Sunday, October 18, 2015

A National Church #1

I suppose that we might continue to sing, "Unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam" but as 'diversity' increases as the new fashion, then possibly we should be singing about believing in "multas ecclesias". This argument about 'one' and 'many' has been going on since I was a seminarian, it was the urs-argument between Ratzinger and Kasper, and although Ratzinger's raising to the Apostolic throne seemed to show the triumph of the 'one' camp, yesterdays speech by the present incumbent shows that there is victory for Kasper and Germany, who follow the 'many' camp. Apparently there have been rather grand banquets in Cdn Marx's grand Rome palatio, whether these are to scheme or celebrate the victory, no-one knows.

So here we are back in the 1970s arguing about the position of deckchairs and looking 'ad intra', returning to the 'safe' squabbles that distract from the Church's teaching and mission, and will be consumed for many years by the churches policies. Rather than having one leprous court in Rome, each Episcopal Conference, each Metropolitan will have their own leprous court, with their own highly paid leprous courtiers, and if they can't afford them then priests will be called in from celebrating the sacraments and preaching to assume the duties of leprous court officials. Powerful or rich Churches of course will have their own quasi-embassies in Rome, to put their position to the Pope and to influence the other Churches. Rather than removing bureaucracy we will layer upon layer to it.

The obvious area for national Churches to be given increasing influence is in the nomination of bishops, and possibly the deposition of heretical or troublesome bishops. There are obvious advantages, they can act as 'brothers, dwelling in harmony', but for us England and elsewhere it means a return to an excluding 'Magic Circle', with all the dangers of nepotism or patronage: both Cormac and Vin are the political progeny  of Archbishop Warlock, they were both his secretaries.

If the CDF is diminished presumably national Churches will be free to develop their own local theologies, with no appeal to Rome against heresy - God help us - it will be a free for all.

If CDW is abolished or diminished, then Liturgy will develop along national lines - there will be no need to ask if lay people can preach. No need to restrict the role of odd or extraordinary ministers or of who might or might not receive the Sacraments, we will just refer to the local bishop or bishops.In the same way we in the English speaking world, if it wasn't for Rome would still be stuck with those dreadful post-Concilliar translations.

What I fear as a priest is there will be no appeal to Rome if my bishop is heretical or just plain cruel, just an appeal to the Bishop's Conference, who may or may not be his mates rather than mine and may or may not share his cruelty or moral turpitude.


Jacobi said...

"back in the 1970s"

True. But surely you mean the 1870's

Oh dear, there I go again and I promised to wait until after the Synod!

Sixupman said...

National (Catholic) Churches a concept predicated with the emergence of National Bishops' Conferences and force Collegiality. with emerging "Magic Circles". I am reliably informed that approaching death ++Worlock repented of that which he had sown. God Rest His Soul.

Athelstane said...

The obvious area for national Churches to be given increasing influence is in the nomination of bishops, and possibly the deposition of heretical or troublesome bishops.

This would be a sure, certain, irrevocable recipe for a) full-fledged regional schism and b) ecclesiastical death for the conference in question in most developed countries. In America, we would never have seen any reemergence of orthodox bishops after the "Jadot Era" (save by absurd accident), and in England, you would have a never ending succession of Magic Circle bishops, with no chance at all of an Egan, a Davies, or a Hope, let alone any Ordinariate or traditionalist communities...all the way until the last parishes close down, and the Catholic Church in England ends up as a historical church preservation group - just like the Church of England before it.

It is astonishing, indeed, as the letter of the 13 cardinals to Pope Francis notes, that progressives (at least the sincere ones) favoring this path simply seem unable to see what this has led to in liberal Protestant denominations who have tried it already: schism and death.

Greg J Ben said...

This is interesting. I assume you read the news or maybe not.

But the subject of letting each region of the Church does what it wants under the guise of "mercy" and "pastoral care" ---this idea is pushed primarily by the German Church for MONEY reasons (since the German Church is the richest due to the lucrative, lavish and very generous contributions by the mostly liberal (sexual pervert) German "Catholics")--- so "decentalizing" the Church is what the Vatican is plotting to do.

And guess who spelled it? Yes, Pope Francis.

So, let's summarize:

Under the guise of "mercy" and "pastoral care" the Catholic Church will be Protestantized.

Here is the link:

Sadie Vacantist said...

Much of the present issues stem from the Church's relationship with the various states in which it is hosted. I sense the octogenarian theologians and bishops have lost touch with the new thinking starting to emerge. Talking to a half Pakistani half German law graduate from the University of California around the pool last week, he seemed on a different planet to anything currently coming out of Rome.

Doodler said...

The Anglican Church is a good example of what happens when a 'National Church' goes maverick. Henry VIII had no intention of founding a 'new church' he was looking at a way of pursuing his own agenda. Look where that led! The Ordinariates are beginning to bridge the gap and heal the wounds.

John F H H said...

Did not Henry VIII want a 'National Catholic Church'?
And the Gallicans?
And the Old Catholics?
And China?

Ida Murphy said...

Father, what you fear has already taken place. I telephoned the USCCB offices to find out what to do about liturgical abuses approved by my bishop. The answer I got was that the conference protects the rights of bishops to regulate their own liturgies. The answer from the diocese in question was that they allow each priest to regulate his own liturgy. In the three dioceses in my state, the liturgical philosophies are entirely distinct. There is no unity even in my state. Really, one would think one was worshiping in a different religion if one went to Omaha one day and Lincoln the next. Especially egregious are the abuses by the Grand Island dioceses. They teach, for instance, that it is wrong to genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle because God is in the people and in the altar TABLE. In the smaller parishes, sometimes there are as many extraordinary minister says there are folks in the pews. Women go into the sanctuary and purify the vessels while father sits and watches them. This and many other truly bizarre abuses occur every day and there is absolutely no recourse for a resolution to the problem. Yes, what you fear has been occurring for 50 years.

Genty said...

The proposed format being leaked from the Synod is nothing less than extreme clericalism. The reason these dissident cardinals and bishops won't go the whole hog and go over to protestantism is because they want to maintain their power and worldly comfort, all paid for. All the better if they can become little popes. It's got zip all to do with mercy and charity. In England the Ordinariate may well turn out to be our backstop as the hierarchy has made sure the SSPX hasn't gained a foothold here.

Liam Ronan said...

I offer two predictions here:

If Bergolio's regionalization comes to pass (1) the Church will be divided into disparate leagues (let's call them the ¡Vaya lío! and 'Maranatha' leagues) with promotion and relegation determined by performance within the respective league's table; (2) certain Churches within the league, in order to entice top quality talent, will reintroduce the title of 'Monsignor' as a perk.

Jacobi said...


Here in my little part of UK, I often observe the behaviour of parishioners.

One thing I have noted recently is that apart from all and sundry walking on, across, up, and down the sanctuary steps, without any genuflection or even a friendly nod, a surprising number of people pray in front of statues, often apparently quite sincerely, while the Reserved Sacrament, in the central tabernacle is, not so much abused, not even ignored, but just, well, not noticed?

Pelerin said...

So 'It could become a free for all'. This really is becoming a nightmare. I have read so many comments against Pope Francis recently that it was a relief to watch his beautiful Mass of canonisation this morning.

His very first words were 'Pax vobis' and there followed a beautiful reverent Latin Novus Ordo with sung Veni Creator, Jubilate Deo, Gloria, Credo, etc. The two readings were done in Italian and French and the Gospel was in Latin and Greek. One of the prayers was even read by an English lady wearing a mantilla. The Latin united everyone there and certainly emphasised Unam Sanctam Catholicam et Apostolicam Ecclesiam.

It is most noticeable that Pope Francis holds up the Host (and the Chalice) at the Elevations for what must be at least 10 seconds. His look of devotion can be seen when the camera moves close up and is quite astounding. And yet commenters on Catholic blogs have recently referred to him as a 'puppet of Satan', 'evil clown', 'the anti-Christ', 'apostate' etc etc.

Incidentally a French Bishop who was recently received by the Pope described him as 'un cadeau de Dieu pour le monde.' A Priest once said to me that Pope Francis knows what he is doing. I just hope he is right!

Greg J Ben said...

When we look and think deeply and carefully about the bigger picture, we notice that what the Bible warned us about is happening right now, in front of our eyes.

The three gravest sins that destroy human beings' relation with their Creator are committed by His Church:

Pride (Arrogance), Lust and Greed.

Or in other words:

Power, Sex and Money.

The Catholic Church is infested with a leadership and a Clergy who seek power, are pervert and whose god is Money.

David O'Neill said...

Such comments as "I wonder if the SSPX has vacancies" are beginning to surface & frankly they might well be the only hope for the Catholic Church if, as seems reportedly likely, non-Catholics are to be allowed Communion 'if they believe in the Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence'. If they did so believe then should they not be Catholic & able to receive Communion in their own right?
It seems that many things are changing & IMHO not for the better.
Let us pray to the Holy Spirit!

Greg J Ben said...


You saw the Pope and the Mass, right?

That means: Cameras were rolling, pictures were taken and the scene was transmitted to you and all over the world for people to watch.

Oh...and of course there were thousands watching live, in person.

And you came up with that impression.

I have no further comment.

geneticallycatholic said...

I'm mesmerized by this's like watching an unstoppable train with the engine driver, Pope Francis, not slowing down...but actually ramping up its speed, ( as of his speech yesterday ) to wreak enormous wreckage on the 'one holy
catholic and apostolic Church' - you know - the one we profess belief in when we say the Nicene Creed.

I bring the notion of the 'ONE holy catholic and apostolic Church' because that was the thought that came to mind when I read the above article. That is, will we honestly be able to say that the Church is ONE, holy and apostolic, if the decision is to not only condone sin, but to celebrate it in some 'local' churches, and in others, to condemn it? This to me is the result of what Pope Francis is threatening (because to me, it's a threat) to do

I've heard a lot of people say Pope Francis has a deep personal holiness. Can a pope who is personally holy, wreak damage on the Church that Our Lord himself instituted - damage that will probably last for centuries? Somehow, I have never envisioned holiness having that kind of a know, fruit in the sense of "by their fruits you will know them'. ...

I continue to say my daily rosaries for my adopted Synod bishop, and the Synod participants, which includes ofcourse, the Holy Father. May they hear and obey, the third person of the Trinity, who brings order out of chaos.

Physiocrat said...

Best to wait for the final documents and see how things fall out after that for a year or two.

Maybe we have misinterpreted Matthew 16:18 all along? It obviously is not Canterbury, but there are always Constantinople, Antioch or even Moscow.

DJR said...

Greg J Ben said...
Pelerin, You saw the Pope and the Mass, right? That means: Cameras were rolling, pictures were taken and the scene was transmitted to you and all over the world for people to watch. Oh...and of course there were thousands watching live, in person.
And you came up with that impression. I have no further comment.

Just like we see the many acts of humility... all recorded on camera.

We're told that God wants "a poor Church for the poor," but the people who make such statements don't have to work for a living and don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.

We're also told that we need to be a "listening Church," but when Catholic lay people rightly complain to their religious leaders about things that are wrong, they are blatantly ignored, like the petition to the pope, signed by almost a million people and never even acknowledged.

Remnant Clergy said...

Father, you will have the only real option, that is join the remnant Church after the schism caused from heresies like this, spouted by the fake at the top. There will be a real pope in the Remnant Church.

Ida Murphy said...

Based on his words and actions, the externals are a bit like lipstick on a pig. He knows what he is doing alright. He may get the Nobel peace prize AND an Academy Award.

Ida Murphy said...

Yes, by all means, let's wait. Let's wait until the destruction of the visible church is all but complete. We haven't seen enough yet. Are you serious?

gemoftheocean said...

Wake me when this pontificate is over. Or better over and the successor dons the red shoes again.

Pelerin said...

Greg J Ben - are you saying that you think the Pope was acting to the cameras when he is elevating the Host?. I do not get that impression at all.

I'm glad I have arranged to go away next weekend and will have no access to the Internet for a few days. Perhaps things will be clearer when I return - or will they?

Nicolas Bellord said...

I was struck by the following words in the Pope's speech:

"A synodal church is like a banner lifted up among the nations (cfr. Is 11:12) in a world that even though invites participation, solidarity and transparency in public administration – often hands over the destiny of entire populations into the greedy hands of restricted groups of the powerful"

His Holiness contrasts a synodal church with a worldly organisation. However his description of the worldly organisation is remarkably similar as to how some of us see the Synod on the Family. If you are going to have Synods then it seems to me that one has to have strict rules as to how it is conducted. Presumably the role of a Synod is to seek out and publish the truth and not act as a democratic assembly. You must not have a secretariat (Bishop's conference?) that manipulates the Synod by drafting the agenda, censoring the minutes and drawing up the final report.
It must not become a rubber stamp for bureaucrats rather like a supposed Parliamentary assembly in some dictatorships.

A point noted in more than one of the circuli minori reports of the 2014 synod was the substitution of 'Listen' for 'See' in the mantra 'See, Judge, Act'. I see in the Pope's speech several mentions of 'listening'. However listening often ends up listening to the most vociferous and those with an agenda such as the LGBT lobby. Whereas it is often better to actually look at the concrete situation on the ground. To-day we have people vociferously advocating ideas but when one looks at the results of their ideas being implemented one can see how wrong the ideas are.

Fred Brown said...

As I say, Protestantism, pure and simple. And we already have Anglicanism. We have to face reality and ditch this false humility, they are out to destroy the Church.

geneticallycatholic said...

Time for some light relief? Last comment from me today. ...

I especially like the one: What part of "Thou shalt not" did you not understand...

Pelerin said...

I find the idea of 'National churches' quite frightening even with today's instant communication.

In Britain the term 'Church of England' has a specific meaning and consequently has never been used to term the Catholic Church here in England. However I have noticed that in France the use of 'L'Eglise de France' seems to be gaining ground instead of the correct 'L'Eglise en France' both in speech and in the printed word. I have even seen it in the Catholic press. It does seem to be a subtle leaning towards a national church but perhaps I am reading too much into it?

Nicolas Bellord said...

Pelerin: Surely you have heard of Gallicanism. Gallicanism, Regionalism, Regalism, Cisalpinism (an English variant!) etc are all examples of trying to separate from Rome. The problem is that the local churches usually end up in the hands of the State. The nuttier assistant priest in our Parish is all in favour of the English Roman Catholic Church falling under the control of the Charity Commission!