Tuesday, February 03, 2009

My Final Blog post…..

Thank you dear readers for reading this blog, you have viewed and several of you have participated in my growth and formation in to a Catholic male. Clearly this is not the end of my growth; I have yet many, many year’s ahead of me. But I believe my formation is sufficient for the time being and sufficient enough for me to find my identity as a person and my identity with in the church.

You may have noticed at the start of this blog, I was a young fiery up-start, gloating of good on an MC I was, and spouting my ill informed and amateur observations of the church. I’d like to think that I have learned my lessons and have come along way since those days. I am still young and still in need of a proper formation, and perhaps a few more humbling experiences.

I wish to identify myself no longer as a traditionalist, or even a neo-conservative, but rather as a pure and straight Catholic. I have found very grievous and perilous flaws in both mentalities. Liberalism and poorly veiled Marxism are not very good fits for my mindset. Charismatics, Neocats, SedeVacantisis, Jansenists and Ultramontists, all have been on my journey so far, all of them tend to exult particular view points and mindsets, yet they all somehow fall down, at one stage or another. People within the church are very human or so I’ve gathered, they all seem to be divided against themselves, even those who are on the “side of the angels”. Yet somehow we retain at least the outward appearance of unity. The Orthodox and Anglicans, -well at least a few of them- I hold in great esteem, as they all have their particular gifts and charisms, yet they fail to unite themselves together.

Little enclaves of battle hardened and warped traditionalists, thousands of new movements spring up trying to reinvent the wheel, elitist homeschoolers and finally the old guard of the parishes who tend to have a more liberal outlook, and finally those who like to borrow complete ideas and mindsets from our separated brethren, all form the body of Christ in Australia. All of them either claim to be the flying the standard of the church with papal mandate or some sort of mandate (usually the holy spirit’s).

At the centre of all this, are our bishops. Men who have impossible positions,- apparently at their ordinations, a bull’s eye is painted on their backs. They tend to cop flak from all possible angles, either from the traditionalists demanding a return to so called “tradition” or the liberals demanding some outrageous idea (women priests, married priests, selling of church assets, the list goes on). These bishops are frequently ridiculed, mocked and harassed by overzealous faithfully (myself included on many occasions), yet they are the ones who are the ones who administer the best medicine for our souls. Perhaps the wisdom of some is lacking, or the actions, either way, these men are the best and brightest we have, they tend not to be too blunt and they certainly are aware of what lay people think. Spare a thought and a pray for them,: when ever they do something, everyone pipes up and says it’s wrong. I have learnt to have great respect for these men, no matter how “dissenting, liberal or far rightwing” they tend to be.

As a man interested in the liturgy, I tend to like both the ordinary and the extra ordinary form of the Roman rite,; both forms have the potential for a lot of liturgical fun. The Ukrainian rite and other venerable rites of the church, are not exactly substandard or foreign forms, -they are great treasures of the church. The Church revolves around Rome, but that doesn’t mean the Roman rite of the Mass is the be all and end all,; after all, Christ’s Passover would share more in common with the eastern rites, than those of the west. Perhaps it would have been better for the “extra ordinary form” to have died out after the council,; this might of lead to a quicker reform of the reform, or perhaps it would have gone down hill. Either way, the church and history has judged a different verdict.

With this post I have committed a most grievous sin, I have spoken my mind. Yes, yes, I am just some smart assed kid who thinks he knows something. Perhaps some of you will scrupulously look over my post and point out its flaws and heresies (a certain jansenist I know certainly will). The reality is, or what I have come to as a conclusion is, we are all a very flawed people, we are all divided and we are all pushing our own ideological wheel barrows, but somehow we are all outsmarted enough or forced enough to be cooped up in the Bark of Peter. As much as we hate it, the strumming guitarist has to co-exist with the schola member; the traditional way has to co-exist with the new evangelisation. East has to put up with West and we all have to put up with the Charismatics. But perhaps it would be wise to return to the good old parish….

This blog will continue to be maintained by my co-blogger Stephen, but I, at last, have decided to shut my big mouth and abandoned my enclave in cyber space. Where and What I am doing, should be bloody obvious to the learned among you. I leave for the next step of my journey, for my new adventures and for my continual formation.

Good bye, God Bless and Pray for me


P.S. comment now or forever hold your peace.


Anonymous said...

I've been following your posts for quite a while now, and you can be assured of the prayers of this "Cloister"-dweller for the future.

Summa Theologica said...

There's a good quote from Benedict XV that is appropriate here.

"Christian is my name and Catholic my Surname."

I'm too lazy right now to look up which encyclical but it was his first one if memory is any guide.

Terra said...


You and your future path will be in my prayers.

I'm a little saddened by all this, but I suspect that its a necessary attitude for your sanity given where you are headed - and once you've made it through, you can reassess!

Let me say I'm all for diversity. I do agree that we all tend to be a bit narrow and judgmental. But there is a big proviso in that, it has to be reverent and orthodox diversity.

And I agree that it can be difficult to cope with the battle-hardened mentality (I run away from it from time to time). But it is a reality that we live in difficult times. These are the kind of times St Athanasius and others of his ilk lived in - and niceness just doesn't always cut it!

I'm happy to support bishops when they are orthodox and trying to do the right thing (regardless of whether or not I agree with their decisions) - but when their actions, inaction or words give scandal, as is all to frequently the case, we have to exercise judgment.

The problem with the novus ordo mass and liturgy is that it does encourage a different approach - how we pray is how we believe after all. At best it is a bare bones thing, stripped of so much meaning and symbolism. At worst it encourages narcissism and self-worship (do read the Pope's book on the liturgy!). I don't believe what we have now is even vaguely what Sacrosanctum Concilium implies by way of reform. In an ideal world, if we really thought VII was on the money for today's needs, we wouldn't be talking reform of the reform, we'd be saying let's start again and this time actually do what the Council said...

Now my own view is that VII is more of a Lateran V job, most of it best forgotten given that the fruits everyone hoped for simply haven't been realised, quite the contrary.

A similar point might be made about the new evangelization - Pope John Paul II called for it in 1979, and there has been no noticeable recovery in the years since, quite the contrary.

Yes, there a few ideas and directions coming out VII it that will probably stand the test of time, but not nearly as many as some people seem to think!

I think all of this is a debate we have to have, and on which people will naturally take different positions - so yes we must all be orthodox catholics. But there is room to be a traditionalist or a magisterialist or a...whatever best describes your position within that.

Anyway, thank you for your work on this blog and your serving activities (I've enjoyed seeing piccies of you poppoing up all over the place!). I'll keep you in my prayers; please keep me in yours too.