Daily Archives: May 25, 2013
I truly believe that unless we return to the very basics in our preaching, in our school texts and in our public statements, and unless we return to a liturgy that is God-focused rather than people-centred, we will continue to see the Church dwindle by lapsation and lose influence in society. We need to be formed again, theologically and catachetically. in key issues: the Primacy of the Pope in Doctrine and Discipline; the unique nature of the Catholic Church as the One True Church from which all salvation flows; the necessity of regular Confession for regular Communion; the Mass as the Sacrifice of Calvary and not simply a fraternal banquet; the inherent evil of contraception; of fornication, abortion and euthanasia. We also need to rediscover the essential vocation and responsibility of the laity as the salt of the earth wherein they set out to evangelisation of the world in its media, health care, politics, education etc. We in the clergy need to remember that we serve by taking responsibility (not power) before God for the teaching, sanctifying and governing of the Church. Collaboration does not mean shirking this responsibility.
This is an excerpt from a very good post at “Catholic Collar and Tie” (this one is from the “collar”, if you ask), where a priest reflects on what went wrong and why. His very fitting reflections conclude with another phrase I cannot avoid citing:
In that it is the Truth which sets us free, I believe we have to return –and return soon- to forming them in doctrinal accuracy and in the understanding that Holy Mass is the worship of God in adoration, propitiation and supplication, rather than a community jamboree, which it becomes when we seek jolly songs and use skits and dramas.
The part about “who is Jesus Christ for you?” must also reflect a common problem in English school, as it is not the first time I hear of such nonsense (didn’t happen in my country and in my time, happily. We weren’t asked who Jesus is. We were told. At least that).
I suggest that you click and read the post in its entirety, and also focused on the first comment, from “Adrienne”, which truly gives a realistic picture of what is happening.
It is consoling to see that some of the younger priests “get it” and do not continue in the delusions of their older colleagues, who seem to consider the “key issues” like immaterial options that can be left out provided one has a good heart, or the like .
I had to smile when I read on Rorate that Pope Francis is asking the Pontiff Emeritus to … complete the encyclical letter on Faith. I could almost hear the Pontiff says to the Emeritus, in tears, “aiutami, Benedetto!” after comparing the existing text with his own additions…
Don’t take me seriously, of course. It is normal for encyclical letters to be either written or co-written with expert theologians (when they are expert, or rather orthodox), and even a smart Pope like Pius XI asked his very own Cardinal Pacelli to write Mit Brennender Sorge. Nothing wrong or unusual per se.
Still, I had to smile…
Also interesting is the other news the Pope is working at an encyclical letter on (you guessed it) poverty, hopefully and allegedly intended in the proper way. Beati pauperes is clearly being hinted as a possible name for this effort.
We shall see, but I don’t think I’ll need to read any period of this twice, or will emerge from the reading tremendously enriched.
No great risk of controversy, either. Expect rather grilled tofu on soya sauce. I do not doubt the, ahem, simplest Catholics will be delighted, and the tofu blogosphere will be utterly, utterly delighted.
We shall see, and read. I do not doubt which of the two encyclicals will make the better reading.
I have read around in a blog I prefer not to mention an interesting post concerning “intrinsic disorder”. Leaving aside the sugary parts (the “thoughtful debate” therein mentioned, with the perfectly meaningless conclusion that “the Church must listen to the gay community”, but also “the gay community must listen to the Church”, which is a soundbite meaning perfectly nothing) what surprised me is the analogy between gluttony and homosexuality. The very fact that such an analogy could be made is in my eyes another example of a subterranean Protestant current easily to be found in Anglo-Saxon countries, perhaps not at an explicit level (the blogger in question does not make the comparison; many of the author’s readers will), but certainly at the level of underlying mental and moral category.
To an Italian, to even think to put gluttony and homosexuality on the same plane of “intrinsic disorder” flies in the face of common sense, and means to be no more than 2.5 inches away from Protestantism.
Common sense and Christian tradition have always made a great difference between those sins that go with nature, and those sins that go against it. Gluttony is certainly a capital sin, and at some point it will become a mortal sin, too. But the desire for food is, in itself, perfectly natural, rather indispensable for the human existence and completely God-given. This is absolutely not the case for someone whose “intrinsic disorder” consists in wanting to screw a dog, or his mother, or a person of the same sex, or a child. These kinds of behaviour all blatantly go against the very fabric of our human nature; far from being a wrong use of, or excessive dependence from, or even obsession with what is a God-given desire, they go frontally against the way God made us. God makes every healthy man with the desire for good food, but none with the desire of the abominations described above.
This seems to me such an obvious thought, that a discussion about it appears perfectly superfluous; but this is not the first time the way of thinking explained above is, if not openly professed (again, the post merely makes the point one can send yourself to hell with gluttony, and to get the excuse that “it is part of me” won’t help much in the end), at least invited, or involuntary suggested, in a public area.
We must recover sound thinking and common sense in the discussion about Catholic morals; and we can do it only if we serenely acknowledge, and openly profess, that there is an intrinsic gulf between the immoderate or misguided use of desires that are supposed to be there, and the perversion (per and versio, “wrong direction”) resulting in desires that are utterly disgusting, and conflicting with natural law.
This lack of proper focus, or if you wish this inability to see the forest of reason and common sense because of the obsession with the trees of this or that verse, or this or that public statement, of this or that desire to be “inclusive”, appears to me another speciality of the Protestant world, where the madness of sola scriptura has caused a century-long tradition in word-picking and a high specialisation in self-serving private interpretation of Scripture; until the point comes when the forest is completely out of sight.
We must reacquire the habit of talking straight and call a pervert a pervert and an abomination an abomination. There is an intrinsic and ontological difference, not merely a variance in degree, between the sin of a glutton and the sin of a sodomite. We must say this straight, because to mix up things in that way isn’t charitable, merely extremely dangerous for human souls, potentially including ours.
We recover proper Catholicism by recovering healthy thinking, and accepting that Christianity – and more so Catholicism – never go against sound wisdom and elementary common sense.
Reblog of the day
In an embarrassing (for the Atheists) and rare show of common sense, Richard Dawkins admitted to be only sure to 6.9 sevenths (which, to you and I who do not have a book to promote, means around 98.6%) God does not exist. This leaves only space for the conclusion (as in such things tertium non datur) Dawkins considers the existence of God a 1.4% probability.
In my book, this means Dawkins not only maintains he is not an atheists, but maintains Atheists are wrong. Always in my book, a 1.4% probability of being wrong in your supposition qualifies you as an agnostic, albeit of a rather obdurate sort.
The moderator of this debate seems to have reached the same conclusion, and to his surprise Dawkins said he is called an atheists by other people, but “not by himself”.
Now, before someone starts the soppy song of the “pleasant surprise”…
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