I realize that this is a lengthy post. Bear with me though. It needs the length as this is 2 weeks worth of observation and reflection.
These past two weeks have been a sad and woeful one on the Catholic blog-o-sphere. This has been one of the worst periods of recent, where it feels like there is no hope living as a Catholic. The players who are directly responsible for carrying out the sin of despair are powerful men in esteemed positions of authority, who are not speaking with the Mind of the Church, despite the responsibility given to them by our Lord. Are you thinking what I am thinking, or whom I am directly referring to?
Perhaps I should explain further, by discussing what I have been witnessing on the Catholic blog-o-sphere. The situations that have been of critical (as well as hateful) discussion these past two weeks, are in regards to two cardinals, on opposite sides of the theo-political spectrum. They are Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York, who’s what we could call “pastoral”, while at the other end, the “spiritual” end, is Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, possibly soon to be ex-prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome.
Summary of the Major Events
Dolan’s criticism, and fury amongst the Traditionalists Behaving Badly (my term by the way that I created, like Dave Armstrong with Radical Catholic Reactionary, to purposely ostracize the Traditionalists who are disobedient and hateful to and within Holy Mother Church, from the good, loyal traditionalists who don't do what they do,) deal with the fact the jolly Cardinal is MC for the upcoming St. Patrick’s parade in New York in 2015. The parade is now letting in pro-gay groups. Dolan's acceptance of the "honour" is being seen as an OK for being gay in the Church. Further, the TBBs are likely thinking of him as the Devil’s minion, for wanting to close down Holy Innocents Catholic Church in NYC, the U.S.A base of operations for valiant Glad Trad hero, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf of WDTPRS. The critics are also implying that the only reason Dolan extended the possible merger/closing of H.I is because too much bad press got out about him, despite his response, so he's saving face for himself and the office of the Archdiocese of New York.
At the other end of things, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke is likely being re-assigned to another office of the Church, a superior of sorts of the Knights of Malta, based in Rome. This move by Pope Francis is being seen by the TBBs as a “demotion” and part of a conspiracy theory of Pope Francis’ and company’s hate for anything dealing with that trad hero, Benedict XVI. They are also attributing this demotion to the fact that ++Burke and other traditional bishops and Jesuits wrote a book defending the traditional teachings of the Church on marriage and the family, in contradiction to the violation of Church teaching in the “tolerated but not acceptable” position of ++Kasper on non-annulled Catholics receiving communion. In addition, ++Kasper is getting a “ringmaster’s stage” for the upcoming Extraordinary Synod of the Family. The worst of the rumour mill at Rorate Caeli, even says that Francis was royally pissed off at this book, and even scolded ++Muller of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith not to promote the book … if you believe the worst PR site for radical traditionalism who’s one step away from sedevacantism that is.
So, what am I getting at?
With the summary of the main events, it seems as if our appointed leaders in the Catholic world are failing us. The disgusting liberal clergy who are wolves in sheep’s clothing are heroes, the good Cardinals are being destroyed by the Spirit of Vatican II clergy including our Pope of Mercy, and St. Anna Catharine of Emerich’s prophecy is coming true right? Well the leadership of the Church certainly has failed …. But surprise! It’s not entirely the clergy.
I am talking about those of us laity charged with the full participation of Christ’s priesthood, prophecy, and kingship.
The laity who are being leaders, fighting what they think is their quest to maintain the Church’s order and governance, have done the greatest disservice these past two weeks for the Church. THEY DO NOT, IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM, HAVE VESTED AUTHORITY TO DICTATE OR ENFORCE THE CHURCH’s LAWS OR TEACHINGS. If they say they do, they are liars and only have the privileges every ordinary Catholic has, albeit at the service and mercy to the clergy and Canon Law (including choice to wield said law.) Many of them, are laypeople, with nothing more than an acumen to see black wherever there is white, and no good of the Church.
Now, by no means am I wearing rose coloured glasses and saying "all is well", but they have crossed a line between critical evaluation and fraternal correction, into the Devil’s camp using his weapons of slander, calumny, and detraction. They have also aided in committing the sin of despair, sister to the deadly Sloth.
If anything, the bloggers have allowed for the fruition of the sin of despair amongst what they say. What is the sin of despair? The Sin of Despair is, as per Catholic Catechism of the Catholic Church 2091, ".... By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God's goodness, to his justice - for the Lord is faithful to his promises - and to his mercy."
What the bloggers have been reporting constantly, with hatred/anger, pride (also deadly sins, evidenced in their writing), actually detracts from Holy Mother Church’s mission of evangelizing and the salvation of souls. People want to be saved or seek internally salvation, or being “happy.” Every person’s reason for existence, a la Baltimore Catechism #1 is to know, love, and serve God all their lives. The Church is that spiritual and physical means by which in His Eternal Sacrifice on the Cross, Christ gave us, so that we could be with Him in Heaven. All that these bloggers have done is contravened the Holy Father’s “mission of mercy” and have shown that the Church is another institution with corrupt people in it via their coverage. To show that there is nothing but corruption in the Church and no means of salvation via their blogging coverage is exactly causing despair, a loss of any hope in the Church because of the institutional problems (and false boogeymen) within it.
Let's continue. As traditional Catholics, one would know a number of lists that is nearly forgotten and not taught by current “Catholic” teachers and clergy. One of these lists is The Nine Ways of Being An Accessory to Another's Sin. Allow me to refresh your memory with the list:
- By Counsel
- By Command
- By Consent
- By Provocation
- By Praise or Flattery
- By Concealment
- By Partaking
- By Silence
- By Defense of the ill done
This list, by the way, is in the little red missal books you Latin Mass attendees see at most chapels, churches, and lay-organized Masses.
If you notice, some of the ways of assisting in committing sin are blatantly being committed by these members on the Net, which I`ve highlighted:
Partaking: Between the quantity and slanderous and calumnous nature of the postings, this is clear provocation of sin, division, and the like amongst members of the Church. This is even more so when these attacks directly concern the Holy Father. Might I also remind you that the Holy Father himself equated gossip and calumny as the devil's works? Those "works" would obviously be sins of grave Matter. The devil's works are no laughing matter. They are always serious business.
Provocation: The provocation of what they have done is on numerous levels: 1) Vs. the clergy and establishment in place, to anger them, and drive those targets to sin further themselves, 2) Amongst their fellow Traditionalists, by once again embarrassing them and can prompt further persecution. 3) Others, that is, it provokes others to experience the sin of despair.
Defense of the Ill Done: And how do they justify their actions? They continue to say they will not stop in attacking the Holy Father, will not stop attacking others, and will not stop harming the faithful spiritually. Their defense of their sins committed is that it's all for the Good of the Holy Church, when it's pure bullying, harassment, and hatred dressed up as religion.
Whether it is in disparaging the Jesuits, the Holy, Father, or Cardinals, this is blatant Pharisee-ism at its worst. In doing the disservice, those leaders on the Catholic blogosphere are leaving us with only one question: Why would anyone in their right mind want to be part of the Church when it is no different from its secular counterparts of schools, government, workplaces, etc.?
Furthermore, people like myself, who actually care about Traditional Catholicism, can only leave shaking our heads in disgust. We want to have a vibrant and happy life with traditional Catholicism as part of the beautiful fabric of worship and liturgical rites in the Church, not the sole be all and end all that is enforced upon everyone! When these leaders embarrass us, misrepresent ALL CATHOLICS, say cruel barbs at our priests and clergy, and fellow Glad Trads and Catholics alike, either we desire to depart from our sinful siblings by having nothing to do with the Latin Mass, or worse, we put our heads in the sand and sin by omission when those significant few do their dastardly deeds, because we fear the “big bad bishops” will take away our Mass in violation of Church Law. Better to continue going to the Latin Mass every Sunday and not say anything right? Both approaches do nothing to increase participation and/or respect for the Latin Mass and Traditional Catholicism. Yet it's all because of a few spiritually misguided souls who just haven't found the proper means to say, "Hey! The Church is awesome! Even though our leaders do sin, there is STILL Spiritual salvation here!"
I, myself, became quite disparaged about the Church this week, thanks to my sad “brothers and sisters” of Christ. It affected my disposition with my relationships and made me question if there is anything positive in the Church when we are all mucking it up, bloggers included. Thankfully, Christ in Matthew 16:18 promised us Hell would not prevail!
To those specific bloggers, you are making Traditional Catholicism a hateful place to be, and all your Catholic brothers and sisters and clergy will want none of it! Even your closer friends and clergy, can only stand so much, and will be forced in their fidelity to the Lord, to part ways for their souls. Do you care about the actions and influence that you wield on your fellow Catholics? You do want more people to discover the Latin Mass and become traditional Catholics right? Have you heard the expression, “you attract more flies with honey than vinegar?”
Listen, I get that we have collectively “became awake” to politics and how we were not taught the truths of the faith in light of the institutional, NOT "TRUE", Church’s adoption of the “Spirit of Vatican II” a.k.a. pastoring gone wrong as extreme liberalism, misinterpreting the Vatican II documents. I also understand that some of you are war survivors, carrying around battle wounds that have never been fully healed deep within. There is scar tissue, but it's only a patch that easily opens with the slightest provocation.
But does bearing your scars mean we are to wage war against the Church and smear every clergy member and layperson who does not practice the doctrine and laws perfectly, even at the cost of your eternal salvation when you go too far, too deep in your conquest?
I can only end with saying this in necessity. While you have used this in past against me in anger and hatred, or others just like me on the blog-o-sphere not in your "camp," I must appeal to you in earnest. Please, for your spiritual health and others, seek the help of those who can assist you and give you spiritual mercy. What good has airing our all this on the Internet done for your spiritual health? Do you feel any better after? Has the institutional Church around you, or in a large scale, "changed" in any way from your actions? Please refrain from causing sin and grave spiritual harm to yourselves, and those others you associate with. Find a proper, Biblical, and truly, Theological way to love your brother with True fraternal, Catholic charity, according to the virtues (theological, cardinal, others) without resorting to the Devil’s trickery.
If you do not have counselling, please do seek a good and noble priest (preferably), or other orthodox Catholic who can help you with your issues. I do not mean simply a “yes man” who agrees 100% with your ideas and thoughts. I mean someone who can honestly acknowledge your concerns, your hurts, your pains, and assist you in fully seeking and obtaining Christ’s Love and mercy. This might even challenge you, or contradict your thoughts now, but that person will do so in order you to come to a deeper relationship with Christ, and lead a more true, Catholic life.
If anything, it shows that Pope Francis’ mission of mercy is more pertinent than ever, as even Christ’s “best soldiers” of the Church Militant, are badly wounded and their armor in need of major black-smithing to repair the damage.
Finally, allow me to end off with a pertinent link from "Neo-Trad" (a.k.a. Orthodox Good Guy) Mark Shea who succinctly shares to a degree my feelings and concerns, in an excellent interview about the changing face of Catholic Internet blogging:
Everyone, I know that things are rocky right now, but we have to do better than this. As Fr. Z says, Benedict XVI gave us the tools we need. It’s time to get the training wheels off the bicycle and ride with it!
Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.
P.S. I haven't forgotten about SINE, or my Latin Mass Serving Posts. Give me a break here as I got a significant lady in my life, a Mon-Fri job, and 3-7 other things on the go I gotta worry about, plus being stressed out at the end of the day needing to unwind. You try it and let me know if you do better. I'd like to know your strategies.