Friday, February 18, 2011

IRISH CHURCH HAS TEN YEARS BEFORE THE EDGE

According to the Catholic Herald, as repeated by RealCatholicTV and Gloria.TV News, Cardinal O'Malley will convey to the Holy Father the message that the Irish Church has ten years before it "falls over the edge".  Where does this assessment come from but the ACP, the Association of Catholic Priests.  I am in the middle of drafting my own assessment of this association based on its published objectives.  To me they are dissidents.  I know some of its members and some of them I like and admire for their compassion and care even as I deeply oppose their beliefs and objectives.  They do not represent me.  I hope the Cardinal, whether he is sympathetic to them or not, is savvy enough to recognize their agenda and weighs his report accordingly.  I hope to the bishops have, as the Spanish Americans say, 'cojones' (please forgive the crudity), and tell this bunch to 'shove it'.  If they want women clergy and gay unions let them become Anglicans.

7 comments:

Shandon Belle said...

Brother, I couldn't disagree more with the '15 years before the edge' comment. We fell off the edge when the Casey Scandal broke. Like the cartoon character we walked off the edge of the cliff and didn't realise it until we looked down and saw that the cliff was gone. We've gone from 80/90% practice to 30-40% regular practice of the Faith in 15 years... another 15 years means not the edge, it means rock bottom. We've been treading on the air of Catholic schools that don't cultivate Catholicism, Catholic Clergy who froth with contempt of authority, Liturgy unworthy of the name, the disappearance of religious life from the landscape of most Irish Parishes... need I continue? And Bishops who only have the cojones to restrict Summorum Pontificum and play dumb (not unconvincingly) when it comes to paedophilia. They must think a Lenten Pastoral is a borrowed oil painting with an eco-thological theme. Who are we kidding? The boom and bust of the Celtic Tiger is as nothing to the boom and bust of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The Cardinal may talk of leveling out and soft landings but we've heard that before...

Br. Tom Forde OFM Cap said...

Shandon Belle - I agree but I also think that these dissidents really fear the margins (llook how desperately they court the media). The margin is where the Church is at its strongest. In the catacombs the Church grows and is renewed. In the catacombs the dead wood is pruned off and the living vine blossoms, 'watered' by the martyrs. I like the bit about the 'Lenten Pastoral is a borrowed oil painting with eco-theological theme'. As Fr. Z ('What Does The Prayer Really Say') might say 'pray, fast, offer your sacrifices and trust in God'. The Church, (and Ireland), has survived worse than this.

Shandon Belle said...

True for you, Brother, but look at the places that have not survived worse than this... How many Fathers of the Church would survive if they returned to their homes now? Where are the 'angels' of the Churches addressed in the Apocalypse or the correspondents of St. Paul? Once-Christian North Africa, once-Christian Middle East, once-Christian France, once-Christian Belgium, once-Christian Luxembourg, once-Catholic England, where are they now? God doesn't always save the city because of the few just men. And as for cojones, did you hear about the meeting of the Bishops where a shiver ran around the room when the scandals were discussed... but had to leave because it couldn't find a spine to run down?

Br. Tom Forde OFM Cap said...

Shandon Belle - Yes, it is n ot guaranteed that a land or people remain faithful. Still Christians survive in those places that were once all Christian. Christians lived in Turkey in large numbers until driven out in the 1920s. There are still many Christians in the nations of Europe and Christians form at least 10% of Egyptians. According to one evangelist, Fr. Zakaria Botros, there are many secret Christians in the Muslim world. While I laugh at the joke about spineless bishops I would not want the job. We need to pray and fast for them and respectfully challenge them when they do not stand up for the faith. Times are indeed bad in the West, but remember what the Blessed Virgin told Sr. Lucia "In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph." That promise keeps me going.

RJ said...

Would you be able to include something about seminaries in your report? I believe that they play a seminal role (pun intended) in creating or dispelling the malaise. It's no good supplying dissident theology to students and then wondering why they are confused or worse. Let's follow what the Council recommended - rely on the Angelic Doctor.

Pope John Paul said:
The words of the [Second Vatican] Council are clear: the Fathers saw that it is fundamental for the adequate formation of the clergy and of Christian youth that it preserve a close link with the cultural heritage of the past, and in particular with the thought of St. Thomas; and that this in the long run, is a necessary condition for the longed-for renewal of the Church

John Paul II, allocution Perennial Philosophy of St. Thomas for the Youth of Our Times, L'Osservatore Romano, Dec. 17, 1979

Br. Tom Forde OFM Cap said...

RJ - I can't really talk about seminaries as the only proper seminaries of which I have direct experience are Carlow and All Hallows (for theology). I was at Carlow for one academic year and it seemed to me to be liberal but not blatantly so. All Hallows has the nick-name "all shallows" so enough said. I also spent three years in Milltown Institute (degree in philosophy) and it was liberal but then I only really saw the philosophy part of it. As for St. Thomas Aquinas if my memory serves me right we heard more of him in philosophy than in theology. It isn't just academic formation. One can be taught St. Thomas through transendental Thomism or scholasticism. Then there is the deeper milieu behind the scenes. The fine line is between a sneering, cynical liberalism and an arrogant, isolationist conservatism. The future formation of clergy must nurture orthodoxy in theology and praxis. There is no use knowing the truth if we do not live it in love.

Brother said...
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