Friday, January 27, 2012

No crisis in the Church?

Of course, it's only a Vanity Fair poll (conducted with a little help from CNN), but the results are all-too-predictably telling -- particularly the portion devoted to the following question:

So ... do we laugh or lament? See Voris' commentary HERE.


Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Well, it could have been worse. Vanity Fair could have published the speeches of Our Holy Father when he visited America

and it could have quoted him when he talks about religious dialogue that will not lead to structural unity (re the talks with Charismatics etc) and it could have identified the number of times he visited a Blue Mosque or a Synagogue and did not preach Christ and conversion.

What Pope Leo condemned - Americanism - has found its fulfillment in the post V2 Church whose praxis is opposed to the praxis of every single Pope prior to V2.

If one is sane, one can not read the reports of our effete ecumenism since V2 and try and reconcile those reports with, say, Mortalium Animos

Of course Catholics are indifferentists; they are obedient in following the Hierarchy when it comes to that heretical praxis.

JFM said...

Two hours prior toe seeing this I was reading this:

Introducing the character of a Catholic “castaway” who had been sequestered for ten years on a desert island and just yesterday rescued, Frank Sheed asked readers to imagine how the contemporary Catholic scene would strike the Catholic wrecked on a desert island and only just now brought home.

“… Ecumenism and the Pill. Who in 1957 had even heard the word Ecumenism? Who had known what a handful of scientists were doing about estrogen? The weeks that follow are full of shocks. …Mass in English….nuns in picket-lines… Interfaith services.” Sheed had heard the stock dismissal that these were only surface changes, “they [only] need getting used to, that’s all! But in the first place, the surface is what first meets the eye: and unless the depths are well-known, the surface may be almost all that meets the mind. And in the second place there are changes that go well below the surface.”

Continuing with his illustration, Sheed tells that
Our returned castaway had believed in the "Angel of the Annunciation all of his life. He is startled to find daily-communicant friends of his who apparently bracket Gabriel with Santa Claus. He quotes against them in the first chapter of St. Luke and receives the biggest shock so far: he is left with a shaken feeling that is safer not to quote the Gospels at all. And this he finds hard to reconcile with the discovery that Scripture has become at once indispensable and incomprehensible. Hardly a sentence means what he used to think it did. Only the most learned can hope to understand Scripture, and even if they agreed, the plain man could not understand what they are saying.
Nor does he get any comfort from what seems to him to be happening to the Church herself. Reading about the Second Vatican Council he gets the impression that the Church was split right down the middle. There were conservatives who thought Pope John a catastrophe; there were liberals who thought Pope Paul a catastrophe. Nobody stopped to tell him how very much on the fringe matters were about which the Council seemed to be rent in twain — the structure and daily running of the Church, her relation to men of other faiths. In all the excitement he does not realize how much agreement there is between conservatives and liberals upon the great mass of Catholic doctrine which the Council did not feel called upon to treat…
… [Nonetheless] every week brings news of some revolutionary-sounding denial by some theologian somewhere — and not a sound out of their own hierarchy! Great numbers [will feel] a kind of unease not common among Catholics since the lines were drawn after the Reformation."

Written 40 plus years ago under the title, "Is It The Same Church?" Sheed wasn't able to determine if he was witnessing a Sunrise or Sunset. I'm not sure anyone can tell now either.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll be a devil's advocate. My gut reaction was to choose #2, but I could see how a good Catholic (or Protestant) would choose #3 instead.

I don't like the way the choices are phrased. When they refer to "one global religion" in #s 1 and 2, do they mean one that is imposed on us by some international authority? How could it mean anything else?

And, if so, who's to say it would be MY choice of international authority (i.e., the Vatican)? What if it's some watered-down "Christianity" imposed by the United Nations?

Or who's to say it won't be some form of Protestantism? Don't even Mormons consider themselves to be "Christians"? With all respect to these folks, I don't want to be forced to practice their version of Christianity.

If I want to be a practicing Catholic with no compromises (and I do), then I would choose #3, which is the only choice of the four that guarantees me the right to be that.

Now I've talked myself into #3. I'm no expert on the changes in the Church's position on religious freedom, but I suspect that considerations like the above helped to bring about the change. A Catholic state is not realistic in our current world. Religious freedom is the best solution in a less-than-ideal world.

In summary, I do not at all see the results of this silly poll as a sign that Catholics are going to you-know-where. I'm actually glad that we chose diversity in greater numbers than our Protestant brethren and "all" did.


Anonymous Bosch said...


I agree that the way the questions are put leaves all sorts of unresolved ambiguities.

At the same time, the only position which faithful Catholics can accept is that which assumes objective reality and truth.

From this perspective, I don't think it's so much a question of anyone imposing his or her interpretation of Christianity on the world, but the world accepting the objective reality of our Lord and his Church, as I'm quite sure you would agree.

Anonymous Bosch said...

But you gotta support diversity, man. Those Burmese Buddhist monks trotting around in saffron robes are so cute! And those whirling Sufi dervishes are simply adorable!

It's like the culinary diversity of the world, man; where would you be without Egyptian tabbouleh, Arabic fattoush, Japanese sushi, Ethiopian injera, Lebanese Labneh and Hummus, Iraqi lentil soup, Korean bulgogi, African ground nut stew, Indian Vindaloo, Chinese Sichuan chicken, Thai tom yam soup, not to mention French or Italian or Spanish culinary delights?

Anonymous Bosch said...

Just kidding in that last comment, of course.