Wednesday, March 28, 2018

HOW CAN SOMETHING BE SO CLEAR AND YET SO MANY IN HIGH PLACES IN TODAY'S MAGISTERIUM ARE BLIND TO IT AND THUS ACT AS BLIND GUIDES?

Fr. Dwight Longenecker hits it out of the park. Read his entire article by pressing title: 

 

Ten Reasons Why Liberal Catholicism Will Fade Away

The late Cardinal George of Chicago said, “Liberal Christianity is a failed experiment.” At this time in the church there seems to be a rise in the liberal or progressive wing of Catholicism. However, those who are concerned about this should keep several big picture aspects in mind.
  1. Liberalism goes out of date – Because it is concerned with being up to date and relevant it very quickly goes out of date and becomes irrelevant. I realized this when I used to celebrate a LifeTeen Mass at which the music was provided by groovy grannies and hip hop Pop pops. The teens stood there with their arms crossed and with bored expressions. They were having to listen to awful Catholic tunes that were out of date even when they were written.
  2. Liberalism is derivative – There is nothing new about Catholic liberals. All their ideas are borrowed from the surrounding culture or from Protestant sects that pioneered them decades ago. It’s second hand feminism. It’s second hand homosexualism. It’s second hand ecological concern. It’s second hand Marxism. Anything derivative is unoriginal and already on its last legs.
  3. Liberal Catholicism is moralistic, therapeutic Deism. Rather than a supernatural, vitalized dynamic church, liberal Catholicism has become a set of moral guidelines (usually social morals not personal morals) a method of self help or therapy combined with a vague spirituality.This doesn’t have much oomph. The batteries die and this kind of religion fizzles out.
  4. Liberal Catholicism is increasingly indistinguishable from Liberal Protestantism. I understand fully why Liberal Catholics are so keen on ecumenism with Liberal Protestants. They already believe (or mostly disbelieve) all the same stuff and have the same agenda. They believe they are already unified–and for the most part they are right.
  5. Liberal Catholicism is not distinctive. One of the reasons traditional Catholic parishes are thriving and the seminaries and convents and monasteries that are traditionally minded are doing well is because they are distinctive. They look Catholic and they witness to the truth, beauty and goodness of the Catholic faith. When I wear my cassock everyone admires–Catholics and non-Catholics. Traditional Catholicism is not afraid to make a witness and that’s what people expect and admire in a religion
  6. Liberal Catholic worship is dull and has run out of steam. What new direction for Catholic worship? More bland songs and banal choruses? More fuzzy wuzzy feel good theology? More fan shaped suburban auditoriums with padded pews? People are tired of that and suddenly a beautiful church with Gregorian chant is the thing that is new and exciting and powerful.
  7. Liberal Catholic theology is out of touch and irrelevant. I go into ordinary parishes to lead parish missions. The people are hungry for good, solid Catholic content. The professional theologians in their ivory towers with their worldly politically correct agenda don’t touch their lives. Instead through mens’ conferences, renewal meetings, parish missions and a range of events the ordinary people are rising up and God is raising up powerful teachers, evangelists, speakers and theologians and Bible scholars to fuel a new wave of grass roots dynamism in the church.
  8. Liberal Catholicism is the establishment religion. One academic feminist said to me recently, “I prefer to work within the system.” Well, that’s the kiss of death to any spirit led movement as far as I’m concerned. The Liberal establishment system might control their journals, their colleges and control things in Rome and in the dioceses, but the real life of the church is at the grass roots level, and those folks have zero connection with what is really going on.
  9. Liberal Catholicism is not refreshing its ranks. Where are the new vocations for all those religious orders where all the sisters are ancient? Where are the young priests in liberal dioceses? Where are the young brothers and monks for the old liberal religious orders? The young stay away from these orders. They can smell the rot and if they are not kicked out for being rigid, they clear off.
  10. Liberal Catholicism doesn’t need a reformation. It will simply fizzle out. Nobody is listening. The younger ones are not rebelling against it. They’re just ignoring it. Nobody is taking notice. Traditional Catholics aren’t even bothering to fight against the Liberal Catholics very much anymore. They are just rolling up their sleeves and getting on with being historic, orthodox, dynamic, Evangelical Catholics.
Not this Catholic or that Catholic, but just faithful Catholics.
This is why there is no real cause for worry. Time is on the side of the traditional Catholics. The young priests are more traditional. The young nuns, the young monks, the young families. The future is young. The future is strong. The future is faithful.

30 comments:

TJM said...

Father Longenecker has summed up the truth nicely. Lefty bishops AND priests will be outraged!!

Victor said...

"The people are hungry for good, solid Catholic content. The professional theologians in their ivory towers with their worldly politically correct agenda don’t touch their lives."
This is precisely the problem with the 20th century liturgical reforms, reformers with an agenda living in their ivory towers, totally out of touch with the lives of ordinary Catholics; nay, they didn't give a hoot about what ordinary Catholics thought.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

To restore the liturgy, the great unwashed Masses will not stand to have the 1962 Missal imposed upon them any more than those attached to the 1962 Missal want the vernacular OF Mass imposed upon them as it was, is and more likely will be.

A future pope, someone like Cardinal Sarah, knows that there has to be a middle ground as it concerns the revision of the Ordinary Form:

The Propers Chanted in either the vernacular or Latin

The quiet parts of the Mass in Latin with a return to the PATFOTA recited during the chanting of the Introit.

The Liturgy of the Word as it is in the OF Mass now, with the clear option of the Gradual instead of the interminable Responsorial Psalm.

Clear mandate that lectors and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion be officially installed as such and not ad hoc and a clear directive on proper liturgical vesture for them.

The Silent Canon even if the Prayer over the offering is aloud.

Communion kneeling and forbidding in the hand.

Ad orientem.

TJM said...

Fr. McDonald,

Why not implement those changes at YOUR parish.

Henry said...

Prior to the surely temporary aberrations of the past 50 years, the Church's time scale has been measured in centuries. I suspect that a century hence, the ordinary parish Mass will be close to what Fr. M describes (essentially the Anglican ordinate liturgy now). And that two centuries hence, it'll be close to the traditional Latin Mass, but with the very modest amount of vernacular (the scriptural readings, etc.) envisioned by the bishops at Vatican II permitted on an optional basis, and with organic development having resumed (new saints and prefaces, etc).

Most importantly, the ritual and ceremony of the TLM will be recovered. The most destructive mistake of the post-Vatican II disruption was not in changes of words and prayers of the Mass (which are the usual misplaced focus in these discussions), but in the suppression of the ceremony and gestures--the osculations of the altar, the 13 genuflections and 52 signs of the cross, the kneeling and posture (ad orientem), etc--that inculcate reverence and orthodox Catholic belief in one generation after another.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Liberalism goes out of date." No, it is people who go out of date. Liberalism, through the Enlightenment, has given us the very long-lasting understanding of the value of the individual and the individual rights we have attained as a result of "Liberal" thinking. Pope Benedict spoke about the Christian origins of the Enlightenment and the value derived therefrom for all people.

"Liberalism is derivative." Only in a time-limited sense, and not in the absolute sense Longnecker seems to want to understand. What a Liberal is concerned about today may not be what a Liberal was concerned about in the days of Beccario, Diderot, Hume, Montesquieu, etc.

"Liberal Catholicism is moralistic, therapeutic Deism." I don't know what Longnecker may be referring to here. Sure, there are some who see faith in general as a self-help strategy, but that's not just true of some Catholics. It's a cultural phenomenon that is not based in Liberalism.

"Liberal Catholicism is increasingly indistinguishable from Liberal Protestantism. I understand fully why Liberal Catholics are so keen on ecumenism with Liberal Protestants. They already believe (or mostly disbelieve) all the same stuff and have the same agenda." I don't think Longnecker knows many who work in ecumenical circles. None of the men and women I know who have devoted themselves to ecumenical dialogue and/or engagement believe the "same stuff" as Protestants. My work in this area has made me more aware of 1) the beliefs we share, AND 2) the areas in which we diverge.

"Liberal Catholicism is not distinctive." When we emphasized what made us "distinctive" it became very difficult for us to recognize and appreciate that which makes us One. We circled the wagons after Trent and became very much egocentric. "Identity" thinking is potentially dangerous. I so tire of those who wear their cassocks and note how they are "admired." I have much greater admiration for those laity who minister in prisons, soup kitchens, hospices without any "distinctive" clothing than for those who think the clothes make the Christian.

"Liberal Catholic worship is dull and has run out of steam." Fuzzy-wuzzy thinking without any specificity.

"Liberal Catholic theology is out of touch and irrelevant." because, says Longnecker, people like him more than others. Well, that's one way to form a judgment, but there are plenty of folks who are inspired by the "liberals" in their "ivory towers." Longnecker wears heavy blinders.

Continued Later...



















TJM said...

Kavanaugh,

Thanks for the laughs. Modern liberals are hardly liberal in the classic sense. They crush you like a bug if you don't believe in their beliefs: abortion, gay marriage, global warming, etc.Witness the thought police if you want to see where modern liberalism is heading:

https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10697

This no less at Marquette University! They have morphed into a really nasty and illiberal bunch.

TJM said...

Kavanaugh,

Here's another thing you can be proud of, this time from the College of the Holy Cross:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/03/28/holy-cross-theology-professor-says-jesus-drag-king-queer-desires/

Yes, you liberals are really swell and cutting edge!

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Father Kavanaugh at March 28, 2018 at 12:47 PM said:

""Identity" thinking is potentially dangerous."

Really? Glad you agree with me on this. But then, why all the "identity" terms tossed around by liberal Catholic leaders: Black Catholics, Hispanic Catholics, Homosexual Catholics, LBQT Catholics, Traditional Catholics...? If there is a danger when highlighting the special or unique characteristics of an identity group, why not refuse to speak of Catholics in these terms at all?

"I so tire of those who wear their cassocks and note how they are "admired." I have much greater admiration for those laity who minister in prisons, soup kitchens, hospices without any "distinctive" clothing than for those who think the clothes make the Christian."

Okay, YOU as an individual might have a "much greater admiration for those laity" doing acts of charity anonymously, but I think what's being commented on regarding the wearing of a cassock is the hope that springs into the eyes and hearts of those who see the wearer; namely, a hope in God, a hope that good exists, and that someone, namely the cassock-wearer, believes in God, and is devoted to Him. Whether the priest is saintly or not, simply seeing him in a cassock evokes the holy, and hope.

Oh, yeah, and still waiting for your proof, or studies substantiating your claim that "being transformed by full, conscious, and active (not "actual," active) participation is more realistically achieved through worship in a language that is immediately understandable to the worshipers." I'm very interested to read anything that shows this to be true.

God bless.
Bee

TJM said...

Bee,

I love your style!

rcg said...

It is comforting to read what Fr Longeneckernwrites, especially the part that this fifty-year folly is ending. But I don’t believe it will happen soon enough and I am concerned that the souls in jeopardy will be lost while I rest idle. If it will fail, then it is weak, we should atrack it on every front and strive to drive it back into Hell.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Bee, I'd be interested to read anything that proves that seeing a person in a cassock causes "hope that springs into the eyes and hearts of those who see the wearer; namely, a hope in God, a hope that good exists, and that someone, namely the cassock-wearer, believes in God, and is devoted to Him. Whether the priest is saintly or not, simply seeing him in a cassock evokes the holy, and hope."

Also, I'd like proof that seeing a priest in a clerical suit does NOT cause, "hope that springs into the eyes and hearts of those who see the wearer; namely, a hope in God, a hope that good exists, and that someone, namely the cassock-wearer, believes in God, and is devoted to Him. Whether the priest is saintly or not, simply seeing him in a cassock evokes the holy, and hope."

God Bless.

ByzRC said...

The future can't get here fast enough to wipe out 1-9 and particularly 2, 3, and 4. We're all on the clock the last time I checked.

John Nolan said...

Bee,

You must realize by now that MJK requires proof positive for any assumptions he does not share, but not for his own opinions, which are stated as fact.

Anonymous said...

No thanks on kneeling---in the early Church, communion was received standing (according to the book The Orthodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers---a good source on liturgy and other matters)---and it still is today in Orthodoxy. The knees are not what they used to be...I guess I could get used to communion on the tongue though it has been a while and am fine with the current "in the hand" mode. Modified ad orientum...priest at the altar for the "second half" (from the offertory on) and could lead the liturgy of the word from the side, using the pulpit for the Gospel reading and the homily.

Hopefully we can live with two main forms of the Mass, not "one size fits all" from above........


John Nolan said...

The Oxford on-line dictionary defines 'liberal' as 'willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one's own; open to new ideas; favourable to or respectful of individual rights.'

This is somewhat ironic in that many of those who style themselves 'liberal' today are not tolerant of contrary opinions, favour the rights of groups (which they themselves define as being worthy of consideration) over the rights of individuals, and espouse 'big government' intervention on a scale which would have horrified a 'classic' liberal like WE Gladstone.

When used in a religious context (as Longenecker does), the definition is more specific: 'Regarding many traditional beliefs as dispensable, invalidated by modern thought, or liable to change.' This could equally be called modernism, and is the lens through which Kavanaugh views the Church.

That it is a distorting lens is evidenced by the following comment.'We circled the wagons after Trent and became very much egocentric'. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard this phrase, which (apart from anything else) is the stock-in-trade of progressive 'liturgists'. Yet, historically, it is complete balderdash. Faced with an aggressive Protestantism, the Church did not close in on herself. She put her own house in order, restated her doctrine in unambiguous terms, took the fight to the enemy using his own weapons (particularly the printing press) and embarked on a missionary outreach which by 1600 had Protestantism on the back foot.

Kavanaugh seems to be positing a counterfactual history where Catholics and Protestants take part in an ecumenical Council which resolves their differences and effects a compromise which restores the unity of western Christendom. This was indeed in the mind of the Emperor Charles V, although his main aim was to bring the rebellious German princes to heel.

However, no historian believes this could ever have been a practical proposition.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

You mustn't confuse Kavanaugh with the facts or history. He might have to run and hide in his safe space!

Happy Easter

John Nolan said...

TJM

I have read, with increasing incredulity, the vapourings of the so-called 'professor' at Holy Cross, which purports to be a Jesuit institution.

Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius.

John Nolan said...

Meanwhile, I'll have another pop at Kavanaugh. He begins his criticism of Longenecker with the observation: '"Liberalism goes out of date." No, it is people who go out of date.'

Even by his lamentable standards, this is preposterous. We live in time. We cannot be out of date. However, we may judge that certain ideas are outdated, e.g. the four humours or the phlogiston theory. As a true modernist, Kavanaugh maintains that many beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church are similarly outmoded.

I suppose that the definition of liberalism may be changed to the extent that it is stood on its head, and its advocates can argue that it is we who are standing on our heads. This is the Humpty-Dumpty world inhabited by Kavanaugh and his ilk.

He has hinted that his critique of Longenecker (whom, it has to be said, I don't always agree with) will be continued. I hope he has better arguments, since he will have me to contend with. And I can spot a humbug and a fraud at at least a hundred yards.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

I am certain that if a priest on the Holy Cross Campus celebrated Mass ad orientem, the Bishop of Worchester, MA, would be there in a flash to stop the practice, since it might "upset" some of the faithful. However, when heresy is propounded, it's crickets. No wonder large numbers of the faithful no longer take the Faith seriously, because Church leaders do not.

I think Kavanaugh will go on hiatus for a while, until he thinks it's safe to return.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John Nolan asserts: "Even by his lamentable standards, this is preposterous. We live in time. We cannot be out of date."

What a silly comment, even for John. If a person were merely a collection of molecules living in a certain period of time then, of course, he/she could not go out of date.

But, as John well knows, a person is more - much more - that a mere collection of organic (and bits of inorganic) material. A person is made up of ideas, thought, concepts. A person is made up of emotions, feelings, and reactions. A person is much more than John gives us credit for.

Yes, people can go out of date.

John further asserts: "Yet, historically, it is complete balderdash. Faced with an aggressive Protestantism, the Church did not close in on herself. She put her own house in order, restated her doctrine in unambiguous terms, took the fight to the enemy using his own weapons (particularly the printing press) and embarked on a missionary outreach which by 1600 had Protestantism on the back foot."

She also refused to contemplate, much less engage in, dialogue with other Christians, circling the wagons. She made participation in worship with members of other Christian denominations an excommunicatable offense, circling the wagons. She established a syllabus of forbidden books - forbidden ideas, circling the wagons. She made it nigh impossible for a Catholic to marry a Protestant, circling the wagons.

It was the work of the Holy Spirit that, relatively recently, helped us to understand that circled wagons do not an Kingdom make.

Henry said...

It occurs to me that the priests of a certain generation—those who attended protestantized seminaries in the 1970s/1980s and likely emerged from them as protestants in all but name—fall largely into two categories that admit of more specific descriptions than those designated by the simple labels “liberal” and “conservative”.

The majority (the “liberals”) have remained frozen throughout their priesthood in an immature adolescent state of religious faith, knowledge, and practice, never advancing beyond their seminary (mal)formation.

A minority (the “conservatives”) have matured and grown in faith, knowledge, and practice as priests, advancing beyond the adolescence of their perhaps dubious seminary formation.

Perhaps our frequent commentator Fr. K and our genial host Fr. M provide concrete examples of these two categories.

ByzRC said...

Perhaps I am wrong but, I do believe people can become out of date while at the same time, our Lord never will be.

From the Service of the Light, The Easter Vigil:

Christ yesterday and today,
the beginning and the end,
Alpha and Omega,
all time belongs to him,
and all ages;
to him be glory and power,
through every age and for ever. Amen.

http://www.oremus.org/liturgy/lhwe/easter.html

TJM said...

Henry,

Bravo. You summed the situation up beautifully. Churchmen, particularly, "liberal" ones, seem to lack the gifts of introspection and humility.

John Nolan said...

Concepts can certainly go out of date (we have seen how classic liberalism has been transmogrified to become almost an antithesis of itself) but 'emotions, feelings and reactions'? I don't think so.

Churchill, in the summer of 1941, could have engaged in a dialogue with Germany which might have resulted in favourable peace terms (in the previous year he had no alternative but to 'circle the wagons'). But he would not hear of it. Was he wrong?

Modernists in the Church make dialogue a virtue in itself, and speak in disparaging terms of those who seek to defend orthodox belief. Incidentally, circling or laagering the wagons (as the Boers did at Blood River in December 1838) was very effective, with 3,000 Zulus killed and no fatal casualties on the part of the defenders.

But an essential part of defence is counter-attack, and those who see the post-Tridentine Church as a purely defensive institution are ignorant of history.

The Catholic Church spent a lot of time and effort 'dialoguing' with the Anglicans in the 1970s and 1980s; agreed statements were issued; then the CofE derailed everything by deciding unilaterally to ordain women.

But then, liberals in the Catholic Church see no reason for not ordaining women. I suspect Kavanaugh is one of them.

John Nolan said...

I also have a certain amount of contempt for those modernists (like Kavanaugh) who justify their dubious nostrums by claiming they are of the Holy Spirit. Overweening arrogance verging on blasphemy.

At least I can justify my arguments without invoking supernatural support.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:
John Nolan said on March 28, 2018 at 5:52 PM

"Bee, You must realize by now that MJK requires proof positive for any assumptions he does not share, but not for his own opinions, which are stated as fact."

I know it, and you know it, but I don't think MJK knows it... :-)

God bless.
Bee

TJJM said...

Bee,

Kavanaugh is a legend in his own mind

John Nolan said...

I don't want to be too hard on MJK who is merely parroting the views he was taught in his youth. I also encountered the same, but was not formed by them, and even in the early 1970s there were powerful counter-arguments to the prevailing modernist consensus. Also, all adult Catholics would have been brought up on the Tridentine Mass, lived through the bewildering and revolutionary changes of the period 1964-1970, and could therefore make comparisons. Can we assume that they all approved of the new order? Not that they had much choice.





TJM said...

John Nolan,

Perhaps not considering how many voted with their feet!!