CNN Editorial on the Papacy. Y'all Will Love This.
From CNN:

There's more to the Catholic Church than the pope
By Julie Byrne, Special to CNN
updated 3:34 PM EST, Sat February 16, 2013

[html]Editor's note: Julie Byrne is Hartman Chair of Catholic Studies at Hofstra University and author of "The Other Catholics," forthcoming from Columbia University Press.  [/html]

Vox Wrote:I'm always fascinated when people who obviously hate the Church devote their educational lives to "teach" about Her. I mean, that takes a LOT of hate to do that.

(CNN) -- Pope Benedict XVI's resignation captured the world's attention, and rightly.

It is the first papal resignation in nearly six centuries. The pope leads a church that includes a sixth of the world's population. His gravitas reverberates outside Roman Catholicism: The pope talks and people listen.

Vox Wrote:The Pope talks and people lkisten and journalists grab their laptops to twist everything he says.

Others are fascinated by Vatican spectacle. Benedict speaks Latin and wears gold vestments. His successor's election by conclave, with sequestering and smoke, is high drama.

But for all the excitement and ceremony, the pope is not the most important thing about Catholicism.

For all his influence, the pope makes up an infinitesimal fraction of the opinions and activities of Catholics.

The most important thing about Catholicism is the 1 billion who claim it as their faith.

But for all the excitement and ceremony, the pope is not the most important thing about Catholicism.

For all his influence, the pope makes up an infinitesimal fraction of the opinions and activities of Catholics.

The most important thing about Catholicism is the 1 billion who claim it as their faith.

[html]  Also, despite the Vatican II council of the 1960s, popes kept expanding their authority.[/html] Benedict XVI endorsed that council but read tradition to support papal sovereignty. If popular opinion overwhelmingly associates Catholicism with the papacy, that's partly because effective Vatican theologizing made it so.

Vox Wrote:Wow! A falser sentence has never been written, I don't think. How absolutely unreal that this "Chair of Catholic Studies" could write such a thing as I highlighted. Whew!

Besides which, whats' this "desite the Vatican II Council" stuff? That Council wrote in Lumen Gentium: [html]
Quote:   This Sacred Council, following closely in the footsteps of the First Vatican Council, with that Council teaches and declares that Jesus Christ, the eternal Shepherd, established His holy Church, having sent forth the apostles as He Himself had been sent by the Father;(136) and He willed that their successors, namely the bishops, should be shepherds in His Church even to the consummation of the world. And in order that the episcopate itself might be one and undivided, He placed Blessed Peter over the other apostles, and instituted in him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion.(1*) And all this teaching about the institution, the perpetuity, the meaning and reason for the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff and of his infallible magisterium, this Sacred Council again proposes to be firmly believed by all the faithful. Continuing in that same undertaking, this Council is resolved to declare and proclaim before all men the doctrine concerning bishops, the successors of the apostles, who together with the successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ,(2*) the visible Head of the whole Church, govern the house of the living God.

Really, the revolutionaries depend on us not reading the documents. Seems that they certainly haven't.

Finally, the U.S. has always had an obsession with the pope.

Ironically, this obsession had roots in anti-Catholicism. Americans "used" the pope as a way to sharpen national identity. American democracy was contrasted with papal demagoguery, American piety with papal superstition, American modernity with papal obsolescence.

U.S. Roman Catholics felt pulled between nation and church. Scholars have noted that American faithful were more pope-identified than coreligionists around the world, as if overcompensating to hold the two sides together.

But obsession involves both attraction and loathing. Even ardent anti-Catholics seemed consumed with fascination for the pontiff. The infamous publisher of anti-Catholic comics, Jack Chick depicts decadent popes lofting ominous speech bubbles, precisely capitalizing on the fact that such scenes make gripping graphic art. It's as if the pope — with absolute rule, a throne, pomp and circumstance — taps into a repressed fantasy of crowns and ermine.

Perhaps pop god Prince put it best:

So U can be the President

I'd rather be the Pope

Yeah, U can be the side effect

I'd rather be the dope

Arguably Prince is right; the pope is bigger than the president.

But the pope is not the dope. At least not for purposes of best analyzing Catholicism. While the popes have attempted to maintain the status quo from the top down, three major phenomena are happening in the Church from the ground up -- and the media would be well advised to pay attention.

First, vernacular religion. This refers to religion as it is actually lived, rather than how leaders say it should be lived. A term coined by Leonard Primiano of Cabrini College, vernacular religion highlights that while clerics write creeds and command pulpits, official religion is the tip of the iceberg of religious culture.

This became visible in coverage of bishops' activism against President Obama's health care law provisions for artificial birth control. The bishops held the official position that artificial birth control was morally wrong. Most news accounts added that a majority of U.S. Catholic women used it anyway. This addition was a start, but it needs to go further. According to doctrine, women were "going against" their Church. But in terms of vernacular religion, their everyday Catholicism was simply different from the approved version.

Second, other Catholics. Last year a Religion Dispatches blog headline read, "Will the Catholic Church Split?"

As several noted in the comments, Catholicism has already split. Catholicism is actually not one structurally unified body — and hasn't been since 1054. The Orthodox churches are Catholic, the biggest headed by the Patriarch of Constantinople. The Anglican Communion (including the U.S. Episcopal Church) identifies as both Catholic and Protestant, headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The old Catholic churches of Europe formed in the late 19th century as harbor for Catholics who rejected papal infallibility; they are in communion with Anglicanism.

Vox Wrote:Gosh, it used to be that when someone who wasn't Napoleon claimed to be Napoleon, he'd get locked up in a loony bin somewhere. Every organization has a right to define itself except the Church. Ever notice that?

In the United States at least 200 separate small Catholic churches and clergy associations exist, often with their own bishops. Some are CORPUS, a corps of married priests who celebrate the sacraments; Roman Catholic Womenpriests, who like many others are ordaining women; and the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, which has partnered with the other two groups.

Vox Wrote:Hmmm... something's missing in her listing of what she considers "splinter groups". Wonder what it could be? Could it be the "movement" that is coming up with the priests and nuns and sisters maybe?

Third, flows. Some people live in several Catholic worlds. In the United States, a Catholic woman might attend a Roman parish, work for Catholic Charities, serve as an independent Catholic priest, officiate weddings for divorced Romans on weekends and do Buddhist meditation every morning, too.

Vox Wrote:Gosh, that'd be one confused, silly woman!

What would it mean to account for vernacular Catholicism? Non-Roman Catholics? Flows between Rome and other institutions?

Understanding one of the world's most populous faiths needs to encompass all of Catholicism - -not just the Roman version.

And certainly not just the pope.

Vox Wrote:Yes, please, Ms Byrne, do us a favor and refrain from reporting on the Pope! Thanks!
What a poorly written and ignorant article. Fortunately, there is probably not more than a dozen people in the world who care what this woman thinks.
Julie Byrne must be one of those other catholycs.
I wouldn't be surprised if she wasn't far from where more than a few are in the pews. These next few weeks are gonna be murder on us.

(02-16-2013, 08:14 PM)Tim Wrote: I wouldn't be surprised if she wasn't far from where more than a few are in the pews. These next few weeks are gonna be murder on us.

I concur Tim. Lots of prayer! And i cannot even begin to imagine what is going on in the Curia right now.
unfortunately post vatican II "catechism" programs have churned out a bunch of people who "grew up Catholic" and think they know everything there is to know about the Church.
Clearly I missed the memo that CNN is now a Protestant soapbox. Last time I checked it was supposed to be a news agency.
Obviously, the article is silly and politically motivated, but I am sure that trads would agree with the claim that Catholicism is more than whatever the pope and various other authorities say it is.
I did not, in fact, love this.  On the contrary, it made me want to kick a puppy.  This is why I generally avoid anything about the Church in secular media.  The ignorance is painful.

And makes me want to kick a puppy, as I said.  :doggy: woof

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