Friday, November 27, 2009

Remonstrance of the Catholic Right.

Frank Cocozzelli at about the Catholic Right taking over the church:

Meanwhile, those of us who are uneasy about reactionary trends in the Church have yet to coalesce. There are those who do bravely speak up. But I believe that there are many more who remain silent not as much out of a sense of fear of retribution but more out of a sense of no support.

While many are tempted to just walk away, I say that doing so only empowers the reactionaries of the Catholic Right. It is exactly what they want. In fact, it is their plan for conquest throughschism. They want those of us who embrace religious pluralism in society and liberalization within the Church to leave a global religion, with its well-organized hierarchy and diplomatic nation-state status, and massive resources, property and prestige -- solely in their hands.

I say that now is the time for rank-and-file Catholic to revive the idea of remonstrance, and draw on the wisdom of James Madison, who provides us with timeless tools with which to understand and to combat theocratic wannabes. In this way, we can disrupt the disrupters, not rudely or condescendingly but with dignity and firmness.

Our remonstrance can help us confront clergy who use the pulpit as a vehicle to seek to restrict the rights and the freedom of conscience of others. Our remonstrance can remind the media that the dogmatically orthodox do not speak for Catholics, or for Catholicism, but for themselves. And our remonstrance can remind our elected officials that their allegiance is to safeguard the religious liberty of all from an increasingly out of touch Church hierarchy.

And our remonstrance is just the beginning.

Now is the time for bold action. Surrender or grudging compliance is unacceptable. Resistance in the form of a loyal thoughtfulness that seeks reform, not overthrow, is the only acceptable course of action. Arrogance and intolerance are our opponents' way, not ours'. But all the same, it is bold action that will give our remonstrance collective strength.

Our bold action will strengthen the hand of our allies within the hierarchy and hearten those clergy who are waiting to speak out for the Church we believe in. We will rebuke the reactionaries. Some of us may pay a price for our actions. But sometimes such prices must be paid in order to achieve progress.

There will be those who read this and accuse me of being ant-Catholic. But nothing can be further from the truth. I am a Catholic who desires a vibrant Church, one that exemplifies the tolerant, dissenting, and inquisitive nature of its Founder. I understand that a Catholicism that uses oppression via secular government to enforce its dogmas is itself insecure in its own position. And I know that when any one set of religious beliefs become dominant over others then the free practice of all faiths is also threatened.

That is why I am calling for remonstrance - now!

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