Is Secularism To Blame For Church Crisis?editor
The following conversation took place recently, between our blogger Petrus and a Glasgow priest. The identity of the priest really doesn’t matter. Since Petrus was not speaking to him on behalf of Catholic Truth we decided not to publish his name. In any case it could be any priest in Glasgow and, indeed, beyond. Given the confused mind of the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith evident in this interview, it’s no wonder that the clergy are mixed up.
PETRUS IN CONVERSATION WITH A GLASGOW PRIEST…
PETRUS: I go to Mass at a chapel of the Society of Saint Pius X. Am I a Catholic in good standing?
FATHER: Well, it’s really an issue of Church law.
PETRUS: It’s not an issue of Church law. The Vatican have said that the laity fulfil their obligation by going to a Mass at the SSPX chapels. Canon Law says that any Catholic Rite fulfils our obligation. So, am I a Catholic in good standing?
(Father nods his head in agreement)
FATHER: Yes, I suppose you are.
PETRUS: Do you accept that there is a crisis in the Church?
FATHER: Yes, I do, but it wasn’t caused by the Second Vatican Council.
PETRUS: But didn’t Pope Paul VI say just after the Council that from some fissure the smoke of Satan had entered into the Church?
FATHER: The Council didn’t cause the crisis.
PETRUS: Well, Cardinal Ratzinger said it was only a pastoral Council but had come to be regarded as some sort of super dogma.
FATHER: Well, if he said that….it wasn’t just a pastoral Council.
PETRUS: It defined nothing.
FATHER: But the Deposit of Faith cannot change.
PETRUS: True. So why did certain Church teachings become obscure at the Council and why were things that were condemned previously suddenly allowed?
FATHER: I don’t accept that.
PETRUS: What about ecumenism?
FATHER: The teaching on Ecumenism didn’t change, it was updated for our times. Pope Francis said at the beginning of his pontificate that we had to be meek. Sitting in a room discussing things is much more productive.
PETRUS: But weren’t Catholics forbidden from worshipping with non-Catholics before the Council?
FATHER: Yes, but it’s faith in Christ and faithful to his prayer that the Church may be one.
PETRUS: Isn’t the only way that can happen is for those outside the Church to convert? Isn’t the Catholic Church the one, true Church?
FATHER: Of course.
PETRUS: So isn’t the most charitable thing to do is to explain that outside the Church there is no salvation?
FATHER: Well, perhaps we should be preparing for the Second coming.
PETRUS: But surely the only way to prepare is to be united to Christ’s bride, the Catholic Church?
FATHER: Of course.
PETRUS: The ecumenical movement leads to indifferentism. In fact it is completely orientated towards Protestantism.
FATHER: There could be some truth in that.
PETRUS: So what is the point? Surely we should be making the teaching of the Church explicit? For example, would you discuss the Real Presence or the Rosary in the company of Protestants?
FATHER: I do do that.
PETRUS: The ecumenical movement causes Catholics to lose their faith. The Church is in crisis, Father. The Second Vatican Council is a bog problem. What’s your solution?
FATHER: I don’t agree it’s a problem. I said earlier that it didn’t cause the crisis.
PETRUS: What did?
FATHER: Secularism. That’s why ecumenism can help. We can join together with other Christians to combat secularism and moral problems.
PETRUS: But haven’t the Protestant groups moved further away on moral issues? The Anglicans are ordaining homosexual bishops and the Church of Scotland are blessing civil partnerships.
FATHER: The leadership of these churches might have moved further away, that’s true.
PETRUS: So, ecumenism is utterly pointless?
FATHER: Well, other people will not sit in the same room as Catholics.
PETRUS: Let’s get back to the crisis. What’s the solution?
(Father points to a crucifix)
FATHER: He’s the solution. We should focus on the cross.
PETRUS: Well, (compare) the Traditional Mass (with) the New Mass. Doesn’t the Traditional Mass make the Sacrifice of Calvary more explicit?
FATHER: Absolutely not. I reject that.
PETRUS: Doesn’t the way of receiving Holy Communion in the Traditional Mass make the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence clearer than receiving Communion in the hand?
FATHER: Not at all. Anyway, many more sins are committed with the tongue.
PETRUS: But Father think of the particles being dropped.
FATHER: When I divide the Host particles go up into the air.
PETRUS: But the Church puts procedures in place to minimise this. Communion in the hand multiples it.
FATHER: I don’t agree.
PETRUS: Another sign that priests and people are utterly confused is that anyone and everyone can and does receive Communion, even public sinners.
FATHER: Now you are sounding Jansenist. We can’t say who is worthy and who is not.
PETRUS: Well, if you know someone is a public sinner – in a homosexual relationship or living with a partner outside marriage, would you still give them Holy Communion?
FATHER: What do you want me to do? Embarrass them publicly?
PETRUS: But you are charged with protecting the Sacrament from abuse. You permit that person to commit another mortal sin by making an unworthy Communion.
FATHER: I’m trying to encourage them and help them.
PETRUS: Well you can do that in private by explaining why they can’t receive Communion and how they can mend their ways.
PETRUS: Father, what are the fruits of the Second Vatican Council?
FATHER: A greater awareness of the church’s catholicity. Before the Council not many people knew the eastern Catholic Churches existed.
PETRUS: Is that all?
FATHER: No. A greater understanding of the universal call to holiness.
PETRUS: Was this lacking before the Council? Didn’t the Legion of Mary do this very well?
FATHER. Yes, of course they did.
PETRUS: Father, the Church was in a position of strength before the Council. Look at it now. Priests and religious have abandoned their vocations.
PETRUS: Seminaries are closing, Mass attendance is plummeting.
PETRUS: There’s terrible confusion. People are ignorant of the Church’s teaching. They aren’t being catechised.
FATHER: That’s not true of everywhere.
PETRUS: So, there has been a decline since the Council. I can only see bad fruits.
FATHER: I disagree. END