Do You Believe in God?

If given an audience, and the latitude to speak candidly, that’s the query I would pose to the current Bishop of Rome. And not to him alone. A polling of the synod and protestant leaders would also be illuminating. Despite glib appearance, it’s not meant as a disingenuous question. I understand these men conduct their rituals with an aptly somber mien. I understand they value the tradition of their liturgies. I understand that most are gravely serious about the church. But are they serious about God? If so, behavior belies the conviction.

Anti-Gnostic was discussing a similar topic recently and opined:

“The Church is fading because she frankly offers nothing to people that any other positive, purportedly compassionate movement–such as political liberalism–does not.”

I agree. It’s counterintuitive, and thus eschewed by church leadership, but swimming with the social current costs the church far more flock than it accrues. This from no dynamic any more exotic than bland surfeit of choice. The church has quietly, but steadfastly, trundled along behind the right side of history. That trajectory having arrived squarely, for the moment, on liberalism. And liberalism is everywhere. It is the media, business, sports, and education. To merely engage one’s senses is to absorb it through osmosis. Any corner of the house offers a comfortable venue to marinate in liberalism. And so what is the utility of traipsing toward a steeple to hear some round-faced middle-ager in antique vestments tell me to empower women and feed Africans? I’m already well advised.

Though others possibly not. AG’s remark drew an indignant rebuke:

“Apparently, the Body and Blood of Christ doesn’t count as something.”

That is to say: The church doesn’t exist for just sanctified socializing. It is a conduit to Christ. Alas, mere pontiffs aren’t so pedantic. I offered a response:

“Apparently, the Body and Blood of Christ doesn’t count as something.”

The leadership of the church should answer to that. How conscientious has been their stewardship of that Body and Blood? As an outside observer, it appears almost mockingly unserious. Though perhaps if I understood doctrine and dogma better, it would bring the church into favorable light. So here’s my questions.

Is God infallible? Omniscient? If both, do congregants suffer any logical discomfort at the notion of a perfect, all-knowing entity actually *changing his mind? As Divine Indecisiveness is required to embrace a deity whose positions evolve.

But if God doesn’t change his mind, then the church’s assiduous shadowing of social fashion is an expression of man alone. And if the church is merely an institution of man, whose body and blood does it purport to represent?

I don’t know the answer to that, but am heartened to hear of others who are asking.

Rogue Catholic bishops plan to grow schismatic challenge to Rome

Two renegade Catholic bishops plan to consecrate a new generation of bishops to spread their ultra-traditionalist movement called “The Resistance” in defiance of the Vatican, one of them said at a remote monastery in Brazil.

French Bishop Jean-Michel Faure, himself consecrated only two weeks ago by the Holocaust-denying British Bishop Richard Williamson, said the new group rejected Pope Francis and what it called his “new religion” and would not engage in a dialogue with Rome until the Vatican turned back the clock.

Consecrated by the holocaust-denying Richard Williamson? Why not the bearded Richard Williamson? Or the jovial Richard Williamson? Any of the three descriptions would hold equal import to Christian theology.

Williamson and Faure, who were both excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church when the former made the latter a bishop without Vatican approval, are ex-members of a larger dissenting group that has been a thorn in Rome’s side for years.

Their splinter movement is tiny – Faure did not give an estimate of followers – but the fact they plan to consecrate bishops is important because it means their schism can continue as a rebel form of Catholicism.

“We follow the popes of the past, not the current one,” Faure, 73, told reporters on Saturday at Santa Cruz Monastery in Nova Friburgo, in the mountain jungle 140 km (87 miles) inland from Rio de Janeiro.

The popes of the past. Yes, I’m quite partial to Urban II

Asked what the new group called itself, Faure said: “I think we can call ourselves Roman Catholic first, secondly St Pius X, and now … the Resistance.”

The Society of St Pius X (SSPX) is a larger ultra-traditionalist group that was excommunicated in 1988 when its founder consecrated four new bishops, including Williamson, despite warnings from the Vatican not to do so.

It rejected the modernizing reforms of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council and stuck with Catholicism’s old Latin Mass after the Church switched to simpler liturgy in local languages.

There’s no small amount of mortal arrogance required to enact “reforms” in context of interpreting and worshipping a perfect, timeless deity. Though the opening of language seems to be a fairly innocuous example.

Former Pope Benedict readmitted the four SSPX bishops to the Catholic fold in 2009, but the SSPX soon expelled Williamson because of an uproar over his Holocaust denial.

In contrast to Benedict, Pope Francis pays little attention to the SSPX ultra-traditionalists, who claim to have a million followers around the world and a growing number of new priests at a time that Rome faces priest shortages. Their remaining three bishops have no official status in the Catholic Church.

Faure said the Resistance group would not engage in dialogue with Rome, as the SSPX has done. “We resist capitulation, we resist conciliation of St Pius X with Rome,” he said.

Faure said he was not sure what it would take for Rome to return to its old traditions but conflict could be a catalyst.

“If there is another World War … maybe the Church will go back to the way it was before,” he said.

The prior of the monastery, Thomas Aquinas, explained the split simply: “The Pope is less Catholic than us.”

I get the impression the Pope, like most liberal Christians, considers himself a man of Good more than a man of God. The latter having failed to keep pace with the former. And though knowing nothing more about this group than what appears above, I empathize with the motive. Across the West the institutions of man have fallen from purpose. The men of the church no different. Maybe these few exiles will guard their flame. It will be needed after the flood of tears.

* I understand that a great deal of ink has already been spilled examining this subject. Much more of it in service of rationalization than reasoning from my observations.

9 thoughts on “Do You Believe in God?

  1. Christian Zionism, at least, is still going strong, and I would argue does offer something “to people that any other positive, purportedly compassionate movement–such as political liberalism–does not”. What other religion is going to give you a get-out-of-Hell-free card when your weapons of mass destruction don’t show up? End Times is a license to kill and save the Holy Land in the bargain. Are feminism and environmentalism offering that?

  2. There’s not much a single member of the laity can do about a bad pope. And Francis isn’t the first bad pope to plague the Church.

    My main worry with the Argentinian is gauging just how anti-Catholic he’s going to turn out to be. I tend to hold to the theory that the Church has been deeply – deeply – infiltrated since, at the latest, the 1940s. The widespread and thorough planting of the seminaries with homosexual subversives was more or less complete by the 50s, which, in my view, explains well enough the spate of pederasty scandals that rocked the hierarchy in the 40 year period after that. But Francis could do so much worse, if he has a mind to do so and enough of an opportunity.

    And I fear if he’s defeated at the October synod he may become even more rash, even more desperate to achieve what his liberal supporters desire. As the Grand Master Raffi of the Grand Orient masonic lodges remarked: “With Pope Francis, nothing will be the same again.”

  3. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/04/03) | The Reactivity Place

  4. You mean Urban II, the man responsible for unimaginable bloodshed?

    I’m not sure if you noticed, but conquering places was a thing in the middle ages. Your people did it too. You have no moral higher ground here.

  5. I am compassionate to the plight of the Western Church, but things like this do make me glad I’m Orthodox. So long as the disgusting Atlanticist powers don’t install puppets in Russia, I’m golden.

    I cannot remember who it was, but I watched a video with a now-excommunicated priest who talked about Sedavacantism and the despair he felt that there was no way to restore a Traditionalist Pope, because the Modernist Popes have appointed their own cardinals. I think there is still hope for Catholicism, you see it in the sparks of rebellion among those from, say, Poland, and Catholic Trads. But they have a lot of work to do.

    For Christians in the United States, as Indiana has already proven, you will have no success in trying to work with the current elite. Your new appeal could come from disregarding them totally and setting yourself as a truly radical countercultural force. That does mean excommunicating Nancy Pelosi and denouncing secularism itself. Make them remove the tax exempt status. It will only prove our point. Democracy is a lie.

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