Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Evil of Conservatism

The reputation of  Godfried Cardinal Danneels lies in ruins - read this from Reuters.
Paedophilia is one thing, cover up is another. The problem seems to be bishops thinking of the Church of Jesus Christ in the same way as the directors of Enron on Lieberman Brothers.

As a young bishop Daneels was a lion of the left, pushing everything that was liberal and fashionably innovative, the trouble is that those who marry the fashionable find themselves a widow in the morning. The young liberal Daneels became the old conservative Daneels protecting with a passion the structures he had created.

The big problem in the Church today is "conservatism" which always tends to be about protecting the image of the Church the conservatives have created. We see it in the various magic circles of self selecting Episcopal Conferences throughout the world, or in bishops with a very fixed notion of a "diocesan profile" which excludes priests and others with a passion for radical orthodoxy. We see this sort of conservatism in those elderly groups who want to "Stand-up 4 V2", their own interpretation, or promote a "We are Church" agenda that of course excludes any concept of the Church that might contradict their own narrow and conservative construct.

One of the great problems with this type of conservatism is that is rootless, it has no depth, it is also deeply anti-intellectual, it talks continually about Church but rarely about Christ, it chatters about theology but never penetrates its depths, it is always anthropocentric and rarely theocentric. It is essentially Godless, it is neither bouyed up by the joy of the Resurrection nor fears Judgement.

No wonder the Pope seems to distance himself from the agenda of the conservative factions in the Curia and seems to promote those with some grasp or yearning for Radical Traditionalism.


Michael Petek said...

What is 'Radical Traditionalism'? It's not a term I've heard before.

And 'Stand Up 4 V2'. Wasn't that founded by Wernher von Braun?

gemoftheocean said...

"Conservative" my behind. CONSERVATIVES are orthodox believers who believe in sin. Diddling children has always been a sin. It's the LEFTISTS who constantly want to define deviancy down.

Put that label elsewhere in this matter, Father. Really, your lefty past just won't let go of you!

The left can't stand what they wrought, so they try and call it "conservative."

Just another mad Catholic said...

I agree with Father 100%.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Radical Traditionalism = Traditionalism as opposed to feel good small "t" traditionalism, which springs from the root/radice or basic doctrines of Trinity, Incarnation, Grace, the Cburch etc.
A sense of the Tradition which is life changing and demands a radical life change.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Gem I think your are too much into anti-Obamah politics and trying to impose your customary anti-socialistic slant on what I said.
Your's, not my intention.
Conservatism always wants to preserve structures, the Church is not a museum, it honours its history, but it is always dynamic. Hence the difficulties of Sodano, Re, P Marini and many others to comprehend what BXVI is about. Conservatives are those who want to preserve things at their own selected point in history, normally when they were young.
This is the whole problem with Liberalism. Daneels was a Liberal he has become a Conservative, he wants to conserve everything from a left wing political animas in the Church, to tie dyed chasubles but most of all the power strucures he himself created. Conservatives, at least within the Church con themselves and everyone else that amid wreck and ruin that all is well.
The left in the Church is now as Conservative as those who hanker for the return of Stalin in modern Russia.

Thomasso said...

Well said, Father. I'm with you completely.

Volpius Leonius said...

This is a god point here, conservatives are anyone who resist change in favour of preserving the status quo, and traditionalists by that definition are not conservative as they do not want things to stay the way they are at all but rather want a restoration of sorts which would actually involve a great deal of change from how things presently are.

The world has changed so much that people who label themselves conservatives are not really conservatives at all, they no longer want to conserve things the way they are but indeed want to make big changes to correct the many mistakes that with hindsight we can see have been made both within the Church and within society.

And the easiest way to do this is is the same as a man who finds himself suddenly amidst marshland, to retrace our steps until we return to solid ground and then pick a different path upon which to continue our journey, because if we continue obstinately on the current one we are going to perish.

santoeusebio said...

Is this not as Chesterton said?

The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the
Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Sorry Gem,
I deleted that, it was just an empty headed rant.

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Forget “conservatism,” please. It has been, de facto, operationally, Godless and therefore irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God both are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson’s Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

“[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth.”

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor,
Recovering Republican

SPQRatae said...

Excellent post, and I fully understand what you mean by conservative (with a small 'c'). Tony Blair used to make the same point (remember 'scars on his back' from dealing with the public sector?). When he talked about fighting conservatives, he meant the calcified, vested interests of the (il)liberal left establishment. An establishment that had/has plenty of useful idiots in the Church. Luckily, their power is waning.

gemoftheocean said...

How nice, Father, that the LEFTISTS amongst you aren't censored for *their* "Rants."

Fr Ray Blake said...

No Gem, quite a few don't get published but you are one person I generally tell why I haven't published your comment.

georgem said...

A very good summary, Father. I'm of the opinion that many people get stuck in the mindset circa 18-25yo. It's what some refer to as "emotional intelligence".
*If you want to get the measure of hate attacks on the Pope, just scroll down to the 4th comment in the Reuters piece and click on the link. See the title of the "song" in the right-hand column.
It's a classic example of a little-known/unknown group of has-beens picking up on the current temperature and trying to cash in.

gemoftheocean said...

Yes, and georgem, how convienient that the left is allowed to get away with calling arrested "emotional development" "Conservatism" because they can trash the word and use it as their playpen dumping ground. Nice.