Monday, July 29, 2013

The second biggest misconception about Catholic traditionalists

Besides that It’s About Latin, that we all want to turn the church into a strict cult. Partly because the faith is big on doctrine and morals that mainstream society now hates, but also partly our fault. By historical accident (?), the most successful trad group has been the Society of St Pius X, the religious order that the saintly Archbishop Lefebvre founded. But of course real pre-conciliar Catholicism is more than the culture of a Counter-Reformation-style order. It includes everybody from Francisco Franco to Dorothy Day. As I like to say, the church is so big it couldn’t micromanage you even if it wanted to. Certainly true back when means of communication and travel were poorer. Also, R. Scott Appleby has observed that all fundamentalisms are a thoroughly modern reaction to the evils of modernity, something we’re not immune to. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As Fr Anthony Chadwick quoted a ’50s liberal but sound French priest (who stuck with the ’65 revision of the missal) saying, such is ‘not what we were’. That’s why living tradition, living links to before the council (the old stalwarts who kept the memory of the old Mass for decades), is so important, to show us how to do it right, rather than accidentally making things up so you end up with something not really pre-conciliar Catholicism. (My issue with Bishop Williamson: by recommending The Poem of the Man-God, he’s left the old church.) That said, things can and do organically change, and disciplinary rules can and do too. The big tent of the old church can include Tridentine Anglo-Catholic alumni (close enough so it’s compatible) for example.

15 comments:

  1. As I like to say, the church is so big it couldn’t micromanage you even if it wanted to.

    I say the same thing all the time, especially WRT the Great Papal Bogeyman. "Relax, folks, Papa couldn't micromanage 1.4 billion people even if he wanted to. And believe me, he doesn't want to." Talk about herding cats!

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  2. How about what Catholic traditionalists don't want to think about what they are? Namely enablers of liberalism/progressivism, channeled through the hyper-agent of change, the Papacy. The western liturgical patrimony is done, finished, shot in the head by the Popes themselves. Can't see how your enclave is much different than the twitches of the legs of a spider recently dead.
    And it's the classic mentality of the enabler to condemn others, such as the Orthodox, for not wanting to be similarly infected. In such an environment, distinctions and differences are best made and recognized; otherwise, everyone dies of the virus.

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    1. This just may be the most delusional thing I've ever read on the Interwebs. It's certainly up there in the Top 5.

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    2. Was hoping for more than name-calling. Pity. But mayhaps that's all you have left

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    3. Lol. Keep deluding yourself, Stephen. Rational people do not engage with utter lunatic nonsense. Or to put it in Biblical terms: "Answer not a fool according to his folly."

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    4. Regarding the Pope as the hyper-agent of change, let’s look at his track record over the centuries:

      Trinity, with Jesus as true God and true man in the hypostatic union? Check.

      True bishops? Check.

      The Eucharist as sacrifice and sacrament with Christ’s complete presence? Check.

      Infallible, irreformable (irrevocable) doctrine (not up for a mainline Protestant-style vote)? Check.

      Same teachings on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality as 50, 100, 1,000, and 2,000 years ago? Check.

      Checks out. The Pope’s Catholic; he’s not the culprit. It’s just that, like Orthodox bishops collaborating with the Communists, he makes mistakes that don’t affect the teachings, and Vatican II was a doozy.

      Stephen has a point that Catholic trads themselves make. As Archbishop Lefebvre said about 40 years ago, it is a master move of Satan (he's very smart) to destroy tradition under the guise of obedience. The liberals tried to usurp the church's authority. But like Communist collaboration was not of the essence of Orthodoxy, this isn't of the essence of Catholicism like he claims.

      Can't see how your enclave is much different than the twitches of the legs of a spider recently dead.

      One can argue the same about Orthodoxy. It’s an obscure Eastern European church which has kept its traditional liturgy but is vulnerable because it lacks a magisterium for coherent moral theology — the sellout on contraception, so now they sound like ’50s mainline Protestants and modern evangelicals — or sacramentology (sometimes our orders are valid, sometimes not). Plus I can’t buy that Western Catholicism, St Thomas Aquinas and the rest, has been a fraud. (See track record above. Plus Catholicism has fulfilled the Great Commission.) I can’t take their true-church claim seriously. They are at best an estranged part of us, not THE church. Orthodoxy’s survival transplanted in the West is iffy.

      The Catholic Church in America and Europe will be much smaller but the gates of hell will not prevail against Rome.

      The mainline Protestants, who used to dominate American society and who can change their teachings by vote, think they’re hyper-agents of change but society’s outgrown them.

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  3. You know what the longest river is, don't you? Da Nile!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kübler-Ross_model
    The stages, popularly known by the acronym DABDA, include:[2]
    Denial — "I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me."
    Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of possessions and individuals that will be left behind after death. Denial can be conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, or the reality of the situation. Denial is a defense mechanism and some people can become locked in this stage.
    Anger — "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; '"Who is to blame?"
    Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Anger can manifest itself in different ways. People can be angry with themselves, or with others, and especially those who are close to them. It is important to remain detached and nonjudgmental when dealing with a person experiencing anger from grief.
    Bargaining — "I'll do anything for a few more years."; "I will give my life savings if..."
    The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, "I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time..." People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example "Can we still be friends?.." when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it's a matter of life or death.
    Depression — "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die soon so what's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?"
    During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed. Depression could be referred to as the dress rehearsal for the 'aftermath'. It is a kind of acceptance with emotional attachment. It's natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that the person has begun to accept the situation.
    Acceptance — "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it."
    In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event. This stage varies according to the person's situation. People dying can enter this stage a long time before the people they leave behind, who must pass through their own individual stages of dealing with the grief.
    Kübler-Ross originally applied these stages to people suffering from terminal illness. She later expanded this theoretical model to apply to any form of catastrophic personal loss (job, income, freedom). Such losses may also include significant life events such as the death of a loved one, major rejection, end of a relationship or divorce, drug addiction, incarceration, the onset of a disease or chronic illness, an infertility diagnosis, as well as many tragedies and disasters.
    As stated before, the Kübler-Ross Model can be used for multiple situations where people are experiencing a significant loss. The subsections below explain how the model is applied differently in a few specific situations. These are just some of the many examples that Kübler-Ross wanted her model to be used for.

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    1. Right. And that's why 5 million kids showed up for World Youth Day...more than your entire jurisdiction combined and cubed. Now what were you saying about denial?

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    2. Oh just great! More pop psychology!

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  4. Oh, was that a Christian event? Missed that element. Of course kids show up for a party. Duh.

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    1. I helped produce (paginate, proofread, and partly research) an English-language edition of an anti-abortion and anti-homosexualist booklet for WYD ’13 but agree with the critics that WYD’s naff. That said, Diane’s point stands: the church hasn’t changed its teaching and 5 million kids showed up.

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    2. Stephen, I guess you missed all the footage of kids in tears before the Blessed Sacrament. Not to mention all the preaching of that, you know, Gospel Thing. Yeah, party hearty!

      Stephen, may I post your rants at another blog where I sometimes hang out? My friends there would get a big kick out of them. Like Eliza Bennett, we love to laugh at folly and absurdity.

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    3. Diane - If that's how you like to pass time, knock yourself out.
      YF - C'mon - The great debate among Traddies is indeed their concern that liturgical change has precipitated a change in church teaching, and that all that change came from on high is causing all the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Or do you think their debate is pointless?

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    4. Lots of trads have learned enough theology to know that no church teachings have changed. Echoing Lefebvre I've acknowledged your point about bad changes from on high. But church teachings can't change. My position is roughly soft SSPX (Novus Ordo is unfortunate but valid), between strict-constructionist, hermeneutic-of-continuity conservative Novus (I believe in religious liberty) and hardline SSPX, which you seem to allude to, who, like Catholic liberals and ignorant non-Catholics, seem to believe in a rupture, as if Vatican II created a new church.

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  5. YF - So how do you know that church teachings can't change?

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