Who Are Contemporary Catholics?
Vatican II of the Roman Church talked about the church in the modern world. The modern world clearly distinguishes between the extremes of the fundamental conservatives and the free wheeling liberals. The People exist. In our experience, many of The People care less about church politics and are more interested in The Spirit of The Church. They do not understand the Church's institutionalism, much less the supposed need for institutionalization. These folks are not necessarily alienated or disenfranchised. If any label was to fit, perhaps the word contemporary is most apt. Contemporary Catholics. (P. Ariosto Coelho)
Therefore, the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict serve The People as a point of departure for the Contemporary Catholic person. Some have said that once we humans appreciate — acknowledge and accept without praise or blame — where we have come from, we can better take responsibility for, envision and chart our future.
The Contemporary Catholic and
Therefore, The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict meet the spiritual needs of the Contemporary Catholic. The Contemporary Catholic is very much like Capuchin Father Michael Crosby's Culture II Catholic (The Dysfunctional Church: Addiction and Codependency in the Family of Catholicism, Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 1991; ISBN 0-87793-455-X). This Catholic has outgrown the co-dependent need to adhere to an institutional church: its petty, bureaucratic, authoritarian, dictatorial, patriarchal, unresponsive ways. He or she is no longer co-dependent on religion to tell him or her what to do and how to do it. The Contemporary Catholic realizes the essence of Christ's message was one of love, forgiveness, compassion, and service. The Contemporary Catholic appreciates Christ's essential message: Love God, Love neighbor (Christ's only two commandments).
The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
Contemporary Catholics sense that Christ really never said NO to anyone. They simply want to have their marriages blessed, their children baptized, their sick and infirmed administered to — without hassle, hoops, and hurdles. Contemporary Catholics experience the way of the institutionalized church is contradictory to Christ's Way and, perhaps altho well-meaning, it is simply irrelevant. Consequently, Contemporary Catholics appreciate being Catholic — the Catholic experience, a Catholic spirituality — without the institutional trappings.
Hence, The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict are neither Roman Catholic nor Old Catholic, Liberal Catholic nor Eastern Catholic. The WRBs are just Catholic. The WRBs acknowledge their Roman, Old Catholic and Eastern Catholic origins, accepting as their own prayer the prayer of the Christ: May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I in you... (John 17:21).
The WRBs tend, therefore, to address their catholicity in terms of the Old Catholic tradition as expressed by St.Vincent of Lérins' suggestion: Let us hold to what has been believed everywhere, always and by all, for that us truly and properly catholic. The Old Catholic tradition addresses ecumenism in the spirit of Peter Meiderline (and possibly St. Augustine): In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. The WRBs address their acknowledgment of the Holy Spirit working in the Church by following as guidelines the documents of Vatican II and foremost, Sacred Scripture.
The Contemporary Catholic and
One note about beliefs: Contemporaty Catholics tend to recognize that there are many different types of belief and belief sustems based upon those beliefs. One such area of belief is religious and spiritual beliefs and attending belief systems. Contemporary Catholics tend not to really believe in beliefs as such nor to take beliefs as beliefs very seriously. At best, they recognize that beliefs are but cognitive maps of reality and hence are, at best, very fluid (rather than absolute or even relative). Contemporay Catholics tend to recognize that it is because of conflicting belief systems and one's belief in one's own belief systems that so much pain and suffering are wont in the human experience. Contemporary Catholics tend to realize that some people's ideologic belief in the belief systems of the three Semetic Religions (Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam) have given way to the death of many self-righteously proclaimed unbelievers.
Om shanti. Shalom. Peace.
Peace and Joy.