Friday, July 18, 2003

Beware of darkness
Watch out now, take care, beware...
Not all that glitters is gold, and not everything holding basic apostolic orthodoxy, or at least claiming to, is healthy or even good, blog correspondent Lee Penn and others point out. Besides the barminess often (misre)presented as 'true-believer Eastern Orthodoxy', often something outside the real Orthodox Church (things such as Old Calendarist schisms and counterschisms, the Pangratios group, Blanco, HOCNA, ROCiE, ROAC, ad infinitum) but not always (I've come to the conclusion too much of the online EO scene is orthodox but also barking mad, the playground mostly of misanthropic misfits*, usually men, usually single and often church-hoppers), there are plenty of con men (I've met at least one) and other dangerous types preying on the conservative Catholic community: Lee's subject in this entry. Lots of well-meaning people get burned. Blog reader Paco has as his link the Regain Network - very scary indeed. Ditto Opus Dei. Such groups always struck me as being merely the right wing of the same team as the liberals, equally this-worldly. Charismatism seems similarly tainted. (It seems that conservative devotions and even social conservatism are tolerable as long as you're liturgically low-church, make babbling noises and faint in the aisles.) Lee agrees in a way.

New groups not cults
Lee (a nonliberal, 100% faithful Russian Catholic): Maybe I
have gotten too cynical as a result of researching Church scandals
... but I see the endorsement of "new ecclesial movements" by a "spirit of
Vatican II" journal [Concilium] as -- in a small way -- analogous to the German-Soviet pact
of 1939. The totalitarians of the left and right in 1939 shook hands and agreed
to divide Poland; it seems that the Right and the Left in the Roman Catholic Church are giving
each other a handshake, too. Who will be the loser? You fill in the blanks.

*There but for the grace of God go I. To be a true traditional Christian today is a kind of martyrdom, and a lot of us are curmudgeons by default partly because of that, but I mean something different. The problem obviously is not with the faith or defending it; it's with them.

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