Originally Posted by Ludi
Have any Catholics called for the reinstatement of the Lost Gospels?
first, there are no 'lost gospels.' there are canonized gospels and non-canonized gospels. you can see my post above to see how non-canonized gospels are viewed within catholicism. but, to restate it, essentially, they can be used for spiritual development and meditation, within certain regional communities as part of the tradition of those communities.
Zoebird, I have to say your depiction of the Catholic Church is profoundly different from that of others who were raised in the Church in previous decades, such as my husband. This is indeed a reformed church if it is how you say. Yet I haven't seen such a feeling exuding from the Vatican lately.
i think that this is difficult to discern. my depiction of the catholic church is profoundly different than the way that most people percieve it because most people never dig deeper into the faith than what they got in catholic school from the baltimore catechism (which is considered problematic on a number of levels, and not a favorite of the vatican).
my father was raised catholic, as were his parents, and their parents. All of them read the texts, entered the debates, and were devout catholics. they were taught to question, to join in focus groups, to write to the vatican with their ideas and suggestions. my great grandmother and my grandmother both had the archbishop preside over their funerals--because of how devout they were, and the work that they put into the church.
both of my grandmothers were educated women. i have my great-grandmothers latin vulgate copy of the bible, including her translations and journals. the archbishop asked for them, to be brought to the library and potentially published, as she was considered an amazing woman. She's no saint (at least as far as i know), but she was taught to question, to practice the spiritual disciplines, and to be involved in the church. She raised her daughter that way, who in turn raised her children that way.
but, only her son--my father--actually continued in the faith, and raised my sister and i catholic. my father participated in catholicism actively until we left for college. he's always been a thinker and a questioner, and he and my mother helped the archdio of st lois and the dio of little rock, ar, develop the current catholic bible study--which is now used throughout the world as a model of bible study. if you follow this form of bible study--it's all about independent study and practice, debate and discussion, and the method of revelation to the church as a totality through this process.
i am a part of this tradition, as a continuing member of a church that is based on, and has always been based on, debate and discussion on matters of faith.
it is not surprising, though, that many miss this point. having been educated in a catholic school myself, in the same classroom as many friends, i am one of only a few who are still catholic. most see it as a structured, static community that oppresses people. most see it as a series of false beliefs and weak followers who want to be lead and demand a sort of oppression through rules and regulations. i can see why they see this.
part of why they see this is because of the structure of catholic education being based in a concept of memorization, rather than a discovery through contemplation and debate. catholicism has simple dogmatic elements--only a few core beliefs--but a vast doctrinal structure with vast differences in doctrines. the Christian Brothers (a specific order) will teach along these doctrinal lines. A jesuit school will teach along these lines. a sisters of mercy school will teach along these lines. rarely do they ever expose the fact that they're teaching along doctrinal lines, not dogmatic line. And when they do, it's debateable whether or not the person in the class is absorbing that fact.
it was in church history, and in my ability to translate from latin and greek, that made it possible for me to see the larger debate structure and realize how the system worked. When i began to understand how the monastic system became the university system, i began to see how the debate within theology, within the monestary, became the cornerstone of modern academia--which is founded on debate and conflicting ideologies.
and when i saw that, i began to realize how the whole system worked--how it's always worked--but it's rarely revealed.
and i don't know why. I don't think it's a conspiracy theory to keep people in the dark, so much as it is a school propogating it's particular social/theological ideology within catholicism. they desire to convince people of their doctrinal interpretations, and insodoing, create the church that they want through this form of teaching. Sadly, most children do not know, or do not know to know, or do not know to look eventually, that there may be factions or groups within catholicism that align with their interpretations, rather than with the ones that they were taught in catholic schools.
aside from my parents being amazing, i was surrounded by amazing priests in high school. my parish priest was a canon lawyer. you can imagine what confession was like with him--entirely socratic method. in fact, he's still my confessor so it's still like that. he was the right-hand man to the bishop, and both of them were 'independent' priests with jesuit leanings. In my catholic school, there was a priest who taught church history and biblical studies, he was an astrophysicist before becoming a priest, and when he became a priest, he dove into biblical interpretation through church history. You can imagine what he classes were like--and what we were exposed to.
and if you were like me, an eager student, after hours were spent debating texts, debating how we translated them from latin, from greek, from hebrew (i worked with a rabbi for that). and there was ample opportunity for continuing the conversation at home, where my parents opened doors to questioning, to debate, and lead our family in prayer, to mass, and through scriptures.
catholicism has been about debate in my family since my great grandmother at least--and probably before her. So, it's always been this way, but not everyone seems to find that.
and i don't know why. perhaps it's something that needs to change.