Daily Archives: February 3, 2023

On The Catholicity Of Catholicism

This is not about Africa, pal…

There is a chap here complaining (yes: complaining ) about African Bishops who happen to be Catholic. Let me quote him:

“There are many African bishops who are very comfortable celebrating Mass in Latin. They want to restore some imaginary past glory of Catholicism in Africa”.

First of all, congratulations to the mentioned African Bishops for being not only Catholic, but properly instructed. I doubt that many of our trendy, post-Faith Western Bishops would even be able (forget willing) to celebrate a Mass in the Tridentine rite.

But the issue I have is not even that: it is the very dumb quip about the “imaginary past glory of Catholicism in Africa”. Here, we see a grave issue with understanding Catholicism in the first place.

Catholicism is not regional, or tribal, or African. Catholicism is universal. It’s in the name itself!!

The glory of Catholicism that these worthy Bishops are clearly itching to encourage is not ethnic, or racial. It is the glory of Catholicism qua Catholicism.

In addition to that, the author of the dumb statement should be aware – and the more shame to him if he isn’t – that the issue of glory, beautiful and worth pursuing as it is, is not the main motivation of the proponents of the Tridentine Mass. What speaks for the Tridentine Mass is its character of most authentic, most deeply Catholic expression of the Liturgy, deprived of the protestantised deformations of the Novus Ordo; deformations which, unavoidably, end up deforming the faith.

Those Bishops clearly know it. This guy doesn’t. He thinks that the “glory of Catholicism in Africa” is their motivation. He does not understand the Tridentine Mass and the love for Catholicism of those who love it. He thinks, even concerning the Faith, in tribal terms.

This guy is active is a teaching position in some university. I wonder how many, like him, belittle and wilfully ignore vital aspects of the Catholic faith, like its universality and the absolutely central role of the Sacrifice of the Mass within it.

We need to start getting more critical of those who are supposed to teach us, and demand of them that they understand what they are talking about or, alternatively, stop sabotaging the Faith.

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