Roman Catholics who gladly embrace the liturgical changes of Vatican II and

the ecumenical advances of these days. They go further, modernizing Roman

Catholicism in many ways: using women in liturgical functions, calling

priests by their first names, decorating churches with "evangelical"

slogans instead of statues, shunning conservative words like limbo and

purgatory. Many also urge the ordination of women to the priesthood, relief

for divorced and re-married Catholics, some question the virgin birth and

original sin and do not believe in a personal devil or angels. Some

progressive priests use "do-it-yourself liturgies" that use Ry-Krisp and

whiskey instead of bread and wine. Others attack traditional teachings on

contraception, clerical celibacy, the necessity of baptism and the physical

resurrection of the body.


They are widely diverse, but easy to witness to because they are so open.

They usually believe all sincere people will get to Heaven, so it is

difficult to establish a basis for discussion with them.



hammer out improvements in Christianity in order to restore the relevance

of it to our age, which it had quite obviously lost in rather frightening


"Pope Greogory condemned freedom of conscience as a dangerous error; it

is a relief that this has now been put straight.

"As `Mass' became less communal, it became more ritualistic with greater

emphasis on actual body and blood. This led to superstitions (biting the

host, etc.,") and was explained by St. Thomas Aquinas in Aristotlian terms

substance and accidents.

"When Cardinal Alfrink of Holland cooly observed in defense of his Dutch

theologians that Holland has over 75% practicing Catholics and Italy only

15%, he was asked not to explain any further.

"The Curia is a body without theological significance but a purely human

institution which has grown up around ther Papacy during the Middle Ages.

41 of 47 are still Italian (1967).

"Many Dutch theologians intimate that the perpetual virginity of

Christ's mother may be a myth. `It is more modern,' says one, `to believe

that Christ was the son of Mary and Joseph.'"


Progressive Priest Andrew Greeley in TV GUIDE, 10/27/84, said, "Some of us

like our vocations so much that we will not leave even if the clowns

presently running the church try to throw us out."

From TIME, 9/28/70. Report of The Brussels Declaration. "225 theologians,

mostly Catholic, met to discuss `The Future of the Church.' They called for

more democratic methods of choosing the Pope, bishops and priests, for

pluralism in both theology and church structure, and urged investigation of

a role for women in the ministry. The congress proved an array of

theologican superstars including Edward Schillebeeckx and Hans Kung. They

expressed solidarity with those working for the liberation of men; among

the prisoners singled out were seven Dominicans accused of being members of

a terrorist group and the Berrigan brothers, now in prison for destroying

US Govermnment draft files. They further suggested that the church should

examine seriously the possible role of women in the ministries, and sought

for a recognition that the magisteriumn of the church and the theologians

serve one same Christian message."

From TIME, 8/18/67 re Dutch Catechism. "Conservative Dutch laymen objected

to the Catechism's comments on the Virgin Birth and original sin. The Dutch

theologians deliberately left open the question of Mary's biological

virginity. Conservatives say that the new catechism contravenes official

church teaching on the Eucharist, birth control, man's soul and the

existence of angels."

From INDEPENDENT PRESS-TELEGRAM, Long Beach, CA 7/24/74. Quotes are from

Rev. Peter Riga, theologian of St. Mary's College, Moraga, CA. "`True

Christianity neither needs nor should it desire such a fallacious prop. As

we move further into modern history, belief in a personal devil will only

prove more and more an embarrassment to true Christianity.' He says that

although the Bible includes many references to angels and devils, modern

scripture study indicates that they are not necessarily `personal entities'

and `probably are symboolic of reality.' He says belief in a personal devil

`has never been officially defined by the Church.'"

From NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, Fall 1982. GOING MY WAY by Andrew Greeley.

"As many as a fifth of the priests and nuns in this country have left the

active ministry, and a higher proportion of nuns have withdrawn from

religious life, while the number of young men enrolled in seminaries is

less that a third of what it was in the early 1900s. Bishops can no longer

count on pastors to obey them. Pastors cannot assume that their religious

associates will do what they are told. And many parish priests have learned

that they must consult with, and not command, the laity. In direct defiance

of Rome many parish priests permit women to act as Acolytes at Mass.

"`If the Pope comes to our parish we won't use them that day,' says one

pastor. Elected Parish Councils challenge the authority of pastors. Local

school boards demand the right to set policies and budgets, even to hire

staff. . . Ry-Krisp and whiskey instead of bread and wine are taken for

granted in many places."

From TIME, 3/31/67. "`Orthodoxy is the tragedy of Christianity' says the

Rev. Joos Arts, the priest-editor of a Catholic weekly called DE NIEUWE

LINIE. `What we need is a re-thinking of all the basic Christianity. We

must break away from the formal dogmas of the Catholic Church.' Methodical

Dutch theologians are doing just that. Among the first to attack the

Church's traditional teaching on contraception and clerical celibacy,

priests and laymen are now questioning everything from the virginity of

Mary to the traditional view that premarital intercourse is sinful.

"Dominican theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, an expert at the Second

Vatican Council, proposed that the Resurrection of Jesus may not have been

a physical recomposition of his body but a unique kind of spiritual

manifestation. `One generally likes to consider his Resurrection,' he says,

`as being the impact of his personality on his disciples and his presence

in the hearts of all Christians.'"

"`Dutch theologians also reject original sin as an inherited spiritual

stigma on the soul, instead regarding the doctrine as a symbolic way of

expressing the truth that man exists in a sinful, imperfect world. For that

reason, some thinkers question the need to baptize infants.

"`To say that a human being is born damned and continues to be damned

unless he is baptized is utter nonsense,' says Lay Theologian Daniel de

Lange, secretary of the Netherlands' ecumenical center. Heaven and Hell?

Dominican theologian William van der Marck shrugs them off as a myth.

`Heaven and hell just do not pre-occupy us any more.'"


From THE CATHOLIC VOICE, Oakland, CA 11/1/76. Report on Call to Action

Conference in Detroit 10/21-23/76. "Participants called on the U.S. Bishops

to push for the oridination of women to the priesthood, grant relief to

divorced and remarried Catholics and stopped just short of urging

unilateral disarmament."

Reader's comment in THE CATHOLIC VOICE, Oakland, CA. "The recent Vatican

`directive' on liturgical abuses will insure a revival of triumphalism. It

seems like the Roman bureaucracy succeeding locating the window opened by

John XXIII to let in the light of day and, of course, fresh air. Needless

to say, they are proceeding to shut that window. We are being shoved back

through time. A few more `shoves' and we might make it back to the Council

of Trent. This trend makes me somewhat less than enthusiastic. One wonders

when the `directive' will arrive instructing the hierarchy to admonish the

laity to practice the virtue of humility by accepting their authentic role

in Church, namely, to pay, pray and obey."

These documents are free from , providing free webcontent for websites around the world!. copy freely with this link intact.