Saturday, January 07, 2017

RIP Fr. Michael Scanlan: Charismatics and the American Catholic Church

Franciscan University of Steubenville today mourns the death of President Emeritus Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, 85.
I'm sure he will have many Masses and other prayers said for him; good. This news brings back memories of my sometimes stormy relations with the charismatic movement he was a leading light of. I don't hate them; not in the least. I don't mind much of what they do. The trouble was it got started right after Vatican II and was part of many Catholics' war on us traditional high churchmen. In the '70s and '80s, priests like him told people like me to drop our artsy old-fashioned stuff to "be open to the Spirit"; otherwise we were sick or even bad, disobedient, even no longer in the church! The liberals loooooved this movement: it was a weapon against us, much the way secular liberals try to use the Mohammedans now. (So I said screw this and went back to the Episcopalians, who at least left me in peace for a while.) But... the movement seemed to grow up, losing its anti-high church bias it dragged in from Protestantism as it ... re-Catholicized. It went from giving devotion to Mary and Eucharistic adoration another chance to falling in love with the church's teachings (the magisterium) to giving us a break. And their romance with the liberals predictably fizzled because the charismatics are based on conservative Protestantism, so ultimately no feminism or homosexualism; politically incorrect! There have been Tridentine Masses at Steubenville and Pope Benedict the Great reformed the English Mass. We won; more important, God and the church did, and the charismatics didn't lose either.


  1. Maybe Fr. Scanlon and FU were not exactly pro-Traditionalism, I perceive that he/FU were never lacking in orthodoxy, something that cannot be said of so many modern Churchmen even unto today.

    1. That's what I was trying to say. If we agree on the essentials we can get along. My pastor isn't high-church but our main Mass (which he doesn't celebrate; doesn't know how?) is Tridentine.


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