Monday, May 9, 2011
Some Thoughts On The Tail Wagging God's Rottweiler
I'm reading the comments to this America article about the sacking of Bishop Morris and in the very last comment is this: The litmus test for a faithful Catholic is his obedience to Rome. I have followed this particular commenter for quite awhile and she is a pretty average representative of the traditionalist or conservative view. Except, she's wrong about what the traditionalist really believes a faithful Catholic actually is. By their actual behavior, a real traditionalist is one who gets Rome to obey them. And that's what really gets me about the Bishop Morris story and a whole lot of other stories of the this kind.
All of the Temple Police type stories have the same thing in common. A small group starts complaining that someone or some program does not meet their standards of Roman truth, they inundate the right people at the Vatican, the Vatican acts on these complaints and the TP's tell the rest of us about the importance of obedience to Rome. It's a nice circular little game, and it hurts way way more people than it helps. This is classic tip of the tail wags the entire dog.
The other thing that really gets me is the vast majority of the Temple Police engage in what I call the arrogance of availability. I seriously doubt many of them come from areas of the Catholic world in which they might see a priest once a month. I suspect the vast majority have the ability to go to Mass every day if they so desire. Maybe in their own little personal Catholic world, the idea that there are hundreds of millions of Catholics who can't go to Mass every day just flat fails to compute. In the real Catholic world there is one priest for every three thousand Catholics. How can it not compute that there are not enough priests for every Catholic to enjoy the kind of personal Mass attendance, confession, spiritual advising, family attention, Eucharistic Adoration etc etc etc, that they seem to need and demand. It never seems to me they demonstrate any comprehension that the kind of Catholicism they are desperate to protect doesn't exist for the vast majority of the world's Catholics. But then I wonder is it really that all this just isn't computing, or is that they just don't give a damn as long as their soul is saved and saved in just the way they want it saved.
But surely the Vatican is aware of all these numbers, so why does Pope Benedict cater to the Temple Police types? Why does he let the tail wag the dog. Is it just money? Is he too of the opinion the Church exists to save those vocal few in just the way they want to be saved because he's one of them? Does he let them dictate diocesan policy for the vast majority of their fellow parishioners because they give tons of lip service to the importance of obeying Rome? Or is it because Benedict believes Jesus prefers circular logic?
In any event I feel compelled to point out that it is now against Catholic doctrine to discuss women's ordination--period. Since that includes trads and other conservatives, they need to understand that speaking or writing in defense of the Church's position should also be considered heretical because the operative words are no discussion. Doesn't have any qualifiers about for or against, Benedict just says no discussion of women priests. So a whole bunch of us of all stripes have violated that Vatican pronouncement. The confessionals should be full of conservatives and Temple Police this weekend. Probably not too many progressives as we'll most likely be out looking for some outlawed communal penance service.