Tuesday, July 09, 2013

American Catholics: ‘survey says’

  • From Rod Dreher:
    • Catholics embrace gay rights. Mainstream society/the Cathedral tries to force the church to play in their frame, assuming a denomination that changes doctrine by vote is normal. Thus ‘survey says’. They’re infallible of course: ‘we hold these truths about equality to be self-evident’. (It’s a Christian heresy trying to stand up for the oppressed.) Even before they were politically correct, they’ve long wanted to separate American Catholics from Rome and assimilate them (why mainliners do Hispanic outreach). Not affecting the church in itself, sadly that’s largely happened. Vatican II and the rest of the Sixties did it. Most American Catholics are now with the program. American Catholic culture (as opposed to American culture) and the rest of Nixon’s/Pat Buchanan’s old New Majority no longer exists or at least is no longer (part of) a majority. In 1973 the council hadn’t deeply impacted most American Catholics yet and the mainline was still relatively conservative. The Archie Bunkers and the evangelicals had a shot at undoing the Sixties, and Nixon’s handlers presented him as the answer. Today, evangelicals and real Catholics are a hunted minority and have their own problems (being default mainstream Republicans, pro-war and not really conservative: it’s really the Rockefeller Republicans). I like to say that in 50 years the church will be much smaller and much more conservative, at least quasi-trad. The liberal denominations and liberal Catholics will die out, replaced by the out-and-out secular.
    • Fr Neuhaus’ near-death experience: meeting angels.
  • From Sunshine Mary: the year’s highlights. Her intended audience are well-meaning Christian white-knight men putting all-too-human girls on a pedestal, and sister conservative Protestants likewise taken in by feminism. This comment’s good: The current churchian society is really nice if you are a girl and like emoting. It is sheer hell for men, unless they are highly verbal. And most of the apostles were not highly verbal geeks (Paul is the exception, and he was a hard, right on fanatic before conversion). And he’s talking about American evangelicalism, not the mainline. Hyperdox Hermans tend to be wordy and high-strung too. They fished for a living. Jesus was a carpenter. Not an effete gay friend among them.
  • From Takimag: spaying the Queen’s English.
  • From the redesigned LRC: caveat emptor: doctors.


  1. There is another outcome, and that is one where the ornate vestments and elaborate, Latin liturgies are denounced as badges of elite intellectualism and economic oppression. The Catholic Church has made its peace with social democracy--indeed, she will become its champion--and the center of gravity will shift from the Celtic and European peoples to those of the dysfunctional, perennially impoverished Global South.

    Judging by first things, the priority of +Francis's papacy seems to be making sure Muslim immigrants are comfortable in Europe.

    1. If true, then it sounds like making "them" comfortable makes Papa Francesco an agent of Islam! He should be trying to convert them given European societies are not (yet) open to allowing Muslim authorities to kill those trying to steal their own people.

    2. This is an under-remarked point. A Catholic or Orthodox society is right and duty-bound to insist that newcomers availing themselves of the society's resources convert to the true Faith. Catholic and Orthodox hierarchs acquiescing in the construction of mosques on their own nations' soil are wielding 'tolerance' as a sword against their own flock, and enabling the infidel's continued sin.

    3. Your first comment's scarily possible, Anti-Gnostic. Without falling into formal heresy, most of the Catholic Church could go south (literally and metaphorically) like in the '60s and '70s. A lot like what I've been saying about Anglicanism: the white liberal high churchmen are dying (liberal high church is nearly unknown to Catholics) and the denomination will become Third World black conservative Protestant with a few British and American members, no longer a British or American denomination. So, a Catholic Church that's a white high-church/trad American and European rump in a low-church social-democrat Global South church? Maybe.

    4. "A Catholic or Orthodox society is right and duty-bound to insist that newcomers availing themselves of the society's resources convert to the true Faith."

      Since I have been re-reading St. Augustine lately, I can't help but think that a statement like that suggests a serious confusion of the Two Cities.

      What do you mean by "a Catholic society"? One where everyone is a Catholic? It doesn't exist, and probably can't exist, not even in theory. The peace of the city of God is different from the peace of the city of man. The former will triumph over the latter, but, at the present time, in a fallen world, the latter cannot be done without.

      If I may express a more personal opinion, the attempts, in Christian history, to combine the two, have been most productive of the scandals that the non-Christian world loves to characterize as the essense of Christianity--inquisitions, state persecution of heretics, and pogroms. And the lack of such a conceptual separation in Islam (so far as I know) is, to me, its greatest weakness, however much it may appear in the short run to gain strength with the sword.

      If you defy Vatican II and don't care for St. Augustine, I would hark back to Our Lord: "My kingdom is not of this world." I don't see how the calling to make disciples entails discipleship as a condition of citizenship, in whatever worldly commonwealth we are considering. We should certainly strive to order the city of man so that the ends of the City of God are not thwarted. But I think we thwart them ourselves when we believe that we can ourselves institute a "Catholic society," in the sense of a society that somehow, now, can distinguish wheat and tares, and makes an effort to exclude the tares.

  2. According to the Monomachos blog, a lot of Orthodox embrace gay rights, too. Things are tough all over. But you won't hear that from Rod, Mr. Passive-Aggressive Anti-Catholic. ;)

    1. Sure, like there are lots of Bad Catholics who go along with secular society, often because they don't know better, there are lots of Bad Orthodox. Secular society doesn't notice because unlike Catholicism, Orthodoxy's not a threat to it in the West; it's a tiny minority. But just like Catholicism, nobody acquainted with Orthodoxy thinks it'll become homosexualist by vote, the way the passé mainline has. (Conservative ethnic Eastern Europeans? Nah.) Of course I understand being mad at Dreher for leaving the church but I don't hate him.

    2. John, you are being kind when you call them "bad" Catholics; technically they are non-Catholics if they do not embrace the Magisterium's teachings in faith and morals. After all, these are not canonical issues but the theology of the Church. I would go so far as to say the same thing about "bad" Orthodox, but I don't know if my juridical POV would hold much traction with them.

      Nonetheless, what makes the CC Catholic is not its people as in the "great unwashed," but the successors to the apostles. The old phrase that is not used today (since V-II in my perception) is that the Catholic Church is the Church of the Apostles. Voting doesn't count in this type of Church. Of course Orthodoxy might not agree with this, they being the Church of the Apostles in their teaching. Either way--Orthodox or Catholic Church--I hope you (non-exclusive you) get my point! *smile*

    3. "Nonetheless, what makes the CC Catholic is not its people as in the "great unwashed," but the successors to the apostles. The old phrase that is not used today (since V-II in my perception) is that the Catholic Church is the Church of the Apostles."

      Whether the phrase is used or not (I've hardly noted its disappearance), Vatican II's Christus Dominus doesn't leave much doubt about it:

      "In this Church of Christ the Roman pontiff, as the successor of Peter, to whom Christ entrusted the feeding of His sheep and lambs, enjoys supreme, full, immediate, and universal authority over the care of souls by divine institution. Therefore, as pastor of all the faithful, he is sent to provide for the common good of the universal Church and for the good of the individual churches. Hence, he holds a primacy of ordinary power over all the churches.

      "The bishops themselves, however, having been appointed by the Holy Spirit, are successors of the Apostles as pastors of souls.(3) Together with the supreme pontiff and under his authority they are sent to continue throughout the ages the work of Christ, the eternal pastor.(4) Christ gave the Apostles and their successors the command and the power to teach all nations, to hallow men in the truth, and to feed them. Bishops, therefore, have been made true and authentic teachers of the faith, pontiffs, and pastors through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to them."

      As it happens, we also affirm, every week "one holy, catholic and apostolic Church." How can our identity as members of the Church of the Apostles be more prominent? If the sense of that has diminished, I hardly see how you can blame Vatican II.

  3. Modern Westerners like to flatter themselves that they live in a sexually "sophisticated" civilization, but we more closely resemble some impossibly primitive and ignorant stone-age tribe who only dimly comprehend the connection between coitus and reproduction. Most seem to dimly grasp that the genitals are somehow involved in baby-making, but nobody seems to comprehend how this could have any larger implications. That's the inevitable result of normalizing contraception, though- cut the cord with biological reality, and it's only a couple generations before insane fantasy takes over completely.


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