John Gehring's Op-Ed article favoring a more progressive Roman Catholicism was self-serving. Progressive activists often underweight the fact that the Catholic Church believes deeply that abortion is intrinsically evil, that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that any religion, including the Catholic Church, should operate without government coercion to abandon its doctrines.
The church isn't moving backward; it is simply cleaning up a mess created by those who tried to change its fundamental doctrines and deeply held beliefs. If progressive Catholics believe deeply in doctrines that are different from the church's, fine. Let them start their own religion and call it anything but Catholic.
The reactionary fundamentalist movement has dragged the Catholic Church into its arms. Fundamentalism began nearly 100 years ago in reaction to the enlightened theologies of American Protestant seminaries. Fundamentalists such as Randall Terry and William A. Donohue are self-declared spokesmen for Catholicism who are ignorant of the impressive traditions of rationalism and social justice that sets Catholicism apart from Protestantism. I would love to see them try to find common ground with Dorothy Day, a candidate for sainthood.
I no longer attend Mass, because my church has left me. When it returns, I will be ready to celebrate the Eucharist with my fellow Catholics. In the meantime, I keep company with the Jesus of the Beatitudes and the Mary of the Magnificat, two "progressive" Jews who would find today's Vatican strange indeed.
Jean E. Rosenfeld