Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

De Nobis Fabula Narratur

Since it's a long weekend and since I'm feeling a bit under the weather I went schlepping around the blogs found over at the B-List. One I have generally enjoyed, but haven't visited in epochs, is The Donegal Express.

So, off I go, reading the various entries since my previous visit. (It's been a while, so it took a while.) Well. This one struck me, not because of the specifics of the issue; in this case the--surprise!--rather interesting interpretation of the phrase "wide and generous" as re. the indult for the Traditional Latin Mass. Rather, what struck me was the tone of the matter being discussed therein. It bore enough of a resemblance to something I had experienced my own bad self not too long ago. In fact, the resemblance was such that it'd be improbable such a similar experience would be caused by coincidence.

If I may venture so bold a proclamation, I believe we are approaching (if we have not already arrived, checked in, and started rifling through the minibar) a crisis in the episcopate in the USA. The lovely and gracious Karen has obliquely mentioned her own dissatisfaction along this front.

In the USA there is an informal (but no less real) schism. Yet, the USCCB is apparently more hopped up about global warming than the souls being led astray by ostensibly Catholic public figures leading whole segments of the Body of Christ astray on life and moral issues. A rather, um, stilted interpretation of the Church's doctrine on social justice has just about trumped the need to save the members of their flocks from damnation. It's as if the marauding wolves are less of a danger than what the formation in which the sheep march. In many cases the teachings of the Magisterium are not so much to be adhered to as they to be flouted with plausible deniability. Too often a sense of reverence is the greatest relic a parish has, instead of some artifact from a martyr. Despite that having Masses that look like Mass in churches that look like a church being the greatest insurance against the corrosive influence of the greater culture, this approach is being undermined constantly. In fact, it seems as if in half of our seminaries Liturgical Abuse has become an integral part of the core curriculum.

If some priest dressed up like Howard the Duck and immolated wolverines on the altar, there would likely be no real consequence from the average bishop. Unless it found its way on YouTube and even then we're looking at even money.

I'm starting to think our Anglican brethren may be on to something in seeking oversight elsewhere*. I certainly am slowly developing a case of Bishop Envy and if someone can find a way to do something similar so that I fall under the pastoral care of Bp. Finn or Abp. Chaput or Burke, I'd be tickled pink.

However, Christ is still in charge of His Church. So there is, has to be, reason for hope. But hope does not preclude impatience. So I out myself as impatient, because all these great seminarians, scholastics, novices and Young Fogey priests are just now beginning to appear. Which means the (arch)bishop who will straighten out the (arch)diocese of ____ is likely still in formation or maybe recently ordained a priest at best. The good news is help is on the way, the bad news is the help is stuck in traffic.


We have to pray. Pray for:

1- Those excellent bishops with which we HAVE been blessed. Many of them are straightening out dioceses ravaged by the neglect visited upon them by the Spirit of Vatican II.
2- The excellent priests (and sisters and brothers) who are doing the Lord's work, even if they are doing so ::cough, cough:: against the current. Theirs is a quiet heroism such as we'll never know. Just realize they are out there and the Holy Spirit moves through their actions.
3- Vocations. God knows whom He wants as brothers, sisters and priests. He knows whom he's called. Pray they answer the call.
4- Pray for the wayward bishops and priests. Pray for the bishops and priests who have been afflicted with hubris, who have turned their ear away from God's message and from those with whose care they have been entrusted, ensnared by the siren song of the zeitgeist. They need our prayers.
5- Pray for our Holy Father that God may grant him the means and time to put in place the mechanisms via which we may see proper reform and change (this I believe he is doing, even if the pace is not one I would have wished).


6- Pray for the spirit of fraternal correction, that those who need it may take it humbly and those called upon to issue it may not shirk this duty but yet do so as charitably as possible.

And pray that God gives me the faithful more patience.



* Let's not look upon them with the miasma of smugness, muttering "Well, at least we're not as bad off as THEY are." Because the same forces at work there are at work here.


  • At 9:16 PM, February 18, 2007 , Blogger BobK said...

    Personally I am waiting for a "trigger event" to bring the schism into the open with the American Bishops. It has happened once before in the 16th century in the Church of England when King Hnery VIII easily pushed the Bishops of his realm when he threatened their life style.

    Prescience does hurt, even if it doesn't hit your foot from falling from on high.

  • At 10:47 AM, February 19, 2007 , Blogger Joe said...

    While I can't imagine what that trigger event might be, it wouldn't surprise me.




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