12 January 2016

Ross Douthat of the NYT: "Conservative Catholics need to come to terms with certain essential failures of Vatican II."

That's stating it mildly, but at last a well-respected conservative Catholic says it.

I have posted in the past the story of my "conversion" to Tradition-- to the traditional formulation and praxis of the Catholic faith.  You can, if you wish, read it here:  part 1 and part 2.

One of the things I remember about being a so-called "conservative", is an oh-so-snug (smug?) feeling that I was right there, right in the warm, fuzzy center of the Church.  Very comfortable.  I was neither the lunatic of the left, waiting for the demographic solution to carry me away, nor the lunatic of the right, so crazy in their blindness towards the great JP2, who could do no wrong.  I can assure you that for me, this illusion of correctness merely by avoiding "extremes" that my kind labelled for me was very attractive.

Becoming a traditional Catholic offers no such illusions.  We are not favored. We do not think all is well.  We don't think any of this is easy.  Being Catholic is not easy; if it ever was, it surely isn't now.  And I submit that for most of our history it hasn't been easy.

The one benefit of the Francis pontificate has been the stripping away of all illusions of an inevitable triumph (in earthly terms only) of the Church, or of that neo-Catholic understanding of the Church. This reliance on the "Vatican II was good but hijacked" theory is no longer defensible, unless like Mark Shea or George Weigel or Elizabeth Scalia or others, you get paid to defend it.

There remains only the truth of our situation, for you to accept or deny. If you accept the truth, there remains only the decision of how to act based upon it.

Hence, I urge my readers, particularly my conservative readers, to read this piece by Ross Douthat in First Things.  It is well worth your time.  

So far, the reaction of conservatives to the Francis pontificate has been to deny any problems, or to abandon the center to go left-- the new center.  But really changing your worldview takes more courage.  The time is late for choosing:

A Crisis of Conservative Catholicism



Lynne said...

Maybe I missed it but I didn't see a place there (First Things) for people to comment. Also, he can say these things but Maureen Malarkey can't? Lastly, he still doesn't get the depths of what's been lost for, really, over 60 or 70 years. The periti of Vatican II pushed heresy. Where did they learn it? Obviously, the Church, while full (Masses, seminaries, etc) was in trouble.

But(!!!), I agree with you, traditionalists know this. Every day I'm more astounded at what we lost, threw away, etc. I was away from the Church for 30 years and spent 2 years in Novus Ordo-land before I attempted to flee to the TLM (~2007). It was tough to find a stable place in the Archdiocese of Boston. I thank God every day for the SSPX. I've been going to an SSPX chapel for about 2 years. I am, at last, at peace. I know now how to work on my salvation and pray for my family who is still fallen away.

Some priests are saying that the rise of the TLM has stalled. I disagree but it really doesn't matter. God will not let His Church be vanquished. A small remnant will survive. God does not care about numbers, as a matter of fact, He likes to do His work through small numbers so that we can see that it was Him all along who had the strength.

I love your blog, stay strong!

TLMer said...

Insightful, in-depth, balanced. I agree more can be done to educate the ignorant and admonish the rebellious. I feel encouraged and exhorted by this piece.