady

                      No. Recent research says that about half of American Catholics believe in an impersonal God, one that they can’t have a relationship with. This is coming from Sherry Weddell, one of the founders of the Siena Institute.

                      The remainder of Catholics out there may stumble upon a relationship with Christ, or be lucky enough to meet someone who has stumbled upon one, but deep discipleship in the Catholic Church–the kind assumed by the Gospels and taught by the Church Fathers–is not generally taught or even talked about among Catholics. As a result there are many people who are Catholic but remain at very low levels of commitment and virtue, consistent with their practical Deism. Many lay parishioners are in this category, many lay ministers are in this category, even some clergy are in this category.

                    • Stu

                      Yes, there are plenty of lukewarm people (including Catholics) out there who need to be evangelized. But that is not what you said. You brought up a “personal FRIENDSHIP with Christ.”

                      As I replied, most FAITHFUL Catholics don’t see him in those terms which is typically part of the protestant lexicon. One can and should certainly believe in a personal God but that doesn’t equate into seeing him as your “buddy.”

                      I believe seeing Him as a loving Father is more appropriate.

                    • midwestlady

                      Stuart, that’s still practical Deism. That’s not Christianity. How can it be Catholicism if it’s not Christianity?

  • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

    We always fight yesterdays wars….

    I’m a softie for trying to build understanding even if people don’t agree. So I’d like to offer a bit of a different take.

    The issue about binding and loosing was a lot more true a decade ago when people were saying that. When traditionalists were marginalized, the crazies were a lot more prominent. When you spend time amongst us (and once again everyone needs to start actually spending time before you comment!) you find that something else is at work.

    Most traditionalists, even of the more U & V crowd, have no problem with binding and loosing. They just see little reason as to why it is being done. We aren’t nominalists, where everything is ipso facto perfect because the legal authority declares so. We can be obedient but still question the wisdom. Some trads are U & V, some are just legitimately worried that a lot of the work we have done over the past decade could be undone, and given the hostility of a lot of bishops and the Catholic commentariat, that isn’t as bizzare as you might think.

    Now I think some (most) of that fear is misguided. Yet that’s different than the implication that one is denying Petrine authority, especially when it is along the lines of “I really wish he would continue the work of Beneidct’s liturgical reforms or at least don’t roll them back.”

    • midwestlady

      It’s the freaking out by the traditionalists that’s causing all the ripples, Kevin.
      For instance, Fr Z’s blog is usually a reasonably sane, although traditional, place to hang out and read comments. I’m a moderate and so I enjoy it from time to time, I admit, among other things. But the last couple of days over there, it looks like the Revenge of the Crazy Milliners over there. I mean, how many times and how many ways can you use the word “ermine” in a single blog post? People are starting to notice. :| In fact, they’ve been.

      • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

        It isn’t just them. One need only look at Matt Archibald’s statements on a “simpler” liturgy, which he had actually composed before Pope Francis. He simply stated what was the perceived orthodoxy under Benedict, and a lot of “conservatives” savaged him for it. He wasn’t an SSPX’er, wasn’t a “radtrad”, etc.

        So yeah, the U&V wing is abhorrent. Yet they don’t exist in a vaccuum. Many times it is the reactions of well meaning catholics that, while not causing certain situations, make them infitely worse. (Think Luther would’ve done the damage he had if we had as Popes Pius IX through the present instead of the Medieval Popes?)

        • midwestlady

          Well, here’s hoping we get past this unscathed and things settle down.

          • midwestlady

            And by unscathed, I don’t mean the usual “I want my zuchetto or mozetta or kneeling or standing or whatever it is,” but rather I hope we get out of it without real damage in the form of splits or yet more anger and frustration in parishes and dioceses.