Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Interestingly, the Holy Father is quoted as saying that he wants pastors to become bishops, not those priests in academia. Does the Holy Father know something that only a few others would dare say? That the problem in the Church for the past 50 years has been an academic one where academics and other "professional" Catholics have foisted on the rank and file, bread and butter Catholics of the world a Pelagian mindset about making the Church, her worship and her life, new and improved and doing it by our own actions.

What is considered the recipe to bring back fallen away Catholics, make parishes alive and prospering and keep Catholics in the Church. Let me count the ways:

1. keep on tinkering with and making the Church's worship, Mass and other forms, new and improved looking for that right technique and recipe.

2. Make Church life comfortable and inclusive of every aberration possible and don't call it sin or anyone to repentance and confession, but this might hurt their feelings and they might not come back again.

3. Make sure people are warm and friendly, with a smile on their face and that the clergy in particular model this warmth and hospitality.

4. Don't talk about hell or purgatory and make sure everyone feels good after very funeral by obfuscating grief and the possibility of encountering God's judgement.

5. Give people what they like and tell them the Church is just another Home Depot to help them do it themselves.

Isn't Pelagianism truly about thinking that what we do in the realm of religion is what will save us, gain us more members and make our worship so wonderful that people will like it and not change churches as one changes the channel on their television while surfing for the just right show.

Isn't Pelagianism the temptation to turn pastoral sensibilities and concerns into infallible dogmas? Isn't this more a problem with those who are well immersed into post-Vatican II theologies.

The problem with the Church in the USA and its dramatic decline since Vatican II is thinking we can make or break the Church rather than relying on God to do it. And yes, he can chastise the Church for her members' infidelities and He can turn people away from the Church if he so chooses and He can lead them there. He does it, Blessed be God forever.

Who deconstructed the Church after Vatican II with their "spirit" of Vatican II ideologies that led to Sister Florence Deacon to say recently at a LCWR convention, "Our situation reflects larger questions and concerns such as the ongoing implementation of the Second Vatican Council; the ecclesial role of women religious and the of the laity, especially women; understandings of authority, faithful dissent, and obedience and the need for spaces where honest, probing questions about faith and belief can be raised and discussed."

Faithful dissent! What garbage, what silliness and what an outrage.


Anonymous said...

Dissent is something that was taught to us during my sophomore year theology at a Jesuit college. I remember thinking that it was wrong, but trusted that the academic priest would not teach us something heretical or wrong in any way. :(

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I was taught faithful dissent as well, but my 1970's seminary it was called "loyal opposition" as in political processes. And yes, I thought at the time, the academic theologians teaching us had an inside track and knew something about Vatican II that the pope and bishops at that time (who were trying to reign the silliness in) didn't know. I was a gnostic and thought my gnostic academic professors knew something no one else did but I didn't realize it and that they were/are also Pelagians as was I!

Dore Schary said...

Academia in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. Higher learning is laudable. Some of our greatest saints were great thinkers like Augustine, Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas.

However, as the saying goes, a little learning is a dangerous thing. We have the challenge of living in an age when the leaders of academia (for instance, Ivy League schools) have taken bad-thinking and elevated it to the realm of "intellectual freedom". The most educated among us are often the most badly educated among us. I don't know any simpler way to say it.

We have Catholic colleges that boast of their standing in the Church charging thousands per semester to miseducate our children so that they will come out believing in abortion as a right, homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, euthanasia as liberation and all manner of dissent as "intellectual freedom". The leaders of these institutions and the young people they graduate look upon the rest of us with condescension because we are not as "enlightened" as they are.

Catholic education--make that ALL education--must be reformed and restored to objective universal standards and escape the dictatorship of relativism. That is not going to happen so long as the institutions that should be the most objective, our Catholic institutions, continue to teach falsehood and optional moralities with no consequences from above.

Good Pope John might have meant well when he said that he preferred to use the "medicine of mercy" instead of anathemas, but I fear his merciful tendency opened a box of dissent that can only be shut with the lock of "anathema".

John Nolan said...

I don't think I was ever taken in by it. I remember in the Michaelmas term (1969) of my first year at Durham University the professor of medieval history, Hilary Seton Offler (not a Catholic) relating how Charlemagne sent to Rome for the liturgical books for use in the imperial chapel at Aachen "which is the rite of Mass still used [pause] I nearly said until the present day [pause] until very recently". I felt deeply ashamed.

My entire adult life has been spent trying to avoid the fall-out from Vatican II. Apologies for it are wearing ever thinner. It was a colossal mistake, as John XXIII admitted on his deathbed. That is why I will not condemn the SSPX (I attended a Mass in 1975 celebrated by Marcel Lefebvre in a function room of the Great Western Hotel, Paddington) or pretend that there is some middle ground between orthodoxy and heresy. There isn't.

rcg said...

FrAJm, you keep writing this stuff and you'll need someone else to start your car each day while you are in Rome. You will of course be driving a 1994 Fiat.