Non-Catholics influenced Vatican II liberalization of Catholic church, new study says

Aug 11, 2010

A new analysis of voting patterns among bishops at the Second Vatican Council points to the indirect influence of non-Catholic churches in the Council's liberalization of the Catholic Church.

Melissa Wilde, an associate professor of sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, led a team of researchers that investigated data from the Secret Archive to determine the critical factors influencing how bishops voted at the Second Vatican Council.

Their findings are outlined in "Religious Economy or Organizational Field? Predicting Bishops' Votes at the Second Vatican Council," published in the August issue of American Sociological Review.

The researchers found that the relationship between the church and state as well as changes in the institution's situation in relation to other institutions, particularly a loss of dominance and the presence of and relationship with other religious institutions, were crucial factors in predicting whether religious leaders would be open to change and also what kinds of change they would prioritize.

They concluded that in places where the Roman Catholic Church enjoyed a stable monopoly as the state church, religious leaders were almost impervious to outside influence and opposed to most kinds of change. In areas in which Catholicism was not the established faith but where the religious field was stable, however, leaders of other religious institutions were a crucial source of influence on Catholic bishops who attended and voted at Vatican II.

The article also explores factors that predicted bishops' votes on two of the most contentious issues dividing the Roman Catholic Church during Vatican II from 1962-1965: the validity of a document titled "On the Sources of Revelation," which upholds the inerrancy of the Bible, and the importance of the Virgin Mary.

"This is the first attempt to subject any Council votes to rigorous quantitative analysis," said lead author Wilde, who studies the processes and factors that direct religious change. "It was exciting being the first person to gain access to these votes on an event as important as the Council."

In addition to her research on Vatican II, Wilde has examined the demographic factors that explain why American Protestantism has gone from being majority Mainline to majority conservative and the role of religious competition in the rise in marital annulments in the Catholic Church.

She is currently investigating how and why the politics of sex and gender have become key issues dividing the American religious field through a comparative-historical study of the major American religious groups' reactions to changing norms regarding birth control, abortion, divorce, women's ordination and homosexuality over the course of the 20th century.

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User comments : 6

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Roj
5 / 5 (1) Aug 11, 2010
The next council should consider extending the Vatican II doctrine of "Creative Descent" to priests, suffering conflicts with celibacy, before their perversion becomes a danger to themselves or the public.
frajo
not rated yet Aug 11, 2010
the Vatican II doctrine of "Creative Descent"
What's that?
marjon
not rated yet Aug 11, 2010
why the politics of sex and gender have become key issues dividing the American religious field

They are key issues because the state wants to promote divisiveness to maintain power.
Roj
5 / 5 (1) Aug 12, 2010
frajo: What's that?

Hans Kung is one of the most celebrated of theological dissenters, decertified as a Catholic theologian/Dec.1980 over the Curia; a censored historical account describing Pope Pius IX's influence over Vatican I, as dictatorial, to gain infallibility. (August Hasler)

"Creative Dissent" was introduced to me in 1992 by Dr. Donald Romito, CSU Fullerton instructor & Priest of the Jesuit order, and by "Essential Catholicism" by Bokenkotter.

Unlike Luther who dissented the authority of the Pope, dissent of some Vatican positions on morality was possible without dissenting the Vatican's position of authority, for those members who can't reconcile their morality views with prayer, Church, Elders, or Priests.

Those limited issues subject to dissent included:
abortion
attending Church
Celibacy of priests
Fornication
Homosexuality
Pope Paul VI's Ukase against contraception
International political economic policy desires

Best Regards,
RR
frajo
not rated yet Aug 12, 2010
Hans Kung is one of the most celebrated of theological dissenters
I know of Hans Kueng. As well of E. Drewermann, U. Ranke-Heinemann and several others.
a censored historical account describing Pope Pius IX's influence over Vatican I, as dictatorial, to gain infallibility. (August Hasler)
That's interesting,
"Creative Dissent" was introduced to me in 1992 by Dr. Donald Romito
Is it a book? Is it a position of Catholic dissenters?
Unlike Luther who dissented the authority of the Pope
As all Orthodox churches always did
dissent of some Vatican positions on morality was possible without dissenting the Vatican's position of authority
Yes. Teilhard de Chardin for example.
Thanks and good luck.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 12, 2010
why the politics of sex and gender have become key issues dividing the American religious field

They are key issues because the state wants to promote divisiveness to maintain power.

Oh stop it. It's because if you control procreation rights through edict you control the population's future. That's what that is.

Speaking of procreation, Let's say Jesus was an act of parthinogenesis, would that mean Mary was a hermaphrodite because Jesus had a Y chromosome or was Jesus perhaps a woman, sexually changed by the early fathers of the church?

Have at that one conspiracy theorists.