A little bread and wine can’t hurt you…
Here’s an interesting The Week thing about the Cardinal Sarah kerfuffle.
This is the main virtue of the ad orientem posture. It says, loudly and clearly, “This is not about you.” The Mass is supposed to be about God — an act of worship of God. The priest does not have “his back to the people,” traditionalists say. He faces in the same direction as the rest of the people: toward God, to worship Him.
Saying “It’s not about you!” is a message that is counter-intuitive in a culture that is overly invested in affirmation and self-centeredness. This explains why this conservative Catholic practice turns off so many people. It also explains why it’s so needed.
It’s been fun watching the various bishops issuing their own statements slamming the cardinal. “I trust we’ll never have any of that weirdo ad orientem stuff in this diocese!” It’s what subordinates in an ideological state do when they want to signal the leadership that they’re onside.
I had a nice non-Catholic lady on FB today asking what the big deal is. I sent her to the Fisheaters site to get her started on general Catholic liturgical issues. She’s got a steep learning curve ahead.
I’m still not really all that interested. But this little line in The Week thing reminded me of an interesting conversation I had once with a Canadian archbishop…
“Only a few nerds and wacko birds even seem to care about this stuff.”
Yep, and apparently the people in the Vatican and their toadies in the national conferences who are so interested they’re willing to publicly humiliate a curial cardinal over it to make sure the liturgical practice never, ever goes back.
I once was having a conversation with my archbishop friend about the whole Communion in the Paw thing. He said something like, “Man, people get themselves worked up over such dumb things…”
I said, “Yeah. The people who lied, cheated, clawed and sold their souls to get the change of practice into place really got themselves worked up about it. And it’s funny how the only people who think it’s important are us Traddie weirdos and the people who will fight like a pack of rabid dogs to make sure the change stays good and changed.”
This is something that has been interesting about this whole disaster. The only ones who think the Communion-for-divorced-and-remarried is important are the notorious proggie heretics like Kasper, and the Trads…
… and the secular media who have hooked onto it from the first day. These three groups seem to be the only ones who understand what these things mean.
Apparently, we’re the only ones who have a notion of what the fight is really about.
And what the stakes are.
Also, here’s that quote from Ganswein (who at this point I think is just messing with us) where he says, no, the official magisterium of the Catholic Church doesn’t come in “vague footnotes”. It’s what people seem to be highlighting in that interview.
But the whole quote, talking about the two popes, will take your breath away:
“I have already asked myself the question; and I still affirm according to all that, what I see, hear and perceive. With regard to the principles of their theological convictions there is definitely a continuity. Of course, I’m also aware that there might occasionally be doubts cast by the different ways of representation and formulation. But when a pope wants to change something in teaching, he must say it clearly, so that is also authentic. Important teaching concepts can not be changed by sub-sentences or something openly formulated in footnotes. The theological methodology in this regard has clear criteria. A law that is not clear in itself, can not bind. The same is true for theology. Magisterial statements must be clear if they are to be mandatory. Statements that allow for different interpretations, are a risky business.”
“The certainty that the pope was considered a pillar of strength, as the last anchor gives way, is starting to slip in fact. Whether this perception corresponds to reality, and reproduces the image of Pope Francis correctly, or if this is more a media concoction, I can not judge. Uncertainties occasional confusions and a muddle, however, are growing.”
I can’t figure Ganswein, but I think I’m confused by him in the same way I’m confused by modern churchmen in general. How at this stage of catastrophic disintegration can they still be so utterly insouciant about it all?
I’ve had quite few conversations with laypeople who interact with their doctrinally orthodox priests who report it over and over. The “good” men seem to have absolutely no notion at all of how serious it all is. One of my interlocutors was asked, “Why do you care so much about this, anyway? What has it got to do with you?”