Are we devolving into two Catholic churches?

Are we devolving into two Catholic churches?

As I read the news media – conservative and liberal – Catholic and secular alike – I am coming to the sad conclusion that we are devolving into 2 Catholic churches – liberal versus conservative. I say this because I am seeing a trend that says political party affiliation is a stronger bond than religious belief or conviction. (When the senate GOP refused to block taxpayer funding for abortion, I see legislators who are worried about how their voters will respond. They did not vote yay or nay – they did not vote at all in order to avoid the issue. (Statistics says that 81% of Congress identify as Christian.) Here in the US we have become so divisive that we only need to say one word to trigger a violent reaction. And that is happening in Catholicism as well.

Twitter is a good litmus paper for all this divisiveness – so long as you read both liberal and conservative, Catholic and secular tweeters.

I am most concerned with Catholic tweeters, liberal and conservative, lay, religious and priests. More and more I see the divisiveness between liberal and conservative views and orthodox vs non-orthodox. Some of the priests are ultra-conservative, demanding a return to the Latin Mass (and communion altar rail) and criticizing the Novus Ordo. Some conservative lay persons complain of the liberal changes that have happened in their parish liturgy, music and homilies. Liberals complain about conservative Catholic news media such as Life Site News and label it as Satanic. The Catholic news coverage on Pope Francis ranges from extremely harsh to mildly interested. The news reports on the Vatican itself have become a struggle to understand the logic behind the changes and to try to keep track of the major players.

I am concerned that there seems to be no “give” on either side of the issues. No one seems to grant that the other side might have a point. There seems to be a moral compass that is written on a slide rule. Vatican II is still being blamed for creating this divisiveness. ( A useful scapegoat but I don’t see the logic or reasoning. When I read the documents, they seem quite “orthodox.”) If it is the implementation of Vatican II, we can lay this complaint at the feet of the bishops too.

I am sad that Catholics don’t have their own Twitter because the virulent discussions of our “dirty laundry” are read by those who hate the church and Christianity and now have more ammunition for their venom. They too get in on the conversation to attack Catholics and the church.

I do not deny the many spiritual tweets and gentle reminders of who we are – they are just wiped out by the blare of the arguments.We are in the midst of a major upheaval in our church that cannot help but affect our spiritual welfare. Should we be like the kangaroo and bury our heads in the sand until we think the issue has blown over? It may have and we find we live in a church different from the one we knew and loved.

I don’t know the answer. I just feel a depth of pain for our times, I cannot avoid. I pray over it as have many before me. Will I live to see the resolution – I doubt it. But perhaps you will.

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