Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yesterday's Orthodoxy

Feast of the Annunciation

Yesterday's orthodoxy is today's heresy.

The late 20th century saw the phenomenon of the Second Vatican Council and its wake. During that period Catholic bishops attempted to modernize the Church and attune it to contemporary life by making sweeping changes to the Catholic Church’s worship and devotions, teachings, and laws.

The changes left few people happy.

Progressives complained that the council failed to thoroughly modernize the Church.
They continue to agitate for the implementation of further changes, promising that the elusive new springtime will bloom when further legacy practices and beliefs are replaced or abandoned.

Conservatives were devastated when the foundation of their existence was replaced by a pedestrian version of itself.
Vocations to the priesthood dried up; seminaries, monasteries, convents, and schools closed; Mass attendance collapsed; belief in core doctrines waned. Many Catholics quit the Church altogether; a small few held out a feeble hope for the restoration of things past.

Church leaders who proved unable to predict the tumultuous consequences of the changes they mandated became obsessed with bureaucratic control.
Unwilling to admit that their new plan did not achieve the intended results, torn about introducing further changes lest more of the flock quit the fold, hampered by a new governance model that suppressed autonomy and made individual bishops subject to the rule of their bishop’s conference, the majority of bishops turned their attention to maintaining a veneer of calm in their dioceses. Progressives were permitted a long leash that was only occasionally given a tug. Conservatives were treated to platitudes about obedience and fed reminders of their obligations to support the Church. And energies that in times past would have been spent shepherding the flock were directed towards career advancement.

The folks over at RealCatholicTV have been broadcasting updates of events that illuminate these troubles. A recent short about how the problems summarized above brought about the passage of the travesty of a healthcare bill can be found at

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