Daily Archives: July 6, 2012
Reblog of the day
If there was any need to persuade ourselves that the perception of Christianity is fading away in large parts of the Christian world, the writer Anne Rice and many bloggers around have given us another convincing example.
Some days ago, Ms. Rice decided that she is “quitting Christianity in the name of Christ”. Please don’t laugh. Her lines are amusing, so I do not want to deprive you of this little diversion:
Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”
At school we would have been asked: “what does the author want to say?”. She wants to say that she…
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Everytime I see players like Sharapova demonstratively wearing a cross whilst playing ( I can’t imagine this is a coincidence) I wonder how long will it be before some politically correct moron will decide that they are not allowed to do it anymore. Perhaps when some pervert (not interested in Sharapova anyway) will say that he feels bullied and discriminated at her cross?
After his beautiful victory against Tsonga this afternoon, Murray looks for a long time, devoutly, to heaven, and his lips move in an inaudible, but clearly purposeful way. A beautiful moment, rightfully caught by the cameramen (who might be scolded tomorrow, but this is another story…).
Ten to one that he was praying. Not a fast, “casual prayer”, but a deliberate, deeply felt one.
Asked, some minutes later, what he was doing, he said that it was something he prefers not to talk about.
His choice, of course, and perhaps a way to keep his intimate moment with Heaven more intimate. But I remained with the uncomfortable impression he considered – or was told by his managers and PR people – that to show Christian feelings in public is not so good, and might lead to trouble.
It would have been so beautiful if he had said, in front of millions of people, that he was praying. There’s nothing shameful in praying in public, and until the PC freaks get their way it is even legal.
Let us imagine (it is theoretical; but not so much) that someone came to me saying that he is thinking of converting to Catholicism, but in light of the most recent developments he is now in doubt whether to continue on this road.
What I would say to him? Would I be able to give to him some words of encouragement? Would I suggest to him that he goes on along the chosen path and toward conversion to a Church led by the likes of Archbishop Mueller?
Yes of course I would. I would in the most decided of ways. Let me explain why, so that the one or other friendly Proddie thinking of taking the best decision of his (eternal) life may not be tempted into falling back into heresy and, perhaps, perdition.
Out of my sleeve, the arguments I would use are described below. I invite the readers to add other arguments in order to help our imaginary (but not so much) friend.
As the need to help this imaginary (but not so much) friend might be rather pressing and I have no time to revisit my books on the matter, si sbalio mi corigerete… I would, therefore, argument as follows:
1. The Church is the Truth. The Church (as the eternal institution, the Bride of the Lord) can simply not be separated from the Truth. You cannot think the Church as separated from being the Truth more than you could think of water as separated from being wet.
2. “Church” is a very complex word. The building where the mass takes place is called “church”, but the members of that parish are also called “church”. A family (even a nuclear family) is called “church” (ecclesia domestica). A diocese is also called “church”. The faithful in that diocese are called church, too. The different rites of Catholicism are all called “churches”. Then there is the Church who is, on earth, the visible manifestation of the Bride of Christ. But it does not stop there, as Church is intended, in its ultimate meaning, as a heavenly organisation. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus refers to this last one. To belong to the Church means to belong to the heavenly Bride of Christ, not to agree to the more or less heretical blabbering of bad priests, bad bishops and bad popes.
3. The Church representatives are (here on earth) not always right, and at times plain wrong. I have given my take about infallibility, and reading the blog post might help the one or the other. But the fact that we must always, always keep in mind is that the Truth that the Church is is not less true because God allows her representatives (as he did Judas) to wound her. This is not the protestant church down the street, whose raison d’être for the faithful ceases the moment they stop agreeing with the pastor.
4. The Church has the right to our obedience even when we are forced to disobey to her representatives. If the bishop asks me to participate to some Friday service of some Muslims, I say “no” and don’t care two straws if he says to me that I must do it to promote ecumenism, or to give testimony of my Catholicism, or for “peace and understanding”, or because he orders it. The “first rule of the Italian army” applies: wrong orders are not executed. I do this, because I owe obedience to the Bride of Christ before I do to the bishop. As always, Archbishop Lefebvre explains this much better than I ever could.
5. The Church is not questioned, she is simply obeyed. As to her representative, the way they will be obeyed (or esteemed) will depend from the way they do their job. This is the reason why even among popes – as among bishops, etc. – some are considered wonderful, some very good, some so-so, some positively mediocre, and some unmitigated disasters. Still, Padre Pio’s saying still stands, that we must love the Church even if she kills us.
In my eyes, a person of prompt intellect and ripe understanding will draw from these arguments enough energy to not only weather the present storm, but be sufficiently prepared for a life of storms, as other one or two or three generations of this madness might be the lot the Lord has allotted to us, probably to punish us for our sins, and perhaps also so that we may train our virtues.
The fundamental step is, in my eyes, the abandonment of the purely Protestant thinking based on which an institution loses credibility if we happen to think their leaders are behaving badly.
Petrus did behave badly, though he recovered in the end. He had to be publicly rebuked by Paul, even, then Paul was no retiring wallflower, and did not suffer under clericalism.
The Church will be with me forever, and I will be with her forever. I will be faithful to her until my last breath, and if the Pope begins to dance in his tutu on St. Peter Square to promote understanding among the people this will not change my allegiance to the Church. Not-one-bit. It would be better for me to die of a horrible death before reaching that point, than to live 120 years of purest unalloyed happiness after deciding that I do not need the Bride.
I hope this helps.
- Benedict is surrounded by wolves – he’s an innocent lamb fearing for his life
- Benedict is a victim of “The Vatican” – he can only appoint whom the Vatican bureaucrats tell him to appoint – he has no real authority
- Benedict is going senile or off his meds
- Benedict is weak and can’t resist the peer pressure
- Benedict is in a liberal dream – we need to pray for him to wake up
- Benedict doesn’t know Mueller is a heretic – how could he possibly be expected to ensure the man he appoints as watchdog of orthodoxy is orthodox himself?!
- It’s all a big mystery – no one knows what any of this means
- Who are you to accuse someone of heresy?
- Just because Mueller is a heretic doesn’t mean we can know he’s a heretic
- Just because Mueller makes heretical statements doesn’t mean he actually believes what he says
- Mueller isn’t a heretic until Benedict says he is one — and since Benedict will never do that, Mueller can never become a heretic
- Mueller isn’t a heretic – he’s just way smarter than all you simpletons put together.
I am no sedevacantist, and can therefore not accept the Pope be no Pope just because he makes mistakes, and at times serious ones. Many Popes before him have done, many will do. My duty as a Catholic is to bear all this with patience, do what I can to react against it, and hope that the day I die this will be counted in my favour.
But there is no denying the shocking amount of denial going on particularly among the laity. Religious know a Pope can even have heretic opinions (and reputed theologians think some did), he will merely not proclaim them in a dogmatic way. Many among the laity, on the other hand, seem to think that if the Pope were wrong then Catholicism would be wrong, and must therefore try to find any kind of excuse to explain how what is wrong is, in the end, right.
If you ask me this is not even clericalism anymore, but simple papolatry.
“Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables”. (2 Tim 4:2-4)
St. Paul was the kind of man who did not hesitate to rebuke a Pope, and a Pope appointed by Christ Himself. He was keenly aware of how easily the faithful look for teachers ready to teach to them “according to their own desires”, and by this way end up “turning away their hearing from the truth”.
We see this happening in an extreme fashion in Germany today. “Reprove” and “rebuke” having disappeared from the language of the hierarchy in everything which does not concern the Society of St. Pius X, a huge pressure has built up to give the German faithful (?) what they want to hear.
Promptly, the teachers of our times try to accommodate them as much as they can, as they try to accommodate pretty much everything under the sun as much as they can; with the exception, again, of the Society of St. Pius X and very few others.
If you read German, you have followed the growing climate of understanding created in Germany for all those who refuse Church teaching. This climate is created – generally – not by officially opposing the teaching, but by a shift of the centre of gravity in the discussion: not the Truth of Christ is extolled, but the “suffering” of those who do not follow it.
Of course, we all know the Church has compassion – as we all must have – for all those who have strayed from the truth and struggle – another fashionable word; more like, “refuse to follow” – with Catholic truth. But a grave disservice is made to them when they are reminded of their suffering, without telling them very clearly where this suffering comes from, and where it will lead to.
Alas, the Holy Father went down this road himself, when he addressed himself, speaking to German faithful, to those divorced and remarried Catholics some weeks ago. As I see it, this wasn’t sound teaching but merely appeasement, and appeasement never works.
If you tell a divorced and remarried Catholic that he is “suffering” oh so much, without telling him what he has to do to put an end to the suffering, his “suffering” will unavoidably be understood as the fruit of an injustice. Which is what German divorced and remarried “Catholics” punctually continue to do.
As (almost; see Archbishop Mueller) always, the problem is not in the literal meaning of what is said: every bad religious can be oily enough to slip in the usual veiled reference to sound Catholic teaching allowing them to say to the critics: “see? I have told them!” whilst making sure the crowds will be pleased with his message. The problem is in the climate of understanding that these utterances unavoidably create.
I always suggest – and will do it today – to think of what our grand-mothers, or even our grandmothers for the less young among us, would have said of such phenomena: would they have complained about the irreligiousness of their times in case of such events – say: explosion of divorce and remarriage among Catholics – or would they have put under the spotlight the “suffering” of those who so behave?
But you see, in those times people did not fabricate their own theology at home, nor did they have priests ready to give to them such stale food. They heard it straight, and repeated it as they had heard it. The idea that everyone has the right to be accommodated was just not there.
How the times have changed.
So the newspapers are rather filled with the “Higgs boson” sub-atomic particle now happily discovered. Whilst this is certainly good news from a scientific point of view, I cannot see how it will convert a single atheist.
In the end, one does not need the discovery of the Higgs boson to reflect that God is truly, truly great. Countless generations before us have looked at the firmament and reached the same conclusion, and I am sure none of those sensible men and women ever thought, by seeing such spectacle, “I will believe that there is a God only when the Higgs boson is discovered”.
More to the point, countless generations before us have believed in God because they believe in Jesus’ message, and have therefore worked towards, and been graced with, the “evidence of things not seen” without which there is, I would dare to say, hope more than faith.
Faithful know. They do not need the Higgs boson to do so. Those who do not believe do not know, and I very much doubt they will not persuade themselves the Higgs boson has “created itself” like all the rest, from nothing. Beside Christ’s message, even ex nihilo nihil means nothing to them, because it does not match with their own delusion.
Once again, great as the day might have been for physicists ( and by reflex for all humanity, and bla, bla; I think humanity needs more Christian influence, not the Higgs boson) it is in my eyes rather irrelevant for both the faithful, and the atheists. Which is good, because the way I see it the who essence of the faith reposes in the fact that we are requested to believe without having seen.
Kudos to the scientists then, but don’t get too excited: the wave of conversion will not come.