“Watch out for ‘rigid’ and ‘devout’ seminarians…”
By Hilary White
The mistake the Franciscans of the Immaculate made was thinking they could continue to play Catholic within the structures of NuChurch.
I regret that things have come to such a pass in the Church that Catholicism, openly practiced in groups, is no longer tolerated. For a long time we could get away with maintaining the idea in our heads that the structural Church was a “big tent” in which the “chosen path” of one person was just as “valid” as any other. Under JPII we could even convince ourselves, (as long as we didn’t look too closely – and remembering that this was well before the innernet) that the ancient Faith was being restored and we just had to wait.
It’s pretty clear now that those days are behind us. We can play Catholic in the structural Church as individuals, but more and more I expect we will be like Christians in Saudi Arabia who have to be extremely careful to keep our Rosaries to ourselves.
I think the comment on YT under the video above from some guy identifying himself as “a liberal Catholic Franciscan” about sums up the whole error:
“I got to know some of the men in this Order over a number of years, I was deeply impressed with their prayer life and devotion, a great devotion to the Church and to Mary. I did however find them to be at times a little extreme in there own personal views of where the church is currently in both its theology and liturgy. Yet, all said, a bunch of great men,yes, a little obsessive, but who isn’t. Blessings to all of them that follow this path. I myself as a Liberal Catholic Franciscan have chosen another path, no less, no greater, just little different. Yet, still devotional and loving. Blessings. Brother Francis Mary. The Franciscan’s of the Cross. An Australian Order.”
Yes, that was the attitude. The people of a traditional mindset were barely and condescendingly tolerated on the theory that one “path” is as good as another. Some people tend to be “a little obsessive” but I guess that’s OK for them. And under this rubric of indifference Traditional Catholicism managed to survive and even grow in pockets here and there. The true Faith is like a mint plant; once it is allowed out of its container it won’t take long before it takes over the whole garden. Therefore, the bishops and Vatican under the last two popes were careful to ensure that it was always strictly contained. Still, you could find it if you really wanted it. You had to be “a little obsessive” but it was out there.
But with Francis’s latest comments on his intentions for seminaries, I think we can see that certain predictions are being brought into reality.
“There are often young men who are psychologically unstable without knowing it and who look for strong structures to support them. For some it is the police or the army but for others it is the clergy,” the pope said. However, the pope said he personally finds it worrisome when a priest takes pride in being extremely devout. “When a youngster is too rigid, too fundamentalist, I don’t feel confident (about him). Behind it there is something he himself does not understand. Keep your eyes open!”
“What will happen? Many Catholics are making the mistake of thinking this is an attack on marriage. No. This is an assault on the very foundations of the Faith itself: the Eucharist and the priesthood.
Once this principle is in place… nothing will survive. Not the teachings on the sanctity of life, the Marian dogmas, popular piety or devotions or any of the practices, traditions, doctrines or dogmas that form the deposit of the Faith itself.
The priesthood would be the first relic of the old Faith to be effectively destroyed. A decision to allow divorced and civilly “remarried” Catholics to receive Holy Communion would, for example, logically spell the end of the return to orthodoxy among young priests and seminarians…
What has been the most outstanding characteristic of this new breed of orthodox priest? Why, reverence for the Holy Eucharist of course. … And none of those men will be willing to commit the sacrilegious act of allowing public unrepentant adulterers to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Therefore, these priests who are the least bit unwilling, the tiniest bit hesitant to go along with the new orders could not possibly be allowed to carry on in ministry.
Even for parishes to have different Masses would be unacceptable; the idea of a separate Mass for unrepentant public adulterers would be as offensive as refusing Communion in the first place. No, it would be impossible to maintain such a “two-tier” system in which some priests willing to commit sacrilege could work side-by-side with those who refuse to abandon Christ.
In addition, no seminarian who indicated any hesitation on this “merciful” new practice of “tolerance” for “second marriages” could be allowed to be ordained. The whole trend of more orthodox and devout priests and seminarians, the “JPII” and Ratzinger generations, would come to an instant, screeching halt.
What were the specific areas where the “conservative” revival were most apparent? What is the one thing that nearly all of us have said, like a slogan or a mantra to make ourselves feel better? “The seminaries have been ‘cleaned up’ and are no longer ‘pink palaces’. Young seminarians are all of the ‘JPII and Benedict’ mould and one day will be the priests and bishops who will restore the Faith. We just have to wait.”
One thing, however, continues to be a relief to me. We are no longer playing the ridiculous old game of “Well your path is as good as mine, each to his own.” The powers in the Church have finally dropped that absurd facade. It is now their way or nothing. I’d say this is an improvement.