Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Boniface: "Never has a papacy been so irrelevant to my faith as this one"

I am sorry to say that parts of this post resonate with me. In fact, I sometimes wonder why so many continue to obsess over this papacy. I love the Church and the office of the papacy, but I've lost nearly all interest in following the most recent statements by this particular pontiff. I don't consider them in any way essential to my spiritual life as a Catholic. But see for yourself what you think of Boniface's post:

Boniface, "I Give Up" (Unam Sanctam Catholicam, April 22, 2016):
No, I'm not giving up blogging. But I am giving up making any effort to comment or follow the developments of the current pontificate. Not that I had really been keeping up that much anyway; I reject - at least personally - the identity of a quasi-professional commentator who basically ties himself to current events and feeds his readership a never-ending digest of his "take" on what's going on. Honestly, reading about Iron Age ruins in Palestine or 6th century Irish saints is much more interesting and edifying to me than dwelling on what could possibly be going on in the mind of our current Roman Pontiff.

I had offered some commentary though - and I am still sludging through working an eBook on Laudato Si. But, man, I give up. Amoris Laetitia? Haven't read it. Not planning on it. Maybe someday when I'm like, extra bored or feel like punishing myself. Latest papal interviews? Haven't followed them. Probably won't. Speculating about papabile or the "next moves" of Francis or whatever...I don't care.

Well, I mean, I do care in the objective sense - but its too much, I'm too busy, and honestly, none of this stuff concerns my faith in any substantial manner. Some people are terribly scandalized by all of it; some I know have gone over to Sedevacantism or converted to Orthodoxy. I don't doesn't really bother me in a sense that touches on my faith. Perhaps I am too much a student of Church history to be deceived into thinking any higher of the Church's human element than it merits. How would you feel if you were alive in the 10th century and witnessed Pope John XII offering a toast to the devil? Or witnessed the Cadaver Synod? Yeah, it sucks. I know. But my faith was never in the human perfection of the Roman Pontiff anyway.

And - as I have continued to study the obscure saints of the Church, like when I was working on the book about St. Columba - it amazed me the degree to which what went on in Rome was completely, absolutely irrelevant to the lives of these holy men and women. Indeed, many saints in the most distant regions of Christendom were not even aware of who the pontiff is. I have read many stories of travelers from Rome coming to far-off places and the bishops there saying, "You're from Rome? Tell me, who is pope now?" and then finding out that two or three popes have come and gone without their knowledge.

One final thing -it is ironic to me that it was easier being a Traditional blogger when we had a quasi-traditional pope (I say quasi-traditional because Benedict XVI was never a Traditionalist in any meaningful sense - he is a Teilhardian who has a sentimental, nostalgic affection for the Latin Mass). Why would it be easier to complain under a tradition-friendly pope? Not that the essence of Traditionalism is complaining, of course, but the fact is to the degree that we do "complain", it is easier to do when you perceive that the man in power is amenable to your critiques; you feel like there is a chance that someone may listen, and ultimately you have the consolation of knowing that he, to some degree, has got your back, at least in theory.

But when the guy in charge has absolutely zero interest in your concerns - and indeed, when it is questionable whether he even shares the most basic theological and philosophical assumptions as historic Catholicism - there is a strong sense of "Why bother?"

So, no I am not giving up blogging. But I'm giving up trying to keep up with this pontificate. I am a Catholic; I love the papacy. In fact, it was the study of the Petrine Primacy that led me back to the Church fourteen years ago. But never has a papacy been so irrelevant to my spiritual life as this one. I have enough to worry about in my own spiritual life.


Fagan said...

Thankfully, seminary indoctrinated me against the clergy and their prodigal goofiness.

Pertinacious Papist said...


All clergy are certainly human, though I'm not sure I would say all clergy are prodigiously goofy. My priests certainly are not (though I know a number of others who are).

I think it was Thomas Merton who once told a convert something like: "Never let the human side of the Church disillusion you." Merton was far from being altogether above confusion himself, but I think this is a point well-taken.

To extrapolate a bit: we would be fools to allow our disappointment in the human caretakers of the Church and their feet of clay to blind us to what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the "soul" of the Church being the Holy Spirit.

I think it was your friend and mine, the late great Deacon Hugo May who once described the Church as a precious gem passed from generation to generation from one soiled hand to another.

God bless, PP

Catholic Mission said...

from Boniface's blog Unam Sanctam Catholicam

June 13, 2016 at 11:48 AM
Blogger Amateur Brain Surgeon said...
Boniface, this is only tangentially related but how was it justified that Feeney was reconciled absent repudiation of his errors?

Clearly, he repeatedly denied that BOB, BOD, has always existed in doctrine - there is even art work signifying that inside Saint Peters - and Trent teaches it etc so how was it possible for Feeney to be reconciled absent his repudiation of his errors?

The reconciliation was premised on emotions not reality - sound familiar?

June 17, 2016 at 6:18 PM
Blogger Boniface said...
ABS- I literally know nothing about Fr. Feeney or the controversy. And I don;t care frankly.

June 18, 2016
Boniface says he knows nothing about Fr.Feeney or the controversy and he doesn't care to know it or discuss it or explain it. He gives up here too.

Boniface said...

Haha. Catholic Mission. At it again.