11 March 2013

We Already Have the U.N.: The Church Must Be the Church

This editorial from Il Foglio, I lift in its entirety from Rorate Caeli, because I am begging you to read it.  Pray and sacrifice this week as the next Pope is selected.

    Hoping for autumn sowing in the Church, not springtime pollination

    I do not believe in the myth of the Vatican springtime, nor in the springtime of the Catholic Church and the Papacy. The Church must sow as is done in autumn and not be pollinated like an April flower. The owners of international public opinion, even the Catholic one, are demanding a new embracing of the present world, that is meeting it halfway, going along with the temperament of peoples and cultures, being skillful imitators, formalizing new rules of life in the Church which copy the criteria of the judgment of the world from the waves of modernity, from the 16th century onwards, thus abolishing old rules and cancelling old features.

    If this is the case, it might be better [for the Church] to close up shop. The experiment of pollination has already been done. It was a highminded moment and it was certainly ambitious, but it has failed and it is not the fault of the Roman Curia if the way of treating old and new problems in the religion business has caused the numbing of souls, if hearts are not being warmed, and if faith and reason are not built upon that sovereign balance which was attempted by both John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

    We already have the United Nations and UNESCO, we already have the universal philosophy of human rights, we have humanitarian consciousness and we have contemporaneous idols and myths such as equality, liberty and fraternity. In fact, we have a perennial breeze of springtime light that hides every semblance of pain, sin, redemption, of the supernatural, of interior and collective salvation, of penance, reconciliation and mercy. Furthermore, we have a realistic and mediocre idea of personal faith, seen as a lifestyle, not as an experience that cannot be explained, a greater, efficacious grace transcending conscience - a measure of irrationality inside rationality -, and also the exterior beauty of the evangelical vision, in imitation of Christ - of relying on the Messiah , God Incarnate.

    The problem does not lie in allowing priests to marry; so be it. The problem is that, even if one is married or not, the flesh remains the place of concupiscence, the sweet pleasure of a moment, an instant, in contrast to the immaculate fragrance of trusting in the Eternal. If in governing the great body of the Church it were necessary to emancipate Her from the reformism of the great Pope Gregory VII (as Hans Küng suggests), and if this should be left to an assembly of debating bishops instead of the infallible Vicar of Christ - a theological elaboration which is becoming less and less Petrine and less and less Roman, more connected to the patterns of life and spirituality of those primitive, praying ethnic groups, which only the reforms of Paul, Augustine, Constantine and Gregory transformed into Ecclesia, into the People of God, into a universal institution, modeled on the pre-Christian and secular organization of the Roman Empire - then so be it, so may the will of the clergy and lay and progressive theology be done. But, in the end, what we will have is a copy of an already well-known Kantian moral-code bent to the demands of the childish hedonism of our times with no sign of grace nor a return to God - whatever this may mean for believers and unbelievers alike.

    I hope that the [General] Congregations go to the root [of the problem], and that the sowing will begin, after years of pollination and abandonment.


Anonymous said...




"I didn't get a "Haaarhmh" out of that guy"


Janet said...

Dear St. Louis Catholic,

I'm glad you re-posted this editorial. It's really striking, isn't it?! I looked up the publication to try to get an idea of how significant such a frank statement is--it's safe to say they're mainstream center/right, as the world defines such things. They have I think it said a daily circulation of 130,000.

But they beg the General Congregation in vain to 'get to the root of the problem,' because they themselves are unprepared to do so, given their other positions on matters more mundane, such as economics. Here's the root of the problem we have to get down to: that we lost the Catholic religious state, and then that we lost the will to hold on to the dream of restoration, which threat was still protective even into this century, through various paths, including common law itself. The root is very deep, and we have to go there, il Foglio is right, one can't hold on to patches of sanity in a secular world, and even the piece calls it what it is, a pagan, childishly hedonistic, dangerous world, unless we begin to put Christ and His Church back at the center of society, and then gradually reinstituting what we already had in economics and culture. We had a small, never too big (regulated! not Free Market, as Il Foglio supports), never too rich, very decentralized society--not that we wouldn't have many changes from that model, given the development of technology. We would have a society, if we restored the Catholic state, very like 'moderate socialism' -- Quadragesimo ano, Pius XI, paragraphs 113 and 114, believe it or not--except for the immeasurably important difference of its foundation in God and Christ and thus the great benefits of religious orders (think health care cost solution), not to mention of the sacraments on the population. That is what Hungary is trying to do now, and the last three days have been full of Vatican Radio's attacks on them, attacks that simply repeat the typical liberal rant even while repeating *as if it were a bad thing* Hungary's newly codified protection of human life from conception to grave, rejection of homosexual marriage, protection and promotion of the reproductive family (parents get to exercise a vote for each child, that's one thing). And indeed, in the eyes of the conciliar church, we are not to make sin illegal, that would violate religious freedom, we must simply win souls by our good examples--form consciences by that. Never by law.

We gave up the restoration, formally I mean, only at Vatican II. Things have only gone downhill since then, for the working guy, politically, socially. It wasn't just liturgical, the changes in the doctrine were seismatic, it unleashed hell on the poor.

So il Foglio better realize what it is asking. It's a long way back! And yes, we have to start.