Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Pope Speaks

...making this Catholic pleased:

The Vatican said on Tuesday Christian denominations outside Roman Catholicism were not full churches of Jesus Christ.

Protestant leaders said this was offensive and would hurt inter-denominational dialogue.

I certainly hope so. Pope John Paul II was an excellent Pope; he was also, almost certainly a Saint. But even Saints are not perfect, and one of the flaws of JPII's Papacy was his emphasis on ecumenism. He also seldom stressed that the Roman Catholic Church was the source and keeper of all Truth. This is not to say that the Church has it all figured out, nor that individual Catholics, even Popes, occasionally err. But the institution itself is impregnable; the very gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

One is free to believe otherwise, of course, but not if one wishes to remain Catholic, and the negative reactions from Protestants reek of failure to understand the obvious. To wit, one would not belong to a Church which one felt to be wrong about important matters. Are Protestants secretly adhering to a church with which they are at odds? It seems curious to me.

As usual, when it comes to the media's coverage of all things Catholic, this is much ado about very little. Pope Benedict is affirming something Catholics profess at every mass. His vocalization should be applauded, but the reactions to it are almost more important for demonstrating the increased relativism in which much of the world presently believes.

This comes on the heels of another proclamation from the Pope. Pat Buchanan notes:

Elevated to the papacy at 78, Benedict XVI will take no action greater in significance for the Catholic Church than his motu proprio declaring that the Latin Mass must be said in every diocese – on the request of the faithful. Dissenting bishops must comply.

"What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us, too," said the Holy Father in his apostolic letter, as he authorized the universal use of the sole official version of the mass allowed in the four centuries between the Council of Trent and Vatican II.

To which many Catholics will respond: "Alleluia! Alleluia!"

I have been reading Warren Carroll's wonderful History of Christendom series--I am presently midway through volume two of an expected six. One of the reoccurring themes is how the Catholic Church seems dead, and then, to everyone's surprise, bursts back into the scene, as a new, yet traditional power, and one to be reckoned with.

We may be seeing this happen again, though something tells me the Church has lower to sink before she makes another comeback. I'm envisioning the Muslim hordes destroying most of Europe first.

Still, this has been a good month for Catholics thus far. In an election cycle that is looking especially glum, good news on more important fronts is always to be welcomed.


lifeboy1 said...

I'm a Catholic...staunchly so. Your arrogance and false piety are offensive to the point of being humorous. IMHO, people like you push more people away from Christ and the Church than you bring to Him. You also use Christ and the Church as a cover to promote your own prejudice and hatred. You should be ashamed and confess the ugliness in your heart that makes you use our Lord and Saviour for such evil purposes. May God forgive you...

Doom said...

Hey, Right on. Not you lifeboy1.

With most of the things this Pope is doing, I find myself more sure of my decision each day. I was almost afraid to join only to find this, to my mind and faith, the most holy of Churches was completely rotted as all the others. Oh, I see problems, but I see hope, and I see a richness of faith, Christian culture and tradition, and a basis in Truth, the disciples, and the Triumvirate the others will never have. Though I also, and often, see a complete blindness of this on the part of some parishioners. Odd. I am hoping to figure a way to learn Latin. And I am hoping for a return of more of the old ways.

As for what lifeboy1 says, I might not be in complete disagreement with a part of it. At least in my personal walk. I will not recommend the Church to others. I was called to the Church. I tried every which way to not go. I looked at most other churches, a different religion altogether, anything. I was afraid. Call it the crucifixion dilemma. I was afraid of dying in Christ, with him, and from sin. Choosing here or there, him or me, work or play, this was not easy. In the end, the call to join was too strong and nothing else would do. Yet ten years ago I would have laughed at your naiveté if you had suggested I would join this church. Twenty years ago you might have gotten punched. No, one has to find themselves called, and then choose to obey. And, inside the church, if there are those who do not wish to abide the church, perhaps they should go. There are Christian themed groups, called protestant denominations they can join. There are socialist and communist groups who would snap them up. And there is always atheism or agnosticism in many forms, such as most so-called science, academia in general, and modern life.

I think the Church may have to fall a bit more before coming back, as you say. And I see the problem you speak of in Europe, but the muslims are only another nail in the coffin because of the Churches fall there. The churches and cathedrals have been long abandoned, and this has allowed the foothold the muslims have. It seems no Catholics, no children; no children, too few to do the work; too few to work leads to immigration. With the whole of Europe secular and barren, muslims are the only ones they can get, in part because the only other large group available for immigration are not worth hiring. That is the real threat. It is a similar threat here. It will only happen if this Church, like the protestants, turns it's back on it's authority and duties. It did this recently by allowing so many gay priests and not controlling that issue. And it has paid dearly and in many ways (now if we could just get that same type of treatment for public schools, we could clear up that much larger secular evil, maybe bankrupt the government back to the constitution as well?). I hope it has chosen the right path and is moving on, forward, and away, probably from lifeboy1.

I’m not even sure what raised his ire in what you said. And, for my part, I have tried to be decent. I will probably give the “lad” a stroke. Then again, you might join him in attacking? Dunno. Anyway, good call.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

While it is true that there is ugliness in my heart, it has little to do with this little post here.

I am fairly arrogant, but if you could elucidate a way out, while retaining the important point: that the Catholic Church is the guardian of Truth; that though her members err, She does not, I would be glad to hear it.

Otherwise you're just going to have to pray for me.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

I am hoping to figure a way to learn Latin.

I picked up a copy of The Idiots Guide to Learning Latin. It's not bad, and I might learn some Latin if I actually read the thing from time to time. If you find a more helpful aid by all means let me know.

And I am hoping for a return of more of the old ways.

They're coming. The pendulum always swings back.

I know I can come across as arrogant. Sometimes I feel I typify what Flannery O'Connor, a Catholic, called "Catholic smugness". But it's bizarre that another Catholic would be angry about my words. Oh well.

Doom said...

No worries, I am barely a Catholic and seem to have that bug. It's a bug I can deal with. That is one of the things I have been looking for, in others. I now look for those leaders in the service, and try to follow their lead in the hopes of becoming a leader there myself. I hope to become more active, in some ways if I am not exactly sure which ways yet, in the church. I have to be doing better, but it might happen.

I will probably see if I can find the book you suggest, though there is another if I can find my link to it. Just don't hold your breath, my speed is outstanding qutie often, but at least half of the expceptional nature of it is akin to the speed of a cow, outstanding in her field, too.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

I was raised Catholic, but I lapsed briefly in college before returning to the Faith and claiming it as my own.

One of the more delightful surprises has been the astounding depth of Catholic thought throughout the centuries. Even if we limit things to the last century or so, we have Chesterton, Belloc, O'Connor, Waugh, Merton, Carroll, Johnson, to say nothing of the last two Popes. I don't think I'll ever run out of Catholic things to read.