Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The LMS of England gives their Rorschach Option

In the movie Watchmen, the character Rorschach gives an excellent opening monologue which I think plays well with the current situation:

"Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen it's true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"... ...and I'll look down, and whisper "no."'

If the spats with the FFI and the Order of Malta have shown us anything, it should make us recognize the time and prep for likely ends.  The Latin Mass Society of England has put out a series of how the ancient liturgy can be a true bulwurk against the modern nominalists and modernists alike:

"The advantages the Traditional movement has in the current crisis are both tactical and strategic; I shall give two examples of each. Consider the tactical ones first.

"The recent history of the FFI and the Order of Malta illustrate two important tactical realities. One is that the Traditional Mass is a de facto rallying point for orthodoxy on a wide range of issues. (This has been the fear of opponents of the ancient Mass from the beginning.) The other is that internal divisions, including divisions about the liturgy, provide both an excuse and a point of leverage for attacks on an organisation (/ group / parish). It follows from these two undeniable facts that the Traditional movement has an obvious advantage. It is by definition united around this banner of orthodoxy.


The second tactical advantage is that the Traditional movement is not dominated by any one organisation: the blogs, priestly Institutes, lay groups, periodicals and so forth all exist among a good number of others of their kind. The suppression of one or another would not be the same kind of disaster as is the suppression of the FFI or the Order of Malta, because resources and support can be transferred between them far more easily than between non-traddie conservative organisations. Traditional groups are not interchangeable, but the fact that they support the Traditional Mass is a decisive reason for nearly everyone who supports them, to support them, and these supporters are, normally, already very familiar and friendly with other Traditional Catholic groups and organisations, and would be highly likely to find another group to support instead, were their current favourite to disappear. The orthodox Catholics who support the Order of Malta (as with other worthy conservative bodies) do so for all sorts of complex reasons, and if the Order were, for practical purposes, to disappear, they would be scattered to the four winds. As a force for good the Order would be gone, and no similar organisations would be proportionally strengthened. This is not a criticism of the Order, but in the current crisis it is a disadvantage.


The first strategic reason is this. As the cases of the FFI and the Order of Malta illustrate, internal struggles over teaching and liturgy are endemic within conservative Catholic organisations, and within the broadly understood ‘conservative Catholic movement’, if we want to call it that. The tactical consequence, of offering an opening to the enemy, has already been noted. The strategic consequence is that this makes them a terrible front in the war in which to invest resources, not just because of this tactical vulnerability, but because so much of one’s efforts will be spent on internal, organisational conflict. You might say: these internal battles need to be fought. Well, that is a judgement each person needs to make on the spot. The organisation at issue may be in a great position to make a valuable contribution to the struggle if only X, Y, and Z internal battles are won by the good guys, and that may be a realistic prospect. In my experience such prospects are never as rosy as one imagines. Nevertheless, if you really judge that to be so, good luck to you, but remember this: while this battle is going on, the efforts going into the internal battle are not going into the apostolate. They are not doing the work the organisation is supposed to be doing. In the meantime, you are helping to keep an organisation afloat which may be doing bad things as well as good ones. And finally, in my experience internal battles are disproportionately exhausting and demoralising, whereas work ad extra can be very rewarding and energising...."

You can read the rest of this rest of this series HERE

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