Monday, September 27, 2010

Lost Liberal Souls

An grating gaffe was made by Abp Peter Smith during the visit. Speaking of the role of women in the Church, he said somthing like: they are very important in the Church, they did a splendid job doing the catering this morning, we would have been lost without them. I am not sure how familiar he is with Hildegard of Bingen or Catherine of Sienna or Theresa of Avila or Edith Stein or .... Somehow too he seemed blind to the fact that even in his own diocese women out number men in a ratio of 4:1 as catechist, readers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion etc. It could have been he was just trying to annoy the likes of Tina Beattie, Ma P, Oona Stannard and all those other powerful women in the Church.

A stunt organised by an Irish octogenarian, Jennifer Sleeman, yesterday was supposed to be  "Sunday Without Women?", a boycott of going to Mass by women who are outraged for various reasons by the role of women in the Church. Apparently, despite the hyping of this by the Irish press, in Ireland, straw polls suggested numbers at Mass were slightly up, so people boycotted the boycott rather than Mass.

Missing Mass is a serious sin, encouraging others to do it is a wicked and divisive thing. It is a demonstration that for people like Sleeman there is little about the duty of being present at Calvary or taking part in the Liturgy of Heaven. The Mass and the Church too is seen just as meeting, an assembly, a rally, a family meal, at which the disgruntled like petulant adolescents can absent themselves.

Nevertheless Sleeman's action is deeply worrying and is perhaps significant of what is happening to many Liberals today who are boycotting themselves out of the Church. For them the Catholic Church is becoming an alien place, no wonder during the visit some of them were happier to be amongst the angry grey faces of the Protest the Popers rather than amongst the happy, joyful crowds that welcomed him.

In some ways it is tempting to say good riddance to those who seem to have little in common with orthodox Catholicism, who are selective in their beliefs, dismissive of any Magisterium, who are happier with circle dancing than monthly confession, preferring the eneagram to Benediction, who squirm at the mention of an Indulgence but ultimately here we are talking about souls and their loss here. We cannot be happy or complacent at their loss or their absence.

20 comments:

EFpastor emeritus (Email: Pastoremeritus@aol.com) said...

Well said. Father. That blasted eneagram again! I remember years ago, in about 1984 or 1985, when every priest in Southwark was encouraged, at Diocesan expense, to undergo something similar.I think it cost the diocese about a quarter of a million pounds! It concerned "self-realisation" and ministry to priests God seemed to have no part in it.

shadowlands said...

but ultimately here we are talking about souls and their loss here. We cannot be happy or complacent at their loss or their absence.

Very true Father, well said.

We should maybe Invoke the prayers of Anna, the octogenarian prophetess in the temple at the presentation.

Luke 2:36-38

God loves His Octogenarians, it would seem......(Pope Benedict)

Mike Cliffson said...

Dear Fr
in or out?
I beleive I first met the parallel of our current situation and the old Ariann threat in interviews with the Holy father when he was still Cardinal Ratzi.
Like most people, if I ever thought/knew anything about this heresy at all, I assumed it to be a confrontation of separate schismatic heretics and the true church, all lines clearly drawn.(Pretty much the then situation in Spain, actually.But not in the rest of Europe.)
The for-me-starling parallel with today is that the struggle can in fact be going on in one's own head, in many or most people's heads,( and, more worryingly and bewilderingly, among priests and bishops.)
The reassurance of course is that unexpectedly against the big batalions , sheer numbers, etc., God's Truth won out (over cupla hundred years) against Araianism, and will again, against modernism, though perhaps not in one's lifetime. Another moral, is yours:
"ultimately here we are talking about souls and their loss here. We cannot be happy or complacent at their loss or their absence."
Which doesn't justify fudging the issues? Illuminating the lines?
Similarly, Fr Dwight has posted on NOT changing your parish (therebye touching on modernist heresies), making me make the same connections.
Bottom line: I'm sure it's all for the good of one's soul.There are a lot of people I know a bit about who really aren't the sort I'm extatic to share a pew with.
Rather like Groucho Marx, starting with myself.

Erne Skillen said...

The lady behind the failed boycott is a convert from Presbyterianism -I wonder if she regrets her conversion?

Martin 55 said...

Sleeman, I am told, is a member of the anti-catholic Green party in Ireland. This was just a sad, anti-Catholic stunt and I am glad to was a damp squib.

Yorkmum said...

"Nevertheless Sleeman's action is deeply worrying and is perhaps significant of what is happening to many Liberals today who are boycotting themselves out of the Church. For them the Catholic Church is becoming an alien place..."

"...In some ways it is tempting to say good riddance to those who seem to have little in common with orthodox Catholicism, who are selective in their beliefs, dismissive of any Magisterium..."

Fr., please remember that there are parts of the country where, far from feeling alienated, Catholics who hold the beliefs you describe above are thoroughly at home and it is those of us trying to lead orthodox catholic lives who feel alienated. Your prayers for those of us struggling in such circumstances would be much appreciated.

Seraphic Spouse said...

Well said, Father. When a former friend (we quarrelled over her obsessive wish to become a priest) sent out notices that she was shortly to be "ordained" a "deacon" in the Anglican Church, other Catholic friends and I were very sad. And I have a dear relation who has refused for decades to go to confession because a liberal priest told her it was late innovation.

gemoftheocean said...

I blame the rotten catechesis and [too often[ rotten RCIA classes.

Is it a wonder in the RCIA classes where they perhaps not explain the fulness of the faith [from lack of courage, or disagreement themselves with church teaching?] that converts aren't really converted?

When Tony Blair "converted" to the faith, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he really had converted. But given he still speaks the proabortion line, I can feel only some anger to whomever vetted him through the system without insisting that he be honest about his belief and holding to it. "in or out" already.

Cathholic NuLabour Supporter said...

gemoftheocean - Can you qoute when Tony Blair has taken the 'pro-abortion line' since his reception into the church because I do not think this is correct.

nickbris said...

These nutters will quieten down a bit now but they will always be welcome on the BBC.

Depressorama will be able to build up another lot of GARBAGE for Monday evenings.

Jacobi said...

Fr Ray,

The fate of the aging Liberals, as they all drift,or fade away, is of great concern.

But what about those younger intuitive Catholics who instinctively attend Mass often with young children, desperate for them to absorb something of Catholicism. We have a lot of them in our parish.

This section suffer from ignorance of the Catholic Faith as a result of decades being taught nothing but comparative religion and "be nice to your neighbour" at so-called Catholic schools.

I believe sermons are required to reflect the Gospel of the day?, but I think the time is long overdue for the clergy to return to the practise of also teaching explicit Catholic doctrine from the pulpit (sorry lectern of course), eg, The real Presence,the need for Confession etc.
I won't go on. You are the priest after all.

Maybe once a month?

The Old Liberals might fade away slightly faster than before, but then that's all in God's hands and we should leave that to Him.

Dominic Mary said...

We might, perhaps, spare a prayer for Mrs Sleeman's son, who is - I understand - a Priest.
If he supports her, then we should be praying for his soul; and if he disagrees with her, then we should pray for a priest who must be in great spiritual anguish : but either way we ought to pray for him.

Physiocrat said...

What is an eneagram? Is it one of those turntable thingies that you use to record your LPs onto a computer?

mundabor said...

We cannot be happy at their loss; but if they truly, truly want to be lost then it comes the point where "good riddance" is the thing to say. We'll pray for their comin gback of course, but we must make them clear that unless and until they repent and see reason their place is out, because they have placed themselves out.

It is better to publicly invite these people to be real Catholic or *publicly* draw the consequences of their folly, than to appease - in any way whatsoever - their childish desire for rebellion.

The old woman seeing Mass as an equal opportunity employment has, at her age, truly no excuses.

Mundabor

Mike said...

If these people promote, for example, abortion, contraception and embryonic stem cell research is their loss (to themselves) any greater outside the Church than it would be if they stayed “inside” the Church? If they say that the Pope (ie, the Church) is wrong on certain teachings (eg. The priesthood belonging solely to males) is their loss (to themselves) any greater outside the Church than it would be if they stayed “inside” the Church? Haven’t they, in effect, already taken themselves outside the Church? (These, by the way are real questions, not rhetorical questions.)

Also, if they take themselves outside the Church may that not save people who are in the Church from being taught false doctrines and so be a gain for those who remain in the Church?

These are all questions, not statements.

But to be blunt, are the cafeteria Catholics correct: you can pick and choose which bits of Church teaching you agree with and still be a Catholic?

Sharon said...

I can understand why, in these times, Abp Smith's comments could be made much of by the media and thus be termed a gaffe but what was wrong with publicly praising a group of women who had done a great job with the catering? Are we only to praise the women who are intellectuals or busy in the sanctuary during Mass? What about those women who quietly clean the church, do the flowers and cater the functions because they see this as their gifts to the Church? Are we to ignore their contribution? Many of us women are happy being indians, out of the spotlight, leaving it to others to be the chiefs if that is their gift. Our Lady was more indian than chief I think.

shadowlands said...

I always thought, as a younger person, that eneagram's were what fashionable or hip Nun's used as horoscopes. Sort of approved fortune telling. I didn't realise other people used them aswell.

pattif said...

The really sad thing is, these women think they are leading the sisterhood into battle, but there is no one following them. You look at any group of hard-core, women's ordination/married priests/anti-hierarchy feminists, and almost to a woman they are Freedom Pass-carrying children of the 60s.

Young women have no time for this nonsense, because they have a good understanding of the true vocation of women, which has absolutely nothing to do with trying to do what men are called to do. That is why they connect so well with Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict, because they sense that they are loved and valued for what they are, rather than what they are not.

The joyful enthusiasm of so many young women (and young men, to be fair) in Hyde Park - especially the inspired group with the posters proclaiming "We love you Papa more than beans on toast" and "Give it some welly for Pope in the Park" (complete with wellies in papal colours) - have a joy in their faith that is truly infectious, while their ageing sisters, sadly, convey nothing but bitterness.

Independent said...

In our enthusiasm for Magdalene let us not forget Martha.

Physiocrat said...

After reading all this comments it sounds as if the underlying problem is the liturgy.