Carol Platt Liebau: A Cautionary Tale

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Cautionary Tale

It hardly bears noting that the election of the new Pope has drawn "mixed reactions", as the front page of the LA Times "reports."

Liberals are disappointed that they have a "divider" on their hands -- the catch-all phrase of opprobrium for anyone that stands for anything that's both not liberal and difficult to criticize (like traditional Catholic doctrine).

But any normal Catholic, who cares about a united Church that has a doctrine that's coherent, should rejoice. If anyone needs a cautionary tale about the dangers that spring from "modernizing" or "liberalizing" a once-proud faith, they have only to look at what's happened to the Episcopal Church.

Yes, some of the doctrinal flexibility that the Episcopal Church was always known for could, theoretically, be a good thing -- and was, for a long time. So was the more decentralized structure of the Episcopal Church. But that flexibility was abused -- and the decentralization exploited -- by liberals, who wanted to project their own political and ideological values onto a Church (many, I suspect, were disaffected Catholics).

After a contentious debate among the American bishops, Gene Robinson -- a non-celibate homosexual who left his wife and two children -- was consecrated the Bishop of New Hampshire.

Whatever the personal merits of Gene Robinson, that course of action -- insisted on by the leftist elements in the Church despite pleas from others -- put the Episcopal Church of the USA in "impaired communion" with the Church in the rest of the world -- and created divisions that have led to the creation of factions within the US Church, itself.

So any Catholic expressing regret that the new Pope is "rigid" or not into "centralization" (see here for something approaching that tone) had better be careful what he wishes for.


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