Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

“Many ideologies compete” – Allen to Ministerium

May 14th, 2012, Promulgated by b a

Mike Latona writes in the Catholic Courier of journalist John Allen Jr’s address to the Diocese of Rochester’s annual” Gathering of the Ministerium”.  Allen obviously makes some good points, but Latona’s article finishes with this:

With many issues tearing at the fabric of the Catholic Church’s foundation, Allen emphasized that Catholics can ill afford to be divided among themselves — but, he said, many ideologies compete with each other within the church and that in turn weakens our effectiveness. He called for Catholics to respect each other’s positions, adapt to changes taking place in their local and worldwide churches, and in doing so strive to positively influence the rest of the world.

I think most of us [ie right-wing nut jobs] would be completely fine with the above statement if you take it at face value.  However, I fear it is an attempt to gloss over the most significant problem in the western Catholic Church today – a lack of adherence to core, fundamental, Catholic beliefs.  This problem is especially evident in the Diocese of Rochester, NY.  What we have here is not one Catholic ideology competing with another Catholic ideology.  What we have is an anti-Catholic ideology competing with a Catholic ideology.  I’m not sure if Allen completely stands by the above paraphrasing and I appreciate Latona’s attempts to bring unity to our local Church (see previous attempts here).  The problem is, though, that unity cannot come at the price of compromising the Catholic faith.  When priests and bishops teach un-Catholic ideas and belief systems that are outside the bounds of Catholic teaching, then it is not the the fault of those who stick with the Magisterium for the division that is caused.  Once again, Allen and others seem to want to blame division in the Church on the boogeyman which is the right-wing conservative not willing to accept that his fellow Catholic sees things a little differently.  This is a red herring and only continues to perpetuate a myth.  When that boogeyman is found, I’ll be the first to tar and feather him.

Side question: What’s up with this term “Ministerium”?  Is that a legit term?  Or is it an attempt to pretend the local Church has some sort of authority above and beyond what it does?  See here and here.  I honestly don’t know and would appreciate any special insight you may have.


10 Responses to ““Many ideologies compete” – Allen to Ministerium”

  1. Scott W. says:

    I’d like to see a transcript or video of the speech just to be fair, but Latona’s report is consistent with previous talks. Namely, that Allen is obviously intelligent, but his continued presence at a paper dedicated to pumping out progressivist smog means you can bet his talks will be have a distinct If-by-whiskey quality to them.

  2. Bernie says:

    Unfortunately there has never been the kind of unity in the Church that Allen wishes for. Never. At least now, however, we don’t exile, maim or kill each other. We seldom even see the threat of excommunication or any other sanction inflicted. It’s all become very… well, nice; but the result has been a ‘clouded sensorium’ of truth. It’s just a matter of personal opinions/preferences now -easily compromised as Allen suggests. I certainly don’t wish to see a return to violence but a little anathema here and there once in awhile would at least draw some attention and boundaries.

  3. Diane Harris says:

    Allen’s entitled to his opinions (and that is all they are — some opinions sprinkled over chunks of data.) The real criticism should go to those who invited him, and handed him a captive audience of 400 some odd souls. Yes souls; not “employees” when people are being exposed to risk to their souls. (Sinking ships report the number of souls on board, not “passengers.”)

    Perhaps it is a good sign that this guy comes back again, as it might mean it is getting harder to find speakers in his niche. With all the threat to our church, our freedoms, and to souls tended by the ministerium, this is the best they could come up with? Would have been better to have watched some good, faithful DVD’s and saved the speaker’s fee.

  4. Gretchen says:

    Ministerium is a term that means a gathering of religious leaders to discuss, confer, etc., on issues of the day.

  5. Monk says:

    They use the term Ministerium to hammer home the point that it isn’t a gathering of just the Bishop’s priests anymore
    but includes all the “priestesses” too.

  6. Thinkling says:

    First, most of you are not nut jobs. ;). And it isn’t so much that most of you are right wing as that the left wing amputated itself from reality and you are with the new Center. (h/t Peter Kreeft)

    But I start to get puzzled as to the level of confusion about Allen I keep seeing on this site. The core group here is smart and well grounded, so this should not be hard to discern. (speaking generally here and not particularly about this event) Allen is a journalist trying to speak to a wide audience, some of whom may have totally different (even contradictory) sides to their stories. It is simply a necessary feature of good journalism to make sure each story’s sides see their own portrayal as accurate.

    That is what separates the journalist from (say) Fr. Z. When he says Amanda Marcotte is deeply misguided, that is an accurate (if understated) statement. But she (and a significant number of others) would not recognize it as accurate.

    I can understand the criticism that Allen is ‘Vatican lickspittle’ — that says everything about the speaker’s adherence to a Marcottian amputation from reality and nothing about Allen. But for the good folks here to belittle him the way they do seems quite base — he is a journalist or at least tries to be one much of the time. When he does editorialize or otherwise get journalistically soft, he makes it explicit he does so. With (so called) journalists like David Gibson and Cathy Grossman out there, one would think you would be somewhat less dismissive.


    Frankly, “ministerium” is exactly the type of wordplay I find so delicious. But then I found “Lowerarchy” delicious too. Given the potential contrast to “Magisterium” to mean at odds with it (per Monk’s comment), I do hope it is only delicious and not gluttonous.

  7. Scott W. says:

    Thanks Thinkling, we know what a journalist is. In Allen’s case, I’m sure he is a nice guy, but I think as a journalist he has a massive blind spot that makes his journalism at best truistic and unilluminating and at worst, providing cover for nonsense.

  8. y2kscotty says:

    I hope nobody here is getting mini-hysterical over the mini-sterium.

  9. Dr. K says:

    I hope nobody here is getting mini-hysterical over the mini-sterium.

    It’s yet another example of the new class of super-laity that Bishop Clark has implemented in this diocese.

  10. Monk says:

    Dr. K Yes, a new class that separates the true laity from the priests and therefore ultimately fosters separation from the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith!

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