Friday, April 27, 2007

Liberalism: Lacking love and faith

A friend of mine bought a book recently called Liberalism is a Sin by Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany. I have been reflecting on this recently. If you are a Catholic and call yourself liberal then you have little faith. You don't love Jesus as you should because you don't fully believe in His Church. Jesus said: "Whoever hears you hears me" (Luke 10:16) If you are a Liberal Catholic you don't believe that. You lack faith and you don't love Jesus as much as you should because you lack love for His Church.

I have come across a number of Liberal Catholic who state "The Church is wrong" on several issues and doctrines. My question is always the same: So who is right, you? Isn't that pride and arrogance, the antithesis of Jesus Christ?

If you are a Liberal Catholic you need to convert. You are disobeying Jesus, His Church, doing damage to your immortal soul and not helping with the current shortage of vocations.

There is a basic fact: The religious orders and seminaries that are beaming with vocations are the orthodox ones. Liberalism doesn't work. It empties out seminaries and convents and is old fashioned.

So get with it. Convert and be radical. Love and live the teachings of the Magisterium. Stop cherry picking. Put your hand on the plough and look ahead. You're doing damage to the Church and only shooting yourself in the foot.
And finally, if you obey the Church you'll get rid of that bitterness that liberals have from being constantly at war with their Mother.

God bless


catholicandgop said...

I saw a bumpersticker the other day that said "Liberal Catholic". I just sort of rolled my eyes.

holyfamoley said...

Are you going to be this narrow-minded and judgemental when you are a real priest? Do you have the humility to deal with the pastoral needs of the many different people who will make up your congregation? I read your post and I do not see any attempt to emulate the ways of Jesus. Have your opinions, by all means, but learn to express them less abrasively and with less ego. Reflect a little more and perhaps discuss with your spiritual director...
God Bless.

Anonymous said...

I am not a liberal and I am still bitter; so are most of my traddie friends.

Orthfully Catholic said...

Thanks for your contribution.

Holyfamoley. Being a priest means to love. Love challenges. Love is sometimes tough. People today think that to love someone means niceness. That has never been a Catholic understanding of love. A real priest challenges his people. Sometimes that's tough. Sometimes people react angrily. But it's love. You spoke of judgementalism yet you have judged that there appears to be no attempt on my part to emulate the ways of Jesus from one article. Two things:
One: Have you read my other posts?
Two: Who is the Jesus you are talking about?
Jesus was very tough and there is a tendency in comfortable Christianity (we have received this from 19th Century Anglicanism) to view Jesus as merely kind and gentle and sweet. But Scripture shows a Jesus who really lost his rag and seemed very UN-nice.

You cannot possibly know the status of my ego by one article.
Many saints (I am NOT one) have said things that you would have considered downright UNchristian. Yet they said them with a loving passion.

And finally I have to confess: the idea for the article came from a homily that a priest gave in the seminary. He said that if we didn't care about orthodoxy we don't love Jesus.

These are hard hitting words. I find them hard. I read them and I shudder. Are they true or is it just harsh?
But after prayer the only conclusion that one can come to is that they are true. What is difficult is my pride and my comfortableness.
Those words shocked me when I heard them from the priest. They were meant to shock you and all the readers.
They shock me now. And it's a question that Jesus asks me as I write this: Do you love me? Follow my commands, he says. That includes obeying his Church.
I have reflected alot. I will speak to my spiritual director although I do wonder at the appropriateness of your suggestion since we don't know each other. But I will follow up your suggestion.
I'd like to end with Marthe Robin's words: Armchair Catholics don't go to heaven.
I ask myself now: Am I sat in my armchair or do I love Jesus?

God bles you too.

Anglican said...

I was a Catholic, I read your blog and other 'traditional/orthodox' Catholic blogs and I converted to Anglicanism.

You are right, I think, Liberal and Catholic do not sit happily together. Thank you for helping me make that discernment.

So why do I keep reading 'traddie' Catholic blogs? just to make sure I made the right decision !

Orthfully Catholic said...


With all due respect you have not made the right decision. Converting to Anglicanism will never solve any problems. The Anglican communion is rife with division far worse than in the Catholic Church. There is no strict moral guidelines and many, many Anglican bishops blatantly disobey the laws of God (permitting Gay marriages, abortion etc).

To have left the Catholic Church only proves that you did not know your faith to begin with.

What about the martyrs who died for the Catholic faith in this very land? They shed their blood. And what are you doing? Walking away from the Faith they literally spilt their guts for!
Have you stopped to think why so many Anglicans have converted to the Catholic faith?
The Anglican Communion is a 16th Century invention of a King who couldn't get his own way and so decided to throw a religious tantrum!

And finally: HOW could you leave the sacraments, especially the Eucharist? How could you leave the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ truly present in the Catholic Eucharist/Holy Communion for anglican bread?
That is the equivalent of exchanging a Diamond for a pebble!

You have left the one true Faith established by Christ. You have committed apostasy. I will NEVER comprehend how someone could leave the beautiful, absolutely BEAUTIFUL Catholic faith for anglicanism. I will be absolutely honest and say I would sooner choose death than live a lie.

You simply Can Not possibly know the Catholic faith. You must have received a terrible formation and Catechesis. What did they teach you at Sunday School?

The author James Joyce, who rebelled and left the Catholic Church was asked by a friend why he didn't just join the Protestant Church of Ireland.

His response was: Listen. I lost my faith, not my reason!

Come back home to the True Church. It's the one Jesus made. He certainly did not make the Church of England.

Come home, for Christ's sake: Literally!

Anglican said...

Thank you for your heart felt comments - I will consider them closely and may respond in due course.

I would like to point out, however, that I was 'taught the faith' by a current Professor of Theology at Wonersh - so probably not what you would call a 'terrible formation'. But what is apostacy? I must have missed that bit!

Christian said...

Anglican apostasy is leaving the Church of Christ. You have done that and have thus committed the worst sin imaginable. Please come back now. PLEASE! I hate the idea of anyone not being saved and I doubt you will be. I am almost moved to tears. God will forgive you - all you need do is ask. eternal happiness could be yours. For the other option read a theological definition of 'Hell'. I can tell you it is terrifying. Christ loves you - come home 'lest you die of wretchedness and hunger'.

Mark said...

“Christian”, you are talking nonsense, and dangerous nonsense at that. Out of charity both to you and to anyone else who might read what you have written, I feel bound to intervene.

First – you have to distinguish between apostasy, heresy and schism. Apostasy is when someone completely abandons the Christian faith, either by embracing a non-Christian religion, or not practicing any religious faith at all. The heretic, on the other hand, always retains his faith in Christ, even though he may not accept the fullness of faith as preached by the Catholic Church. The schismatic is someone who retains his belief in the fullness of Catholic doctrine, but separates himself from the unity of the Church.

Secondly, you need to distinguish between formal heresy/schism and material heresy/schism. The distinction lies in the individual’s subjective belief about his opinion. The heretic who is aware that his belief is at odds with Catholic teaching, and yet continues to hold to his belief obstinately is a formal heretic. Likewise with the schismatic who consciously and deliberately remains out of Communion with the Bishop of Rome.

Material heresy, on the other hand, means that the individual is unaware that his heretical opinion denies some truth which is part of the Catholic faith. The opinion of a material heretic is still heresy, and it produces the same objective results as formal heresy, but because of his ignorance he commits no sin by holding it. Likewise with the person who, for example, accidentally attends a liturgy celebrated by a schismatic group, but who would have avoided such a liturgy had he know its true import.

On the basis of these distinctions, we can say that Anglicanism is as a system has been formally schismatic right from the beginning, but that it only became formally heretical after the death of Henry VIII. Indeed, the degree of formal heresy varies enormously within Anglicanism and always has done. Some Anglicans are almost Calvinist in their belief. Others are, as the French put it “plus Catholique que le Pape”.

As to the degree of material heresy/schism of individual Anglicans, only God can judge. You have to know someone very well indeed before you can judge their state of soul or conscience, and it is destructive of both hope and charity to pronounce on someone’s eternal destiny in a public forum when you don’t know them or their background.

Christian said...

I understand all of that but apostasy can be used as a general term for leaving the Catholic Church. Anglicanism is most certainly a heresy and, though those born into it may not be, those who join it are publicly declaring themselves outside of the Church. That is a mortal sin at the least and could, indeed be considered sacrilege at through the schism the Anglican is rendering the body of Christ asunder. Dieing with those sins unrepented would mean that the person goes to hell. Fact. The Church has always taught that to be the case. Thus it is totally imperative that the individual concerned repents

Mark said...

I’m afraid I have to disagree with you as far as Apostasy is concerned. Whether or not we approve of his/her actions, our Anglican friend is still a Christian, even though he/she is no longer in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

On heresy, the problem is that it is so difficult to know what the Church of England teaches. Given the wide variety of (apparently) permissible beliefs, I still think it would be more accurate to describe the C of E as a schismatic body whose individual members display widely varying degrees of heretical beliefs.

With regard to our Anglican friend’s subjective culpability, it is, as I said, difficult to judge on the basis of what he/she has written. His/her posts could be taken as implying that he/she joined the C of E as a result of reading traddie and orthodox blogs and that he/she justifies his/her current stance by continuing to do so. As it stands, this strikes me as somewhat implausible, and I can’t help thinking that there is more to the situation than meets the eye. It may be that he/she has had a bad experience in the past and that what he/she is actually saying is that he/she finds the attitudes and mind-set of some traddies off-putting and repugnant. In which case, it is difficult to disagree with him/her. Indiscreet zeal in the cause of the truth is a sign of spiritual imperfection and risks compromising the very objectives you wish to achieve. In the words of St John of the Cross:

"There are other of these spiritual persons, again, who fall into another kind of spiritual wrath: this happens when they become irritated at the sins of others, and keep watch on those others with a sort of uneasy zeal. At times the impulse comes to them to reprove them angrily, and occasionally they go so far as to indulge it and set themselves up as masters of virtue. All this is contrary to spiritual meekness."

In other words, by all means be zealous for doctrinal and liturgical orthodoxy, but make sure that your zeal springs from a love of the truth and a desire to spread that truth among your fellow men and women. If, as St John says, your zeal springs from spiritual anger, pride or avarice, then it is not likely to achieve a great deal.

Christian said...

My original comment was, I feel, in no way angry. I did not write it to be so. Indeed, the only emotion I betrayed was grief. I stick to that because I do feel grief to see another soul so gravely in error. I would not wish anyone to go to hell. Frankly I wish that no one went to hell - even those who deserve it! That is a flaw in me.

With reference to the Anglicans I would say this: being an Anglican (whatever they say) is to subscribe to the 39 Articles. These Articles are heretical. Furthermore, Anglican orders are invalid so anyone joining them is depriving himself of the sacraments. Indeed, it is better that Anglicans do not believe in the Real Presence as to worship mere bread (as any Anglican 'blessed Sacrament' is) is idolatry.

Anglican said...

I was unaware of the differences between apostasy, heresy, schism or the formal/material. I did have a 'bad experience' that shook my faith in Catholicism without which I would not have converted to Anglicanism.

But I have also been studying theology which is where I was exposed to the theology of Anglicanism that highlighted difficulties I have always had with some controversial issues within Catholicism. I have followed the 'Liberalism' debate that often appears within the 'traddie' Catholic blogs and find I can no longer step up to that line and be counted - if I ever could.

The problem I think, is one of 'absolute truth' and different interpretations of that 'truth' for example, which martyrs that 'split their guts for' me am I supposed to be loyal to? As I understand it, if I were born an Anglican I would not automatically be fast tracked to hell but choosing Anglicanism as a Catholic means I am? What if I were born an Anglican, converted to Catholicism but returned to Anglicanism - where would I stand then, which 'truth' would prevail?

I was frightened when I read Christians remarks about going to hell, that possibility is not one I want to expose myself or my family to. But herein lies my problem, such alarmist beliefs provoke an unthinking knee jerk reaction of act first think later. So I could act now and repent, just to be on the safe side, and think or not think about it later. But I did not choose to become an Anglican on a whim, it was a considered desicion made to the best of my ability and knowledge.

Possibly, as Orthodox Catholic suggested I did not 'know my faith'. If I had known, for example, that changing my mind after being confirmed a Catholic may commit me to hell I would have considered the prospect more deeply.

Christian said...

Thank you very much, anglican. I am very happy to have at least provoked some thought. God Bless.