North Western Winds

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It won’t fit

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Parable Man takes aim at the word “neo Catholic”:

Traditionalist Catholics apply the label because they are irritated at the inability of many “neo-Catholics” to appreciate what are claimed as serious errors of the post-Vatican II Church in the area of morals, culture, and Church discipline. “Neo-Catholics” are supposedly unable to take a broader view that understands Catholicity as the task of ensuring that no significant changes occur to the doctrine, practice, and teachings of Catholicism as they existed when Christ gave them to the Apostles in 1940.

Liberal Catholics apply the label for the same reason, except the “serious error” they identify in the post-Vatican II era is the failure to rewrite the Church’s moral teachings on sexuality and family. “Neo-Catholics” are supposedly unable to take a broader view that understands Catholicity as an evolutionary process by which the Church jettisons inauthentic cultural holdovers and embraces a brighter, more loving vision in which married women priests using contraception perform homosexual marriages.

As usually happens, Left and Right are better at mirroring than fighting each other. The essence of Traditionalist and Liberal dislike of Neo-Catholicism is that Neo-Catholics try very hard to believe what’s in the Catechism and to follow the Pope.

I am using the Neo Cath button to the right in an ironic sense; I do not feel the name truly designates anything. The word points to little but the frustration of the one who uses it as a weapon against those standing in his way, the Orthodox. Orthodoxy, however, is a big tent that recognizes a diversity of talents, methods, and the human struggles with issues of faith. It does not embrace everything, as it does hold in things like Truth and Sin, but it is nowhere near narrow enough to be compared with the term ‘neocon,’ and that school’s embrace of a very narrow definition of right, ie. one size anglo capitalism for all.

Orthodoxy tends to be patient and tolerant; it waits for the Truth to present itself, knowing that suffering in this world is not the worst thing that could possibly happen. This makes it quite different from either side in what is best understood as a Liberal / Progressive schism. The ‘neo’ prefix attemtps to draw us into – and define us through – the prism of this divide in progressive utopian materialism. The shoe, however, simply will not fit. Orthodoxy is not utopian, and it is not progressive (not in a linear way). It is idealistic (in the philosophic, not political sense of the word) and it looks for joy in reconciliation with the Truth, rather than any earthly conquest.


Written by Curt

August 18, 2005 at 8:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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