We must keep our historical perspective

Father Zuhlsdorf writes from Rome about the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage, a clerical lunch and then this:

Oh… the Synod.

No… it was not a complete rout for the enemy.  It was not a victory for us either.  There are flaws in the final report and the voting on three paragraphs disappointed me.   It could have been a lot worse… at the onset.  My greatest fear now is that the enemy side will spin this as a victory and go forward with what they want anyway, no matter what the Pope eventually says.   Keep in mind that the libs did not get what they wanted… entirely.  That means that they will be angry and they will look for people to attack.  I predict attacks in the press on people who are on the side of the angels.  They will be isolated and targeted for discrediting.

And the Pope’s final speech…. meh.  HERE

But… Humanae vitae wasn’t overturned.   The homosexualists did not get their way this time.  There are weak links, but it is not an immediate, total disaster for our ability still to speak of goodness, truth and morals.

As one of my interlocutors put it to me in a text:

“Summarizing one prelate’s view of the Synod’s outcome: ‘They didn’t beat us to a pulp as we thought they would and even though they’ll use ‘conscience’ to shred sacraments we managed to prevent them from saying it apertis verbis‘. Wow, that’s not the prelude to the enemy signing a surrender on USS Missouri is it….”

No, it isn’t.

qwerty_cropRemember, everyone, that every Pontificate – whether you like it or now – is really a Parenthesis in the life and history of the Church.   Pontificates come and they go.  As the Romans say, “A Pope dies [shrug]… make another.”  Yes, we know that even in writing, some parentheses are more important than others.  Some add substantive material.  Some add merely parenthetical comments not so central to the substance of the piece.

So, just as the Church had the Pontificate, rather, Parenthesis of … say, St. Pius V, and the Parenthesis of St. John Paul II (kind of a long one), and the Parenthesis of Benedict XVI, we now have the Parenthesis of Francis.

One of these days, in His own good time and way, God will hit the SHIFT+0 key and close the Parenthesis of Francis.

Then another Parenthesis will begin.

That’s how things work – for all of us. We must keep our historical perspective when it comes to synods and pontificates. These last two synods are minor parentheses within a, probably, short parenthesis.  Remember that the Holy Father himself has hinted at a retirement after he hits 80.   I suspect it will be after he attends the Aparecida Centenary in 2017, but I digress.  May I should put that whole last part in, you know, parentheses.

OUR JOB, in the meantime, is to remain faithful to the teaching of the Church.   We must now, more urgently than ever, review and study and understand well what the Holy Catholic Church says about matters such as “conscience”.

“Conscience” will now be the battle ground.

Those who would overturn the Church’s teaching will claim a victory through the discussions of the Synod on the grounds of a (false) sense of primacy of conscience.  Others, understanding that conscience must be properly and responsibly well-formed will insist that mere appeal to conscience cannot justify objective sins.   The first group will appeal to mercy and compassion (false mercy and compassion) and they will accuse the later group of being rigid legalists who have no care for people who are in tough situations, etc.   You know the drill.  For libs, anyone who is against sin (especially against the sin of over-use air-conditioning, and is against people of the same sex engaging in improper physical behavior, and anyone against public adulterers receiving the sacraments without any sort of amendment of life) is going to be accused of being against mercy.

You may need to steal yourselves, like the maquis, to take abuse from others because you are faithful to the Church’s teachings.   Be ready and “Take Heart!”  Be ready also to “Make a Mess” with your Rosary in one hand and Catechism of Catholic Church (and of Trent) in the other.   Turn to the heavy tools of prayer and almsgiving and fasting.  Use even the Bux Protocol.   (He sat in front of me during Mass today.)  No, the Bux Protocol is not the title of a Robert Ludlum novel.  It is a tool of spiritual warfare to be drawn forth from its sheath by those who are well-confessed and who humbly place their prayers before God with sober joy.  It is not for the frivolous or the pusillanimous.

I have a lot more to say about this and what I think is coming at us like an asteroid, but I’ll save that.

So, si vis pacem para bellum.  Review your Faith.  Be ready to give reasons, with charity and joy, for your Faith and the Hope that is in you.   Do all that you can to support good vocations to the priesthood.  Work to spread the use of the Extraordinary Form which, after the last few days, I am even more convinced is of critical importance for the defense of the Faith, the healing of the Faith, and the spread of the of the Faith.

Begin your preparation and…


And may God help us all.

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2 Responses to We must keep our historical perspective

  1. kathleen says:

    Of course Fr Z is absolutely correct to infer that a Papacy, even at its longest, is short (indeed, something like a Parenthesis) in the overall life of the Church Militant. Yet it is worth remembering Shakespeare’s wise words: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”

    The legacy of Pope Francis – that “mess” he asked for and has helped create – will, I fear, live on for a long long time after he is no longer the reigning Pontiff.

    But a “counter-mess” of millions of Catholics armed once more with solid Catholic traditions and Liturgy (something like we hear from Cardinal Sarah is taking place in the flourishing Faith of the African Church) would help repair the damage done.

    What were Our Blessed Lord’s words if only we had Faith?

    If only…..


  2. Michael says:

    The legacy of Pope Francis – that “mess” he asked for and has helped create – will, I fear, live on for a long long time after he is no longer the reigning Pontiff.

    Not too long I hope! I know what you mean, but I wonder how big a difference Pope Francis will have actually made, in terms of increasing liberalisation. The people that seem to have been using his pontificate to justify heretic beliefs/aberrant behaviour are, on the whole, those who were already in favour of such things, and most of these are, demographically speaking, on the wane (so to speak).

    What I mean is, I doubt whether Francis’ pontificate has actually created that many new liberals, whereas it definitely has made it clearer for faithful, orthodox Catholics the sort of corrosive attitudes that exist even at the highest levels of the Church, and thus given people something to clarify their positions against. I agree that the confusion will probably continue for a while after Francis, but as I say, I think/hope that this will just be the last hurrah of a way of thinking that is gradually dying out. Conversely, the seeds planted during John Paul and Benedict’s pontificates landed on much good soil, and will return a hundredfold 🙂

    Such is the way of the Church – a continual series of resurrections after many crosses; but the former always follows the latter in the end!


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