Thursday, February 24, 2011


Irish Church lost influence by conforming to culture, Archbishop Martin says
February 23, 2011

Catholicism is a “minority culture” in Ireland today, according to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.

In an address at Magdalene College, Cambridge, the Primate of Ireland explained that secularism has taken a heavy toll on the faith in Ireland for years, to the point that most people—even those who identify themselves as Catholic—no longer order their lives according to the principles of the Catholic faith.

Archbishop Martin told his Cambridge audience that several years ago, Pope John Paul II asked how Ireland had suddenly become secularized. The Irish archbishop said that he respectfully disagreed with the Pontiff, telling him that the change had not come suddenly:

Secularisation, whatever that means exactly, had been on the Irish radar screen for many years. It was not all negative but it was not an overnight wonder. It was there, but not recognised. It was there but the answer of the Irish Church was for far too long to keep the same show on the road, not noticing that there were problems with the show and that the road was changing.

Years earlier, Archbishop Martin recalled, a sociology professor had told him that Catholicism was already a minority culture in Ireland. At the time the argument seemed outlandish, he said, but in time he came to understand the professor’s point. Now conceding that Catholicism is a minority culture, the archbishop said: “The challenge is to ensure that it is not an irrelevant minority culture.”

Archbishop Martin said that the Church has failed to capture the attention of young Irish, so that “there is a missing generation—and perhaps more than one.” He said that the Church must undertake greater efforts to reach young people.

On the public scene the influence of the Church has lapsed considerably, the archbishop continued, noting that “in the current political discussion in Ireland is increasingly marginal.” With elections approaching, he noted that none of the country’s political parties had made an effort to gain support from the Church.

Archbishop Martin said that the process of secularization was accelerated by the efforts of Church leaders to conform to the culture. He explained:

The paradoxical thing is that the farther the Church goes in adapting to the culture of the times, the greater is the danger that it will no longer be able to confront the culture of the time. It will only be able to speak the language of the culture of the day and not the radical newness of the message of the Gospel which transcends all cultures. It could become a type of civil religion: politically correct, but without the cutting edge of the Gospel.

My comments:
Some have commented that the schismatic bishop of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay may be right.

But what may the bishop be right in? Certainly he is not right to separate from the See of Peter or set himself and his society as the true Church.

But he may very well be right in saying that the Catholic Church, meaning clergy (bishops too) and laity have lost their Catholic identity. We can say that too about Martin Luther, many of his reforms were to call the Catholic Church of his period back to its true Catholic identity, but obviously he went overboard! Isn't this what Archbishop Martin of Ireland is saying about Irish Catholicism? The Irish and many other Catholics throughout the world were cooked slowly in the crock pot of secularism. They slowly lost their Catholic identity and allowed it to become an addendum to their lives rather than the substance of their lives.

Just look at just a few American Catholic politicians and the Catholics who support them. Have they seriously taken Vatican II's teaching that the laity bring the Catholic faith and their Catholic identity to the secular world to evangelize it as they dialogue with secularism? What has happened these past 50 years is Catholics being cooked and evangelized in the toxic stew of secularism and then trying to bring secular evangelism to their Church.

Let's name just a few of these politicians. Should we first start with John F. Kennedy. Then let's jump to Nancy Pelosi, Mario Cuomo, Vice President Biden. The list goes on and on.

Let's look at the clergy too while we are at it. How have we secularized and Polyannaized the liturgy where the prophetic message of the Gospel is watered down and the prophets look like clowns?


Templar said...

Both the Pontiff and Cardinal de Hoyos have denied that Bishop Fellay or the SSPX are in schism. They have been defined as not being in full Communion but that is not Schism. Men of good will can disagree on things which are not Dogmatic. What Dogma does Bishop Fellay or the SSPX deny?

Henry said...

I do not and never have carried any water for the SSPX. And I’m pretty sure they would not want me to, since I attend Novus Ordo Mass several days a week, say the Novus Ordo version of the divine office (and am a morning prayer group leader in my parish), have been a contributing and participating member of Novus Ordo parishes for the past forty years, and fully accept Vatican II (whatever the word “accept” may mean in this context; I’ve never been quite sure).

I’m unsure how the following questions add up, but would be glad to hear what you think.

(1) Have not prelates of higher rank than you or me have stated in plain terms that the SSPX is not in schism?
(2) Was Ab. Lefebvre was the slender thread by which God chose for the TLM to be preserved, so that it can now serve as a guidepost for the reform of the post-Vatican II liturgy? (Who can understand His mysterious ways?)
(3) Except for his actions (schismatic or not), is it likely that you could now celebrate or I could attend the TLM on occasion?
(4) Is there a clear cut Catholic dogma that Bishop Fellay rejects? What about the majority of Catholic bishops whose status is regular?
(5) How many bishops believe fully in Vatican II interpreted in continuity with tradition, as both Pope Benedict and Bishop Fellay say they do?
(6) Is it possible that Bishop Fellay is one of Pope Benedict’s more effective allies in reconnecting the Church with tradition? So it possible that the SSPX is a “lever” that Pope Benedict is grateful to have available?
(7) Where else than the SSPX might find 500 closely associated priests who are rock solid in their adherence to traditional Catholic dogma and morality?

I do not know the answers to all these questions. And I would be suspicious of any claim they are easy and obvious.

Frajm said...

Henry, the question of schism is a good one. The archbishop was excommunicated because he ordained bishops without papal approval, not because they rejected Vatican II. But in a sense, wasn't Lebebrve and now the bishops they have setting themselves as a schismatic group, if not formally in schism. Wouldn't the case of the "Old Catholics" that refused to accept Vatican I in the 1800's be a similar example?

Templar said...

Like Henry I am in no way affiliated with the SSPX and as Fr. can attest I am a regular attendee of his NO masses. However with the lifting of the Excommunications of the SSPX Bishops I feel compelled to resist all attempts to define them as in Schism. The Old Catholics are in Schism as they reject the Primacy of Rome and are Sedevacantists. I can not point to a single rejection of Dogna by the SSPX that would make them Schismatic. Men of good will can disagree on anything which does not defy Revealed Truth. The right position is not automatically the majority position (Arian Heresey for example)

R. E. Ality said...

In another discussion I wrote:
When is a schism not a schism? The short definition os schism in the CCC is: "Refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff, or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him (2089).

We have many examples of that in the Church, particularly here in America. So, why have some schismatics been excommunicated and not others?

Henry said...

”The Old Catholics are in Schism as they reject the Primacy of Rome and are Sedevacantists.”

This is the difference between them and the SSPX that makes all the difference. The SSPX does not reject the primacy of Rome and the Pope. Though certainly they are leery of any regularization of status that would subject them to a Church apparatus that, on a practical day to day basis, does not share their own devotion to both Rome and Tradition. But I wonder whether one can read the recently discussed Bp. Fellay interview without concluding that he’s more devoted to the primacy of Rome than many bishops who unfortunately come to mind. (Without straying too far, I can’t help recalling a pastor not that far from Fr. McDonald’s parish saying emphatically some years ago that “We don’t hold with the primacy of Rome in this parish.”)

Templar said...

Tying this back into the original subject of the post, Bishop Fellay "is right" in that the Church has been damaged by it's embrace of Secularism and Modernity that came about during the time of V2 and is embodied in the Spirit of V2. The very subject of this post is itself the argument of Bishop Fellay for what is wrong with Rome.

And I, for one, have to agree with him. The Catholic faith will return to the catacombs if it does not rediscover it's Tradition, and be in this world, but not of this world.

Anonymous said...

Both Cardinal Hoyos and the Holy Fahter have stated that the SSPX are not in Schism. I guess there is more to the definition than just committing a schismatic act, because half of our Bishops are probably guily of this in some form. It must be declared by Rome to be in Schism. And they have said the contrary. So why do people persist to go against this? It has also been stated that the Faithful can attend Society Masses as long as it is not in defiance to the Holy Father or Rome. If in Schism, I doubt the Holy See would allow this. Case closed on Schism.

Frajm said...

I think you are right about being in an "official schism" which they are not yet. But certainly we can say they are acting in a "schismatic way."
Although not in a schism and their members are not excommunicated nor now their bishops, they are still "suspended" (the priests are) meaning that Catholics attending their Mass are attending valid but illicit Masses. But Catholics do that all the time when progressive priests take liberty with the Mass but are not unfortunate enough be have been suspended which they should be depending on the gravity of the liberties taken.