Frank L. Cocozzelli is a regular contributor to Talk2Action.org, and president of the Institute for Progressive Christianity.
Notes and quotes on The Pope's War: Why Ratzinger's Secret Crusade Has Imperiled The Catholic Church and How It Can Be Saved by Matthew Fox.
"Last week I examined the Catholic Church's rightward lurch towards religious supremacism, and in closing I asked: who is driving this?
To a very large extent, it is a small group of Neo-Orthodox traditionalists and a carefully cultivated group of converts.
"Last week I discussed the Vatican's recent decisions that will take the Catholic Church in entirely different direction from the tolerant spirit of Vatican II. The objective observer must ask what is the ultimate goal?
"The New York Times recently reported, Pope Benedict XVI has eased restrictions for the saying of the Tridentine or "Latin" Mass. No need for permission from the hierarchy anymore:
...the pope said that the change could both heal rifts with traditionalist groups that favor the Latin Mass as well as reconnect the church with a 1,500-year-old form of worship that faded since the Second Vatican Council, which ended in 1965.
There is a battle going on within the Catholic Church that reflects the battle also occurring within American society: whether to cede individual freedom to a central power that simultaneously seeks less accountability for its actions. And in both cases, the forces of greater authority seek a great leap backwards past the social contract beliefs of the Enlightenment: a course of action that spells danger for American democracy. The battle of divine right monarchy versus liberal democracy continues.
"On May 24, 2005, just one month after becoming a member of Opus Dei, Robert Finn was installed as the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph. A diocese that includes 130,000 Catholics residing in 27 countries of northwest Missouri, KC-St. Joe has long been known as a bastion of Catholic progressiveness. It is as if he were sent there to turn back the clock.
"At this point in the series it is time for another time out. As I've written installment after installment I have used terminology that many of the readers may not be familiar with--including many Catholic readers. So, I'll use this installment to go over some terminology, explain what they mean and how they are relevant to this series on the Catholic Right.
"(The Catholic Right: Twelfth in a Series)
"In this segment, the first of a three-part overview, you will be introduced to Tom Monaghan, a wealthy man determined to change secular society to one more heavily influenced by his brand of ultra-orthodox Catholicism. In subsequent pieces, the specifics of his activities and organizations will be reviewed.