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Wednesday, March 22, 2006



As a self-proclaimed 100% American Catholic (though I prefer the term 'Papist'), I agree with what you've said and try my best (along with my friends) to live it.

That's why, for instance, many of us see this upcoming Consistory not as a time to feel "restless" and hope for a "homegrown Church," but instead as a time of "joy" when all eyes are turned to Rome - the focal point of Christ's universal Church on earth.

little gidding

England decided to have its own Catholic Church, too--and it resulted in both schism and heresy.

As they used to say, "Boston turns the crank of the universe," but what crank turns Boston?

John Hetman

Back in 1993, I met a retired engineer in a fashionable, university-connected suburb of Chicago whose wife was the president of our board. Both were very liberal Catholics and social progressives as they like to call themselves.

In the course of our conversation, he said, with both hope and sadness, that in 1992 he had neither a President nor a Pope. In 1993, after the election of Bill Clinton, he noted, that only his Pope was still missing. "His" Pope, of course.

I suspect that he may no longer be with us, but rather with our late Pope JP II, but if not, he still does not have his Pope.

Mr. Kaiser will have to live with his own great disappointment as well.

Mark Brumley

Same old, same old. These guys have been singing the same tune since 1968. Really, they have next to nothing to contribute to the discussion.

Deacon John M. Bresnahan

These liberal Catholics either do not know how to read newspapers or they are genuine agents of Satan--not really interested in "modernizing" or "updating" the Church--but in totally destroying her.
I say this because there already is an American "Catholic" Church--only it goes by the name: Episcopal Church. That Church has and does almost everything even the most radical Roman Catholic wants. Liberal type Catholics should either convert to orthodox Catholicism (what they should really do) or leave those of us alone who love the Church and her rock-like stability guaranteed by the Holy Spirit. They already have a church they can join that will immerse their needs in smells and bells with fellow non-believers processing around in bishop's regalia. Of course, on the other hand, the big media bucks flow to the heterodox and apostate Catholics and to become orthodox wouldn't help their bottom line.
And as for joining the Episcopal Church--it is apparently imploding and disintegrating the more it does what liberal Catholics say the genuine Catholic Church should do.


I am one of those young Catholics you mentioned in your post and you hit us spot on I have to say. I really believe that this new devotion to the Church, her teachings and the Holy Father is the new Spring-time JP2 talked about. I love being Catholic and I love the Church!

Eric Thomason

Always fun for me to play the "I know better than most" card, so here I go:

I've been leading Catholic youth groups for about 14 years and anyone who thinks that Catholic young people are upset with authentic Catholicism is reading their own dissident beliefs into the young. Perhaps our man Kaiser should attend the next World Youth Day: the sight of thousands of young people going to confession, praying the rosary in the streets, hanging on the Holy Father's every word, and prostrating themselves before the Blessed Sacrament might change his point of view.

Are there dissident Catholic youth out there? Of course; but, like their older counterparts, they're not doing much to attract followers. Most of the ones I've met simply stop going to Mass and staying involved in the Church. At least they have the integrity to leave what they disagree with...

M. Jordan Lichens

It's odd that the youth has come full circle into a richer time of Orthodoxy while the elderly radicals are fading away realizing their dreams of a catholic-free Catholic Church are gone.

John Powers

As a very Orthodox Liberal Roman Catholic, I am reminded that Cardinal Mundelein was a champion of the American domain of the Roman Catholic Church, and did everything in his power to make the culture of the United States a part of the Roman Catholic tradition. Of course, the great Cardinal knew it was 100% Catholic to be 100% American and 100% American to be 100% Catholic.

Groups such as the Knights of Columbus celebrate both their distinctive American roots through vigorous Patriotism and the Roman Catholic faith through the Church. Being in favor of being American is not dissent from Catholicism, despite what Kaiser claims.

Here is a eloquent history by Russel Shaw of the American Roman Catholic Church.


Thomas Crescenzi

The strange thing is, that despite the Episcopal Church's reputation, I actually found that the Episcopal church I attended here on liberal Long Island was in some ways less liberal than the Catholic church I currently attend. I mean that, not so much theologically, but even just in the way the mass is conducted. In the Episcopal church we never deviated from the text of the Common Book of Prayer. You knew every single Sunday exactly what was going to be said, you could follow along and give your full concentration to the prayers, canticles, and invocations. In our Catholic church, the priest often changes the text of the missal, not radically, but enough to not be able to follow it, and the use of the guitar, flute, and other instruments as well as the complete reinvention of many essential parts of the mass by the "music ministry" such as the Agnes Dei and the Sanctus are unpredictable from week to week, and I often wonder if they are done adequately at all. People do all sorts of weird things in the pews like raise their hands when singing or hold hands during the Pater Noster. These things are distracting, disorderly, and come from Pentecostalism, and I am very disturbed to see this kind of behavior tolerated. I can tell you that my former Episcopal priest would address this kind of behavior as being disorderly and out of place. Add to this the fact that there are 8-10 lay "Eucharistic ministers" distributing the body and blood besides the priest, which conveys the message that when the Pope speaks on such matters, we don't need to obey. I personally find these things disturbing. I'm sure part of the problem is with my own notions of how the mass should be conducted, but I know part of it is that Rome does not exercise the kind of authority that it should in dealing with liturgical abuses in America. I hope that besides addressing the liturgy, Rome will also address the rampant Medjugorjism in America, which is particuarly out of control here on Long Island. I cringe when I listen to people, especially priests and bishops, preach things like indifferentism based on the false messages of the Medjugorje hoax. I finally stopped watching our Diocesan television station because I just can't take it anymore. We really, really need Rome to step in and bring the Catholic Church in America back to Orthodoxy.

Little Gidding


Yes. And at the Episcopal Church nearby, where the "inclusivist" and clueless theology is assumed, they nevertheless kneel at the railing to receive communion and the hymnal is really fine, while at the quite orthodox Catholic Church I attend, the rail no longer exists and people do not kneel, and guitars sometimes make an appearance. Neverthless, I think the liturgical forms, while very, very important, will be easier to pull back into shape than trying to get the heterodoxy in ECUSA back on keel.

Don't really have anything to say about the Medjugorje thing--it's certainly not a live issue here, but you have my prayers.

Michael Hugo

I love the Church, and I love this country. God ordained from the beginning of time that I should be with him in heaven. He knew I would be born in the U.S., and I thank his good Graces for putting me here.

But if I had to choose, it isn't even a question. It is like asking if I'd rather have the choice of wearing a red shirt, or a blue shirt, or if I want to have eternal life.

Hmmm...I look pretty good in blue.

Young Cath

When considering "The young Catholics I know", have you ever considered there might be young Catholics you don't know? Who are disgusted by your middle-aged revanchism, and your thinly veiled bigotries? Becaus they make up, by MY count, something like 95 percent of the young Catholics in this country, at least...

Carl Olson

I hope my comments weren't misunderstood to somehow be anti-American or un-patriotic. They were aimed at a faulty understanding of the Church, a view that make temporal forms of government the highest good, instead of recognizing that while democracy can be a good, it is not the greatest good. Although the Church does have an earthly and temporal reality, the Church is also supernatural; she is the Kingdom in seed form:

So that she can fulfill her mission, the Holy Spirit "bestows upon [the Church] varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs her." "Henceforward the Church, endowed with the gifts of her founder and faithfully observing his precepts of charity, humility and self-denial, receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God, and she is on earth the seed and the beginning of that kingdom." (CCC 768)

In reality, men like Kaiser aren't even that interested in a healthy form of democracy. Rather, they play political games, word games, mind games -- all aimed at bringing power "to the people," meaning themselves. They hate authentic authority and pine for false power, mistaking it for authority, when really it is despotic in nature. Their basic problem is the one faced by all of us: pride. They believe they know better than everyone else. And since they either deny or ignore the supernatural character of the Church, they see the Church in primarily political terms. And that leads to various forms despotism, elitism, and heresy.

Carl Olson

When considering "The young Catholics I know", have you ever considered there might be young Catholics you don't know? Who are disgusted by your middle-aged revanchism, and your thinly veiled bigotries? Becaus they make up, by MY count, something like 95 percent of the young Catholics in this country, at least...

Considering that there are millions of "young Catholics," I'm comfortable admitting that I've not met all of them. But I'm pleased that you apparently have -- even taking the time to COUNT all of them. Very impressive. I confess that I didn't realize young Catholics like yourself were so quick with the lip and so slow with the gray matter. Perhaps you are really just an angry young liberal with a fast mouth and a problem with authority? BTW, when did thirty-six become "middle-aged"? How old are you? Twelve? Thirteen? Finally, keep in mind that bigotry against heresy is called orthodoxy. Nothing thinly-veiled there. Unless you had something else in mind in making your bigoted criticisms of my comments...

M. Jordan Lichens

Well, as a young Catholic going to a Catholic libaral arts school and a participant in the many aspects of Catholic youth I would say Carl is pretty perceptive and seems to understand it pretty well. However, no one knows all the youth in this world; last I checked the only worldwide Catholic youth meeting was World Youth Day and that only attracts a few million. A few million of us thinly-vieled bigots that is.

Furthermore, Mr. Olson is not too old for most youth he associates with to enjoy a few pints with when they need a "middle aged" friend (no offense there buddy, but 30 is such a frightening number to us!).

Carl Olson

Michael: I live by a simple motto: "Bad Beer, Many Tears. Good Beer, No Fears." Believe me, once you turn 30, you'll be too tired to be fearful.


The 100% American Catholic Church is Hegelian (100% anti-religion in any form), it is the modern extension of the revisionists of the French Revolution (remember the Vendee?), and its modern embodiment is both of the two major american political parties of which there is not a nickel's worth of difference. Its god is the bigger, and bigger, and bigger community -- pure vomit. American Catholicism, like modern art which is merely modern art and not art at all, is not Catholicism at all. The American Catholic Bishops, who preside over this fraud and only fear losing a cush, 100% chancery paid chair -- as long as the lumpenparishoner will still cough up contributions -- are as dead as social security or medicare, it is just a matter of time. Catholicism will survive; the pretenders will languish in hell; they will not be seated at the same table as Sts. Paul, Peter, Thomas, etc..

Young Cath

"Perhaps you are really just an angry young liberal with a fast mouth and a problem with authority? BTW, when did thirty-six become "middle-aged"? How old are you? Twelve? Thirteen?"

Where charity and love prevail, there God is ever found!

Carl Olson

Oh, I feel the love, Young Cath, I really do.

John Powers


I think you are misreading what an American Catholic Church is. If someone said a Church is "Irish" or "Polish" or "Lithuanian", that is not necessarily referring to Masonic plot to stifle the Church, rather a national identity holding a subset of the universal Church.

An Irish Church might be more likely to celebrate St. Patrick's day. An Italian Church, St. Josephs day. There is no assault on the Chuch by celebrating the feasts of our patrons.

An American Church can very well have a truly American liturgy and stil be quite an orthodox Church. How about a celebration of Mother Cabrini? Fr. McGivney? Bishop Sheen? The Fighting 69th? These are all great Americans and great Catholic examples. We can certianly show some reverence to our American national Catholic heroes while being quite true to the Roman Catholic Church.



Can anyone say "Gallicanism?"

But telling 'radical thinkers' that their brand-new idea is over 300 years old, and that the Church is so over it makes them so sad.


Yesterday, Sunday, at 9:30 Mass in my American Church parish, during Communion, the BAND, replete with keyboard, guitars,and those little headpiece microphones, turned on their simulated staccato drumbeats and other wired instruments, and the soloist, in the tradition of one of those contemporary female songstresses I cannot identify but at whose style I recoil (Betty Boop?), belted out a piece called "Jesus, take the wheel." After which rendition the congregation applauded. Can "liturgical form be pulled back into place" after this?

Carl Olson

Kathleen: Ah, the song is by Carrie Underwood, who won "American Idol" last year. A decent little pop dittie, perhaps, but it should never, never, ever be sung at Mass. Forget about Jesus taking the wheel -- how a Mass that focuses on Jesus taking centerplace?


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