If you look at the remarks of Dr Diarmuid Martin you can see where the problem lies, and it is not just what he has said since after the vote but, maybe, always.[Hat tip to Sir A.S.]
A friend bought an autobiography of a bishop recently and then complained how shallow, self justifying it was. How it seemed to lack any talk of Grace and seemed spiritually vacuous, as if it was written by a name dropping minor politician, rather than a Christian and a man of faith. I have yet to read it but I suspect it is typical of any apologia of any bishop today, with no attempt as Newman might have made, to reveal his method of thinking or his spiritual motivation, or the action of God in his life.
Catholics today might be divided into those influenced by the School of Bologna, who believe in rupture or discontinuity and those who believe in continuity. The documents of Vatican II as Pope Benedict suggested can be read either way, they are designed to be somewhat ambiguous, open to acceptance by even the most traditionally minded of Council Fathers but with a fair degree of play for those who would end up 'interpreting' them. There has been a great deal of talk about an actual Council and 'a Council of the media', in the same way as there is about an actual Francis and a Francis constructed by the media, I suspect that is all a little simplistic, certainly as far as the Council is concerned, one has only to look at whose hands were behind the various documents, what their intentions were. The writers invariably became the interpretors.
The hermeneutic of the Bologna School was always about rupture, its origins seem to have been in ameliorating the excesses of Mussolini's rule, of seeing the Church from the level of the poor, quite natural from Red Bologna. The problem echoes all of the movements of the early 20th century that were on the side of the poor, they created an elite to decide what the poor really wanted, and ended up by disenfranchising those whose cause they had come to power to support. We see that in Bolshevikism or Communism, Italian or Spanish Fascism, National Socialism or even in the Argentinian Pope's native Peronism. Sooner or later the poor or the 'masses' become frustrated by their new masters.
What the Church has lost, in Ireland as much as as elsewhere, are the 'toiling masses'. The Year Zero-ism that the Bologna School puts forward cuts the Church off from its roots, and not just its cultural roots but also its intellectual roots, As Monsignor Klaus Gamber says in 'Reform of the Roman liturgy' (my thanks to Viterbo).
'But what possible advantage can be gained for the pastoral care of the faithful by changing the feast days of the saints in the Church calendar, changing the way of counting Sundays during the liturgical year, or even changing the words of Consecration? What possible advantage can be gained by introducing a new Order of Readings and abolishing the old one, or by making minor and unimportant adjustments to the Traditional Rite, and then finally, by publishing a new Missal? Was all this really done because of pastoral concern about the souls of the faithful, or did it not rather represent a radical breach with the Traditional Rite, to prevent the further use of traditional liturgical texts and thus to make the celebration of the 'Tridentine Mass' impossible, because it no longer reflected the new spirit moving through the Church?"The act of changing the Church in fact eviscerated it, removing it even culturally from the place most of its members 'were at', as we used to say. What had stood firm for generations in its 'renewed form' was incapable of standing for a few decades after the 'New Pentecost' promised by Bl. John XXIII.
A Church that is rootless is not 'owned' by the people. A Church that is afraid to teach because it has cut itself from it previous Magisterium, and which instead sows uncertainty, has nothing to say in the daily living of its members, nor in the intellectual forum in general. In fact it is irrelevant. It has all the outward appearance that it once used for the furtherance of its mission but has lost its interior meaning. It is not so much an Emperor with no clothes, but the clothes without an Emperor, all that is left is the institution, which itself is meaningless. In Germany, as in Ireland, the real-estate portfolio seems to be what the Church is about rather than any actual teaching or revelation of Christ.
What I find so sad about Archbishop Martin's statements is that seem to be about institutional power, and influence, the very thing that disgusted the Irish during the abuse crisis. This is what even practising Catholics seem to find so objectionable about the Irish bishops, but in fact they are like many European bishops who have nothing to say and nothing to offer except a vacuous institution; the Church preaching not Jesus Christ but simply protecting its back.
I blame the Bolognese because they have emptied the Church of meaning, leaving it ineffectual, substituting for doctrine a warm feeling, for the worship of God, a celebration of community. This what the Irish Church has been offering for decades - pap!
In a way this video says everything about what is wrong with the Church in Ireland, it is narcissistic and feel-gooding, self-neutering, incapable of reproducing itself, neither evangelising nor being self-critical. It is shallow, self-referential, lacking the ability to speak to either the mind or the heart, only to sentiment. It neither depends on or leads to Jesus Christ, in fact it becomes a replacement for him.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Fr. Ray Blake, "I blame the Bolognese" (Fr. Ray Blake's Blog, May 25, 2015):