NCR’s editors have a nutty – attack Card. Rode, Benedict XVI

The editors of the ultra-liberal fishwrap The National Catholic Reporter had another little public nutty yesterday.

My emphases and comments.

Nostalgia is not a path to the future
Nov. 10, 2009
An NCR Editorial

CAPTION: Detail of text from the 1962 Roman Missal, commonly known as the Tridentine Mass (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)


[Take note of the premises the editorial wants you to embrace…] It has been an open secret [Because there is some sort of conspiracy, right?] that powerful forces in the church’s leadership [NCR hates the Pope and the new sort of bishops being appointed and they feel impotent.] have strongly opposed the reforms set in motion by the Second Vatican Council [Which is an entirely specious claim.  Show us just one thing that the Holy Father has done contrary to the Second Vatican Council’s actual documents.] and have worked quietly yet assiduously during the past 40 years to roll back what has been accomplished. [What a weird thing to say!  The traditional view of things was nearly completely repressed.  And they are claiming that all along it was so powerful that the Council was being undermined?  Dopey.] The regression is usually couched in Orwellian churchspeak, [Oh how rich, coming the the chief expounder of liberal buzz words!] which lavishes praise on the council even as its intentions are reversed. Or sometimes in this parallel universe the argument is made that nothing really happened during the gathering of the world’s bishops over a four-year period to redirect the church and its mission.  [Okay… at this point I am sure you, like I, would like the help them softly to the floor and put something between their teeth until their little nutty is over.]

Then along came Cardinal Franc Rodé, head of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, who has vaulted to notoriety as the person overseeing the investigation of U.S. women religious. He is quoted in this issue, from a talk he gave in September 2008, as blaming the problems of Vatican II on a misguided “hermeneutic” or interpretation, which he calls “a hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity.”  [ROFL!  I wonder if the editors are purposely this obtuse?  That little phrase isn’t just a throw away or even an adage of Card. Rode.  This is straight from that "powerful force in the church’s leadership" called Benedict XVI.  But watch what follows.   This is one of the dumbest things I have read in days….] That is a rather elaborate way of saying that one believes nothing really happened at the council[?!?  Who believes THAT?] To Rodé’s credit, in more recent comments to John Allen (NCR, Oct. 30), he changes tone. In his latest pronouncement, it wasn’t the interpretation, but the council itself that was the problem. In his conversation with Allen, he credits the council with some muscular intent, and sees its documents holding the language of significant change. Otherwise why would he make the shocking charge that the council caused “the greatest crisis in church history … the first truly global crisis” in the church?

No doubt he spoke for other Roman curia members who would never utter such a brash assessment publicly.  [See how they attempt to isolate him?  If anyone bothered to read the NCR in Rome.  Well… they will see this because they read WDTPRS.]

What is it, though, that the cardinal finds so disastrous? What would he have us return to? Would he want to go back to the days when the church condemned separation of church and state?

Would he want us to return to a condemnation of religious liberty? [One wonders how the NCR would define "religious liberty".] Three popes since the council have upheld the principle of religious liberty as a fundamental human right, an assertion that would have been unthinkable before 1965.  [Three Popes… how would they be counted.  Paul VI, John Paul… I? John Paul II…  or do we leave out John Paul I, who really didn’t have much time, and include Benedict XVI?   Remember: the ultra-liberals will lump this whole discussion together with ecumenism.  But they only want dialogue with people who already agree with NCR’s agenda.  Pope Benedict, on the other hand, is the true exponent of true ecumenism, of true religious liberty.  He is the Pope of Christian Unity.]

Maybe his objection is to Nostra Aetate, the document on church relations with non-Christian religions. [Watch this….] Perhaps he would want us to return to the days of open hostility toward Jews in our prayers and sermons[HA HA HAH HA HA… ho ho ho…. sigh…  They have as high an opinion of your intelligence as some translation focused bishops.]

Or does he feel that modernity and ecumenism have so infected the church that we should return to those days when Catholics were prohibited from attending the funerals of friends if held in a Protestant church, or when we were barred from attending a non-Catholic college without the permission of the local bishop?  [Remember: liberals want to define what ecumenism is.  They want to determine for you what religious liberty is.  However, I think we will have a clearer idea of religious liberty means once the talks between the Holy See and the SSPX have progressed.  Oddly, they won’t include the views of the editors of NCR.]

Does he want a return to the 19th-century papal condemnation of freedom of conscience?  [Okay… this is getting boring.]

[Now watch.  When liberals start thinking they are very clever, they will trot out the old "dress up" card.] Or is he upset that most do not prefer, as he does, dressing up in the trappings of royalty, the yards of silk in the cappa magna, the canopies and throne chairs and all the rest — being attended by his minions, younger priests in lacy surplices, birettas and old-fashioned vestments encrusted with gold thread and jewels — all the while speaking in a dead language, facing a wall, his back to the people?  [Wow.  Pure hatred.  Pure frightened, nutty hatred.  They hate our past.  The advancement of a hermeneutic of continuity truly frightens them.]

All of this was the preconciliar church. Which elements does he want restored?

Or possibly he regrets the fact that laypeople have wide access these days not only to the scriptures but also to the documents of Vatican II, and thus can say with authority that his version of church, dependent on a thin culture of nostalgia, holds no promise of the future.

Against that culture, the people of God can say convincingly that our worldwide church, in elaborate deliberation, has decided to go forward, not backward, and that the authors of that change wrote compellingly of the need for new and more inclusive ways of conducting ourselves as 21st-century Catholics.  [What a peroration!]

Sad.  Very sad.

I wonder what Bishop Finn of Kansas City thinks about this open attack on a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, tasked with the Apostolic Visitation?  I wonder if His Excellency has any opinion about the use of the word "Catholic" in the title of this paper, published in his diocese?

Nuntiatrix delenda est. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. romancrusader says:

    That’s cause the far left has the Devil as their father.

  2. What kooks! What utter kooks!

    Sad thing is, people read and believe this drivel!

  3. chcrix says:

    I posted a comment on NCR earlier about Sr. Akers. I pointed out that she does have religious liberty – she can quite easily go to a denomination that ordains women. What’s the problem?

    I actually do believe in religious liberty. If you have the views of a Unitarian then by all means become one.

    But this does not seem to be enough. For some reason these people are determined to recast the religion they (very nominally) adhere to in a completely different form and can be satisfied with nothing else.

    But I don’t understand why. The U.S. has always been pretty loose about changing one’s affiliation. Again, what’s the problem? Can it be that just being one in a crowd in a ‘progressive’ denomination is not enough? Perhaps they must have the drama of opposing the ‘establishment’.

  4. medievalist says:

    NCR appear like the crazies on the subway car…the louder they rant, the more people edge away from them.

  5. Mariana says:

    Dressed up, attended by minions, dead language, FACING A WALL, back to the people. Really!

  6. Peggy R says:

    Very evil stuff. It’s like Satan screeching. Wow!

    FYI, Fr Z. The link you provide is to your own post, not to NCR.

  7. La Sandia says:

    What is with this meme that I constantly here from “progressive” types that laity were somehow “denied” the right to read Scripture or Church documents before the Council? My grandmother and people of her generation received all of their formation pre-VII and seemed to be much more Scripturally and theologically literate than most who went through catechism–and they were from a neighborhood of working-class Polish immigrants. Maybe it’s because I never lived through those times, but I can’t think of any factual basis for that claim.

  8. Thomas in MD says:

    “Or possibly he regrets the fact that laypeople have wide access these days not only to the scriptures ”

    Sounds like the rant of a crazy anti-Catholic protestant. Oh silly me: it is.

  9. Mickey says:

    Every time I read this sort of tripe from NCR, and I try hard not to, I can’t help but think of the Invitory Psalm…”Forty years I endured that generation…”

    I’m afraid that even at my young age (44), I don’t suffer fools very well…

  10. papa pius says:

    I had bishop Finn, as a religion teacher in high school, at st.francis borgia in washington missouri, He is a great and pius man I think he would be hurt and upset at this letter but I think he will keep going with his great works, and thank you fr.Z for all your great works.

    papa pius

  11. Rob Cartusciello says:

    My experience is that the average high school graduate of the Pre-Vatican II era can run theological & scriptural circles around the average graduate of a “Catholic In Name Only” college.

  12. TNCath says:

    The NCR is by far the most dangerous anti-Catholic rag of our time. It is as ludicrous as Chick Publications. I truly hope and pray that eventually John Allen sees the futility of this cheap-shooting tabloid and moves on to a more respectable position.

  13. Paul M says:

    It seems to me as though they’re not so interested in defending the Vatican II “spirit” as they are in attacking the Vatican itself. I sense a very haughty pride (the first sin) in the majority of the NCR site comments – pride combined with implacable hatred – like a glimpse of hell itself.

  14. Emilio III says:

    I must confess that although I had no problem with Bishop Trautman’s ineffable word list, “having a nutty” is new to me.

  15. Thank you, Father, both for calling this article to our attention, but also for your thoughtful analysis. The old canard that the Church did not want the laity to read Scripture is disproved by the small piece in the front of the Douay-Rheims Bible we had in our home for years. A paraphrase: If anyone should read Holy Scripture for fifteen minutes daily, he will be given a partial indulgence of 300 days. Signed Leo XIII, Pope, Anno Domini 1897.

    By offering the indulgence, was the Church encouraging or discouraging the laity to read Scriptures daily?

  16. Tina in Ashburn says:

    ‘Catholic’?!? riiiiiight… pathetic.

    Father, you have a lot of patience. When I see something like this I chuck it, I can’t bear to read through this kind of drivel. This kind of junk can have an effect on the subconscious, even when a reader knows it is bad. And where the heck do you start in taking it apart? Just the thought makes me tired. However you do a great job of driving a truck right through the screaming rages, exposing the details as they should be exposed.

    You put a lotta red in this … and you could have said more, but more would have obliterated the thing and we wouldn’t’ve noticed the original text.

    BTW is the writer aware that modernism is officially condemned as heresy?

  17. edwardo3 says:

    Liberalism is not only a sin, but a mental disorder as well. Having been born well after the Council, I welcome anything that brings back more reverence and a true understanding of the nature of the Liturgy and the Priesthood. By the way, aren’t most Cappae Magnae made of wool, since only Cardinals are allowed silk at this point?

  18. We should have lots of photos of cappas in honor of NCR.

  19. jarthurcrank says:

    “Or is he upset that most do not prefer, as he does, dressing up in the trappings of royalty, the yards of silk in the cappa magna, the canopies and throne chairs and all the rest—being attended by his minions, younger priests in lacy surplices, birettas and old-fashioned vestments encrusted with gold thread and jewels—all the while speaking in a dead language, facing a wall, his back to the people?”

    Translated: It’s not homophobic, if we liberals gay-bait.

  20. Nathan says:

    I found the photo associated with “the nutty” very intriguing. I would venture to guess that the NCR has no idea, but they photographed the Missale Romanum on the very prayer at the beginning of the Canon that unites the Mass with an intention for the orthodoxy of the Church:

    “We therefore, humbly pray and beseech Thee, most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ; Thy Son, our Lord, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to accept and bless these † gifts, these † presents, these † holy unspotted Sacrifices, which in the first place we offer Thee for Thy holy Catholic Church to which vouchsafe to grant peace, as also to preserve, unite, and govern it throughout the world, together with all orthodox believers and professors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.”

    Irony, perhaps, or just God moving in a mysterious way?

    In Christ,

  21. Nathan says:

    Oh, Father, I almost forgot:

  22. Nathan says:

    Oops. I’m not smart enough to insert photos in the combox.

  23. Kimberly says:

    “dressing up in the trappings of royalty, the yards of silk in the cappa magna, the canopies and throne chairs and all the rest—being attended by his minions, younger priests in lacy surplices, birettas and old-fashioned vestments encrusted with gold thread and jewels—all the while speaking in a dead language, facing a wall, his back to the people? ”

    What? Bring it on, I love these things!!! I guess he would rather see trappings of polyester, white popcorn ceilings, bathrobes, mood rings, tablecloths, rainbow bright sashes and priests who love to entertain as the people slump over in their pews watching Sunday Football on their cell phones, all the while speaking a lanuage that would thrill the NCR and put the rest of us to sleep. Go figure.

  24. RichR says:

    I love the “hermeneutic of continuity” phraseology. It really smokes out the true intent of dissidents like the NCR. There’s no way around it. You either think the Church should separate itself from the past or you don’t.

  25. brianwalden says:

    Classic hit job. Note the insidious technique of making wild accusations in the form of a rhetorical question so that they don’t need any actual evidence to back them up. The NCR would have a fit if someone did the same to them:

    “Would [the NCR] want to go back to the days when…” heretics caused a huge schism in the Church?
    “Would [they] want us to return to a condemnation…” of the true Faith?
    “Or [do they] feel that modernity and ecumenism have so infected the church that we should return to those days when…” Catholics were openly martyred and forced to hide in the catacombs.
    “[Do they] want a return to the 19th-century…” rise of pragmatism and humanism?
    “Or [are they] upset that most do not prefer, as [they do],…” banal liturgy with banal homilies in banal churches?

    And when you really get the technique down you don’t even need to ask a question – just qualify your statement with a word like “maybe” or “perhaps”:

    “Or sometimes in this parallel universe the argument is made [by the NCR] that…” the Spirit of Vatican II can be used to justify any form of sin.
    “Perhaps [they] would want us to return to the days of…” princes and kings forcing Protestant religions on Catholics.
    “Maybe [their] objection is to…” the ordinary magisterium which every Catholic is required to accept.
    “Or possibly [they regret] the fact that laypeople have wide access these days not only to the scriptures but also to the documents of Vatican II, and thus can say with authority…” that the wholesale trashing of faith, liturgy, and culture which was forced on the laity was not founded in the council but rather an attitude of rebellion and disobedience.

    Using this technique you can make any claim about anyone; and if you do it repeatedly and persuasively it just might stick.

  26. Huxtaby says:

    Interesting as the ‘Weekly Suppository’ in the UK had an editorial which was assuring it’s readers that all the changes during the last 40 years were widley supported by the average pew going catholic. What utter piffle. Shame on them all. I know things are moving and we must keep praying for better days but I am getting a bit p’d off. The man who masquerades as a priest in my parish is truly transfixed on obliterating tradition from the Church. Only last Sunday did he leave Songs of the Spirit (editions 1&2)on the steps of the choir loft for the organist. He is aided and abetted by a neighbouring priest (in charge of Diocesan Schools and Educaiton – no less) who would far happier in a small protestant sect shouting “no popery here”. I’m sorry for ranting but I’m afraid I see no change here – even orthodox Catholics don’t seem to get the ‘Hermenuetic’. Grrrr!

  27. pelerin says:

    So the Tablet is telling us that we ‘widely supported’ the changes during the last 40 years. I am sure that many people like myself silently accepted the changes with a heavy heart but this in no way meant that we ‘widely supported’ them. I agree with Huxtaby – utter piffle!

  28. Mitchell NY says:

    Agreed, pure hatred…An article so acidic would never pass an editor’s desk if it was written about a Jewish Rabbi, or Orthodox prelate. But no, Roman Catholics are open targets..Echos what ArchBishop Dolan said recently, published here. I would take the mumbling in a dead language anyday over clown Masses and the such. The fact is in this technical age we can all discover what the Mass text says even if prayed in Latin, by searching the internet. The liberals can add that to their “active participation” list of things to do since Vat II. Good Lord this this COuncil bring anything good when so much bad can be traced back to it in the attitudes of millions? And the vestments, isn’t better from the liberal viewpoint to reuse what we have over and over and over until it falls apart before we spend even one dime that could be going to the poor?

  29. StMalachy says:

    They don’t just hate our past – they actually hate Catholicism.

    These are the people your parents warned you about.

  30. becket1 says:

    Funny how the only council the liberals know or for that matter follow is the Second Vatican Council. Like that was the council to end all councils.

  31. robtbrown says:

    Funny how the only council the liberals know or for that matter follow is the Second Vatican Council. Like that was the council to end all councils.
    Comment by becket1

    They don’t know VatII. They know how to use certain texts to justify their opinions.

  32. mpm says:

    Folks, this is an excellent snapshot editorial for diagnosing the problem with problematic progressive Catholicism: a hard-core acceptance of Teilhardian evolutionism.

    KIM, that since we are all progressing (Church and world) toward the Omega Point, Vatican II (which they believe authorized hard-core Teilhardianism) is only the last “dot” on the line of “dots” of Councils, and since all evolutionism only progesses toward the good, i.e., “progress” is always good, the “future’s so bright we gotta wear shades”, it seems absurd to them to even reference earlier Church teaching. This is modernism at its conscious worst.

    This “belief” had a lot to do with the crisis of the 60s in the Catholic Church, for those who are bewildered about how the Church could “lose its way”, so to speak, during those times. The Church has not lost its way, but these folks are following (consciously) a divergent path of evolutionism away from her.

  33. rinkevichjm says:

    Maybe visitation of media claiming to be Catholic shoulod be in order. Any media claiming to be Catholic and found not to be so should be sued to force it to cease its claims. Probably outside the Church’s ability to found at the moment but if someone wants to make a large donation, I’m certain there may be clerics and laypeople willing to see to it.

  34. Sam Schmitt says:

    I dare you to count the cliches in this piece:

    “powerful forces in the church’s leadership”
    “roll back what has been accomplished”
    “back to the days when the church”
    “19th-century papal condemnation of freedom of conscience”
    “unthinkable before 1965”
    “birettas and old-fashioned vestments”
    “dead language, facing a wall, his back to the people”
    “open hostility toward Jews”
    “the preconciliar church”
    “a thin culture of nostalgia”
    “forward, not backward”
    “new and more inclusive ways”
    “promise of the future”

    They even include the unspeakable being “barred from attending a non-Catholic college without the permission of the local bishop” (which my father did without any problem. He also read book on the dreaded Index while he was there! – which reminds me of another cliche . . . )

    Anyway, I can write a NCR editorial just by cutting and pasting these venerable old clunkers – watch:

    “Powerful forces in the church’s leadership are determined to roll back what has been accomplished in the past 40 years to the days when the church endorsed the 19th-century papal condemnation of freedom of conscience, which would have been unthinkable before 1965. Donning birettas and old-fashioned vestments, muttering a dead language, facing a wall, with their back to the people, they yearn for the preconciliar church and a thin culture of nostalgia. But we must move forward, not backward toward new and more inclusive ways and the promise of the future.”

    It’s something they can pull out when the news is slow.

    Somehow they forgot “turning back the clock,” “pray, pay and obey,” “ultra-conservative,” references to the Inquisition, mean nuns, “God’s rotwieler” . . . .

  35. Greg Smisek says:

    Personally, I pine for the good ole days when editorials were expected to cite facts and use logic to make their case.

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