Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Is real Catholic integralism even possible? And more

  • Catholic integralism today. The church's future (my view) or impossible because the bishops don't back it anymore because of Vatican II (which isn't doctrine)? Is it just a lifestyle choice (how we amuse ourselves on Sundays, a private matter; Rod Dreher's "let's play high church and eat kale" while handing over the world to the secularists) thus not really integralism? Are we just pious LARPers? Gabriel Sanchez repeats a point I've made, that space-age optimism (faith in "Progress!" that characterized the '50s) caused the council, which more and more people (importantly, more and more of the Catholics left in the pews) see as naïve and dated. Humanly speaking, that's why we, the church, have a future. I'll level with you: not that many people go to my Sunday Sung Mass, only filling about half our city Victorian exposition chapel. But look who's there: it's a magnet for young families, not the old people the mainstream assumed 20-30 years ago. (We do have people I call living links, who were adults before the council, helping us keep it real. We are a living tradition, not a re-enactment: "the Mass that would not die.") Then, charismatics were the "happening" orthodox Catholics the Pope and bishops favored; ecumenical, spirit of V2, and all that: "Streamline the church and the Protestants will come in and society will be renewed by the Holy Spirit!" The clergy, to us: "Give up all that artsy, elitist old-fashioned stuff, and all that steerage Catholicism, and be open to the Spirit! The church is vibrant now, the ministry-filled People of God!" (Some of that is things priests actually said to me.) Guh-roovy, bishops. All those closed parishes and schools (in my formerly important big-city archdiocese in part of what used to be American Catholicism's white ethnic base in the Northeast) tell the truth about all that. And Medjugorje's bogus and a cult. But in the last years of John Paul II's reign, the bromance between the old protestantizing Catholic liberals and the charismatics (they both loved guitar Masses) broke up as the latter recatholicized (granted, Mud Gorge, ostensibly about Mary, was mixed up in that); there's even a Tridentine Mass at Steubenville U. now. But as far as I know, the charismatics are on the wane.
  • The Rad Trad on wishing people to hell vs. what the faith really teaches. "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins..." God is infinitely just but infinitely merciful. There may be no people in hell but Jesus makes it clear we can't presume that. Universalism would take away free will. From the Christian East, St. Isaac the Syrian has the beautiful thought that the afterlife is God's all-consuming love experienced as heaven by the just and hell by the wicked (and purifying for those in the intermediate state, for whom prayer for the dead makes sense; commonly called purgatory?).
  • The tao of MGTOW. Like the manosphere generally, valid insights (facts about fallen feminine nature worsened by feminism) but the same selfishness, cruelty (f*ck and chuck), and refusal to grow up (gay Peter Pan syndrome as Face to Face would describe it, a subculture famously narcissistic)? "Herbivore men" and those kid recluses in Japan: part of it's their shame culture (bad grades, family dishonored, don't show face in public again) but something's very wrong with Japan. I understand their economy's been dead a few decades (remember, before Nixon gave in to Red China, after the war when half of everything was from Japan or Taiwan?) and as Mark Bonocore told me, losing World War II dragged their medieval society into modernity (before the war: modern technology, medieval society), good and very bad, and the Japanese understandably can't handle it.
  • Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams are plagiarists. Obviously. Good for Marvin Gaye's family.


  1. Was St. Isaac the Syrian in communion with Rome? Is his wonderful insight acceptable in terms of Catholic dogma?

    1. No and he wasn't Orthodox either; he was a Nestorian. My guess is yes; otherwise I wouldn't have repeated it.

    2. I liked what you said about "living links" and keeping traditional Catholicism real and not re-enacted. I once heard a traditional Roman Catholic say that Novus Ordo parishes have pre-Vatican II normalcy, while traditional Mass centers have the fullness of Catholicism. I think this is very true. It is good that your parish is trying to bridge that gap.


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