Sunday, August 31, 2014

How to leave the church the right way, and more

  • The right reason to leave the church. As Newman alluded to, the ultimate authority is God as seen through a well-formed conscience. If you really believe we are in grave error, go. To Orthodoxy. To Protestantism. To Islam. Etc. It also reminds me of the late liberal Fr. Andrew Greeley writing something like: Don't leave us because we spend lots of money on cathedrals and churches but because we believe God reaches out to us through matter made sacred such as holy places and beautiful art.
  • Intellectual dishonesty: The few konvertzy who try to act out “the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are equally the church.” (Fr.?) Dale's earlier post.
  • Some Orthodox really like conservative Catholics even as they're upfront about opposing Catholicism. True dialogue; no bull. Pope Benedict repeated Catholicism's true-church claim and the Russians nodded knowingly; he was talking their language. Then you have the Orthodox — Mostly in the West? Liberals like St. Vladimir's Seminary? — who take their text from Catholic liberals' misreading of Vatican II. "You no longer teach that you're the true church — great! We were right." Superficially friendly to us; they're ecumenical. But on terms that are actually hostile to us. Because that misreading of the council is not what we really teach.
  • Byzantinophile Catholic relativist talking point: "The Uniates have no right to exist." I'm not ashamed of the Unias: they came to us so, given our true-church claim, like the other side's, we were conscience-bound to bring them in. That said, we're right now not to solicit; we want to bring the whole Orthodox communion back to us.
  • Metropolitan Kallistos: I love, therefore I am.
  • Boston's Holy Trinity Church up for sale.
  • The SSPX is a last resort; Defcon 1. We're nowhere near that level, more like Defcon 4. In the '80s it was Defcon 3. I'm not leaving the church for a cult with the church's trappings: spiritual pride there.
  • Opus Dei leaves me cold, except in Oxford, where it was like Brideshead Revisited. Talked to a recruiter over 25 years ago. They're like lay Jesuits, not interested in high liturgics. Fine; nobody HAS to be. Of course there are different legitimate Catholic schools of thought, and we don't always get along. Opus Dei is about recruiting the elite and having them work in society, in the "real world," towards Catholic goals. "Cooperators" don't even have to be Catholic or even Christian. It has its place but it's not me. I've read St. Josemaría Escrivá's The Way. I appreciate it.
  • 11 of the best #ThingsJesusNeverSaid.

17 comments:

  1. Who put a bee in your fedora? You really think this helps, 'Serge'?

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    1. "It was YOU, OK? I learned it from watching YOU!" Rather, it was your erstwhile fellow Greek Catholics by choice who are disloyal to the faith, preaching "both the Catholics and the Orthodox are fully the true church." Yes, defending the church instead helps. As I wrote in the original post, the best Orthodox respect it. Sure, you can call me Serge: that name comes from my birthday, St. Serge's Gregorian-calendar feast day; took it as my first online handle in late '94 because I couldn't think of anything better at the time. Born Orthodox get the benefit of the doubt; we can venerate their saints.

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    2. Ha ha. It was me, huh? Well, big fat mea culpa. But all you are doing is pissing people off. Change the name of your blog to Libertarian Blog for Annoyance.

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    3. D.N. clearly never learned that it is extremely gauche to insult someone in his own thread. Could also getcha blocked. John is just too gracious to resort to either tit-for-tat or the ban hammer.

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  2. The Catholic Church claims it is the true Church. That is either a true statement or it isn't. If it isn't, then the Catholic Church is wrong and one should find a home elsewhere. I don't quite understand why that is a controversial statement.

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  3. So sad about Holy Trinity. I lived in the South End briefly back when it was still a ghetto. By the early ' 80s parts of it were being gentrified. Sounds as if it's ALL gentrified now -- or mostly.

    The beautiful church of my early childhood -- Saint William's in Dorchester (borough of Boston) -- was sold to the Seventh Day Adventists a few years ago. Waaaah. It was the church that defined for me what a Catholic church should be like: dim interior, jewel-tone stained glass (ornately and realistically figurative), statues everywhere, and a pervasive fragrance of mingled must and candle wax.

    Another casualty of the sex-abuse lawsuit payoffs. Lord have mercy on so many levels.

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    1. Diane - it's a potpourri: some incense molecules, some bees wax candles, some must, and a good bit of the smell of ancient oak (pews and confessionals) marinated for decades in furniture polish. A good warm Summer day, or even with the steam radiators cranked up in Winter, can work up that unique and very homey smell.

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    2. As you both know, my defining Catholic experience as you both beautifully describe happened after Vatican II so of course it was at a place that technically wasn't Catholic! Because I technically wasn't yet. The Episcopal Parish of All Saints, Orange, NJ, as Fr. William Wetherell had kept it. Now gone; RIP Fr. W.

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  4. The closing of Holy Trinity is an abomination. I don't think I will ever understand Novus Ordo Catholic "Obedience." It would be better to lynch those responsible than tolerate this sort of thing. No no no a thousand times no to the closing of beautiful churches!

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    1. I hear you, but in the real traditional church, the bishop closed parishes all the time; it wasn't a democracy with lay protests. That said, we can learn from the Orthodox, Anglo-Catholics, and Polish National Catholics (yes, an American splinter group that left us, just like most Slavic-American Orthodox): their semi-congregationalism reinforces their cultural conservatism (you see fewer if any of the changes of Vatican II there) and viable parishes don't get closed. As I like to say, everything in church polity except the papacy and episcopate is negotiable; that's an ecumenical lesson for us.

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    2. But at least in the old days they weren't building new hideous ones. Modernists have used obedience to all but destroy the Church. It's well past time for more lay resistance

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    3. There were modern churches and wreckovations in the '50s, but the old Mass kept the ugliness in check. Archbishop Lefebvre said the same thing about Modernists using obedience. Yes, the right kind of lay resistance is overdue.

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    4. Death to these clueless, cultureless crappers! In the good, old days, we could have burnt these bastards at the stake, as Almighty God intended. I devoutly pray that Francis the Worst and all his ilk die of a collective a-POPE-plectic fit to-morrow and that their immortal souls burn in Hell, again as Almighty God intended. We should also pray the Vatican is taken over by the SSPX and such groups, repealing Vatican II and restoring things to the way they were during the reign of Pius XII.

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    5. Are you being hyperbolic or facetious?

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    6. I mean this with all my heart. These men are traitors to Christ. Were this the 1500's, or even the early 1800's, we could rack 'em and disembowel 'em. I favour a public beheading in a crowded square. Dumas writes of this in "The Count of Monte Cristo." The Count watches happily as the Church officials put some heretic to death, seeing the whole thing from his balcony, as he enjoys his chicken and white wine. I can think of quite a few politicians deserving of the same fate. I'd bring the kids and sell tickets! Fun for the whole family! But what goes better with decapitation? Porter or Chardonnay? Hmmm...

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    7. I think you're pulling my leg but anyway.

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