Saturday, March 5, 2016
THE CYCLICAL NATURE OF THE CHURCH AND WORLD TODAY: WHERE'S IT ALL LEADING?
In the 60's and 70's progressiveness under the guise of young radicals or revolutionaries began a counter-cultural, drug induced, drop in and drop out, anti-authority campaign in politics. The Vietnam War, a most unpopular one, the corruption in politics leading to the resignation of Spiro Agnew, President Nixon's Vice President and then ultimately to President Nixon's resignation with the potential of him being charged with crimes and sent to prison if not for his new Vice President, Gerald Ford, who then became president giving him a blanket pardon.
As desegregation ramped up, racial tensions exploded. Along with anti-Vietnam protests, racial equality ignited passions on both sides. Police were called pigs and there were major riots throughout the USA causing death and destruction in our cities. The term "long hot summer" referred to these rampages and revolutions.
Today, we've seen similar racial tensions in our cities with riots. We see where law enforcement is demonized. We are seeing the melt down of our political process being turned into a carnival of crass entertainment with candidates acting as though they are school yard children hurling taunts, insults and bullying at each other, all for America to watch, sneer, laugh, enjoy, mock and lament. No one seems to call it what it is, a disgrace.
And as all this happens in culture, the Catholic Church is being pulled apart by the same liberal/conservative, progressive/traditional forces similar to what occurred in the 1960's and 70's. It manifests itself in liturgies that are sacrilegious, creative beyond what is permitted, and reactionaries calling for a return to the 1950's. (I'd be happy with the time of Pope Benedict's reign, myself.)
After a time of restoring stability, discipline and beauty in the Church under Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, we have returned to the chaos of the days that Pope Paul VI himself lamented (and which he caused) towards the end of his papacy. The smoke of Satan had entered the Church.
Pope Francis has become the most divisive pope in modern history. His ambiguity as plunged once again the Church into 1960's and 70's rivalries and ideologies about the nature of the Church, the clericalization of the laity, the laicization of the clergy and a liturgy that is stripped of "majesty" meaning a majesty that points to the Kingship of Christ, crucified and risen and now reigning in glory in heaven.
There are now questions not only about discipline which legitimately can change, but also of changing doctrines which can't change. And it is the pope who seems to be leading the way depending on what he says from day to day in his much too frequent off-the-cuff interviews and statements.
Depending on the clique you read on the blogs, there is great excitement and anticipation of remaking the Church into an Anglican Communion of sorts with its devolving ideologies and fragmentation to the great anxiety and depression that many feel that in fact the pope is making the Church in the image of the Anglican Communion with its factions. What is odd is that it is well documented what has happened to liberal Protestantism in general and liberal Anglicanism in particular. It is a recipe for death.
Why do liberals have a death wish for the Church? We can only explain that it is the work of Satan.
The only good news is and it is actually great news, the devil has already been defeated in eternity by Jesus Christ's passion, death and resurrection but not quite yet in time as the Church goes through the birthing process that will culminate in the Second Coming of Christ and the Last Judgment of the living and the dead and the resurrection of the body to its everlasting existence, joined to its soul in heaven or hell according to what they did in the body.
In the meantime a new pope will arrive on the seen and the pendulum will swing back in the other direction and tranquility, at least on the surface, will be restored. This clairvoyant knows.