Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Friday, December 03, 2010

As Bad As Things Are With the USCCB & the CCCB It Looks Like Things In the Mother Country Are Worse

If that is even possible. In a post on his blog (The Magic Circle) Fr. Longenecker talks about an article in The Catholic World Report that gives an inside look at the problems in the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (BCEW). & it isn't a pretty picture. Nor one that is surprizing to those who have carefully observed what is going on over there. (& seen similar trends with many Bishops over here.)

Fr. L says this article will help people understand the situation across the pond & why he wasn't accepted for ordanation as a Catholic priest after his conversion. "The facts are simple: some of the Bishops wanted priests, but not priests like me. Others didn't want priests at all."

Of course there is more to it than that. It is not simply rejecting priests like the type Fr. L would be or no priests at all. In fact, as Fr. L says, it has to do with women's ordination. He esplains what he was told in many a place in three of the Southern dioceses in England. "See, if Rome doesn't allow us to have women priests we'll have very few priests. This crisis will be one which we will engineer. The result of having fewer priests will be parishes led by lay people. This really means 'lay women'. By pioneering this new model of priesthood and parish the magic circle in England will have parishes run by women even though Rome does not allow them to have women priests."

The article itself goes on to look at more than just that 1, albeit huge, part of the problem. As it points out, the big problem is with the vision of the conference. "The BCEW’s vision ever since the days of Archbishop Worlock has aimed at “liberating” Catholics from their past and helping them to embrace the values of secular society." Excuse me???? Didn't Jesus say we are to be in the world but not of it? Also, aren't we called to be salt??? We are to form the world, this is the world forming us. To put it bluntly, this is plain & simply turning your back on God & telling Him where to stick it. This is the false "Spirit of Vatican II" at its worst. & a total betrayal of the real Vatican II & the Holy Spirit.

It goes on to look at the BCEW's bureaucracy. "The BCEW is a rigid bureaucratic structure centered on the idea of the central committee and employs a plethora of professional lay and clerical sub-committees, all paid for by the ordinary Catholics it claims to represent." While this has been true to a large extent here in the USA, there have been enough Bishops willing to speak out that the bureaucracy hasn't been able to run things as rigidly. In fact, when I 1st read this quote, I thought the BCEW sounds more like old time Communist USSR than a Bishops conference.

Later in the article, I found that I wasn't so far off in my evaluation."With Soviet-like brutishness, the BCEW has sought over many years to curb the activities of those Catholic groups that exist outside of its direct control." In fact the BCEW is so afraid of any diversity that it is even hostile to Eastern Catholic Churches because they are different. "In one English diocese, a bishop sought to limit the celebrations of the Syro-Malabar Rite and ordered Indian Catholics to attend the Roman Rite on Sundays." 1st of all, Vatican II called for a greater awareness of the Eastern parts of the Catholic Church. 2ndly, the Latin Bishop who tried this has absolutely no authority to do so under Canon law. This was a pure power grab on his part. Something tells me that the Syro-Malibar Catholics weren't buying into a lot of his attempts the turn the Catholic Church into something else either.

Of course the BCEW hasn't been to welcoming of any group that isn't under their control (Focolare, Opus Dei, Youth 2000, etc.). They have done nothing to prepare for the revised Novus Ordo translation next year. They have done everything they can to undermine Summorum Pontificum. & Anglicanorum Coetibus is another nightmare as it creates another group outside their control. They are horrified at the thought of large numbers of Anglo-Catholic clergy becoming a semi-autonomous part of the Catholic Church in England. They are afraid the ordinariate will be a “church within a church.” Again, the same could be said of their attitude towards the Syro-Malibar Catholics. But the reality is, the Catholic Church consists of about 22 sui iuris Churches. At this point it should be clear why the Angican Bishops dealt directly with the CDF in Rome rather than the BCEW to bring the new ordinariate about.

Then there is the Catholic bogosphere that being mostly orthodox Catholic "the BCEW simultaneously fears and despises in a way reminiscent of the Soviet regime’s attitude to the Eastern European underground free press." Again, the comparision to the USSR.

As I read the article & esp the part about the Anglican Bishops, I saw an interesting irony. The BCEW has become the equivilent of the hierarchy at the time of Henry VIII. Most of them turned their back on the Pope & the Catholic Church to maintain their power. The Anglican Bishops aiming for reunion with Rome are the equivilent of the few Bishops who did remain faithful to Rome.

Things are changing for the better in many ways. As the article points out "The English clergy is increasingly populated with foreign priests, young traditionalists and middle-aged ex-Anglicans, none of whom are exactly yearning to embrace the BCEW vision." These will be the source of future Bishops. & clearly there will be a wider gap between those in the hierarcy & bureaucracy who support the current sell out of Catholicism & those who want the Catholic Church to be truly Catholic. The old guard will clearly continue to work to distance itself from Rome. Which leads to 1 question. Will the old guard die out or retire quickly enough to prevent a split from Rome?

While we are facing the same problems here in the USA & Canada, it is clear that the split is not as far along as it is in England. Here in the USA there is still the hope that we can avoid it. From what I see in Canada, I am less hopeful a split can be avoided. & in England, it all depends on the answer to my above question. If things don't change fast enough, we may be seeing a new version of the Anglican Church. No, I don't see them uniting with the liberal remnant of the Anglican Church. They may be on the same page with gay marriage, women's ordination, birth control & abortion. But the BCEW would be giving up power if it joined the Anglican Church. They will set up a seperate Church that will all but be dead in a generation. But by that time they will have long gone on & have had to answer for their failure to be the shepherds they were ordained to be.

Read the entire article here: Outside the Magic Circle


  • At 5/12/10 12:55 AM , Blogger TH2 said...

    At least there is Damian Thompson across the pond. He pulls no punches when it comes to The Magic Circle. I am trying to think up nicknames for the USCCB and the CCCB.

  • At 5/12/10 2:02 AM , Blogger Al said...

    Thompson usually does a good job of pointing things out. Will be interesting to see if you can come up with something for CCCB & USCCB. Will have to think about it myself.


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