A letter about the Church in … Pravda?

Here is an interesting piece published by Pravda…. yes… you read that correctly.  правда means “truth”, by the way.

Typo alert!

A Church Divided

By Paul Kokoski

In a recent interview on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) Cardinal George of Chicago stated; “The conference [of bishops] isn’t suppose to engage the politics of a country directly. It’s suppose to give rules so that the lay people can engage their president, their congressman, their mayor. The bishops don’t elect people…They are elected by lay people and if the world is a mess it’s the lay people’s fault because it’s their business to rule the world. It’s our business to govern the church.

Their business is to rule the world. It’s very easy for Catholics to write to their bishops and say ‘Why don’t you do this?‘ and I write back all the time and say ‘Why don’t you do it?’ because after all it’s you job and it’s not my job.” The Cardinal’s statement indicates the reason why the church is presently paralysed to effect moral change in society.To a certain extent the Cardinal is right. The laity are called to live a life of holiness while working within the world to transform it. So in a certain sense one can say it is the laity’s responsibility to ensure the world does not become corrupt.

However, the Cardinal fails to mention that, since Vatican II, the bishops have not governed the church as they should have due to their own house being divided. This division within the ranks of the Episcopate has lead to a division within the ranks of the laity. Roughly only half of all Catholics today stand behind the Pope and the orthodox teachings of the Church’s Magisterium. This is why the laity have only minimally been able to influence society. So the underlying fault for the way in which we find the world today lies with our bishops.

Of course the bishops will never admit that they are divided or that they are in any way to blame for the world’s situation and this in turn makes it doubly difficult for the laity to effectively wage a positive war against modernity. As long as the bishops keep up their facade they will not be able to govern the church and the world will continue its descent into spiritual darkness. Sadly, after Vatican II, numerous bishops quietly recruited modernist theologians in an attempt to adapt church teachings to modern times.

Thanks to a series of strong Popes, however, they have failed miserably. Nonetheless, they have succeeded in sowing mass confusion in regards to the ever changing New Mass – the summit towards which the Church’s action tends and at the same time the source from which comes all her strength – and have allowed dissenting teachers and theologians to control and ultimately to compromise the Catholic identity of our Catholic schools and seminaries. As a result many of the laity and most of our catholic politicians today publically oppose church teaching on almost all the major moral issues including abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and embryonic stem cell research.

And if they took a lie detector test they would no doubt pass it if they answered “yes” to the question “Are you a devout Catholic?” Do Our bishops govern these wayward Catholics the way they should by, for example, withholding from them Holy Communion? No! On the contrary they are given places of high honour at funerals and even at papal Masses. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI tried to rectify this by investigating our Catholic seminaries and religious orders and by bringing back into prominence the more reverent and more sacred Latin Mass. He has also demanded that all his Novus Ordo communicant more piously receive Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue according to official Church norms.

But do any of our bishops dare to follow his lead? Few, if any. Almost all our Catholic bishops have adamantly refused this latter papal gesture. Not only will they not encourage any of their priests to learn the Latin Mass but they even go to great lengths to quell it. Many of our bishops, priest and religious have also been highly critical of the Vatican’s recent internal investigations of U.S. nuns as if they were part of an inquisition ordered by an archaic and meddlesome pope.

Just as the secular world has consciously cut off its own historical and religious roots leaving itself without orientation, so the Catholic Church finds itself, in the throes of modernism, in a similar situation. There needs to be an energetic counter-cultural movement on the part of all priests and bishops acting in unison with the new successor to Peter if both Church and Society are to survive the negative influences of secularism, technology, science and materialism in the Third Millennium. Happily, there are signs in our younger priests that an energetic counter-cultural movement is already taking place. The horizon looks bright. These new priests, inspired with holiness and glowing with a more profound sense of the sacred will, in unison with the Successor of Peter, help to usher in a new springtime for the church. When they do the laity will be unfettered in their sacred mission to spread the gospel message to all corners of the world.

Paul Kokoski

Canada

Apart from some typos (have no idea if this was submitted first in Russian and then translated into English), this fellow makes a strong case for the election of a Pope who shares the major points of what I called Benedict XVI’s “Marshall Plan”… now on hold.

Therefore, I repeat…

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22 Responses to A letter about the Church in … Pravda?

  1. Dave N. says:

    If these are indeed accurate quotes from Cdl. George, it’s little wonder the Church is in the mess it’s in.

  2. Cantor says:

    Take it with a grain of salt.

    While it’s true that the publication “Pravda” (??????) means “Truth”, the other principal newspaper publisher in Soviet Russia was Novosti Press. “Novosti” (???????) means “News”. A not-uncommon phrase on the streets of Moscow was:
    .. ??? ?????? ? ???????? ? ?? ??????? ? ?????? ..

    “There is no Truth in the News, and there is no News in the Truth!”

    Perhaps a different form of tradition lingers.

  3. Cantor says:

    Hmm. Sorry about that. The fine craftmanship of St. Cyril and St. Methodius looked fine in the preview!

  4. Stumbler but trying says:

    I like what was written and agree with almost all of it. I like Cdl. George too. Let’s keep praying as we are in for more heady days!

  5. Mark R says:

    Pravda is supposed to be more tabloid in its news content…in other words, same journalism, different circumstances. This letter was good, though.

  6. jacobi says:

    “Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue according to official Church norms”

    How right Kokoski – and Pravda – are. But there is more to it than that.
    If I may say so Father, the great majority of Catholics and possible priests?, nowadays don’t know what the Church norms are.

    Holy Communion may only be received by those in a State of Grace, pleasing to God, and having observed the appropriate fast. That for instance rules out the altar servers who arrive late and chewing gum.

    My church is typical in that we have effectively 100% reception of Holy Communion, but the Confessional is rarely entered and then only by the few “usual suspects”. This means that we are either a Holy Elect, or more likely that Holy Communion is received unworthily by a very large proportion of the congregation.

    The responsibility lies mainly with the priests. They must realize that what is happening is wrong, and their refusal to intervene and teach Catholic belief, means that they are surely committing a severe abuse?

  7. cwillia1 says:

    I have one issue with this letter. That is the notion that if only the bishops ……….., then the laity would be able to transform the world. The mission of the Church is to witness the Resurrection to the world and to call all men to repentance and union with Christ. There is no guarantee that if we are good enough Christians, the world will be converted. If we are good enough Christians, we can expect to suffer for it.

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Cantor, ‘the way I heard it’ was, “No ‘pravda’ in Izvestia, no ‘izvestia’ in Pravda”.

    I have no useful sense of the history of Pravda from the fall of the Evil Empire through the flourishing of Internet (and the rise of ‘KGB’ Putin: about whom see Edward Lucas’s works), but I wonder which paper- or online-editions of which prominent western newspapers (in whatever languages) would publish such a letter at such length? There clearly is some ‘pravda’ – and/or some room for serious ‘truth-friendly’ discussion – in Pravda.

    Yet an old-fashioned ‘Kremlinological-tick’ nudges me to wonder, ‘why, exactly?’ – why is something like this allowed to appear in Pravda? Who is perhaps ‘getting at’ whom? And are there any ‘messages’ glimmering between the lines with respect to the variously compromised Russian Orthodox Church? What would Gleb Yakunin say?

    In any case, I think Mr. Kokoski makes clear the case that becoming a member of the Hierarchy does not evacuate one’s common baptismal, citizenly, human natural- (and supernatural-) justice responsibilities, whatever prudential ‘trickiness’ it may add.

  9. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    cwiillia1, it is not clear that he exactly wants even to suggest “that if only the bishops ……….., then the laity would be able to transform the world”, nor that he erroneously thinks there is any “guarantee”.

    “There needs to be an energetic counter-cultural movement on the part of all priests and bishops acting in unison with the new successor to Peter if both Church and Society are to survive the negative influences of secularism, technology, science and materialism in the Third Millennium.”

    That sounds merely realistic, if clear-eyed in being so. (And not loading “survive” with a sense in conflict with “portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam”.)

  10. The Masked Chicken says:

    “However, the Cardinal fails to mention that, since Vatican II, the bishops have not governed the church as they should have due to their own house being divided. This division within the ranks of the Episcopate has lead to a division within the ranks of the laity. Roughly only half of all Catholics today stand behind the Pope and the orthodox teachings of the Church’s Magisterium. This is why the laity have only minimally been able to influence society. So the underlying fault for the way in which we find the world today lies with our bishops.”

    The idea that a screwed up Hierarchy leads to a screwed up laity has some historical weight, but is not really a slam-dunk argument. There have been periods in history when the clergy have been incapacitated and the laity have stepped up. One need only think of St. Joan of Arc and St. Catherine of Sienna. Let me be blunt: it was not the rise of Modernism, per se, that has made the laity so screwed up. It is the rise of mass communication (something totally unknown in prior centuries) which has allowed Modernistic ideas from a variety of sources, not merely ecclesial, to be disseminated to an ill-informed public, who where caught up in the emotionalism of a rising psychologized society, that screwed up the laity. The screwing up of the clergy happened somewhat earlier and is mostly independent. They did have an effect on the laity from the pulpit and the celebration of the Mass, but not nearly as much as what people were told the “New Catholicism,” was from books, tv, newspapers, and tabloids. If clear communication had been maintained after Vatican II, neither the laity or the clergy would be in quite the mess they are, today. The CCC was a good start, but it should have been put out in 1972 instead of 1992, or whenever it was.

    The Chicken

  11. JonPatrick says:

    According to my copy, the Latin version of the CCC was copyrighted 1994.

  12. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Masked Chicken,
    How about something like “reinforced and needlessly complicated” instead of “lead to”?

    I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’s first of the Letters to Malcolm(1964) (in a different, specific context): “The shepherds go off, ‘everyone to his own way’ and vanish over diverse points of the horizon. If the sheep huddle patiently together and go on bleating, might they finally recall the shepherds?”

    But Mr. Kokoski is effectively emphasizing who- and what-all is entering at other than the gate in the functional absence of the shepherds.

  13. Andy Lucy says:

    “Yet an old-fashioned ‘Kremlinological-tick’ nudges me to wonder, ‘why, exactly?’ – why is something like this allowed to appear in Pravda?”

    Thanks SO MUCH Venerator Sti Lot… now I am having flashbacks to the 80s doing open source intel analysis. Twitch… twitch…

  14. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Andy Lucy,

    Ah… um… I hope they are not entirely unenjoyable flashbacks…

    I find myself these days thinking of Denis de Rougemont’s comparative discussion of the free western and revolutionary Nazi press in Journal d’Allemagne (1938): might we reach the point where if one discovers the knack of reading everything ‘backwards’ in just the right way, one might actually extract news from the western ‘mainstream media’, or will it always be too messy for that nowadays?

  15. The Egyptian says:

    even pravda gets it (supposedly) and yet here we have a priest telling a bishop to “mind his own business”
    he burned a picture of Benedict at mass
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/9908094/Pope-Emeritus-Benedict-compared-to-Costa-Concordia-captain.html
    “bishop of nearby Ventimiglia, Alberto Maria Careggio, said the “execrable” gesture had caused grave offence.
    The priest said the bishop should “mind his own business”.
    things are truly a MESS,
    ———————————————–
    IMHO priest should have been escorted out by parishioners, HEAD FIRST

  16. wolfeken says:

    Paul Kokoski is one of the great letter-to-the-editor writers of our time. I see a good letter published somewhere in the world by him on average once a week, if not more.

    Someone do a profile of this man!

  17. acardnal says:

    One of those points in Benedict’s “Marshall Plan” (paraphrasing): Save the Liturgy, Save the World. One of my Mass intentions this year is for renewal of the liturgy.

  18. Cantor says:

    Venerator/Andy -

    Quite welcome flashbacks. But I find a more recent Pravda piece more definitive about some of the opinions of the Church’s future:

    http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/13-02-2013/123773-vatican_illuminati-0/

    The article paints the Church as unwilling to stand up against the world.

    The catholic crowd is not prepared to fight or to die for its ideals and the conservative politicians who attend its votes either. So the anti-Christian show can go on.

    And their solution?

    “… the Orthodox Church of Russia must be ready to be the next church of Christians.

  19. Magash says:

    What does it say about the modern world when Pravda prints a letter that the National “catholic” Reporter would not print?
    As for Pravda’s place in the new Russia? I have heard it said that Putin is a strong supporter of the Russian Orthodox Church. Whether that is for political reasons or because he is a believer, I do not know. One should remember that many Christian monarchs in the past were autocrats of the worst kind. I do not pretend to know Putin’s motives or mind. If he is motivated by patriotism and is a believer I can still criticize his actions where they are against the interests of my country or myself, but I won’t call him evil for that.

  20. Joseph says:

    It seems to always come back to this confounding and ill conceived and perceived collegiality, which curtails the Holy Father’s authority. To try to run a church militant on the democratic notion, we have to have a show of hands in order to find out, what needs to be done, just leeds downhill, as has been amply demontstrated for the last 40 years. Unless the pope is willing to actually enforce what he is now only suggesting, the slide will just continue.

  21. acricketchirps says:

    Don’t know much about Pravda (in both senses) but Kokowski has written not just letters to the editor but articles for such Catholic publications as Catholic Insight, Crisis and, the now sadly defunct, Challenge.

  22. RJHighland says:

    I believe our next Holy Father needs to not allow the Bishop’s to make any changes to the mass, this is where most of the confusion started. Simply say these are the norms of the Church Period, get back to the concept of a Universal Church and a unified mass. As Fr. Z says “Say the Black do the Red.” It is not that complicated. I pray one day I can walk into any Catholic Church on the planet and know exactly what to expect in the way of teaching, music, posture, reception of communion, and location of the tabernacle. As a Catholic I should not have to shop for a faithful parish with a Holy priest, Protestants shop for churchs, Catholics should not have to. I pray for the Pope that we need, not the Pope that we deserve. I pray for a Pope that will throw the heretics and luke warm from the Church, who speaks the truth just as the Lord and Peter did, if it causes people to leave so be it. Clean the Lord’s House. I pray for a Pope that will remove the smoke of Satan from the Church that has caused so much confusion since the Vatican II Council. Speak as Pope’s of old with clearity and strength. Caution and soft peddling be damned. We need a Rock, not sand. We need a real man that not only is a humble servant of God but a man that is not only spiritually and intellectually dominant, but has a physically presence. We need Peter not a pansy. I’m tired of pansies. Is there such a man in the Church today? I pray there is. The Apostles were men, where are the men in the Church?

    Veni Creator Spiritus,
    Mentes tuorum visita,
    Imple superna gratia,
    Quæ tu creasti pectora.