Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The people of God, and real Catholics can "fly on instruments"

A ramble starting with a good word for the laity's role in keeping the faith. It reminds me of Anglo-Catholic semi-congregationalism, why even in the '70s and '80s you had liturgically conservative would-be Catholics in the middle of a liberal Protestant denomination where they didn't really belong, and thus at least half of why I'm not Novus Ordo because I got to experience that, not just read about it or watch it on television. It's also part of the romance of Orthodox culture. To quote someone, if Greece tried to Novus Ordo-fy you'd have fistfights in the streets. At the Ukrainian Catholic parish I go to, a priest attacking the teachings of the church is inconceivable because I don't think the people would stand for it and I dare say the bishop would do something about it anyway (not a Cupich type). They're not militants; the conservatism comes naturally, the norm, like before Vatican II. Culture. By the way, in its homeland of Galicia the Ukrainian Catholic Church survived a modern persecution, being outlawed and hunted, going underground.

In the Roman Rite after Vatican II until recently you couldn't have the traditional externals anymore. There were a few outlier fighters for both the teachings and the externals, such as Lefebvre, who did good work, but not connected to them, in the official church, you had and have the lay watchdogs such as The Wanderer, and a sort of silent majority who hunkered down, going to the earliest and lowest Mass with the least funny business. Like the priests who stayed on message with what they learned in the '50s and earlier, knowing the teachings can't change, even when implementing liturgical changes as told to. These laity were also the whistleblowers about the gay priest sex scandal including minors; the dioceses blew them off: "Don't be judgmental; mind your own business," even "Be open to the Spirit"! Real Catholics who can make it through persecution. (Like what Opus Dei is trying to do among the elite; low-profile so not big on externals.)

It would have been nice if more people in the pews fought for the externals, but living without them, while not ideal, is doable. (But lots of people lost their faith and left; witness all the parish and school closings, and we're not done with those. We're broke. We spent down the money and goodwill we earned before Vatican II.) You may not have many landmarks anymore (when Roman Riters were still stuck with ICEL English, the liturgy was no longer a landmark) but your maps, compass, and star charts are still good; "flying on instruments" as I say. (Unlike GPSes they don't fail.) Acting on faith! It's not about a man with a title; while we believe in the episcopate, we don't worship the Pope's person. Nor at the end of the day is it about pageantry; some liberal Protestants, Episcopalians, imitate that. It's about hearing, believing even when not seeing, and knowing Jesus, the truth incarnate.

The externals: Catholic ghetto is Christian community that liberals hate.

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