Sunday, July 20, 2014

Y'ad Think They Were Proddies For How They Hate The Pope

Recently a number of Katholic Krazie blogs have ceased publishing.  In one case, a deacon who maintained a blog was instructed by his bishop not to publish anymore.  In another, the blogger’s confessor suggested that she cease publishing at least temporarily for her own spiritual welfare.  In other cases bloggers of the Katholic Krazie persuasion have just give up, having become discouraged by the significant change of direction in which Pope Francis is taking the Church.  But there are some, fortunately for my entertainment value, who are resolved to slog on through this winter of their papal discontent in their determination to keep the Church on what they determine to be its orthodox track when we have Mad Max at the helm of Peter’s Barque.  Dymphna’s Road, a peculiar little blog from Virginia that more frequently is given to somewhat maudlin pictures than to serious thought, published a posting a few months ago “Screaming in Pain” about the plight of those Catholics who are struggling with the current Pope and his style.  It was quite mild and an honest acknowledgement that there are those in the Church who are bewildered by the current course. Janet Baker, the doyenne of the Katholic Krazies in the Washington Archdiocese, through her blog Restore DC Catholicism, published a response regarding “a lot of defeatist attitudes among bloggers and other Catholics” and exhorting them to keep up the battle against this papacy.  Janet, who was described to me by a priest from the Washington Archdiocese who has long been familiar with her, as “a deeply troubled soul” (which, in a prescribed tone of voice, is priest-code for “#*@$ing nuts”) and who apparently has caused more than her share of strife in the parish of Saint John Neumann in suburban Gaithersburg, recently published a new exhortation to her fellow bloggers in the Krazie Katholic Kamp to keep up their blogging in the face of “despondency, discouragement, and even cynicism.”  It sounds like the Krazies are settling in for a long, hard war against Pope Francis and the direction in which he is leading the Church.    There is a determined core ready to fight on, one of whom maintains the Boston-based blog recently re-named What Did the Pope Really Say?   
Our Boston Krazie, who is a kindred wacko to Janet, has migrated her blog through at least three re-incarnations now.  In the days when she was focused on getting President Obama out of the White House and Democrats out of Congress, she was Throw the Bums Out in 2010.  When she was unable to dislodge the forces of Satan in Washington, she changed the name of the Blog to The Tenth Crusade, a not-insignificant name given her near hysteria when the subject of Islam comes up.  She recently morphed again into What did the Pope Really Say?  By no means is this an homage to the Holy Father.  To the contrary: she has made it clear that she believes this papacy to be an absolute disaster. Each posting on the subject is more vituperative that the previous.  Here is how she sums up the pontificate:    
A counterfeit church where dogma and doctrine is forbidden and replaced with a battalion of washed up women and sissified men constantly distracting you from your pursuit of entering into deep mystical communion with Christ. These people don't have any idea what the whole thing is about. While we are running into the building where we put everything else out of our minds to concentrate on going to the mystical world where we are met and greated (sic) by angels and saints, Our Truine God, the Blessed Mother and we immerse ourselves - they're trying to find ways to plug into each other and grab something to help them overcome the sick feeling they have in their soul from sleeping with somebody they're not sacramentally married to. They've been coming to the parish for years and the priest has never told them what that feeling is all about and the only way to get rid of it.…Isn't this what the Pope is turning our religion into?
Attracting with a welcome wagon, withholding and undermining doctrine and the tools to get people into a state of Grace, ridiculing doctrine and dogma and turning it all into a welcome wagon so people can find a personal relationship with Jesus on Sunday morning after they roll off of their lovers?
There's nothing like a Sunday morning breakfast after having your adultery affirmed by your local Catholic priest. That kind of a 'personal relationship with Jesus' really gets your juices going for the week.

Golly Gee, she certainly has her agenda—and her suspicions about everyone else in Church.   She brings it home at the end of the post and explains her real concern..
My main concern is about how to get my own children/grandchildren/relatives/people/friends around the larceny. I'm feeling kind of resentful 'bout 'dat. For years, when Fr. SoandSo encouraged dissent and I flew the coop with them, I always had a Pope to point them towards to explain the mess on the ground and give them the ability to mentally process how to apply doctrine to the judgments they make every day when faced with temptations. It has all been turned upside down for them. That is what I am upset about and what I am focused on. The Pope has ripped my children from the intellect and sound judgment of Christ. Possibly for the rest of their lives. I couldn't be any more disgusted and upset about it.
The plight of the parent who sees their children and grandchildren abandoning our Catholic faith is heart wrenching, I certainly agree.  We see a legacy, a treasure that has been in our families for generations being discarded without a second thought.  But it isn’t Pope Francis who is to blame.  And it isn’t Vatican II.  And most likely it isn’t our parish priest.  Perhaps it could be our own narrow pharisaical pieties that present a Christianity that is most unattractive to the genuinely Christian heart—repulsive not for its doctrine but for its prejudice and self-righteousness.   I talk to people who have left the Church all the time—perhaps now they are Protestants, perhaps agnostics, perhaps just lazy about Sunday mornings—but almost invariably what has turned them off to the faith is the lack of charity on those who profess to be “good Christians.”  Sorry Granma, but the problem might just be you and not the Pope.   
Let’s go back to Janet from Restore DC Catholicism and see she what she has to say about Pope Francis.  In a particularly audacious attack on the Pope, Janet channels Sarah Palin (why am I not surprised?) and says “You Cannot Put Lipstick on a Pig.”  Janet’s attack is a response to Krazy-Katholic journalist Michael Voris, but the “Pig” she refers to is, of all people, Pope Francis. I never would have thought two years ago that once-oh-so-faithful Janet would be calling the Vicar of Christ a “Pig.”  But at least she capitalized it, which would perhaps show some lingering respect for the office if not the man.    Voris, for his part, is caught between his Krazy Katholic Konstituency and the fear—very real—that he will be publically silenced by Church authority.  While going after everything Pope Francis has stood for in his papacy, Voris is very careful not to attack the Holy Father himself.  As Janet points out in her rant, however, Voris will have soon to take sides or lose much of his following.  Janet’s conclusion: Moral of story? Pray that the pope learn from these disasters and take responsibility for what issues forth from his mouth. Real spiritual peril can result. Obviously Janet does not believe that Francis is a worthy successor to Saint Peter.
Perhaps the most offensive of the anti-papal blogs, and one that clearly believes that Francis is no successor to Saint Peter, is Mundabor’s Blog, the grumblings of a dyspeptic Englishman (ok, ok, I know, “dyspeptic” and “Englishman” is redundant; have you seen the movie Unfinished Song?).  Mundabor has been attacking Francis from the beginning of his papacy and has referred to the Pope as “a fool,” implied that Francis’ refusal to condemn gays indicates that he himself is homosexual, and that the Pope is an atheistic secular humanist rather than a faithful Catholic who offers a “man-centered” religion rather than Christocentric faith.   Mundabor derides “this disgraceful pontificate” for caving in to the values of modern society.  Here is a sample of his venom
I doubt Bergoglio reads the Gospel other than to try to extract some of the stupid, populist, socialist, childish, or simply unintelligible nonsense he regales us so often with. I know he very probably does not believe in God, does not think he will stand in front of his Judge, and does not care a straw about doing his job as a Pope is (sic) expected to do. But I do wonder: if Francis were – perhaps after drinking a grappa too much – to make an effort to read the Gospel seriously….
 The attacks on Francis, both personal and for his orthodoxy, have brought Mundabor right to the verge of sede-vacantism and perhaps it would be more honest of him to join those who believe the Chair of Peter is now empty rather than to have him constantly undermine the authority of the man who holds the office.   
There is more—plenty more—of anti-Francis material among these Katholic Krazies;  both more blogs and more diatribes from the various bloggers mentioned.  What does this barrage of anti-Francis material mean?  The neo-trads are losing ground in most quarters.  Several neo-trad blogs have mentioned that the move to restore the Pre-Conciliar liturgy seems to have reached its high water mark and that interest in the pre-Conciliar Rite is now in decline.  A stronghold of pre-Conciliar Catholicism is the Diocese of Arlington VA.  There are fifteen churches in the Diocese of Arlington where the TLM (Traditional Latin Mass/Tridentine Latin Mass) is offered every Sunday—representing about one parish in five.  Yet sources in the Diocese tell me that few, if any, congregations get more than 150 people and most get less than 100. This would represent less than 2.4 % of Sunday Mass goers in the Diocese.  Both bishops and priests who felt that Popes John Paul II and Benedict were steering the Church to the right and it was necessary to go along as that seemed to be the future, now feel that Pope Francis’ approach means a change in direction for the parishes as well.  “My parishioners are so enthused about Francis, I have no choice but to go in his direction,” said one Monsignor.  “I didn’t expect this resurgence of the old Vatican II mentality—but it is here, the faithful are on board, and frankly I am finding that it is bringing renewed energy to the parish.” 
I wouldn’t get my hopes up just yet that Francis’s vision of Church will prevail.  Popes come and go and as they do, the barque of Peter seems to rock a bit.  Francis is not a young man and shows signs of physical weakness.  The battles are not over; the victory of Vatican II is not yet won.  In fact, the neo-trads are digging in strong with conferences and congresses to keep their fans devoted to the cause of restoring all things to 1950.  They are well organized, well-funded, and ready for a long season in the underground.  Moreover time is on their side.  There is no missing the observation that a significant number of younger clergy, in many dioceses even a majority, are silently with them and ready to dig out the maniples and birettas at the first tolling the big bronze bell that hangs over the arch of the bells at St. Peter’s.  For those who are delighted that Francis has us back on course again, don’t take it for granted.  We need to use the time given us in this papacy build strong faith communities in our parishes.  We need to know the Conciliar Documents.  We need to know the various encyclicals and decrees. We need to continue to work on developing the Liturgical Prayer of the Church. We need to have a strong sense of mission and be committed to it.  Above all we need to be rooted in a strong spirituality founded in the Word of God and with a deep appreciation for the Sacramental Life of the Church.  The battles will be won not by those who have right on their side—or we would not have to worry—but by those who are best prepared. 

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