Culture Alert

Culture Alert posted in Eleison Comments on December 29, 2012

As the leadership of the Society of St Pius X seems to be faltering, so Catholics who love the Society because they have received so much from it in years gone by might be tempted to think that there is nothing much that they as simple faithful can do about it. They would be wrong. Let them read these reflections from a friend of mine, and they should be able to read between the lines that if God does not rescue the Society for them, as of course he could do, then it has at least in part depended on them. My friend’s letter is adapted here below:—

“A practical agreement would be ruinous to the cause of Catholic Tradition. One need only look at what has happened to the Traditional Redemptorists in Scotland . . . The two Masses cannot co-exist. One will always drive the other out . . . At a Novus Ordo Mass I attended recently, the whole church was pervaded by chatter and continual clapping . . . The two sides are simply too far apart for an agreement to work. No meeting of the minds is possible between modernity and Tradition.

“Then there is the profound revolution which has overwhelmed modern civilization, including the Traditional movement, and which has for the most part been missed by the leadership of Tradition . . . Electronic technology has wrought a cultural revolution in our lives, especially of the younger generation. If it is not managed properly, it certainly weakens the faith because it can take over people’s whole lives. Youngsters are liable to be captured by it. They hang on it all day long. People too engulfed in it become dysfunctional, unable to get up in the morning, or to maintain a live conversation, or to hold down a job.

“Now if a sports team is not admonished by its coach, its playing standards begin to fall. If Catholics are not admonished on cultural issues like music, women’s dress, or watching television, their cultural standards begin to fall, which has profound implications for their faith. Traditional parents are being left to struggle alone with their families to keep the worldliness of modern society out of their homes, because the leadership of the SSPX has either missed this cultural revolution, or it is not giving it the attention that it deserves. I have had many long discussions with Traditional families who are concerned about the way that the Traditional movement is going. Religious movements must take a stand on cultural issues if they are to flourish. Tradition was strengthened when it used to take a stand on television. But if a stand is not taken on cultural issues, the stand on doctrinal issues soon begins to weaken.

“The latest Chapter of the SSPX may have pulled the organization back from the brink, but I cannot take much comfort from it. It spent much attention on defining the parameters of any future discussions with Rome in making an agreement. Yet, Rome is basically unchanged from 1988. In my opinion, the SSPX needs to recover the prophetic role that it performed when Archbishop Lefebvre was still alive. The Traditional movement needs to strongly denounce the modernism and liberalism that is leading the Catholic Church to its destruction. These denunciations lately have been muted. Perhaps many Traditional priests are distracted by the comforts that they think an agreement with Rome would bring them.”

Over to you, dear readers. Away with trashy and valueless music in the home. Get rid of the television set. Reduce electronics to a minimum. Mothers, wear skirts whenever possible, which is most of the time. Otherwise do not complain if God does not rescue the Society. He forces his gifts upon nobody. Blessed be his name for ever.

Kyrie eleison.

Carrot Again

Carrot Again posted in Eleison Comments on July 5, 2008

So it looks as though I guessed right last week. On the one hand the Society of St. Pius X did not comply with the June 5 “ultimatum” of Cardinal Castrillón as the Cardinal might have wished. It replied instead with a letter of Archbishop Lefebvre to Pope Paul VI in which in 1975 the Archbishop explained why he was defending Tradition, yet with no disrespect intended towards the Church authorities in Rome. Once again, the Society may have raised a few anxieties, but it has not “given away the store”

On the other hand, the Cardinal did not proceed to any further official exorcism of the Society, but – reportedly – declared that he had never intended his text of June 5 to be an “ultimatum.” And so the situation returns to where it was before. I think we may expect the past pattern to go on repeating itself. The loving son will continue to try to get close to his leprous mother, the leprous mother will continue to try to hug him, the loving son will continue to jump back, then try to get close again, and so on.

What confusion! A distinguished Italian journalist cannot understand the Society’s rejecting Rome’s “generous advances.” Reportedly Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Castrillón have both been sincerely hurt by recent statements coming from the Society about Rome or about Romans suffering from leprosy. “What? Lepers? Us???” “Ay, there’s the rub,” as Hamlet said. Leprosy is an Old Testament figure of heresy, and Vatican II is not only heresy, it is a total new religion.

A Catholic is a Catholic primarily by his faith. He chooses with his mind to adhere to a series of true propositions which are supernatural, i.e. beyond the reach of his merely natural mind. His will is therefore needed to push his mind to submit to these truths above it. But these truths are not merely wishful thinking. They are revealed by God, transmitted by the Church, and may not be tampered with. Did or did not Vatican II tamper with them? Hamlet again: “That is the question.”

The leader of the Traditional Redemptorists based in the Orkney Islands north of Scotland, who has just led as many of them as will follow him back into the embrace of Conciliar Rome, writes ecstatically of how “sweet” it “tastes” to be once more in “peaceful and undisputed communion” with the Vicar of Christ. Good luck, dear Father, with avoiding the leprosy! But at least you must be giving some consolation to Cardinal Castrillón! What confusion!

Kyrie eleison.