Bad Teachers, And Aggressive Pupils
“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.
Posted on July 6, 2012, in Catholicism and tagged Archbishop Mueller, CDF, Conservative Catholic, conservative catholicism, Pope Benedict XVI. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Bad Teachers, And Aggressive Pupils.