Patience

Carlo Dolci, "Allegory of Patience".

I do not know whether I am the only one, but the concept of “patience” as practised in the Vatican corridors seems rather odd to me.

Whenever heresies or grave acts of disobedience arise, the Church reacts with such slowness, in comparison a sloth looks like Usain Bolt. The thinking here appears to be that one doesn’t have to rush things, and “the Church has always time”, and “the Church thinks in centuries, not years”.

Fine.

But then one wonders why the same thinking is applied so selectively. If there is so much time, and the Church thinks in centuries, why was the battle against abortion not started, and aggressively so, when abortion legislation swept the Free World? 

“Ah, this is because the Church is attentive not to engage her weight in battles she knows are lost”, is the mantra I used to hear in years past. The reasoning goes that if you fight against abortion and lose, then you’ll lose leverage when you fight against….. I don’t know exactly what, as in the last forty years I haven’t seen much of a fight anyway, unless it was for popular causes (we have now Popes engaged for the environment, for example; a rather novel concept, if you ask me).

My question then is: if the Church has time, and thinks in centuries, wouldn’t this be a wonderful reason to engage in all kind of battles, particularly those who would seem lost to this generation? 

It is very, very seldom, that important societal changes take place overnight. Even when events take place in rapid succession (take the French revolution, or the October one) it is plain to see the events have leavened for decades before the revolutionary outbreak. What we can clearly see is that even the Church cannot hope to introduce or re-introduce important societal changes unless a long, patient work is started, which then goes on for generations if needs be.

The battle against abortion is such one; the one against contraception another; the one against sodomy a third, and the one against euthanasia a fourth one.

I get seldom as angry as when I read, on comments written around, that a certain battle is lost. Lost, my foot! No battle is ever lost with the Holy Ghost on your side. But we have to have the courage to fight, and the determination to carry the fight in our graves and transmit it to the following generation if needs be.

How was this called? O yes…

Patience.

Mundabor

Posted on April 29, 2012, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. “I do not know whether I am the only one, but the concept of “patience” as practised in the Vatican corridors seems rather odd to me.”
    It’s because they’ve confused which patience to apply where: “the Church thinks in centuries, not years” is not for all instances, but only dogmatic declarations and non-actual doctrinal developments. If the Church was equally “patient” about all things, including those things which directly (not centuries after) affect and injure the flock, the wolves would devour them all before the shepherd reacted. For mysterious reasons a lot of people have begun to think it acceptable that the Church does nothing while ravenous wolves do devour the faithful because it is naturally “slow” and “patient.” They even say it with a smile, as if it is something quaint and old-school about it. Wrong! It’s completely new, and it is foul!

    Here is an example of what the then reigning Pope himself thought of as a very patient and slow reaction “with great care as is proper” (Exurge Domine). 1517, the 95 Theses. Within months the Pope sends envoys against Luther. 1518, Luther is summoned to Rome. 1521, after three years of constant battle, Luther is “finally” excommunicated. A total of four years. This is truly patient, for a temporal ruler would have had the head of such a destructive and rebellious subject within days. But today, it would seem rushed.* First there is the instant and forceful reaction, and secondly excommunication after only four short years. I wonder, what is that compared to the decades that heresy has been allowed to seethe within the modern Church, going completely unchecked and with little to no reaction from the Holy See. And the example I used is from a time that we like to think of as “slow.” Ha!

    Whenever there has been a clear and present danger to the faithful, the Church and Magisterium has reacted quickly and forcefully, like a GOOD SHEPHERD. Though one could claim that it’s all gone today, it does remain, but it’s, as you say, very selective. Today, they seem much more interested in defending the “dignity of Man”, and you can still see some life in the Church, but when it comes to God and His Church there is not much to speak of. (For example, many, if not all, seem to have forgotten that we’re not (primarily) fighting against abortion so that they’ll live long and happy lives, but so that they’re souls will be saved!) When the Church finally does something, as we see now with the LCWR, it is (far) too little (far) too late.

    What we see today is not patience, it’s pure neglect and worse still, cowardice.

    I’m going to go enjoy the rest of my cloudy Sunday now, and I wish the same to you.

    * the notable and curious exception would be the swift action take against Archbishop Lefebvre and his consecrated bishops.

    • Fugerunt, it must also be said in Luther’s time everything was much slower. When Luther hanged his 95 theses it certainly needed months before the things was assessed as a danger in Rome, and more time still to verify it. Only the travel to Rome of Luther will have taken several weeks.

      Today the internet and a couple of phone calls allow to react in a matter of days, even considering “reflection time”. Besides, what is to reflect about heresy?

      M

  2. Very good point. There is simply no excuse.

  3. After Vatican II, in its embracing of the modern world and its values, and its commitment to the new religion of “dialogue”, the Church thought it had no more enemies.

    Therefore no need to “fight” any more.

    Which contradicts Scripture, 2,000 of history and human nature.

    They couldn’t have got it more wrong, could they?

    And now the chickens are coming home to roost. But they still cannot wake up, so wedded are they to the failed experiments of the 1960’s. And that includes this Pope.

    • Very perceptive considerations, Ben. With V II, the Church embraced the world, which makes it far more difficult to correct it.

      Alas, I agree on the rest, too.

      M

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