It has been rightly said that new ideas do not prevail because people are persuaded by them, but rather because the people who believed in the old ideas slowly die and are replaced by people raised with the new ideas.
We see examples of this everywhere, from the long process of “denazification” in Germany (which actually worked with the future generations much better than with those who had lived Nazism and had approved of Hitler) to the great damage inflicted to Catholic orthodoxy by a generation and a half of priests and laymen raised with common places and populist rubbish.
If this is true, then the consequences of it are rather banal: the work of rebuilding Catholic identity must start now, and how many Sixty-Eighters will jump on the train is not really relevant. If, for example, the Vatican were to announce the replacement of the Novus Ordo with the Traditional Mass (a feat which, if truly wanted, could be accomplished in a handful of years) the impact on old potheads would be probably small, but the impact this would have on growing generations and on an awful lot of now non-instructed adults would be significant.
This sound long-term thinking seems not to be the specialty of many priests, who prefer to pander to the lies and fantasies of their awfully instructed and worse disposed grey-haired pewsitters rather than to start injecting some sense into the head of at least the young. The very fact that a priest who denies confirmation to a young heathen should make headlines is an impressive testimony of where things are now.
The bishops should, of course, be the biggest part of the solution; alas, they are the biggest part of the problem: mainly Sixty-Eighters with no faith, no spine and no decency, they are appointed by Popes not much better than they (how do I know that? Because said Pope have appointed the bishops; by their deeds you’ll recognise them…) and they will simply not be the one who defend Catholicism, because they are the one who raped it. To them the same rule apply as to the other: they will largely die as faithless as they have lived, and may God forgive them the incalculable loss of souls they have aided and abetted.
Still, it seems to me – though I am the first to admit I suffer an almost pathological form of optimism – that a new generation of priests is slowly occupying the pulpits, and in time a new generation of bishops will flourish out of them. The old V II generation will soon go to their (doubtful) reward, and from them decent Cardinals and Popes might result. I think I have at least anecdotical evidence to show that a new blood is starting to flow through the Church’s veins, and in time it will not fail to bring the much-needed Catholic oxygen to the pews.
It will be a long work; it might be some time before renewal starts in earnest, meaning: with that assertiveness the secular world calls “aggressive”; we might, I fear, have to cope with indecisive, weak, or outright delusional Popes for a while, as the evil of Vatican II is evidently still running almost undisturbed within the corridors of the Vatican; but the signs are multiplying that those born today might get a much better instruction at their disposal than those born one generation. The problem is, those who might get a better instruction will be a lot less than those who would have get any form of instruction just two generations ago, so we have the situation of a smaller troop of more motivated people, instead of the bigger troop of indifferent ones.
I still think it will be an improvement: small professional armies have always worked much better than big drafted ones. In this, Lenin was probably right: a small minority of truly determined people can achieve much, and punch vastly above their weight.
I think we’ll be there one day. Let us pray for good priests and, in time, bishops.
Posted on November 23, 2012, in Catholicism and tagged Catechesis, Conservative Catholic, conservative catholicism, New ideas, Priesthood, Vatican II. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Cautious Optimism.