“Bravo” “Good for him”

What a disgrace is the American episcopacy, congratulating people for embracing sin and perversion.  I hope to expand on this in the Orthosphere in a few days, but I think this is a major reason the Left feels so emboldened lately to impose their immoralism on the rest of us.  Why fuss over Christians’ conscience rights when Christian leaders (especially the selectively non-judgmental prelates of the Catholic Church) make it so clear that they don’t really believe any of these doctrines anyway?  It’s absurd to demand that our enemies respect our beliefs more than we do.

29 Responses

  1. I should note that I am not a believer, but occasionally visit Church with my family. Nonetheless, this makes me very very mad. Besides open support of homosexualist agenda here, what irritates the most is the choice of words. “Not to judge” seems to be the highest value in human life, which in reality means to close ones eyes to observation, logic and conscience, and judge according to what popular people would find cool. This Cardinal sounds like a teenage girl defending her beloved pop singer who turned out to be a jerk. “Don’t judge him, bro!”

    On Holy Saturday last year I went to my parent’s parish and listened to a sermon about what it means to be blessed by a Holy Spirit. The example of especially saintly people who radiate with blessing and spread love and glory of God was – Nelson Mandela. The priest said we should just look at his smile, and see how blessed he is.

    So, that’s it – whoever smiles in a nice way and looks good on TV is a saint, regardless of his actions in real life. Our sentiments towards those people should dictate our moral views. Don’t look into their lives, just feel good loving them.

    It’s like the entire society is refusing the concept of growing up.

  2. When the episcopate goes astray it creates very serious problems for the laity. What to do? Some version of the ‘catacomb’ (underground, secret) church I expect – just striving to keep a tiny flame alive and awaiting better times.

  3. Rorate had a few posts on this that were quite astute. The big problem here is that “bravo” and “good for him” are not actually abstentions from judgment, they are *positive judgments*. Card. Dolan is saying it is a *good thing* that this man publicly identifies with sodomites. That’s not not-judging someone, that’s still judging, just with a positive valence.

    Now anything less than an enthusiastic endorsement of sodomy will be labeled as “un-Christian” “judgment” thanks to him.

  4. To create an underground church, we’d need to have some leaders. The papacy has been the focal point of conservative Catholicism for decades, which puts us in a very sorry state now. We should have known that the leadership of the Church would ultimately go the way of the libertine majority (if that majority didn’t defect first, but since the council, even orthodox bishops have foolishly been going on as if schism were a bad thing, and so the sexual revolutionaries have been kept around long enough for their majority to become overwhelming). We needed to be connecting with each other at the local level, building up an orthodox clique at each parish with its own meetings, agenda, and social pressures. Yes, of course the Mass itself should be a meeting of orthodox Catholics, as should all the parish’s committees, and the priest should be its leader. But that hasn’t been true in a very long time. Now, with the de facto defection of the hierarchy, Catholic resistance to Leftism has no institutional basis and has basically collapsed.

  5. “The papacy has been the focal point of conservative Catholicism for decades, which puts us in a very sorry state now. We should have known that the leadership of the Church would ultimately go the way of the libertine majority…”

    Yep. The writing had been on the wall for some time. Probably as early as Pius IX.

    “We needed to be connecting with each other at the local level, building up an orthodox clique at each parish with its own meetings, agenda, and social pressures.”

    Agreed; the rebuilding of Catholic culture will not come from the top and will likely be vigorously opposed by the top (still in thrall as they are to Balthasarian raze-the-bastions mania). Problematically there are so few of us that effective coordination is practically impossible; poking your head above the foxhole can still be dangerous, even today. Witness Francis’ endless crudity toward and derision of fashion-obsessed traditionalist Catholics with their Pelagian devotions.

  6. “Now, with the de facto defection of the hierarchy”

    Has this happened before in Church history?

  7. @Bruce: Yes, during the fight against Arianism. Almost every bishop in the Christian world was an Arian heretic with the notable exceptions of St. Athanasius and the pope.

  8. Looking back on it, there were lots of opportunities to organize orthodox Catholic factions and several viable nuclei about which they could have clustered. For that matter, there still are a number of more-or-less orthodox lay associations. The Knights of Columbus, of which I am a member, is one of the better ones. Largely because it’s intended for regular working class men (something I really like about it, by the way), it doesn’t tend to flirt with fashionable heresies. But this also makes it poorly suited for fighting in religious controversies, since regular guys tend to stay away from that sort of thing.

    Even though some opportunities were there, we didn’t have a good enough idea of what we needed to do. It is clear to me now that what we needed was

    * a group in every parish, as small as a half a dozen families per parish, for a traditionalist to join
    * some nominal purpose to keep them meeting regularly (The real purpose would be the psychological boost of being in a room full of people who believe as you do. If the group grows sufficiently, it takes on the second unstated purpose of helping young reactionary men and women meet.)
    * a strict and intrusive procedure to keep out liberal infiltrators–something like making new members recite the anti-Modernist oath and then swear their abhorrence of homosexuality and contraception. Failure to weed out infiltrators was the single biggest mistake every Catholic organization, from lay groups to religious orders, made. As soon as even a few of them get in, they get traditionalism declared “divisive”, and the group has become a secular club condemned to drift along with the zeitgeist.

    Why did we not understand these things?

    * Ignorance of sociology. A naive individualism didn’t see the importance of maintaining plausibility structures for orthodoxy.
    * Denial of the magnitude of the problem. Continuing to imagine that the Church herself was the group of people who believe in orthodox Catholicism, that heretics weren’t affecting the institution’s ethos.
    * Failure to see how tolerance of even a minority of loud dissenters would wreck that ethos.
    * the hope that these dissenters would repent, leave the church, or be expelled. This hope was perhaps not unreasonable in 1967, but now it is foolish. 1% of an institution can’t expel 99%; they have to expel themselves instead.

  9. That was an example I was thinking of although in my mind it was many bishops not almost all of them. Are there other examples?
    Another question. Does the exercise of the ordinary and universal magisterium involve language and/or other indicators that identify it as such? In other words, is it obvious when the Pope is exercising this authority?

  10. @Bruce: The next example that comes to mind is the Protestant Reformation when the hierarchies of entire countries defected. Out of all the English bishops, for example, only John Fisher refused to submit to King Henry VIII. Part of what makes the current crisis in the Church so maddening is that manifest heretics like Walter Kasper and Hans Kung are technically Catholics in good standing. In his entire papacy, the only bishop John Paul II excommunicated was Marcel Lefebvre.

  11. It’s an interesting time to be Catholic I guess.

  12. “manifest heretics like Walter Kasper and Hans Kung…Marcel Lefebvre excommunicated”
    Yes, that angers me a lot too. I’m willing to bet that SSPX priests accept more of Vatican II than a conference of Jesuits in good standing with the Church accept of Trent or Nicea. It seems that the wonderfulness of Vatican II is the only thing one is not allowed to question.

  13. SSPX priests accept more of Vatican II than a conference of Jesuits in good standing with the Church accept of Trent or Nicea

    Heck, you could probably argue that the SSPX assent to more of Vatican II (much of which is no objectionable) than most modern Jesuits.

  14. In fairness, what got Lefebvre excommunicated was the illicit consecration of bishops, not rejecting parts of VII (that merely got him suspended a divinis); the Church has always tried to keep a tight leash on bishops who, unlike lesser clerics or laymen, can create parallel churches when they go into schism.

  15. I’ll ask again. Does the exercise of the ordinary and universal magisterium involve language and/or other indicators that identify it as such? In other words, is it obvious when the Pope is exercising this authority?

  16. As I understand it the ordinary and universal Magisterium is simply the ordinary Magisterium of all the bishops alive at any particular moment. There is nothing to distinguish the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium from, say, the personal or prudential musings of bishops except the subject matter, so a bishop’s statement that “Coke is better than Pepsi” is non-Magisterial while his statement “Adoption is better than abortion” is Magisterial.

  17. I think he has to make it clear that he is demanding assent from the faithful, for example by anathematizing those who deny the proposition. Can someone who actually knows about these things comment?

  18. For extraordinary (infallible, Papal) Magisterium, explicit invocation of his apostolic authority and anathematizing dissent seems to suffice. Short of that, it’s ordinary Magisterium, which demands something less than strict adherence.

  19. Not accordning to this (sedevacantist) publication:


    However, I found this defining sentence, contained within, interesting:

    “If the universal teaching authority, i.e. the pope and the bishops with moral unanimity, pass on to the faithful a teaching as revealed, the faithful are obliged under pain of heresy to believe that doctrine with divine faith.”

    This makes it sound like all bishops and the Pope must teach something unanimously.

  20. Right. That’s the difference between “ordinary and universal Magisterium” (all bishops alive teaching X unanimously) and “extraordinary Magisterium” (ex cathedra declarations by a Pope or ecumenical council). Every bishop, including the Pope, has ordinary Magisterium too, which commands deference but not necessarily assent.

  21. For the Ordinary & Universal, if it’s literally ALL the Bishops teaching in unanimity with the Pope, it doesn’t seem to be very useful since who could possibly know if literally every bishop teaches something. But maybe it means something like all the bishops at an ecumenical council?
    If it’s the former, the sedevacantist position (at least the part about teaching heresy with the form & appearance of infallibilty) seems weak. If it’s the latter, then the sedevacantist position seems reasonable or at least possible.

  22. Nope, it means just what it says. All the bishops alive at a single time. So the implication is obvious: “ordinary and universal Magisterium” isn’t terribly relevant unless it concerns something pretty basic to matters of faith and morals or just manifestly obvious, like the historicity of Jesus Christ or the immorality of murder.

    I agree that the sedevacantist position is desperately weak, bordering on the nonsensical. It typically relies almost entirely on a misreading of an obscure bull issued by Paul IV in the 16th century which forbade a manifest (i.e., publicly declared and excommunicated, not “he said something wrong once”) heretic from eligibility of election to the Papal office.

  23. If you don’t mind me posting a link, I think that this post http://theradtrad.blogspot.com/2013/12/sedevacantism.html
    Is one of the best brief accounts of the rights and wrongs of sedevacantism.

  24. From my very brief reading of their websites it seems to based on either the idea that Vatican 2 taught heresy infallibly (infallibly that is if the Pope were legitimate) or on the idea that the Popes have proven they’re non-Catholic. I don’t know yet if I think they’re wrong- I’m still investigating their ideas.
    Thanks Michael H. I’ll take a look.

  25. It’d be a difficult case to make that Vatican II taught heresy infallibly, or for that matter that it taught anything infallibly. It conspicuously and intentionally eschewed dogmatic definitions and language.

  26. […] and the discouragement of the orthodox, and I don’t want to discount the importance of all that.  But I can’t help get the impression that most people expect the wrong sorts of things from […]

  27. “1% of an institution can’t expel 99%; they have to expel themselves instead.”

    Well, they can. A Protestant church in Scotland, the Free Church did exactly that when the church split over union with another body (the UPs) in about that proportion.
    In the case of Bannatyne v Overtoun,([1904] AC 515) the “Wee Frees” as the dissenters became known, argued that it was they, not the majority, that maintained the founding principles of their Church and they successfully claimed all the buildings, assets and endowments of the Church.
    The Lord Chancellor (Halsbury LC) insisted “when men subscribe money for a particular object, and leave it behind them for the promotion of that object, their successors have no right to change the object endowed,” for “there is nothing in calling an associated body a Church that exempts it from the legal obligations of insisting that money given for one purpose shall not be devoted to another.” He also observed that a church that was free to change its principles was “a church without a religion.”
    Concurring, Alverstone CJ said he was unable “to support a judgment which would deprive the persons, forming a minority, of their rights, simply on the ground that they are unwilling to become members of a body which has not only abandoned the fundamental principles of the Church to which they belong, but supports a principle essentially different from that on which the Church was founded.”
    Curiously, the point of contention was that the majority supported the Voluntary Principle, whilst the Wee Frees maintained “the duty of the civil magistrate to fortify the godly proceedings of the kirk.”

  28. As regards the ordinary and universal magisterium, it is obvious enough that the Extraordinary magisterium depends on it. The infallibility of general councils is a teaching of the ordinary and universal magisterium, for no council could have proclaimed its own infallibility. Papal infallibility rests on Vatican I, but that Vatican I was an ecumenical council again rests on the ordinary and universal magisterium. It is closely connected to the infallibility in belief of the sensus fidelium (pastors and people together) Both rest on what has always been taught and believed by the Church.

    In either case, and like a Consent of the Fathers, a moral majority suffices

  29. […] are we to conclude when a Cardinal, who previously applauded as a good thing a minor celebrity’s identification with sodomy, doesn’t even blink at the inclusion in […]

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