Friday, December 09, 2022

We are living through a schism

We are living through a schism. Two schisms, as both the Catholic and the Orthodox communions are breaking up as I type. I live in one communion but on the frontier with the other.

In Orthodoxy it's rival patriarchs, Constantinople vs. Moscow, over the Ukraine, long Russian ecclesiastical turf, thus the region's lawful bishops are Moscow's. Constantinople has set up a rival church there and hitched its wagon to the liberal global American empire vs. the Russians, from the 2014 U.S.-created coup in the Ukraine to the present war there, Russia defending itself from the first armed crusade for the woke faith. Constantinople and Moscow are officially not in communion, so there are two THE Orthodox Churches, not just one. Two things to note: the church split doesn't involve the laity, only the clergy not serving together, and the other national/autocephalous churches are handling this in a very Orthodox way of trying to remain in communion with both churches. Other than, by association, American liberalism, this doesn't involve heresy nor, for now, liturgical revision. By the way, most Orthodox in America - altogether nearly microscopic - are Greeks under Constantinople.

In the Roman Church it's not the schism that conservative Catholics were prepared for. For decades since that church community burned itself down in the 1960s, conservatives, the good long-suffering folk who read The Wanderer, were expecting the schism to be between the "Roman Catholics," the Pope such as John Paul II and them on one side, the magisterium, vs. the heretical "American Catholics," "AmChurch," now-old folks such as the publishers and readers of the National Catholic Reporter.

Percolating under JP2, the few remaining younger Catholics were becoming interested in sound doctrine again and even, tentatively, old-fashioned liturgics, both high-churching the Novus Ordo, the main Roman Mass since 1970, and even learning how to use the still-restricted older Mass, the traditional Latin Mass (TLM). You saw homegrown back-to-basics orders of nuns start to fill the void left when the big orders from before Vatican II blew themselves up. Conservative young priests. And the young marrieds had lots of kids.

This came to fruition under Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, from 2005 until his resignation in 2013, who's not even that conservative. He didn't have to be. Anyway, foremost, he gave high-church Novus Ordo a huge boost by, in 2011, issuing a much-improved English missal to keep most of the Latin Church, outside the TLM, in line: close to the Latin (pro multis, "for many," for example, returning to the plain words of scripture) and thus having the same cadence as the Christian tradition of the English language, the Anglican tradition. And... with the document Summorum Pontificum in 2007, he lifted all restrictions on the TLM. Sure, there was church-politicky, face-saving rhetoric dubbing the TLM an "extraordinary form" but the bans were gone. The TLM became a magnet for a young, robust minority of Catholics, still a living tradition being passed on from those who were adults before Vatican II, to families with, again, lots of kids being raised in this religion.

Which since the late 1960s is exactly what the ranking Roman clergy including Popes didn't want.

Ratzinger mysteriously resigned from the papacy and a then-unknown Argentine cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuit, was elected his successor, taking the name Francis. Jesuits have a long reputation as intellectually prideful, using sophistry to make excuses for sins, the word "jesuitical." They were among the first Modernists, and the most successful at Vatican II: Karl Rahner, the man who turned Christianity inside out (more). And "let's build a whole new Catholic Church for a new era, no more cloister or office together and the altar close to the people" didn't start at Vatican II but with them at their founding in the 1500s.

By the way, in Modernism, which Bergoglio is trying to change Catholicism into, either there's no truth or the truth is unknowable so doctrine is up for grabs.

Bergoglio has:
  • Betrayed Chinese Catholics to the government-run puppet church.
  • Tried to set aside church teaching on giving Communion to those remarried, outside the church, after divorce.
  • Tried to set aside church teaching on the death penalty.
  • Ridiculed high-church Novus Ordo: priests "wearing your grandmother's lace" and "backwardism."
  • Gutted pontifical pro-life and anti-contraception institutions, "marriage and the family" hitherto being Catholicism's only remaining "brand" since Vatican II — the other stuff is insider that nobody else cares about.
  • Harassed conservative priests and nuns while encouraging dissenters such as fellow Jesuit Fr. James Martin and even pro-abortion folk.
  • Lashed out at the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), saying: “They are the work of the devil.” See, he even hates normie conservative Novus Ordo Catholics. I watch/listen to the network, thankful for the moral support and I learn a thing or two.
  • Hosted non-Christian worship, of the goddess Pachamama, on Vatican grounds and even in St. Peter's Basilica.
  • Rescinded Summorum Pontificum, largely re-banning the TLM, with the goal of moving the entire Latin Church into the Novus Ordo.


So the Catholic schism we have is what we were taught was unthinkable: the heretics have hijacked the Vatican.

Now there's the silly-named "Synod on Synodality," some of whose Vatican-approved online art is below, a dig at church teachings.

What's all this then?

Bergoglio and his bishops know they can't change the teachings of the Catholic Church - right; not even the Pope can - so they're working on no longer enforcing them, ignoring them. They want to change Catholicism's brand. I used to be a marketing copywriter, so I know how that goes. Your brand is how the public remembers you. Here's how rebranding works. An example from the TV show "Mad Men": Menken's department store was a dumpy third-rate one popular with bargain hunters. The owner didn't want that. She wanted to be Lord & Taylor. So: rebrand. Kick out the low-income customers you don't want and attract the people with disposable income whom you DO want. Like how "quality television," really snob TV, doesn't go for brute or mass ratings but rather the rich and hip, "influencers" in the culture who buy lots of stuff from the show's sponsors.

So here's Bergoglio's plan: either make those throwback Catholic kids conform or throw them the hell out. "Do it or you're not Catholic anymore!" Implied: "The Holy Father says you're going to HELL!" (The beatings will continue until morale improves.) Nice liberal ministers don't talk like that so it's all icky and passive-aggressive instead, though Bergoglio himself can be pretty rude. Anyway, once that's done, they think, Catholicism will be the chaplain to the New World Order, the global American empire, Clown World, or whatever else you want to call it. The church would become a global NGO as many are saying. The world now calls the shots. Exactly what the mainline Protestants tried to do and look where they ended up, cratering just like Catholicism after it burned itself down at Vatican II. All this liberalization does is drive away believers/members/customers. Unbelievers simply don't care what churches do anymore. (I know. I've dated a Bryn Mawr grad.) Among the Western elite, the woke religion, which uses Christian ethics, has completely replaced the churches. It is Christianity's daughter, would not have been possible without Christianity (parasitic), and, its believers hold, is Christianity's fulfillment as the Christian new covenant fulfilled and replaced the old. "What about church growth in Africa, you racist?" say the white liberals. Roman and Anglican church growth there is simply due to population growth, high birth rates. Nice try. Bergoglio and his bishops will end up with nothing. Empty churches in Europe (already happening) and the U.S. (same but a little slower).

It's become so chaotic with Bergoglio that there are conservative Catholics I can't talk to.

Bergoglio may well not be Pope but I don't have proof. My predictions are the next Pope will be as bad as he. We may see a formal split, with two rival Popes. Then the Silent (Bergoglio's, 1930s) and Boomer generations will die, and the young Catholic remnant, staying in touch with each other and teaching each other online, will be what's left of the Catholic Church. The TLM won't die. I certainly won't try to kill it.

Although there are believers working with and for Bergoglio right now, such as Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy (Dr. W actually speaks my lingo theologically), ultimately this split is between those who still believe the creed and those who don't anymore. Do read the summary of faith Dr. Kwasniewski gives in the first article on Rahner linked above; contrast that with Rahner's "transcendental openness."

When the Pope is trying to join the enemy, how is integralism supposed to work?

This clip from The Caine Mutiny is where we are. Except the captain is actually sabotaging the ship.

Picture: Online art with a literal Vatican stamp of approval, the watermark at top left. Somebody's idea of hip, happening young people, stoked about ... being on the church council?! "How do you do, fellow kids?"

1 comment:

  1. Pretty sad state of the churches. We have done it to ourselves either through agreement or cowardly silence and apathy.


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