It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired. I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue. I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe. I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great.....
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The Antichurch Rises
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: What's wrong with this picture? Yes, these women are bishops. They were lawfully ordained, according to standards of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) and the Episcopal Church of Cuba.
I post this here tonight to call your attention to a developing trend not only in North America, but all over the world. As Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI, have moved the Catholic Church to the right, safely into the arms of historic orthodoxy, a new demand has been created. I'm talking about the demand of disaffected Liberal Catholics, who don't like the idea of historic orthodoxy. I'm talking about the so-called "Progressives" of the hippie generation who wanted the Catholic Church to endorse birth control, grant gay marriage, and ordain women to the priesthood. The Catholic Church has stood solidly against these things throughout the years with no sign of change. I've got to hand it to the hippies. A good number of them stuck around for a pretty long time. But their perseverance has not paid off. The Church now moves further to the right, and most of them feel powerless to stop it. In the coming years ahead, a good number of these people will be looking for something new.
While the papacy was beating off modern Liberalism with a stick, the "Progressives" found an open embrace in the Episcopal Church USA, as well as in many other Anglican bodies around the world. Within the Episcopal Church, many disaffected Liberal Catholics have found a home where they can have all the "smells and bells" of a vernacular "catholic" mass, without all that uncomfortable emphasis on Christian morality. In the Episcopal Church, female priests abound with a growing number of female bishops too. Their gay marriages can be blessed, and even a married man, who leaves his wife and children for a male lover, can not only remain a priest, but he can even be elevated to the level of bishop. In the Episcopal Church USA laymen can be treated to a morality of relativism, where the only thing absolute is the idea that there are no absolutes. All of this with a "catholic" veneer of course, filled with liturgical vestments, incense, and a "mass" that is virtually indistinguishable from the one currently used as the "ordinary" in the Roman Catholic Church. It's a perfect home for Catholics who are sick and tired of all the rules.
I suspect in the coming year, as the Episcopal Church crumbles and the Anglican Communion shatters, a new reality will emerge. The Catholic Church will become more conservative and orthodox, drawing in conservatives Christians from around the world, as Liberal Catholics start to bail out one by one. Some of them will move over to the Episcopal Church, where they'll feel quite at home, and it is possible that the ECUSA may actually experience a growth trend again. While there will never be a comparison in size to the US Catholic Church, Episcopalians have historically wielded a lot of influence over American politics. I'm sure the day will come when the Episcopalians and Catholics will go head to head over America's social issues.
When (not if) that day comes, what will Americans see on their television screens? They'll see two people wearing mitres -- one man and the other a woman. Both of them looking very "catholic" to the average American viewer. One espousing historic Christian morality, while the other preaching half-baked Liberal gobbledygook! Before every one's eyes, the world will see the Church vs. the Antichurch. What an interesting day that will be.