Monday, May 29, 2006

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A bad impression

A lot of traditionalists and sometimes non-trad conservatives will complain that the American bishops only crack down on dissent that, well, isn't liberal. They conclude simply that a lot of American bishops don't like Catholic tradition.

But this doesn't explain the exact character of these "crack-downs". Take, for instance, the word "schismatic". Bracketing the question of the actual ecclesiastical state of the SSPX and people who attend their masses, isn't it odd that these are apparently the only schismatics left? I've heard the Old Catholics and Polish Catholics occasionally referred to as schismatics, but Eastern Orthodox and Protestants? They're our separated brethren, doncha know.

Likewise, here's an example, not from a bishop (or an American) but exemplifying the same phenomenon: 'Kneeling "is clearly rebellion, grave disobedience and mortal sin," Father Martin Tran, pastor at St. Mary's by the Sea, told his flock in a recent church bulletin.'

Again, words like "grave disobedience", "mortal sin", they tend to have fallen from the limelight in the last few decades...except when it's time to take care of those weirdo trads.

If someone simply decides to abandon the old, honest language of Christians then he is following the logical implications of his theological opinions; they may be wrong opinions, but this is completely different from abandoning words like "mortal sin" or "schism" or "obedience" except as a tool for dealing with those people who still believe in that stuff. I am not a mind reader and I don't know if that's what bishops and priests are really thinking when they do this sudden switch to "pre-V2-speak", but it certainly gives the impression of such an appallingly cynical way of thinking.