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Author Topic: Is Liberal Catholicism Dead?  (Read 1437 times)
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BRTD
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« on: August 27, 2012, 03:39:02 pm »
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http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1737323,00.html

Yes the article is over four years old, but I found it kind of prescient with recent events and the Vatican basically now openly condemning the Obama administration over the birth control coverage thing and Cardinal Dolan giving the invocation at the RNC. Quite interesting in hindsight.
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koenkai
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 04:58:51 pm »
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American Catholicism has always been an abberation for having elements in it vastly outside of the Catholic mainstream. And not just North American, South American as well (see: liberation theology).

Obviously, a lot of this is just the fact that Rome is just very far away from San Francisco or Guatemala. As our world shrinks (internet, mass media, etc.), it's only natural that New World Catholicism converges with Old World Catholicism.

The Catholic church still has vigrant conservative and liberal strands of thought. In many ways, John Paul II was a very progressive liberal. It's just that the Pelosi-Kennedy branch of Catholicism has always been outside of the mainstream, both liberal and conservative. So we should naturally see that branch shrink.
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 05:26:31 pm »
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Just like last time, Romney will dominate among white catholics and Obama will dominate among hispanic catholics. These are two very very different voting groups.
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 05:27:33 pm »
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Just like last time, Romney will dominate among white catholics and Obama will dominate among hispanic catholics. These are two very very different voting groups.

No one "dominated" last time, nor will they this time.  Conservative Catholicism and liberal Catholicism, are both pretty large.
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 05:42:08 pm »
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Actually white Catholics have a HUGE gender gap. I expect it to be even larger this year.
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koenkai
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2012, 05:51:56 pm »
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Just like last time, Romney will dominate among white catholics and Obama will dominate among hispanic catholics. These are two very very different voting groups.

No one "dominated" last time, nor will they this time.  Conservative Catholicism and liberal Catholicism, are both pretty large.

McCain won among white catholics about 53-47 despite losing the nationwide popular vote by 7 points. If Romney ties Obama nationwide, we're probably looking at a big beating.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/154430/catholics-presidential-pick-differs-ethnicity-religiosity.aspx

Of course, keep in mind May was Romney's worst performance against Obama (trailing by an average of 4-5 points in Gallup) /and/ this is also registered voters. So Obama's going to be shellacked among white catholics.

And among very religious white catholics, it's a bloodbath. And it's only getting more unbalanced as relatively nonserious white catholics drop out from the Catholic Church.

Hispanic voting patterns are interesting because Hispanic catholics are among some of the most devout groups in society, but also by far the most poorly informed (about Christianity) in society. I am unsure if future trends among Hispanics favor Democrats or Republicans, but it's possible that as Hispanic educational achievement and socioeconomic class rise, we might see more who will vote on social issues (and for the GOP).

Disclosure: Pew also has a fun survey on their site. As an atheist, I missed 4, 8, and 15.
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2012, 10:21:46 pm »
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White Catholics have long been less Republican than white Protestants, though that may be shrinking.
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 11:46:49 pm »
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White Catholics have long been less Republican than white Protestants, though that may be shrinking.

Well, it depends what we're talking about. White Catholics are much less Republican than white evangelical protestants, but somewhat more Republican than white mainline protestants.

Also, it's really really hard to get more Republican than white evangelical protestants. That's a 80/20 Republican group.
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2012, 02:16:40 am »
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Guys the point of the article is not voting patterns.

Also, it's really really hard to get more Republican than white evangelical protestants. That's a 80/20 Republican group.

More like 75/25, and that's heavily skewed by the South. In my state Obama won 35% of white evangelicals. Now that doesn't sound like a lot, but consider what it means if Obama won every third person at an evangelical church service, that's a lot of people. And when you consider that many blatantly right wing churches would be almost 100% McCain it means there's plenty that are more liberal and were won by Obama, even by wide margins. I go to an evangelical church that Obama no doubt carried in a landslide, and will again. Obviously the heart of Minneapolis isn't a very representative sample of the country, but neither is Middle of Nowhere, Mississippi.
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2012, 02:30:18 am »
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What I meant by 80/20 demographic is that if Obama won 25% of evangelicals (I thought it was 24%, but I could be mistaken), then I would assume in a year where the Democrats and Republicans tie, evangelicals would go around 80/20. IIRC, they went 82/18 with Bush/Kerry, so I'm a little off, but not that far off.

And yeah, the article isn't about voting patterns, but the trends in American Catholicism have definitely impacted the voting behavior of Catholics, so I guess people immediately jumped on that issue.
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 11:08:19 am »
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Liberal Catholicism was never endorsed by the Vatican.  Even economic beliefs like social justice are not shared by all dioceses. It's far from dead.
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2012, 11:26:32 am »
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Liberal Catholicism was never endorsed by the Vatican.  Even economic beliefs like social justice are not shared by all dioceses. It's far from dead.

I mean, social justice and economic issues are different. Social justice issues are not directly at odds with official church teaching. If anything, they are natural extensions (to some), or incorrect extensions (to others).

But the radical social leftism of the Pelosi-Kennedy types are directly at odds with the core beliefs of the Church. And I don't see a future for /that/ kind of leftism.
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2012, 01:56:22 pm »
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"Liberal Catholicism" means two different things, one of which is more culturally relevant and basically dead within the Church, and the other is still alive within the Church but dead within society. First, the idea of the Church as an organization open to the "modernization" of morality and sexuality is basically dead (if it ever was alive to begin with). The Second Vatican Council took the Mass out of Latin, put it into modern languages, increased the involvement of the laity, and relaxed many disciplines of the Church. But many people misinterpreted Vatican II to mean some vague sense of openness and relativism that is unfounded by the actual writing in the document (aka "Spirit of Vatican II"). This never was the Church's teaching.

However, the idea of social justice is definitely still alive. Exactly how it applies to politics is somewhat confusing. The core principles are solidarity (emphasizing a personal relationship with the poor and seeing their humanity) and subsidiarity (that services should be provided on as local a level as possible) can be interpreted a variety of different ways in a political context. There are some conservative Catholics who view "subsidiarity" as an argument for federalism (though this interpretation seems somewhat vapid to me because I question how much solidarity would actually occur in it's implementation if taken to the extreme). There are also some liberal Catholics who believe political conservatism is effectively violating the principal of solidarity by stripping away funding (and there are certainly some conservatives insistent upon sticking it to poor people). This type of liberal Catholicism isn't going away any time soon. However, it damages a devout liberal Catholic interpretation when a decent number of those who follow it also take positions blatantly against the Church's personal moral teachings or speak out against the Church as an institution for it's moral teachings.
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koenkai
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2012, 01:58:28 pm »
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"Liberal Catholicism" means two different things, one of which is more culturally relevant and basically dead within the Church, and the other is still alive within the Church but dead within society. First, the idea of the Church as an organization open to the "modernization" of morality and sexuality is basically dead (if it ever was alive to begin with). The Second Vatican Council took the Mass out of Latin, put it into modern languages, increased the involvement of the laity, and relaxed many disciplines of the Church. But many people misinterpreted Vatican II to mean some vague sense of openness and relativism that is unfounded by the actual writing in the document (aka "Spirit of Vatican II"). This never was the Church's teaching.

However, the idea of social justice is definitely still alive. Exactly how it applies to politics is somewhat confusing. The core principles are solidarity (emphasizing a personal relationship with the poor and seeing their humanity) and subsidiarity (that services should be provided on as local a level as possible) can be interpreted a variety of different ways in a political context. There are some conservative Catholics who view "subsidiarity" as an argument for federalism (though this interpretation seems somewhat vapid to me because I question how much solidarity would actually occur in it's implementation if taken to the extreme). There are also some liberal Catholics who believe political conservatism is effectively violating the principal of solidarity by stripping away funding (and there are certainly some conservatives insistent upon sticking it to poor people). This type of liberal Catholicism isn't going away any time soon. However, it damages a devout liberal Catholic interpretation when a decent number of those who follow it also take positions blatantly against the Church's personal moral teachings or speak out against the Church as an institution for it's moral teachings.

Exactly this. Explained much better than this lifelong atheist (although one with an academic interest in the Church) could do.
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King
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2012, 04:39:14 pm »
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Liberal Catholicism was never endorsed by the Vatican.  Even economic beliefs like social justice are not shared by all dioceses. It's far from dead.

I mean, social justice and economic issues are different. Social justice issues are not directly at odds with official church teaching. If anything, they are natural extensions (to some), or incorrect extensions (to others).

But the radical social leftism of the Pelosi-Kennedy types are directly at odds with the core beliefs of the Church. And I don't see a future for /that/ kind of leftism.

That was never part of the church. 
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koenkai
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2012, 04:41:51 pm »
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Liberal Catholicism was never endorsed by the Vatican.  Even economic beliefs like social justice are not shared by all dioceses. It's far from dead.

I mean, social justice and economic issues are different. Social justice issues are not directly at odds with official church teaching. If anything, they are natural extensions (to some), or incorrect extensions (to others).

But the radical social leftism of the Pelosi-Kennedy types are directly at odds with the core beliefs of the Church. And I don't see a future for /that/ kind of leftism.

That was never part of the church. 

No, but American Catholicism was distant enough from Rome so that its supporters could at least pretend it was part of the church. Now, of course, that illusion is gone and they're just dropping out of the church.
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