Thursday, October 13, 2011


One time I was being sent to a parish and the selling point given to me is that “they have gone beyond Vatican II. They are very progressive.” In case you missed the inference, they meant that as a very good thing. (What’s beyond Vatican II?)
Many parishes are known as progressive and rarely the one that deserves it IMHO. Most often this title is given to a parish that is skirting the Catholic playing field. Progress has almost become synonymous with rebellious. Is this progress?

Progress cannot be a blind journey to someplace that must be better. There must be a clear vision and an effort to achieve it. Then as we get closer to that goal, we call the process progress. Anything else is chance.

A progressive parish is not one (necessarily, there may be occasion) that breaks away from the rest of the Church to do what it deems “better” which often just means “in fashion.” It means one that has the mission of the Church in mind which has at the top of the list the wish of Jesus that we “may all be one.” Progressive means being part of the vision and doing what one can to fulfill that vision, not forcing people to limit expressions of the faith or introducing things that do not belong.

Because of this, I elect the word “progress” as a WORD IN SEARCH OF MEANING


Pat said...


Thank you for addressing this important point.

The word "progress" has an implicit meaning that includes “good." Therefore, calling something "progressive" gives it a free pass, because that “something” carries the implicit meaning that it must be good.

It's just another way to control an agenda by controlling the language. "Choice" comes to mind as another example.

Anonymous said...

I would consider a parish that is implementing "Summorum Pontificum" to be "progressive" since such a parish is clearly on the cutting edge of contemporary Catholicism, bringing in the latest in teaching and praxis from Rome.

Baron Korf said...

Progress is impossible without a clear destination. To that end, a progressive parish is one that is moving its parishioners towards heaven.

Anonymous said...

Progessive Catholics will get a pass on the upcoming persecution of the Church because they ignore and/or reinterpret the unpopular teachings of the Church. The Truth only hurts when it is clearly stated and progessives avoid stating it in whatever way possible. Strangely, in the Catholic Church it is the older crowd that falls into the progressive camp and their numbers are declining. I suppose younger progressives have found better ways to ignore the Truth than hanging around empty churches.