28 September 2013

Orthodoxy Shouldn't Be An Easy Way Out

I've deleted the text of this post and frozen the comments.

It didn't get close to the people it was aimed at, and my bending over backwards not to annoy the Orthodox led me to knock myself out, as it were: I got some facts wrong, hence the corrections from Anagnostis (though some are his points are worth discussion, just not here).

Sorry, folks!

24 September 2013

Struggling With Pope Francis

Of course, there's nothing he says that can't be explained, and sometimes he explains it himself when he says something different in one audience from what he said in an interview; and if he doesn't, you can always rely on Fr Z to explain what he said, even while the Tabletistas are dashing down the wrong track.  He never attacks the deposit of the Faith: we know, because other people explain his comments and put them into a proper context.  But I find the hermeneutic of Pope Francis baffling.  How is it that somebody so wise, so clever, so holy, seems not to care about expressing himself in a way that allows people not just to draw wrong conclusions, but to pin them fairly and squarely on him?

If he stuck for a year to his homilies and avoided all other public utterances (he can say what he likes on the phone as long as nobody is recording him) we might begin to appreciate the radicalism of his Faith, the challenge that the Truth he expresses at times so clearly means for the way we live, the gentleness of his continuity with B16 and JP2 (rabbit hole: is this mutatis mutandis what JP1 would have been like?), and appreciate his obvious holiness as a complement to the obvious holiness of his predecessor, and therefore another challenge to the rest of us.

Instead I read in a Spanish newspaper yesterday that the Pope wants to appoint a female Cardinal, a deaconess in an order of the early Church that he will restore.  He won't, of course, because it's an ontological impossibility: but how many readers of an article by a Spanish version of an ACTA follower will understand that the author has twisted the Pope's words to suit his agenda?  How many people seeing the Pope wonder why so many disciplinary matters are referred to Rome may conclude that the hierarchy of E&W's not acting against heterodox Bishops is because they aren't heterodox, rather than because the CBCEW is a capon in a farmyard full of menace?  How many people see his looking at the synodality of the Orthodox as a belied in the dogmatic infallibility of Bishops' Conferences, when Orthodox orthodoxy is rooted in the orthodox mission of the Bishop as an individual, not as a team member?

Maybe I'm missing something.  Maybe the Tabletistas were right all along.  Maybe the Pope's words are right and will have a magical effect on those who aren't orthodox Catholics which will bring them into the Church in droves.  Maybe he's right to make us question what we actually believe in, and that's what he's trying to do.

It's a funny way to be right, though.

06 September 2013

Fr Ray Blake And All PPs

I'm not going to repeat what we all know and what lots of people have already posted about the press attack on Fr Ray in particular and on the Church in general.  I note from where the support has come.  I also note from where it hasn't.

Can I invite you to join me in a Novena to St Michael for priests who live in parishes by themselves, starting perhaps on Sunday after we have observed the Pope's Day of Prayer and Fasting for Syria.  There are few people the Devil hates as much as holy priests; there are few paths to holiness harder than that of being a priest, with all of the awesome obligations that entails.  So let's ask St Michael to help.  There are lots of good prayers available online: it might be instructive that there are even two alternative prayers on Wikipedia.

And even if you don't want to join me in this Novena, please pray for priests.