Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CTP: A Catholic Tea Party…Is it Needed?....What Would It Do? Beginning a Colloquium.

      Looking back at the marvelous success the Tea Party movement has enjoyed, revitalizing  a sleepy, lethargic Republican Party,  I’ve been imagining what a Catholic Tea Party could do to reform a chillingly distant, timid, cowardly  Catholic Church  bureaucracy that is in many ways—not all-- failing in its mission to reinvigorate what used to be called The Church Militant.  This would necessarily involve creation of a new organization with national outreach to attain these goals.
        Of course a Catholic Tea Party would be different  from the political variant.    The political version  at large in the land today exists to elect.    The  Catholic version would exist to renew the 2000-year traditions of the Church.   I see it operating in six distinct areas.  I welcome your ideas pro and con to creation of a consumer movement of authentic Catholics to stimulate change from the ground up. I am too old to do much more than encourage and advise….and a younger cadre will have to supply leadership over these general areas:
  1. Applying pressure on weak bishops and prelates… those who don’t make a murmur about politicians who purportedly are part of the  Faith and draw political strength from that identification, betraying the theology of the Church by supporting abortion and gay rights policies which offend against the traditional concept of marriage in public discourse, county boards, legislatures and the Congress.  Here in Chicago for instance we have scores of politicians serving in high places  who make a  mockery of the faith by using the old canard “separation of Church and state” and trot freely up to the altars to receive the Eucharist.  Bishops should be put on the spot—to use the faculties of their office to insist that these political hypocrites  should be vigorously instructed to either change their anti-Catholic positions or stay away from the reception of the Eucharist.  Tactics: Initial meetings followed by enabling public sessions, media and use of the communications arts to propel change.
  1. Applying pressure on weak bishops and prelates to exert greater leadership over so-called “Catholic” colleges and universities in their dioceses including those which are a disgrace to Catholic teaching—installing so-called “Queer Studies: 101”…sponsoring Kiss-Ins for homosexual students …allowing the disorientation of studies to include anti-Catholic positions without proper academic rebuttal….inviting scandalously irreligious “lecturers” to address the student body without adequate rebuttal….turning over management of  academic departments to anti-Catholic professors as university presidents abdicate their role in supervising and maintaining proper Catholic presence…allowing departments of  “Religious Studies” to make mockery of the Catholic training and theology-philosophy. 

  1. Strenuously applying pressure on weak bishops and prelates who have allowed radical and carelessly designed “innovative” liturgical practices to be utilized that make mockery and impose sacrilege on the Mass…including use of radical formations such as gay choirs to intrude leftwing social engineering campaigns  on parishes.

  1. Forcefully utilizing pressure on weak bishops and prelates who have allowed “Hot Dog” clergy members….priests and nuns… to get involved in politicking from the altar, inviting politicians to address congregations, holding news conferences on issues non-germane to the vital purpose of the Church.

  1. Forcefully utilizing pressure on weak bishops and prelates to curtail the power of  the USCCB officers and paid staff members which hugely enjoy the adventure of negotiating with Washington politicians on health care, immigration reform and other issues and announcing conclusions as bearing the imprimatur of  the Church.  The USCCB should be transformed into a sedate information-gathering entity without the right to disseminate statements and position papers supposedly reflecting the views of the Church…either that or abolished in its entirety.  Once again individual bishops and prelates should bear the responsibility for articulating their own policy positions (if needed) that assists the Church—not pass the buck to a group of ideologically motivated bureaucrats working out of a splendiferous office building in Washington, D.C. supported by those in the pews who have no knowledge of the practical effects their well-intentioned contributions are having.  

  1. Forcefully utilizing pressure on weak bishops and prelates to make regular reports on operations of the diocesan seminaries including details on teaching staff and curricula to curtail recruitment that continues growth of a lavender and thoroughly revolutionarily radical priesthood.

     I would hope readers would comment on this as  they see fit.  Finally I hope younger authenticist activists  with more energy than I take up this mission  of  reform.


  1. Well, Tom, if that's all you want, it could be done in <100 years.

    Assuming there's no Kryptonite in the USCCB's vaults...

  2. Tom, if the Church were a democracy, pressure groups might achieve something, but since it is structured hierarchically, appealing to specific Roman congregations in short well-documented letters about specific situations is more likely to achieve real results.

    Part of Cdl. George's problem is that he has massively disobedient clergy. In your view, I think, he should issue a few stern directives and the situation would begin to correct itself, but in his view, I think, were he to do that he might well face a schism. Unity is definitely a priority with him.

    But there is something we could do/ should do/ and probably under enormous financial and social stress will eventually do anyway, and that is to recreate that massive pressure group that was the Sorrowful Mother Novena on Friday nights at her basilica on West Jackson Street.

    "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected man. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought...because this widow keeps bothering me,I shall deliver a just decision for her, lest she come and strike me." Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of God comes, will He find faith on earth?"

    The implication, of course, is that he will not, because apparently people would rather do almost anything than pray. My friend, Fr. Daniel Lenihan, OCSO of New Melleray tells the story that a few years ago someone was going to set up an industrial size hog raising enterprise near the monastery, and the monks and neighbors were very concerned about how this would affect the local streams, etc, so the monks organized a march on the hog farm, complete with placards, etc. and invited the Dubuque media out to cover the story, which they did. Returning from the march and walking up the driveway to the monastery, an older woman walking with Fr. Daniel sighed deeply. He asked what was the matter and she said, "Father,no one prays about anything anymore!"

    Yet I think at this point many people would be receptive to awakening that novena from its sixty year slumber, and including the reform of the Church in their petitions.

    What do you think?

  3. Yes, Catholic tea

    the time is now..lets make this happen