Sunday, August 7, 2016
Should Good Catholics Read John Paul Shimek?
From the Catholic Register... a publication of EWTN
Ines San Martin of Crux reported that Pope Francis “has vowed in a new interview that he won’t be slowed down by resistance from ‘ultra-conservatives’ in the Church who ‘say no to everything,’ insisting, ‘I’m going ahead without looking over my shoulder.’” A sane minde might shutter at this time... just a tad concerning. Almost Quaker-esqe.
Good Catholics everywhere cheered the words of the Holy Father, the Successor of St. Peter. I'm guessing those that choose to foster the virtue of prudence and not wonder with veneration upon everyword the Holy Father brings forth are to be considered "Bad Catholics". Dangerous territory, along the lines of what Blessed John Henry Cardinal Neumann warned of.
You see, they readily understood that a handful of far-right ideologues do not get to determine the course of Christ’s Church. To be fair, those ideologues on the "far-right" who are often maligned as reactionaries(like Dietrich von Hildebrand for instance) or radicals, are not subjective as the writers of this rag have become, but instead employ the gift of the Church's tradition to assess the authority of any statement coming out of the Vatican or even the local chancellery. It doesn’t matter if those ideologues represent semi-schismatic enclaves or write popular blogs. The author is just setting up his own ideology here in regards to "Bad Catholics". Christ the Lord has empowered the Church’s Magisterium in communion with the Successor of St. Peter to lead the People of God. Um... lead the people of God... sort of, more to teach the faith handed to them unadulterated (cause its not theirs to play with) and to tend the flock when error should enter. Not them. Nonetheless, sometimes it can be instructive to read these far-right ideologues. Doing so, reveals some things worth noting about the signs of the times; and, taking stock of those things, helps us to perform better the work of the New Evangelization. Which is an ambiguous play thing that continues to go undefined by the author of this piece. Just what do these blogs reveal? This should be fun!
At first brush, it would seem that there has been a shift in the tectonic plates. At the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Francis, only a small minority of ‘radical traditionalists’(This is not a quantitative issue either way, its a matter of quality) teetering on the edge of schism opposed the man ‘from the ends of the earth.’ So the first issue is why use the term schismatic, its like heretic, way overused by the neo-con crowd and the homoheresey folks. Second, you like the idea of him being from the ends of the earth... so what, pure rhetoric. Middle-of-the-road ‘conservative Catholic’ (be ye hot or cold) types withheld judgment about him, biding their time as he got to know his new flock. Since then, the climate has changed and the sands have shifted. What is this a novel? As a variety of far-right or ultra-conservative Catholic writers make clear, now the ‘in thing’ among their number seems to be to ‘distrust and vilify’ the Pope, not to ‘trust and verify’ him. Thus, far-right Catholic writers get their Catholic ‘street cred’ by maligning the Pope as a chief plotter against the faith. Sadly, its not like the Holy Father makes this off color. Even Fr. Z notes the real issues, albeight with a little more restraint, but that is an issue of prudence. That this is their modus operandi becomes clear after a moment’s inspection of the kind of blogs where they tend to gather on-line. They never seek to read the pontificate of Pope Francis through the lens of charity. Their first instinct is to punch first. While sometimes people are to quick, just as often some are too slow to address the problems. Traddies tend to read things with a limited hope at this time. They do read with charity, especially reading what is said and making an honest assessment of how it will play out in the world today. Charity proceeds from truth afterall.
Thus, they eschew charity and ecclesial union, preferring division and animosity. Garbage, more homoheresey, if your not in my court of doing x, your mean, bad and a concern for catholics everywhere that are with it. That does not bespeak a Catholic ethos. This surfaces a second point: The far-right has radicalized. Gone to the root that is. And the pushers of the homoheresy have grown, and push a false notion of Church based on nothing but feelings apart from truth, which sets us free. A small number of blogs have sent a direct signal to no doubt well-meaning ‘conservative Catholics’ that it is now open season on Francis. That jerk Carl Olsen from CWR is one of those meanies! In effect, these blogs have allowed themselves to become little more than sleeper cells of ‘ultra-conservative Catholic’ ideologues,(This means nothing, but only serves to be divisive, we he claims to abhor) sounding the alarm to arise and take up arms in a bitter civil war where victories are won only by way of resisting the Pope. Well if an issue arises you dont follow error... thats obvious. Scripture tells us that we will know Christians by their fruits. Yet so often the fruit of reading the blogs of far-right and ultra-conservatives Catholics is anger, not peace, sadness, not joy, and ecclesial division, not unity in Christ’s Spirit. Aren’t these the marks of the Evil One? Ambiguity, erronious interpretations and supporting disorder for the sake of getting along... that is in the vein of Satan.Certainly, they’re not the traits of spiritually mature Catholics. Cause a pusher of the homoheresy could inform us such. Thirdly, all this effectively means their program of radicalization is carried out in an extra-ecclesial context. On the frontlines of this new battle for the soul of Catholicism, self-appointed gate-keepers of Catholic orthodoxy fill the ether in concerted attempts to marginalize the voice of the Church’s duly appointed pastors. Well, if the pastors are silent, and the laity are not heretical or il-prudent with their remarks, what is the issue with speaking up and defending the faith which the others are failing to preserve... their duty. Lacking episcopal consecration and any claim to Apostolic succession, they constitute among themselves a sort of ‘parallel magisterium’ that determines for itself the prerogatives of the Pope, the content of authentic Catholic teaching, and the future direction of the Church’s pastoral ministry. This is pure heresy. St. Francis lacked such. Alice von Hildebrand lacks such. This is a real REAL error in the authors understanding of the faith, and must be at least corrected by the editorial staff of the Register
None of that is Catholic. But it might well be deeply Congregationalist. See above
Of course, they carry on their war against the ‘Francis Revolution’(BTW, this guy supports what he calls the Francis revolution as you will see below... ummm that should lead all of good will to demand this fellow we disbarred from such publications). while claiming to launch their missives from the secure tactical ground of established Magisterial teaching. But, ironically, they balk if you point out that they lack the credentials, rank, and profile to command their territory. Luke 19:40 - "I tell you if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Cherry-picking the bishops to whom they adhere, and dividing the Church into political parties, they profess a libertarian ecclesiology that selectively adheres to the Church’s authority when it serves their spiritual preferences. Pure garbage, go back to theology 101. If a bishop is in error we dont blindly follow the blind. Plus the libertarian ecclesiolgy snipe is an inability to understand that all Catholics are bound to the faith as taught immemorial, and even if an angel should come and teach something, if it be not of the perennial tradition we are to treat it as manure. Thus, far-right Catholic agitators entirely side-step serious theological questions about the nature of Catholic tradition, (which he denies as he supports a revolution) the definition of heresy (someone who falsely accuses others of schism is unlikely to know this either), the extent of the Church’s canon law (which specifically makes available, even to the laity, the chance to correct those with authority when necessary), the balance between doctrine and pastoral practice, (Doctrine informs and dictates the practice ultimately, not the other way around) the prerogatives of the pope (ambiguous and dangerous to overstate this), the meaningfulness of ecclesial communion, and the need for continental and lay consultation (unless your a meanie and not ok with pushing the homoheresy), opting instead for simplistic political drama. (Dont be like Shimek)
Instead, they deal in innuendos, slander, and calumny. (some might, but look at the content and decide from there. Even Cekeda makes some good points at times cause even a broken clock is right twice) Those are their trademarks, not respect for the hierarchy of the Church and reverence for the truth.(Which you dont care if it be a compromising matter so long as the revolution is uninterrupted) And so, the fourth point: With their radicalization and de-ecclesialization comes their de-rationalization. They eschew the heavy-lifting of theology in preference for the sensationalism of political theater that finds no place for the common dialogue of parrhesia. If you cant win call them pharasees. As if traddies are against thought. The fellow must never have heard of the von Hildebrands, Davies, Rao, Feser, so forth... Against any kind of synodality characterized by mutual listening, (as Chesterton said the purpose of an open mind is to close it on the truth. If we have the truth, the only mutual thing is that we listen to better address the person in error.) the discernment of spirits, or pastoral accompaniment, they opt for something Pope Francis has termed ‘declarationist nominalism’ – a form of political resistance theater to the ‘culture of encounter’ by way of a monologue in the form of one-dimensional pious platitudes. As compared to the pityful rhetoric herein.
When Pope Francis calls for a synodal Church that leaves no one outside the warm embrace of mercy, (unless your mean) they envision a new Siege of Masada. Thanks be to God some people take the faith seriously and are not part of the revolution. They take on the guise of militants (ummm... ecclesiology "Church Militant"), perceiving themselves as the last defenders of Catholicism. (not the last, just having a responsibility to make the perrenial faith known to those that are ignorant of the matter, even if they are mocked and beradded for such. Yet their war cries and battle slogans leave them sounding like un-catechized Catholics in great danger of slipping into Protestant forms of thinking. Garbage, this is rhetoric unbecoming a published piece.
Let us pray for them even as we continue to pray for His Holiness Pope Francis as he pursues the course the Holy Spirit reveals to him.
Then there is this:
Hmmmm..... #HomoHeresy for the win?