Monday, October 13, 2014

Family Synod Midterm Report: Vatican II, Part II?

Only a draft; doesn't mean anything, but the media are pushing it like Vatican II, Part II: functionally turning the church into a mainline Protestant denomination. Er, bishops, have you SEEN the stats of the mainline denominations? Do you really think that's a good business model?

Of course I still believe the church is infallible and indefectible; her doctrines irreformable. The conservative turnaround slowly under way since the end of the '80s (20-year-olds seeking out conservative Catholicism: I saw a sound 80-year-old Augustinian priest teach a small group of students) is inevitable; the Holy Spirit at work. But if the council has taught us anything, it's that churchmen individually don't have that charism (except the Pope ex cathedra, and that's his office, not him). The Anti-Gnostic's right: men like Cardinal Dolan and the new liberal guy in Chicago will keep chasing power in the form of mainstream acceptance, trying to keep government funding, by chasing social democracy even as it runs out of gas. The church 50 years from now will be sound. But smaller.


  1. Most of the bishops want to create a environment like they have in Italy. The government is secular and pursues anti-Christian social policies. None of the men go to church, except for the manly social get-togethers around processions and festivals and such. Women go to church but don't pay any attention to the Church's teachings -- except for the mildly voodoo-type aspects of Catholicism. But the clergy and vowed religious get TONS of respect, the bishops have purple shoes and there is a kind of cultural cachet to Catholicism that makes it part of the establishment even when nobody believes in it anymore. And that is what the bishops, the vast majority of them anyway, crave. They really couldn't care less about souls, about people living the Gospel, or living in a society that actually reflects the principles of the Gospel. But give them a full belly, purple shoes and lots of bowing and scraping towards them, and by heaven we have arrived in the Promised Land!

    1. The church is a big tent of sinners, not a perfectionistic cult; Italians, Catholic since the caesars, know that well. There are many levels of participation, from the casual on up; some customs fall far short of the church's minimum (such as men not really being expected to go to church in Latin countries). That said, this is what the sincere first Protestants such as our Lutheran cousins were reacting against. Clericalism, the parody of what we really believe, (as Fr. Rutler calls it) sacerdotalism.

    2. That is precisely what the Lutheran reformers were acting against, which is why I have tremendous respect for the confessional Lutheran tradition. The Anglicans tho wanted more of that kind of abuse, and they created a fakedety-fake "church" in order to destroy the Christian witness of the people and replace it with worship of the true God of the Anglican movement: the State.

    3. Right! The Anglicans threw out the Mass but kept the old system of a rector getting salaries from several benefices (parishes) but not doing any clergy work, farming it out to curates barely making a living.

    4. Plus they replaced the Cross with the royal coat of arms, letting you know exactly who you were worshipping as the curate read out the Calvinized texts of the liturgy the Anglicans perverted after the split from the Church.

    5. True; I noticed something like that when I saw pictures of the frontispieces of the first Book of Common Prayer and first Anglican Bible in English: nothing religious; just the royal arms.

      Anyway, this post wasn't about the Anglicans (they're a lost cause) but the bishops' cowardice and buyability parallel the bishops in King Henry's realm (except St. John Fisher).


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