Saturday, January 21, 2017

Fake Catholicisms: Rex Mottram, papolaters, and Ancient Faith Radio

Mark Cameron writes:
I would like to propose a name for this phenomenon of inveterate support for any and all Papal actions, imputing to him wisdom and spiritual insight beyond all the Saints and Popes of past ages: Mottramism.

This takes its name, of course, from Rex Mottram, Julia Flyte’s husband in
Brideshead Revisited. At one point, Rex decides to convert to Catholicism in order to have a proper Church wedding with Julia. But the sincerity of his conversion becomes suspect when he is willing to agree with any absurdity proposed in the name of Catholic authority, and shows no intellectual curiosity into its truth or falsehood. As his Jesuit instructor, Father Mowbray describes his catechetical progress:

“Yesterday I asked him whether Our Lord had more than one nature. He said: ‘Just as many as you say, Father.’ Then again I asked him: ‘Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said ‘It’s going to rain’, would that be bound to happen?’ ‘Oh, yes, Father.’ ‘But supposing it didn’t?’ He thought a moment and said, “I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.’”
An online former acquaintance shown the door after this rant (old man yells at cloud):
You are still a Protestant! Heretics one and all. Too proud and stiff-necked to take lawful orders from any other human being, even the Vicar of Christ! Born traitors. Roma Dixit Causa Finita. A right-wing heretic is just another heretic, and a traitor. Have you been seeing visions in the maple grove like Joseph Smith? You are just arrogant self-righteous egomaniacs. Really who do you think you are, and in what church? I thought we were speaking about The Roman Catholic Church? The Pope is the head of that! Go play as a Protestant. You don't really expect me to discuss de fide doctrine and the pope speaking ex cathedra as a canon lawyer in this forum, on social media? If you can't obey the Pope as the lawful head of the Church you are not a Roman Catholic, why not go elsewhere, heaven knows there are enough other Christian churches to choose from. Papal Infallibility was defined in 1871 (sic), not last week! I like to obey the Pope, even outside areas where that is strictly required, and I don't like traitors who openly show disrespect to the Pope. Orthodox are you, perhaps? I was military: It was not our custom to speak disrespectfully of your commanding officer. So full of their own opinions and so adverse to showing respect to the clergy who devote their whole lives to these matters, let alone to The Holy Father! They probably tell their own mothers how to cook as well. Ha ha.
Friends, that's not Catholicism. It's what too many, even some well-meaning Catholics, think it is. We're not the Pope's personal cult.

"The Pope isn't a Mormon Prophet. If he says 2+2=5, or that the divorced and remarried, and Protestant spouses, can receive Communion for 'pastoral reasons,' it still isn't true. That is just basic theology. We are to obey the Roman Pontiff in matters of faith and morals. We are not to say whatever he says goes. Certainly you are aware of the various times this has happened in the past, no? He's infallible but that doesn't mean he's always right. Gotta love lay Popes — hurling anathemas left and right! Sorry, what you are espousing is not Catholicism but some chauvinist caricature of Catholicism. No point in arguing further; have a good day."

Reminds me of Fulton Sheen, who said most anti-Catholics don't hate the church; they hate what they think the church is.

Read Fr. Hunwicke on how Vatican I actually defines the limit of the Pope's authority. Then again, crazy Catholic reverse snobs will just dismiss him as a "stuffy Englishman" who's still really Anglican; their loss. Like what Newman went through: too conservative and orthodox for the Anglicans; too liberal in his opinions for many Catholics then.

A real Catholic, Melchior Cano, theologian from the Council of Trent:
Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See — they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.
In the news, a bishop bans ad orientem at Mass. He can do that. The Roman Rite has many options, and within those rules, the bishop is the "liturgiarch" of his diocese. But if I lived there, I'd only give my weekly offering to my parish; all other charity would go to traditional Catholic and other causes. The crazy man above is partly right; there are right-wing schismatics and heretics. I'm not one of them. Liking ad orientem is not a reason to leave the church. As long as we have Pope Benedict's English Mass, I'm good. Bad clergy can huff and puff but they can't change our teachings, and I'd only have to put up with them an hour a week and forget them as soon as I'm out the church door. "That, Bishop, is how little you mean to me. You can't threaten my job; I'm not a priest in your diocese and this is America. So go soak your head."

P.S. Dear Ancient Faith Radio: The West already has the true apostolic faith. We're Catholic! We don't need or want a foreign imitation. Maybe that's why Eastern-rite churches fail here in three generations as the people assimilate.

P.P.S. Dear Continuing Anglicans: Much as with traditional Lutherans, I like you. Your liturgical language is one of mine, always. But I doubt that God's plan for the true church was for it to end up a gaggle of squabbling little sects top-heavy with clergy, not even in communion with the Church of England. If the Anglican enterprise were true, wouldn't you all still be Episcopal with the Modernists beyond the pale?


  1. That's the way of it, unsurprisingly. Not every putative conservative Catholic is your friend, and sometimes close competitors are your most bitter enemies. (In the '80s, papolaters like this man hated traditionalists, accusing them of being non-Catholic for not being dragged into the liberals' agenda liturgically and otherwise. Why I have no devotion to John Paul II and don't watch EWTN.) There are Episcopalians, "independent Catholics," and liberal gays in my Facebook friends list. Maybe thanks to that service's algorithm and/or their unfollowing me, we don't see each other much. But they don't pick fights like this guy and another rude conservative Catholic I banned, the one who screamed "Fakedty-fake!" every time I complimented the Anglicans; an overcompensating, insecure creep.

  2. It's interesting to me, a former RC now Orthodox deacon, how the Orthodox Church remains a thorn in your flesh. Some of what you say about it is unfortunately true, but much is not.

    1. Of course it pains me that you left the church. There is no such thing as the Orthodox Church. The thorn in my flesh is there is no good reason for schism; these estranged Catholics are in schism. That and my readers are very interested in the subject.

  3. RE: your very angry canon lawyer----->>ah . . . er . . . ahem! . . . a Catholic becoming non-Catholic? Can't be done. Would have to undo the indefectible mark on his soul from the Sacrament of Baptism. Of course this also means--to the chagrin of many non-Catholics--that all Baptized Christians are basically Catholic even though imperfectly joined to the Church. Yes, this means that V2's Decree on Ecumenism has a very good point, even though it is so loosely written that one could drive a Mack truck through it (proverbially).

    Fr. Benedict (Andersen) recently stated on FB that Rome some years ago under B16 reconciled the "disconntect" between Canon Law and the Church's infallible sacramental theology, viz. one can no longer "officially" manifestly & notoriously leave the Catholic Church due to Baptism.

  4. "No such thing as the Orthodox Church." Well. It's often been said that we Orthodox don't believe in organized religion..... We should work to heal the schism, even if we didn't create it. But, forgive me, there are many days in which I thank God for it.


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