Monday, February 19, 2007

Fundamentalism - response

Response to “Rising fundamentalism driving many away from the Church”.

Dear Chris Anthony,
I taught at the Center for Civilisational Dialogue of the University of Malaya
during the summers of 2004 and 2005. Did we meet?

In any case, I admire your article here. Let us stay in contact.

Pax! Len
Professor Leonard Swidler, Ph.D, S.T.L., LL.D., LL.D.
Professor of Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue

Dear Chris,

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.

Pax! Len
Date: Wed 14 Feb 06:22:17 EST 2007

From: "Brian Coyne" Add To Address Book
Subject: 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 and
certitude 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 the
fundamentalist elements within Catholicism. The rest are largely silentbecause the
sense everyone has is that it is useless to protest. The
insecure elements seem to control the agenda in Rome.
We're covering this issue of the problem posed by fundamentalist thinking fairly continuously these days in the
pages of Catholica


Brian Coyne
Editor & Publisher,
34 Martin Place
NSW 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 :
Church must be dynamic and change with time to be with the masses likeChrist did,
and not isolate itself with its outdated thinking based on
human 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.

Tom in
San Jose

Tom McMahon

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
Günther Simmermacher
Editor: The Southern Cross
PO Box 2372
Cape Town
8000 South Africa
Tel: --21-465 5007
Fax: --21-465 3850
The Southern Cross

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.

Marc Gargiulo

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

Dear Chris, 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 Gale
Peter Matthew Joseph Gale

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