Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fr. Longenecker on trads

"Old"? That's news in my parish. As the answering blogger notes, it's a magnet for couples in their 30s with four kids. Our living links to before Vatican II are an exception, but important: we're a living tradition, so the tradition is savable.

Here Fr. Longenecker seems to have bought into the American idea, the Protestant idea, of religion as purely propositional. So Protestants church-shop and don't really care about branding. It's a private, individual choice, not the mystical body of Christ, let alone our holy mother. (Liberals love "community" except when it's traditional and stands in their way. Eastern Orthodoxy doesn't. We do.) Real Catholicism is both propositional (conversion; belief by choice) and tribal (ethnic communities, "cultural Catholicism"), held in tension. We're not pious Protestants; the real church is where Bad Catholics come home. (The mantilla'd biker chick and her child at the SSPX Christmas Midnight Mass. The Catholic Church: here comes everybody.) Actually some trads have the same problem; being under seige, they see the church in a sectarian, perfectionistic way. Will the '50s American church come back? Yes and no. Yes in that 50 years from now the churchgoing Catholic liberals will have died out so the only churchgoing Catholics left will be conservatives. No in that it will be nowhere as big as it was 50 years ago; it will be smaller than now. Pope Benedict's leaner church.

The church can't revise doctrine so the council's not a problem in that respect (Vernacular? Religious liberty? Ecumenism? No problem!), but there was a rupture, no matter what the Novus Ordo neocons (trads' bitterest enemies, not the liberals, who didn't take them seriously) say, and as the liberals die and the American church gets back on its feet, you will hear more trad criticism of the council from within the official church.

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