Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

vexation without representation

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Mar 19, 2006

The Toronto Globe & Mail shakes the pom-poms for tactical gallicism:

A Canadian Roman Catholic body representing 22,000 priests, nuns and religious brothers has labelled the Vatican and the Canadian church outmoded on issues such as contraception, homosexuality and divorce, and locked more into defending church dogma rather than listening to people's search for meaning.

For starters, the claim that this body (the Canadian Religious Conference) represents "22,000 priests, nuns and religious brothers" is bogus. The total membership of affiliated congregations may number 22,000, but any notion of democratic representation is pure fiction. Individual priests, nuns, and religious brothers who think the CRC General Assembly should be boiled in oil are not permitted to "disaffiliate," since the pertinent decisions are beyond their power to change. As with the American CMSM and LCWR, the CRC's manifestos and declarations and position papers are not the results of a plebiscite, but executive committee agit-prop.

Yet even executive committee agit-prop can be effective where the news media are sympathetic. The multiplication of these self-accredited quasi-religious bureacracies has been a boon for dissenters, since the organizations are not under episcopal control and are only obliquely responsible to the member congregations themselves. The advantages of a public platform with insulation from Vatican discipline are obvious. Back to the article:

In a letter sent to every bishop in the country, the Canadian Religious Conference also faults the Canadian church for its "unconditional alignment ... with directives issued from Rome."

Let's see, these vowed religious are unhappy with Canada's strict adherence to Roman directives ... do you think they're petitioning for more stringent norms governing poverty? expanded use of the Tridentine mass? greater ecclesiastical respect for the right to cloister?

[The letter] talks about the Vatican's and the Canadian church's intransigent stands on sexual morals, their unwelcoming attitude toward homosexuals, their lack of compassion for divorced persons, their fear of dialogue with other churches and their censorship of dissenting views.

Oh that's right. People's search for meaning.

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