Some of you will have read of my rather perplexing experiences in Bruges, Flanders. Rather a couple more – says my stats table – have read, or at least clicked on, my several posts about the Heresy in Austria.
In what appears to be the deserved punishment for the Vatican’s incompetence and culpable inaction, the heresy now spreads to Flanders, where – as I write this – no less than 211 priests have signed a sort of petition explaining things the poor idiots “don’t understand”.
Unfortunately, your truly can help with German, but he is totally at a loss to interpret that strange-sounding mixture of guttural sounds called Flemish. For this reason, I will have to rely on the always excellent Rorate Caeli for a list of those things the poor idiots – or worse; read my post about Bruges – don’t understand. They seem to be the following:
1) We do not understand why the leadership of our local communities (such as parishes) is not entrusted to a man or woman, married or unmarried, professional or volunteer, who received the necessary formation.
2) We need dedicated shepherds. We do not understand why these fellow faithful cannot lead Sunday services.
3) In every living community we need liturgical leaders. We do not understand why – when there is no priest – a service of Word and Communion is not allowed.
4) We do not understand why skilled laypeople and formed religious educators can not preach. We need the Word of God.
5) We do not understand why faithful of good will who remarried after a divorce have to be denied Communion. They are equally part of the community.
I regret the demise of those blessed times when a slap in the face was the way such questions – when posed by, say, an unruly child; adults would obviously, being adults, not pose them – were dealt with. Unfortunately, nowadays the children aren’t treated that way anymore, and many of them seem to have become priest.
Why they did that, is beyond me. Unless they’re homosexual or pedophiles, of course.
Still, I do not want to hide from you the fact that in my modest opinion, the biggest culprit for this mess is the Vatican, and one wonders how many countries – or parts thereof – will launch such “initiatives” before someone in the right chambers wakes up, smells the coffee and starts being Catholic instead of regaling us with the usual platitudes about how good bishops are supposed to be, without caring to do anything when they – regularly – don’t.
The northern European barn is slowly, but surely burning. I can’t hear the Vatican sirens anywhere.
The time for empty talk has passed. This is the time for sharp and decisive action, for exemplary excommunications, for punishment and restoration of sound Catholic thinking. Beginning, of course, from Cardinal Schönborn but now – alas – having to go much further than some diocese lost in Mitteleuropa.
The Neville Chamberlain policy didn’t work. It never could, it never will.
One shivers at the thought of the terrible chastisements awaiting him. Reading Ordinatio Sacerdotalis aloud perhaps? Being told “tut, tut” by the Holy Father himself? Receiving an actual reprimand? No, the mind recoils from the last one. It would certainly cause an intervention from the United Nations, and President Obama (Now called “AA+” from his most intimate friends) would call for an armed intervention before discovering that Cardinal Policarpo is, actually, not homosexual.
In the meantime, the heresy in Austria goes on undisturbed and the “call to disobedience” is still online, under the paternal eye of Cardinal Schoenborn.
No Roman Holidays for him, I’m afraid.
Dum Romae Consulitur, Saguntum Expugnatur, reports Titus Livius that the ambassadors from Saguntum said to the Romans. “Whilst in Rome they discuss, Saguntum is taken”. History tells us that the Roman hesitation in acting decisively in the defence of Saguntum led to the ultimate destruction of the latter without doing anything to avoid a confrontation that clearly had to come anyway.
Fast forward to AD 2011. Another Curia Romana is in power now, and a similar situation is presented to them. Whilst in Rome they discuss, Austria gathers supports for an open revolt to almost every conceivable Church rule (from male priesthood to male celibacy, and from apostolic succession to Church governance) without any noise coming from Rome, and the weakest of ex officio criticism from the Austrian clergy.
The blog post of E F Pastor Emeritus about the 313 priests and deacons signing the open appeal to rebellion is as recent as last week. If you visit the page, they today have 317, with the number of adhering priests increased from 250 to 255. This in merely one week, with the page warning that in summer the updates will be irregular. For the record, the huge title of the page means “Appeal To Disobedience”. The bishop sends his greetings.
Also worthy of notice is that the supposedly sharp meowing of Bishop Kapellari didn’t come from the number one of the Austrian bishops’ conference, but from its number two. Methinks, Cardinal Schoenborn is too intent on enjoying his holiday to deal with the matter of more than 300 priests and deacons (and counting) adhering to a public invitation to open heresy. Or perhaps he is not even on holiday, but he simply thinks that such a matter of small importance as the call to open rebellion from 250 of his priests (come on, folks: Austria has 8.5 million inhabitants, 250 priests in an awful lot by every conceivable standard) doesn’t deserve a word from the boss, the second in charge being fully sufficient for the widely expected “sharp” official meowing. Or perhaps Cardinal Schoenborn is simply doing what he can to help the rebels without openly compromising himself, helping their rebellion to grow by giving the obligatory criticism as low a profile as this is possible without attracting Rome’s lightnings.
I know that this is the country where the clergy authorises western masses, laser masses, and blasphemous representations of the Last Supper. But even so, one would expect the meowing to be more energetic, and from the top cat.
Not happening. The number of openly rebellious priests and deacons grows; they will take more courage as the weeks and months go by without any reaction going beyond the meowing. The absence of a strong reaction will consolidate in the minds of the simple and of the poorly instructed (in Austria, evidently, the vast majority) the impression that the Church has a weak reaction because she is wrong; that she doesn’t act decisively because she knows this would be an injustice. This will, of course, not appease the rebels, who will feel more and more encouraged to become bolder (though I can imagine with much difficulty how one can be bolder than that: by starting to “consecrate” wymyn priest perhaps? or by declaring that satanic rituals now fulfill sunday mass obligations?….).
At this point, it is difficult to imagine that the Austrian hierarchy will suddenly find the guts to put an end to this. Firstly, they don’t believe in God (if they did, they would never countenance blasphemous material in the diocesan dome museum in Vienna). Secondly they don’t care a straw for Catholic orthodoxy (if they did, there weren’t western masses, nor laser masses). Thirdly, they are evidently not displeased with the behaviour of their priests (if they were, they would have had in the past many ways to threaten the vast majority of them into submission, which is something they do rather well when they want to).
Decisive action is now, reasonably, only to be expected from Rome. Unless this action is exemplarily harsh the ferments of rebellion will remain, as you can’t expect to reeducate a priest in such a decisive opposition to everything Catholic with gentle words more than you could avert the attack of an angry rottweiler by telling him a joke about David Cameron.
Whilst in Rome they discuss, in Austria heresy spreads.