Schism and disobedience, undermining one’s ecclesial identity, are hardly new in the Church.
Still, I have noticed that coverage of these aberrations has increased.
- There is the renegade community in Brisbane, Australia. Pretty much heretics as well.
- In St. Louis there is the wound in unity of St. Stanislas.
- In Cleveland a group of parishioners from a parish closed by the bishop has revolted and started their own thing.
- There is a facebook page supporting the priest in Tennessee who issued a video in which he spouted all sorts of nonsense, thus drawing attention of the blogosphere, and therefore his bishop. People are protesting at the cathedral.
I saw a suggestion that the clerical sexual abuse crisis is responsible for the lack of respect for the authority of bishops. Therefore, when bishops make certain decisions, people no longer think it necessary to be guided by them.
I wonder if that crisis wasn’t merely an aggravating factor.
Perhaps the real foundation of the problem is decades of liturgical abuse and bad catechesis.
People have lost, in some parishes, that deeper sense of Catholic identity. They just barely belong to the same religion. Therefore, when there is some pushing and shoving, they head to the door in groups.
In other words, they are just doing what they have been formed to do.
This is a rather pessimistic view, I know. But it needs some thoughtful discussion.