Author Topic: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?  (Read 2486 times)

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2021, 07:10:40 AM »
Here is a link to an article on who obtains abortion services from an abortion advocate.

https://www.guttmacher.org/report/characteristics-us-abortion-patients-2014

One thing that looks odd to me are the poverty statistics. How do they afford the abortion if they are impoverished? This needs clarification. The majority are in their 20--30s. Likely "impoverished" students?
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D. Engebretson

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2021, 08:54:00 AM »
The real challenge remains:

We need to convince the people that abortion is wrong, wrong, wrong. There is no other remedy. Mere voting and and changing judges will not suffice.

 ;D   Peace, JOHN


I believe that there is another remedy. Convince people that unwanted pregnancies are wrong, wrong, wrong. There are effective ways of preventing unwanted pregnancies: abstinence, contraceptives, better sex education. We can also help women to want the child growing in their womb: a decent, living wage that would pay for the extra costs that raising a child brings; health insurance that will cover the prenatal, pregnancy, and infant care.

Yet missing from your list is the value they would place on a human life.  It seems that according to your plan a woman will "want" a "child" if "her" needs are met.  That is often the problem as well behind neglect and abuse of children.  People do not feel their personal needs are met: freedom to get away and relax, stress free environment, etc.  When the burden is placed exclusively on meeting the parent's needs and not the child's, a whole host of issues arises.
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Rev Geminn

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2021, 10:24:34 AM »
I’m not entirely sure how to process all of this but I must confess that much of the rejuvenation of my faith in these last few years came from what might be dubbed the “Catholic Left.”  Dorothy Day, the Berrigan Brothers, Jim Douglas, Jim Martin, Pope Francis and others. Such writings spoke to deeply to my soul when I desperately needed it. The Jesuit tradition that I’ve encountered at Fordham has only served to increase my faith.  I just wish I knew about it earlier.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also learned through this journey that I am a Lutheran through and through, but such encounters have strangely  served to refine that appreciation for my church home. 

AMDG,
Scott+

I appreciate that journey, Scott.  Catholic social teaching is robust, comprehensive and of course includes seven themes beginning with Life and the Dignity of the Human Person:  https://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/seven-themes-of-catholic-social-teaching/.  The doctrinal positions subsumed under those seven themes are worth Lutheran interaction at all levels, especially for those of us who claim evangelical catholicism as our perspective. 

We would do well to bring to our alpb table, such as it is, more voices from inside Catholicism on all seven themes.  I know there are priests writing for us and also reading us, especially Lutheran Forum.  The more the merrier!

Dave Benke

In some ways, I think they are much better at articulating the Faith's truths more effectively than we are.  I’ve thought much about the “why” of that these past few years.   I sense that we are much more didactic, concerned with getting it so right that we get in the way of the message itself. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Francis’ encyclical documents and while they are certainly not intellectual feats by any means, they are grace-filled with catholicity shining through. The thing that really got my attention regarding encyclicals was Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum.  It is incredibly powerful and prophetic.  I think it is an excellent articulation of what the Church is capable of offering to the world. 

Peace,
Scott+

FrPeters

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2021, 10:53:57 AM »
Quote
I’m not entirely sure how to process all of this but I must confess that much of the rejuvenation of my faith in these last few years came from what might be dubbed the “Catholic Left.”  Dorothy Day, the Berrigan Brothers, Jim Douglas, Jim Martin, Pope Francis and others.

Interesting.  How does that account for the claim among so many Roman Catholics that the so-called Catholic Left has also contributed more than its share to the empty pews, to the loss of confidence in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, and in the idea that religion is personal, individual, and church (mass) optional?
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Charles Austin

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2021, 11:55:51 AM »
Pastor Peters (responding to the suggestion that the “Catholic Left” rejuvenated the faith of a participant here):
Interesting.  How does that account for the claim among so many Roman Catholics that the so-called Catholic Left has also contributed more than its share to the empty pews, to the loss of confidence in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, and in the idea that religion is personal, individual, and church (mass) optional?
I comment:
-Because the "empty pews" on any particular Sunday are not the fault of the "Catholic Left."
-Because most of the people who used to occupy the pews every week and now go less frequently still consider themselves Roman Catholic.
-Because those influenced by progressive Roman Catholics like Dorothy Day, the Berrigan brothers et al. still consider themselves Roman Catholic.
-Because people who may dissent from encyclicals – like Humanae Vitae – are dissenters, not people who have abandoned their Roman Catholicism.
-Because Roman Catholics who can vote in favor of current laws concerning abortion make the difference between a devoutly held faith (or a particular part of a faith) and what makes for good public policy.
-Because those who may have once been held in the faith primarily by fear and legalisms now remain in the faith illumined by intellect, theological nuance and grace.
-Because being a Roman Catholic is no longer (and probably never was) a matter of absolute, unvarying, unquestioning “loyalty,” to whatever Rome says.
And finally, because the Roman Catholic Church, at least for current generations, has an admirable and firm "hold" on those reared in it.
A Lutheran may leave a congregation or even Lutheranism if they don't like the color chosen to paint the kitchen. A Roman Catholic feels the grip and attraction of "The" Church even if they haven't been in it for years, don't like the Vatican ukases, believe in the current abortion laws, would have no problem with women clergy, are disgusted by the scandals involving priests and favor gay marriage.
I once ministered to a man, the father of a parishioner who came to Lutheranism (with her husband) because they were divorced and remarried. He had not been in a Catholic church, except maybe for Christmas and Easter, since his daughter's first wedding.
I met him at family gatherings, visited him when he was confined to his home and in the hospital, gave him communion and - as he neared death - did the commendation for the dying at the hospice.
When he died two days later, the daughter said he wanted the priest from St. Francis to do his funeral. His full contact with the Church for six years had been with a Lutheran pastor, but...
Most, but not all, of my Roman Catholic friends are of the "Catholic Left" type. But don't ever try to suggest to they that they are not "really" Catholic.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 12:13:57 PM by Charles Austin »
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2021, 01:14:21 PM »
The real challenge remains:

We need to convince the people that abortion is wrong, wrong, wrong. There is no other remedy. Mere voting and and changing judges will not suffice.

 ;D   Peace, JOHN


I believe that there is another remedy. Convince people that unwanted pregnancies are wrong, wrong, wrong. There are effective ways of preventing unwanted pregnancies: abstinence, contraceptives, better sex education. We can also help women to want the child growing in their womb: a decent, living wage that would pay for the extra costs that raising a child brings; health insurance that will cover the prenatal, pregnancy, and infant care.

Yet missing from your list is the value they would place on a human life.  It seems that according to your plan a woman will "want" a "child" if "her" needs are met.  That is often the problem as well behind neglect and abuse of children.  People do not feel their personal needs are met: freedom to get away and relax, stress free environment, etc.  When the burden is placed exclusively on meeting the parent's needs and not the child's, a whole host of issues arises.


When a pregnant woman believes that she cannot meet her child's needs, abortion becomes an option.


Thinking this morning, it's the "black and white" thinking about abortion that I probably object most to, e.g., abortion is wrong. They should never happen. Life is messier than that. Abortion is wrong; but sometimes it's a necessary evil. Divorce is wrong, but sometimes it's a necessary evil. Marrying a divorced person is wrong, but sometimes it is a really good thing. Killing other human beings is wrong, but sometimes it becomes necessary.


Some, even in this forum, state that it's impossible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion; but I see that as the ELCA's position; and the position of many of my colleagues that I've talked to about this.


Can you say that sometimes abortions are necessary evils?


What about encouraging the use of contraceptives to reduce the number of abortions? Among other things, the availability of free contraceptives in Colorado has reduced the number of abortions.
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D. Engebretson

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2021, 01:16:58 PM »
-Because Roman Catholics who can vote in favor of current laws concerning abortion make the difference between a devoutly held faith (or a particular part of a faith) and what makes for good public policy.

By "public policy" I assume you mean policies favored by a majority of the voting public.  Thinking from a Catholic perspective (or any for that matter), I wonder how they would want "public policy" determined.  For some it is what the majority desire.  Yet even that must be qualified, at times, especially if what the public desires endangers the health, safety or life of other citizens.  Thinking now of abortion, in particular, we realize that for much of the public the idea of freedom of choice predominates.  Who wants to limit the freedom of people to choose what they want?  And if life can be defined in such a way that it excludes the unborn, then the dilemma is removed.  But if a given Catholic values that unborn life as equal in rights to life as already born, how do they reconcile moral convictions with good public policy?  Good public policy defends life.  But who gets to choose the definition of life?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 01:23:05 PM by D. Engebretson »
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2021, 01:21:02 PM »
The real challenge remains:

We need to convince the people that abortion is wrong, wrong, wrong. There is no other remedy. Mere voting and and changing judges will not suffice.

 ;D   Peace, JOHN


I believe that there is another remedy. Convince people that unwanted pregnancies are wrong, wrong, wrong. There are effective ways of preventing unwanted pregnancies: abstinence, contraceptives, better sex education. We can also help women to want the child growing in their womb: a decent, living wage that would pay for the extra costs that raising a child brings; health insurance that will cover the prenatal, pregnancy, and infant care.

Yet missing from your list is the value they would place on a human life.  It seems that according to your plan a woman will "want" a "child" if "her" needs are met.  That is often the problem as well behind neglect and abuse of children.  People do not feel their personal needs are met: freedom to get away and relax, stress free environment, etc.  When the burden is placed exclusively on meeting the parent's needs and not the child's, a whole host of issues arises.


When a pregnant woman believes that she cannot meet her child's needs, abortion becomes an option.


Thinking this morning, it's the "black and white" thinking about abortion that I probably object most to, e.g., abortion is wrong. They should never happen. Life is messier than that. Abortion is wrong; but sometimes it's a necessary evil. Divorce is wrong, but sometimes it's a necessary evil. Marrying a divorced person is wrong, but sometimes it is a really good thing. Killing other human beings is wrong, but sometimes it becomes necessary.


Some, even in this forum, state that it's impossible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion; but I see that as the ELCA's position; and the position of many of my colleagues that I've talked to about this.


Can you say that sometimes abortions are necessary evils?


What about encouraging the use of contraceptives to reduce the number of abortions? Among other things, the availability of free contraceptives in Colorado has reduced the number of abortions.

Going back to my original observation, I notice that you addressed the question again without any reference to the value of the life of the one aborted.  I assume that "necessary evil" means discounting the value of the life in question over against the woman's right to choose, or over against her need not to be inconvenienced or challenged?

The primary issue at stake, at least for me, is a question of life. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2021, 03:18:46 PM »
In my experience, Roman Catholics tend to be more loyal to their church while Lutherans are more loyal to their doctrine.  When we Lutherans try to understand how a Roman Catholic can be pro-choice on abortion we should keep this in mind.  I assume that President Biden loves his mother, the Roman Catholic Church.  She may err here and there and lack a sufficiently progressive social conscience, but she's still his mother.  Honor your mother.  That doesn't mean you have to agree with her about everything.

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2021, 04:18:16 PM »
In my experience, Roman Catholics tend to be more loyal to their church while Lutherans are more loyal to their doctrine.  When we Lutherans try to understand how a Roman Catholic can be pro-choice on abortion we should keep this in mind.  I assume that President Biden loves his mother, the Roman Catholic Church.  She may err here and there and lack a sufficiently progressive social conscience, but she's still his mother.  Honor your mother.  That doesn't mean you have to agree with her about everything.

Aye, but how does partaking of the Sacraments honor mother Church--much less God our Father and His Son--when one is not in communion with the teachings of the Church?           
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RDPreus

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2021, 04:34:55 PM »
In my experience, Roman Catholics tend to be more loyal to their church while Lutherans are more loyal to their doctrine.  When we Lutherans try to understand how a Roman Catholic can be pro-choice on abortion we should keep this in mind.  I assume that President Biden loves his mother, the Roman Catholic Church.  She may err here and there and lack a sufficiently progressive social conscience, but she's still his mother.  Honor your mother.  That doesn't mean you have to agree with her about everything.

Aye, but how does partaking of the Sacraments honor mother Church--much less God our Father and His Son--when one is not in communion with the teachings of the Church?           

Yes, but you must understand that the teachings of the Church evolve in accordance with new insight provided by the Holy Spirit and we must remain open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  :)

peter_speckhard

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2021, 04:35:27 PM »
In the movie Revolutionary Road, about a young American couple in the 50's whose plans to move to Paris get interrupted by an unexpected pregnancy, the wife mentions the possibility of an (illegal) abortion, and the husband reacts extremely negatively. He doesn't take any religious or dogmatic stand about the sanctity of life. He doesn't want the baby, either. He simply says that the idea of getting an abortion is so sick it makes him want to throw up. That is the kind of visceral knowledge of the truth people used to have, even irreligious people. The pro-choice movement (paving the way for the gay rights movement later) knew that the only way to prevail would be to normalize it in people's minds. That is, win over the people who don't have a well thought out position but just have cultural assumptions animating them. The way to win them over is familiarity. Gradually make it something more and more people have considered, and pretty soon considering doesn't make people sick. That makes changing the laws and practices much, much easier.

For such gut level basic decency to prevail in the absence of developed religious instruction, cultural taboos must remain in place. Those kinds of healthy, salutary taboos took long time for Christendom to build up in the general populace. They were squandered in a relatively short period of time. As long as the idea of getting an abortion doesn't make a typical person sick, abortion will be a respectable option. Anything loathsome can be made tolerable via familiarity.     

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2021, 05:07:07 PM »
In the movie Revolutionary Road, about a young American couple in the 50's whose plans to move to Paris get interrupted by an unexpected pregnancy, the wife mentions the possibility of an (illegal) abortion, and the husband reacts extremely negatively. He doesn't take any religious or dogmatic stand about the sanctity of life. He doesn't want the baby, either. He simply says that the idea of getting an abortion is so sick it makes him want to throw up. That is the kind of visceral knowledge of the truth people used to have, even irreligious people. The pro-choice movement (paving the way for the gay rights movement later) knew that the only way to prevail would be to normalize it in people's minds. That is, win over the people who don't have a well thought out position but just have cultural assumptions animating them. The way to win them over is familiarity. Gradually make it something more and more people have considered, and pretty soon considering doesn't make people sick. That makes changing the laws and practices much, much easier.

For such gut level basic decency to prevail in the absence of developed religious instruction, cultural taboos must remain in place. Those kinds of healthy, salutary taboos took long time for Christendom to build up in the general populace. They were squandered in a relatively short period of time. As long as the idea of getting an abortion doesn't make a typical person sick, abortion will be a respectable option. Anything loathsome can be made tolerable via familiarity.   

I believe one way that this became more acceptable was to frame abortion as a relatively routine medical procedure, depersonalizing the unborn in terms that would not make it sound fully human.  If the one in the womb is not fully human, and therefore not afforded the protection of its life and other citizens, then its removal is viewed as simply an elective surgery not so different than the removal of ones appendix. 
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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2021, 05:13:13 PM »
In my experience, Roman Catholics tend to be more loyal to their church while Lutherans are more loyal to their doctrine.  When we Lutherans try to understand how a Roman Catholic can be pro-choice on abortion we should keep this in mind.  I assume that President Biden loves his mother, the Roman Catholic Church.  She may err here and there and lack a sufficiently progressive social conscience, but she's still his mother.  Honor your mother.  That doesn't mean you have to agree with her about everything.

Aye, but how does partaking of the Sacraments honor mother Church--much less God our Father and His Son--when one is not in communion with the teachings of the Church?           

Yes, but you must understand that the teachings of the Church evolve in accordance with new insight provided by the Holy Spirit and we must remain open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  :)

As in the UCC's  , logo and "God is still speaking"?

Right.  /s
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Re: Douthat: The political ascendancy of liberal catholicism?
« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2021, 05:24:32 PM »