So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sobering Challenge from Rorate Cæli Blog

In an article anticipating the recent appointment of Bishop Cupich to the Archdiocese of Chicago, Rorate Cæli blog (RoCæ) had these words for those of a particular bent:
(A) note to American Catholic 'neoconservatives', with their endless excuses and inventive ways of telling themselves, and others, that nothing has really changed in the Church's direction since 2013.

Stop pretending that nothing has really changed. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot celebrate the appointment of "conservative" prelates to a handful of mid-level sees as proof that the Franciscan papacy is an extension of that of Benedict XVI, yet pretend that this appointment, the looming defenestration of Cardinal Burke, and many other previous appointments on the same or greater level of influence, mean nothing. It is delusional to celebrate minor appointments and victories as indicators of "continuity", then react to major developments with the attitude that "my faith does not depend on what Pope Francis does". No one's faith should depend on the motions of ecclesiastical politics, but all the same, these actions will have its effect on the faith of millions for years and years to come. You know this: otherwise you would not feel the need for excuses.

"But bishop so-and-so has always been sound and orthodox when necessary!" But as anyone knows, what matters in the "culture wars" is not what one professes to "personally" believe, but how one acts, speaks, and sets his tone in the public square. The reality is that, more than words, actions and tone are a greater indication of what one truly believes, or holds dear and worth defending.

If you do not wish to say anything that can be seen as critical of Pope Francis, fine. But at least stop fooling yourselves, and others, that there has been no real change in direction in the Church. Shoring up morale and keeping up appearances for the sake of the culture wars are not enough reasons to lie about the truth.
To anyone who might fit the neocon label, these are sobering comments that challenge one to rethink that orientation. Even though there is a reactionary tone to the RoCæ article, one cannot dismiss concerns that bishops described as moderates by the secular media have, indeed, softened the tone of engagement to the point that much needed fraternal correction of dissenting Catholics has been avoided, all in the name of civility. Civility is definitely a preferred option in public discourse. However, when the sheep are openly defiant and routinely reject the teaching of the Church while describing themselves as faithful Catholics, one's blood should begin to boil and a sword of truth should be found in one's hand to defend honest believers and the Faith, a sword that divides fact from fiction, truth from heresy. While we should not seek to merely offend our audience, we cannot avoid giving offence to those who delight in rejecting the legitimate authority of the Church when we preach and defend obedience to Holy Mother Church.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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