Response to “Rising fundamentalism driving many away from the Church”.Dear Chris Anthony,
I taught at the Center for Civilisational Dialogue of the
during the summers of 2004 and 2005. Did we meet? Universityof Malaya
In any case, I admire your article here. Let us stay in contact.
Professor Leonard Swidler, Ph.D, S.T.L., LL.D., LL.D.
Professor of Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue
Below are two responses that were triggered by your column, which you might find interesting.
In fact, you may want to consider joining Katholica - a list of Vatican II minded Catholics around the world.
If so, just let me know. I know that the rest of us would be most pleased to have your join us.
Date: Wed 14 Feb 2007
From: "Brian Coyne"
Add To Address BookSubject: RE: [katholica] Rising fundamentalism driving away many from Church
Dear Tom and George,
Catholica Australia largely came into being because of the way in which it become impossible to have
intelligent conversations on the Church-sanctioned CathNews Discussion Board because of the presence
of these people who seem to primarily see their religion as a means of proving how they know all the rules
and how everybody else in the world are heathen and sinners.
I honestly believe it is a deep-rooted psychological problem with a small sector of any population rather than a
political problem. These people hunger for security andcertitude in their lives and they do not care how they garner it to themselves.
They seem to constantly need otherpeople whom they can point to effectively saying "look at me, Jesus (or Bishop or Father) I'm not breaking the rules
like so-and-so over there (or those heretical liberals). Pretty please, will you love me and give me a ticket to heaven if
I point this out often enough?"
I think this has become literally a disease in the institution now and it is the largest
single factor driving people away from Catholicism. Ordinary people simply do not want to be associated with people
who think, and act, in that manner.
The greater issue to me though is not actually the behaviours of these people.
I believe that could be fairly easily dealt with. The problem is that the institutional leadership not only tolerates it but
sectors of the hierarchical leadership not only condone it but actually encourage it. We have bishops in this country
who actually seem to believe they can re-evangelise the world by encouraging those sorts of behaviours.
We also have many level-headed, intelligent and pastorally sensitive bishops in this country but they, like the rest of us,
have found that it is almost useless to raise one's voices in protest. They endeavoured to publicly do so at the
Synod of Oceania in 1999 and JPII slapped them all down in what was a humiliating way — for them and those more
intelligent sections of the lay population who were following the events in Rome at that time.
The only bishops in this country who tend to have a prominent voice in the media these days are the ones who
tend to be encouraging of thefundamentalist elements within Catholicism. The rest are largely silentbecause the
sense everyone has is that it is useless to protest. Theinsecure elements seem to control the agenda in
We're covering this issue of the problem posed by fundamentalist thinking fairly continuously these days in the
pages of Catholica
Brian CoyneEditor & Publisher,
34 Martin Place
LINDENNSW 2778, phone: +612 4753 1226
skype name: briancoyne mobile: +61423 793 494
Chris Anthony writes well; the whole could be used during a week long
retreat, perhaps a year.I had difficulty with this sentence :
"TheChurch must be dynamic and change with time to be with the masses likeChrist did,
and not isolate itself with its outdated thinking based onhuman theology.".
I guess the opposite of human theology is divine
theology, the fly paper trap the RC is stuck in . I am totally in
agreement about Jesus being among the humans.
Dear Dr Anthony,
I read your article "Rising fundamentalism...", and was very impressed
as it raised many concerns which I personally share. With your
permission, I would like to print it in The Southern Cross, South
Africa's only national Catholic weekly, preferably with a picture
With kind regards
Editor: The Southern Cross
PO Box2372 8000 Cape Town Tel: --21-465 5007 South Africa
Fax: --21-465 3850
How dare you mention Islamo-fascist, fundamentalist muslims in the same vain as Catholic so-called "fundamentalists."
What are you really trying to say? The church should become pro-abortion? Pro-gay marriage? Allow women priests? Gay priests? What exactly are you referring to?
Become a Congregationalist, or better yet a Unitarian Universalist. Their watered down, liberal brand of Christianity will suit you just fine. They hold people to no standards whatsoever and allow them to do whatever makes them "feel good."
The moral here is - don't hold people to high standards. Weaken those standards so as to make the faith more "appealing" and easier to swallow for "the masses."
Yeah, that's the answer.
Please know that I am extremely grateful for the letter you had published on Catholic Online, you have said what I have been thinking for a long time.
Deacon Tony Cuseo
You article is very general. I couldn't get just what specifically are your concerns.Can you give some examples.
Kind regards and May Jesus and His Holy Mother always guide you.
Peter Matthew Joseph Gale