During The Present Crisis partisans of the loony and often homosexual catholic Left have attempted misdirection of attention away from the root cause – homosexuality – and toward clericalism. Watch: they will also try to connect the Crisis to traditional liturgy.
Some on the sane side of the non=”gay”, sound doctrine Catholic spectrum have been seduced into a least some of the clericalism argument.
Let’s face it: the real problem is homosexuality.
Homosexuality is what cause the vast amount of the abuse of power and victims of all ages.
Is there a bad clericalism which can lead to abuse of power? Sure. But… that produces homosexual abuse and the homosexual subculture that perpetuates itself in the Church?
Is there a connection?
There could certainly be some overlap. But, let’s be honest about this. The one is by orders of galactic magnitude greater and it uses the later, rather than the other way around.
My friend The Great Roman™ sent me a note, which I now share in a slightly edited form. We exchanged some communications about the clericalism angle.
TGR™ regularly helps me to see other aspects and questions. I had sent him an article I had read about getting rid of outward clerical signs as being helpful in The Present Crisis.
GUEST CONTRIBUTION: The Great Roman
Right on a few things but big time wrong on everything else.
First of all, regardless of the – supposed – simplicity of their garb, sodomy and the abuses that stem from it aren’t unknown among schismatic Easterners. Nor is careerism. On the contrary, they are doing worse on all counts, and have done so for quite some time, and that includes vocations. Easterners boast one of the most glaring symbols of an “imperial Church”: married clergy, which many would have us implement even though although it didn’t help Easterners much when it comes to either vocations or sexual abuse.
All the alleged lack of “imperial” grandeur and of flattery supposedly avoided by the lack of red birettas and such didn’t stop them from things like breaking unity with the Church and submitting to worldly (some would say imperial) powers, from Byzantine emperors to KGB officers, who always had a role in shaping clerical careers by blackmailing them, be it via marriage or homosexual scandals. And I won’t even begin to make examples of shooting wars between Eastern priests, monks or bishops for career reasons, without secular input.
Which is worse, looking imperial to some, or being known to all as the obedient religious arm of an empire?
Are the faithful really put off by ecclesiastical clothing and “exalted” titles? Would they be more indulgent if our clergy dressed like shaggy and pony-tailed black robed schismatic bishops but were still practicing sodomy among themselves and preying on boys and kids?
Give the people a sense that you are doing your best to live up to the call to priesthood and they will die for you, flawed though you might be, because there is nothing on Earth they need and want more than what only you can give them and that is Jesus Christ in His Sacraments. In fact, they will gladly give you all they have to see to it that your service to the Lord is carried out with the best of the best human love and ingenuity can produce.
The titles, the gold, the fine vestments they want to see on you are what they would like to see on their Sweet Savior who was insulted, blasphemed, stripped naked and humiliated in every possible manner usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis to save us. They too, in their own way have to say “quid retribuam?” and that’s how they try to give thanks (εὐχαριστῶ since we’re feeling Eastern) this side of the altar rail.
I insist – Easterners are not immune from “imperial” mentality. They have kept Caesaropapism alive and well while our Roman Church fought tooth and nail throughout its existence and paid a heavy price to preserve its independence from secular powers in keeping with Mk 12,17. It did so with Supreme Pontiffs, bishops and priests who could be saints or reprobates but steely willed men all. And the grandiose liturgies, paraphernalia and titles of the past did not keep them from repressing sodomy among clergy in ways the bunch of metrosexuals we all are – by comparison – find oh so inhumane. And even those who are said to have had disordered tendencies are not known to have set up a mob-like web of perversion, protecting and reproducing itself within seminaries and chanceries.
It’s not titles or mozzettas that make men lust for other men or boys or whatever. It’s the vice of sodom and its compulsive-obsessive nature, a pathological and particularly devastating subset of that little thing called original sin. If the lust for pectoral crosses and fine garments make you liable to unspeakable vices, you had something wrong with you going in and the system should have been able to filter you out, for the sake of your soul and that of many others … Your Eminence.
And let’s delve into this Imperial mentality business. Should we tear down the triumphal arches in paleochrisitian Churches because they attribute to Christ the tracts of an Emperor? Should we not call the Pope the Supreme Pontiff, because that too was a Roman and – later – an Imperial title? Should we call Sacraments by another name because sacramentum was the oath of fidelity of a legionary recruit? Should we abolish tabernacles since the tabernaculum was the commander’s tent at the center of the encampment? Should we not use the term diocese because that was an administrative unit of the late empire? Should we not call pagans such because that was one of the ways Roman legionaries would call the dwellers of villages (pagi) in recently settled lands, a bit like modern soldier use the world “civilians”? That’s because Christians were so numerous among the legions along the Limes that many words from the military vocabulary were implemented by the early Church.
We are Romans. Get over it. Not by birth or language, but by baptism and choice. We are who we are precisely because the Church operated that marvelous spiritual translatio imperii whereby a worldly power and its legendary City were turned into an army of God casting demons out of our souls.
As Romans, when we see the glorified versions of a senator’s toga or tunica on a cleric at the altar, we don’t recoil in horror. We burst at the seams with legitimate pride! Take that, Devil, you wanted to turn Rome, the mother of the western civilization into the City of the Antichrist and instead the Apostles saved all that was good in it and turned it into tools to save souls and make life better in the process.
And that is “continuity” too, in symbols and facts, because we the Church of Rome “examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.”
“Anyone who has ever seen Saint Peter’s Basilica or Square filled with cardinals and bishops in their finery knows that the sight is grand”.
What “finery”? It is a polyester nightmare in there! And didn’t we all grow up in the era of the “just call me Joe” priests?
The reason why the supposed imperial grandiosity of the Roman curia and the hierarchical life of the Church are annoying to many is that it doesn’t seem justified by an apparent and choral effort to bring the King of the Universe to all people.
Privileges are justified by the mission. Kick out those who don’t like the mission and I guarantee you that no Catholic worth their salt will object to privileges of and homages paid to priesthood which are nothing else but love for Christ and acknowledgment of His Kingship, the only legitimate per se.
While no community is untouched by careerism or sodomy, who have been, so far, most of the promoters of the destruction of all the supposedly imperial symbolism in the Church? Where are you more likely to run into the enemies of the “hermeneutic of continuity”, of sound liturgy, theology, religious life? Among the supporters of the allegedly “imperial” aesthetics or among those who want to do away with them along with the core of our faith?
Lastly, certain aesthetics and certain symbols should not me tampered with in a time of crisis, especially a crisis of identity. They can help us rediscover it.
In time, when the effects of a rebuilt identity and a long lasting evangelization will have again shaped culture along with the religious life of both the flock and its clergy, symbols that are no longer effective will be either set aside or reduced in importance as has been the case for over 20 centuries.
Then came the vandals, who thought they knew better, and we don’t know who we are anymore. And these peculiar vandals of our time are only good at two things: destruction and sophistry: for instance destruction of marriage and sophistries about depravity, destruction of liturgy and sophistries about the nature of priesthood.
It all boils down to that, doesn’t it: who is the priest?
Answer that question correctly and you will know why generation after generation of Catholics would kiss the hand of a priest or the ring of a bishop and skip meals if necessary to build the most beautiful churches, to embroider the most precious vestments and to give glory to God through reverence for His ministers.
Thus, The Great Roman.
That question, towards the end struck me: Who is the priest?
My old pastor, looking at the horror show circus that was the local seminary back in the day, and the lavender-farting clown car that was the faculty, vocations office and chancery, used to quip that they couldn’t answer three questions:
Who is Jesus Christ?
Who is the Church?
Who is the priest?
If you can’t answer those three questions in a straight forward way, then you are doomed to make one mistake after another. If you won’t answer those questions in a way consistent with the Church’s doctrine