Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Catholicism and Orthodoxy again

The Anti-Gnostic wrote under one of yesterday’s posts:
Thus the wisdom of every nation gets its own Church instead of constantly stitching more panels on the tent. Rome was given the West; she wanted the world. The West departed, and Rome is left with Central and South America. They like their folk liturgies and social justice so that’s what you’re going to get. The Orthodox committed error from the other end, spending the last two centuries wallowing in diaspora instead of engaging in mission. Blame can be equally assigned to the superficial Masonic culture they found when they got here. Thin soil for the Seed. I am not optimistic.
Thanks. Good points. But historically the Catholic Church naturally was decentralized with different European ethnic groups doing their own things. (Not just the Irish, the Germans and the Italians, for example; different regions in what are now Germany and Italy, which were really lots of little countries.) It’s sometimes hard to believe given the secularists’ and Modernists’ hostility to the Pope for being Catholic, but unlike many Novus Ordo conservatives, many of us trads are big believers in a largely hands-off papacy in which the Catholic religion all but runs itself. How the church operated before modern travel and modern communication. Not much different from the grassroots in Orthodoxy, ¿no? The Pope isn’t like Dr Evil bent on world domination. He’s tradition’s servant, like an Orthodox bishop.

(But the Internet spread Pope Benedict’s reforms faster and farther than they otherwise would have gone.)

Good observation about the Orthodox in America. Grassroots folk religion’s great (Orthodoxy is a kind of folk Catholicism), but when you have persecuted (by the Turks) Greeks, not really catechized because of the persecution, and put them in a Protestant Masonic country, you don’t get a dynamo of apostolic church life. (Most American Orthodox are Greek-Americans.) Take the magisterium away from some Ruthenians (Toth and Chornock being pushed out of the church for no good reason and their subsequently going Orthodox) in the same America and you get the same thing. A small minority with a nice church life but no influence on the larger culture (which patronizes them as exotic), unlike the Irish- and Italian-Americans and Cardinal Spellman’s Powerhouse. (Pop stars ripping the Pope’s picture on TV: when you’re on target, you draw flak.) The convert boomlet from evangelicalism was a flash in the pan and sort of cultlike (adopted Old Country anti-Westernism + evangelical anti-popery = toxic), like the worst among trads and not like the real pre-conciliar big-family, big-tent church.

Central and South America: a deeply rooted social and political conservatism and Catholicism but again, especially after the council, not necessarily well catechized so you got ’70s Marxists and pseudo-folk Masses, not to be confused with real folk devotions to saints and miracles.

I’m pessimistic too.


  1. Thanks for the shout. Belated Easter greetings and a blessed and happy Bright Week to you and yours. Christ is in our midst, even in the Protestant-Masonic States of America.

  2. "Pop stars ripping the Pope’s picture on TV: when you’re on target, you draw flak."

    I remember 30 Rock doing a joke once that put the rage of vapid pop stars in its proper perspective:

    "No, no, no- that's the episode where Tracy tore up a picture of the Pope".
    "In his defense, it was Pope Innocent IV, because he increased taxation in the Papal States."

    I like the joke because it is a funny reminder that the Papacy has been around a lot longer than whatever progressive whiners are complaining this week, and it will be around long after they are all gone, when Popes will have to contend with some completely different type of whiner. When was the last time you ran into an Arian or a Donatist?

  3. ". . . but unlike many Novus Ordo conservatives, many of us trads are big believers in a largely hands-off papacy in which the Catholic religion all but runs itself."

    This was my experience growing up in the pre-Conciliar Catholic Church. The Pope and my Archbishop (Cardinal Spellman) and his auxiliary bishops were remote figures. For example, my only interaction with a bishop was to get slapped by one of Card. Spellman's auxiliaries at my Confirmation. Since then, the Popes and my Ordinaries seem relatively less remote. I have even talked with my current Ordinary--very briefly--and have been blessed by him (my family too). And our current Pope Francis reduces the distance even more significantly by pulling off what I suspect may be public relations stunts such as schlepping his own luggage, canceling his Argentine newspaper subscription, and sleeping in a dorm (or whatever you call it). I can't wait for the Papal honeymoon & love fest to be over, so the REAL marriage can begin!

    I think I like the remote model better than the current one. At least I had the TLM as the missa normativa back then. Things were stable, predictable, and devotional way back then. :-)

  4. My Papa is evil and wants to take over the world!


Leave comment