Posted by Fr Longenecker at Monday, November 23, 2009
After analyzing the modernism in the Anglican Church it was pointed out that there's plenty of modernism in the Catholic Church too. True enough, and because blog posts should be short and punchy, I left this issue for another day.
It is true that all the problems I outlined in the post on Modernism in the Anglican Church are present in the Catholic Church. In many ways the effects have been even more devastating. At least the Anglicans with their good taste have preserved beautiful liturgy, architecture and sacred music in the midst of the modernism. Many Catholics have been even more gung ho on the dumbing down of Christianity, the vulgarization of the liturgy, art and architecture that is the philosophical offspring of modernism. The moral crisis among Catholic clergy which has caused so much pain and scandal is the direct effect of mixing clerical celibacy (which modernists simply cannot understand) with modernism and the moral relativism of the sexual revolution. The resulting cocktail was disastrously poisonous. (emphasis mine)
However, there are two distinct differences in the circumstances of Anglicanism and Catholicism. The first is that, while the Catholics have fallen into the same moral morass as Anglicanism, what they are doing has not been condoned and sanctioned by the Church. Yes, there are Catholic homosexual priests, Catholic bishops and priests and people who support women's ordination, Catholic people who favor abortion, remarriage after divorce etc. etc. The Church teaching, however, is clear and uncompromising. So in the Catholic Church you find Church teaching which is firm and clear and traditional, but some Catholics dissent and have their own opinion which is liberal. (emphasis added) In the Anglican Church is is virtually the reverse: the Church teaching is either non existent, open ended or actually sanctions the modernist stance but you have individual Anglicans who choose to hold to the traditional, historic faith.
The second fact, on which the first is built is that while Catholics are besieged by modernism, we still have the magisterium of the Church which repudiates modernism and offers the guide for authentic historic Christianity in the world today. We have a Catechism which states the church's teaching clearly and positively. The Popes hold the line, defending, defining and teaching the faith in the face of modernism, and in opposition to it. The fact of the matter is that the Catholic Church defends historic Christianity and those of the faithful who go adrift do so knowingly. They are sheep who have strayed from the fold and from the Good Shepherd.
Individual Anglicans, on the other hand, are sheep without a shepherd. Without a clear authority structure they must make up their own minds, and while there is certainly some value in such independence of mind and action, it must be said that if one is going on a journey it would be possible to wander to the destination asking directions along the way, but it would be more sensible to use a map.
This brings me to the accusation that many non-Catholics make about Catholics: that we are unthinking zombie clones who are drinking the Kool-Aid and marching in lock step behind the Master. To be sure there are some Catholics who switch off their brains (as do many modernists) but this is not the expectation or the ideal. What is the proper relationship to dogma and infallible authority? It must be that the dogma, the moral code and the infallible authority are means to an end--they are not the end in themselves.
For a Catholic the dogma and the moral code which is given by the infallible authority of the Church is simply the ladder on which we climb. They are the map for the journey; the signposts on the way. They are vitally important, but it is the pilgrimage to heaven which is most important, and the final goal in this life is to get to the point where we walk on this pilgrimage so formed and guided by the dogmas and moral code that we no longer rely on them. We have learned to run on the path of God's perfection with the perfect delight of love, doing all those things which were once burdensome with the simplicity of freedom and the beauty of holiness.
- American Papist Blog
- American Spectator
- Archbishop Tim Dolan's (NY) Blog
- Big Blue Wave
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC News Site)
- Catholic Dialogue Blog
- Catholic Education Resource Center
- Catholic Exchange
- Catholic Heritage Website (Ireland)
- Catholic Insight
- Catholic News Agency
- Catholic Online
- Catholic Sensibility
- Catholic, and Loving It
- CTV News Site
- Ethics and Public Policy Center
- First Things
- Fr. Raymond De Souza - National Post Columnist
- Fr. Raymond deSouza personal blog
- Freethroughthought blog (excellent site)
- Friar Rick's Webblog
- Get Religion.org
- Global TV News Site
- Holy Post - National Post Religious Blog
- Inside Catholic Blog
- New Advent
- Pave the Way Foundation
- Priests for Life Canada Website
- ProLife Blog
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke
- Rosary for the Bishops
- Salt & Light TV - Canadian Catholic Television Website
- Sandro Magister
- Sane Conservatism
- SoCon (social conservative)
- Sylvia's Website: Canadian Clergy Sex Abuse Cases
- The Catholic Register
- The Hermeneutic of Continuity
- The National Post: Canada's National Daily
- The New Jesuit Review
- The New York Times Website
- Vox Nova
- What Does Prayer Really Say - Priest bolg
- Whispers in the Loggia
- ► 2015 (1361)
- ► 2014 (2437)
- ► 2013 (1381)
- ► 2012 (1527)
- ► 2011 (1437)
- ► 2010 (997)
- Manhattan Declaration is "dangerous"?
- George Weigel defends the conclusions of Natural L...
- And for something lighter...
- Join the conversation!!
- Gender Mainstreaming at Save a Family Plan
- An interesting exchange between a theist and an at...
- Chris Matthews vs Bishop Tobin
- Interesting article from ZENIT
- Man trapped in 23-year 'coma' reveals horror of be...
- A story taken from LifeSiteNews that should chill ...
- Something for every cell phone user to watch
- Matt Gurney (National Post) argues for the legaliz...
- Catholic Answers
- Interesting position of modernism and its implicat...
- Respect for Each Other in a Polarized Community - ...
- Trying to understand
- Working in "virtual" fields to produce a harvest o...
- Again the battle rages on the web pages of the CBC...
- Just a little humor that tickles a priests' funny ...
- A site from University of Edinburgh which attempts...
- Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Why Not?
- Link to the Manhattan Declaration
- Learning when and how to pick a fight.
- If You Look for the Bad In People, You're sure to ...
- Manhattan Declaration of Consciences
- Archbishop Chaput (Denver) on the cost of disciple...
- Catholic Church needs more Internet savvy: bishop
- I couldn't say it better myself
- Chuck Colson posts an article about religious free...
- Article from Atlantic Catholic writer, Francis Cam...
- Nova: Becoming Human
- Excellent dialogue on St. Joseph's Health Care Cen...
- Big Ecumenical Announcement on Friday!!
- From Blue Wave blog
- Archbishop Duncan of the Anglican Church of North ...
- Zenit reports on the need to increasing the Cathol...
- A voice from Toronto on Bill C-384
- Bishop Fred Henry (Calgary) calls for the defeat o...
- A Small Town Paper poses Challenge to Catholic Fai...
- Catholic Video Blog
- Looking for bigger role on Web, bishops meet Googl...
- When Bishops take to the public square to make the...
- Abortion kills more than baby: Chinese study says...
- Church Examines Its Use of Internet What's To Be L...
- W5 program this Saturday/Sunday (November 14/15, 2...
- God & Dog
- Why did Bishops cover up the sex abuse scandals
- American study on sex abuse by clergy
- The value of a private retreat for women (and men ...
- Families : mediating structure between individual ...
- University of Toronto Pro-Life students make the a...
- A long and safe trip
- Another graced gift of the Pro-Life "40 Days for L...
- Sexual Abuse in Social Context: Catholic League
- Have you heard the voice of God today?
- An example of what I speak
- Human Rights Tribunals: An attack upon Christians...
- National Post: Are there two "Catholic Churches"?
- But what do we mean when we say "marriage"?
- Is the Church a force for good? Fr. Richard John N...
- Lessons from Fort Hood
- Insightful article of the nature of theology
- The effects linger for years, and years....
- Whispers in the Loggia
- New York Times analysizes the Maine Vote overturni...
- Another Evangelical Catholic is heard from
- The power of music
- Massey Lecture Series
- A challenge, with deep nod of respect to graduates...
- Not a great day (sigh) for Catholic values and the...
- Another front opens on the culture war between fai...
- The media drum beat for legalized euthanasia conti...
- The impact of the blogoshere on the main stream me...
- The fruits of the 40 Day Witness for Life pays off...
- clay vessels: Drinking a Beer with Jesus
- Dorothy Day: Contribution to Catholic/Christian re...
- A conversation with Wayne on the ways of God
- An Invitation to a conversation
- ▼ November (78)