Monday, November 12, 2007

Tagging Myself For a Meme

The So-Called "Extraordinary" Meme

I'm tagging myself for this meme for two reasons. The first is that I would never be tagged for it otherwise. You see, the originators and devotees are waiting for people like me to "die off" before they would ever consider it.

Second... There really wasn't anything wrong with this meme in principle, but it took a nasty twist at the end, and I'd like to stick up for the maligned individual in question. I don't know if the last question was on the original meme or not, I think it was an accretion, but it epitomizes the ugliness, chortling malevolance, and mean-spiritedness that has unfortunately become the dominant characteristic of the posts and combox responses to be found in the Catholic blogging world today. It sickens me.

As I alluded earlier on Crystal's blog, I'm sick and tired of people who are still wet behind their ears from their chrismation presuming to tell people who've lived their entire lives in the faith what authentic Catholicism is and what it is not.

I'm also frustrated by all these young traditionalists, "re-discovering" their Catholicism on some apologetics website within the last two or three years imagining a so-called Golden Age prior ot Vatican II, either trashing the Second Vatican Council outright, or giving it the most tepid endorsement possible, characterizing it as a sort of failed "pastoral" council that didn't change any dogma thank goodness, and should be quietly jettisoned. Another variant urges people to look at the "letter" of the Vatican II texts rather than the "demonically-inspired 'Spirit of the Council'". Anyone old enough to remember, on the other hand, who actually happened to be around in those years, is spurned as a gray-haired liturgical-dancing loving fogey who presided over the "ruin" of the Church, which is lying in shambles, and waiting for the young traditionalists to fix it. The fogeys are urged to die off as soon as possible.

It's more likely that the young trads will shrink it down to a curious museum piece, if they get their way.

The truth of the matter is, every single indicator that worries them so much was already present in the years before Vatican II. Europe was already in a crisis of faith. That's why the Council was held. That's why Henri de Lubac, a peritus at the Council, wrote The Drama of Atheistic Humanism, seeking to explore why the Church had already lost the hearts and souls of so many of the faithful. As for the US, it was living a hermetically-sealed ghetto Catholicism in a hostile Protestant society. Once Catholics became educated, affluent, and mainstream, those very elements, along with the secular upheavals in the sixties and seventies themselves, contributed to leading us where we are today.

The young radtrads cry, "Look at the wreckage in the Church after Vatican II! Wow! Great idea that was! What fruits of the Council! It's Springtime!"

I answer, "World War I - 9.7 million military deaths, and 10 million civilian deaths. World War II - 25 million military deaths and 50 million civilian deaths... Yes, It was Summertime before Vatican II!" That's not counting all the other wars around the planet in the Twentieth Century. What kind of Christian continent was that? That Latin Mass certainly was a panacea for everything that was ailing Western Civilization, wasn't it? It certainly was doing the job, obviously.... If anything, the Council was held about 10 years too late, putting it up against the perfect storm of the sixties.

As for these youngsters who are bitter about their whiffle-catechesis while growing up, angry that all they got in their classes was word-search puzzles and smiley-faces, I hear you excorciating the nuns and laywomen who taught you. Well, I remember how difficult is was for them to educate the spoiled brats in your generation, because you had no manners and you had no attention span for anything much deeper. Don't blame those educators for your woeful lack of knowledge. If you were brought up without the Faith in your households, it was the fault of your parents, not the fault of the educators who worked their hearts out trying to get through to you. Just because you're jealous of the vitality of Evangelical Protestantism in comparison to how you view Catholicism these days, don't blame the educators. Look closer to home. Truth is, your parents likely checked out with Humanae Vitae (when Paul VI listened to his curial mandarins instead of the laity) , which is why you weren't brought up like they were themselves.

I consider myself to be in neither the traditionalist nor the liberal camp. I must say, however, that I can certainly understand the frustration on the part of progressives in recent decades. I don’t have a problem with Latin. I don’t have a problem with the historical legacies of our Church, although I do agree with traditionalists that Vatican II was in fact a revolution. It was not a revolution in the sense that they mean it, in that the values of the French Revolution infected the Church. It was a revolution in the sense that the assembled bishops finally stood up like men and acted like real bishops, and were not cowed by the coterie of extreme anti-modernist integrists in the Roman Curia who equated the Church with themselves. The bishops had the support of the Pope in that regard, at least with John XXIII. The Curia has been fighting a rear-guard action in a restorationist effort ever since. The Curia was never reformed as it should have been. They just waited for the bishops and the theologians to go home, then it was back to business as usual. Now that the Church is in a mess, they point the accusing finger at others rather than themselves, casting aspersion and blame on the very council they worked so hard to scuttle.

I understand the frustration of progessives on matters related to the liturgy in particular, because a lot of this was SSPX-driven, and there is a lot more wrong with the SSPX than the illicit consecration of a handful of bishops in defiance of the Pope. In addition to their non-acceptance of the Council is their obnoxious anti-semitism (which should be roundly condemned by all Catholics everywhere) and their inane, crackpot theories around Judeo/Masonic/Communist plots. These Jansenists are still obsessed with the French Revolution and the Ancien Regime. These are the people Benedict is extending an olive branch to, while progressives, concerned about more lay involvement in the governance of the Church, a wider role for women, a reconsideration of mandatory celibacy, and a recognition of positive aspects of Liberation Theology, are shunted to the side, or investigated, censured and disciplined.

Anyhow, here's this meme...

1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo?

That's the Missal of Blessed John XXIII and The Missal of Paul VI, please! Partisans of the Latin can use TLM if they wish (so we can refer to it that way here), but please refrain from using the pejorative term "Novus Ordo".

I attend the Rite of Paul VI. I attended the Latin Mass for the first 10 years of my life. That was enough.

As I said above, I have nothing against Latin, or Gregorian Chant, or the Mass as it was heard by our beloved saints for centuries. Unfortunately, however, the Latin Mass has become a politicized tool in the hands of Vatican II recusants and traitors, and those who believe the least in liturgical diversity. Putting it in their own manner of speech, I'll go extreme and militant.... Enemies of Vatican II are enemies of the Catholic Church. Enemies of the Catholic Church are enemies of God. Enemies of God are my enemies... Sorry to paint with a broad brush, I'm sure most of the attendees of the Latin Mass are reasonable people who attend both rites, but there are enough schismatics in the ranks for me to not want to share pews with them. I guess we won't have to be bothered by each other's company at Mass any longer. I've read too many stupid commentaries on the "invalid Novus Ordo, clown masses, liturgical dance, beer and pizza eucharist, altar girls, communion in the hand", and other apocalyptic nonsense out on the blogs to want to be associated with this.

The last time I attended a Latin Mass was about 10 years ago in Binghamton, NY. My wife had $80 dollars stolen out of her purse when she went up to Communion. That never happened to her at the "Novus Ordo". Would it be fair for me to characterize what happened there to us with the Latin Mass and its adherents in general? Of course not, but this guilt by association is what happens with the Paul VI Rite all the time with every liturgical abuse horror story.

Therefore, I will never attend another Latin Mass.

Ever.

In fact, I'm going to have it written into my will that a Latin Mass cannot be said for my funeral, even if it has become the "ordinary" form by that time, rather than the "extraordinary" form, which is what this Sri Lankan bishop would no doubt like to see.


2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there?

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton Upper Falls is only 1.6 miles from my home. When Holy Trinity, which had been the home for the indult previously, was slated to close, Mary Immaculate became the new home for the Latin Mass community, although MI had been originally slated to close as well. I have attended masses at Mary Immaculate in the past. I have no intention of doing so in the future. Those who attend the Latin Mass are mostly outsiders to the parish.

3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be?

Just "Catholic" is good enough. According to Beliefnet's What Kind of Catholic Are You quiz, I scored 71, which is "Divine Office (Moderately Traditional)".

4. Are you a comment junkie?

I don't even know what that means. All things should be done in moderation. It isn't good to be a junkie about anything.

5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on?

Of course.

6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog?

Only if there was a technical issue preventing me from posting as myself, or if there was a new type of blog that required me to sign up all over again, and get onto another spam list. I always say who I am.

7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on?

Joseph O'Leary's Spirit of Vatican II

8. Which blog is the first one you check?

Mine.

9. Have you met any other bloggers in person?

No.

10. What are you reading?

It's always posted on the right.

11. Has your site been banned by Spirit of Vatican II?

I sure hope not! See # 7 above!

40 comments:

crystal said...

Woo Hoo! :-)

cowboyangel said...

You've really gotta stop repressing your true feelings, Jeff. Don't bottle it up, man. Tell us what you really think.

;-)

You're always so respectful of other people. To see you this angry must mean you're dealing with some real idiots.

I can't even imagine talking to people who think they're being more "Catholic" or "Christian" by pushing the Latin Mass or some nostalgic, pre-Vatican II ideal that never existed. Wait, yes, I can, I met some in Spain. The kind of people who missed Franco and/or wanted to go back to the dictatorship or a Monarchy. I wouldn't mind taking a crack at them over here. With all my built-up anger right now at the Church, religion, and conservatives destroying the country, they'd be like prairie dogs scrambling for their holes.

portinexile said...

Jeff - i haven't been blogging for a wile, but your recent post just 'hit the nail on the head' for me. I hope you don't mind me linking to it on my blog. all the bset, Kevin

Talmida said...

I find it amusing (in a painful sort of way) how many women include themselves in this neo-traditional anti-Vatican II nonsense.

I'm with you, Liam. If you're against Vatican II, you're against the Church.

jackjoe said...

Jeff, I am fully aware that you desire I not comment on your blog. As a Catholic as of last Thursday, I would ask that I be allowed to comment on your blog. I do not regret what I have written before, and I am fully cognizant of your anger at me. You have been helpful to me, but other family members and friends desire to become catholics if Vatican 2 is the spirit of the church, but not if the Church is committed to a return to "pre-conciliar" times. I read you blog each day and would hope you would let me comment. Jack

Garpu the Fork said...

I miss all the 'fun' being wrapped up in grad school things. Like you, I have no desire to attend the extraordinary form. I find no value in being told to sit in a chapel veil and look pious. However, I do think that Latin needs to be reclaimed from the radtrads and SSPX-types. (one of the reasons why I try to do the Divine Office in Latin as often as I can.)

I know there are those who refuse to receive communion from me, when I'm acting as an EMHC. But they rejected Our Lord, too.

Jeff said...

Hi Crystal,

:-) Hey, thanks for putting up that bio of Pedro Arrupe. I enjoyed that.

Jeff said...

Hi William,

I wouldn't call them idiots, some of them are really, really bright, but they can be incredibly intransigent. You don't have to look very far to find this sort of thing. Regarding the tone... They know that progressives don't like to speak in those terms. They know they can wear them down and silence them this way. Progressives just tend tend to get frustrated eventually and pack it in.

I wouldn't mind taking a crack at them over here... they'd be like prairie dogs scrambling for their holes.

Spent some time in Navarre, did you? Beware, the avenging Cowboyangel! Go for it. I'd like to read your "Opus". ;-)

Jeff said...

Kevin Mcmanus!

Thanks for coming by. I've really enjoyed reading your blog from time to time. I'm honored that you linked to it. Not a problem at all. Thank you.

Jeff said...

Hi Talmida,

I think I know what you mean. It reminds me of a quote I saw in a book I've been reading, a quote from a WWI-era feminist and pacifist named Helen Mana Lucy Swanwick:

"Although men made war, they could not have done so had women not been so adoring of their efforts."

Jeff said...

Hi Jack,

Congratulations on coming into the Church.

You say you don't regret what you've written. What about all those posts assassinating my character on my blog, your blog, and elsewhere? Are they just going to stand? What are you telling me?

The same goes for what you've written about Mike. He's likely to post here again. Are you going to have a problem with that? If so, I don't need the drama.

Contrary to what you once wrote on Crystal's blog, this isn't about a little dispute we had. I have disputes all the time. That's not the issue. What I can't take is this business of going from hero one minute to villain the next, and back again. I'm just a guy out here blogging, Jack. That's all. You told me something once in confidence, and that was fine (as far as putting something on a public blog can be considered confidential). It doesn't mean that you own me.

Speaking to your point directly, as far as the Roman hierarchy is concerned, the Spirit of Vatican II is as dead as ankylosaurus. If you ask me which way the wind is blowing, I'd have to say it's decidedly pre-conciliar. I'd just point out, however, that you shouldn't make the same mistake that ultra-traditionalists make, which is to confuse the whole Church with the hierarchy. They cannot be separated from it, but they are not the whole thing. If you want to know if Vatican II is still alive, you'll have to look at the life of your own parish, and other ones around you, and make that determination on your own.

Jeff said...

Hi Garpu,

Been busy lately, eh? I agree about the reclamation, I suppose. Like I said, it's not about hating the liturgy that was heard and/or said by the likes of St. Francis of Assisi and St Ignatius Loyola. I recognize the differences between the motivations of different groups of people attached to the older rite, but the expressed primary purpose of the Motu Proprio was to reach out to the SSPX, and I find that troubling in a larger context.

jackjoe said...

Jeff.

1. I deny that anything I have written is an assassination of your character. Differences of opinion can be strong, and I stand by my statement that your 'no more secrets' statement could quite easily be directed at me.

2. Certainly your helping me at a time of crisis in my life does NOT mean that I think I "own" you. I find your implication that I think I "own" you to be an assassination of my character and a cruel putdown. I hope not a threat.

3.You seem to be very interested in mike's every step, and quite willing to reprimand me. Am I to assume that you approve of Mike e-mailing me saying I was a liar and suggesting that since I was critical of some catholic ideas that I was an anti-catholic bigot?

4. I regret very deeply your attitude in which you picture me as 'evil' as opposed to your goodness.

5. I still thank you for what you did for me, and, although we are apparently in different leagues as to what is character assassination and what debate is---despite these things I greatly admire your analysis . So once again tell me if I do not meet your christian standards to not bother you again with the understanding that you have been important in my life and I will be forever thankful for your past courtesies, concerns and , help. Jack

crystal said...

I hate fighting, especially blog fighting .... don't make me come over there and separate you two! Sorry - just trying to lighten things up.

It's hard to avoid those trads - I've got them calling me a Protestant even in the comments of Ben Witherinton's blog :-)

portinexile said...

Thanks Jeff. I'm hesitant to refer to it as a 'blog' though, as I merely post links to articles and posts that I want to share and I don't really post any of my own stuff. But I'm glad you enjoy reading it. Keep up the good work...

Jeff said...

Kevin,

Well you've been putting up good articles. It's a good way to get started. One of the days you'll have to tell us what it's like to be an Irishman transplanted in Texas.

Jeff said...

Crystal,

There are Catholic traditionalists on Ben Witherington's blog? Really? Who knew?

Jeff said...

Jack,

You sure are one touchy old bastard. :-D I'm even starting to get used to it. You almost wear me down with your persistence. I'd be willing to overlook what's gone on between us, but I can't do that on behalf of someone else.

I'll tell you what... If you delete all those posts on your blog with references to "Sick Mike", you're welcome to participate here. If you don't want to do the right thing, anthing you post here in the future will be deleted.

jackjoe said...

Jeff, you are one arrogant little twerp. I guess you will keep 'playing footsie' with Mike. You apparently don't have the guts to discourage, even generetically, the sending of sick emails by your commenters, especially anon ones.

Frankly there would be no point in my commenting on your blog, since only those who regard you as 'god like' are welcome. Maybe in a few years you'll mature enough to learn what an exchange of opinions is. You have obviously never been in a courtroom on at a negotiating table, but have confined yourself to 'adoring' syncophants.

I would request you print this, get in your final ugly comments, and will call it quits. No matter your crudity, I still admire you and thank you. Jack

Jeff said...

There you go, shooting from the hip again, without reading carefully.

Wrong answer, Jack, but to be fair to you, I'll let that last one stand. It's a testimony to your belief that non sequiturs and ad hominem attacks pass for an exchange of opinions.

jackjoe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Liam said...

Jeff,
Great post.

cowboyangel said...

Did I hear Irishman transplanted in Texas?

Steve Bogner said...

Wow! I'm late to this as usual, but Jeff I admire your tenacity and sympathize with your point of view.

So much more I could say - but it's time to get the boys to the bus... have a great day!

Jeff said...

William,

Yes, if I'm not mistaken, Kevin is living in La Republica de Tejas.

Hi Liam & Steve, thanks.

Liam, Awesome wedding photo. That church is looking as sharp as the couple, too.

Steve,

BTW, thanks for the 'Linked In' invitation. I signed up, but I haven't had a chance to look around in there much yet. I did happen to notice that there are a few people there from my company. :-)

Joe said...

Hi pal,

All I could think of as I read through this was hearing you yell "GET THE !#¿@!% OFF OF MY OBSTACLE!!!" ... and I laughed my arse off!

Many years ago when I was in the middle of blowing a gasket over something (in a public place), you pulled me through a nearby door to the calm and silence on the other side... I see I done showed up late here to do you the same favor. Though, its probably better to have called things as you see them. Nicely stated Jeff. Hope you can take a deep breath and shake it off now.

Peace my friend.

Joe

Jeff said...

Hi Joseph,

Ha. Yes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Harvard Square. How could I forget? :-)Where were you during my Rocky Horror moment? What was your major malfunction, recruit??

Jeff said...

BTW, Joseph, it is Charlie Higgins over at Mary Immaculate.

Joe said...

Charlie Higgins....Mother of Jesus and all that it holy!! Saints be praised!

"¡Que Dios les pille confesados!"

Its been a while since I've been here (sorry). Any posts on the Iran situation?

Jeff said...

Joe,

We talked a little bit about Iran here, after the airstrike by Israel on Syria, speculating on what it might mean. We also talked a little bit about Ahmedinejad's speech at Columbia.

As much as Cheney would love to, I don't think this administration could get the approval from Congress to launch an attack on Iran. If they went ahead and did it anyway, things would get very interesting indeed.

Anna said...

I think you misunderstood the Meme that you referenced. The "Spirit of Vatican II" website that was referenced in the last question was not Joseph O'Leary's blog. It was this blog. This blog is a parody, a representation by Catholic conservatives of (in their opinion) the worst liberal-Catholic thoughts. It maintains a list of blogs that ought to be banned: in keeping with the tongue-in-cheek nature of the blog, these blogs are all Catholic blogs deemed "faithful" (and therefore blogs which a liberal would want to ban). Thus, being banned by this site is a mark of pride for some conservatives. (As for Joseph O'Leary's blog, I didn't even see a blogroll, much less a list of banned blogs).

You mention people trash-talking Vatican II. I'm curious about this, since the only ones I've seen doing so are the sedevacantists and maybe the SSPX websites. I've seen a lot of people condemning the "spirit of vatican II", but I've always thought they made it clear that they were condemning a post-conciliar attitude among some Catholics, rather than the Council itself. (They usually support the "real" spirit of Vatican II). So now I'm wondering who you've been reading or talking to.

On the SSPX and the Latin Mass, I'd say that I'm pleased that Pope Benedict is offering them that olive branch. It won't affect the hard-core SSPX, but it could affect people who are on the margins, encouraging them to stay in communion with Rome. If Pope Benedict ought to be offering olive branches to liturgical liberals as well... well, that may or may not be a failure on his part, but that doesn't make his olive branch to the other side a bad thing. (Not that I'm happy about the way he worded it... but that's a different issue).

I never thought of the term "Novus Ordo" as itself pejorative.

Aside from that, I can really sympathise with the frustration with pre-Vatican 2 Golden Age traditionalists. I'm in a group through my parish; a couple of those people have strong things to say about the radical positive changes in attitude that they witnessed being brought about by Vatican II. That's really made an impression on me, and I wish more Catholics could hear these things personally to appreciate them. And I do think the liturgy seems to be an issue where a lack of charity is most likely to be evident, for some reason. That one and voting.

God bless,
Anna

Jeff said...

Hi Anna,

I think you misunderstood the Meme that you referenced. The "Spirit of Vatican II" website that was referenced in the last question was not Joseph O'Leary's blog. It was this blog.

Ah, now I see. Thank you. I remember this site. In a way, that’s even worse, though, isn’t it? I’m disappointed that Jeff Miller has anything to do with it (if it’s the same Jeff Miller at The Curt Jester). You call it tongue-in-cheek? A blog set up and specifically maintained to mock and deride the views of Catholic liberals? Someone actually takes the time to maintain this? It just the kind of mean-spiritedness, chortling, and gloating I was talking about. I’ve seen Joseph O’Leary mocked and derided for his views elsewhere on different blogs, and it seems to me that the very naming of this blog was a slap at him. Please see the Listo Malpermesitaro page at that site you referenced. There are only 7 ‘Recommended Sites’ in this spoof of the worst liberal Catholic thoughts, and one of them is called Joseph O’Leary’s Cow PIII (Progressive Level III), which takes you directly to his Spirit of Vatican II site. Hardly what I would call charitable. I think I pretty much had this right.

You mention people trash-talking Vatican II. I'm curious about this, since the only ones I've seen doing so are the sedevacantists and maybe the SSPX websites. I've seen a lot of people condemning the "spirit of vatican II", but I've always thought they made it clear that they were condemning a post-conciliar attitude among some Catholics, rather than the Council itself. (They usually support the "real" spirit of Vatican II). So now I'm wondering who you've been reading or talking to.

Whom are you here to specifically defend? And what is the “real” Spirit of Vatican II?

Take this quote over at Mark Mossa’s by Tony from Catholic Pillow Fight, as a good example. A good guy and a reasonable conservative by most people’s standards:

Vatican II, by definition was a good thing. The "spirit of Vatican II" on the other hand was the work of the Holy Spirit's nefarious counterpart. ;)

I see this sort of thing commonly, usually in far less charitable terms than Tony put them.

Considering the fact that the theologians and bishops who took party in the Vatican II debates had sharp differences themselves over what the spirit of the council was, carrying their debates about "aggiornamento” vs. “ressourcement” into their respective journals Concilium and Communio (although the Communio side has pretty effectively taken out the Concilium side in one way or another over the last couple of decades), I think we all need to be modest in making sweeping claims about what the real spirit was and what it was not. People who were still in the Roman Curia in the following years, however, such as Cardinal Alfredo Ottavaviani (the head of the Holy Office), were outright opponents of the Council, and obstructionists every inch of the way, and I’d say that at least half of the Catholic blogs I see out there today have veered in the direction of his way of thinking more than they do with either the Concilium or the Communio camps.

One thing I think can be said fairly definitively is that Pope John reigned in his curial cardinals and Roman professors at the start of the Council and gave the bishops and theologians an atmosphere of openness and trust in which to operate. The tenor of the Council was undeniably collegial and open. Unfortunately, there were circumstances, especially after Pope John was gone, where the curial obstructuionists like Ottaviani and his supporters would lose decisively at a council vote, and then run to the Pope on their own accord and cajole and demand that this or that "explanatory note" be inserted into the texts to protect one papal prerogative or another. This is why the texts seem at times to be ambiguous or to have contradictions, and that is why obstructionists have been able to craft a “look at the texts rather than the alleged spirit” type of argument.

Vatican I defined the power of the papacy, but it did not explicitly define the Church. Vatican I was interrupted by the Franco-Prussian War before that could happen. At VAtican II, the Church was defined as “The People of God”, not as a pyramid structure as was assumed by many (with the Pope and bishops at the top, priests and nuns in the middle, and laity at the bottom). The gifts of the Holy Spirit were understood as being distributed throughout the Church, to the laity as well as the clergy, and not handed down from above, as in the pyramid structure... It is not the function of the bishops to lord it over their flocks but to discern spirits within the community and to steward those gifts to the benefit of the local church, and subsequently to the universal Church. Bishop's Synods were to be held regularly, the laity was called on to advise the bishops, there was supposed to be a reform of the way the curia operated, and there was to be more respect for diversity and for the local churches. Instead, what we’ve seen in recent decades is more and more centralization in Rome, national episcopal conferences marginalized, bishops acting like branch managers, with the bishops at the synods virtually just rubber-stamping what gets fed to them in Rome, and the worst relationship between the theologians and the hierarchy that we’ve probably ever seen in living memory. It’s gotten to the point that the chief theologian in the Church (the one who silenced just about everyone else) is now the Pope. I submit that this is not the healthiest situation to be in. It shouldn’t be the Pope’s role to be theologian-in-chief, but to be the symbol of unity in charity.

I clearly remember the enthusiasm with which most American greeted the Council. In my own humble opinion, the change in the liturgy is not what led us to where we are today. Traditionalists blame Paul for torpedoing the Church with the change in the liturgy. The council, the laity, and the bishops were asking him for that change.

Where I think Paul ran into trouble is where he took two topics off of the table for discussion in the Council, and reserved them to himself alone. One was priestly celibacy, and the other was birth control. In his refusal to follow the advice of his priests and nuns on the former, and the refusal to listen to the advice of his handpicked laity and bishops on the latter, this is where we clearly see the effects of the post-conciliar crisis.

On the SSPX and the Latin Mass, I'd say that I'm pleased that Pope Benedict is offering them that olive branch. It won't affect the hard-core SSPX, but it could affect people who are on the margins, encouraging them to stay in communion with Rome.

OK. Perhaps it’s a good thing if Benedict is able to peel off a few people from the margins of the SSPX. Even that has its potential problems though. I fear that what this will do will only serve to embolden them. When Fr Laguérie left the SSPX and was allowed by Rome to head up an ex-Lefebvrist institute, the local bishop, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, was not even consulted. Read Full-bodied row in Bordeaux. Fr Laguérie, furthermore, maintains his contempt for Vatican II.

Bishop Williamson of the SSPX once famously said (without repentance):

“There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. The Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new State of Israel.... Jews made up the Holocaust and the Vatican has sold its soul to liberalism.”

Should we extendung an olive branch to such thinking, to Holocaust-deniers? In effect, the Catholic Church would be baptizing the Protocols of the elders of Zion. I think it would be scandalous to do such a thing while were are simultaneously excommunicating members of Call To Action for daring to ask if we can still talk about women’s ordination. Don’t you agree?

I never thought of the term "Novus Ordo" as itself pejorative.

Those of us who are not extreme in our traditionalism do tend to take it that way.

Novus Ordo means “New Order”. It is often used in in a pejorative sense, almost exclusively, by traditionalists who question the legitimacy of the Rite of Paul VI, which is not a “new order”, or a “new rite”, but the updating of the Roman Rite.

Why should reasonable conservatives use the language coined and preferred by sedevacantists and schismatics?

See here on Novus Ordo Watch

True Catholics who have kept the Faith handed down to us unadulterated from Pope St. Peter until Pope Pius XII (who died in 1958), have come to label the entire new religion this "Mass" expresses as "Novus Ordo," and hence we refer to it as the "Novus Ordo Religion" and their establishment in the Vatican as the "Novus Ordo Church." This web site monitors this strange new church, and hence is called "Novus Ordo Watch." To sum up: The term "Novus Ordo" is Latin and means "new order." It was used first by Paul VI to refer to his strange new order of Mass, but has since been used to refer to anything that has to do with this New Mass and the entire new faith which accompanies it. So, for instance, people who adhere to the changes since the so-called Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II for short (1962-65), are often referred to as "Novus Ordo Catholics" or simply "Novus Ordos." This is not meant to be demeaning but simply to clarify what type of people we are referring to. Many Novus Ordos are in good faith, while many are not.

or here

Novus Ordo, New Order. Refers to the Modernistic, heretical,
schismatic, and unCatholic doctrines and practices that were introduced since Vatican II. Also refers to the sect and its apparatus deriving from the Great Roman Schism of 1964, when the New Order began to be implemented in place of true Catholicism… Novus Ordo Service, New Order Service. Sometimes called the "New Mass," although it is not really a Mass at all by its own definition. This unCatholic service that was introduced in 1969 and condemned at that time by the Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. It clearly violates the dogmatic decree "Quo Primum" and Apostolic Tradition. Form, matter, and/or intention in its use make it invalid.


or here

Novus Ordo: Latin for "New Order," part of the name of their new pseudo-Mass, "Novus Ordo Missae." The new Church really is a "New Order" with its new sacramental forms, and is often simply referred to as the "Novus Ordo" in traditional circles. One would say of someone that "he is still in the Novus Ordo," if the person being spoken about still attends the New Church instead of the traditional Roman Catholic Church.

I tend to agree with what it says here in wiki:

Novus Ordo Missae, or simply Novus Ordo, has since become a specific composite term used to refer to the revised rite of Mass in its entirety. It is frequently (though not exclusively) used by traditionalist Catholics who are opposed to the liturgical reform. For this reason, while some mainstream Catholics are comfortable with the term Novus Ordo, others reject it. It is not used in official Church documents or by academic liturgists...
In its official documents, the Church identifies the form of the Mass by the edition of the Roman Missal used in its celebration. Thus, in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificumof July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of "the Roman Missal published by Pope Blessed John XXIII in 1962" and "the Roman Missal promulgated by the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI in 1970".


Thanks & God Bless,
Jeff

jackjoe said...

well, at least you're damn informative. Jack

Anna said...

Jeff,

Grr. I hate it when I forget to close a tag.

I didn't like the parody site. If I remember right, it was what inspired me to post this. But I think it would be meaner to boast of being on a real person's banned blog list than to boast of being on the list of what's really an excuse for listing someone's idea of good blogs.

I don't really know that much detail about Vatican II. I've read pieces of some of the documents, but not much more. If I had to guess about what the “real spirit of Vatican II” was, I would say that it was about urging people to live more spiritual lives – to apply true Christian spirituality to issues of war, ecumenism, education, and other modern issues, and about showing how this can be done.

Unfortunately, there were circumstances, especially after Pope John was gone, where the curial obstructuionists like Ottaviani and his supporters would lose decisively at a council vote, and then run to the Pope on their own accord and cajole and demand that this or that "explanatory note" be inserted into the texts to protect one papal prerogative or another. This is why the texts seem at times to be ambiguous or to have contradictions, and that is why obstructionists have been able to craft a “look at the texts rather than the alleged spirit” type of argument.

This is an interesting claim. Can you point to any examples of places in the texts where you see this kind of thing happening?

Other questions about things you said:
Where is the Curia mentioned in the Vatican II documents? Or bishop's synods? (Genuinely curious).
Why can't the Pope be both theologian-in-chief and a symbol of charity in unity?

On the liturgy:
Most Catholics I know are happier with the current Missal than they would be with the old one. I'm glad the church changed the liturgy, but I still wonder if there might have been a gentler or more gradual way to do it, so that those who felt “torpedoed” weren't pushed away by it. Maybe this was the best the Church could accomplish, but maybe it wasn't.

Should we extendung an olive branch to such thinking, to Holocaust-deniers? In effect, the Catholic Church would be baptizing the Protocols of the elders of Zion. I think it would be scandalous to do such a thing while were are simultaneously excommunicating members of Call To Action for daring to ask if we can still talk about women’s ordination. Don’t you agree?

I think we should, as a Church, try to accommodate every reasonable desire of every member (if it does not go against the common good). Does someone fail to be part of the Church because they maliciously delude themselves and others about the existence of the Holocaust? In the case of both the Holocaust deniers and the members of Call to Action (which I would guess are a bit more disrespectful than you characterize them, but I could be wrong) – in the case of both, I think the Church's response ought to be to rebuke them on whatever they are saying or doing wrong, but to accommodate any other, more reasonable things that they advocate for. People are never completely right or completely wrong about the sum total of all they think. Defining someone in your thoughts by their worst ideas disrespects them as people; defining someone by their best ideas is naïve.

On the term “Novus Ordo”:

The people you quoted are schismatics. Of course they use the term scathingly – they hate what it stands for. That doesn't, or shouldn't, make the term itself pejorative. And wasn't it coined by Pope Paul himself? I suppose I've heard the term used in a reasonable way more often than as an insult; if it was the other way around, I would probably feel otherwise.

God bless,
Anna

Jeff said...

Hi Anna,

I didn't like the parody site. If I remember right, it was what inspired me to post this…

there something essentially mean about a parody? Can it only be a vehicle to promote dissention and strife, or is it possible for it to accomplish anything in the pursuit of holiness?


Are you aware that your journal is on the list of the current “banned” blogs on that site? Was it put up there without your knowledge and consent? It’s there with the rating codes PH, F, R, H - standing for Phariseeism, Funny Languages (presumably Latin), Republicanism, and Homeschoolers. I’ve seen your journal. Granted, I haven’t read all of it, but it didn’t look like a blog that specializes in dealing with theological controversies at all to me. It’s a delightful diary that mainly chronicles the development of your adorable children. This puzzles me…. Why would a liberal supposedly be offended by this? We’ve got six, my wife is a stay-at-home mother too, she’s home-schooled some of our kids... None of the progressives here are shunning me for that.

As to your question, I think there are times when parody can be useful. Sometimes it can be affectionate and even respectful, other times it can be wickedly sharp satire. Often it is the only tool with which the powerless can confront the powerful. When used by the ascendant to ridicule the defeated, it’s a bit cruel. It certainly can promote dissension and strife. I doubt that it does much to promote holiness, especially if it’s used to mock co-religionists who’ve been at loggerheads over issues that have caused a lot of pain on both sides for years. I’ve noticed that even the USCCB (The US Conference of Catholic Bishops) is listed as belonging to the “Spirit of Vatican 2 Faith Community and all Syblyngs” that would presumably ban you… but, I suppose we are all too often a product of what once hurt us. It alarms me a bit that people who actually are aware of what clericalism and ultramontanism are, can be so cavalier about wearing those labels as badges, but I suppose it must have caused some resentment to be labeled as a “Cathlofascist” at some point.

If I had to guess about what the “real spirit of Vatican II” was, I would say that it was about urging people to live more spiritual lives – to apply true Christian spirituality to issues of war, ecumenism, education, and other modern issues, and about showing how this can be done.

Yeah, instead of being a fortress walled off against the world, they were confident in engaging it. That universal call to holiness; a challenge and exhortation to us as laypeople to live out our faith as a “priesthood of all believers” in the temporal sphere was certainly a big part of it . I also think there was a lot of movement to be found in Catholic teaching as well in certain areas, such as the one you touched on with ecumenism, our relationship to other religions (particularly vis-à-vis Judaism), freedom of conscience, individual liberty, religious liberty, biblical scholarship, and the nature of revelation (seeing Faith a total response to God rather than an act of the intellect as defined per Trent), the liturgy, the role of the bishops, etc… There was a recovered awareness of the Church as a Pilgrim Church working its way through history rather than as the “Perfect Society”. The idea behind liturgical reform was that the central act of Catholic worship was to be understood once again as a public action of the entire Christian community as God’s holy people.

This is an interesting claim. Can you point to any examples of places in the texts where you see this kind of thing happening?

If you look at the history of Vatican II, it essentially reads as a huge struggle between the vast majority of bishops from around the world, and a small minority of bishops, represented mainly by the Roman Curia, the Vatican bureaucrats who represented the administrative layer between the Pope and the bishops. The Curia figured that they were responsible for running the day-to-day workings of the Church, and intended to keep it that way, without meddling from the bishops. The bishops, on the other hand, resented seeing curial administrators attempting to usurp the bishops’ role as legislators.

For the most part, the Curia was opposed to the Council from the start, tried to maintain the status quo with their original schema (before the bishops rejected those and participated in drafting new schema), and dragged their feet the rest of the way, using delaying tactics and other high-handed methods such as delaying votes, or demanding after the votes were taken that the documents pass though their own Theological Commission for revision. Pope John and Pope Paul had to tell the Curia on several occasions to back off, get on board, and to be faithful to their wishes. Pope Paul first told the Curia himself on 09/21/63 that the Curia needed to be updated, and that several reforms were necessary. Cardinal Joseph Frings of Germany (with the help of his young theologian Joseph Ratzinger) delivered a famously scathing speech on 11/8/63 towards the members of the Curia, ripping into the “scandalous” methods of the Holy office (what the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith was called at the time). In January of 1965, Paul reminded the Curia that they were under heavy criticism from several quarters, including him, and that they were expected to be docile when their reform was eventually announced.

As for your when the Curia got their wins in… The most well-known specific case was in Lumen Gentium, on the question of episcopal authority. The Council Fathers had clearly drafted this as a document that stressed collegiality, stressing that bishops were in the line of apostolic succession by virtue of their own ordinations (“bishops by divine institution have succeeded to the place of the apostles”), and were vicars of Christ in their own right, not vicars of the Roman Pontiff. In other words, bishops received their authority directly from God and not from God through the Pope. They are vicars of their own local churches, not branch managers. Vatican I had defined the primacy of the papacy and infallibility. They figured this work on collegiality would complete the unfinished work of Vatican I.

The minority, however, was very disappointed with this. They complained to the Pope directly in a letter, claiming that it was heretical, and that they refused to back it. For the sake of unanimity, the Pope relented to having additional wording put in from the Theological Commission in an appendix (see the part in LG called “Preliminary Note of Explanation”) . The majority, in turn, was deeply disappointed that the Pope had intervened in a process in which they had been promised complete trust and freedom.

With passages in the preliminary note like .. “As Supreme Pastor of the Church, the Supreme Pontiff can always exercise his power at will, as his very office demands. Though it is always in existence, the College is not as a result permanently engaged in strictly collegial activity; the Church's Tradition makes this clear. In other words, the College is not always "fully active [in actu pleno]"; rather, it acts as a college in the strict sense only from time to time and only with the consent of its head”, there has been a great deal of sturm and drang in the Church in the following decades over what the meaning of this document is, how far the infallible reach of papal power extends, and how far it does not, and what can be said about the authority of individual bishops.

Other types of examples…

Looking over our troubled history with Judaism, the Council Fathers drafting Nostra Aetate wanted a clear statement clearing the Jews of deicide. Once again, the Curia demanded the right to take this out from under the stewardship granted by the Pope to Cardinal Agustin Bea and to examine and revise the text under the aegis of the Theological Commission, which resulted in the removal of the word "deicide," and the revision of "condemns" to "deplores" regarding antisemitism.

Dignitatis Humanae… “Black Thursday”. The Declaration on Religious Liberty, was coming up for a final vote. Curial Cardinal Tisserant abruptly states that no vote will occur on the document during the 3rd session of the Council, basically trying to kill it with a postponement. Despite protest from the majority, the Pope backed the minority move, although the Declaration did eventually come back up again in the 4th session.

Gaudium et Spes. Even though Pope John XXIII had taken the topic of birth control off of the table for the Council to discuss, he had set up a special Papal Birth Control Commission to study the issue. Nevertheless, the Curial minority convinced the Pope to request that condemnatory language regarding birth control be inserted into the document, despite the existence of the Commission. The majority appealed to the Pope to get the language somewhat softened.

Even though they had vast majorities, the Council fathers realized that they couldn’t reach close to full unanimity without compromise, which I’ve read was especially true on Dei Verbum. Apparently it was true in a lot of areas. See this article from an eyewitness.

Where is the Curia mentioned in the Vatican II documents? Or bishop's synods? (Genuinely curious).

The dates of a few speeches were mentioned above. On synods and reform of the Curia, see the Decree Concerning The Pastoral Office Of Bishops In The Church.

Also regarding the Curia, Paul VI closed out the Council with a Motu Propio called Integrae Servandae.

The Supreme Congregation of the Holy Office was renamed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Congregation was supposed to be less concerned with hunting heretics and more concerned with promoting theological investigation.

Since charity casts out fear, the safeguarding of the faith is better taken care of now by fulfilling the function of promoting sound doctrine. This will result in the correction of errors and at the same time will gently call back to the right path those who are going astray and will provide the heralds of the Gospel with new strength.

Furthermore, the advances of human progress, whose importance should not be neglected in religious matters, have produced a state of affairs in which the faithful will follow the lead of the Church more fully and lovingly if they see the reason for laws and definitions, insofar as the matter which is the object of faith and the nature of morals allow.

It is to examine new doctrines and new opinions, no matter how they are made public, foster studies in this regard, and sponsor congresses of scholars; it is to condemn the doctrines and opinions that can be shown to be opposed to principles of the faith, but only after listening to the bishops of the given areas, if the matter concerns them.


As far as the synods go, as well as the reform of the Curia, and the CDF, there has been widespread criticism that the reforms have not been carried out and implemented as they were intended.

Regarding the synods, many bishops have felt very disappointed, claiming that they are called merely to rubber-stamp decisions that have already been made in Rome, that their meetings are subject to curial intervention, and that they are not being seriously consulted. The agendas have been set by the popes, the deliberations are rarely public, and the Popes have issued the final documents after the bishops have gone home. National Episcopal conferences undeniably have a much lower profile than they did 20 or 30 years ago, as more and more decision-making is being centralized and taking place in Rome.

The idea behind curial reform was to internationalize it, to communicate and coordinate better between departments, and to have more participation in its working by laypeople and diocesan bishops.

Internationalization has taken place, but many claim that this has not really brought diversity, in that the candidates usually come from the same kind of experience and theological outlook. They are chosen because they already have the same worldview as the people already in the dicasteries.

Communication and coordination hasn’t always been great. There have been cases where one congregation might make an ecumenical agreement with another faith tradition like the Anglican Communion, or in the case of the Lutherans, the Joint Declaration on Faith, only to find themselves suddenly overruled on a technicality by the CDF.

As for diocesan bishops and laypeople assisting the Curia, some bishops complain that they are not invited to the meetings held by the departments that they are in. As of this date, I don’t think laypeople are involved in all the congregations yet, and there are very few women.

Regarding the activities if the CDF, ironically, many theologians and academics claim that it has been no better, and perhaps even worse, in the way it operates than it was when it was called the Holy Office under Ottaviani. Many theologians have claimed that they are still not being accorded proper due process when their writings are being investigated, and I’d say that over the last 25 years or so, the focus of the CDF has been much more on heresy-hunting than on theological investigation and the sponsorship of scholarly congresses.


Why can't the Pope be both theologian-in-chief and a symbol of charity in unity?

Because that view supports a model of the Church that suggests that the Pope is the source of all wisdom and truth and that all blessings come down to the laity from above. That is not consonant with Lumen Gentium, even with the Preliminary Note. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are distributed throughout the Church. They are not exclusively held by the Pope and the bishops.

If the Pope is the theologian-in-chief, where does that leave other theologians who don’t explicity agree with the Pope? It leaves them on the outside, and this is indeed what I think has happened. Can anyone name any first-rank theologians in the Catholic Church today outside of Joseph Ratzinger? Where have they all gone?

Furthermore, the Popes tend to be very different kinds of men. What happens when their theology changes? Pope John Paul for example, was a Thomist borrowing elements from Personalism and Phenomenology, with some mysticism from St. John of the Cross thrown in. Benedict hasn’t much use for Aquinas. He’s an Augustinian through and through, with a much less optimistic view of the world than John Paul. We all should get to know the “mind of the Pope”, but making him the theologian-in-chief is not what I think we need to do. Better that he should be a symbol of unity and a court of last appeal if need be. Our greatest theologians in the past have not been popes.

in the case of both, I think the Church's response ought to be to rebuke them on whatever they are saying or doing wrong, but to accommodate any other, more reasonable things that they advocate for. People are never completely right or completely wrong about the sum total of all they think. Defining someone in your thoughts by their worst ideas disrespects them as people; defining someone by their best ideas is naïve.

As far as Bishop Williamson and Call to Action are concerned... I really don’t know what to say more about it at this point. Are we really having this conversation? OK. Perhaps we can say they are both misguided. It is certainly true that we are all sinners in need of redemption and that no one alive is beyond redemption.

But one is appealing to neo-Nazi revisionist history and racial and ethnic hatred. The other is appealing not to hatred but to a more inclusive Church. If the recent motu proprio opens the window to liturgical diversity, and offers Catholics who eschew Donatism and are willing to share the pews with other sinners alternatives on which Mass to attend, I know that in a hearbeat I’m going to choose to share in a eucharistic community with those who err on the side of a more inclusive Church than those who err on the side of Holocaust denial. Hands-down. Every time.

On the term “Novus Ordo”:

The people you quoted are schismatics. Of course they use the term scathingly – they hate what it stands for. That doesn't, or shouldn't, make the term itself pejorative. And wasn't it coined by Pope Paul himself? I suppose I've heard the term used in a reasonable way more often than as an insult; if it was the other way around, I would probably feel otherwise.


I’m claiming that the schismatics coined it, not Pope Paul. “Novus Ordo” carries more freight with it than “Novus Ordo Missae” and is subtly (maybe not so subtly) different. As the article I cited pointed out, “Novus Ordo”is not used in official Church documents or by academic liturgists.

God Bless,
Jeff

jackjoe said...

I know I'm not supposed to be here, but you have such great information and analysis I wanted to say I really like it . Jack

Anna said...

Jeff,

I only became aware that my blog was added to the list when you linked to it. It wasn't there when I had previously seen the site. Apparently it was the meme itself which got me added. I don't know about the rating codes, if they pick them specifically or randomly. The funny languages could be my one german post on the Eucharist; republicanism could be my one post aways back about the legality of abortion; and I did post something once about preschool/homeschool. I don't think the list is really supposed to be all blogs which liberals would be offended by, although if they were going to come up with some sort of an excuse/explanation, it would be along the lines of womyn who fail to liberate themselves from the demands of motherhood, is my guess. Keep in mind – it's not meant to represent the actual thinking of actual progressives so much as to take their thinking to an unrealistic extreme for the purposes of ridicule. (After all, isn't that the definition of a parody?) Really, I think they just include my blog because there's nothing there to offend them. (Which makes me wonder just how in depth they looked at my blog, but there you go. It's especially ironic since, at the time, I was getting some negative reactions by some other traditionalists.) If you want to see my more rare posts that may or may not touch on controversial issues, try clicking on the “religious” or “political” tab-filters on the side.

I don't think I like your double standard for the use of parody. If it's cruel for the rich to use it against the poor, why would it not also be cruel for the poor to use it against the rich?

Your comments on the council are fascinating. I hope to have time to think about all that more, soon.

I know that in a hearbeat I’m going to choose to share in a eucharistic community with those who err on the side of a more inclusive Church than those who err on the side of Holocaust denial.

To be sure, I don't think the motu proprio allowing wider use of the older Missal was primarily aimed at Holocaust deniers. However, I also don't know why we should prefer to be sharing in a Eucharistic community with one group of sinners over another. I mean, should we be preferring to share in a Eucharistic community with Mother Teresa rather than the guy in prison for multiple murders? Would Jesus prefer that? Maybe, I don't know.

God bless,
Anna

Jeff said...

Hi Anna

Apparently it was the meme itself which got me added.

That was presumptuous of them. Whatever. Ugh. Awful post. They're no more my cup of tea than I would be for them I suppose.

If you want to see my more rare posts that may or may not touch on controversial issues, try clicking on the “religious” or “political” tab-filters on the side.

I did last week. Pretty good stuff. :-)

I don't think I like your double standard for the use of parody. If it's cruel for the rich to use it against the poor, why would it not also be cruel for the poor to use it against the rich?

I didn't say rich and poor. I said that often it is the only tool with which the powerless can confront the powerful, although granted, it often amounts to the same thing. Sometimes parody can influence opinion and force social change, which is preferable to people having to storm the castle with pitchforks.

To be sure, I don't think the motu proprio allowing wider use of the older Missal was primarily aimed at Holocaust deniers.

I think it was certainly aimed primarily as an attempt at reconciliation with the SSPX, and I've had enough dealings with them over the last few years to solidify my opinion that they are notoriously anti-semitic as well as obstinately and ferociously determined not to accept the outcome of Vatican II, either in spirit or in letter. I'm going to stand by that. Bishop Williamson is one of the two most important bishops in the SSPX. To reconcile with him as he stands would be in effect "baptizing" or endorsing his views, which in my take on it, is unacceptable, contrary to the council, and insulting to those whose "errors" may fall on the side of being more inclusive than less inclusive, and have gotten nothing but the back of the Vatican's hand. I don't think I need to make a case for someone who asks for a discussion around what Call to Action stands for versus a holocaust-denier. I think it's self-evident. Call to Action's agenda isn't necessarly mine, but they were founded by bishops in good standing. I'm going to stand by that as well. If we disagree on that, I suppose we'll have to disagree.

As for the Mass, it was a rant. Rant over. Roma locuta...

Anna said...

Jeff,

I suppose that it was no more presumptuous of them to add me to their list than it is presumptuous of anyone to add people to a list of favorite or liked blogs. In context, I think that's what their Listo Malpermesitaro amounts to.

I guess I'm inclined to like it when people like me and/or read my blog, so even if their parody site strikes me as possibly cruel and definitely divisive, I'm still happy to have my blog on their blogroll.

Ok, powerless and powerful instead of rich and poor. But still I'm not sure. Do you have an example of when parody has been used to change public opinion in a positive manner, rather than adding to the divisions and hatred between people?

To reconcile with him as he stands would be in effect "baptizing" or endorsing his views, which in my take on it, is unacceptable,

I suppose I never thought the goal of the motu proprio was to effect any sort of reconciliation with the SSPX as they stand. Like offering a carrot, but still requiring that they take the steps back towards us to get that carrot, if that makes sense.

I don't think I need to make a case for someone who asks for a discussion around what Call to Action stands for versus a holocaust-denier.

I guess what I don't get is why you think they are opposed to each other, as if the Church can only respond to one or the other and she is choosing the wrong one. Why not just say that the Church has been seriously deficient in its response to Call to Action while also applauding the motu proprio as a worthy gesture of hope of reconciliation towards a group which happens to have a number of serious errors, including a denial of the horror of the Holocaust?

but they were founded by bishops in good standing.

I don't really know that much about Call to Action. Which bishops founded it? Are members of Call to Action considered automatically excommunicated, or just specific members of it? Is it considered to be a schism? Are there any excommunicated bishops associated with it?

God bless,
Anna

Jeff said...

Anna,

I guess I'm inclined to like it when people like me and/or read my blog, so even if their parody site strikes me as possibly cruel and definitely divisive, I'm still happy to have my blog on their blogroll.

I don't understand that statement at all. If you don't like parodies, I guess I'm not understanding why you'd want your blog to be added to one, especially if it was done without your permission.

Do you have an example of when parody has been used to change public opinion in a positive manner, rather than adding to the divisions and hatred between people?

Erasmus wrote 'In Praise of Folly', parodying the 'In Praise of...' books that were common in his day, pointing out the shortcomings of the state of learning and philosophy, and making points about the reforms that were needed to correct abuses that were going on in the Church. Eventually, a lot of those things were taken care of at Trent.
Jonathan Swift wrote "A Modest Proposal', dispassionately advocating the boiling and eating of Irish children in order to solve that island's problems, in response to the indifference being shown by the English towards the Irish in the tracts and articles that were being written in his time. Mark Twain is often cited as a social critic and satirist. His use of parody and satire in books like 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' and 'Tom Sawyer' is credited with exposing some of the absurdities of the racism being practiced in his day and influencing attitudes around slavery. The powerless are often left in despair about forcing any kind of social change. The use of humor can take the powerful down a notch in their eyes, easing some of that despair that things can never change, and the popularity of humor can call attention in the broader public to problems that would otherwise go unaddressed.

I suppose I never thought the goal of the motu proprio was to effect any sort of reconciliation with the SSPX as they stand. Like offering a carrot, but still requiring that they take the steps back towards us to get that carrot, if that makes sense.

Anna, I'm not Donatist refusing to sit with sinners. That's not the point of what I'm talking about at all. Suppose Bishop Williamson said, "Great, we've got the Latin Mass back, we're coming back in" without having to retract anything he said about the Holocaust or any of these other matters surrounding Vatican II? Considering his status as a bishop, his words carry influence, with his own supporters, and within and without the Church. Such a reconciliation would be a de-facto endorsement of his views.

Yes, it bothers me that Benedict seems to feel more sympathy and affinity for those on the far right spouting such callous revisionist history nonsense than he does for people on the left, even those who seem to me to be moderately on the left. You'd think that as a German Pope who was nominally a member of the Hitler Youth at one time, he'd be more sensitive about such things.

What I fear is that this act only makes them feel emboldened. Who is influencing who here? The evidence seems to indicate to me that the SSPX feels like they are "winning". That they are actually pulling the Vatican around to their point of view rather than the other way around. I fear that there is a lot of silent sympathy out there in the neo-cath community for the SSPX, basically holding the position that the only thing they did wrong was to consecrate bishops illegally. As I've maintained, there is a lot more wrong with the SSPX than that. It saddens me that people seem to have such a short memory for history. It horrifies me that such revisionist history gets disseminated while people who actually managed to survive those death camps are still alive and walking around.

Here is how Call to Action describes their history. Members of the Group have been excommunicated by Bishop Bruskewitz in the archdiocese of Lincoln Nebraska, and the Vatican backed him on it.

Yeah, that bugs me. I'm not Call to Action, I'm not as far to the left as they are, but their stated agenda, in my view... I can't offer any view here other than my own... is that a moral equivalent can't be drawn between them and the SSPX.