Thursday, September 25, 2014

History doesn't repeat but it does rhyme

In the matter of Cardinal Raymond Burke:
 It has even seemed to me that all the excruciating work, accomplished by the last two popes to save the Church from the tailspin in which they found her, is being undone, and we are repeating all the mistakes of the 1960s and 70s, as if nothing had been learned.
That is my opinion, and of course I could enlarge upon it, pointlessly. I think I could be characterized as a “conservative” or a “traditionalist” or even a “reactionary.” I am happy to wear the epithets, for I think these are the very qualities that have repeatedly saved the Church, in her interactions with the modern, i.e. post-Reformation, world.
Or from her beginning, for that matter; for in my understanding it is not the business of Holy Church to change with the times. It is her business to change the world, rather than be changed by it. To be “liberal” or “reformist” or “progressive” is to be – in most acceptations of those words – to be on the other side, entirely. We should think instead in terms of “recovery” and “restoration”; of “revolution” as return, not breaking out of orbit.
It's bizarre that what was plain old Catholicism 60 years ago is now considered the province of a small coterie of right-wing cranks or a special charism which Rome is currently stamping out in what was a flourishing religious order. 60 years ago I'd be just another bad Catholic. In 2014, I'm not just a bad Catholic but a reactionary extremist as well. I wear it as a badge of honor.

It can be invigorating to be a Traditionalist Catholic. You remain safely orthodox while still enjoying the thrill of rebellion. It's supremely awesome to be part of a Church that is centuries behind the times because it stands above the times. It's deeply embarrassing to be in a Church that is always five minutes behind the times, huffing and puffing to catch up.

H/T: FidesCogitActio

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Man up and marry those sluts, part 23597

I LOL'ed:
Drudge via Time has picked up Jenny Bahn’s piece at XO Jane 30 Is the New 50: “Old Age” is Killing My Dating Life.  What is fascinating is that while Bahn has stumbled on the painful truth, she still can’t fully connect the dots regarding her own choices.  She can’t see that the young women she is unable to compete against are the younger version of herself.  They don’t want to settle down now, but give them a decade and they will be singing the same song Bahn is singing now, complaining that men don’t want to commit.  What is wrong with men?
It’s this logic that has most of my 30-something guy friends dating girls fresh out of college. Girls who, in my experience, are less impressive, less striving, less volatile, less successful, less intimidating, less questioning, less pressing, less complex, less damaged, less opinionated, less powerful, less womanly. They are less, and, to a guy not ready for anything — like most of the guys I have dated in New York — less is more.
A 30-year-old woman is an undertaking…
It's an old story: party girl parties hard all throughout her twenties; prioritizes career over marriage; turns thirty and is shocked, shocked to learn that men her age are pursuing younger women for love and marriage; writes an article wondering what's wrong with men; fails to make the connection with her own choices in life. If Ms. Bahn really believes that men are looking for women who are volatile, ball busting, hen pecking drama queens then she clearly smoked too many illegal substances during her years of carousel riding.

Feminism essentially encourages women to behave like men, but balks at allowing women to suffer the consequences of their own bad decisions. It's not Ms. Bahn's fault that she's now a single, grouchy, damaged thirty something. It's men's fault. Somehow.

If I ever get married, I would never marry a woman my age. Not a chance in hell. 25 or below, or nothing. On the bright side, marriage minded girls under the age of 25 have probably never had it easier. Popular wisdom gets it backwards: by and large it's men who are the hopeless romantics and women who are ruthlessly pragmatic about relationships.

I can't remember the last time I went to National Review Online

Biden 2012: Romney wants to go to war with Syria
Joe Biden mocked Mitt Romney’s foreign policy during the 2012 presidential campaign — but Obama-approved air strikes in Syria, which commenced Monday evening, suggest that the administration is coming around to the position of the former GOP nominee.
“He [Romney] said it was a mistake to end the war in Iraq and bring all of our warriors home,” Biden told an audience in York, Penn., on September 2, 2012. “He said it was a mistake to set an end date for our warriors in Afghanistan and bring them home. He implies by the speech that he’s ready to go to war in Syria and Iran.”
Progressives said that a vote for Romney was a vote for war with Syria. They were right: Republicans voted for Romney and we're getting war with Syria.

People react badly when it's explicitly stated, but I believe that deep down inside most people understand that voting is for suckers. Elections are public liturgies where we formally swear our allegiance to liberalism.

Everything is awesome, everything is cool when we're part of a team

I'm going to shamelessly steal the term "Everything is Awesome Catholics:"
So what do I expect? 

Rather than a direct assault on marriage, I expect the opposite. What I expect is a nice flowery document re-stating the Catholic doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage. It will include language about the pastoral care of souls in troubled situations, but it will be generally orthodox. But at some point, whether this year or next, or in a post synodal document by the Pope, they will recommend the Bishops conferences to study and implement pastoral guidelines to help those in this situation.

No mandate, no direct assertions on what to do, but just a call for Bishop conferences to study the problem and implement pastoral practices in line with the synodal documents. That is when the horse will be permanently out of the barn. 

Then certain conferences will run wild either directly allowing it or allowing the pastor to decide. You know they will. (See German Episcopal conference) 

The traditionally minded will scream bloody murder while the "everything is awesome" Catholics will only refer to the document of the synod as the mostest wonderfulist re-statement of Catholic teaching ever, ignoring what his happening on the ground. 
That's pretty much what I've expected ever since this Synod was announced. I was surprised when the heresiarch Kasper's opening salvo was a full frontal assault. I'm astonished that the bishops are more or less openly sniping at each other these days. The heretic Kasper is now trying to hide beneath the pope's cassock. His words are incredible, no matter whether he's telling the truth or not. If Kasper had said such a thing about John Paul II or Benedict XVI, I'd have laughed him right off. With Francis... Kasper's story is plausible, if unlikely.

Continuing a theme from yesterday, another reason men are generally done with Christianity is that the Church is no longer seen as a champion of traditional marriage. I realize how ludicrous that sounds given the Church's formal opposition to same-sex "marriage," and the flak she's taken for being anti-sodomite or whatever. In her actual practice in the United States, the Church has been handing out annulments like candy for so long that people think of them as a Catholic divorce. It's a complicated issue because the fault lies in both Church leadership and the laity. Dalrock and Cail Corishev could each get a lot of mileage solely from documenting the bad advice circling around the Catholic corners of the web concerning love and marriage.

A good friend of mine who is married told me that when he and his bride were selecting the readings for their nuptial Mass, both the priest and the nice old lady in charge of marriage prep urged them not to use the selection from St. Paul about wifely submission. They did. The priest used his homily to basically undermine everything St. Paul said. Priests know on which side their bread is buttered. Few of them are willing to risk offending the Nice White Ladies who pay their bills and run their parishes.

I don't presume to know the mind of God, but sometimes I think he's allowed the Church to crumble in order to teach us greater reliance on him instead of man. Or as a wise old priest once told me, "Working with or for the Church will either strengthen your faith or completely destroy it."

Monday, September 22, 2014

You fairy, you company man: why men hate Christianity

Bonald has two good pieces on the Kasperite heresy:
Denigration of logic and concern for objective reality is key to Kasperite methodology.
...“Natural law = rule that matches my feelings.”  The author proceeds to throw up dust intended to relativize the clear position of scripture and Catholic dogma.  I’ll skip this, because I want to focus on what’s distinct to the Kasperite perspective.
...Given what has come before, we can now understand what Francis means by “ideas” and “realities”.  He is not making the obvious statement that all concepts are simplifications or the even more obvious statement that some ideas are wrong.  “Ideas” in this case means objective reality as grasped by the mind:  Catholic doctrine and natural law.  “Reality” means “people’s desires and feelings”.  “Dialogue” means we must adjust doctrine to gratify human sinfulness.
Men hate Christianity because Christianity has largely turned its back on them. Vatican II, which ran from 1962 to 1965, is the usual event cited for when the changes happened in the Catholic Church, but the feminization of Christianity had begun long before then. Christianity is a dogmatic religion. By definition, a dogmatic religion excludes some people. The unbaptized are excluded from receiving Holy Communion. Catholics who are not in a state of grace cannot receive Holy Communion. Christians who reject dogmas such as the Resurrection or the Trinity have excluded themselves from membership in the Church even if they don't have the integrity to formally leave her visible boundaries.

Men shouldn't accept Christianity because it will help them acquire money, power, or chicks. They should accept it because it's true. That's the only reason a man should believe anything. Because Christianity is true, it makes certain demands of us. Ideally, men's beliefs should be shaped by reality. They should not sit around and whine that reality doesn't conform to their beliefs. Christianity is the worship of a person who is Truth, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Jesus Christ is our friend, our brother, but he is most of all our King. Pope Leo XIII said that Catholics are born for combat. It was once commonplace to refer to the visible Church on earth as the Church Militant. We were expected to wage spiritual warfare against our three great enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. The Church exhorted us to tame our bodily lusts, our weaknesses, our fallen nature. Disciplining our bodies helps to discipline our souls. Disciplined souls are more ready for closeness to God, our final end, our ultimate purpose and reason for being. As a great movie once said, whether you're a king or a little street sweeper, sooner or later you dance with the Reaper. Our earthly lives were seen as a preparation for our eternal destinies. Our choices were heaven or hell.

Then the Modernists came along.

Modernists saw religion less as a matter of objective truth about the nature of God and man as a subjective experience that effected man's feelings. It used to be that heretics claimed that the Church had got something wrong and they had gotten it right. They still cared about objective truth. Modernists don't outright say that the Church is wrong. They drain her pronouncements of all objective meaning. They fret over thinking up innovative ways to communicate with modern man. They seek not to convert the sinner, but to dialogue with him and assuage his feelings.

In other words, they want to turn religion into something for women and children only.

Catholicism is what I know best, but from everything I've heard it's ten times worse in other Christian communities. Christianity has become largely a service industry for women. In the average Catholic parish, women hold pretty much every position that doesn't explicitly require a priest. Even then, if you're hospitalized it's more likely than not that some little old lady will bring you the Eucharist instead of a priest. You can hear it in priest's homilies. Seldom do they speak about preparing the soul for receiving the Eucharist, or confession, or taking up one's cross, about discipline, about truth. We get soothing reassurances that Jesus loves us just the way we are. On Mother's Day we get endless paeans about the wondefulness of women. On Father's Day, if they mention it at all, men are often chastised for being poor husbands while their wives rub circles on their backs.

Above all, the focus is on our feelings and our subjective experiences. Theology rejects reason and logic, and Christianity itself is reduced to a noble sentimentality. Men pick up on this and they conclude not unreasonably, "Fuck this hippie bullshit." Everything Is Awesome Catholics avoid the cognitive dissonance by focusing exclusively on formal doctrine while ignoring what's being done in practice. Now it's true that we shouldn't allow the bad example of others to diminish our own faith, but it's much more difficult for your faith to thrive if you're immersed in lukewarmness and mediocrity. That's why the Desert Fathers fled the cities for hermitages in the wilderness. If you're relying solely on your own strength, you're in for a fall.

Progressives are always reacting to the world. The Church must change because the world is different. Doctrine must change because modern man isn't like medieval man. Worship must change because 21st century man doesn't know Latin. I have a counter-proposal: instead of following the world, we should be leading the world. We should be changing it, not allowing it to change us. If the Church is always going to be huffing and puffing five minutes behind the world, always struggling to catch up, then why bother? Be strong. Be daring. Be confident. For the love of God, be yourself again Holy Mother Church.

Andrew's End

Andrew Sullivan, as always, is a useful barometer for trendy SWPL thinking:
When I was asked – with mind-numbing regularity – how I could remain happily gay and a Catholic, I answered honestly that, for those very reasons, I could live with institutional dissonance, as any thinking member of a hierarchical church has to, from time to time. But I think now that I misread a couple of things – and that the whole question may be a much bigger deal than I once believed and hoped. Here’s a story thatunderlines the problem:
A Catholic church in Montana has told two gay men that they can no longer receive communion simply because of their gay marriage and, in order to do so again, they must file for divorce. The two men, Paul Huff, 66, and Tom Wojtowick, 73, have been together for over 30 years and were married in Seattle in 2013. They’ve attended Saint Leo The Great Catholic Church in the town of Lewistown since 2003 and have also been members of the church’s choir. The’ve also now been denied participation in that church group.
It's only a problem if you presuppose that there's nothing sinful about sodomy.
Maybe years ago, removing two faithful choir members because they’re gay would have passed some kind of muster. First off, the couple wouldn’t have been out of the closet and so the entire don’t-ask-don’t-tell paradigm would have allowed the pastor to ignore the fact that two gay men were in the choir – or to keep their expulsion on the down-low; second, they would probably have been too ashamed to protest, and their peers too embarrassed to support them. But those two conditions are now no longer close to being met:
Huff and Wojtowick have received support from many of the church’s congregation. Forty members have reportedly either voiced their disapproval of the church’s offensive decision or have quit attending mass there altogether. One parishioner has suggested the title of a song sung at the church be changed from “All are Welcome” to “Some are Welcome.” How apt. 
There's a difference between manfully struggling with one's own sinful nature versus demanding public approval and celebration of unrepentant sinners' ongoing sin. All are indeed welcome to attend Mass. Only baptized Catholics in a state of grace are welcome to receive the Eucharist. If priests and lay people wish to speak up in defense of sodomy and sacrilege, then I'm sorry they've chosen to become lapdogs of Satan through their formal cooperation with evil. The bishop must, for the sake of his own soul if nothing else, must bar notorious public sinners from committing sacrilege.
The controversy has now led to the bishop intervening and holding a meeting with 300 parishioners to air views. The bishop claims there is polarization in the congregation over this and is now mulling the decision to bar the couple from the sacraments and from participation in their church – unless they get a civil divorce and sign a statement supporting civil marriage as exclusively heterosexual. Yes, the church is now in favor of divorce as a condition for being a Catholic! If that sounds perverse, you’re not wrong.
It's only perverse if you presuppose that two men can validly marry one another. They can't, so it isn't. Sullivan knows perfectly well that the Church doesn't recognize two sodomites shacking up together as marriage, but he prefers to make a cheap gotcha in order to rationalize both his own behavior and that of the two men in this story.
And the action against the men came not because they are gay but because they decided to celebrate their love and friendship with a civil marriage license. So they’re not really being targeted for sex; they are being targeted for their commitment and responsibility and honesty. And the only reason they have been excluded on those grounds is because they are gay.
Let's try this with another sin: "And the action against the man and woman came not because they are adulterers but because they decided to celebrate their love and friendship with a civil marriage license after divorcing their spouses. So they're not really being targeted for sex; they are being targeted for their commitment and responsibility and honesty. And the only reason they have been excluded on those grounds is because they're adulterers." Sullivan reminds me of the school yard bully who claims he didn't punch anyone, but nerds keep bashing their faces against his fist.
If the church upholds this kind of decision, it is endorsing cruelty, discrimination and exclusion. 
 A dogmatic church is, by definition, exclusionary. If you formally accept its teachings in both faith and morals, then you're in. If you willfully reject them, then you cannot claim to be a good Catholic. By definition, all forms of authority discriminate in favor of a particular vision of the Good. For that reason, liberalism is incoherent because it demands that we discriminate without discriminating. Sullivan knows this and has made a career out of rationalizing away something which he knows is sinful. Sullivan and his readers have chosen which side they're on, and it won't be long before they discriminate against their fellow Catholics while claiming they are not discriminating. They can try, but men made of sterner stuff than they have tried and failed. I pray that bishop has the courage to hold fast to the Gospel and doctrine and tell them that they can go straight to hell if they think they have the right to have their sins celebrated in public.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My loins are girt


If every bishop on earth was put on trial for the faith, most of them would be acquitted. Sometimes I think God has allowed this to happen to his Church to strengthen the faithful remnant for even greater trials ahead. We can no longer implicitly trust the bishops to teach the orthodox Catholic faith, or even to have simple human decency anymore. We have to actively engage the Faith. We have to learn it ourselves. We are responsible for the state of our own souls. It's wonderful to have a pastor and a bishop who are both solid in doctrine and gird up their loins like men to speak in bold declarative sentences. Most of us are not so fortunate anymore. It's tempting to give in and go with the flow. All serious Catholics have heard Satan whispering in their ear, "Don't be such an extremist. Stop being so divisive. You'll never get anything done that way. You won't have a place at the table. You'll be ostracized and cast out."

I have first hand experience with being cast out for making waves. It hurt, but I regret nothing. I refuse to submit to the pampered and perfumed bureaucrats who repeatedly assure us that everything is fine. Do they really care so little about the salvation of souls? Are they really so timid in the face of the world yet so vindictive against good men and women like Father Hardon and Mother Angelica?

Their actions speak louder than their words. I fear for their souls and pray for their conversion. We lay people have to go it alone more often than not. Bad bishops we have always had with us but we cannot let them drive us out. The Catholic faith is too precious a gift to give up that easily. The bishops are not the faith. Jesus Christ is. Gird up your loins like a man. Take refuge in prayer, penance, and Scripture. Don't back down when the Church of Nice crowd tries to shame you into silence.