Many thanks to Philip Blossser for sharing this piece by Dale Price. The topic is a speech by Cardinal Maradiaga on the New Evangelization, but it addresses larger issues quite splendidly. I particularly liked this:
“1. Introduction: It is not possible to talk about the Church, or about the Church today, without referring to the crucial moment in contemporary history that Vatican II has been for her, both as an event of grace and a paradigmatic reference. ” [a quote from Maradiaga’s speech]
During a pre-conclave speech, the then-Cardinal Bergoglio issued a warning about what happens when the Church becomes “self-referential.” While Cardinal Maradiaga would no doubt disagree, his speech is loaded with one of the more common self-referential sins of modern Catholic churchmen: the endless appeal to the 21st ecumenical council.
Some of you are probably crying foul, itching to throw a yellow flag, but think about it–how do you think constant, self-praising references to Vatican II sound to non-Catholic ears?
“We gathered together, thought and talked about the modern world for three years and bam–I tell you! Wow, it just hit us! Now we know how this utterly unique and unprecedented modern world thing works! We even prepared several mission statements! Minds. Blown! Let me tell you humbly–it’s the most important event in our recent history, and we are just brimming with insights from our big meeting that we just gotta share! Let us hit you with some knowledge. Incessantly.”
Note that he says it is simply “not possible to talk about the Church” without referring back to it. And, my, does he ever refer to it. Over and over and over again. Let me humbly submit that constantly talking about your fabulous insights seems to be the dictionary definition of self-referential.
And we haven’t even gotten to the part where the Cardinal praises modernism! Do read the whole thing.
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