Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J. " The Human Is An Questioning Animal"

When I tell someone I'm Catholic, I immediately follow up by defending myself with examples marking my liberalism. I'm pro-choice. I lived with my husband before we got married. I recently spoke with Father Tom Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, former editor of the Jesuit magazine America, and a contributor to the Washington Post's On Faith blog. He speaks and writes openly about the problems the modern Catholic Church faces. 
He gets it. The human is a questioning animal by nature, he explained, and will, of course, disagree with the hierarchy from time to time. 
"That's what we call conscience in the Catholic Church," he said, "and in the Catholic Church, conscience has always been supreme." This notion, that questioning the system is not only expected, but is important, gives me some peace and reminds me that this innate intellectualism is another one of the qualities I admire in the Church. 
Link (here) to full The Huffington Post article by Cara McDonough


shadowlands said...

"and in the Catholic Church, conscience has always been supreme."

Mmmm, and a personal responsibility to have a FULLY informed conscience. Fully informed with the catechism amd Church teaching........

Anonymous said...

Wow a magesterium of one!

I prescribe St Benedict's 12-step Guide to Humility for Fr. Reese and other misguided Jesuits and lookie here is a convenient link!

Anonymous said...

I pray that one day she will turn that ""innate intellectualism" inward and contemplate whether the Church might actually be right about those issues.

Shadowlands is correct - an >informed< conscience.

Anonymous said...

My four year educational experience with Jesuits never ever included word "Catechism"
Seems to me that for a Jesuit the “Catechism” of the catholic church is Taboo. Not only do the Jesuits avoid teaching the Catechism, the word “Catechism” has never fallen from their lips. If a man speaks the word “Catechism” to a Jesuit, they don't actually hear the word "Catechism", what they heare is the word "Catharism" and of course they reply "No problem, I can do that!!! and off they go on their merry heretical way!!!

Catholics have a word for those who do not acknowledge the teaching authority of their Bishops and the Pope in Rome, we call them Protestants.

Anonymous said...

"My four year educational experience with Jesuits never ever included word "Catechism"

Some Jesuits perhaps are deluded, thinking of themselves as the Church's underground authority; that they, not the Magisterium, are the ones doing the definitive informing of conscience in the church.

Anonymous said...

The woman who is the subject/author of the column is not a Catholic. Her religion is clearly leftist ideology. Fr. Reese ought to read (and understand CORRECTLY) Blessed John Henry Newman on conscience. The Catechism would be another valuable resource to correct Fr. Reese's misunderstanding. But I suspect that for Fr. Reese, for many Jesuits, and for the author of the column, their misunderstandings are deliberately chosen because although their stances are erroneous in the religion of Catholicism, they are not erroneous in the Church of Leftist Ideology. Since they are members of that leftist religion, their religious beliefs are fully orthodox for that religion's teachings. Too bad for them that the religion of leftism is not the truth of Catholicism. Also too bad for the many who are misled by those who cloak the religion of leftist ideology in Catholic vocabulary in order to give leftism an air of credibility.

TonyD said...

When I read her post I notice that she primarily questions Church “positions” and had no real understanding of God’s underlying “values”.

“Positions” create the wrong definition of Catholicism. They are much simpler to communicate than values, but they miss the more important aspects of Religion. How can a soul transform when it is not provided proper guidance?

In addition, providing pre-packaged “judgment” via “Church positions” risks communicating the wrong position, the wrong values, and even the wrong judgment. We need to communicate Christ’s values more, and interpretation less.

Fr. Reese seems to believe that the laity can fix the problem. He is wrong. If the Church leadership can take Christ’s values and replace it with their interpretations, how can the laity stop them?

sjy said...

I really liked this Very Jesuit approach to the problems faced by Catholics in a deeply secular world. Realistic and compassionate. If only they could have a little more influence!

Anonymous said...

This woman is really intellectually modest: "I return to the issue of defining myself as a Catholic with better, if not complete understanding."

Complete understanding she believes she has. Therefore we should read further.

"... I am still Catholic because I understand that Catholicism is imperfect...

Well, since she has complete understanding, who could doubt her?

"...I'm Catholic because I often find my religion in simple acts of service, and that's enough."

She doesn't need be a Catholic if that is all she thinks she wants. The salvation army, Buddhism, Protestantism, etc. would suffice.

"Because I believe in something larger than the individual."

Something 'larger'? The U.S. Army or just being a good citizen of the United States would cover that one. Bigger still? Pantheists and environmentalists believe they are part of something bigger.

"Because in the face of a sometimes incomprehensible world, I hope."

Ah! She hopes. But in what?