Tuesday, October 22, 2013

And that's the bottom line because the Grand Inquisitor said so

Catholics are all too familiar with the concept of "Romanita," if not the name. Romanita is the slang term for that talent so many Catholic prelates have of speaking at great length while actually saying very little. If you've ever heard a priest deliver a ten minute homily but you can't recall a thing he said after the Mass is over, the odds are good he was speaking in Romanita. It is St. Paul's admonition to be all things to all men taken to its reductio ad absurdum level. Romanita is the lingua franca of the Magic Circle, from which bishops and potential bishops are pulled. Very seldom do men who speak in blunt, forceful language about the truths necessary for salvation climb the greasy pole of the Catholic Church's hierarchy. That's why I like those plain speaking priests so much. I'm instantly put on my guard around a priest who is reluctant to speak on the Four Last Things or to urge us to repent. It's likely that he'll be the kind of priest where I have to double check everything he says against the Catechism or Denziger.

That's not to say that Romanita is always and everywhere a bad thing. It just means you have to be good at reading between the lines. For example, take this 4000+ word essay by Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, Prefect of the CDF (that's the Grand Inquisitor for the sake of my heathen friends.) It makes for pretty dry genteel reading by American standards. But this:
In many regions, greater compromises emerged later, particularly as a result of the increasing interdependence of Church and State.  In the East this development continued to evolve, and especially after the separation from the See of Peter, it moved towards an increasingly liberal praxis.  In the Orthodox Churches today, there are a great many grounds for divorce, which are mostly justified in terms of oikonomia, or pastoral leniency in difficult individual cases, and they open the path to a second or third marriage marked by a penitential character.  This practice cannot be reconciled with God’s will, as expressed unambiguously in Jesus’ sayings about the indissolubility of marriage.  But it represents an ecumenical problem that is not to be underestimated.
By Romanita standards, that is the equivalent of planting a steel toe in the collective gut of the Orthodox, delivering a Stone Cold Stunner with authority, and then screaming in their ears while waving the double middle fingers as they writhe in pain upon the mat.

The arch is clearly a fan of Zippy Catholic. As am I for that matter.

h/t: Rorate Caeli

1 comment:

  1. In our time of it is rare to see Catholics criticize other faiths, and extremely rare to see criticism of the Orthodox, probably because we tend to think that they are basically Catholics with cooler hats. It is nice to see some good constructive criticism aimed at our separated brethren in the East.