THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In the early part of 2007, some Catholic bishops in Europe (particularly France) threatened to break with Rome if the pope liberalized celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, otherwise known as the "Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite."
On July 7th, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI liberalized celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in his motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum. In spite of all their threats, not a single dissenting bishop left the Church.
A few bishops are now making similar threats about the lifting of the four SSPX excommunications, and their impending full reconciliation with the Church. This time they are aided by Leftist activists both inside and outside the Church, along with willing accomplices in the mainstream news media. A few have called on the pope to resign. Some are calling his actions "destructive," and one has even said the pope is making the Church into a "sect," by embracing the SSPX. One modernist theologian, Rev. Hans Kung, actually said Barack Obama would make a better pope than Benedict XVI. Such open rebellion against a reigning pontiff is unprecedented in modern times. Compound this with the rival convention of modernist Catholics in the United States in 2011, and what we have here is the perfect recipe for a modernist schism with the Roman Catholic Church.
Oh if only we should be so lucky! No longer would the general Church have to concern itself with these liberal hacks. They would simply excommunicate themselves, and expel themselves from our midsts. Wishful thinking? I'm afraid so.
I find it humorous that moderates and traditionalists within the Church actually worry about schism with these people. They caution about not taking any sudden action, or making radical changes, for fear that there might be a schism with the modernists. What a joke! Modernists don't leave churches - they ruin them!
The funny thing about modernists, liberals, progressives (whatever you want to call them), is that the only thing they're really good at is complaining, throwing tantrums and making idle threats. Very few of them have the courage to actually back their words with action. They say they'll break with Rome, to which we could only hope they would, but so far they've never done it. Modernists are far more content to remain as dissident Catholics. Something about protest invigorates them. Something about "being different" makes them feel special. I dare say that most of them wouldn't know what to do if they actually joined a religious institution that agreed with them.
There is nothing new about modernist arguments. They've already won in parts of the Protestant world. Let's take for example the Episcopal Church USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada. Both of them essentially "catholic" in practice. One could scarcely tell the difference between an Episcopal/Anglican mass and a Roman Catholic mass according to the ordinary form. Many Episcopalians/Anglicans keep Catholic customs, such as the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross. They have their own Divine Office, and some even have a profound devotion to Mary. Yet when it comes to social issues, the Episcopal Church USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada, are essentially "modern" or "liberal" in their approach. For starters, they permit female priests, even women bishops. All clergy can be married, and of course, being gay is okay. In fact, it's even celebrated in some Episcopal/Anglican parishes with gay weddings and the ordination of gay clergy. The issue of abortion is considered a personal matter in these churches - a matter of private choice. Artificial birth control is not only permitted, but even recommended sometimes, and divorce is no big of a deal in these churches. Many Episcopal/Anglican beliefs are shall we say "flexible," allowing for differences of opinion on so many issues. They consider themselves "catholic" in the general sense, some even going so far as to call themselves "Anglo Catholic." The Episcopal Church USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada, have provided this kind of "catholicism" for some 40 years now. Yet there have been no mass conversions from the Catholic Church. The Episcopalians/Anglicans have in essence offered modernist Catholics everything they've ever asked for. They've handed it to them on a silver platter. All they need do is drive a little further down the street on Sundays to the local Episcopal/Anglican Church. Yet that hasn't happened, at least not in large numbers.
So why hasn't that happened? Why no mass exodus of modernist Catholics to the Episcopal/Anglican churches? I think the answer if fairly simple. Modernist Catholics have no desire to really get what they want. They just enjoy protesting. They enjoy the process of trying to "change the world," but are dissatisfied once that change has been realized. Stop and think about it for a moment. The modernists wanted the mass in the vernacular languages. They got more than what they asked for in the ordinary form of the mass, wherein Pope Paul VI allowed for a complete change of the missal, which opened the mass up to all kinds of liturgical innovations. You would think the modernists would be pleased with these changes. Was that good enough? No. So the national councils of bishops began allowing for alter girls, female lectors and female eucharistic ministers. Was that good enough? No. So local parishes began redesigning their chapels to look more "modern," taking their central focus off the eucharist, and placing it on the people. Was that good enough? No. The list goes on and on. Every time the modernist Catholics make a demand, the Church bends over backwards to accommodate it. One would think the modernists would be appreciative. No. They just demand more changes. Meanwhile the Episcopal/Anglican churches offer them everything they demand, and then some, yet they don't switch over. (I'm sure that's got to be frustrating for the Episcopalians/Anglicans!) Why? Like I said, I think modernist Catholics are just more interested in protesting than anything else. I guess these children of the 1960s and 70s counterculture just have nothing better to do.
To any modernist, liberal or progressive Catholic who might be reading this, 'The Catholic Knight' would like to offer a challenge to you. Why don't you surprise us all and actually practice what you preach? Why don't you just shock us, and actually make good on your threat to leave us? There is an entire "catholic" denomination that's been waiting for you for 40 years now. It's called the Episcopal Church USA, the Anglican Church of Canada, and even the Church of England. Why not just show us all what you're made of and start going there? The most recent actions of this pope, coupled with the stubborn refusal to "change" by the previous Pope John Paul II, should have sent a clear signal by now. The Catholic Church is not going to "reform" in the way you want it to -- not now, not ever! So are you really serious about what you say? Or is it just a lot of hot air?
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.....