Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The libcath mind

The NYT cheers for libcaths. In other news, the sun rises in the east. A glimpse into the libcath mind, the ideology that’s run the American church into the ground since the folly of the council let them hijack it. We went from our peak under Cardinal Spellman to a national joke (thanks to the gay priests’ underage sex scandal); Mexican immigration hides the fact that our numbers have nosedived just like mainline Protestants. ‘How’s that renewal working out for youse?’

Georgetown’s a private institution not really Catholic; it’s old and, according to a Vatican document on the matter, Catholic because it hasn’t said otherwise. It’s prestigious, part of the elite, so no wonder, in order to keep that, it’s sold out, joining the Cathedral, the dominant Christian heresy on steroids today. Homosexualism is presented as charity, a half-truth. (I overheard once that the Ivy League by definition is not Catholic; otherwise Georgetown would be an Ivy.) I remember when secular culture was meaner to homosexuals than were conservative Christians, who taught charity; Dreher gets it: protect them from bullying but don’t play along.

Anyway, far more pervasive than homosexuals (something like 3% of the population; the tail has no right to wag the dog), libcaths:
Mr. Lloyd, the pride group president, says he is often tempted to join the more tolerant Episcopal Church. But for many young Catholics, particularly of Irish or Italian descent, Catholicism is interchangeable with identity. “You stay Catholic because you have a love of the institution and you want to change it,” he said.
That is the cancer in American Catholicism, the now-old priests and (dwindling rapidly) nuns who’ve been trying to wreck the church from within.

Not to be confused with what I call Bad Catholics, who I think are far more numerous: they don’t practice, don’t agree with the church, but don’t leave the church for about the same reason as Lloyd. But, just like us, they know they can’t change the church. Sometimes it’s like the humility of Huw, a Russian Orthodox; old-school St Clement’s, most of which is now in the church, was the same: they’re homosexual, they’re Catholic or Orthodox, but don’t call them gay Catholics or gay Orthodox, an oxymoron.
I’m not a “Gay Christian”. I reject “Gay Christian” because I’m willing to admit I’m wrong. I’m not pitting my 45+ years of experience in my skin against 4000 years of Judeo-Christian moral tradition. I don’t expect my halting theological steps to be yours: but even so, I might be wrong. The Church does not need to change: by God’s grace I’m man enough, adult enough, to be challenged by a preacher, thanks. And I’ve heard it all my life. I’m still here — struggling to work out my salvation.
That and libcaths are low-church, a problem in the American church going back to before the council as the great Thomas Day explains to Anglo-Catholic alumni. (Fr Matthew, my Mass’s usual celebrant, likes to point out that Our Lady of Angels, a now-gone little Italian national parish in West Philly*, was wreckovated in the ’50s.) Episcopalians are often liberal high-church (so are lots of vagantes, come to think of it), not Küng-ian or Spong-ian Modernists anymore, but socially liberal, credally orthodox, and liturgically semi-trad. (Educated, cultured people got sick of Marty Haugen pretty fast. Their own musical tradition is so much better.)

Anyway, liberal religion has no appeal or staying power for the young; the modern West, the Cathedral, has outgrown it. The kids see it doesn’t make sense, and there’s no more social pressure to go to church. So in 50 years the American church will be even smaller but more trad; trads have kids. The Anti-Gnostic has a point that we in the First World might get swamped by Pope Francis-like Third World low church.

From Bill Tighe.

*How to avert a schism: the Italians wanted a neighborhood parish so they built one and asked for the archbishop’s approval. He gave it.

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