Thursday, July 3, 2014

Power, unlimited power

It was inevitable: the Left is turning on Pope Francis. When white smoke emanates from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, we know that we have a pope. When white smoke emanates from liberals ears, we know that the pope is Catholic.

Under St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, whenever Rome did or failed to do something conservative Catholics always knew where to place the blame. "If only the pope knew. If it weren't for that brood of vipers in the Curia, the pope would learn the truth about X and finally do something." For good or ill, the pope almost always knows about X. The pope more often than not knows what he's doing when he does or doesn't do something about X. Godless heathens and heretics generally don't know how the Church works so to speak. In their minds, Catholicism is a man-made religion that we make up as we go along. For them God either doesn't exist, or they worship a God made in their own image and likeness. God wants us to be haaaapy, so he couldn't possibly will things that might make us unhaaaapy.

I expect this from them, but Catholics really ought to know better. Alas, they usually do not. They believe in the most basic dogmas such as Jesus Christ existing as a historical person and that he was the Son of God (usually.) Everything else is up for grabs. Jesus founded a visible Church (sometimes they don't believe this either) and then abandoned it to the tides of history and change. They too cannot accept that God's will could conflict with modern liberalism in any way. So in their minds, if the Church proclaims that she has no authority to ordain women as priests then the only possible reason is that some stubborn old misogynists in Rome are holding up the march of progress out of fear and loathing for the female sex. I'm always astounded when people claim the Church doesn't listen to women. Clearly people who believe that haven't darkened the door step of a Catholic parish in decades, if ever. Women pretty much run the Church bureaucracy in the United States.

In their minds, truth isn't really truth. The Church isn't an infallible guide to the Truth (who is a person) but the manufacturer of truth. It's another version of that old temptation to refuse to submit to any master except our imperial selves. We moderns tend to think of the Church as our search engine. If you don't know the answer to a question, just type whatever you want into the ecclesial Google and it will spit out the answer. We think of the Church exclusively as a teacher who only teaches in discursive terms. To be fair, we often reach this understanding through necessity. Lamenting the poor state of catechesis is a cottage industry these days because it's a real problem. We learn the faith through living it.

H/T: Father Z

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