Pope Benedict, Stalker?

I like the UCANews site for its coverage of Catholic matters across the continent of Asia. Their commentary is often thoughtful and occasionally tart, like this essay by Fr William Grimm, who suggests that schismatic Catholics aren’t the only ones in need of “pastoral solicitude.”

Obsessively pressing one’s attentions on a person who does not want them is called stalking. In many places and cases, it is a criminal offense.

Archbishop Di Nioa’s appointment even after the latest rejection of the pope’s repeatedly rejected and repeatedly renewed approaches to the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) certainly looks like stalking of the SSPX by the Vatican.

By now it should be clear that despite concessions on the liturgy, offers to play down aspects of Vatican II and repeated attempts at wooing in spite of being spurned, the SSPX and the ultra-traditionalists they represent are just not interested in a relationship with the Vatican and will not be until Rome comes to them in abject and total surrender.

I think that’s about the measure of it. Bishop Fellay and company believe they are the one true church, and the whole world of Christendom has fallen away. We are the leaves, they are the trunk, and winter is here. It’s worth discussing what Fr Grimm is suggesting, because it’s not really so different from what the SSPX is demanding. And while most of the rest of us “leafy” Catholics aren’t going to go into schism over it, we’re still on the Barque of Peter, aren’t we?

Four final points from Fr Grimm:

    • (A) referendum on the translations that have recently been imposed throughout the world, often to the consternation of clergy and laity alike.
    • The Vatican should really listen to the voices of those whose concerns and ways of living their faith arise out of their encounters with the modern world, especially those outside of a European ambit.
    • Rome must admit that the old ways so beloved by many traditionalists failed in the face of a changing world and our leaders must be humble enough to learn from places where the Church is growing in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
    • (S)imply express some gratitude and admiration to all those Christians who in spite of scandals, confusion and a sense of being ignored and abused continue to engage in the journey of faith as part of the Catholic Church?

Holding that referendum would be a huge loss of face for ICEL and Vox Clara. It’s easier to blame the stupidity and limited vocabulary of the laity. I don’t see it happening. It would require a change in pope and the liturgical heads in the curia.

Points two and three should be obvious. Fr Grimm is generous about “European ambit.” The Vatican is still stuck in a pre-1790 monarchical European ambit. It’s likely a miracle that two centuries-plus of disconnect from the ordinary laity haven’t caused more of a hemorrhage from the faith. They could take a clue from the democratic substrate in the states: a lack of governing aristocracy, minimal corruption–a seemingly ripe climate for religion, and particularly Catholicism.

As for point four, the bishops are too busy calling people stupid to get a clue on that one. But they should know that many of us have taken the high road instead of the traditionalist one. We’re staying Catholics no matter how dense the leadership is.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Commentary, ecumenism, Liturgy, Ministry, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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