I am not a theologian. I'm simply a Catholic guy, who has fallen in love with his faith. This is the faith that Jesus handed to Peter and the apostles, which emerged through the theological inspirations of the Early Church Fathers.
We don't like terms like "liberal" and "conservative" to describe Catholicism, because we believe that the Church is not conservative or liberal, but it will endorse the truth wherever it lies. On one hand, the Church takes a "liberal" position on the poor and says, take care of them. On the other hand, the Church takes a "conservative" position on the moral teachings that Jesus gave us. This includes Christ's teachings on sexuality, marriage, obedience to God and reverence for his Holy Word.
There are claims that the Magisterium has dropped the ball on Vatican II. At the centre of this movement against the Magisterium is the claim that the Lumen Gentium document calls for the Church to revise its position on "there is no salvation outside the Church" and that we should be a lot more open to other religions as valid ways to heaven. They wonder why the Church is so old fashioned and slow to change.
Some liberal theologians think the role of Magisterium has outlived its usefulness. They question the role of Mary, they think the Church should endorse women's ordination, and gay marriage. They think the Church's position on contraception is backwards. They think infallibility of the Magisterium is a myth. So therefore all Dogma is open for grabs, especially purgatory. They don't think we need to pray for the souls in Purgatory, because they say it is a theological creation of the middle ages to control the masses. Perhaps a few days in Purgatory would change their minds. Perhaps then they would be begging for faithful Catholics on earth to pray for them. I sure hope someone prays for me after I die.
This "liberal bubble" happened after Vatican II but was a bubble that most of the newer members of the Church have long since rejected. Now it seems to rest with an older crowd of Catholics who hit their 20's in the 1960's (and the liberal press). They love reading Joan Chitister and other liberal "catholic" writers. They tend to hang out on the east coast USA and Europe.
Thank God the new generation of Catholics are coming back to the Magisterium. Perhaps the best article I have on this is an interaction between myself and a liberal Catholic of that generation. It's a fairly long read but it is a very good exchange. It is here.
In many respects I totally agree that we need to revisit the faith. We need to come alive in Christ. I do not think that this renewal and examination should undermine the wisdom that has been handed to us through the ages. The newspapers are calling the liberal movement a new Reformation, which instead of separating from the church, it is trying to change the Church from within.
We believe in unity for the Catholic Church and I don't believe that unity is possible without the Magisterium. We simply have to look at the experiment of Protestantism to see how quickly division enters into any movement that is not without central authority. We believe that is why God gave us a Magisterium and why he promised to protect its dogmas against error. (Mat 16:18)
I have set apart this section of my web site because it deviates from my main purpose, which is to build bridges between Evangelicals and Catholics. But in the course of my ministry to Evangelicals I have been challenged by "Catholics" who want to gut the Magisterium and incorporate the principles of Human Secularism. Sometimes in a "fundamentalist" way. Hopefully, this will provide some responses.
I am simply a Catholic guy responding to Jesus' prayer for unity, "that they may all be one, as you Father, are in me and I am in you." (Jn 17:21) I hope this will help us to love one another as He has loved us. (Jn 13:34). "Let us not give up meeting together... but let us encourage one another." (Heb 10:25)
Lord Jesus, let Your prayer of unity for Christians
become a reality, in Your way.
We have absolute confidence
that you can bring your people together,
we give you absolute permission to move.