From the usual suspect:
Of course, it don’t matter one jot whether any of this is true because the medium by which it is delivered is the Internet. In the brave new virtual world, it is perfectly acceptable to publish whatever comes into ones head, or to repeat whatever has bubbled over from another’s into the digital world.
The narrative is just assumed to be true and New Catholic, whoever he is, without any way of holding him accountable, will just say: “don’t shoot the messanger.”
Yet, riding the wave of the cutting edge “reporting” of Rorate Caeli, even a “real” journalist fails to do even the least amount of due diligence before tweeting the following:
This is from someone who writes for The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal and The Spectator. But he is just “repeating” what he read on Rorate Caeli. Now, of course, New Catholic will deny he called the FI under commission a heretical order, but that is clearly what he meant. Why else would a friar otherwise have no way out but to abandon the priesthood?
But be sure, no one will take responsibility for spreading the lie that the friars who support the Apostolic Commission are heretics, nor will anyone take responsibility for having sowed the seed of dissension and despair by suggesting that friars confronted with the duty to obey the Church in difficult circumstances will have no choice but to leave the priesthood.
The “facts” “reported” by blogs and Twitter accounts are not all the facts, my Catholic friends. Rather, these are the “facts” that are fit to print because they fit the tint. And this is precisely the problem that many of us have had with our Institute’s past association with groups like Rorate Caeli.
And many traditionalists wonder why their cause is not more popular today among those who have to make policy decisions.
The Internet is more often the near occasion of mortal sin (objectively speaking) than many care to admit.
Behold, brethren, the Internet beast. We thank God for the free exchange of information, and well we should. But here gossip becomes fact, and such a “fact” becomes a tweetable factoid, a virtual torpedo of falsehood that will continue to damage the reputation of decent people as it ripples across the blogosphere.
This kind of dissension and division within the Church, which is the fruit of falsehood and gossip is satanic. Tossati blames this on those around the Holy Father, but I know for a fact, that many of these rumors originate elsewhere. Romanità knows no ideological boundaries.
This is a plague upon the Church and the Internet is its delivery system. The Catholic blogosphere needs a purge. We need to stop the rumor-mongering and vicious gossip.
More unsubstantiated gossip from an anonymous source, released by a pseudonymous blogger who skirts all accountability.
There is no way to verify the accuracy of the account of what is going on within the FSI. The source has to be someone within the community, who is not exactly an objective observer (nor one who is cooperating with the Church for that matter), which makes a real confirmation of the facts all the more crucial. That confirmation ought to be done before something is released to the public as though it were fact. There are many lives affected by this Internet spectacle.
The blogger further claims that the prefect of the Congregation for Consecrated Life, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, and the secretary, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo (to whom he refers as the “Duo) have “thoroughly destroyed” the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Really? This man simply does not know what he is talking about, because he is only interested in one side of the story—the one that serves the purpose of his blog.
So the question for him and those like him is whether Pope Francis wishes to obliterate the sisters, which according tot he omniscient blogger, was the will of the Holy Father for the friars.
The gravest irresponsibility in all this is that the blogger and all those who have concocted and published their theories from the bits and pieces on the Internet do not know what they do not know. They have no way of assessing how much, or how little of the pertinent information they have or its relative value.
The behavior is irresponsible and all the more because so much is done without the slightest accountability.
But then again, they don’t care about any of this because this “reporting” is all about their own agenda. They have made no real investment in our Institute or any real knowledge about the issues involved. Ours is a symbolic cause for them and we friars and sisters are their canon fodder.
This is why I say I am ambivalent about the Internet and the excuse it provides for intellectual, cultural, moral and religious voyeurism.
It is a disgrace.
The atrocities perpetrated by ISIS (or IS, ISIL) on Christians and other religious minorities of Iraq is both an unspeakable tragedy and an opportunity to do some soul searching. Outrage and apprehension are the order of the day. We are really good at the ineffectual intellectualization of the problem, and on the other hand, we also excel at expressing the crusading spirit from the comfort of our padded chairs and the safety of Internet. But we have been short on effective action.
The big question being asked right now is why is it that ostensibly peaceful Muslims are so silent about the persecution of their Arab brothers and sisters. But an equally large question is why is it that the West is so impotent in the face of all the genocide, which it alone is capable of stopping. What else has to happen? How many more babies need to be cut in half, journalists beheaded, or women sold into slavery (etc.)?
In this context “dialogue” is frequently juxtaposed with “crusade,” as mutually exclusive answers. (more…)
I can only speculate what it all means. I am not inclined to think that it means anything juridical is in the works. However, I would hazard to say that it indicates that Pope Francis has no ill will or nefarious plan for undoing the provisions which favor those attached to the TLM. Which is what I have always been saying.
And for this reason the confusion of Damien Thompson as to why then Pope Francis would have placed restrictions on our Institute, might best be explained by considering that perhaps the narrative some traditionalists have spread about my Institute are wrong.
I am not sure how far he is to be taken literally in terms of the faithful’s right to lodge their concerns to their pastors. On the other hand, he makes a simple and valid point that most of us have come to give way too much importance to the way we think the Church ought to be instead of fostering the unity of the Church by not habitually and publicly contradicting our pastors and undermining their authority. Catholic orthodoxy/traditionalism has pretty effectively aped the rabble rousing progressives and felt banner wavers of the 60’s and 70’s.
The internet and social media, now a part of the fabric of our lives, seems to carry with it the assumption that somehow all of our opinions are important all the time. The digital age also validates the idea that we can say anything we want and then slough off responsibility for having said it.
The internet is a quicksand of cultural exibitionism and voyeurism. We Catholics have been suckered into it in the name of all that is holy.
In the comments on the post at the second link, Steve makes the observation that the real reason why the postconcilar crisis occurred was because the preconciliar Church was actually quite weak. One of Steve’s objectors say this appears to be post hoc ergo propter hoc, but the same can be said of the opposite argument—the more frequent one—that the preconciliar Church was strong and that the Council simply wrecked everything.
A more complex answer is probably the a more accurate one: there were preconciliar weaknesses, as well as the unrealistic optimism of the 60’s concurring with the sexual revolution, and the consequent disastrous implementation of the Council under the influence of ideologues who were able to throw off the fetters. These created a perfect storm.
A theology professor of mine made the astute remark that within the Church, the simple answers sound the best, but are usually wrong. A theological example of this is the doctrine of the hypostatic union. Nestorianism is simple and easy to understand: two persons, two natures, one indwells in the other. The Council of Ephesus is far more complex and difficult to understand: two distinct natures (one fully divine, the other fully human), but only one divine person, with no human person whatsoever.
Ephesus was right. Nestorius was wrong. The truth is not always simple.
Historical narratives are probably even more susceptible to such oversimplification, because they describe the particular and concrete, which are quasi-infinite. A historical cause and effect creates a ripple, which multiplies causes and effects exponentially.
Furthermore, we do not even know what we do not know. This is also a endemic problem on the Internet. Bloggers treat a few facts that they cobbled together like these were a compendium on the nature of everything.
Simple answers are appealing and convincing, especially in the wonderful world of search engines, viral causes and comboxes. We effectively sell our Catholic pontifications in sound bites, tweets, instagrams and blog posts, because that is the way contraception, abortion, same sex marriage and gender relativism has been foisted so successfully on the public.
Today evangelical genius consists in the ice bucket challenge.
I would suggest that we try to resolve our difficulties by having recourse to the living magisterium, but that would be too ultramontane.
There is one simple idea in the Church, a mystical one, which resolves all the complexities and anomalies.
But what do I know? Never mind.
Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Pius X, one of the great popes of the 20th century. He was born in 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, and he grew up in poverty. His father was the village postman and little Giuseppe walked six kilometers to school everyday. This poverty characterized his whole life, and it was not just a matter of physical poverty. St. Pius X was a man who was truly poor in spirit. Our Lord said: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Throughout his life as simple priest and Franciscan tertiary, then as bishop of Mantua, later as cardinal archbishop of Milan and finally as supreme pontiff of the universal Church, Giuseppe Sarto, remained a simple man and a lover of poverty. His last will and testament gives witness to this with the words: “I was born poor, I have lived in poverty, and I wish to die poor.”
Thus, this great man was single minded throughout his life and placed himself at the dispositions of Christ and His Church, without consideration for himself. This was his poverty in spirit. His whole life was to serve Christ and the Church. (more…)
The following is a report from earlier this year
For more information see this post from The Anchoress.
Pray for the Christians and all the persecuted peoples of Iraq.
Do not dare to forget the Church of Martyrs.
Fr. Z speaks of it here in the context of the question whether one may attend the civil wedding of a Catholic.
An excellent post that I hope will not be disparaged by those who insist that every problem be solved with hard and fast rules.
Read and learn.
Dan Burke from SpiritualDirection.com has invited me to write a series on “Mysticism and Magisterium.” The first installment is up: “Thinking with the Church.”
I am grateful for this opportunity. Thanks to Dan and Liz over at SpiritualDirection.com.
I will get back to my own series on the same subject. I have not forgotten. No, really.
Read the whole thing. It is well worth it.
They speak of “shipwrecks” and “guiding stars.” Men tend to look at women as guiding stars and women tend to think they can turn the men they love into knights in shining armor. In reality, both men and women are “companions in shipwreck.” Kevin points out that Tolkien’s view is both brutally realistic and at the same time wholly fair and charitable.
Here is Tolkien and Kevin (in bold):
I should add that what is said here can be applied to priests and their relationship with the Church. Priest’s imaginations can be preoccupied with ladies other than their real bride, whether these fantasies are of an idealized Church, or a substitute for the Church. Which reminds me of Pope Francis’ statement to priests:
Now that is something to think about.
Recently it was announced that an old reel-to-reel audio recording of a talk by J.R.R. Tolkien will be restored and released after having been kept from the public for many years. In 1958 Tolkien gave a speech at a dinner given in his honor in Rotterdam, which was attended by about two hundred enthusiasts of his mythology. The entire event was recorded and then forgotten about. Subsequently, the recording was found and then hoarded like part of Smaug’s treasure. Now it has been rescued from the clutches of the dragon and all are about to share in the fortune. It is a wonderful find, especially since it promises to reveal a few new insights about The Lord of the Rings.
It has long been known that a recording was made, but it was lost until 1993 when a collector named René van Rossenberg discovered it in a basement. Only now has he agreed to partner with several Tolkien fan sites to restore and release the recording.
What is extraordinary about the tape is that it contains (more…)
That should be “In Defense of
The Week has recently published a hit peace on the new Mass and Vatican II by Michael Brendan Dougherty. Ostensibly it is praise of Pope Benedict and his support of the Traditional Latin Mass–well deserved praise, I must say, the Pope Emeritus’ promulgation of Summorum Pontificum.
But then there is this:
Interesting rhetorical questions, which Dougherty does not answer. But the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy is a nice spinning lure that always hooks the fish.
It just illustrates how Benedict XVI is so often used and abused in order to push one agenda or another. Calling Pope Benedict’s hermeneutic of continuity a “noble failure” and brushing it off with a wave of the hand also illustrates why I am not a traditionalist.