Tuesday, March 29, 2011


If the following images produce feelings of loathing the Catholic Church and her traditions, how do you then allow God's grace to redeem you and help you to love the Church, warts and all?

The Church of today is a Church of extremes. On one end of the spectrum, we have those who live in the past and think everything that has happened since Vatican II has been negative. They loathe the "AM Church" as some call it.

Then you have those on the opposite end who think everything that happened in the Church prior to Vatican II was just horrible. They loathe cappa magnas, authority, order, hierarchy, and just about anything else that was of the culture of the Church prior to Vatican II.

Some loathe Latin, some loathe the vernacular. Some loathe the priest facing away from them, some loathe the priest facing them.

Some loathe burlap and felt, others loathe Gothic gold and fiddle back vestments.

What if we all joined in the middle and followed Pope Benedict's hermeneutic of reform within continuity with the Church prior to the Council. Would that help to put an end to self-loathing and inspire Catholics to love the Church as she is and is developing grateful for the past, happy in the present and looking forward to the future, especially life in heaven which the Church is meant to prepare us?

Another blog has asked the question, "what positive things do you like about the Church as she is now?"

I might ask the same question. Don't be negative or loathing in your responses.


Paul M. Young said...

The positive thing I love about the Church today is that she accepted me, wet and cold from a swim in the Tiber. As a convert, I am fiercely protective of her and will defend her to the death--guitar Masses and all.

That said, give me Latin, incense, and chant, any day!

Jody Peterman said...

What Paul said!

Anonymous said...

Picture #2 is scary!

Maimonides said...

Few actually "loathe" any of the things you list: Latin, vernacular, burlap, or bishops wearing the cappa magna. There are very good reasons to favor or disfavor any of the above.

One of the "Positive Things" I like about the Church is that, over time, the silly people who turn disagreements into "Loathe vs Love" arguments have little, if any, impact, and the Church, protected by Divine Providence, progresses toward holiness along the Golden Mean. (See Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question 64 of the Prima Secundae Partis)

"If a man finds that his nature tends or is disposed to one of these extremes..., he should turn back and improve, so as to walk in the way of good people, which is the right way. The right way is the mean in each group of dispositions common to humanity; namely, that disposition which is equally distant from the two extremes in its class, not being nearer to the one than to the other."

Gene said...

Thus, Thomas borrowed heavily from the Greeks, in this case Socrates. Ho hum. This we know. No extremes, right Ignotus...only a few gay Priests is ok, maybe a few female Priests, not too much protestantism, maybe some birth control, an abortion or two, everybody mostly believes the Creed, a little apostasy is ok.

One might also note that, in this particular Question, Thomas is talking about personal morality and not Church Doctrine or Dogma. I do believe Thomas thought there might be just a few absolutes...ya' reckon? Once again, here you come with your glib sophistic and your veiled, or not so veiled, attacks on Fr. MacDonald, who shames you by implication and example. Now, run along. I hear "Age of Aquarius" playing for you somewhere.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I loath is when the activity distracts or confuses me in my search for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I can pretty much handle everything else.


Robert Kumpel said...

The most things about the Catholic Church?

It is the One True Church founded by Jesus Christ.

It is the only place where I can receive the sacraments.

It is the only valid AND licit source of the sacraments.

There are thousands of men and women who have renounced whatever role they could have played in the world to bring the Church to the rest of us: Priests and nuns.

The Church is the source of the most powerful force in the universe, God's Mercy.

Robert Kumpel said...

Make that the most POSITIVE things about the Catholic Church.

Now: About sentence fragments

SqueekerLamb said...

It is THE Deposit of Truth.

Plus what rcg and Robert said.

I love observing how God works through all his nutty children. He is taking good care of His Church even despite us!

Maimonides said...

I don't know anyone else who can draw a moral equivalence between the cappa magna and birth control. I must say - I am stunned. Laughing, but stunned.

No, Pin, it is entirely possible to prefer the vernacular to Latin without loathing the latter, and all the while being as faithful a son of the Church and heir to the kingdom as Fr. AJM.

Extremism in the defence of liberty or orthodoxy is still extremism.

Gene said...

Maimonides/Ignotus, RE: connection between Cappa Magna and birth control...Nonsense. It is highly unlikely that anyone wearing the cappa magna would ever become pregnant!

Jody Peterman said...


Perhaps extremism is extremism, but I have an agnostic college professor neighbor who hates the Catholic Church, yet confesses that if there had never been a HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, that the whole world would be MUSLIM right now. And didn't it take an extremist like Paul to spread the Gospel to whole world?

If everyone viewed the world like you my friend, we would all be Muslim now.

Maimonides said...

And how, Jody, do you think I view the world? Before you post an answer, remember you might be dead wrong. If so, when the correction comes, I hope you will be docile in accepting it.

Templar said...

"what positive things do you like about the Church as she is now?"

I like that the Visitation to the Seminaries succeeded to a great extent and is correcting the Heresies they were espousing. This has produced a generation of new priests who are properly formed and will, within another generation, have completely replaced the graying, apostate hippies who burden us with their Spirit of V2 clap trap.

I like that the Visitation to the Female Religious Orders will likely have the same result.

I like that the Vatican has tacitly acknowledged that Archbishop Lefebvre was right as witnessed by the wording of the MP SP.

I like that we are once again hearing about the Saints and Martyrs to let our Children hear that this is something worth fighting and dying for.

I like that Chapel Veils are returning to use.

I like that a few brave souls will prove by their example that in he presence of the Blessed Sacrament, "every knee shall bend".

There are a great many more things to like along these lines. The Church after 40 years of wandering in the Desert is coming home to the Promised Land.

Anonymous said...

Love Summorum Pontificum, issued in today's time with the encouragement to allow organic growth at some point in the future. I love this. Love the return of Latin all over the world, including the Church. WOULD love to see some things of old return with new purpose. EG; the Sedia, to protect the Pope from jumping maniacs, and for all that say he will be a target, well he is more of a target standing stationary on an elevated Altar. At least the Sedia is in motion. So if anyone gets in with a weapon they are going to use it no matter where he is positioned. I also love, about the CHurch today, that we can even discuss rationally the subjects of bringing back things in the name of Tradition and putting them to use in a different modern way. I would like to see the Flabellum once again on the balcony of St. Peter's for the Pope's addresses. Maybe not in processions anymore but in the backround. Adding the somber, formal decor that is called for. Think of the Flabelli as the new modern screen "wallpaper" we have on our computers. Something old used in a new way.