26 April 2008

McGrath Blames Vatican II for Her Loss of Faith

In an interview in St. Louis Magazine, pretend priest Elsie McGrath tells Jeannette Cooperman, former writer for The Riverfront Times, that she quit going to Mass after Vatican II.

'"They took away my answers," she said, sounding both cheated and amused.'

Now, certainly McGrath would not wish to be misconstrued as calling for a return to traditional liturgical and catechetical practices. Obviously not. But I believe there is more to her words above, and more to the reality of her dropping out of regular Mass attendance after the de facto suppression of the traditional Mass, then she realizes.

They took away my answers. Sounding both cheated and amused.

Amused, because she of course tries to skewer the traditions of 1960 years as being facile, ready-made "answers". You know-- humanity, kept in infantile darkness by the repressive Church for millenia, given pablum-type "answers" to questions the Church didn't really want to answer. And then that glorious moment came in the 1960s, when humanity matured, came of age, and was ready to throw off the tyranny of hierarchy and celebrate the priesthood in everyone. All the old, pat answers would be thrown out as man made his own religious truth through an inward-gazing look at the divine within.

Cheated, because whether she understands this or not, she has been cheated. We were all cheated. Why did God create us? Who is Jesus Christ? What is the Church? How may I attain eternal salvation? These are questions that God places in our hearts and minds. It is human nature to ask them, and a loving God gave us His only Son, Who gave us the Church, to answer them. To fulfill them. In the religious education context, when discussing curriculum choices with many Catholic school teachers, I hear that the catechism really doesn't do more than give us a grade-school, childish understanding of the faith. Yet we haven't exchanged the facile for the complicated, we have exchanged the foundations for sand. And what happened to the humility of filial faith and devotion? Instead of trying to build upon the foundations of faith found in the catechism and reinforced by the sacramental life of the Church, we have instead taught nothing substantive, and cut the link between liturgy and Truth.

The Sixties theology, a theology that acts as though the ancient Romans, the Church Fathers, Augustine, Benedict, Thomas Aquinas, and John Henry Newman were infantile, brain-dead fools really doesn't have a lot to recommend it. A degree from Aquinas Institute of Theology doesn't make one the equal of its namesake.

G.K. Chesterton famously said, "When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn't believe in nothing. He believes in anything."

In the interview, McGrath proves the truth of Chesterton's quote and yet fails to see the irony in the following admission:

"I don't really feel like there's anything I'm doing now that I couldn't have done before I was a priest. We believe in the priesthood of the baptized: Everyone can validly do what we're doing."

This begs the question, of course, of why she wants to be a priest. And the reality is that she really can't do anything now that she couldn't do before the pretend ordination. She has eyes, but will not see. As even one of her own children understands-- in her words, "the one who goes to church"-- she is not a real priest.

"They took away my answers," sounding both cheated and amused.

With a realization that the watered down and protestantized version of the Catholic faith passed off for forty years has failed us comes the task to bring it back into line with Catholic Tradition. When this effort is linked to the effort to restore the Church's liturgical tradition, and re-presented to the faithful, there is hope for the Church's future.

Because McGrath and others like her have been cheated. And only Satan is amused.


Anonymous said...

Tim, I would be interested to read a longer essay concerning what you feel are the positive movements, outcomes of Vatican II. How is the Church better or stronger in your eyes? While it's clear from reading your blog what you feel the Church--and the culture around it--has lost because of Vatican II (or, more appropriately, how groups and forces within the Church have perhaps stretched some of the ambiguity in the core documents toward their own ends), what have we gained? What has the Church yet to realize about the the council's vision? (I recall a theology professor of mine once saying that it takes at least 100 years for a Council to take effect).


True Restoration said...

How does nothing gained with Vatican II sound? I am hard pressed to think of a single benefit that this council has brought to our Holy Faith or our Holy Church. It has wrought confusion, loss of vocations, heterodoxy, loss of adherence to the Faith and its teachings by those who call themselves Catholics, and a litany of other issues. It produced nothing that we must believe to call ourselves Catholics and it bore with it no Canons, no decrees we must follow lest we be anathema. Tim, touting its "benefits" is a double edged sword. I would love to know what someone considers a true benefit of Vatican II, but after nearly 10 years of being a Traditional Catholic and thinking on this topic fairly often, I have drawn the conclusion that I cannot think of a benefit of the Council. I love my Church and I want a true restoration, but as long as we push the "New Theology" and the fruits of Modernism, I am hard pressed to find out how this restoration will truly happen. A clue here is that the "reform of the reform" movement is not the right approach and will only seek to dilute the Faith of those who are deluded into thinking that we need to make the Novus Ordo Missae more reverent, rather than returning to the Ordo Missae that has brought to Holy Mother Church so many saints. I pray for true restoration.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Liberal Agenda of Vatican 2 = the following: Modernism, the Church in Latin America not knowing of its glorius past...i don't even know where to begin.

Anonymous said...

Ms. McGrath's most important admission:

"....I don’t really feel like there’s anything I’m doing now that I couldn’t have done before I was a priest. We believe in the priesthood of the baptized: Everyone can validly do what we are doing."

Speaking as an RC Traditionalist Elsie makes a lot more sense to me. She's not a schismatic. She is merely a Lutheran.

She doesn't believe in a priesthood. Why should it be hard for her to play act? She answers the question immediatly. She really doesn't want to be a priest. She doesn't believe in priests. She wants a different religion where there are NO priests.

She said it.

Anonymous said...

Elsie says,

"....I don’t really feel like there’s anything I’m doing now that I couldn’t have done before I was a priest.......Everyone can validly do what we are doing."

Whoa. She's thrilled to be ordained in apostolic succession from Patricia Fresen. Yet she thinks anyone can do "validly" what she's ordained to do.

You can't have it both ways Elsie. Either you believe in a valid apostolic priesthood or you don't.


thetimman said...

DJC, I haven't been ignoring your comment. Rather, I am trying, in all seriousness, to think of any positive outcomes of that Council.

First, of course, I would not knowingly presume to second-guess the Holy Ghost. Whatever the motivations for the decision to convene the Council, or the motivations of some of the participants in it, the Holy Ghost protects the Church from teaching error.

That fact may be the first fruit of the Council-- that despite the attempt to make people believe that the Church changed its teachings, the Holy Ghost prevented the documents of the Council from doing so in reality. Many ambiguities exist in the texts, but always there is the ability to read them, in conformity with the Tradition of the Church, in line with orthodoxy. Given the fact that the Council was pastoral in nature, and defined no dogma, that is no small feat.

But this is a "negative" benefit-- something was prevented from happening that also would have been the case if no council were held at all.

The only "positive" benefit (that I can readily see), however, also springs from the lack of clarity of the Council documents: the rise in lay movements that have upheld the faith, and corrected misperceptions of the Council, did spring out of the Council's aftermath. Why? Because of the proliferation of heterodox teachings of those who by design distorted the Council's texts, and because of the disastrous drying up of vocations, and because of the surrender of many of the prelates of the Church. So, yes, the laity stepped in somewhat to fill the breach. I guess that is the hope at the bottom of Pandora's box.

Please don't think me flippant. The Holy Ghost can be trusted, and the Church will never fail. But it is hard to deny that the Church has been in a profound crisis in the wake of this Council. I think the burden of proof is on the proponent of the Council's benefits.

thetimman said...

Also, maybe the Council's misinterpretations brought to light those heterodox members who were otherwise flying under the radar. When their views were apparently vindicated, they emerged into plain view, who had been kept in check by the policies highlighted by St. Pius X.

A tiny silver lining in a dark cloud.

Anonymous said...

This was best post ever on the St. Louis Catholic blog! Bravo! You are courageous, you are Catholic!

thetimman said...

Thanks, anon.