Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I have a great admirer and promoter of my blog at Praytell, Bill DeHass who often drags my blog to praytell and has done so again. It won't make sense out of context but I print it here for response.

• From *Followers of the Preconciliar liturgy plan a pilgrimage to Rome* #34 – JD – “First, I was not intentionally indulging in hyperbole in what I said about Michael Davies. The passage I quoted is very close to sedevacantism, and it is not atypical of his writing. Davies’ overblown rhetoric has caused terrible anxiety for many Catholics, leading them to wonder whether the Holy Spirit has in fact abandoned the Church or whether they can trust the Church to withstand the gates of hell. It has led more than a few into the SSPX. His work represents bad scholarship, weak ecclesiology and pastoral recklessness. I didn’t know the man, he may have been perfectly gentle and personally saintly, but most of his published work is simply dreadful. So will happily amend my statement to “the odious writing of Michael Davies”, but I stand by that.”

• From that same post – #35 – AmcD – “There are many progressives who are equally guilty of driving people from the full communion of the Church or attracting them to a less than full communion experience of it in their particular take on the Church. The situation with the LCWR is a case in point, not in terms of all the good works they do, but some of their more “odious” theologies concerning the nature of the Church and Holy Orders. This last sentence of mine will raise the hackles of not just a few here who would canonize them, like so many on the right canonize SSPX. I absolutely agree with you in terms of your last paragraph, but it is a two way street. My comment here might be best under the “Deleted” post, but there is a tendency to allow the most godawful rhetoric directed toward traditionalists in terms of lace and cappas that gets a pass here and is even encouraged. It’s not so much that people don’t like these sorts of things, it goes way, way deeper and is much more insidious.”

Two different posts and folks appear to be walking past each other. Not sure that Mr. Day *walked back his Davies comment*? Would make some distinctions between hyperbole based upon research, experts in the field, studies, etc. and hyperbole based upon hyperbole (not facts) and all too often copied/pasted from other blogs. This results in unsupported hyperbole that, in many ways, is just another form of innuendo, gossip, etc.

Examples – Some are basically justifying *hyperbole* using a *tit for tat* methodology. If progressives have done something, then, traditionalists should also be able to respond in kind. As Fr. Ruff has stated to Allan a number of times, his narrative, all too often, starts with a couple of distant historical liturgical experiences (negative) that he then goes on to magnify; draw sweeping generalizations; and then basically he uses the same approach he condemns to justify his own *liturgical tinkering* (as others have commented – feels like he is repeating the same *sins* of the early 1970’s folks he condemns). Fr. Ruff characterized this as another form of *ad hominem* but *ad personal history*.
• One of the dividing lines appears to be the way one views the hierarchy and papal magisterium. Many experts have cited concerns about the growing “cult of personality” around the pope. Would suggest that when you base your decisions upon the pronouncements of one individual pope as if he has all certitude, you have reduced things to a new type of *relativity*. It reduces the church to a narrow, rigid institution. It loses the *both/and* of Vatican II starting with baptism and the people of God and then defining the various ministries and roles in the church. It can create situations that make a faith journey into a litmus test and reduces adult decisions, virtue of obedience, etc. into some type of blind, unthinking adherence to a catechism. It results in using terms such as *dissent*; *not in full communion* and an exercise in always making judgments rather than listening and dialoging. Always thought that part of the adult faith journey was to ask questions and seek understanding without being condemned or sanctioned because one had the temerity to question a papal pronouncement or curial document?
• What happens when a pope changes and decisions change, policies are revoked; etc. Where is *continuity* in this approach? It appears that many commenters reference council decisions, documents, and directives – these, at least, are more in continuity; if for no other reason than that councils don’t happen every 15-25 years. Councils also consist of bishops of the world (not the curia) which is the core of our church understanding in terms of leadership and office. We have also seen that taking a quote or paragraph from a specific pope may be out of context; this is then posited as a *fact* when in reality, that specific pope meant something completely different. And when you place so much upon papal pronouncements, what happens to your own bishop, what happens to the local church and community? What happens to *pastoral decisions* when a curial hierarchy dominates all dialogue?
• Interesting that certain neuralgic issues are used in these comments – examples: cappa magna, LCWR, ordination, etc. As some have said, these issues assume an importance that goes well beyond their value and results in using terms such as *odious*. When one uses this type of language:
• “There are two kinds of dissent in the Church today, that of liberal, progressives who have been and are still suggesting the deconstruction of the Church and “re-imaging” it according to the deleterious reconstruction of the Episcopal Church. The group that symbolizes this most, but is not alone, is the LCWR. The LCWR and groups like them do pose a serious threat for outright heresy. This is in the area of Holy Orders and the Magisterium of the Church where they strike at the heart of the Church and want to redefine the Church in the most false egalitarian way. But there is one major difference between the LCWR and the SSPX. The LCWR is subversive and disingenuous. They lack courage to ordain a bishop and set all their cards on the table. Whereas the SSPX has always been straight as an arrow in terms of their demands and laying all their cards on the table and then making extremely clear through the ordination of bishops their intent. The SSPX is honest the LWCR isn’t.
• This type of language is *odious* and goes along with an earlier Allan v Day exchange about liberal catholics that resulted in an Allan apology of sorts.


John Nolan said...

The late Michael Davies was no sedevacantist, but his measured and scholarly analysis of the genesis of the Pauline missal cut through the Vatican 'newspeak' of the time and has never been seriously challenged. Liberals, when confronted with facts they do not like, resort to ad hominem attacks or assert (without giving any evidence) that the research was 'flawed'.

It's time the bluff of many of the PTB regular commentators was called, and I would start at the top with AWR and his sidekick, the self-styled 'liturgist' RF.

dominic1955 said...

I think I got kicked off of there a while ago. Oh well.

Anyway, I think Bill (Father Bill? Former Fr. Bill? Bro. Bill? Former Seminarian Bill? I'm confused on that point) was/is a Vincentian or 3rd Order of sorts. He's referenced things and people in and around St. Louis that would point to it. I would be fascinated to know if he ever had anything to do with formation at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary or the old Vincentian seminary down in Perryville. I only say this because it would explain a lot of things, especially if you've ever spent time in the ecclesiastical climate in St. Louis.

I find it a little exasperating that he writes as though he is at the pinnacle of knowledge on all things theological, knows the "scholarly concensus" on all topics and is certain that it cannot be anything that disagrees with him. Plus, he seems to have "moved beyond" proper grammatical construction of sentences. His bone to pick with the Popes and Magisterium is telling, and is ultimately a strawman against a strawman version of 19th Century ultramontanism and a warmed over resurrection of the old "appeal to the next Council/Pope" that heretics of old used to use to keep themselves from being reduced to ashes. Of course I think this because I am wholly unable to think for myself, am mired in pre-conciliar theology/ecclesiology and have no idea of what is going on in the scholarly community of today...

Many of the folks on that blog are outright Modernists, not from insinuation but from what they post freely and openly. Margaritas ante porcos, and all that...

Gene said...

Fr, seriously, why do you even go there? It is a waste of your time. These people are probably going to Hell and there is, literally, not a damned thing you can do about it. Why don't you shake the PrayTell dust off your feet?

Rood Screen said...


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

He does seem to like the 1970's which I did at the time, best time of my life actually. But arrested development is never good.

Joseph Johnson said...

Pope Benedict XVI on Michael Davies:

"I have been profoundly touched by the news of the death of Michael Davies. I had the good fortune to meet him several times and I found him as a man of deep faith and ready to embrace suffering. Ever since the Council he put all his energy into the service of the Faith and left us important publications especially about the Sacred Liturgy. Even though he suffered from the Church in many ways in his time, he always truly remained a man of the Church. He knew that the Lord founded His Church on the rock of St Peter and that the Faith can find its fullness and maturity only in union with the successor of St Peter. Therefore we can be confident that the Lord opened wide for him the gates of heaven. We commend his soul to the Lord's mercy."