23 January 2014

In search for Truth

Once we had millions of Evangelists

I say the Old Mass for a variety of reason, many aesthetic, some spiritual but the ultimate reason is one of justice. It isn't simply a matter of 'What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too', it is deeper than that. It hits at the very heart of the what the Church is about, what Christ is about. 
I am glads my friend Fr Hunwicke has had the courage to put his finger on what the issue really is, it is about 'Truth'. Justice and Truth are partners. Fr Hunwicke dares to say:
Summorum pontificumconfirmed juridically that the Latin Church had lived for some four decades under the dominion of a lie. The Vetus Ordo had not been lawfully prohibited. Much persecution of devout priests and layfolk that took place during those decades is therefore now seen to have been vis sine lege. For this so long to have been so true with regard to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which lies at the heart of the Church's life, argues a profound illness deep within the Latin Church. And the Big Lie was reinforced by multitudes of Little Lies ... that the Council mandated reordered Sanctuaries ... that the Council mandated exclusive use of the vernacular ... The de facto situation created by the Big Lie and the Little Lies combined ought not to be regarded as normative. Its questionable parentage must give it a degree of provisionality, even (perhaps especially) to those who find it comfortable to live with. The onslaught upon the Franciscans of the Immaculate suggests that there are those, high in the Church's administration, who have still internalised neither the juridical findings of Summorum pontificum nor its pastoral call for harmony.
Christians cannot compromise with Truth, we cannot live with Untruth or compromise with it, there can be no co-mixture with Truth and Lies, we are either searching for the Truth and exalting it or crucifying it:
Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
Earlier in the same Gospel he had said:
I am the Way, the Truth and Life. 
We cannot compromise with the Truth, if we are to be taken seriously as witnesses to the Truth. We cannot compromise with the Truth if we are to be credible witnesses.  There can be no worthwhile evangelisation unless it begins and ends in Truth and unless the evangelisers are believable. Personally, I believe that the 'misson' of the Second Vatican Council was to find a way to express the Truth in the modern world, however in the interpretation of the Council's teaching a fracture was introduced between the Church's practice and prayer, and the Church's belief. The fracture meant the Church lost its credibility, hence our churches emptied. We became seen as 'hypocritical'. We lost the sense of  'noble simplicity' which comes from the basic premise of the Catholic Church that Jesus Christ is God, God founded the Church and promises to be with it until the end of time, hence you can -and must- trust the Catholic Church, the Church ceased to be immediately intelligible, the greater Truth was obscured by lesser truths. 

In practice it meant that theology, and everything else, including liturgy, became the realm of the specialist, for example the Missal might say 'the priest turns to the people' but the specialist tells us that the priest is already facing the people, so really the plain meaning of the text means something other than it says. The same of course happens with scripture, Jesus says ..., and the Tradition and practice of the Church has always understood him to have  meant.... but the the specialist says something totally different. Take for example salvation and the necessity of Baptism and Holy Communion, or the inviolability of marriage and the impossibility of re-marriage after divorce, Jesus says one thing and Cardinal Maradiaga tells Abp Mueller to 'lighten up'.
We once had millions of Evangelists, now we have few, if any. Evangelism and catechesis have become the function of the specialist. The great problem is that grandmother sitting at the kitchen fire with her grandchildren could no longer be trusted to pass on the faith she had received from her grandmother. The Faith, the Truth, is no longer clear, no longer the possession of the ordinary holy believer in the pew but is something handed down from the specialist Cardinal or Archbishop or Pope or theologian. It should be the possession of all Catholic Christians and therefore must be certain, unchangeable and rooted, above all it must be obviously True. The Truth cannot be recognised in an institution where lies are normal, or where jargon or obscurity replaces ordinary speech.
True Evangelisation can only be achieved by a radical commitment to the Truth.


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