I have written quite a few times here that – in this time of erosion and reversal in the Church – young priests and seminarians will increasingly be exposed to the sort of thing we older guys had to endure in the bad old days of the 80’s and 90’s. Having grown up in relative sanity will they have the wherewithal to deal with the ascendency of the New catholic Red Guards in those places where lib bishops control the seminaries? It’s a concern.
Today, however, we have the greater threat of the rapidly expanding demographic sinkhole opening up under the Church into which the generation of seasoned-senior Catholics will disappear due to age and the subsequent generations of the un-contracepted and un-aborted indifferent immanentists will follow, no longer interested in keeping up the illusion of even cultural, familial Catholicism. The demographic sinkhole is gaping in an accelerated rate under the influence of the demonically-accursed Chinese virus, the Wuhan Devil.
I firmly believe that, in time, the groups that remain, because of their strong, hard-identity Catholicism, will find each other and form something dynamic. Traditionalists and charismatics and converts. There will be frictions. That’s okay.
Meanwhile, young men who are in seminaries are starting – in some places, at least, to experience the grinder of the a-spiritual, virtue-signal laden, ideology-driven humanistic rubbish that is in ascendance in this time of Francis, his papalotrous New catholic Red Guards, COVID, and globalism.
I read a piece at The American Conservative by Rod Dreher. He relates an anonymized letter from a seminarian who is being crushed in a seminary which is going full out crazy. It is a real cri de coeur. It echoes many of my worries which I expressed at the top, about the return of the bad old days.
A few quotes:
In the Church, truth and falsehood, good and evil have been replaced by liberal and conservative. I live in fear of being branded with the scarlet letter “C”. I have to weigh every word and action, and measure out the amount of hostility I attract to myself. All the while we hear constant rhetoric about diversity, inclusivity, and dialogue. They are the intolerant tolerant ones. All are welcome, but some are more welcome than others.
I feel like I am being gaslit by the psychologizing of religion. The implication is that sexual deviancy is caused by sexual repression. Those who advocate for obeying the commandments are blamed for people disobeying the commandments.
I feel like chastity is discouraged in my formation program. We aren’t allowed to talk about sexual morality anymore. I don’t trust the men around me. The sexual scandals of the future are going to become much worse than the sexual scandals of the past. I used to believe the Church as restoring herself after a dark period, but I no longer have that hope.
I am currently in seminary, and I don’t want to represent the Church publicly. I’m sitting through courses on the sacraments of initiation, and I don’t want to welcome people into the Church. I wanted to be Catholic, and I was naive enough to believe the Church would support me. I wouldn’t recommend the Church to anyone. If you hope to believe and practice the Catholic faith, you will be beaten down by the Church.
After recent weeks, of news about Pope Francis endorsing civil unions for gay couples, of
seminary professors regularly contradicting the doctrines of the faith, of great dejection about the moral corruption of the Church occasioned by the McCarrick Report, and of listening to priests repeating ad nauseum talking points from the liberal Catholic media, one evening something switched in my mind, in a different way: I have to leave.
We have been so abused by the Church, sexually of course, but also spiritually, morally, liturgically, psychologically, etc. I’ve learned to survive by keeping my head down and my mouth shut. My heart is filled with resentment. I just wanted to be Catholic, but I am not welcome in the Church. The Church is not what she should be, and I hate what she is. My heart is filled with bitterness, and I don’t want to live like this anymore.
I get it.
On my first day of seminary in these USA, they made us name tulip bulbs and then plant them while the worship team chanted a mantra including “the bringer of light”. Most of the priest members of the “Growth in Life and Ministry” team, quit the priesthood. Members of the faculty died of AIDs. The vice-rector priest (who threw me out) shacked up with a female member of the faculty after “presiding” at the invalid “wedding” of David Haas and female faculty member. We were forbidden to use the word “priest”. A statue of Our Lady of Fatima got one of my classmates dismissed for an “excessive Marian devotion”. The history teacher was one of most incompetent people I’ve ever met. Homosexuality was rife in the rooms. They literally destroyed the spectacular chapel before our eyes, with jackhammers, reversed it’s entire orientation, and painted in colors more suitable to a bordello. In homiletics, the idiot teacher (who shacked up with the vice rector) wanted the men the crawl around on the floor and meow. When we objected to the absolutely unchewable, unswallowable “bread” they made for Eucharist, we were told but one of the theological brain-trusts that “the longer you chew, the more of a sacrament it is”. That was confusing because we were also told that “the sacrament takes place when you look into the eyes of the one who gifts it”. And, “when the ordained minister says the words of institution over bread and wine, no real change takes place: it becomes a symbol of the unity of the community gathered there in that moment.”
I could go on. And on.
And then came priesthood.
I could go on.
So, my first reaction to this young man’s struggles in seminary is. “Yup!”
It is also, “Yut!”, as in Marine “Yut!”
Seminary is rather like extended OCS or military academy. We conservative and traditional older priests are the survivors of 80’s and 90’s seminaries. We were in the academy of the enemy. If you can make it through, you will have been toughened by the experience and will have learned exactly how the enemy thinks, what there program is. Thus, the enemy trains their own destruction.
Does it take a toll? Of course it does. Does it leave scars? Damn right it does.
No one promised us at baptism that life in the Church was going to be easy. This world has its fell Prince, who hates us and the Church and who works relentlessly against her, from without and from within by his agents.
It should not be a surprise to any Catholic that there is chaos in the Church from time to time. It stands to reason that things will get rocky. This is a WAR, after all! War is messy. It is not a surprise that the attack will be fiercest on clergy and in seminaries. OF COURSE that’s where the Devil will attack the hardest!
However, you are a member of the Church Militant, and, therefore, you … YOU… are NOT exempt from “military service” in the Church. You have your own role to play in this spiritual war. You fulfill your duty according to Religion by offering worship to God and by living your vocation properly.
If there is a priestly vocation at stake, then everything and anything must be endured. You must be alert, deft, agile, smart, cautious and resolved. You must improvise, adapt and overcome.
Suffering? Good. The priest is also victim. Get used to it, buttercup. That’s going to be your life.
You are not a priest yet, but you are CONFIRMED! ACTIVATE YOUR CONFIRMATION!
And, remember, you are not alone. There are a lot of us out here who are pulling for you and are ready to help.
Overall, God knew you from before the creation of the cosmos. He called you into existence at THIS time and in THESE circumstances because you have a part to play in the hic et nunc. God will give you all the graces you need because WE are His Team. You are a member of the team he put on Earth right now.
The harder the times, the greater the grace, the higher the honor, the deeper the gratitude, the firmer the resolve, the hotter the desire.