Thursday, October 01, 2015

Change a Culture, Keep the Doctrine

There is a little reference to Gramasci in a rather interesting interview with Fr Fessio on Rorate. Gramasci is an important Italian Communist thinker. He was imprisoned by Mussolini for the last eleven years of his life he is perhaps underestimated outside of Italy but his ideas have become very much part of the culture or management of change,

In a world where class war has moved from economic control to control of culture, from worker's rights to minority rights, Marxist ideologues are now rarely found on soap boxes or the barricades but in university senior common rooms, or more often in the arts and media. Gramasci was concerned with revolution but rather than the 'hard' revolution of an armed uprising against a despot with 'soft' revolution of changing culture, in ecclesiastical terms of keeping doctrine the same but changing pastoral practice. Obviously if you change practice you then either do not to change doctrine because they way in which we understand it changes and then eventually our way of speaking about doctrine in the future changes and we then introduce a situation in which the original doctrine becomes meaningless and is 'organically' changed. That is changed from below, change from below brings about  change from above and eventually overthrows the existing order.

The important thing for Gramasci was to create a certain confusion a mess, a "lio", but based on what was reasonable and from there to increase demands by increments, for example, the change with the general acceptance of the Gay movement, 'loving relationships' everyone can relate to, 'people suffering because they love' makes a rather attractive narrative identity, in a heterosexual context it is part of our cultural narrative and is much more attractive than discussing anal sex, which I suppose a few people still have qualms about. Thus in a few short years we move from a criminal act, to legalising consensual homosexual acts to recognising homosexual unions to marriage equality,  and children being taught about such things in school and we can well imagine the eventual removal every other sexual taboo, not just those that once merely surrounded homosexuality. In moral terms it is Marxist perpetual revolution.

Students of the Council might well  see Bugnini using Gramascian methodology in first disrupting the calender, creating confusion between Paul VI and the Liturgical Concillium, then going beyond anything the Council Fathers mandated but who but a knave or a fool would dare to suggest that the Church has for one single instant changed her teaching on the Holy Eucharist from what Aquinas or Trent taught.

Perhaps doctrines are not important but rubrics and pastoral practice are because they create a culture of belief, hence they are much more important than dry words in some tome.

So there is absolutely no reason to fear that the Synod will change one iota of doctrine.


Tommy said...

Well that's good because if we're not disagreeing on doctrine, then we're just disagreeing on prudential decisions. We're all trying to get to China. If you say it's more pastoral to dig a hole to get there ... well I won't feel bad saying that your idea is absolutely terrible and the truly pastoral way to reach China is just to save up and buy a plane ticket. People will be injured digging holes. Prudential matters can be debated even more freely than doctrines. We'll see who successfully gets to China and who dies digging themselves into holes rather quickly, I think.

Sean W. said...

Yes. Affirm the doctrine in some minimal, technical way while articulating a pastoral exception wide enough to void the rule in practice. Sever the lived reality of the faith from the truths which it affirms. If someone objects, ensure that there is a Mark Shea close at hand to rain down thunderous anathemas upon them, accusing them of faithlessness and of forgetting that the gates of Hell can't prevail against the Church (while neglecting to mention that they can certainly prevail against our own souls or those of loved ones). Keep the boot on the throat until the original doctrine is altogether forgotten, so that no longer are people arguing over whether or not it's forbidden, they no longer even care. That's how it went with the Church's never-technically-revoked prohibition on usury.

Woody said...

Speaking of Gramsci and the attack on our culture as a means of attacking Christianity, here is an excerpt from a very interesting course, in Spanish, on the 54 virtues under attack, by an Argentine lady writer, Marta Olivero (who I do not know, but she cites all the right sources), from the introductory session at:

"In this final phase of the destruction of our culture, Antonio Gramsci, communist ideologue of the early twentieth century, proposed not to attack Christianity head on, as had Karl Marx, in order to avoid the reaction of the Church of the encyclicals (and common sense) but to corrupt it, breaking it internally, as one breaks the skeleton of a person so that he will be disarmed, collapse and be unable to stand. That's why the anti-Christian revolution attacked our culture, taunting it, ridiculing it, teaching lies with half-truths, covering the attack with the mantle of solidarity and the struggle for human rights, when in fact what was intended was to annihilate people and prevent their birth. Which is, for them, their first right."

Jacobi said...

We have to keep the doctrine. That is Catholicism.

It cannot be said too often that the current crisis in the Church is caused by the protestantisation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to turn it into a communion service at which unconsecrated bread and win is received by all.

It is in essence a denial of the Real Presence and the Ordained Priesthood.

Now if I saw anyone new at Mass, looking uncomfortable, who has not gone to Communion etc., I would find some excuse afterwards to speak to them afterwards and take them to coffee. If that constitutes acceptable "pastoral" practice, good.

If that person was known to be in an adulterous relationship - and received - then I would consider that, objectively, to be mortally sinful and if I subsequently found out a priest had advised that, I would not hesitate to tell that priest that he was, objectively speaking of course, as guilty of mortal as the person he advised.

Same of active homosexuals by the way.

All quite simple really!

Pelerin said...

There are a couple of comments on another blog which state that the Synod will possibly redefine or reinterpret the Natural Law. Is this really possible? After all someone could 'redefine' a cat and call it a dog but that would not make it a dog.

However if the Press and the Media continually showed pictures of cats and called them dogs then eventually people might be persuaded that a cat is indeed a dog. Isn't that what the Media has been doing for years? As Father Ray states in our life time we have seen homosexual acts going from being a criminal act through to being accepted as 'natural' through to being virtually forced on people with their publicity.

We seem to have reached a stage where everything is allowed. 'If you want it you can have it' with no thought for the consequences. I was horrified yesterday when I read that a person is appealing for money so that he can become both the father AND the adoptive mother of a child. The person was a man and now regards himself as a woman. However before finalising the change he had his sperm frozen and wishes to find a surrogate mother to carry his child hence the need for money. Thus eventually he hopes to become both father and mother to the unfortunate child. How on earth would he/she explain that to the child once it starts to ask questions? Has he given no thought to the future confusion this could create?

Michael Dowd said...

Yes, of course, doctrine would not be changed as it is irrelevant; praxis is everything. The whole Protestant trend of the Catholic Church since Vatican II is just so disheartening and has required no change in doctrine. Why do the clergy and the Popes go along with it? To temporally gain a few more, not very good, Catholics? None of it makes sense to me as it will all end in a dismal failure with the participants possibly going to hell.

The only explanation I see is that the devil himself is giving the Catholic Church it's final temptation. When Christ asked if there would be any faith on earth when he returned He perhaps had our present day in mind.

Michael Dowd

Gregkanga said...

The Church's all important mission of evangelisation has been brought to a grinding by many of the hierarchy and lay religious in the West.
Having disengaged from interior spiritual battle themselves many of these consecrated leader's preaching and teaching led to their parishioners, and students living spiritually disengaged lives. Since Vatican II these leaders and educators became the new Nicolaitans( Rev 2: 6) in the Church. Whole dioceses became doctrine-free zones, which preached religious pluralism, cultural relevance and a spirit of compromise under the guise of pastoral dexterity. In the true spirit of the Council, these leaders ended up with one foot in the world and one in the Church. As a result, we currently have a weakened, very weakened version of Catholic Christianity that is without power and conviction, a defeated worldly, Protestant type of Christianity, and a perverted spiritual environment, which encourages worldly participation and indulgence in sin. Subsequently, many Churches and educational centres have become nothing more than gnostic refuges of religion, centres of ceremonial religion, where all the aura of Catholic religious rituals have been retained while the faith, especially Christological faith have been completely lost.

viterbo said...

"and children being taught about such things in school..." Lord have mercy upon those for whom this gives pause for thought, if not prayer...and those for whom it don't.

Indeed, only a "knave or a fool would dare to suggest that the Church has for one single instant changed her teaching on the Holy Eucharist from what Aquinas or Trent taught."

Ma Tucker said...

Indeed Father, pastoral practice is simply doctrine in action so there is no need to change the doctrine in order to corrupt the Faith, all you need do is change the practice.

Liam Ronan said...

Say what you like about Gramsci, he did have a fine head of hair...unless, of course, his photographic depictions have been distorted.

Michael Dowd said...

Gregkanda. Your comments are right on. Why is it that the pursuit of the truth only seems to happen on limited circulation conservative blogs where the readership is largely in agreement rather than the "mainstream" Catholic media. It would be great if someone could find a way to spread these truths to a wider audience.

But it is difficult because the "mainstream" Catholic media is beholden to the clergy who are largely on board with the corrupt spirit of Vatican II and haven't the courage to stand up for orthodox Catholic doctrine. But they should as that's the right thing to do and the way folks become saints. I guess that's why we have so few of them.

Michael Dowd

Pelerin said...

May I take this opportunity of asking those readers who live in or near London to take part in the procession of the Blessed Sacrament tomorrow Saturday and give witness to the Faith. It starts at 1.30 outside Westminster Cathedral and finishes with Benediction in Southwark Cathedral.

Paul said...

Pelerin - also next Saturday is the Rosary Crusade from Westminster Cathedral to the Brompton Oratory.

Gregkanga said...

Michael Dowd, even the "mainstream" 'Catholic Media' are not interested in Church doctrine and the truth. My wife is the editor of Into the Deep, a monthly orthodox publication. Our blog is, in this month's issue no.154 on page 6, I wrote an article titled 'A Tribal Response', it sums up the media and the Church in Australia. The new Nicolaitans have systemically failed to make the essential and critical connection between doctrine, truth, catechesis and the Church's mission of evangelisation. To stop enunciating, preaching and teaching doctrine, is to stop expressing and proclaiming the Truths of the Faith in the reality and mystery of the Triune God. The new Nicolaitans have done this in order to appease the world and to appear culturally relevant. Let's face it, how on earth is mankind going to know what sin is if the Church doesn't proclaim and articulate the truth of God in its entirety in and out of season? Since Vat II the Church has been retreating from the Truth in order to pursue relevance and get with the spirit of the times, to appear non-judgemental and 'compassionate'.

TLM said...

Pelerin....Baldessiri (sp ?...I never seem to get it right:) himself stated in an interview prior to the 2014 Synod that on the Bishops' agenda was 'looking at the REINTERPRETING of Natural Law. That says it all to me.

Michael Dowd said...

Gregkanga. Thank you for your excellent comments. I'm afraid we are a remnant destined to tough it out with not much help from the Church. We are going to have to depend more on God, which is what faith in God actually means, anyway. So for us, perhaps this is a good thing. But certainly not for anyone else who being lead down a primrose path. May God help us all.