|Looking in from the outside, at Walsingham|
Voris is railing against 'professional Catholics' being paid six-figure salaries (in dollars, of course). Fr Longenecker says he'd like to see a few more professionals in Catholic apologetics. Touche - I also think Voris is a bit of an amateur. (Full disclosure: I am not a professional theologian, and nor am I paid by the Latin Mass Society. I get expenses, mostly for travel, when I get round to claiming them.) But I think Fr L has missed Voris' point, which Voris doesn't articulate but I think takes for granted. These salaries are connected in Voris' mind with the big salaries of liberal diocesan administrators, as part of a military-industrial complex - well, ideological-liturgical complex - of the Catholic Establishment, which has done nothing over the last two generations but preside over a disastrous decline. Leaving it to amateurs like Voris to say the things which need saying.
No doubt the guys at Catholic Answers see themselves as a beleaguered remnant battling against the odds for the truth. (Funnily enough, Catholic liberals have the same self-image.) But from Voris' perspective, they are part of the Establishment of mutual back-scratching, and the salaries demonstrate this. The fact is that there is, in the USA at least, a Conservative Catholic establishment, with endowed institutions, a career-structure, access to the hierarchy and so on. And, Voris says, while acknowledging the good they do, they are also part of the problem. Because they refuse to see the real causes of the problems in the Church.
The problem Voris identifies with certain 'conservatives' is that, in order to have a seat at the big table as part of the Catholic Establishment, they profess themselves content with, or even enthusiastic about, the wrenching discontinuities of liturgy and theology which are present in the Church today. This then manifests itself with a contempt towards Traditionalists.
There is an established definition of a Catholic Traditionalist: they are people who wish to live in continuity with their predecessors in the Faith. This means that, while not rejecting organic development or new initiatives, they prefer the Traditional Mass, they gravitate towards traditional spirituality, they regard innovations of institutional form or theology as having to make their case: they must carry the burden of proof. This is, of course, what all Catholics should be like, this is the attitude called for by Popes down the ages, it is even explicitly demanded, in liturgical matters, by the Second Vatican Council.
Sacrosanctum Concilium 22:
Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.
|Not fruitcakes on the march, just Catholics on pilgrimage, doing what we've always done.|
But this Catholic attitude is a rebuke to some 'conservatives' - maybe they have a guilty conscience. So we have incessant attacks on 'radtrads', as Fr Longenecker delightfully calls them. He doesn't bother telling us who exactly he has in mind, he neither names names nor specifies theological positions, but when challenged he says that he likes good Traditionalists and is only attacking the bad ones. This is a lazy old trick: who is which? What kinds of 'traditionalist' attitude counts, according to Longenecker, as sede vacantist or anti-semitic?
You can't spend long in the Catholic world attached to the Traditional Mass without being called a sede vacantist or an anti-semite. I have been called both, at least by implication, over the years. I have no way of telling whether my own views don't put me into Fr Longenecker's sights: whether, that is, he is only criticising people who are genuinly sede vacantist and genuinely anti-semitic, or whether he is using these terms as hiss-words to apply to a much larger group. Of course, there is a lunatic fringe, there are people attached to the Old Mass who have genuinely unpleasant views, and I've been attacked by them as well. I am a bit hazy about exactly what Christian Order stands for these days, but they think I am insufficiently hard-core for them and I am pretty content with that situation. But even if Fr Longenecker does have only the nut-jobs in mind, it is hardly helpful to fixate on them.
I don't spend all my time attacking the people who've been excommunicated for carrying out bogus ordinations of women: the radical liberals. Why not? Because they aren't a serious part of the conversation. Not even the Tablet takes them seriously. Sure, if they got too much influence they could drag the whole progressive Catholic groove into disrepute - to parallel Fr Longenecker's argument about trads - but that isn't going to happen, they know perfectly well what lines they can't cross. Fr Longecker should apply his critical faculties to the positions which are part of the conversation: the views of ordinary Traditionalists, their respected publications, organisations, conferences and so on. There's plenty there to get your teeth into.
We have to live out our Catholic faith not just talk about it in the media etc. If we spent all our time worrying about so many things wrong in the Church we would never do anything half decent. The Saints just got on with it. It is up to us to develop a deep personal relationship with Our Beloved Lord Jesus and to share that with others. I think both Fr. Dwight L. and Michael V. need our prayers. It would be good if Michael also pointed out the good things in the Church from time to time...I love the photo in your article here, it is really beautiful and very refreshing to see.ReplyDelete
Great post and good photo. We need prophetic voices and we need the TLM. I love the TLM and my ancestors were Jewish on one side and vanished in WWII. I have not heard anti-Semitic sermons, personally ever from trad priests.ReplyDelete
We also need priests and laity who do not fall into what I call "institution think". There are too many in England and in the States.
God bless you, and your work here and elsewhere. Let us support each other, bloggers, journalists, trads in the pews, isolated trads who cannot find Masses in their areas.
Harder times are coming and we need to support each other in prayer and in deed.
I'm not sure what you mean by the saints 'getting on with it'. Plenty of the saints spent a of time reforming Catholic institutions, attacking corruption and exposing heresy. St Bernard of Clairvaux is an obvious example; St Pius X is another.ReplyDelete
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Catherine of Siena, Dominic, Anthony of Padua, Bernadino, John Chrysostom and most of t he Doctors of the Church...addressed corruption and heresy.Joseph, to whom are you addressing your last comment or is it private?ReplyDelete
It's addressing the first comment, from Anne: "If we spent all our time worrying about so many things wrong in the Church we would never do anything half decent. The Saints just got on with it." Worrying about things wrong in the Church was a starting point for many saints.Delete
Our Lord told St. Catherine of Siena:Delete
You ought to despise and hate the ministers’ sins and try to dress them in the clothes of charity and holy prayer and wash away their filth with your tears.
Indeed, I have appointed them and given them to you to be angels on earth and suns, as I have told you. When they are less than that you ought to pray for them. But you are not to judge them. Leave the judging to me, and I, because of your prayers and my own desire, will be merciful to them.
Ah sorry, missed that, clearly, and I usually am good about reading comments. Thanks so much...too much multi-tasking. Trying to listen to France24, write, eat, and read. Thanks....ReplyDelete
Michael Voris's "guilt by association" innuendos stink. Was he not himself once (by accident? details hazy) involved with some very unpleasant people a few years ago? He of all people should know about glass houses and unfortunate / unwitting / un-looked-for alliances ...ReplyDelete
Fr Longenecker on blurring the line between rad-trads and "normal" trads is more problematic. There are "traditional" sites and forums in the blogosphere which are truly poisonous - though two of the most egregious appear to have had relatively recent makeovers, which makes pointing to particular threads difficult. Their constant, drum-beating presence colours the perceptions of rank-and-file Catholics about what "tradition" means, or can mean, or perhaps should mean. Rather than affecting not to know who they are, perhaps the LMS should turn its fire on them, not on Fr Longenecker?
No - they are trolls. Don't feed them. I thought that rule was well-known these days. You give them relevance by engaging with them.Delete
If anyone gets their idea of what trads are about from loopy discussion forums or extremist blogs, they are as mad as the people running them.
.."guilt by association" innuendos stink. Was he not himself once (by accident? details hazy) involved with some very unpleasant people a few years ago?"
You condemn "guilt by association" and then in the very next sentence you engage in it. Too funny.
As for the Voris episode alluded to in this post, I think the point has been missed entirely. The reason Voris criticized the "Catholic establishment" and specifically Catholic Answers is that they disparaged Traditional Catholics and by so doing created a funding problem, since a sizeable portion of their funding turned out to be from those very same people which they disparaged. And instead to rectifying the problem with a bit of humility, not to mention Catholic charity, CA started whining and reached out for donations to make up for the shortfall. And this is the part that Voris objected to, and the reason he disclosed the salaries made by these very same people who reached out for the donations. Not mentioning this bit deprives the Voris episode of its proper context.
As far as the professional Catholics and the amateurs are concerned, please God send us down a whole gaggle of the amateurs.
As for calling people anti-semites and sedevacantists, I would just like to remind all that the name calling is getting old. Logical and rational arguments please. We Catholics, of all people, should know this better than anyone, since it is because of the Church and a proper Catholic formation that we are able to think critically and dispassionately. Like I tell my young sons, structure your argument logically for heaven’s sake, you’re not a communist.
PS Don’t recall the last time that the bishop of Rome referred to himself as the pope. Or did I miss something? Maybe someone should ask him about this.
Yes I am well aware of the Saints who pointed out the rot in the Church at their time. But they didn't go on constantly about it. They also prayed and fasted and did penance for the Church and encouraged others to do so. That is something that is lacking in our Church. How many Prayers are being encouraged on all the Catholic media for the Bishops and Cardinals ? How many Novenas and Holy Hours should we do for them and for Holy Vocations to the Church ? Perhaps Michael Voris could start a Novena for the Church every so often or for a Cardinal or a Bishop that he berates now and again.God bless.ReplyDelete
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You certainly can't accuse the Latin Mass Society and its volunteers of not praying enough. I should imagine that the prayers and offerings of the Walsingham Pilgrimage alone make up a whole flower shop of spiritual bouquets, not to mention countless other, smaller events. Prayer, fasting and penance may be lacking in the Church as a whole, but they are definitely alive and kicking in the traditionalist community.Delete
I didn't accuse anyone of not praying enough. But I think we need to be careful of constantly criticising the Church and its hierarchy and Priests because it feeds into a climate of negativity in the Church where people just go around giving out all the time and many Priests won't listen to people like that. It is not giving a proper witness to our beliefs as Catholics. The Lord does not want us to do such things as he said to St. Catherine of Siena (comment above).Delete
It is great that there is so much prayer in our Church as a whole which there is and much of that prayer and sacrifice in suffering is hidden but seen by the Lord who sees everything. Let us pray.
On what basis is Voria an amateur?ReplyDelete
Is he an amateur broadcaster? He does have extensive broadcasting experience and produced Emmy award winning work.
Is he an amateur theologian? He does have a S.T.B. from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome.He graduated Magna Cum Laude.
I concur with this. In the entire post here, that's the only comment I have reservations with - That Mr. Voris is amateur... I have strong doubts that that fully fit describing him. Could he be better? yes. Yet he is amongst the best "defenders of the faith" with online publicity saying tremendously important things about the faith. YES he is..so in that sense.. his shortcomings are part of being human...ReplyDelete
Your blog is very good, lms, this is the first time I visited it. I once met Fr. Longenecker at an "Anglican Use" event, while friendly, I could tell he was a bit too career oriented or shall we say ingratiated with the establishment bishops such as "Wuerl" (the girl). He struck me as naive, though kind and good priest for the most part. But I don't know him very well. Only my two cents.ReplyDelete
Another issue is that for Priests, it's harder for them to criticize the hierarchy (If you don't know why ask someone else). Sometimes they than go about to do the opposite and tend to coddle their bishop or the bishops friends.Delete
Mr. Voris and lay people have quite an advantage in not being clergy. Nevertheless, I think Longenecker should have said nothing. He strikes me as someone who might learn a lesson on how to get along with the various factions of the roman catholic church from this.
" but really, Traditional Catholics are just Catholics" Another key point, so often overlooked. Most of us just want to go to Mass without all the arguments.ReplyDelete
Thansk again Joe.
Keep it up Joe !