Remaking the Church in Their Own Image

Folks, you will all remember the Den of Dissent conference that took place last Fall.  Catherine Clifford, a professor at St. Paul’s University, was the main organizer of this event.  She invited notorious dissenters, Gregory Baum and + Remi de Roo.  She also invited many other problematic speakers, including her friend and collaborator, Dick Gaillardetz.  I don’t know too much about Ms. Clifford, but the fact that she is inviting these “teachers” to speak kind of tells us which team she’s batting for.  And here’s a hint:  it’s not the way of continuity with the past.

Well, now that a new Pope is on the horizon, Ms. Clifford is telling us, in not so subtle language, which way the Church should be going.  Check this article out.

Here are the money quotes:

“Any of these questions — expanding roles for women, ordaining married men — for these things to change, the style of the church’s governance has to change,” says Catherine Clifford, professor and vice-dean in the faculty of theology at Saint Paul University in Ottawa….

The style of governance?  Come, come, Ms. Clifford.  Benedict and JP2 had vastly different styles of management and governance to their respective papacies.  But you are not so much interested in styles.  You mean to talk about doctrine and ecclesiology which radically changes the very nature of the Church.  Best to quit the telegraphing and get to the point.

“We have to create spaces for dialogue. We don’t have to look upon people as being disloyal Catholics for raising these questions.”

“Spaces for dialogue”.  Can I ask for something, please?  Please…for the love of all that is holy, please don’t be so predictable in the language that you use, Ms. Clifford.  It’s so typical – these “spaces for dialogue”.  It’s not about the spaces or the dialogue.  For Progressives, it’s about getting what they want and then the dialogue and tolerance stop.  It’s like the “space for dialogue” around the abortion debate.  Once a Progressive “wins”, the lingo changes from “spaces and places of dialogue” to “the debate is over” and “let’s not turn back the clock“.   I find these tactics so pathetic and shallow.  Don’t kid yourself, folks, about the seductions going on.  If you have any doubt, amuse yourselves by talking to  Progressives about reconsidering gay “marriage” and you will quickly find out just how trenchantly dogmatic they can be.   We have our dogma and they have theirs.

 Not everything can be decided at the centre.

In other words, Rome.  She wants a more loosy goosy church where, perhaps, national hierarchies and, of course!, their expert theologians get to decide practice and doctrine…not unlike the disaster that is the Anglican (Canterbury) “communion”.  God save us from this fate!

Now, says Clifford, the church is in a new social and historical context and demands new questions: “Is the present form of the priesthood adequate? Are we receiving all the gifts women and lay people have to bring to the service of the church? Is there a space to think about human sexuality in a different way? What is the relationship between Christianity and other religions?

Could that mean “space” for sodomy, women priests, etc?  Is the picture getting clearer now for everyone?

“But trying to think about them in new ways is often greeted with suspicion. These questions are not just raised by radical theologians but also by bishops who are responsible pastors. These questions are being raised by very faithful Catholics.”

Bishops who are responsible pastors?  Faithful Catholics?  Really, like who?  Why don’t you name some names, Ms. Clifford?  The devil, as they say, is always in the details.

Treated with suspicion?

No faithful Catholic, no faithful bishop would ever entertain the licitness of sodomy or women priests or the rest of the progressive, celebrity, champagne-circuit causes that are entertained in places like S-PU.

I predict more beach duty for Progressives after Benedict’s Successor is chosen.  They can pound sand until the Second Coming.

2 thoughts on “Remaking the Church in Their Own Image

  1. My daughter told me that her priest yesterday spoke of people wanting change in the Church with the next pope, to which he said “we already have a church like that. Go be an Anglican!”

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