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Wherein I Tweet the US Bishops and Ask Them to Give Away the Church

@OnFaith asks “Can America fix the Catholic Church?

I admit this was a bit of a knee-jerk:

But it comes in the context of many conversations I’ve had with Catholic friends about the disconnect between the US Bishops and American nuns. The sisters seem to many of them (and to many non-Catholic observers like me) to be more in line with Christ’s radical message than are their contemporary patriarchs and primates.

But asking the USCCB to hand over control to the sisters doesn’t really go far enough. Every denomination in this country and abroad should be in the business of giving away their churches. Give away your riches, give away the exalted places in your hierarchy, give voice and access to people dying all around you. Jesus said so. That’s why I hang around him.

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10 comments

          1. ha. ok. today is a new day. its just that there are so many opinions in the media lately because of the whole new Pope thing. it’s difficult to ignore them and sometimes I as a practicing happy Catholic get a little defensive of the Faith I love and live my life by. my “oh goodness” was in response to turning the Church over to the nuns. certainly not the nuns on the bus nuns, I hope. Maybe nuns like the ones at the Carmelite Monastery in Mobile. http://www.carmelitemonasterymobileal.com.

  1. I appreciate that. Nuns aside (but I do love the image I have of them as social justice hands and feet of Christ), isn’t it strange that @OnFaith would ask “Can America Fix the Catholic Church?”? America, and I love America, can’t even fix America right now. One of the best things many progressive (almost out the door of “Christendom”) protestants see in the American Catholic setting are, indeed, the sisters. And there’s a big extent to which we project that. We certainly wouldn’t know it from the ground up…it’s an idealized, happy hunch, perhaps. but sometimes it’s also right, I think (?).

    1. you’re a little too intellectual so I have to read your comment twice. i’m just a drunk from georgia so go easy on me. i love the catholic social teaching which imparts a preferential option for the poor. indeed that is the foundation of our Faith. but for people like me—and we need to make room for all kinds—i’m drawn to the contemplatives, the mystics, the intellectual Catholics that really explore the depths of our 2000 year old tradition. i get that through Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary…. that’s how I transcend..which is the spirituality side of Catholicism I guess. as for social teaching, i think catholic charities is second only to the US government in providing services to the poor. i read that some where. so i don’t think we’re at a lack at all of holding up our end of the catholic social teaching. it just seems to me these nuns on the bus (and their following) had hi-jacked the real catholic “missionaries” out there doing the work of caring for the poor without making it a political thing, and these missionary types (catholic charities is my example) also faithfully believe in Catholic moral teaching, as well.. so what i’d like to see held up in high regard in the media are those Catholics that love both Catholic social teaching and Catholic moral teaching and are able to articulate that with compassion and intelligence.

  2. don’t sell yourself short. that’s a very helpful response. what do you think it would take for both sides (social and moral teaching) to be shown fairly in the media?

    Catholic (and other) mystics are very compelling to me. So are folks like Brennan Manning, who is certainly a kind of mystic, and Richard Rohr. I need to learn more about all of these people, but have been slowly taking them in over the last few years. I look at places like Taize, which was of course founded by a protestant, and see real possibilities for a generous, ecumenical mysticism.

    1. it seems to me the “best” advocates for catholic social and catholic moral teaching are the catholic converts. cradle catholics were poorly catechized in the 70s and 80s so many have very little understanding of the Faith. their understanding mainly comes from the media (which of course is centered on abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research); and many have left the Faith because their understanding of it is nothing special; but converts, especially evangelical intellectual protestant converts–the two that come to mind are Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins, and even especially atheist converts like Jennifer Fulwiler (conversiondiary.com) are so compelling and interesting to me. Richard Rohr is popular. to me he seems a bit prideful (i’m judging him personally here so it is only an opinion). i distrust his ‘teachings’ because they sometimes conflict with what I know to be Truth already. here is an article that supports my opinion. sorry for the long link: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3611&CFID=44904770&CFTOKEN=63934968
      But to your question, I haven’t found any “leaders” in the Church that promote contemplation or mysticism–but maybe there are some. but since the nature of these practices are internal, personal, individual, I tend to get my contemplative leanings first I suppose from my temperament, second from the writings of the saints that tended to have the same temperament (st teresa of avila, st catherine of siena, st teresa of lisieux, st john of the cross, st francis of assisi, etc..) I personallly wouldn’t go to a class or a study about it–to me that would be counter intuitive to the whole notion of contemplation which would take place more in silence. BUT my mom did take a class on Lectio Divina, which is a ‘divine reading’ of the Scripture. My Mom’s temperament is not contemplative nor is she drawn to mysticism naturally like me. so yes, in that case taking a class on it to learn more about it would make sense. Just not sure I trust Rohr. I love Lectio Divina. rambling..

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