Monday, 1 June 2015
Injustice in the Church
I read with dismay of the saga wherein a cleric of this Diocese threatened to sue a blogger for calling him out on at least repeating the idea that the Holy Spirit is feminine. I have not seen what Father feels were personal insults by the blogger, and indeed I hope they were not insulting (which would lack charity). I have read her posting as it is now and can see nothing insulting in it, and the lady herself says she has removed nothing from the post following Father’s threat of legal action. Amidst today’s’ fixation with ‘loving everyone’ (being ‘nice’ to everyone), knowledge of what true love is (caritas, agape) will be lost if we start suing each other for acts of fraternal correction; acts which foster orthodoxy and holiness in another soul.
The lady blogger is not alone in getting into hot water with the clergy; I myself was described as ‘disruptive’ for questioning two priests who, while instructing a Catechists group, said that mortal sins need not be confessed in kind and number (which runs contrary to CCC #988, and Pope St John Paul II’s Misericordia Dei, #3). I’ve also heard first-hand accounts of laity feeling publicly rebuked by clerics for attempting to receive Holy Communion on the tongue.
While discussing marriage and sexuality at a later meeting of the same group, other instructors and indeed participants, were praising the 2014 Synod on the Family for seeking to change teachings and disciplines on marriage, sexuality and the reception of Holy Communion, accusing the Church of having formerly “used the Eucharist to punish the divorced and remarried”. I was compelled by conscience to ask, “But how does this fit with 1650 in the Catechism (“If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities...”) which repeats the Lord’s words that to divorce and marry another is to commit adultery?” One cleric told me to “consider the fact that our Lord gave Judas the Eucharist at the Last Supper”; I was then asked by a participant, “And what about during the feeding of the five thousand? I wonder how many of those were in second marriages?” I pointed out that this was not the Holy Eucharist since this was not instituted until the Last Supper, which was dismissed as incorrect.
What these examples seem to show is that clergy and educated laity appear to care little for orthodoxy and orthopraxis; they would rather follow the world’s idea of mercy (which is to simply ignore the sin or even call it ‘good’). What is more, it seems that such clergy and educated laity are the ones chosen to undertake teaching roles; those priests and laity loyal to the Faith being ‘passed over’ (it is rare in my experience for orthodox folk to be invited to lead educational sessions). It may well be true that as Father Dickson says, the authorities of today are good-hearted men who believe they are serving the cause of God, and I myself would not doubt that. But good will does not excuse acting contrary to the Faith as taught in the Catechism or ignoring Canon Law. After all, one cannot stand before God claiming degree and doctorate training as the excuse for bad teaching when Holy Mother Church has clearly taught the Truth. Can there be a pleading of invincible ignorance there?
I am growing tired of the oppression faithful Catholics receive from the Church. I have personally witnessed this numerous times and been on the receiving end more than once myself; even from those who claim to be “open to the gifts of young people” ; urging others to be the same (it seems to me that the gifts they speak of are those of making the liturgy entertaining or of reducing moral teaching to the ignoring of personal sin to tackle social injustice). Sadly, those liberals who cry ‘injustice’ are often unjust and uncharitable to their own (faithful) Catholic brethren.
I cannot help but ask myself why priests and laity who flout liturgical Norms and teach contrary to the Catechism go unchallenged and are -it seems- rewarded by being given teaching positions. I’m not saying that everything they teach is wrong or that there are not other ways of getting doctrine and law across, but it is never acceptable to defy Canon Law or contradict the Catechism when teaching the teachers.