No more “conservatives”
Break on through to the Traddie side. You can do it.
This from the Irish Times is another example of how I’m right, have always been right, and always will be frickin right about the meaninglessness of the “conservative/liberal” narrative of the Church since Vatican II. And about the fact that Pope Francis is doing the work of the Lord in helping it, finally, to disintegrate completely.
“The Synod was clear that we need to be mindful of those who have begun new relationships and unions, and find sincere and truthful ways of welcoming and including them in the life and worshipping community of the church.”
Asked whether the church had any authority to speak about abortion or the merits of the Eighth Amendment, the Catholic Primate said: “There are many people who feel very strongly about this issue, and I think it’s very important that we hear that, we listen to it.
“Human life is the most fundamental right of all, and certainly we will try to continue to speak about that in a tender way, in a loving way, in a compassionate way.”
Eamon Martin, archbishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland and opponent of abortion. He’ll “try” to speak about abortion, but not in a mean or unpleasant way, you understand…
“But but but…” I can hear my former colleagues saying, spluttering in startled shock… “I thought he was a conservative!!!”
There. Are. No. Conservatives.
There. Are. No. Conservatives.
[come on, say it with me now… ]
There. Are. No. Conservatives.
Conservatives are a myth, created by the secular media.
They only exist in the newspapers.
The narrative you thought was reality is a lie.
There are no conservatives.
They don’t exist now, and didn’t exist then.
They have never existed.
One of the Big Lies of the post-conciliar period has been the framing of our discussions in terms of “liberals” and “conservatives” (with “Trads” being the perpetual outsiders that no one knows about) and the divvying up of various issues and theological positions between these two imaginary groups. This framework became the standard in the 80s where it was inserted into the Church in the US during the period when Catholics and Evangelical Protestants got together to do “Culture War” stuff in politics.
This is where the idea of a conservative/liberal divide seeped into the Catholic Church – many times brought in by politically conservative Protestants who converted to the Faith and became prominent professional “Catholic apologists” – and it was then perpetuated and solidified by the secular press.
This is also why it is mainly an American phenomenon, with a little spill-over into Canada. It’s not widely known in US Catholic circles, but there really are no “conservatives” of that kind in Britain. None in Italy. As far as I know, none in Germany or Belgium either. Other countries didn’t have the same political realities – there was no Culture War outside North America. So in those countries there are lots of Trads and there’s lots and lots and LOTS of heretics. This “conservative” category between these two just doesn’t exist outside the North American bubble.
The trouble with the terms even when they were useful was that they were moving targets. One could only be a “conservative” or a “liberal” in comparison to someone else. It was a sliding scale, and your position on it depended on where you were standing on the line – or who was standing next to you. So, a guy like archbishop Gomez got called a “conservative” (or sometimes an “archconservative” depending on who was doing the labelling) when he went to Los Angeles to take over for the uber “liberal” heretic Mahoney. And when Gomez would say or do something that was more in the “liberal” line of things, he was either excused or ignored by “conservatives” fearing to lose their spot in the narrative.
But it was the secular newspapers that set the person’s position on the scale. (No one had to worry about where the Trads were on this scale, because there weren’t any in episcopal or political circles… there still aren’t. Sorry, Burke/Schneider partisans, but there aren’t.) You were a “conservative” because a newspaper called you one. And the metric was always the big three: contraception, abortion and homosexuality (nobody ever cared about divorce). This was the only thing the newspapers cared about with regards to the Catholic Church; the beginning and end of Catholic teaching.
When it started, the political nature of the distinctions were often decried by Catholic writers talking about ecclesiastical matters, but nearly everyone used them, if often with a little apologetic disclaimer about the imprecision. The use of political terminology was always excused because it was a set of terms that everyone could readily understand. Which I suppose was true as far as it went.
But this is as far as it went; we’re at the end of it now.
In our times, the distinction no longer exists, as we can see from the “good conservative” archbishop of Armagh above. Eamon Martin is a “conservative” still to the secular press because he refuses to endorse baby-killing (and euthanasia to a lesser extent). But a bar so low is in fact buried. Take away the secular press narrative and you can see the reality is that he’s an Irish Modernist who is pushing what little scraps and remnants of Catholicism are left in Ireland to follow the pope over the cliff of his Kasperian heresy.
And this is the great contribution of the Francis pontificate. He has made it impossible for even the most determined to continue parroting this outdated, worthless and deceptive media-generated narrative that never had any place in the Church. The false and misleading categories have evaporated.
It was the collaboration of the Catholic intellectual political conservatives (think First Things) that really got the whole liberal/conservative narrative going, and helped to create both categories. While the secular press got to crown a Catholic bishop as “conservative” because he opposed baby-killing, it was the Catholic press that bowed down and swore allegiance. But in both cases, everyone was working off the same rules. The same metric. It was still whether you were or were not on board with the Big Three. Nothing else came into it.
The problem being, of course, that the bar set so low is meaningless, and a man like Eamon Martin, or Gomez or Chaput was called “conservative” with absolutely no consideration of their actual theology. No one noticed that huge swathes of Catholic teaching were simply being memory-holed. By the end of the second Conciliar decade, by, say, 1986, there were too few Catholics who remembered what the “Social reign of Christ the King” was to complain about its disappearance.
So while we were all busy following the lead of the secular press, no one noticed the resurgence of neo-modernism, Americanism, etc. after the Council. ALL THE BISHOPS… ALL. OF. THEM. had adopted and started forcefully endorsing concepts that were totally outside Catholic thought and doctrine. And no one noticed because the only thing anyone was counting was the abortion/contraception/homosexuality stickers. If you got enough of these attached to you, you were a “conservative” and it didn’t matter to anyone that you were in direct opposition to the Faith on any number of matters.
This allowed an entire cohort to use their authority as bishops to force these liberal political issues into the Church as a new Catholic theological orthodoxy. Each time, with an eye on Rome, barely skirting the edges of the Big Three, subtly or unsubtly signalling their covert support for the “liberal” heretical positions favoured by the press and the political class, while steering the Church further away every year from her perennial teachings on everything else.
This has been the big goal since the Council, ultimately to force the Church to drop religion entirely and become a political entity, the “God squad” or the religious office of the leftist political class. The effective takeover of the US episcopacy since 1965, through the machinations of men like Jean Jadot and Cardinal Bernardin and his buddies from the Camarillo mafia, by these religious heretics/political liberals, has led the public to conclude that these liberal political positions are in fact theological Catholic orthodoxy.
Then along comes Francis, who has made it abundantly clear that no further winks or nods are necessary. Those who have long loathed the Catholic Church for its opposition to the Big Three are throwing off their masks. And those who may be “personally orthodox” on the Big Three but who are to their core company men who will never break ranks, even when the entire troop is heading for the cliff, will go over it.
Eamon Martin isn’t going to tell the Irish Times that the Church now supports or allows people to divorce and get married a second time. He’s not going to come right out and say such people should be offered Holy Communion. He’s never going to say that two men living together in a parodic mockery of natural marriage should be called “married”. He’s never going to say that abortion is fine.
But he’s a company man, who is going to use this kind of vague, evasive, essentially political language, terms that can be taken as perfectly orthodox if you squint and assiduously ignore the context, but are in fact obvious signals to Rome that he’s on board, that he’s a good company man who isn’t going to break ranks.
Take a look again at the terms he uses: “those who have begun new relationships and unions…” and so generously offering to listen to the “many” people who “still” “feel strongly” about baby-murder… He’ll “try to continue to speak about it…”
The blatant signalling, using the Francidian term “tender” that appears so regularly in the pope’s own locutions. This little speech might as well be a telegram to the pope, “I’m not going to get in your way.”
This “conservative” is a man who will never, EVER confront Jorge Bergoglio on his manifest and manifold heresies, his habitual blasphemies, his lies, his hatred for and aggression against the Faith and the faithful. Eamon Martin will follow the rest right over the cliff, to prove what a good company man he is.
His orthodoxy, such as it is, is meaningless. This is the final result of “conservative” novusordoism.