"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gregory Baum



Gregory Baum


Vatican, “Conservative” Catholics Undermining Vatican II: Gregory Baum at Ottawa’s Saint Paul Univer


BY LIFESITENEWS.COM

Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:15 EST

By Patrick B. Craine and Steve Jalsevac

OTTAWA, Ontario, October 20, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Despite efforts by the Vatican to bring back out-dated Catholicism, the Second Vatican Council was a "paradigm shift" in the Church that "cannot be invalidated," said controversial theologian Gregory Baum, in an October 15th keynote address at Saint Paul's University, reports the Catholic Register.



He delivered his address at a conference on 'Vatican II in Canada', hosted by the faculty of theology at the Ottawa Catholic university from October 15-16. A response to Baum's keynote was delivered by Bishop Remi De Roo, the former Bishop of Victoria.

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The Theology of Cardinal Ratzinger. A Response to Dominus lesus   
Gregory Baum

[Excerpts]

The Declaration offers a harsh criticism of Catholic theologians who try to deal with religious pluralism in a manner that seems to relativize the uniqueness and universality of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ.


[...]

The new Declaration reaffirms this teaching – not with joy, but with fear. Cardinal Ratzinger is afraid that this new openness to the transformative religious and secular ex-periences may prompt Catholic theologians, eager to account for religious pluralism in God’s world, to relativize Christian truth and regard all religions as true in their own way. Ratzinger is also afraid that the new ecumenical friendship between Christians of different traditions may lead Catholic theologians to relativize the Roman Catholic tradition, regard one Church as being as valid as another, and overlook the claim of the Roman Catholic Church to be the one, true Church founded by Christ. Instead of rejoicing in the new openness of the conciliar theology, Cardinal Ratzinger is fearful that theologians, wrestling with the issue of religious pluralism, make too many concessions.

It may well be that some Catholic theologians, wrestling with new questions, do not sufficiently protect the teaching of Scripture and tradition. When new ideas emerge, they are often articulated in an overstated manner, until a more moderate formulation is found. But because Ratzinger’s theology is inspired by fear, it has a fault-finding and scolding tone that has made this document singularly unattractive.

[...]

Ratzinger develops his theology without asking any question about the weight and power of religious ideas in society. We should have learnt from the devastating cultural impact of the Church’s anti-Jewish rhetoric that religious ideas have practical consequences, and that if these ideas do not promote love, justice and peace, then they are not true reflections of the gospel of Jesus.


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SOURCE: Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
- For immediate release (Toronto: 16 Jul 02) -
Theologian Gregory Baum Supports the "Pope Squat" in Toronto


An increasing number of people in our society have become homeless because the market is unable to supply their needs. Building for profit leads to the construction of high rent luxury appartments and the neglect of houses for low income people.
Since governments blackmailed by the rich are increasingly unwilling to interfere in the market economy, it is up to citizens who love justice to set up and support organizations that are able to create self-managed, social housing for the homeless. I welcome the march in support of the social housing project Pope Squat in Toronto on July 25. Christians urged by their faith will participate in this endeavour.

Best,
Gregory Baum


Ontario Coalition Against Poverty - Activism


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Adam S. Miller, Journal of Philosophy and Scripture 


JPS: In order to find a place to begin, perhaps we could open our conversation about philosophy and scripture with a very general question about the relationship of scripture to the Christian community. In your view, what role does the church play in the interpretation of scripture and, conversely, what role does scripture play in shaping the church?

GB: Well, these are, of course, huge questions. The scriptures were collected by the church, the canon was constituted by the church, and the scriptures are read within the context of a believing community. If you were to give Christian scripture to people outside of the believing community, they could come to very different conclusions about their meaning. When the scriptures are read within the believing community they tend to be interpreted within a liturgical context. And these believing communities have lived in many different cultures and in many different historical moments, therefore they read these scripture differently. The result is that you have a whole history of interpretation. So I think that the church and scripture belong very much together. When I say church I do not necessarily mean church authority at the moment, but just the believing community. The community reads scripture, and the creativity of God’s word is then revealed in the never-completed meaning communicated to the believing community throughout the ages. When the church finds itself in a new situation it re-reads the scriptures and, because it hears God’s word addressing the new situation, it hears what its ancestors did not hear.

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CNT was founded in 1976 as an independent Catholic voice supporting the Church's call for social justice through critical analysis. As an editorial (Jan. 7, 2001) put it twenty-five years later, "they had been moved and energized by developments that followed Vatican II (1962-1965): the new relationship between people and the church, the opening up of healthy debates such as women and the priesthood, the steps toward ecumenism and improved relations with the Jewish people, the liberating changes in the role of religious congregations."

The paper, the editorial went on to say, would write about the homeless, bring the voices of immigrants "whose stories upon reaching Canada are not always pretty," and tell you "about the most marginalized people: those behind bars; the indigenous; people who are not valued because of their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. In the spirit of the Gospel, ours is the constituency of the rejected."

Almost from the start, these ideas seemed to take a peculiar turn, not least because of the paper's two main founders, Sister Mary Jo Leddy of the Sisters of Sion and Father Gregory Baum.

Sister Mary Jo Leddy, with a Ph.D. in philosophy, wrote extensively about why religious congregations of women should be overhauled from top to bottom. She published several books on this theme. Counter to the intentions of Vatican II, by the mid-eighties her plans envisaged-for all practical purposes-the demolition of these congregations. Shortly thereafter she herself left the Sisters of Sion and the life of a religious to continue teaching at Regis College and to venture forth in providing help for refugees. Her immediate heritage, however, was that of having greatly encouraged the spread of radical feminism among nuns.

Gregory Baum previously was Father Gregory Baum, Augustinian priest (O.S.A.). Jewish born, Baum was a convert from agnosticism, who, after doing a doctorate at Fribourg University in ecumenism, became an instant expert for the Second Vatican Council where ecumenism and relations with Jews were new and important issues. While making contributions to his fields of expertise, Father Baum also launched out into areas of which he knew little or nothing. In 1970 he was to admit that he had not been aware that the Church had a long history in the discipline known as moral theology. By that time Father Baum had been the first in North America to proclaim that the contraceptive pill was perfectly acceptable (in the U.S. weeklyCommonweal 1964). He also claimed Vatican II had de-emphasized, even down-played, the Church's previous emphasis on the procreative element in marriage in favour of the unitive purpose. In 1968 he forecast that the celibate priesthood would be gone in five years; and when the July 3, 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae said the exact opposite from what he had said about contraception, he helped organize and rally hundreds of priests, theologians and laity both in Canada and the United States to publicly proclaim their opposition to Pope Paul VI and his teaching. By 1970, he was forecasting that within a few years the Church would accept homosexuality as perfectly fine and normal.

It was this last issue that set him at loggerheads with the local Church. When the Vatican published a statement on Sexual Ethics in September 1975, reiterating its opposition to the homosexual lifestyle, Father Baum denounced it. Thereupon Toronto Archbishop Philip Pocock published a statement in the Catholic Register declaring that Father Baum's views on homosexuality were to be given no credence.

By that time Father Baum had already left his religious order, the Augustinians; this meant that he needed to be incardinated into a diocese. The Archdiocese of Winnipeg under Cardinal George Flahiff insisted he should live there if he wanted to be a diocesan priest. Not wanting to surrender his teaching position at St. Michael's College, Father Baum, without requesting laicization, abandoned the priesthood in 1976, and married an already-divorced former Loretto nun in a ceremony witnessed by a priest in a private home. This "attempt" at marriage-as the Church would say-brought him automatic excommunication. (The priest who presided incurred the same.)


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Ontario Bishop Expels Dissident “Catholic New Times” Paper from Diocese


BY LIFESITENEWS.COM

Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:15 EST


PEMBROKE, Ontario, April 11, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pembroke Bishop Richard Smith, the current President of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops, has banned the dissident Catholic New Times newspaper from parishes in his diocese.“I am hereby directing any parish that facilitates distribution of this newspaper to cease doing so immediately,” wrote Bishop Smith in a letter to all pastors dated February 11.

The February edition of the ‘Catholic New Times’ “editorial comment contains views which are clearly at odds with the teaching of the church on faith and morals,” Bishop Smith said. “In my judgement, it is not appropriate to have copies of this newspaper made available through our parishes, as this could be interpreted as diocesan approbation of its views.”

Furthermore,the February edition ofÂthe Catholic New Times said, “The church’s teaching on homosexuality seems to us out of touch with growing scientific evidence on the nature of homosexuality itself.” The editorial added,“Same-sex, loving and committed relationships and the sexual expression thereof can be holy and may even be sacramental.”

The Catholic New Times’ decades long dissent from Catholic teaching on major issues such as abortion, same sex ‘marriage’ and a female priesthood, is not news, but it is a source of constant scandal to many laity and faithful clergy.

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Catholic New Times Ceases Publication


Church's 'voice of dissent' in Canada closes


By Stuart Laidlaw


A dissenting voice in Catholicism for 30 years is ceasing publication as a rising tide of conservatism envelops the church.

"All the staff have been laid off, the office is closing down," Catholic New Times editor Diane Bisson told the Toronto Star yesterday. "It would have been 30 years on Dec. 2."

Bisson said the twice-monthly paper, which received no money from the Catholic Church, was forced to close as subscriptions, advertising and donations fell. Circulation had dwindled to 4,100 from a peak of 12,000 more than a decade ago.

"I don't think that the closing of Catholic New Times means there's no need for this voice any more," Bisson said. "In fact, I think it's needed more than ever."

Bisson said she received calls of support and bewilderment from supporters yesterday as word of the paper's demise seeped out. She is optimistic the paper or another dissenting voice will be set up before too long, though likely as a web-based publication.

"People will continue to find a way to speak out," she said.

The paper has long been a thorn in the side of Catholic officials for its editorials supporting abortion and same-sex marriage. In April of last year, the bishops of Pembroke and Peterborough told their parishes to cease distributing the paper.

Joe Sinasac, editor of the official church paper Catholic Register, said his paper's circulation has increased in the last decade as the Catholic New Times declined and church-goers re-examined what it meant to be Catholic.

"It's part of a general trend."


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