About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“If I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei…that would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion. I would take the Tantum Ergo, the Te Deum, and the Litanies sung by the people over any piece of polyphony.”
— Giuseppe Cardinal Sarto, Letter to Msgr. Callegari (1897)

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Overcoming Polarity
published 23 August 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

I am working on an article about attitudes toward polarities in the Church. Here is a draft of the start of it. I’d love comments.

Polarization in the Church: Despair or Hope?

The on-line dictionary defines polarization as “a sharp division, as of a population or group, into opposing factions.”

Here are some of the most obvious opposing factions in the Catholic Church today:

Magisterial Catholics vs. Dissenting Catholics (and those who never dissent in public but create loopholes for disobedience to doctrinal or moral teachings)
Liturgical classicists vs. Liturgical innovators
Charismatics vs. Anti-Charismatics
Group joiner Catholics vs. Sunday Mass only Catholics
Activist Catholics vs. Quiet Catholics
Peace and Justice Emphasis Catholics vs. Pro-Life Emphasis Catholics
Mystical Catholics vs. Faith only Catholics

I realize that just the way I have phrased these divisions is controversial, but try to read on even if you dislike even the wording since you probably know the basic issue that is being addressed.

Catholics also disagree about what to do about this polarization. Here are a few options. You may not fit into any of these options, or you might have variations on attitude 1 about some of the polarities but take attitude 2 options on one or more of other polarities.

1. Increase the Polarization

“What we need is not interminable phony dialogue, but a schism. There is no common

ground between “us” and “them.” We should form our own separate Churches, on either side calling it “the real Catholic Church.”

or, for the less revolutionary:

“We just have to wait until ‘they’ die out.”

Or, in addition:

“we can do everything we can to push the other side out such as pressing, when applicable,for ex-communication, persecution through firing anyone on the other side from positions where their views could be influential, or that failing, shunning or sarcasm or humor that others find derisive.”

2. Try to Overcome Polarization wherever we can:

“we should love everybody including “enemies” within the Church. To do this we need to avoid stereotyping in thoughts and words. For example, we don’t need to think or talk about charismatics as “Holy Rollers.” As an exercise, go through the list of polarities given above and think of the stereotypes that each side uses in describing the other side. As peace-makers we need to avoid those thought patterns.”

“not assume automatically that someone who thinks “A” also thinks B,C….all the way to Z. Instead listen carefully to see what those on the “other side” really think about many topics and practices.”

“accept the pain of disagreement and offer it as a penance toward reconciliation.”

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.