My experience in Bruges is one of the most appalling Catholic events I have ever witnessed ( I assume here the Mass had sacramental validity, though I can’t be certain) and if you read that blog post (or this other one) you will certainly understand the Church in Belgium is in deep… trouble, and a local Church in deep trouble is almost certain to have very bad bishops.
We have now further confirmation of this, from an interview given from Bishop Bonny (you will remember him, perhaps, from this post).
Bonny seems to have two fixed ideas: 1) ordination of married man, and 2) letting you know he likes to flirt with the idea of priestesses.In the old post, he insisted on letting us know the idea of “priestesses” is “difficult” (You don’t say? Are you really sure?) . Today, he insists in letting us know Catholics in Belgium “might accept it”.
In doing so,Bishop Bonny lets us know ut I doubt he is aware of the real nature of his message.
He probably merely wants to let us know that whilst his sheep are so modern, inclusive and open-minded, those poor primitive Catholics from Africa and elsewhere are not so advanced, and we must pay attention not to offend those poor, simple, unenlightened people.
May God have mercy on this man’s soul, but don’t bet your pint.
Bishop Bonny is an appointment of Pope Benedict XVI.
On Insight Scoop, an interesting blog post dealing with the matter of “why dissenters remain in the Church”. After all, Luther & Co. at least had the intelligence and logical thinking of drawing the consequences of their revolt.
The blog post article (in turn mentioning an essay) opines that in the end it is a matter of power: the power-obsessed liberals do not want to go away, they want to conquer and reign over nuChurch. The same would be true, says the article, when the dissenters say that the Church “infantilise” them. Like a rebellious child, they are looking for….. power at the expense of the legitimate authority of the Church.
I found the theory very interesting and it is in my eyes unquestionable that the quest for power is an important part of liberal thinking. One is reminded of school and university, where the most vocal leftists were clearly looking for personal advantages and a political career and whenever you heard “we must this” and “we must that” you knew who was supposed to lead the “collective” effort.
Nevertheless, I would like to offer other three elements; of which two I would attribute largely to the female public (and please note that among “dissenters” women are clearly very well represented).
1) Ego or, if you wish, pleasure. Human beings as such tend to do what gives them pleasure, and to eschew what gives them pain. Dissenters act in a way that is not different: they please their ego by feeling “modern”, “progressive”, “inclusive” and “rebellious in a comfortable way”. But they mostly abstain from thinking this to the end, because to draw the consequences would be traumatic.To say “I have decided to leave the Church” would be very painful, because it would force them to really feel the gravity of what they are doing. As long as they don’t say that they want to go, they think themselves free to feel like “reformers” instead of what they are: heretics.
To make a parallelism with everyday life, think of the “wannabe rebel” adolescent who questions parental authority but continues to be fed and cared for by them. Were he to be kicked out of the parental home – or to decide to leave it and fend for himself – his rebellion wouldn’t be much fun anymore. Therefore he will choose to be rebellious from the comfort of the family. The well-fed, shirt-ironed, college-paid “rebels” are, and always will be, the vast majority.
2) Emotions. Some people (particularly women, but not only them) tend to put a huge premium on how they “feel”. In this perspective, thinking is merely an optional. Therefore, many dissenters (particularly women) will stay within the church (or thinking they do) because of the fuzzy feeling they get by calling themselves “Catholic” and still feel part of the oh so big family. This is the religion of their fathers and mothers, and they just don’t see as “fuzzy” to say to them (or to their tomb) that they have become Episcopalians, even if they are. “I have always felt comfortable in the Catholic Church”, they’ll say clearly revealing the inability to add 2+2 if it feels bad.
3) (Macho alert! Feminazis please look away now!!) Approval. The day a woman stops kidding herself (between seventeen and nineteen, mostly), she realises that women have in their genes a strong need for the approval of men. You see this happening anywhere, with women fighting for male approval in the office and dissing the female colleagues in their presence with an energy and passion men would never find (or care to find) to diss other men in front of women; or berating each other in what makes them cheap in the eyes of men (ever heard men calling each other “slutter”?). I could make much stronger examples, but the important thing for us is that the same mechanism is at work here. These “emancipated” wannabe priestesses badly need to be approved by the same men they accuse of being oppressive to them. It’s…. dad all over again! They can’t do their own thing, leave the church, get a beer with their friends, go to a bar and never give a dime for what the people of the opposite sex in the church they have left think, as men would. No. They must get men’s approval, and in their deluded minds they think that if they only nag men for long enough, they’ll get their way. Foolish but, I must say, very gender typical. Works rather well on an individual level, anyway.. 😉
And so there we are, with this singular mixture of ego trips (“the Church doesn’t satisfy my needs“), emotional orgies (” I always feeeelt that I was born a priesteeeeess”) and starvation for men’s approval (“I’ll not be satisfied until men approve of women priest”) causing what we are seeing: the strange phenomenon of rebellion without severance, and seeking approval from those rebelled against.