Sunday, February 08, 2009

A tale of two churches

I need to make comment on two aspects of the Church today.

One thing that the media has completely missed is that the Pope is primarily a shepherd. benedict's consecration sermon focussed on the central them "Siomon Peter do you love me - feed my sheep". When the Pope goes out to rescue some of the recalcretrant sheep and bring back to the herd is is condemned by the secular media. Yes some of the sheep are mentally unhinged, but the shepherd has to still find them and bring them gently back to to flock "holding them in his arms". In the secular media there is no forgiveness. If you hold views that do not fit in with the modern secular world, you should be flung into the darkness for eternity. This is not to say that there is still a long road to go with the SSPX. Personally, I find them distasteful, too full of sedevacantists and people who do not accept the Second Vatican Council.

But, its not about liturgy anymore since Summorum Pontificum; that issue has been resolved. Its about whether Council was a departure from tradition. Personally as one of the few people who have read the documents, I believe it was a development of tradition, although some of the offshoots (the Consilium that developed the 1969 Missale Romanum) had questionable value.

Closer to home, the result at St Mary's South Brisbane was predictable. Apart from abberations in liturgy, no one has done anything wrong here. However, it has all got caught up in the larger issues of our day: te authority of the wider church, the authority of the magisterium and interpretations of Vatican II. The new acting pastor of the parish will have a hard time of it: I see that it will be like St Vincents in Sydney: blockades, the Mass being disrupted, sit-ins, etc. However, he may win the congregation over, if he is skilled in change management, because that is what the congregation will go through.

All over the world, unfortunately the dissent in the church is becoming louder. There is no such think as "loyal dissent" as that guy Paul Collins calls it. It will not lead to a split, but it will be like WWI where there will be digging into a lot of entranched positions, with some sniping at each other and overall very little movement. Catholicism is increasingly seen as a fascist religion and maybe that is true.


Summa Theologiae said...

I heard something very interesting recently although it probably won't happen. That the best person to fix up St Mary's would actually be an Opus Dei priest. Apparently the are the best trained people in the Church so far as human relations goes and can bring people in from way out left field (this came from someone who was in an entirely different group).

Stephen said...

You may be right. Cardinal Pell tried the same thing with the neo-cat priests at St Vincents in Redfern. However, these renegade communities are so entrenched in their ideas and outlook on the rest of the church and the world, it will be very hard for anybody to win them over.

What we have here is an extreme personality cult. In all the debate there is absolutely no mention of God. We are seeing what happens to a christian community which feels itself so important everything else is forgotten.