When I listen to the beliefs of liberal Catholics, I have a sense of deja vu, for I hear an echo of the alternative movement of the sixties and seventies, and indeed of all those revolutions of the past two hundred years. But revolutions, however justified, have this weakness: that it is too easy for small groups of high-minded, dedicated and quite ruthless people to take control in the name of utopia.
In the Catholic Church since the sixties we have had our revolution (in the spirit of Vatican II) and its utopian vision. As with previous revolutions, we find the same enlightened elite, the same rhetoric of progress, the same desire to usurp the legitimate government in the name of the people (but against the wishes of the people), the same mania for committees and teach-ins, and the same tendency to distort truth in the interests of the Cause.
When these progressives focus on the diocese rather than Rome, on the parish rather than the diocese, on family churches rather than the parish, they are conducting a sort of guerrilla warfare in which, like the People's Liberation Army moving among the Chinese peasants, they capture the grassroots and the state falls. There is even the same rhetoric of social justice which seems to dominate the sermons of many of our liberal priests, to the exclusion of all else.
Am I being a little paranoid? I think not, for I am not postulating a conscious revolutionary agenda, but rather something informed by our universal Western yearning for utopias, for a God without the long haul, without the Cross, a belief which underlies our whole system now.
This yearning can easily be exploited by those desiring power or wealth, and in this age of growing unemployment and intense competitiveness, the Church is easy pickings.
What is particularly annoying is that liberal Catholicism has hijacked legitimate social goals, using valid progressive language, but all in the name of yet another pampered, middle class elite.