11 November 2007

Parsing an Editorial

Or at least a sentence from one.

Courtesy of The Suppository (The Tablet which is a pain in the backside):

"It is already present in some seminaries, where a proportion of young men studying for the priesthood seem particularly attracted to a backwards-looking style of Catholicism that was familiar in the novels of Evelyn Waugh."

Now, if this means anything, it means that Catholicsm in the novels of Evelyn Waugh is backwards-looking. The Catholicsm described in Waugh's novels is, given that they were all written before Vatican II, Tridentine. If, therefore, they are backwards-looking, they look to the period before Trent, perhaps as far back as the time of the Fathers.

Perhaps this is what Waugh was describing when he wrote:

"The Mystical Body doesn't strike attitudes and stand on its dignity. It accepts suffering and injustice. It is ready to forgive at the first sign of compunction."

Not described here are the Tridentine certainties of Bishops who feel that their Headship of a Local Church gives them an absolute dictatorship, but rather the paternal love of a solicitous father.

Do we think that the anonymous editorialist was thinking about that when she wrote it? (Can the word "thinking" be used about the supremely silly act of name-calling?) Probably not. She was probably thinking vaguely about the TV adaptation of Brideshead.

Is a proportion of young men studying for the priesthood particularly attracted to a backwards-looking style of Catholicism that was familiar in the novels of Evelyn Waugh? I have no idea, but I have my hopes.

5 comments:

Moretben said...
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Moretben said...

Is a proportion of young men studying for the priesthood particularly attracted to a backwards-looking style of Catholicism that was familiar in the novels of Evelyn Waugh? I have no idea, but I have my hopes

Yes. This is the point: the Church is, in her essence, traditional - not postivist. When did the baneful positivist mentality assume de facto predominance, and Holy Tradition as a living reality fade into the shadows - a half-understood proposition maintained between the covers of the catechism?

I have only just realised something fundamental about the "rupturists": they actually do imagine that Trent - and probably also Nicaea and everything in between - represented a root and branch reconstruction for its age, exactly as they imagine Vatican II. They don't understand the Church at all. People who do not understand something fundamental about the nature of the Church and the Faith have been, for the past 40 years, the dominant, controlling influence.

Moretben said...

What am I talking about? Of course! - the thing has a name: Modernism.

Ttony said...

I think you have a real point: unfortunately, the only way to confirm it is by studying their works.

Can I leave that to you?

John said...

I've checked the site AD 2000 and the article by Cardinal Pell is now posted. You don't need my key to read that particular article it is available to anyone. Do take a look.
http://www.AD2000.com.au

JARay