Several readers are baffled by the Pope’s Ambassador…

Several readers are baffled by the Pope’s Ambassador… November 12, 2013

telling our bishops not to preach ideology.  What does that mean?

Ideology is the attempt to reduce the person of Jesus Christ into a single monomaniacal All Explaining Theory of Everything.  In other words, it is heresy.  Catholics should not preach heresy.

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  • Thinkling

    Mark I hope you get a chance to read Elizabeth Scalia’s book on modern idolatry, which include ideology. If you have love to hear your thoughts….your synopsis above mirrors her thoughts BTW.

  • Dymphna

    There are so many who greatly hunger for a more pastoral and less ideological approach in the Church and especially in our individual parishes. Many of us are hanging on to Catholicism by the skin of our teeth.

    • Don’t hang onto Catholicism. Hang on to Christ. “Catholicism” is what we call the full act of hanging onto Christ, but don’t take your eyes off Him to look at our hanging-on.

  • Sergio Guzman

    You mean material heresy. 😉


  • Marthe Lépine

    Do you have
    the correct link for this post? Your title mentions the Pope’s Ambassador and
    what he has been telling your bishops, but I don’t see how the article on the
    election of a new president of the Bishops’ conference is related. It does not
    seem to say much about “preaching ideology”, but simply restates some
    of the issues I have been reading about a lot of the time, following a
    relatively mild sentence on Pope Francis saying that there is a need for more
    mercy over divisive social issues, and that more pastors who are
    non-ideologues. I think your comment is good, and I certainly think sometimes
    that in your country it sounds like the Bishops are, and are expected to by
    many, spending a lot of energy trying to get messages across to the secularized
    society and the government rather than talking to the Catholics themselves, but
    my opinion is only the opinion of a foreigner. It’s not that I disagree with your post, but
    rather that it is so easy to miss that particular point in the linked article that
    I am wondering if it is the correct link. I was expecting something more in
    line with Pope Francis’ morning homilies…

  • $2346491

    It means that the bishops should try not to appear as if they support one political party over another. The Church has issues with both American political parties, so the bishops should be neutral on this. (And Sister Campbell and the LCWR are as guilty of this as the bishops but from the opposite direction.)

    • Stu

      While both parties are terrible, the challenge is that one party is unashamed in it’s endorsement for infanticide, sodomy and increasingly Big Government/Big Business. So anytime that anyone in the Church speaks out against such things, some people shriek that the Church is aligned with the other party.

      • Benjamin2.0

        Those people shriek no matter what is happening. You’d think ignoring them would be SOP by now.

  • peter

    My own experience is that there are some rules coming from Vatican that are not based on experience of family life, but based on an “ideal” human being…..

    • Barfly_Kokhba

      “You got your idealism in my religion!”

      “No, you got your religion in my idealism!”

      “Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together©”

    • Benjamin2.0

      That’s the point.

  • Barfly_Kokhba

    The priest at our last parish once mentioned from the pulpit, in the middle of a well-meaning and otherwise-benign little speech about election-season civility and niceties, that he was a registered Democrat.

    His statement struck me immediately. At the time I was actually surprised by how much it bothered me. Back then I was less of a strident fringe lunatic than I am now. In fact, I had never voted at all and was not even registered and didn’t really care much about party politics.

    At first I was just bothered because I didn’t think he should risk alienating anybody by revealing that personal info from the pulpit, regardless of the party.
    But eventually the fact that he was a Democrat began itself to bother me. I could always understand remaining independent or simply not voting, but how could a Catholic–an old white-haired priest!–vote for a party that officially supports legalized human abortion?

    Needless to say, I was even more naïve back then.

    • $2346491

      My favorite teacher in grade school, my fifth/ sixth grade social studies teacher, was also a registered Democrat. Bill Clinton was first elected president when I was 10 years old and she wore a Clinton-Gore button to school. (I went to parochial schools). She was also one of the few people that I met growing up who was a great ambassador to the Catholic faith. She was also quite a wonderful teacher.
      I tend to vote Republican, but I also live in an area that is urban and heavily Democratic (Chicago). Most of the people who I attend Mass with are Democrats. (There is one couple who lives right near the church and is Republican. They had a Romney-Ryan sign out in the yard. I admired their courage.) Let’s just call a detente on this, treat each other civily, and not suggest that one party is more “Catholic” than another.