Sunday 24 July 2011

500 (b)

The 500-strong Association of Catholic Priests are riding high right now for all the reasons that I mentioned in the last post. They are conscientious priests who probably do not spend all their time on the golf course, or else they would not be getting so generally upset over these issues. They do actually care and want real solutions to the terrible problems that they see in the Irish Church.

On the whole, they see the problem as being largely one of a conservative Vatican reining in on all the good things that the Second Vatican Council had brought and returning to a model of 'you will take what we give you, and you will like or or lump it'. Hence their opposition to the new translation of the Mass, and hence their outrage at the insufficient reaction of the hierarchy to the pædophilia crisis.

Here the reader will not be surprised to learn that I part company with them. Not all the way: in the last post I too deplored the way that the bishops have been left undisciplined.

The trouble is that you can't keep your cake and eat it as well.

• You can't abolish sin (original and actual), hell, penance, confession, and the rest, for forty years and then reinvent them for the special case of pædophiles and complacent bishops.

• You can't (in the spirit of collegiality and Vatican II) for forty years protest Rome's interference with local bishops, and now complain that it hesitates to interfere and discipline them.

It really is all of a piece. The Church has two millennia of experience of dealing with sin, but if you are going to tie her hands behind her back and then expect her to deal decisively with a wolf when it descends on the fold, then you are going to be disappointed.

That is why I think that what the Church needs is not bishops like Willie Walsh, much-loved and kind man as he is, but men like Charles Chaput who really get it.

There are not a lot of places in Ireland where what is sometimes called the New Orthodoxy has been attempted. Parishes on the whole are very much what they were in 1970, only not quite so full. Young people have not received the opportunity to encounter the genuine faith and see its power. They just find the 1970s model unconvincing, and its strictures incomprehensible in the light of the fact that it would appear to have so little else to offer them.

I wonder whether something like World Youth Day might not do some good if it were held next in Ireland.


Fr Ray Blake said...

It will be interesting to see what the Mission to Ireland, which the Pope promised brings about.

Philly said...

Ah, the Mission, it's a bit like the rest of the excellent writing that comes out of Rome. If it's done at all the native Clergy will make a mess of it. If it's not done Rome won't be taking any steps. Silence from the Irish Bishops and the ABp of Armagh takes a month's holidays. How I'd love a month's holidays. I'm in the wrong job. Hopefully there will be a vacancy in Armagh after the month and I can apply.

I don't agree with your characterisation of the ACP as conscientious. They are the ones who do not/will not obey. They are the ones who have turned Confession into a mid-Mass 'parade up like Holy Communion' and tell one sin charade and who then disappear at Holy Communion time to leave lay women distributing Holy Communion. They are the ones who change the words of the Missal to make it gender-neutral (at any Mass in my Parish the Priest pauses at "for us..." while the people say "men" and then carries on. This is the lazy-priest's Austrian schism.

Pastor in Monte said...

I'm trying to be polite.
I do think it's better to win people over by trying to understand what they really are saying than mis-characterising for polemical purposes.
Though I suspect you and I might be on the same side, I think we have to give people at least a chance to explain themselves. Let's think the best of people before we have to reconsider.

Laura said...

" any Mass in my Parish the Priest pauses at "for us..." while the people say "men" and then carries on."

At least he pauses for you. Ours used to omit the 'men' but leave no time for us to say it. He used to be a chaplain at a very liberal establishment which he says 'scarred him for life' and where he didn't dare say the word 'men'. I think the feminazis have a lot to answer for.

Philly said...

Pastor, your tone is better than mine, of course, but we need to be ablaze with indignation here in Ireland right now and not distract ourselves from this moment when the mask is ripped from the NewChurch and its deplorable moral failings.

Laura, you say feminazis I say quisling clerics and Petanist Bishops.

However, the distinction is important. Here in Ireland there is a lazy schism going on. It's not like Austria where they're getting all exercised. Here they can quite happily deaden the last remnants of the Faith without a whisper or a whimper.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

I will be very honest with you: I have no respect for Chaput. In 2002, in First Things magazine in the U.S., he equated Supreme Court Justice Scalia w/Frances Kissing of the pro-abortion Catholics For A Free Choice for questioning the Church's recent theological revisionism concerning capital punishment. To wit:

"When Catholic Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia publicly disputes church teaching on the death penalty, the message he sends is not all that different from Frances Kissling disputing what the church teaches about abortion,... the impulse to pick and choose what we're going to accept is exactly the same kind of 'cafeteria Catholicism' in both cases.”

Anybody who knows Church history knows that, until very recently, the Vatican did not actively oppose capital punishment (in fact, the Papal States used the guillotine to execute offenders in its territory). Anybody who knows Church history also knows that the Church has *never* supported abortion.

There are only three explanations for Chaput's comment:

1. He is pathetically ignorant of the history and theology of his own Church.

2. He is a grandstander who needs attention.

3. He is an ambitious charlatan who is bucking for a red cap and a bigger see.

If you're the betting type, bet on 3.

Until Chaput apologizes publicly for his moronic, despicable response to Scalia, I will pay no attention to anything he says.

BTW, I wrote a piece analyzing the Church's (and JPII's) arbitrary revisionism on the issue here:

Robert said...

Well all I can say is that the damage is done. And from speaking to several people in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, who "were Catholic". They feel that not even the new Archbishop will get back the faithful. Unfortunately most Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as well as Ireland are plainly speaking like protestants. They want the church to "get with the times". But even if the church "got with the times", they still wouldn't come back. They are plain ignorant of holy tradition and the history of the church. They blame the church, and will continue to blame the church, no matter what. For me, I feel the West is lost entirely. Now may be the perfect time to look eastward. And to begin to model ourselves, based on the Eastern Churches. As for Ireland being like Christianity in Egypt. I don't think so. The Church in Egypt today is suffering and even dying for their faith and traditions. You will never see that happen today in the West. They would rather compromise traditions and the faith for "getting with the times". They want the Catholic Church to go away, because of ignorance, thanks in part to those who were suppose to teach them. To them apostolic succession means nothing. That will be their loss!. And I wouldn't be all surprised if the Pope is banned from coming to Ireland. Rome needs to model itself like the other Ancient Sees. And yes I do mean the Orthodox!. Those other Churches with apostolic succession!. And if the Church gets smaller. So be it!.

shane said...

Father, this may be of interest.