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The Failure of Liberal Catholicism – Part 2

June 16th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

Part 2 of Prof. James Hitchcock’s The Failure of Liberal Catholicism has been published.

A few quotes to whet your appetite …

Liberal Catholicism is replaying the history of the Reformation of the 16th century, beginning with calls for legitimate reform and ending in innumerable divisions. But whereas Luther and Calvin repudiated those who moved too far too fast, the concepts of heresy and schism are meaningless in the incoherent liberal Catholic ecclesiology, where each person’s judgment is held to be sacred, where people are Catholics simply because they claim to be.

… and …

To the extent that liberals have the semblance of an ecclesiology, it is based on the Council’s “spirit,” which certain people possess but others (including most popes) are so impoverished as not to discern. Human experience has become the sole criterion of truth, but some experiences are more equal than others—liberals in effect claim that “the Spirit” speaks to them but not to those with whom they disagree.

… and …

Liberals see only one reason why Catholics leave the Church—the “rigidity” of its teachings—thus they cannot account for the steady departure of other elephants from other living rooms—from the emptying pews of the Episcopal Church and other mainline Protestant groups.

The Episcopal Church offers exactly what Catholic liberals desire—no pope, the election of bishops, weak episcopal authority, unlimited liturgical variety, endless doctrinal flexibility, complete acceptance of the sexual revolution. But, like the liberal orders of nuns, Episcopalianism appears to be headed towards self-extinction.

As the history of modern Protestantism and Judaism shows, the principal achievement of liberal religion is to persuade people that they do not need religion at all. Liberal Catholicism has achieved its goal of undermining many traditional beliefs and practices, but it has thereby also undermined itself—issues like women’s ordination do not interest people who belong to the Church in the same way they might belong to a health club. A decreasing number of liberals even bother to call themselves Catholics, and in a sense the “best” liberal Catholics are those who have left the Church entirely.

But by no means all those who leave the Church do so because they consider its doctrines too rigid. On the contrary, an unknown number have joined fundamentalist Protestant groups, often complaining that their liberal priests offered them only a worldly version of the Gospel.

The full text of Part 2 is here.

Dr. K.’s post on Part 1 is here.

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10 Responses to “The Failure of Liberal Catholicism – Part 2”

  1. My father who has been mainline Protestant accompanied us to mass on various occasions while growing up (and afterward). He also was involved with functions at our Roman Catholic Church. He has been involved with functions of his own church as well. My father believes in the Communion of Saints and he also prays for souls who have departed this earth. My father has prayed, and continues to pray, for the souls of those who are killed in major natural disasters. He gets up early each morning to read his Bible, do his readings, and do his prayers for the day. He prays for so many people and prayer intentions–I stand in awe of his prayer life.

    He joined another mainline Protestant church where his second wife belonged (my mother had died).He attends and participate in two different Bible Studies per week. He is involved in a lay leadership role of his church. He has done a lot of volunteer work and continues to do so. He fellowships with Catholics as well as other mainline denominations.
    My father is traditional as well as other older people in his congregation. He does not like the new forms of worship introduced at some churches such as marching drills. However, he and other older people of his congregation, as well as older members of other mainline denominations, are appalled at the new rulings of their denomination allowing gay marriages as well as gay ministers/priests (who can be married to a gay partner). Additionally, in at least one denomination, ministers are allowed to live in a relationship with a partner without the bonds of marriage. My father has shared with me how upset the older people of these denominations are and have cited how they left their denomination over it.
    My father said the Board of their Church (in which he belongs) had a meeting with their minister. The minister stated although the denomination had stated those policies, he would leave it up to the Board of the Church. The entire Board agreed to not allow gay marriages in their church or any of the new policies which were passed.
    I believe my father thinks the whole thing about gay clergy, gay marriage, and now, co-habitating, unmarried clergy is a movement which appears to be sreading from denomination to denomination, and now the Catholic Churh.

  2. Correction/Clarification: I believe my father thinks the whole thing about gay clergy, gay marriage, and now, co-habitating, unmarried clergy is a movement which appears to be spreading from denomination to denomination, and now to the Catholic Church.

  3. avatar A Catholic says:

    christian 1954- Individual Catholics, including even priests and bishops, may in confusion fall in step with the movement towards acceptance of immoral lifestyles, including gay marriage, but the Catholic Church as the Mystical Body of Christ will never fall. Remember, the Church includes also those who have gone on before us and are now in eternity, helping us with their prayers. The “gates of Hell” will not prevail in the Catholic Church, even if Protestant Churches give in to the immoral trends of the day. I am fully confident that Christ is watching over His Church as He promised, and She (the Catholic Church) will remain the Light that is the path to salvation, even during these times, even as others fall prey to the foolish immoral fads of our day.

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    Christian,

    This whole mess is a “Pimple on the body politic” and, like every other heresy, this too will pass. I just worry about all those souls who buy into the rot.

  5. avatar Lionel says:

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011
    CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES SAYS THOSE SAVED WITH THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE, INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE ARE VISIBLE TO US
    Fr.Leonard Feeney was excommunicated it is suggested for repeating the same teaching of the popes, Councils, saints and the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus thrice-defined.

    The Bishops Conference of England and Wales has placed the book Muslims Ask, Christian answer in the section Resources, on its website. (Dialogue With Other Religions/Committee for Relations with other Other Religions). This book by the Jesuit Christian Troll interprets Vatican Council II (LG 16) as referring to cases of invincible ignorance being explicit and known to us. LG 16 contradicts the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus ?
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/10/bishops-conference-of-england-and-wales.html

    It means every one needs to enter the Church for salvation in the present times but there could be exceptions like those saved in invincible ignorance (LG 16). Cases of those saved in invincible ignorance it is assumed are visible to us and so they are an exception to the dogma.The dogma indicates everyone needs to be an explicit, visible member of the church to go to Heaven.

    If those saved in invincible ignorance were implicit for the English bishops it would not contradict the dogma.It would not be an exception. Since it is allegedly explicitly known, it is an exception to the dogma.

    So in inter religious dialogue it is assumed by the CBCEW that those saved in invincible ignorance are known to us in the present times.Those who have not had the Gsopel preached to them through no fault of their own and are saved are known to us in the present time ?!

    In another report on the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales titled Catholics and Other Faiths the error is repeated. Archbishop Emeritus Kevin McDonald of Southwark who is the Chair of the Committe for Relations with Other Religions states that the ‘seeds of the Word’ are present in other religions(1).Theoretically, as a possibility this is acceptable. However the bishop is implying that we know of particular cases so every non Catholic with no exception does not have to enter the Church for salvation.He is implying that this is an exception to the dogma.This is the rejection of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and Vatican Council II (Lumen Gentium 14, Ad Gentes 7).

    Similarly the Vocation Director of Southwark, England Fr. Stephen Langley has said that candidates with a religious vocation to the diocese would have to accept the doctrine extra ecclesiam nulla salus but the doctrine should not be interpreted in ‘the narrow Feenyite sense’.

    Young Catholics in England would have to say that everyone needs to enter the Church for salvation in the present times but there could be defacto exceptions like those saved with the baptism of desire. The baptism of desire is assumed to be visible and so is an exception to the dogma.The dogma indicates everyone needs to be an explicit, visible member of the church to go to Heaven.

    If the baptism of desire was implicit for candidates it would not contradict the dogma, it would not be an exception. Since it is allegedly explicitly known, it is an exception to the dogma. Candidates with a religious vocation would be accepted who presumably could ‘spot’ these rare exceptional cases.Those who cannot do so will not be able to priests and nuns.

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/vocation-director-in-southwarkengland.html

    The Vocation Director at Southwark also has implied that the Catholic Church has condemned the ‘narrow Feenyite sense’. However there is no ‘condemnation’ mentioned in the Letter of the Holy Office 1949. Pope Pius XII in the Letter of the Holy Office referred to ‘the dogma’, the ‘infallible statement’. The dogma like the popes, Church Councils and saints indicate that all non Catholics in Boston,USA need to convert into the Catholic Church to avoid the fires of Hell. This was exactly the teaching of Fr. Leonard Feeney who was not excommunicated for heresy but for disobedience. The excommunication was lifted by the Church without him having to recant.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/25059967/Peter-Vere-Canon-Lawyer-on-the-status-of-those-who-hold-Fr-Leonard-Feeney-s-Doctrinal-Position

    So candidates with a religious vocation in England would have to accept also that Fr. Leonard Feeney was ‘condemned’ for holding the same view as the popes, including Pope Pius XII, who referred to ‘the dogma’, the saints and the dogma itself.

    This is the teaching of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales in inter faith dialogue, for candidates with religious vocations and at the Catholic seminaries in Rome like the English and Beda College.

    This new visible baptism of desire doctrine contradicts magisterial documents.It is also irrational. (a) No one knows of a particular case of someone being saved with the baptism of desire and (b) Fr.Leonard Feeney was not excommunicated for repeating the same teaching of the popes, Councils, saints and the thrice-defined dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
    -Lionel Andrades

    1.
    As Catholics we believe that Christ lived, died and rose from the dead for all people and thatGod’s plan of love embraces the whole of creation. We can joyfully accept ,as was recognized by the Fathers of the Church,that other religions contain elements of truth that we find in Christ.The Fathers of the Church called these elements “seeds of the Word”.The Vatican Council II attributed the positive values present in other religious traditons to the actibe presence of God through through his Word,pointing also to the universal action of the Spirit “at work in the world before Christ was glorified”.(Ad Gentes n.4).-Catholics and Other Faiths report on the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales

    BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES SAYS LUMEN GENTIUM 16 REFERS TO EXPLICITLY KNOWN CASES OF NON CATHOLIC SAVED IN INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/10/bishops-conference-of-england-and-wales.html

    Archbishop Emeritus Kevin McDonald of Southwark implies the ‘seeds of the Word’ in other religions is the ordinary means of salvation and these exceptions are explicitly known
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/archbishop-emeritus-kevin-mcdonald-of.html

    NON CATHOLICS CAN BE SAVED IN INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE, BAPTISM OF DESIRE AND IT DOES NOT CONTRADICT THE DOGMA EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS- Daphne McLeod, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, England
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/10/non-catholics-can-be-saved-in.html

    CATHOLIC HERALD, DAILY TELEGRAPH CENSORSHIP OF THE DOGMA CONTROVERSY: NO ADS ACCEPTED

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/catholic-herald-daily-telegraph.html

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/catholic-bishops-conference-of-england.html

  6. avatar Lionel says:

    LEGIONARY OF CHRIST PRIEST FR.RAFAEL PASCUAL AFFIRMS CANTATE DOMINO, COUNCIL OF FLORENCE

    Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, University Pontifical Regina Apostolorum, Rome in his office today morning said he was familiar with the text of the dogma Cantate Domino and he would endorse it in public.

    Fr. Rafael Pascual said he and other Legionaries of Christ priests took an oath in Church to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church and he showed me on his computer the text of this oath.

    He took exception to a report (1) I e-mailed him which indicated that the Legionaries of Christ priests have not affirmed the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    Fr. Pascual who is the Director of the Master of Science and Faith Institute knew that the dogma on extra ecclesiam nulla salus, Cantate Domino (2) was in accord with Vatican Council II (LG 14,AG 7) (3), Dominus Iesus 20 (4) and other Magisterial text.

    The Church also affirms it may be mentioned that non Catholics can be saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire. However the Church Fathers, popes and Councils always new that these cases were implicit and so did not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. They are only known to God and we would not meet any such case in person. Also no Magisterial text claims that they are explicitly known to us. -Lionel Andrades

    1.

    LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST PRIESTS IN ROME DO NOT DENY THAT THEY AFFIRM AND TEACH THE SECULAR, LIBERAL INTERPRETATION OF EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA
    SALUS
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2010/12/legionaries-of-christ-priests-in-rome.html#links

    2.

    Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino (1441): “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the “eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”-, Wikipedia, extra ecclesiam nulla salus

    3.

    Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church.-Lumen Gentium 14

    Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself “by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door.-Ad Gentes 7

    4.

    Above all else, it must be firmly believed that “the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door”. This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); “it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation”.- Dominus Iesus 20
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/10/legionary-of-christ-priest-frrafael.html#links

  7. avatar Lionel says:

    Thursday, November 24, 2011
    ECCLESSIOLOGY OF ENGLISH BISHOPS HIT BY TWO ERRORS 1) VISIBLE BAPTISM OF DESIRE 2) FR.LEONARD FEENEY EXCOMMUNICATED FOR THE SAME VIEW AS POPES, SAINTS AND DOGMA OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION

    English bishops use an interpretation of Magisterial texts which contradict the Principle of Non Contradiction as taught to Catholic seminarians.

    It is assumed by the bishops that those saved among Christians and non Christians, in invincible ignorance, the baptism of desire, a good conscience, with ‘the seeds of the Word’ or in imperfect communion with the Church, are known to us in the present times and this is the ordinary way of salvation. They imply that this is an exception to the dogma outside the Church there is no salvation. So Protestants just have to believe in Jesus and they are saved in their religion through this ordinary means.This is a rejection of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and Vatican Council II (Lumen Gentium 14, Ad Gentes 7).Vatican Council II indicates that the ordinary means of salvation is Catholic Faith and the baptism of water (LG 14, AG 7).

    It is contradictory for the bishops to say:

    De facto every one needs to be an explicit, visible member of the Church of salvation and defacto non Catholics in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire can be saved without the baptism of water.

    It is not contradictory when they say:

    Defacto every one with no exception needs to enter the Church as taught by ‘the dogma’, the ‘infallible statement’.(Letter of the Holy Office 1949 during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII)

    De jure a person can be saved with the baptism of desire.(Letter of the Holy Office 1949 during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII)

    It is contradictory when they believe:

    De facto all people need to enter the Catholic Church with the baptism of water and Catholic Faith for salvation.(Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium 14, Ad Gentes 7).

    De facto some people can be saved in invincible ignorance.(Lumen Gentium 16).

    It is not contradictory when they believe:

    De facto all people need to enter the Catholic Church with the baptism of water and Catholic Faith for salvation. (Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium 14,Ad Gentes7).

    De jure some people can be saved in invincible ignorance.(Lumen Gentium 16).

    English bishops use an interpretation of Magisterial texts which contradict the Principle of Non Contradiction as taught to Catholic seminarians.It is contradictory to common sense , even a lay man can notice, to imply that those saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire are de facto known to us

    Due to the contradiction in the interpretation young candidates with a religious vocation in England have to say everyone needs to enter the Church for salvation in the present times but there could be defacto exceptions like those saved with the baptism of desire. The baptism of desire is assumed to be visible and so is an exception to the dogma.The dogma indicates everyone needs to be an explicit, visible member of the church to go to Heaven.
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/vocation-director-in-southwarkengland.html

    If the baptism of desire was implicit for candidates it would not contradict the dogma, it would not be an exception. Since it is allegedly explicitly known, it is an exception to the dogma. It is an error for the bishops to interpret those saved with the baptism of desire as being de facto known to us.

    Candidates with a religious vocation in England would also have to accept that Fr. Leonard Feeney was ‘condemned’ for holding the same view as the popes, including Pope Pius XII, who referred to ‘the dogma’, the saints and the dogma itself. Since the bishops assume that Fr.Leonard Feeney said that there are no exceptions to the dogma and that the baptism of desire etc are not exceptions. For the bishops the baptism of desire is defacto and explicitly known to us and so Fr.Leonard Feeney was wrong. So were the popes and saints.

    (a) No one knows of a particular case of someone being saved with the baptism of desire even though it is being assumed as being visible (b) Fr.Leonard Feeney was not excommunicated for repeating the same teaching of the popes, Councils, saints and the thrice-defined dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. They were all saying that de facto every adult needs Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation. They did not consider the baptism of desire as explicit but knew that it was always implicit.

    They imply that Vatican Council II has changed our concept of Church since those saved in invincible ignorance (LG 16) etc are visible and de facto known to us in the present times.
    -Lionel Andrades

    CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES SAYS THOSE SAVED WITH THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE, INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE ARE VISIBLE TO US
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/catholic-bishops-conference-of-england.html

    ECUMENISM OF THE ENGLISH BISHOPS CONTRARY TO VATICAN COUNCIL II
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/ecumenism-of-english-bishops-contrary.html#links

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/ecclessiology-of-english-bishops-hit-by.html

  8. avatar Mike says:

    Lionel,

    You’ve posted a lot of material, some obviously copied from elsewhere, some by way of links to elsewhere, and some that appears to be your own thoughts. Taken together, it’s all quite confusing.

    What, exactly, is your point? It would help immensely if you could express it clearly and succinctly, say in something like a couple hundred words.

  9. avatar Lionel says:

    Liberal Catholicism has one of its roots in misinformation about the Fr. Leonard Feeney Case.

    1. The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII supported Fr. Leonard Feeney on doctrine. It referred to the dogma, the infallible teaching. It indicates all non Catholics, including Orthodox Catholics and Protestants need to visibly enter the Church to avoid the fires of Hell. There are no exceptions mentioned by the dogma.
    2. Those saved in invincible ignorance or the baptism of desire are not known to us and so they do not contradict the dogma. There are no exceptions to the dogma in Vatican Council II as the liberals would suggest.
    3. The liberal propaganda is based on the baptism of desire being visible.This is irrational. Since there cannot be a known baptism of desire it does not contradict the dogma.
    4. The liberal propaganda is based on the violation of the Principle of Non Contradiction. i.e. they have to say that every one defacto needs to enter the church for salvation and there could be some people on earth with the baptism of desire etc who do not have to defacto enter the Church for salvation.
    5. There is a defacto-dejure analysis in magisterial texts, like a theme it runs through. The liberals ignore it and use a defacto-defacto irrational analysis.So CCC 1257 would contradict itself.
    6. Using these errors they say that Fr. Leonard Feeney was wrong for saying every body with no exception needs to be a visible member of the Church. They imply that he was excommunicated for saying the same thing as the popes, saints and the defined dogma itself.

  10. avatar Lionel says:

    ARCHBISHOP OF BOSTON CARDINAL RICHARD CUSHINGS LEGACY: FOLLOWERS INCLUDE USCCB, EWTN, CATHOLIC ANSWERS, SSPX, SEDEVACANTISTS MHFM
    He assumed the baptism of desire was visible and so contradicted the dogma outside the church there is no salvation. He assumed that those saved with the baptism of desire and in invincible ignorance were known to us and so it contradicts Fr. Leonard Feeney’s traditional interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    Since the time of the Archbishop Cardinal Richard Cushing it is assumed there are two interpretations of the dogma. 1)the rigorist interpretation of Fr. Leonard Feeney, the popes and saints and 2) the non rigorist interpretation. The non rigorist interpretation says everyone needs to enter the Church for salvation except for those in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire. It is assumed here that the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are exceptions to the dogma. So this is a ‘new ‘interpretation.

    We now know that there is only one interpretation of the dogma, the centuries old interpretation since the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are not known to us.

    It is assumed that Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium 16 (invincible ignorance, good conscience) is an exception to the dogma. This would be assuming that those saved in invincible ignorance are defacto known to us in particular cases. We know that they are not visible and explicitly known to us but known only to God. So they are not exceptions to the dogma.

    De facto everyone needs to enter the Church for salvation. De jure in principle those saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire are known only to God. The baptism of water is explicit. The baptism of desire is implicit.

    The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 was addressed directly to the Archbishop of Boston. It was critical of the Archbshop. It mentioned ‘the dogma’, the ‘infallible statement’. The dogma does not mention any exceptions. The dogma also indicates, like Fr. Leonard Feeney, that everyone needs to explicitly enter the Church for salvation.

    Today the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), Eternal Word Television Network, Catholic Answers, Society of St. Pius X, Pontifical seminaries and universities, sedevacantists, priests, nuns and lay Catholics are all unknowingly following the legacy of the Archbishop of Boston and the Jesuits of Boston College.

    They assume the baptism of desire etc is visible and so is an exception to the dogma.

    This is a basis for liberalism.
    -Lionel Andrades


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