On the state of the Church

7 12 2008

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I am not taken to commenting on contemporary church affairs on this blog, but I sometimes defer to others who I think have made some good points. One good recent essay on this topic can be found on the blog, The Sensible Bond, also by an ex-SSPX seminarian. Here are some excerpts:

Traditionalists accuse the New Mass of making Catholics focus on themselves, but in reality we’ve been focusing on ourselves as a culture for a very long time. The entire panoply of spiritual techniques and methods, developed especially in the last four or five centuries, share some blame for this. But the idea that a great reforming pope can provide the answer is, at least on its own, another kind of collectivized anthropocentrism.

Indeed, I am very wary at this point of any talk of the “spiritual life” for this reason. A lot of it can seem to be something like, “if I close my eyes, hold my breath, and have good feelings about Jesus, I am becoming holier than the person next to me”. As someone who has devoted years of his life to such exercises, I remain skeptical about their authenticity.

The older I get, the more anti-clerical I become, but not with a Votairean anticlericalism – God forbid! – but just a healthy scepticism about the clerical worship I was once guilty of a few years ago. They’re just men: popes, bishops and priests. And, like all men, they are capable of beautiful deeds and terrible crimes: if we hope for the best, we should not be suprised at the worst.

I also share this sentiment, though I am probably more jaded about all of it than this blogger. But a healthy emotional distance from the halls of powers is never a bad thing, especially if there is nothing that you can directly do about it.

Read the rest here.