"Spirit of Vatican II" Bashing
Somebody had to do it. It might as well be "NeoCaths"!
Catholic Pillow Fight, Against the Grain and North West Winds have fun fisking the "Spirit of Vatican II" himself, Fr. Joe O'Leary. In the citations that follow, all bold text belongs to Fr. O'Leary. The rest belong to the fiskers in question.
Tony Miller takes the first shots:
I remember back in June, a man I consider a friend was ordained. Our parish choir was lucky enough to be invited to the diocesan cathedral to provide the music for the ordination. At one point Fr. Kevin was asked by our Bishop: "Do you promise to obey me and all my successors"? He answered with a resounding "I do" that we could hear all the way up to the choir loft.Christopher Blosser then takes the baton:
I wonder if Fr. O'Leary took a vow like that, when he writes like this:
In a strong article in THE JAPAN MISSION JOURNAL, Autumn 2005, Edmund Chia draws attention to one of the most disturbing phenomena in Roman Catholicism today. He speaks of a younger generation that is "becoming more and more traditional and conservative in their thought patterns" and which Newsweek magazine refers to as the JP2 generation. Andrew Greeley discusses the same phenomenon under the heading "Young Fogeys" in Atlantic, Jan.-Feb. 2004.
Indeed the one person most responsible for bringing the Neocath generation into existence is John Paul II. I saw the beginning of it in Ireland at the beginning of October, 1979. When the Pope delivered the words, "Young people of Ireland, I bless you, I love you", the youthful crowd roared for twenty minutes until Fr Michael Cleary, the emcee, called on them to quieten down. Even amid the euphoria of Ireland's first papal visit, voices were raised to denounce this as crowd-manipulation. It is said that the Pope viewed the film of the scene over and over again in the Vatican.
The good father believes that loving his flock with a pure love is "crowd manipulation"? Father, do you believe that the crowds throwing branches down at Jesus' feet on Palm Sunday were victims of "slick marketing and crowd manipulation".
A stunning essay by Alberto Melloni, the distinguished Italian church historian, in a recent issue of RECHERCHES DE SCIENCE RELIGIEUSE, accuses John Paul II of making his voyages the main form of his magisterium, and substituting a cult of mediatic images for substantive educative communication. (The entire issue of the review, dedicated to the need of a new Ecumenical Council, is worth reading closely.) Throughout the world, the most visible face of Church and of Christianity for a quarter of a century was that of the travelling Pope, and his privileged target audience in every country was the youth.What psychological need drew them to this super-father-figure?
John Paul II thus bypassed and reached over the heads of the educated baby boomers, influenced by Vatican II, in order to address an audience who were a tabula rasa, and to communicate to them a world view that the Vatican II generation would find problematic on many points. His tactic recalls that of Mao in China. At the same time critical theology was ruthlessly discouraged and suppressed throughout the Catholic world. Fr Chia's article tells how this was done in Asia. The fates of Kung, Drewermann, Leukel-Schmidt, Curran, McNeill, Boff, Lavinia Byrne and many others are a tip of the iceberg of the same process in Europe, the US and Latin America. The more warmly the youthful crowd applauded, the deeper the intellectual chill that fell on the Church.
Interesting. St. Paul wrote letters. I believe if St. Paul lived today, he would buy TV time, he'd publish a mass produced journal and he'd have his own web page with blog (no comments section, though).
St. Paul would have shaken his head in amazement if he saw that he could reach millions of people at one time, as the Vatican did with Pope John Paul II's funeral.
In addition to a tribute to who I consider a great man (not a self serving crowd manipulator) non-Catholics all over the world had a chance to view an authentic Catholic mass. Not a Clown mass. Not a folk mass. Not a mass replete with "liturgical dancers" and hoards of "EME's", but an authentic Catholic mass. I would not be surprised if JPII's funeral brought thousands into the Catholic Church.
What is one to make of Fr. O'Leary? -- Is he the voice of the future? The real and genuine "spirit of Vatican II"? Are his postings that of a prophet, crying out in the wilderness?
I know a few "progressive" Catholic bloggers who might answer in the affirmative, while others would probably consider him something of a curiousity, the very epitomy of intellectual hubris and disgruntled liberalism, an endangered species floundering in the wake of a thriving and vibrant renewal of orthodoxy.
In any case, I find him rather entertaining and -- despite his comparisons of John Paul II to Chairman Mao -- occasionally throught-provoking.
So permit me to close this post by exending a virtual welcome to St. Blog's Parish -- that is to say, if he can tolerate the presence of us "young fogeys." Those who are so inclined may offer a couple rounds of the rosary for the rehabilitation of his keen intellect and the spiritual welfare of his soul, bringing to mind the wisdom of Thomas A' Kempis (The Imitation of Christ):
Restrain an inordinate desire for knowledge, in which is found much anxiety and deception. Learned men always wish to appear so, and desire recognition of their wisdom. But there are many matters, knowledge of which brings little or no advantage to the soul.
Not to be outdone, The Great Bard of the North unloads both barrels here:
His July ninth post is a work of snark to behold, so let the fisking begin!
John Paul II thus bypassed and reached over the heads of the educated baby boomers, influenced by Vatican II, in order to address an audience who were a tabula rasa, and to communicate to them a world view that the Vatican II generation would find problematic on many points. His tactic recalls that of Mao in China. [HAHAHA! Whoo-EEE! That's rich! Just call them Hitleryouth and be done with it.- ed.] At the same time critical theology was ruthlessly discouraged and suppressed throughout the Catholic world. Fr. Chia's article tells how this was done in Asia. The fates of Kung, Drewermann, Leukel-Schmidt, Curran, McNeill, Boff, Lavinia Byrne and many others are a tip of the iceberg of the same process in Europe, the US and Latin America. The more warmly the youthful crowd applauded, the deeper the intellectual chill that fell on the Church.
Intellectuals like to play with ideas but when they operate in a faith structure, there is an obligation to play with ideas in a search for truth. The faith is not a set of tinker toys to bash together in a vain effort to make sparks. Why should theology be more free form that physics? This stuff affects how people live. Getting it wrong has the potential to hurt, and to kill. JPII as Mao - get real, dude. Hey, what are your views on the BushHitler?
JPII and Benedict XVI were both a part of Vatican II; there is no reason for them to try and shut it down. As they have aged and grown wiser, they have tried to curb excesses of the time, such invoking always vague 'spirit of Vatican II' to browbeat anyone hesitant about the latest and greatest our supposed bettors have cooked up. We want to stick with the texts, which we hold to have specific meaning. In doing that, Ratzinger and Co. have chosen a direction that you disapprove of. Heaven's to Bestsy, how dare they! They obviously have no idea who you are.
In elevating some texts over others they are being true to the Council. Claiming that this is akin to 'fundamentalism' or some kind of fascism is absurd.
["Neocatholics"] often seem to yearn for an idealized church of Pius XII, a vibrant flawless Catholicism that never was.
The kids are bad because they listen to the Pope and not to "educated baby boomers." I see why that's not good for boomers but utterly fail to see why it's bad for the kids. I listened to boomers all through school, and in university, and I still hear them in the media and the workplace. I've had quite enough of them. You can keep that tired shibboleth about conservatives wanting a 'time that never was' too. We want to keep things we see as valuable, no matter what period they are from. What to keep and what to reject is an ongoing debate. Hey, is there any Pope you like? Or would that transgress your hermeneutics of suspicion?
The Neocaths tend to sexual puritanism. Appalled by the consequences of the sexual revolution, AIDS, abortion, cohabitation, adultery, divorce, pornography, they retreat to the strictest Catholic doctrine as an ark of refuge. They are very vocal advocates and practitioners of a strictly-interpreted concept of sexual fidelity, with a strong emphasis on procreative sexuality. They insist that masturbation is mortally sinful, and have an especial enthusiasm for the teaching that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered and that homosexual acts can never be countenanced. They denounce as apostasy a massive rejection of Vatican teaching among Catholics and call for bishops and priests to stand up against the tide of laxism instead of floating along with it.
You say this like it's bad...
Now, it's my turn!
Fr. O'Leary observes the alleged defiance of libel laws by "NeoCaths". Well, Father, Catholics that live in glass houses should not throw stones:
The Neocaths are ideological and political rightists. Issues of social justice never appear on their agendas and Church documents such as Populorum Progressio, Evangelii Nuntiandi, Octagesima Adveniens, Centesimus Annus are ignored. Their papolatry commonly goes hand in hand with Busholatry. They play down papal opposition to the Iraq War, torture and capital punishment. Some may be active on social issues, but in their internet polemics this is scarcely in evidence.Really, NeoCaths like Christopher Blosser ignore Centesimus Annus? Fr. O'Leary, do you know what "google" is? How about "Technorati"? You might want to try them some time. It tends to help even the careless commentors from becoming liable for libel. The Justice of the war in Iraq and Capital Punishment both remain matters of prudential judgement, not infallible doctrine. While I take the Pope's counsel seriously, I understand that others may differ in their judgement of the "facts on the ground". This doesn't mean they've dissented. As for the straw-man of torture supporter, I won't even dignify that with a response beyond noting it's absurdity. Documentation, please.
The Neocaths are very quick to denounce liberal Catholics as heretics. Authority looms very large in their mental world, and is indeed its dominant theme. However, authoritative documents, or early utterances of Joseph Ratzinger, that go against their reactionary convictions will be whittled away. This is notably true of Dignitatis Humanae and Gaudium et Spes.Yeah, you know us reactionaries. Always ready to light a good bonfire for those book-burnings. Pass the marshmellows! Actually, what many Faithful Catholics reject are specious interpretations of the Second Vatican Council that demonstrate no reasonable interpretation of Dignitis Humanae or Gaudium et Spes. These fallacious reasonings have led to less-than-Catholic doctrinal interpretation and pastoral practice. Find me someone besides a dyed-in-the-wool Sed Vacantist or RadTrad that denounces the texts of the Council in question. Oh, that's right. You can't.
The Neocaths believe strongly in Hell, and play down the views of Von Balthasar and John Paul II that we may hope the Hell is empty. They insist on the physical pain caused by hell fire. They invoke Hell against liberal or what they call "dissident" theologians and against those they consider sexually deviant.Alright! Set up those straw-men and then light that match! It's great to know that all of that Reasonable education hasn't made the man witless! Honestly, Father, have you read a single post of any blog besides Dr. Blosser's? Even there, have you found anything that even remotely justifies the insanity you just cited?
The Neocaths are joyfully uncharitable in their speech, trampling not only on political correctness but on the laws of libel.Glass Houses. Stones. See above.
When Fr. O'Leary stops foaming at the mouth with all of this wonderfully Foolable nonsense, perhaps he can actually consider the arguments he opposes. He might even gather a glimmer of truth. That would be wonderful. For it's sad to see a priest so taken in by the current darkness of the age. The Church deserves better than that.
Update: Fr. O'leary has rightly taken me to task for misspelling his name. Therefore, I've have changed the spelling of his surname, "Leary", to it's proper form of "O'Leary."