The Nightmare for Progressivists

The post by Mosebach got me thinking about something I have drilled at for a while now.

Libs, progressivists, what ever you call them, are functioning within a blinkered paradigm.

They have raised what they imagine the Council was about to a dogma outstripping all other dogmas, a new beginning, a reemergence from the darkness,.  The SSPX reminds them that the Council is one Council among many and that it can be questioned on some points. 

But going beyond that more intellectual stance, the SSPXers and all those other people, priests and lay within the Church who desired continuity with tradition, defended against the libs something viscerally terrifying:
 
A liturgy focused on MYSTERY… MYSTERY BOTH FEARSOME AND ALLURING.

Mysterium tremendum et fascinans.  For liberals what the older form of Mass proposes is far more dreadful than it is attractive.

It is for them an encounter with the monster under the bed.   They recoil from it.

ALL people recoil from mystery!  It is terrifying!  

But true Catholics with vera fides find that terrifying encounter also profoundly alluring. 

And so people with that Catholic sense draw closer, quaking but inching forward all the same, eyes cast down and nevertheless seeking what may be within, seeking the encounter which will suck them dry but in turn fill them with what they cannot comprehend or attain by any merely human means.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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60 Responses to The Nightmare for Progressivists

  1. lmgilbert says:

    “seeking the encounter which will suck them dry”

    I was with you right up till this phrase. Honestly, I don’t understand it. It just doesn’t correspond to anything in my experience. Unless it means something like “death to self.” [think kenosis]

  2. J. Basil Damukaitis says:

    I am perplexed as to what to think about the SSPX. I attend an old rite parish, and I love it. In fact I can barely take the novus ordo. I believe that the current climate is due largely in part to the SSPX and their schism. They have given those who love the old form of Mass a face, a reason for Rome to act. On the other hand, should such blatent disobedience be rewarded? After all, This is how the Episcopal Church runs. They have strict rules they are told to adhere to, they disobey, (ordaining women, gay men, gay marriages, etc….!!!), they do the forbidden anyway until the law is changed. I’m just soooo confused as to what to think!!!
    Keep going Fr. Z

  3. LCB says:

    In short: it denies them (the liberals) the opportunity “to be like the gods, who decide what is good and evil for themselves.”

    If they can but change the liturgy, they believe, they can change the object of worship Himself, and remake Him in Their Liberal Image and Likeness.

  4. Well said! Fr. Z!

    God bless you!

  5. Very nice, Father Z. In addition, we’d have to posit that they think there will be no further councils, no further clarification. The sixties were the pinnacle of everything, and all else after must bow down to it. They are insufferable. But it goes both ways. It’s been proven that the Missale Romanum can undergo a massive overhaul. What’s happened once can (and likely will) happen again. What if a new Missal were published in which the Mass was overhauled back to something much closer to the TLM? What would they do? Interpretive dance protest? Giant creepy puppet protest? Invite the local Protestant clergy in for a sit-in protest? Most likely use the press (as they have recently) to vent their spleen at having a Pope. God grant him many years!

  6. Geoffrey says:

    “I’m just soooo confused as to what to think…”

    You’re not the only one!

    What about the few of us “orthodox Roman Catholics” who are in no way liberal, progressive, or heretical; who love John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI; who want the new Mass done right and the old Mass done everywhere… What are we to think? :-(

  7. Herman Yootik says:

    It is not surprising that thoughtful and logical discourse has gone out the window. Catholics (and other serious people too) must home school because liberals have taken over our government “education” (now indoctrination) system. It’s what Bill Ayers is now engaged in, by the way, so it should be clear just who is involved in this mischief of indoctrination of the very young. I think that is why misleading reportage can accomplish its goal of spreading misleading propaganda about all sorts of things. Our present news media is as bad as the Pravda we once scorned when I was a high school student.

  8. r7blue1pink says:

    I still dont know why they reject the EFM so much. We were discussing this over dinner last night… My husband and I agreed that we really never understood the meaning of the Mass.. We finally figured it out on our owm after beginning to attend the EFM. YOu mean its actually more than the priest saying something and us responding? etc…

    Nevertheless, my 83 year old Father grew up with the EFM and his biggest beef is not understanding LATIN! ARGH! Can u read the missal dad? he doesnt dislike the EFM,he enjoys it because he knows it.He attends with us now that we are back in town permanently (in his house literally).

    Maybe its a generational thing.. he cant stand the liturgical abuse that happens in his home parish, but he ignores it and focuses on Christ.. I admire that- Im EASily distracted.

    I always open the door and invite friends to at least experience it a few times. To READ along in the missal, to understand the Mass, the beauty of it all.. Thats the only way we can help these progressives not resent it or have fear of it- brick by brick.

  9. Guadalupe Guard says:

    So because of the lifting of the excommunications the SSPX bishops can go to confession but gravely sin when they hear confessions (or witness marriages)? This is too simplistic and legalistic.

    I think the Vatican is avoiding any statement in this regard to facilitate full reconciliation and for pastoral reasons. In short, because in practice the Vatican is not enforcing the law that would require local faculties for SSPX priests from a bishop that law is in abeyance.

  10. Lionel Andrades says:

    There is a statement of the Anti Defamation League(ADL) (Feb.4 , 2009, NY, USA, Vatican’s Demand That Bishop Publicly Recant Holocaust Denial A “Major Positive Step Forward” on their website.It says:

    We welcome, too, that the Vatican has reaffirmed a full and vigorous implementation of the Second Vatican Council reforms, including Nostra Aetate, the 1965 Church document that rejects the deicide charge against all Jews, declares anti-Semitism a sin, rejects proselytizing of Jews, and calls for improving relations between Catholics and Jews.

    The Vatican’s statement makes clear that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) must accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and the positive teachings about Jews by the last four popes, including Pope John Paul II, before they can be fully accepted back into the Roman Catholic Church.

    Yet no where in the much reported Nostra Aetate, Vatican Council II is it said that Judaism is a path to salvation and that Jews can be saved in general in Judaism or that Jews do not need to convert. No where does it reject the conversion of Jews.

    On the contrary Vatican Council II says Jews need to convert to go to Heaven (Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14).It says all people need Catholic Faith and the Baptism of water for salvation and that those who know this and yet do not enter are oriented to Hell.(LG 14, AD 7)

    The SSPX interprets Vatican Council II according to Pope Benedict XVI and Sacred Tradition – and not according to the ADL.

    They see Lumen Gentium 14 as the ordinary way of salvation and Lumen Gentium 16 as the extraordinary way of salvation.

    The SSPX agree that Vatican Council II was an historical event. They also, like the Holy Father, interpret the Council as a continuation and not a break from Sacred Tradition.

    Pope John Paul II taught that Judaism was not a path to salvation.

    6. It must be firmly believed that the Church is sign and instrument of salvation for all people.[12] It is contrary to the Catholic faith to consider the different religions of the world as ways of salvation complementary to the Church.[13]

    7. According to Catholic doctrine, the followers of other religions are oriented to the Church and are all called to become part of her.[14]-Notification, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican on the book by Fr. Jacques Dupuis S.J (2001).

    Pope John Paul also taught that Jesus died to save all people including the Jews. However to receive this salvation the Jews-and others-need to respond. They need to enter the Catholic Church (Dominus 20).

    In interreligious dialogue it needs to be kept in mind that Judaism is not a path to salvation .(Redemptoris Missio 55)

    Pope John Paul II also taught that there was no theology which could say that Judaism and the other religions are paths to salvation.

    ‘… to hold that these religions, considered as such, are ways of salvation, has no foundation in Cath­olic theology, also because they contain omissions, insufficiencies, and errors[16] regarding fundamental truths about God, man, and the world…’-Notification, CDF, Dupuis N.8

    Pope John Paul II endorsed Vatican Council II which states that a Jew who knows about the Catholic Church and yet does not enter is oriented to Hell. Abraham Foxman knew the Catholic Faith as a youth. He is educated. According to Pope John Paul, the pro abortion, homosexuality head of the ADL is oriented to where the ‘worm dieth not and the fire is never extinguished .He is oriented to the placed of which the Jewish prophet Isaiah asked who stand a devouring fire for all time(33:14).

  11. pinoycatholic says:

    And if I may add Father Z, Libs are a dying breed. Look at their seminaries and houses of formation. Indeed, you shall know them by their fruits. Most Libs and progressivists call those who are devoted to the TLM as “nostalgic”… well, I’m only 33 years old. I was born knowing that the Paul VI Mass is the ONLY Mass. But lo and behold when I watched a DVD of an FSSP TLM by Fr. Berg, I started asking questions like “Why can’t we pray like that?” And so goes my love story of the TLM. And they call me nostalgic?!

  12. teresa says:

    Dear father Zuhlsdorf and all your volks here:

    in the German newspaper “Handelsblatt” there are two reports about SSPX, the Zentralkomitee der Deutschen Katholik (the Central Committee of German Catholics) has asked the Bureau for the Defens of Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) to watch on the schools and churchs of SSPX. And there are 4 agents from the State at the Mass of SSPX on the Blasius Day. The official result: SSPX in Germany is not an enemy of the State and Constitution, and is not extremist. So it should have dispointed the political correct link catholics in Germany quite a lot.

    Here are the links to the articles in German:

    http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/geheimdienstler-lassen-pius-brueder-gewaehren;2149314

    http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/verfassungsschutz-soll-pius-brueder-beobachten;2147722

  13. Diane says:

    I think there is something else along with the fear of mystery.

    Fear of silence.

    Think about it. The Mass has condescended into something never called for by Vatican 2. Stripped are those things that call us into silent reflection, like chant. Things shifted from being meditative and conducive to the contemplative dimensions of the Mass, to a Mass that is full of “noise” in many ways (talking, touching, doing).

    Those who are true to the faith do not fear silence. In fact, they welcome it because it is the language of God. It is where we hear him in our hearts.

  14. puella says:

    Diane – thank you for that comment. It made me reflect and I think you’re quite right.

  15. Tim Ferguson says:

    I also think that many progressivists are disturbed by the concept of looking at Vatican II using the hermeneutic of continuity because it reminds them of their own mortality. For many of them, Vatican II was THE most important event in their lives. To be reminded that THE most important event in their lives is now nearly 50 years ago is frightening. Adding to that, to hear younger people (some of whom are middle aged themselves!), for whom Vatican II is not the be-all and end-all of existence, talking about putting the Council in its proper historical perspective is a reminder that their time is passing and their values are not the same as the younger generations’.

    Without a rootedness in Christ and a firm focus on God alone, I would think anyone would find aging and death to be a frightening thing.

  16. Brian says:

    “people with that Catholic sense draw closer, quaking but inching forward all the same,” while “libs, progressivists, what ever you call them” cry out “crucify.”

    Geoffrey, I pray that “’orthodox Roman Catholics’ who are in no way liberal, progressive, or heretical; who love John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI; who want the new Mass done right and the old Mass done everywhere,” would rejoice that those of us who love the Traditional Latin Mass and are being given new life by this reconciliation between the SSPX and our Holy Father will stop referring to us as “rad trads,” “schismatics,” and the like, and would argue in favor of implementation of Summorum Pontificum in their own parish.

  17. Sandy says:

    As a recent convert, I find the Faith in all its glorious mystery is thrilling, compelling, and cleansing. Thank you, Father Z, for addressing this issue.

  18. W. Schrift says:

    This complements perfectly a piece I just read in the Chronicle Review—”The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz (http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i21/21b00601.htm).

    It took me years to discover — and my nervous system will never fully adjust to this idea; I still have to fight against boredom, am permanently damaged in this respect — that having nothing to do doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The alternative to boredom is what Whitman called idleness: a passive receptivity to the world.

    It is a passive receptivity to God that they fear.

    In the middle of Mrs. Dalloway, between her navigation of the streets and her orchestration of the party, between the urban jostle and the social bustle, Clarissa goes up, “like a nun withdrawing,” to her attic room. Like a nun: She returns to a state that she herself thinks of as a kind of virginity. This does not mean she’s a prude. Virginity is classically the outward sign of spiritual inviolability, of a self untouched by the world, a soul that has preserved its integrity by refusing to descend into the chaos and self-division of sexual and social relations. It is the mark of the saint and the monk, of Hippolytus and Antigone and Joan of Arc.

    We must reclaim this virtue of solitude and awe before the presence of God.

  19. jacques says:

    Benedict XVI said that after VatII prevailed an hermeneutic of RUPTURE while was needed an hermeneutic of
    REFORM. A minority of leftists faithfuls and clerics took over the controls in Vatican and in the dioceses
    and enforced their own concepts of rupture under the disguise of the so called “spirit of Vatican II” that eventually
    proved to lead to abuses, confusion, extravagancies and sometimes heresies since they made tabula rasa of the Tradition,
    the dogmas and the teaching the Chrurch inherited for 20 centuries, thus making Vatican II like a super
    dogma. And in my ignorance I believed they were right until I was told that this council wasn’t a dogmatic council
    but only a “pastoral” one. Thus it couldn’t bind the Catholic faithfuls in any way. (Am I right, Father?)
    Moreover I became very suspicious regarding the purported “ecumenism” and the way it was handled that made
    eventually the basic lay people to believe in a first step that all Christian religions are equal and are leading to Salvation, in a second step that was the same for the Jews and in a third step the same for all other religions..
    Until I could read a quote of St Maximilian Kolbe that told once that “ECUMENISM IS THE ENNEMY OF THE IMMACULATA”
    Being very devout to the Blessed Virgin this shocked but comforted me in my suspicion regarding the ecumenism.

  20. Coletta says:

    Where I work the Faith Formation Director wrongly assumed I was “pre-Vatican II” and still pitifully clinging to the old ways. The shocked look on her face when I told her that I’ve been 20 years a Catholic and a convert was priceless. Thank you,Blessed Mother.

  21. joy says:

    ‘What about the few of us “orthodox Roman Catholics” who are in no way liberal, progressive, or heretical; who love John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI; who want the new Mass done right and the old Mass done everywhere… What are we to think? :-(

    Comment by Geoffrey ‘

    Yes, but the ‘orthodox Roman Catholics’ are to be the leaven in the dough; so small, but it makes the whole loaf rise!

  22. ssoldie says:

    Ahhhhh! Fr. Z, right on, thank you for putting it to words that are so true.

  23. Tomas says:

    Well said, Father, but I don’t think the liberals EVER had a blinkered paradigm other than to destroy the Church. Neither do the secular Marxists.

    Also, I disagree that all people recoil from sacred mystery – though that would surely describe people committed to and possessed by evil (see, for example, Malachi Martin’s “Hostage to the Devil.”) All Catholics were privileged to witness and participate in the sacred mystery for the first 1900 years of the Church. Who recoiled? [Read what I wrote here and elsewhere again, and think it through. You’ll get it.]

  24. Joe says:

    We can all think of examples we have observed of the distance that some “progressives” have gone away from the Biblical understanding of God. We hear about ‘goddess’ groups, and songs to the ‘great source of energy that is within us’. While these movements that drift off into gnosticism are not necessarily representative of “progressivism”, they are part of the same family. What starts (often) with an expressed desire for ‘inclusivity’, often in language, ends up embracing those who reject God. I think the line about a monster under the bed is right on. Thos who reject God as the Catholic Church understand Him realize more and more that they cannot make Him disappear. The only alternative to accepting the love of the God of the Bible is to fear Him.

  25. Sid says:

    I too thank Fr. Z. The first half of Rudolf Otto’s famous book ought be required reading. The Liberals don’t want tremendum et fascinans; they want their own version of kitsch.

    We are now entering a period of negotiation between the Society and the Holy See on Vatican II. I’m finding that this issue has writebackers, on this website and another, falling into eight categories, two of which relate to this post of fr. Z:

    I. The first category is what I call the views of Rupturing Neo-Protestant Pentecostals: i.e., The Liberals. They have three errors:

    1st. They judge Vatican II as a ground zero for the Church, rejecting everything that came before, and oddly most of what came after (e.g. Dominum Jesum, etc.). Thus “the rupturing”.

    2nd They say that V2 was a supercouncil, or the only council. As if they were Protestants, V2 for them is holy writ, and everything is to be interpreted from this inerrant holy writ. Thus “Neo-Protestants”. They, like all Liberals, Leftists, and ideologues in general, demolish what came before, look at a blue print, and build from scratch.

    3rd. Yet regardless of what they say, they in fact ignore what the texts of V2 really state and instead believe in a phantom called “The Spirit of Vatican II”, a spirit which has noting to do with the texts of V2. Because they have the direct pipeline to this supposed spirit, I call them “Pentecostals”. They too “speak in tongues” – ICEL tongues or the words of psychobabble and Cultural Marxist politics, and their version of “Slain in the Spirit” and “Holy Rolling” is liturgical dance.

    II. The Shotgun Marrying Post Hoc Fallacious. The Liberals by force join malignant post-council events to the Council itself; or put differently, for them Bugnini, ICEL, facing the people, in the hand, praise bands, assorted other liturgical abuses, assorted heresies and moral scandals, liturgical dance, etc. are the Council. Some Traditionalists are guilty of the same error. In fact, these events and activities betrayed the Second Vatican Council.

  26. MargaretMN says:

    I agree, a profound desire to engage with mystery is very Catholic. Here’s a problem though and I don’t mean to set a cat among the pigeons– I have encountered some people who are fans of TLM who seem to like it, pretty much *because they don’t understand what is going on.* It’s mysterious to THEM. They focus on the ancient rite aspect, the fact that it is distant from our culture. It’s sort of like how they would be drawn to a good performance. (I don’t think it’s necessarily just a problem of TLM, V2 kumbaya Masses can have the same kind of sensualist adherents) I don’t mistrust the senses that can draw us and then allow the liturgy to be transformative. But, it’s just that some people seem to stop short of that and glory in the unreason. This problem doesn’t exactly keep me up at night since I figure it is between them and God and maybe their spiritual director/confessor but I do find it interesting as an observation of human nature.

  27. Maureen says:

    Tomas said: “All Catholics were privileged to witness and participate in the sacred mystery for the first 1900 years of the Church. Who recoiled?”

    Lots of people. Read Church history. From the pagans who feared that the Church promoted cannibalism and orgies, to the various movements of schism, heresy, and political capture of the Church, there have always been those who feared, recoiled, and wrongly desired Christ’s Bride.

    Before that, what was the pattern for Israel? Step toward God, run away, come back.

    Why does everybody think this is the first time this stuff has happened? Even people fighting the hermeneutic of discontinuity often believe in it, and this is an example.

  28. TMG says:

    Not only fear is involved, but hubris (vanity) also comes to mind. And isn’t that a sin? How often do you hear the word sin mentioned in sermons other than during a traditional Mass? Catholic liberals and others don’t sin, don’t you know, because they don’t believe there IS anything such thing as sin.

    Oh, it was all so thrilling in the 1960’s to become part of the “George Jetson” mindset and ruthlessly discard almost 2,000 years of tried and true, formed by the blood of martyrs, Catholicism. They ruthlessly gutted the Faith via Vatican II, stepped off the straight and narrow path, and spun off to Mars where they now hold circus-like masses and do and think whatever they want. They don’t want to be told to knock it off. They will kick and scream and do whatever they think they have to, including conscripting non-Catholics to aid them, in order to continue their version of the destructive “spirit of Vatican II”. And so, the persecution of the SSPX continues, because to the liberals, they represent the boogeyman who can stop their fun. They went after the SSPX full throttle as we have witnessed with the release of the months old Bishop Williamson video “coincidentally” at the same time as the Vatican announced the lifting of the excommunications. They play dirty.

    The SSPX never veered off the nearly 2,000 year old path of Roman Catholicism. They took the heat and did what they felt they had to do to preserve that same Faith, knowing they would incur punishment for doing so. It’s a shame they even had to face such a choice and endure their trials, but they willingly did so. I admire their efforts and am thankful these holy priests had the fortitude to persevere.

    I am praying very hard that the Holy Father is steadfast in his resolve to set the listing Holy Mother Church upright again, does hold the doctrinal discussions with SSPX without interference from the media, liberal Catholics, Jews, Protestants,etc., and does not bend to the will of the cacophony of worldly voices who would rather see the Church’s destruction just because they don’t want their fun to end.

    The hardest part is ahead. It is evident to me that the SSPX is a Defender of the Faith. The real enemy of the Church is making itself known loud and clear. Hence, the current persecution of SSPX priests, and “investigations” of their schools, seminaries, etc. Pray for them.

  29. Nancy says:

    “In short: it denies them (the liberals) the opportunity “to be like the gods, who decide what is good and evil for themselves.”

    If they can but change the liturgy, they believe, they can change the object of worship Himself, and remake Him in Their Liberal Image and Likeness.”

    Thank you for that – it puts into well-said words what I have struggled to say. So often, the “old liturgy-new liturgy” debate gets sidetracked (debased) into a discussion of taste. But that isn’t it at all – it is an approach to God based on Who and What God is.

    If we truly thought of God as our Creator, who loved us with such fierce intensity that he would become one of us to save us from ourselves… would we approach him with anything but the fear and trembling and utter respect that the TLM attempts to portray? Would we be slapping him on the back and saying, “Hey, thanks buddy. I owe ya.”?

  30. Corleone says:

    As someone who comes from what is now an extremely liberal family, I concur with what was written here. One aunt in particular who is a nun, exemplifies this notion of as LCB points out the opportunity “to be like the gods, who decide what is good and evil for themselves.” I have a very hard time with this particular aunt, as on the one hand she picks and choses what part of church teaching is “sound” (i.e. that which supports her wayward opinions) and which parts have been changed/should be changed because the church “got it wrong” and “is run enitirely by men”.

    The last time we got into an extreme discussion was just after Christmas, where I finally said, “so what you are saying is that the Catholic church, the one with unbroken apostolic succession since the time of Jesus which handed down His teachings and traditions from this time, has it all wrong, yet you have it right?” She then said, “well, maybe I’m speaking more from a place of emotion than of scholarship.” And that was really all we could say. She admits it is her own emotions/opinions, yet that’s fine for her. I think this sums up the liberal attitude altogether. [And yet religion is not solely a matter of the “head”.]

    May God help me and my family.

  31. chironomo says:

    It has been said that you “can’t convince a liberal that the truth is correct unless he already believes it for his own reasons”. How true that is here. When politcal ideology clashes with the truth, the political ideology takes preference. We are seeing this in some other issues lately as well…

  32. Maureen says:

    Corleone — Don’t be discouraged. You made your point, and your aunt even _admitted_ your point. Heck, in my family, the only admission of a point we believe in is dropping into stubborn silence, or changing the subject instead. :)

    I think your aunt will be thinking about what you have said for quite a while. The rest is up to her and God.

  33. C.L. says:

    Hey, where’s the anti-Catholic lefty outrage about president of the UN General Assembly, Fr. Miguel D’Escoto, calling mass murderer Fidel Castro a saint?

    Curious.

  34. Coletta says:

    In short: it denies them (the liberals) the opportunity “to be like the gods, who decide what is good and evil for themselves.”

    If they can but change the liturgy, they believe, they can change the object of worship Himself, and remake Him in Their Liberal Image and Likeness.”

    Nancy sai and I agree – “Thank you for that – it puts into well-said words what I have struggled to say. So often, the “old liturgy-new liturgy” debate gets sidetracked (debased) into a discussion of taste. But that isn’t it at all – it is an approach to God based on Who and What God is.

    If we truly thought of God as our Creator, who loved us with such fierce intensity that he would become one of us to save us from ourselves… would we approach him with anything but the fear and trembling and utter respect that the TLM attempts to portray? Would we be slapping him on the back and saying, “Hey, thanks buddy. I owe ya.”?

    Sending things to committe and endless haggling are only to buy them time to impliment their sad and ungodly initiatives. We need to pray for all and ourselves. Thank you,Father Z. We don’t want to be dumb,lost, sheep.

  35. Henry Edwards says:

    Bishop says SSPX can’t accept all Vatican reforms.

    There appears to be less to this Reuters article than what meets the eye in its headline.

    In moderate and encouraging language, it seems to me, Bp. Fellay mentions the difference between the Council and its infamous “spirit”, and the fact that the Council’s documents require interpretation.

    “One cannot approach it in a dogmatic way and say ‘amen’ to everything. This approach is completely wrong. There are different domains, themes and degrees of authority.”

    Who would disagree?

    Fellay said the Church had given up trying to convert people to Catholicism in recent decades because the Council stressed respect for other faiths.

    Who would disagree?

    Fellay said the modern Catholic Mass … was valid but sometimes not reverent enough.

    Who would disagree?

    “I love this Church even if I take some knocks from it,” he said.

    Don’t we all?

  36. Jayna says:

    “When political ideology clashes with the truth, the political ideology takes preference.”

    That’s exactly what goes on in my parish. Leaving the word “men” out of the Creed because it lacks inclusivity is no religious statement, it is based solely on sociopolitical ideology. An ideology that they’ve allowed to hijack the purpose and structure of the liturgy. For them, Mass is not an encounter with mystery, it is a social event that allows them to celebrate their own community and how wonderfully inclusive it is.

  37. depeccatoradvitam says:

    As I read this entry, I was reminded of the “dark night.”

    In the response from V2 and the incorrect roll out of the “spirit of the council” and the disruptive super-dogmatization of the councils learnings/teachings, the Orthodox were cornered and edged and in some cases forcefully and belligerently away from what was good and true. They saw THE light dimming. Their relation to the liturgy, the faith community, even their magisterium became fleeting from what was known and time-honored, and they clung through the dark night with only faith to see their way through.

    In a similar way, the liberals, progressives “spirit” driven now see the swing of the pendulum. They see their light dimming, the curtain call and the last few notes of the dance and a clinging to their ways remains and tenaciously claws and gnaws (and gnashes publicly) their way trying to maintain the spotlight.

    Though on the surface these are seemingly similar dark nights, there are large and stark contrasts.

    1. One is toward God; the other, toward man.

    2. Those who have waited through post-V2 “spirit” have had tradition and depth of magisterial teachings to also cling to and some few pockets of worthy Liturgy (OF and EF); the progressives, have only their newness, their own birthing of their own self-fulfilling faith model and liturgical practice (and abuse).

    3. The orthodox, retain continuity and the vision of vastness and mystery of all truth of all time; the progressives, finiteness, feeling and disruption of their own temporal distortion.

    4. In continuity the greatest story ever told is without end. In rupture, all began new in this the only and latest chapter.

    It is incumbent upon us to not only recall or recoil to the fullness of truth and the “Heurmenetic of Continuity”, but to actively explain, catechize and demonstrate as this blog courageously does so that many souls experiencing both dark nights and possibly many more may be retained if not gained for Gods Kingdom according to His will and not ours.

  38. mrsmontoya says:

    Herman: Catholic schools are an alternative to the public school system. In our area at least the Catholic schools are wonderful, we are so happy with the education our children are receiving at St. Joseph\’s in Mountain View CA. The catechism is excellent, and so is the rest of the curriculum.

  39. Jordanes says:

    Guadalupe Guard said: So because of the lifting of the excommunications the SSPX bishops can go to confession but gravely sin when they hear confessions (or witness marriages)?

    Yes.

    This is too simplistic and legalistic.

    Why?

    I think the Vatican is avoiding any statement in this regard to facilitate full reconciliation and for pastoral reasons.

    Or because no such statement from them is needed.

    In short, because in practice the Vatican is not enforcing the law that would require local faculties for SSPX priests from a bishop that law is in abeyance.

    What evidence do you have that the Vatican is not enforcing the law? Or that a law that is not enforced may be disobeyed?

  40. Corleone says:

    Maureen, thank you for that comment. It meant a lot. Bless you.

  41. veritas says:

    As a somewhat prosaic person I tend to interpret documents as saying what in fact they do say. I have no time for imagined or fictional “spirits of”. I therefore find Vatican II in what it actually says a fount of good sense and inspiration. It is a pity that it was not actually implemented according to what it actually said on the liturgy. It asked for sensible moderate reform and got a revolution. Moderate reformers such as Fr Bouyer were aghast. The sense of the numinous was destroyed, the old alienated, and the young not attracted.

    However on Ecumenism, The Jews, and Religious liberty it is clear and unambigous, and corrects an existing tradition in the light of changing circumstances. Indeed “to be perfect is to have changed often”(JH Newman)

  42. Michael J says:

    Veritas,

    I apologize if I missed it earlier, but I am still waiting on your explanation of what Vatican II says about religious liberty. If the text is clear and unambiguous, it should be trivially easy to explain what is being taught and how this is different from what was taught previously, right?

  43. Zoe Keller says:

    This is not just a nightmare for “progressives” but also
    many “conservatives” who can’t bear sharing the Prodigal
    Son spotlight with the SSPX. Are you listening Mr. Shea?

  44. craig says:

    Michael J, at the risk of tooting my own horn, I would point you here for an explication of what V2 says about religious liberty.

  45. fxr2 says:

    Father Z Said: “It is for them an encounter with the monster under the bed. They recoil from it. ALL people recoil from mystery! It is terrifying!”

    Perfect! My 9 year old get this! She quoted C.S. Lewis “Aslan is not a tame lion”

    It’s terrifying for all of us in varying degrees,Very insightful Father! Thanks,

    FXR2

  46. veritas says:

    Michael J. Before, it was held that in practical terms “error had no rights” and states like Franco Spain and Vichy France were thus legitimate in engaging in religious persecution, after, it is possible for Pope Benedict to appeal to human rights in conversations with the ruler of Saudi Arabia. It was wrong to demand liberty while in a minority while denying it to others when in a majority. The Council indeed say the obsequies of the old confessional state among Christians. Unfortunately it has been continued by Muslims and taken up by secularists for the enforcement of their “truth”. Newman’s “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk” is pertinent on the question of the rights of conscience.

  47. RBrown says:

    Before, it was held that in practical terms “error had no rights” and states like Franco Spain and Vichy France were thus legitimate in engaging in religious persecution,
    Comment by veritas

    What was the religious persecution under Franco?

  48. Corleone says:

    It is alleged that the Franco regime “persecuted” Protestants, in that during the civil war their pastors were expelled (mostly foreigners) and their schools and places of worthip closed. At the end of the war, although the government officially allowed all forms of worship, the government did not issue permits to reopen the Protestant schools or places of worship, essentially forcing Protestantism underground in Spain.

    On the outside, this would appear to be “religious persecution”, yet on the other it must be noted that the Franco govt. was very friendly to the Fascist cause in Europe (Mussolini essentially handed Franco the victory in the Spanish Civil War). So, the US and the UK were not at all happy to have Franco in power. At the same time, the Protestant clergy were very pro-US, as the majority were indeed American. So, by expelling this US-leaning presence/loyalty Franco was trying to consolidate the loyalties of the nation, very much as was done 500 years previously during the Reconquista. So, to be historically fair, this needs to be seen as a cause and effect.

    Had Franco not expelled the US-leaning Protestants, Spain may very well have turned into another Guatemala or El Salvador, where the US funded and trained “pastors” are really tools of the CIA, motivated on converting the local population away from loyalties to Rome, and instead stearing them towards a US-centered Protestantism which relies heavily on the carrot-and-stick conversion tactics (i.e. if you pray hard enough, one day God will allow you to study and maybe even live in the US. Meanwhile, here’s a few bucks to get you through the day).

  49. craig says:

    On the outside, this would appear to be “religious persecution”, yet on the other it must be noted that the [Elizabethan] govt. was very friendly to the [Protestant] cause in Europe …. So, [Spain] and [France] were not at all happy to have [Elizabeth] in power. At the same time, the [Jesuit] clergy were very pro-[Spain], as the majority were indeed [Spanish]. So, by expelling this [Spain]-leaning presence/loyalty [Elizabeth] was trying to consolidate the loyalties of the nation…. So, to be historically fair, this needs to be seen as a cause and effect.

    See how easy this rationalization game is!

  50. Michael J says:

    veritas,

    Thank you. I think I understand your opinion. Unfortunately, I can find nothing matching it in the documents of Vatican II. Craig posted a pretty good analysis of Dignitatis Humanae on another thread addressing this issue.

    It appears then, that you are mistaken if you think that the Church has changed Her teachings about religious liberty.

  51. Corleone says:

    Craig – that wasn’t a rationalisation. Do you know what that word means? I was not excusing Franco, but setting an historic background. Historical conclusion vs moral one. Get it? And yes, the same conclusions can be drawn from Elizabethan England. On a tactical level, Elizabeth did the right thing. As a Catholic of course, I can say that on a moral and theological level, it was the wrong thing to abandon Catholicism, especially when she pledged loyalty to the Catholic church under her sisters reign.

  52. craig says:

    Corleone, your post did read very much like “it’s not persecution when our side does it”. And I, like veritas, hold that the Church’s former (and SSPX’ current?) attitude led individuals to accept precisely that conclusion. The question Vatican II answered in the negative was, “was that conclusion part of the apostolic deposit of faith?”

    You can call it whatever you like — “Americanism”, or “spirit of Vatican II”, modernism, or whatever — but I cannot but hold religious liberty up to Lincoln’s principle: “as I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master”. That is nothing more than a political expression of the Golden Rule.

    Contra Michael J, surely Vatican II’s declarations did something: per Newman’s theory of development, either they emphasized a neglected prior teaching, or they developed a prior teaching. The question those who reject DH must answer is whether to reject it because: (a) “it defined nothing new”, or (b) “it was a total break with the past”. Make up your minds.

  53. Corleone says:

    The this emphasises the point on just how destructive emotion can be to reading comprehension when certain subjects are broached.

  54. Michael J says:

    craig,

    I apologize for sloppy terminology. I was using “changed” in the sense that the Church now teaches something contrary to what She taught before.

    As you put on a previous thread:
    “The state’s moral duties are: (a) to not impede Catholic observance, nor coerce it through law; (b) to acknowledge in law the true religion as the basis for civil authority and common law; (c) to acknowledge God as the author of rights.”

    I note with interest that nowhere in this list is “(d) to allow individuals to practice a false religion”

  55. craig says:

    “The state’s moral duties are: (a) to not impede Catholic observance, nor coerce it through law…”

    That’s (d).

  56. Michael J says:

    craig,

    “Not coercing Catholic observance” does not mean the same as “Allow other (non-Catholic) observances”.

    So yes, the state cannot force someone to go to Mass, but that does not mean that it must recognize a person’s “right” to go to the mosque.

  57. craig says:

    That is a phony distinction without a difference. Coercion can be fairly defined as compelling someone to choose whether to disobey conscience or disobey the law.

    All men have a natural instinct to worship. I think that’s been addressed by Aquinas. If the state offers the “right” to worship according to the state faith or not at all, that is coercion because not worshipping anything is a false alternative. If I make vegetarianism the law of the land, and declare that meat-eaters always have the legal option of starving, then it is ridiculous to deny that I am coercing.

    John Paul II once said, “The Church imposes nothing; she merely proposes, and the truth of what she proposes imposes itself”. What I am saying is that statement’s counterpart, what is called the didactic power of law: the state imposes, and the truth (or falsity) of what it imposes proposes itself. Where the imposition already accords with the natural law, such as a ban on murder, the proposition is accepted fairly easily. Where it does not (i.e., where the proposition is not a matter of reason but of revelation), its credibility is reduced by any discord between what the proposer says and what the proposer does.

    So the state’s suppressing unapproved worship (subject to “due limits” such as preventing, e.g., Aztec human sacrifice) is a positive harm: obedience to the truth is no longer a self-imposing matter of conscience but becomes an externally imposed, superficial act. Societies that know truth only as something imposed upon them are likely to discard it at the first opportunity.

  58. Michael J says:

    craig,

    if it is a “phony distinction” perhaps we both must be much more careful about the words we choose. It seemed fairly obvious to me that the “it” in your phrase “nor coerce it through law…” refered to Catholic worship. In other words,

    The state’s moral duties are: (a) to not impede Catholic observance, nor coerce it[Catholic observance] through law…”

    These were your words, not mine.

    Now you’ve introduced another issue, where the state attempts to compel false worship.

  59. Jordanes says:

    craig said: The question those who reject DH must answer is whether to reject it because: (a) “it defined nothing new”, or (b) “it was a total break with the past”. Make up your minds.

    Why couldn’t both a) and b) be true? Couldn’t it be a break with the past but that did not define or bind any of its novelties that broke with the past? (I’d point out, though, that “total” break would be inaccurate.)