Monday, 3 September 2007

Part Four: The insulted and the injured...

One cannot repudiate the simple fact that vatican II wrought a considerable amount of enthusiasm from some quarters....
but on the parish level there was an awkward confusion about what was really happening - it's with a deep irony that the majority of vociferous clerics about the subjects of the council were ardent traditionalists ; they naiively presumed that there would be a sweeping clean of the stables and a return to orthodoxy and orthopraxis amidst the tiny hints of rebellion in the US and northern europe and the missions. Although there were major stirrings among the seminarians , the younger and the 'professional' clergy ; the ordinary priest on the doorstep was reticent to admit what was really going on - because generally he had absolutely no idea - basically they presumed it was going to continue as 'business as usual'....

Oliver Wendell Holmes said :
" I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity."
Good Pope John sought to gather the Church together in the simplicity wrought from complexity; regrettably the church ended up with a faux simplicity and simpletons.

It came like a thief in the night : like a subcultural new fashion - punks, hippies, goths, yuppies, emos - we suffered with endurance the living nightmare of the 'trendies'!!!!
The onslaught and desecration became more rife than anything any Tudor Monarch had wrought upon the church...the puritanical iconoclasts of old merely destroyed buildings and lives; these new trendies crushed and destroyed the purposes behind the building and lives.

Ok I apologise now because I'm going to go contemporary theologically 'incorrect' and mention the devil....
The worst thing about modern society is not that it is more evil [even though it is] but it's the failure to recognise blantant evil when it's right before one's eyes !
Now we have some pretty infantile ideas about the devil - part the absolutely gut wrenching terror of the exorcist; part 1930's suave sophisticated elegant bounder - the english cad!! ; part Iago - the supreme suggester in our ears....

let's make it clear - whatever this devil is - he is infinitely more dangerous than this - he's a spoilt brat seeking to destroy everything and anything merely for the sake that given any opportunity , he can!! One of the best analogies of the devil in his actions within the modern church is to compare him with, believe it or not, The Grinch who stole Christmas !!!

sounds a bit spurious doesn't it ? Until you remember what the Grinch did - he stole all the presents to make everyone miserable...

So the devil and all his minions used every fault,failure and weakness within us to make an all-out assault on our gifts...
I call this 'The War of the Sacraments'
Just think about it - Suppose we were some great anti-catholic legion - where would we intensify our assault ?
Come on , imagine it ; what would you do ? how would you destroy the church from within ?
How about this way ?

First destroy that which makes a catholic a catholic ; destroy what makes a priest a priest...

a] On baptism - make it unimportant , an irrelevance , deny original sin exists or twist the concept of original sin into something utterly unbelievable; imply that all religions are equal and baptism is of no intrinsic significance or worth. corrupt it until it crumbles....

b] Matrimony - yet again make it non-sacramental, non unifying, non-Godlike in its love.... assault it from every corner ; suggest it is non-fungible; equivocate it with secular marriage or mere sexual liaisons or homosexuality; and go for the jugular - destroy the unity of a husband and wife by depriving them of the graces of a family, allow them to become obsessed with sexual awareness and fulfillment rather than intrinsic mutual love - destroy potential children, destroy the bond, destroy the love !

c] The sacrament of the Sick - attack the very notion of life itself and promote the hideous evils of dying with dignity - kill off the handicapped foetuses because they may suffer in life, allow those in PVS to be starved to death, kill off the 'burden' of the terminally ill - deny the right to live until one dies - euthanise , eugenicise, abort !

d] Confirmation - destroy responsibility and adult maturity altogether - reaffirm the right to act childishly,narcissistically, selfishly and irresponsibly - instigate a blame culture or one ridden with psychological neuroses and excuses for any behaviour - live and act as if one is a teenager for the rest of your life - refuse to take on the mantle, never assume away from the adult life in Christ - assault the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit by ridiculing them, denying them or tormenting those who excel in them or live their lives according to them.

But now we come to the Crux...The major assault which is destroying Holy Mother church from both without and within.
e] The dissolution of Holy Orders
f] The Abolition of the Confessional
g] The denial of, and the spitting upon the Blessed Sacrament

We know it's happening - we can witness it all around us...
Now I think I've gone into more than enough detail regarding the priesthood elsewhere, the majority are not acting like priests, for a lot of these they have no notion or concept of priesthood to begin with ; so they fumble along in the dark , hoping that whatever they do will either suffice or placate....

But as the question was regarding the appointment of Bishops - I feel I need to concentrate my emphasis to that of the way the violation of these last three sacraments has personally affected the clergy:

Primarily it is through a loss of identity and understanding of the vocation. Alienating them from the seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy :

To feed the hungry;
To give drink to the thirsty;
To clothe the naked;
To harbour the harbourless;
To visit the sick;
To ransom the captive;
To bury the dead.
To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;
To bear wrongs patiently;
To forgive offences willingly;
To comfort the afflicted;
To pray for the living and the dead.

Secondly it is through isolation and ignorance - remove all proper education and instruction from the sacred traditions and wisdoms ; remove them from the flock and make them devoid of any experience or understanding of their human condition. It thus deprives the clerics of the graces of the cardinal virtues: Prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice.

The easiest way to do this ? Make the confessional redundant, prevent the priest interacting with his people - stop the practice of home visiting - make the priest isolated from and ignorant of all the people around him.

Thirdly it is by depriving the priest of the ritual of being a priest - removing every habit or sacred ritual which complements or supplements and inspires the theological virtues : Faith, Hope & Love

Violate the mass, despoil it - de-sacralise it , demean and debase and de-spiritualise it; turn the symbolism on its head to represent the exact opposite of its intent

- Turn the mass, our participation in the ritual sacrifice of the public execution of God Incarnate for our Redemption - INTO A PARTY ROUND A TABLE!!!

- but most importantly - promote treatment of the most precious , sacred gift from God ; His very Body and Blood , instill the habit as one of overfamiliarity and disrespect verging on contempt ! No longer make the vessels valuable and beautiful and worthy to befit the King of Kings, rather turn them into bowls not fit for dogs to drink from ; no longer have the priest and people dress as if they are in the presence of royalty, no longer have the priest and people bow or kneel in homage of their God, no longer have the people receive the Blessed Sacrament ; compel them to give it to themselves...
destroy the dignity of the blessed sacrament , and you destroy every consequence that comes from that respect...

That's what mother Theresa meant when she said it brought her the most sadness !!!
A faithful catholic of a century ago would look upon the average contemporary mass of today with the horror and outrage of witnessing a satanic ritual - why ? the way we virtually spit upon the blessed sacrament through our indifference and abject negligence.

If a priest resides in this culture which disrespects the greatest of things ? how else will he act towards anything else ? save with an attitude distinctly devoid of reverence.

Lastly - once the priest is unaware of who they are, and no longer acting like a priest inside the church through prayer and ritual and respect/worship of the sacraments ; or outside the church pastorally within the community with respect for God's children,

once all the major damage is done ; impose the sin of Pride upon it all - poison it irrevocably through presumption and despair ; either make the cleric oblivious to these factors and allow him to continue as if everything is wonderful, or make him believe in nothing except his despondent futile ineptitude and the utter falsity of all that he and the church stands for.

... and to seal everything up - to prevent a change of heart , a damascene conversion, a metanoia ; ensure that the priest never encroaches upon the critical virtues - patience, gentleness and humility.

That's how to destroy the Church - it's a brilliant masterplan isn't it ???

Now, does any of this seem remotely familiar ?
Ok, on to the last part - what it's like in a diocese and why the best priests aren't becoming bishops....

No comments: