“Brothers In Arms”, Dire Straits, from the album “Brothers In Arms”, 1985
Continued from the last post and the one before that and so on … can’t believe I am already doing part 6 … and I thank gentle reader for their patience and understanding as I try to chart a course through the reefs from scandal to peace.
It seems, on the face of it, that the logic of the Winnipeg Statement rises again in Amoris Laetitia, like the monster from the slab.
And, I continually discover that I am not alone, not the only one having these visions, these flashbacks and hallucinations concerning ducks. I read over on Father Hunwicke’s blog:
“(1) Bergoglians urge upon us “Amoris Laetitia” under the pretext that, with a culinary dash of Newman’s “Development” stirred into the pot and with a large dollop of subjective guilt reduced from “Mortal” to “Venial” (‘Here’s some I did earlier’), we can cook Communion for “Adulterers? NO!” until it is nicely tenderised into Communion for “Adulterers? YES!”.
And, of course, this lays the way open for homosexuals, polygamists, paedophiles, polyamorists, therogamists, batrachophiles, and all the other categories that the Graf von Schoenborn and Fr Rosica may or may not have on their lists. … I’ve got a little list …
OK, Ko-ko (is there a Cardinal Ko-ko? in today’s Gilbert-and-Sullivan Vatican, there jolly well should be). Splendid. And all the basic work, all the heavy lifting, has already been done by Tucho in between ‘supermystic’ kisses (is there a Tucho in Gilbert and Sullivan?). What more could …
But this particular sleight of hand will not avail (as far a I can see) when these same Magisterial Minds turn their attention to the next nut that needs to be cracked: the priestly Ordination of Women.
Can anybody suggest how (again with appropriate assistance from Development and with their usual claims about the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit) they will chart their journey from “Womenpriests? NO!” to “Womenpriests? YES!?”
In other words, what conjuring tricks, accompanied by the Graf’s sad but winning smile and Rosica’s air of patient condescension, will enable the Bergoglians to argue that the Ordination of Women is merely a natural and inevitable development springing fully-formed from the head of Ordinatio sacerdotalis?
(2) When Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman was faced by the protoBergoglian campaign at Vatican I to formulate the Petrine Primacy in a superhyperueberpapalist way, he characterized his contemporary Ultras as “An aggressive and insolent Faction”.
Perhaps we should resurrect this beautifully expressive phrase to describe our own dear and much-loved Ultras. And, ‘for short’, we could refer to them simply as “the Faction”.
One should never stray too far from Dr Newman.”
And sin entered into the world … the first humans believed the lie that they would become like god … and the knowledge of good and evil gave birth to an endless iteration of rationalization of how evil was not actually evil.
Evil is simply a difference of opinion, a misunderstanding; that whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience. Now that sure sounds like a “Final Solution” moment to me.
Gerhard Cardinal Müller’s explanation, in the spirit of charity, urges caution and restraint. The Roman Catholic Church has come a long, long way, in human terms, all the human folly and antics notwithstanding.
Again I repeat the mantra “the Roman Catholic Church is not and never has been a product of the Roman Curia.” This becomes almost a prayer, a repeated prayer, a reassurance, an incantation against demons.
So, in the spirit of fraternal charity, I try to remember what I have been taught about the history of the Real Church, the Church founded by Jesus Christ … that “Paradisaical Church”.
I’m trying to remember, and to keep in mind, what I have been taught about the orthodox, paradisaical view of the origin, unity, and primal perfection of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Church as it began, before Satan, and the original sin of Clerical Pride and secular politics poisoned the well with the offal of human desires. I think I read the story of the next few paragraphs somewhere but I can’t remember where now. It reads with a lyrical simplicity which my writing often lacks.
Nothing in the history of mankind was smaller and more humble in its beginnings than the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s founder was born in a stable, in abject poverty. He grew up in poverty, and worked as a humble carpenter for the first 30 years of his life, unrecognized and completely unknown.
He completed his mission, the mission for which he came into the world, in only 3 years of preaching to poor people. His doctrine was so simple that even the unlearned peasants could understand it. His public life ended in his murder by the religious and civil authorities of his day.
When Jesus died the Church was established by a mere dozen ordinary men gathered about a humble peasant woman, Mary.
But this tiny core grew with such vitality that in only a few years it spread into all the countries of the vast Roman Empire, and so on into the whole world … even to the ends of the earth.
This was and is the Church of Jesus Christ … handed to the Apostles, the first bishops, to preach the gospel and spread the Catholic Church to the very ends of the earth.
And to conserve the truths received at the hand of Christ and pass them on “unadulterated” by fashion or opinion.
So, I have got a lot more thinking ahead of me, a lot more self examination. More thinking about “Obedience”. Obedience is the voluntary submission of my God given free will to the demands and commands of my superiors. More thinking about my failures and mistakes, my faults.
With respect to these failures, mistakes and faults, my daily errors, I instinctively try to excuse myself. My pride is unwilling to admit its mistakes and schemes. My pride wants to hide my mistakes under false pretexts, always trying to find some way to blame them on others, on the conduct of others, or on the circumstances of my life.
I believe that we find the will of God in the every day minutia and duties of our station in life, the daily duties which we are called to perform to the best of our ability and will. I believe that I give glory to God both by performance of these duties and by obedience to the commands of my superiors.
In my military days I had no difficulties identifying my superiors, and for the most part no trouble obeying them, having internalized the familial hierarchy and the code of military conduct of my chosen tribe to the level of unthinking habit.
I had voluntarily brainwashed myself such that I rarely put a foot wrong. The habit of my daily life rarely fell out of line and then only in minor social matters, worthy of Captains Defaulters at times but never of anything serious requiring Court Martial.
But now, decades later, as my own boss, in my own business, I have no superiors says my ego. Where am I now required to give obedience to the commands of my superiors. When I think my own ideas and opinions are “superior” who reins me in? Where is the abnegation of self now?
When now do I struggle to obey without resistance or resentment, when do I struggle for a voluntary abnegation of self and of self determination? I am answerable to God and Jesus Christ and to no man (well, maybe to my wife sometimes but that’s another story).
I believe this, but I have great difficulty putting this into practice because without a human superior riding herd I acknowledge that I am very attached to my own opinion and my own understanding of my observations, my own judgement, the quality of my self, my self love.
I am not a religious, belong to no order, have taken no vows of obedience or otherwise. If my wife doesn’t object then who is my superior? And yet, in honesty, I have to recognize a “nominal” superior. As a self identified member of the Body of Christ, by baptism, and by active membership in the Roman Catholic Church my Superior is Jesus Christ, the head of the Body of Christ.
And his appointed representative on earth, his steward, if you will (with a nod and a wink to Gondor), is my superior by proxy, whether I like it or not. So Pope Francis is my superior, for now, until he passes on, or Christ comes again.
And what exactly has Pope Francis commanded and what does he command with respect to we the faithful? Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps on this petty pace … I have to keep it ever before me … the Roman Catholic Church is not and never has been a product of the Roman Curia.
As Hilaire Belloc famously said: “The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine—but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.” -Hilaire Belloc. Oh me of little faith.
A prayer … O Jesus Christ, Son of the eternal Father, our Lord, true King of all things! “What didst Thou leave in the world for Thy descendants to inherit from Thee? What didst Thou ever have, my Lord, save trials, pains, and insults?”
Indeed You had only a beam of wood to rest upon while drinking Your bitter cup of horror. Those of us, then, who desire to be Your true children, and not to renounce their inheritance, must never flee from suffering.
Your banner is five wounds! So too that must be our badge, our crest, our banner, if we would inherit Your kingdom!
Nothing but trials, pains, and insults … when Abraham sincerely offered to sacrifice his only son God promised him that his descendants would be more numerous than the stars.
And God promised those descendants life IF those descendants followed His commandments, the Manufacturers instructions.
And, two thousand years on, Abraham’s descendants murdered God’s Son. So much for keeping the covenant. A couple of thousand years more and schoolyard bullying in the Vatican seems pretty small potatoes compared to murdering God’s Son.
So what about our trials, pains, and insults? What about our Fear Uncertainty and Doubt? What about our doctrinal controversies?
These trials and pains seem, at times, to be tailored to exactly those aspects of our life which we are most attached to, like our opinions, of others, and ourselves,
Among other things, “Amoris Laetitia” created controversy following its publication regarding whether or not Chapter 8 of the exhortation had changed 2000 years of the Catholic Church‘s sacramental discipline concerning access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist for divorced couples who have civilly remarried.
This controversy has focused especially on Catholic Church teachings on marriage, and divorce, but also has led later to confusion regarding the church’s position on homosexuality, mercy, interdenominational communion, and much, much more.
All the “traditional” sins of the 60’s, sexuality, license, gender issues, married clergy, female priests, so on and so forth, really all the little peccadilloes which the “West Wing” of the (Liberal) Catholic Curia have been striving to “sanctify” since at least Vatican II in the 60’s.
It, the mess, or “lio” as Pope Francis is fond of excusing, is sort of like washing a pair of new paradigm jeans with your traditional whites … everything starts looking blue, and it sure looks intentional from here.
So what? So, I guess that is what Canon 212 is about …
I find myself wishing with Frodo: “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. ” All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. (Gandalf, “Lord of The Rings”)
Am I a throwback, an avatar from an earlier time, a man out of time, a 13th century man …