Friday, March 15, 2013

Mellow Out Subcaths, Free Speech is a Democratic Virtue

Update:  Mark Shea has apologized for slandering Michael Voris, who was simply reporting the news and not making any negative statements about the Holy Father at all.  Well!

Edit:  after reading a blog post recently urging a non-descript group of intransigents, integralists, seminarians, mothers of five at home and people of the remnant, to “calm down”,  I thought it would be interesting to address the subject of public browbeating typical of certain people who attempt to vilify that group known as “Traditionalists”,  loosely described as a group of individuals who embrace the rites and doctrines of the Catholic Church as they have been practiced throughout the ages.  First off, assuming that most of the people are firm advocates of the Second Vatican Council, we should perhaps step back from vilifying a group of people and consider the importance of free expression, religious freedom of speech and  assume that we're supposed to be adults capable of forming our own judgments, even if they are incorrect.  But hey, it's a lot easier to kick a dog we think won't bite!

Part of the problem with these rushes to judgment, even if we're criticizing people we think no one regards as human beings, is that the individuality of each one is forgotten.  This is important, for there are almost as many reactions to this papal election as there are different members of the alleged "trad" group being vilified.  The responses range from palpable anger, despair, grief, resignation, cautious optimism, joy, legitimate concern,  to outright enthusiasm for this Pope.  Of course, it also helps that bloggers are so vague in their accusations, this enables many others, even self-identified traditionalists who proceed to beat themselves up with recriminations, can join in with their own particular image of the fire breathing, unfriendly, mean spirited traditionalist that they've learned to despise.

Ultimately, this kind of attempt at public shaming has the intention, whether expressed or not, of silencing legitimate criticism.  You're kicking the barking dog, or even giving him sleeping pills so a thief can get in and out undetected with the goods.

This sort of thing brings to mind a certain kind of cliquey blogger, but one blogger in particular, some blogs are more passive in their appraisal of traditionalists, but there are other blogs who shrug off not only any pretense of restraint, factuality or a love for persons, but they go right for good old fashioned slander, like Mark Shea does.

But in addressing this issue of individuals and groups, let's not assume that the people offended don't have a legitimate point to make.  Let's not blame the victim of bad behavior for calling out as so many have before only to suffer this:
And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

Indeed, rather than blaming those who are suffering and recognize the familiar signs of the things which have scandalized them, why not blame the agents of such crimes?   Is there really anything wrong with having a "questioning faith" if your name isn't Hans Kung, Roger Cardinal Mahony or Sister Joan Chittister?

Just to point it out, most people in the world are deliriously happy about the new pontiff, but in some areas it seems that he has profoundly distressed a section of Catholic Church who has made extensive use of the Pope's opening up of the Mass of All Ages to the entire world with his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum in 2007 in Argentina.  There have been numerous responses to Rorate Caeli's expose on the situation in Buenos Aires, most of them are as hysterical and uncharitable as the post accusing intransigents of doing.

In fact, according to Rorate Coeli's journalist, the Holy Father did not implement the legislation in his See and even went to extents to suppress it by refusing to allow his priests to say it.  This goes against what else we've heard from Giuseppi Nardi at Katholisches, that the Institute of the Good Shepherd has a Mass location in his See, but we have been unable to confirm that at present.

But then there are other "trads" like Father Gruner, who believe that we are on the eve of a Fatima Papacy.  Father Gruner has been in contact with the Holy Father in the past and is beside himself.

Of course, focusing on the alleged problem of people with legitimate or perhaps, ill-formed and misplaced grievances in good will, we should be considering where the true problems lie instead:


Anonymous said...

Article postings like this are beyond confusing. Who wrote it? I can't understand what they are trying to communicate.

I will say one thing though regarding the Fr. Gruner remark. It was WAY out of line and absolutely untrue. Father Gruner was as he always is graceful and serene. It was not even he but the interviewer who brought up the letters. And it was not he who contacted the Cardinal but the other way around. Why should he, and indeed all of us not be hopeful considering the past contacts made by our new pope? What's the problem, dude?

Journalism is not the strong point of who wrote this and I hope it wasn't you, Tancred as I would find it very disappointing.

Anonymous said...

I should have said "It was not even he but the interviewer who pursued the issue of the letters."

Tancred said...

I’m not a journalist and have never claimed to be one.

Tancred said...

That sentence doesn’t really indicate who contacted whom.

beagle said...

I'm glad people more people are becoming aware of the neocat attitudes making their way into traditional Mass centers. Imagine if Arbp. Lefebvre and Bp. Castro Mayer just shut up in the 70s.

beagle said...

Can't believe 'Kevin's' defense of the hybrid nonsense the faithful are reported to have received. Apparently using the Novus Ordo lectionary at the traditional Mass is okay. Gee, I wonder why they had 'low attendance?'

Mark said...

Great article (and I like the updated look for the blog).
The next few days, weeks, and months will, undoubtedly, be uncertain times for traditionalists in the Church (as well, dare I say?, for those of us who appreciate tradition, formality, and the cultural significance of liturgy).
Half the battle is truly believing that good things lie ahead, even though we remain uncertain of many details.

Tancred said...

Half the battle is indeed that, and seeing God’s providence and goodness even in the errors of the men who rule the Church.

Tancred said...

I thought that was weak too. They did everything to kill it including ignoring liturgical abuses.

A lot of people don’t understand how critical it is to follow the rubrics of the Mass, so when “trads” are angry about local abuses or even just calmly objecting to them in a spirit of love and charity, they are often view with incomprehension and distrust.

A big part there is a lack of understanding of what the Mass confects for us here on Earth, how Our Lord visit us in the appearances of bread and wine.

Anonymous said...

How else could anyone know how to petition a pope without discussing it HONESTLY first??

Tancred said...

But I did clear some things up first! I was so set on getting all the links up and was so angry, I forgot that 90% of writing is revision.

Anonymous said...

It should also be noted that the followers of the late Abbé de Nantes are also enthusiastic (or at least quite optimistic). Indeed, the Abbé himself was apparently stumping for Bergoglio as far back as 2003. The belief over there seems to be that this is the second coming, as it were, of John Paul I (an impression which, I must say, agreed with my own initial impression of the man, though I am too young to have first-hand memories of JP1).

For my own part, I've gone from nearly despondent, to a more moderated, but still fairly grave, concern. In the end, of course, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph, but it seems that the night may get darker yet before morning finally breaks. The "brick-by-brick" brigade is probably in for a rude awakening, and those who have been slow to abandon the "bunker mentality" may now be proven right. In this, there's a personal temptation to say "I told you so," since I was always skeptical of the idea that Pope Benedict really had a solid "plan" to fix everything. Perhaps it's for the best, as some folks had maybe gotten a bit too comfortable with the status quo.

My own feeling about infighting of the past two days is that this is that this must be a taste of what the bad old days of the '60s and '70s were like. To be fair, I understand that people want to be loyal to the pope, and that, of itself, is laudable. However, an exaggerated papolatry only enables the forces that want to destroy the Church from within. It is completely possible to be loyal to a fault, and we see the devestating effects of such exaggerated "loyalty" all around us today.

On the other hand, we do have to remember the graces that come with the office. Let's not forget a man like Giovanni Mastai-Ferretti — a liberal, elected by liberals — could go on to become that staunch defender of tradition, Blessed Pius IX. Pope Francis, a deeply Marian man by all accounts, now also has access, for the first time, to the Third Secret of Fatima in its entirety, as also to other information known only the the popes.

We who accept, to one degree or another, the label of "traditionalist," must admit that we have often been our own worst enemies by the way we conduct ourselves. Frequently, it's not what we say, but how we say it, which turns otherwise receptive people off. At any rate, we need to stop giving fodder to bullies like Shea.

I think people on both sides need to take more care and be as circumspect as possible in their comments. We need now, more than ever, to be mindful that we speak the truth with charity.

Marla said...

I think that everyone should be "beside themselves" over the mere prospect of the consecration to the blessed Mother. What is so wrong with that?

Tancred said...

Nothing. I think it's some of the best news I've heard in a very long time.