Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From Fr L
  • Goodbye, good men, or how Catholic-in-name libs manufactured the vocations crisis. The galling thing about this push for women priests is that it comes from the very (few, mostly in Protestant countries and mostly old) men (priests) who have been engineering an artificial crisis in the priesthood for the last few decades. When I was in England I visited different parishes every weekend and hob-nobbed with the priests. They told me how bishops and seminary rectors would regularly reject young men because they were ‘rigid’ (code for orthodox). My own bishop rejected all convert clergy from the Church of England – even the celibates. A reason Pope Benedict is going over the heads of such and has started the English-Welsh ordinariate. Others spoke of how ‘England had too many priests’ and compared the situation to Peru where one priest covers a territory the size of Scotland and the ‘core communities’ are governed by the people with a ‘catechist’ in charge. They thought this was a wonderful thing and wanted to move their own dioceses to that ‘model of ministry’. Right, ’70s liberation theology, or the Communists loved Protestant congregationalism and anti-sacerdotalism because they could control it (why they always hated Rome); these were the kind of priests who (few) sold out to the Reds in ’20s Russia and ’40s-’50s Eastern Europe and China, this time dressed like hippies and I reckon considered cool because this was thought to be non-white (Latin-American). Why was that? So that by engineering a crisis in vocations they hoped to force Rome to sanction the ordination of married men and women. Same reason they pushed the laity giving Communion at the Novus Ordo (the rules say it’s supposed to be in literally extraordinary circumstances): soft-selling WO to the faithful. ‘Again and again in peace’ the Orthodox ordain the married but 1) of course the old libs don’t want to be like them and 2) the Western Catholic Church can change the rule but it wouldn’t necessarily bring back vocations (the American Orthodox’ born ethnic vocations are hurting). I wish I were exaggerating, but they told me this themselves. What they wanted was a ‘priest’s house’ for six or seven priests to live together and serve a whole deanery and the parishes would be led by ‘lay catechists’ who (of course) would be male or female. The lay catechists would determine the wishes of the people of God democratically and tell the priest what to do. How Protestantism works: everything is up for a vote; a claim of absolute power over reality. In other words, ‘If Rome won’t let us have women priests we’d rather have no priests at all.’ So, old religious orders of women, how’s that working out for you? Any vocations lately?
  • On Protestant rebranding of churches, hiding denominational names. Like how many know the Crystal Cathedral is Dutch Reformed? It happened here. Lansdowne United Methodist turned into the Garden Church.
  • The conservative megachurches (Southern Baptist for example) do it too as do, amazingly, Campus Crusade and Intervarsity by ditching the words Christ and Christian. Matthew 10:33. There’s a place for discretion but... The description of a mission trip to Egypt was, ‘We went there to help the people and talk with them.’ What? When I was growing up as an Evangelical the mission trips were all about ‘going out to the mission field to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who were dying in their trespasses and sins and therefore on their way to eternity in hell’. That sort of language was clear and had some, well... bite. This current wishy-washy stuff from the Evangelicals reminds me of old-fashioned liberalism. Most Evangelical Protestant theology is now post-modern eclectic (which is another term for relativistic cafeterianism).
  • Fr L’s point: Essentially, whatever you see the liberal Protestants like Episcopalians and the United Church of Christ doing, the rest of the Protestants will slowly drift into about 10 or 20 years later. They will do so without the radical edge. It will simply become the default setting without anyone really noticing. So, for example, the Anglicans opened the door to artificial contraception in the 1930s. By the 1960s all Protestants had caved. The mainstream liberal Protestants ‘adjusted their teaching’ about divorce and remarriage and abortion and homosexuality and so forth. The rest of the Protestants are now spongy on remarriage and abortion and like to ‘remain silent’ about same-sex issues (as the mainliners are about to have gay weddings – again I defend their right to as long as they respect our rights). Yes. Fallible churches, by nature without a foundation, domino. The mainliners (and their elderly wannabes nominally in the Catholic Church) are turning into unitarians and the evangelicals are slowing turning into mainliners. (Rick Warren and the Purpose-Driven Life = Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller’s ’50s mainline positive thinking?)

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