Saturday, May 19, 2012

MIXING APPLES AND ORANGES

Which of the "liturgies" below are closest to the full communion of the Roman Catholic Church and her pontiff, the WomynPriest's "mass" or the Episcopalian Liturgy or the SSPX Mass and which group do Catholics in union with Rome have the closest ties when it comes to the actual dogmas, doctrines and morals of the Catholic Church???????????? Just wondering!



MY COMMENTS FIRST: Prostitution makes strange bed fellows. In the longer article, which you can read HERE, Indie Theology, Essays on Religion, Faith and Spirituality by Michele Madigan Somerville, she tries to justify President Obama's foray into destroying the religious liberty of the Roman Catholic Church as an institution, precisely because it is an institutional Church, by saying that because so many Catholics in good conscience dissent from Church doctrine and the Obama Administration has given more money to Catholic institutions that serve the poor than even President Bush, we shouldn't be too hard on him by calling him anti-religious. This is really about selling one's soul to government and specifically to the Democrat Party like the prostitute sells her body (or his) to the John. Is this what it has come to? Progressive Catholics who have a heart for the poor support a president because he gives money to the poor all the while trampling on religious freedom, doing his best to undermine the actual unique truths of the Church regardless of whether these truths are believed by actual Catholics? This longer article is simply a political ploy to further divide and conquer the Catholic Church, which the Obama administration and his Johns are very good at doing and beginning at Notre Dame, infecting not only the clergy but many women's religious orders.

LET ME MAKE THIS CRYSTAL CLEAR, THERE IS NOTHING UNIQUELY CATHOLIC OR CHRISTIAN ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE OR HELPING THE POOR. ACTS OF CHARITY AND CONCERN FOR THE POOR ARE IMPRINTED IN THE SOUL OF EVERYONE MADE IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD, SO MUCH SO THAT AN ATHEIST WOULD FEEL RIGHT AT HOME WORKING FOR CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES OR A CATHOLIC SOUP KITCHEN OR A CATHOLIC HOSPITAL. AND NON CHRISTIANS SOMETIMES HAVE BETTER ORGANIZATIONS TO HELP THE POOR THAN CATHOLICS. BUT WHAT IS UNIQUE TO CATHOLICISM ARE THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH AND THE UNDERPINNINGS OF OUR MORAL TEACHINGS AND OUTREACH WHICH INCLUDES RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE FROM CONCEPTION UNTIL NATURAL DEATH AND RESPECT FOR NATURAL LAW. AND WE ALL KNOW THAT NATURAL LAW (WHICH UNDER GIRDS HUMANAE VITAE) IS ACCESSIBLE TO ALL PEOPLE, NOT JUST CATHOLICS!)

Ms. Sommerville seems to think too, that if a Catholic with a flawed conscience believes immoral behavior to be good based on situational ethics of the '60's, that then it must be good. It's almost like calling God evil and comes terribly close to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit because isn't that like calling Good, the Ultimate Good, evil when we declare our personal conscience which has judged evil to be good trumps objective Good and Truth? But even that will not be the point of my comments below--read on!

But I want to focus on Ms. Somerville's religious nonsense not her political partisanship. Ms. Somerville describes in the quotes I have posted below that there are two "cult-like" extremes in the Church today (I might ask if religious orders in general are cult-like to a certain extent, but I better not go there). For example SSPX is compared to WomynPriests as two polar extremes. But are they really? Shouldn't WomymPriests be compared to the Unitarian Church when it comes to the truths of the Catholic Church and SSPX be compared to the Eastern Orthodox Churches? WomynPriests as all far left organizations that claim some Catholic "roots" has left classical Christianity in all its forms since the Great Schism. Whereas SSPX has simply done what the Eastern Church did, break with Rome and the papacy over jurisdiction and finer points of theology concerning ecclesiology, ecumenism, interfaith relationships and liturgical form, none of which are foundational to Catholicism I might add. The Orthodox are Catholic in almost every way that Catholics are Catholics except they do not accept the Pope has having jurisdiction over them. And unlike the SSPX, the Orthodox accept no ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church that occurred after the Great Schism nor any papal pronouncements after that time. That is not the case with SSPX who simply questions some aspects of Vatican II which the Church herself as described as a "pastoral Council" not a dogmatic Council! While that is serious for the full communion of the Church, it is not as serious as Catholics becoming like radical liberal Protestants or Episcopalians who have moved toward Unitarianism or Catholics who have actually become post-Christian as Unitarians are and would describe themselves as such. THAT IS A HUMONGOUS BIG DIFFERENCE.

Whether or not SSPX is brought back into the full communion of the Church remains to be seen. Opus Dei is in Full Communion as are the Legionaries of Christ with all their problems (and I might add the Jesuits probably have bigger and more serious problems than the Legionaries do, but as progressives the Jesuits get away with it. Isn't there always a double standard when it comes to judging traditionalists and progressives, politically and religiously)?

When it comes to ecumenism, I'd much prefer to have it with the SSPX than I would with the Unitarians and Episcopalians. At least with the SSPX at a joint ecumenical prayer service at any time of the year, permission could easily be had for us to celebrate the Eucharist jointly and receive Holy Communion with each other although I recognize that it would have to be in the context of an EF Mass in their parish, but I suspect if the SSPX reciprocated ecumenically with us, that many of them would come to our churches to a more classically celebrated OF Mass and gladly receive Holy Communion. Can we do that with any Protestant denomination? And technically if the Orthodox would agree to it and they don't now, we could do the same with the Orthodox in terms of the Eucharist. But enough of my rant, read the silly quotations below from Ms. Sommerville:


...In the thirty years that have elapsed, I've observed over and over again how such departures from Roman Catholic doctrine (It is not just nuns either. I more often observe it in priests.) are not unusual. It comes as no surprise to me that our Vice President should be in favor of same-sex marriage, that Georgetown would contract Kathleen Sebelius to address its community, that Andrew Cuomo should sign off on same-sex marriage. So rogue are most Roman Catholics when it comes to papal teaching, that Catholic dissidence often seems the norm. When a discerning Catholic breaks with doctrine, it is generally seeking acting accordance with his or her conscience, which, according to Ratzinger's own words, "has to be obeyed first of all, if need be against the demands of church authority." ( "Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II", ed. Vorgrimler, 1968, on Gaudium et spes, Part 1, Chapter 1.)

...Ultra-traditional Catholicism is flourishing somewhat in the United States. Some of these groups don't even recognize the pontiff and have been choking on what they call the Novus Ordo (new, Vactican II mass) for fifty years. For many of these "orthodox" Catholics, the abortion issue as the single most urgent political aspect of the presidential race. They see themselves as crusaders in a holy war to arrest the genocide of "preborn" children. If any Catholics can be trusted with fighting to bring secular law in line with Roman Catholic doctrine it is Catholics who belong to groups like Opus Dei, Legionaries of Christ, the Traditionalists (Mel Gibson's group!) and SPPX (Society of Pope Pius X).

New Yorkers are often surprised to hear that Opus Dei has a thriving presence on college campuses in New York City, but they shouldn't be. It's how cults operate. I'm old enough to remember the Hare Krishnas in New York City; I knew people who joined the Unification Church (Sun Myung Moon) in the 1970's. What better place to find naïve, open-hearted soul-searchers than on a college campus? Although they like to think of themselves as the true Roman Catholics, Opus Dei, Legionaries of Christ and the Society of Pope Pius X are marginal, not mainstream. Their counterparts, on the opposite end of the Roman Catholic spectrum are groups like (LGBT Dignity) Roman Catholic Womenpriests, and New Ways Ministry (LGBT). They too are marginal.

SPPX was founded by Marcel Lefebvre whom Pope John Paul II excommunicated in 1988. (Joseph Ratzinger ex-excommunicated Lefebvre's followers,"Lefebvrists" in 2009, but ex-excommunicated them in 2009.) SPPX Catholics believe that Roman Catholic Womenpriests are not real Catholics and the feeling is mutual. (Indeed SPPX questions whether any outside of their group are authentic Roman Catholics.) Ironically, SSPX Catholics and New Ways Ministry LGBT Catholics have in common a lack allegiance to the current pope. Sacramentally speaking, all the fringe groups are Catholic because they've all been baptized. They've been excommunicated, too, but excommunication doesn't retain much sting once the excommunicated vastly outnumber the non-excommunicated Catholics.

John Paul II erected a prelature for Opus Dei shortly after becoming pope in 1982. For some of the same reasons, perhaps, Ratzinger welcomed the officially "schismatic," excommunicated Lefebvrists back into the fold in 2009. Joseph Ratzinger knows that the ultra "orthodox" Catholic groups are very useful when it comes to holding liturgical and doctrinal ground. Many Vatican experts believe the recent changes in the mass were a kind of Valentine to these true Catholic believers.

16 comments:

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

OK, hey, hey...know why women don't need watches? Because there is a clock on the stove...

ytc said...

Gene you made me forget my comment.

Anonymous said...

You got my Irish up this morning...I am so sick and tired of "..acting according to one's conscience."!!!!
Most consciences are self-formed, formed by NPR, CNN,television sitcoms, and friends with no conscience.
Quite frankly, acting according to one's conscience creates most messes of the world.
How about ...the Virtue of Obedience????
Thank God He rescued me from all that crapola, thank God for the unyielding Magesterium, thank God for Mary, and oh yeah...this blog. Amen.
Perhaps a bit of rightious anger is what I needed this morning.

Gene, I am not offended by your joke, but I know some wannabe womynpriests that would be..haha
~SqueekerLamb

Anonymous 5 said...

Re Fr. McD's statement: "[T]he Jesuits probably have bigger and more serious problems than the Legionaries do, but as progressives the Jesuits get away with it."

This raises an important and often overlooked point. American historiography (and thus what is taught in American history classes from grade school through college) is dominated by the Whig school. The Whig outlook is that there is an ongoing struggle between progressive and antiprogressive forces, with the progressives typically winning the major struggles over the long run (and guess which side the Whig historians favor?). Thus, the Jeffersonians beat the Federalists, the Jacksonian Democrats beat out the elites, The Abolitionists defeated the slaveholders, the Progressives beat the robber barons, the big government proponents beat out the laissez-faire school, and the civil/gay/womens' rights movements beat the social conservatives. Most thinking people would side with the whigs in at least some of these struggles (e.g. slavery and civil rights), but to side with them every time is uncritical. In short, we as a society have been brainwashed to believe that progress is always good.

Hence the point of this post (and Fr McD's statement): We're socially programmed to accept leftist dissent in the Church but not rightist dissent. This has two results. 1) It allows leftist dissent to spread much more widely and deeply, so that practically no parishes in America, even comparatively orthodox ones, are completely untouched by modernism; and 2) both clergy and laity shrug off this infection because they don't see it as a fundamental evil, and often see it as an actual good. At the same time, everyone dumps on the much smaller and less influential right-wing dissenters as the spawn of Satan.

Take SSPX, for instance, as Fr. McD notes. They have political problems (e.g. Bishop Williamson and Holocaust denial, etc.) but theologically they accept every single point of the Magisterium as developed by popes and Councils, with the exception of four statements in Vatican II documents that they have continually asked Rome to explain/clarify, to no avail. Yet people are more willing to accept Nancy Plosi, Joe Biden, and Kathleen Sebelius as good Catholics than they are SSPX. This is both unjust and factually wrong.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A5, you nailed it and from a historical perspective too!

Anonymous 5 said...

Thanks you, Fr. McD. I've always found the similarities between the Whig school and Marxism to be very interesting. Both of them emerged as theoretical schools at about the same time (late 1800s); both state class struggle to be, in essence, natural law (i.e., dictated by the forces or nature of history); both of them predict in advance of the evidence the victory of the "have-nots" as a matter of historical inevitability; both believe this victory to be a good thing. The only great difference is that Marxists see the mechanism of change not as a democratic/social evolution, the way the whigs do (evolution was all the rage when the whigs first appeared in force), but as a spontaneous, bloody class war.

I'm sure that many other historians must have noted these similarities but I'm not aware of any. It would be bad form, of course, to criticize the whigs openly by calling attention to these similarities. But the similarities do help to explain why Marxist historians have never had any trouble finding jobs in American higher education; the whigs see them as kindred spirits, while they relegate conservative historians to places like Bob Jones University.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Well, if the bloody class war happens now and the military stays out of it, the conservatives win. LOL! Bring it, as they say...

rcg said...

This is because Leftists are not self critical and Conservatives are. For example, the Leftists cannot accurately criticize their own positions on, say Liberation Theology, but rather sweep them under a rug, whereas Conservatives can publicly evaluate praying for the conversion of the Jews. This would strike someone, objectively, as a 'progressive' attitude, yet it is not considered Progressive. This is because we allow the Left to hijack language; to define and own words and terms. So now, for example, we find the term Social Justice to be very highly charged when it is little more than a marketing slogan.

rcg said...

And by the way, that woman on the left of the altar in the top photo, the one dressed like a pirate, is she an EMHC of a caterer?

Magnus said...

Episcopalian most certainly is unlike the teachings of the Catholic faith. What of the Anglican Ordinariate?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Magnus, the Anglican Ordinariate is in full communion with the Catholic Church and more so right now than SSPX and in all their glorious Anglicanism for the most part!

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Squeeker, I know you are not offended because you have a sense of humor. Besides, you probably know some good men jokes. LOL!

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

RE: Anglican Ordinariate being more in Communion with Catholic Church than SSPX. That does not reflect well on the Pope or the Church.
I say again, the Church will pay for this love fest with Anglicanism.

Henry said...

And Gene, I'll say again that the Anglican Ordinate Catholics are farther that what you think of as "Anglicanism" than is (sad to say) Roman Catholicism itself at the present time.

Pater Ignotus said...

Catholic Social Teaching is not only "underpinned" by our Church's moral teaching, it IS part of the Church's moral teaching.

"The teaching and spreading of her social doctrine are part of the Church's evangelizing mission." (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 41) I don't think the atheist at the soup kitchen thinks of our social doctrine this way.

"The Church's social doctrine is an integral part of her evangelizing ministry. Nothing that concerns the community of men and women - situations and problems regarding justice, freedom, development, relations between peoples, peace - is foreign to evangelization, and evangelization would be incomplete if it did not take into account the mutual demands continually made by the Gospel and by the concrete, personal and social life of man." (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 29)

"The Church's social doctrine is therefore of a theological nature, specifically theological-moral, since it is a doctrine aimed at guiding people's behaviour." (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 41)

"Insofar as it is part of the Church's moral teaching, the Church's social doctrine has the same dignity and authority as her moral teaching. It is authentic Magisterium, which obligates the faithful to adhere to it." (cf. Cathechism of the Catholic Church, 2037)

John Nolan said...

The first picture is a sacrilegious parody of the Mass performed by excommunicates. It is no different in kind from the 'black masses' of Satanists, and anyone attending (unless for the laudable motive of disrupting proceedings, most appropriately with a flame-thrower) would be committing a grave sin.

The second celebration is certainly schismatic, and probably invalid, depending on the form used and the status of the celebrant, Apostolicae Curae still being in force. Catholics may attend, though not in lieu of Mass, and may not communicate.

The third picture shows the classic Roman Rite celebrated by a validly ordained priest belonging to a Society which is not, nor has ever been, in schism, although its status has yet to be regularized. Catholics may attend and communicate, provided their reason for attending is not to show disobedience to the Roman Pontiff. Liturgical preference would certainly constitute a valid reason for attendance.