Sunday, December 13, 2015

Here we go again! Liberal vs. Conservative in the Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam et apostolicam ecclesia


Ross Douthat joined First Things  to deliver the Erasmus lecture, “The Crisis of Conservative Catholicism,” on Monday, October 26th at the Union League.

Douthat is an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times and the author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (Free Press, 2012), Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class(Hyperion, 2005), and the co-author, with Reihan Salam, of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (Doubleday, 2008). He is the film critic forNational Review.

After listening to this remarkable synthesis of "the sifting like wheat" of certain Catholics these days, I offered the following comment:

In 1972 the Pope of the Council, Paul VI, observed that seven years following the close of the Council conditions in the Church were such that it was as if “the Smoke of Satan has entered the Temple of God.” I have spent 30 years reflecting on how it was that the misimplementation of the council’s documents resulted in the emergence of what Henri De Lubac termed “a different Church from that of Jesus Christ,” all under the guide of updating (aggiornamento) and renewal. Pope Paul was of the mind that by 1972 the greatest need in the Church was to be defended against the adversary power of darkness, the Devil. Mr. Douthat is thus rightly concerned about the “not-so-center left’s” influence evident in synodol discussion on who may  or may not receive the sacraments, as for Paul VI the unmistakable signs of the Evil One’s penetration of the Church post- Vatican II were a vast undermining of Catholic moral teaching (particularly sexual morality), the ideological seduction of fashionable theological errors which spawned doctrinal uncertainty, and the watering down of and even rejection of the spirit of the Gospel. 

Hence the priority for those whom Douthat terms “conservative Catholics?” What George Weigel has termed “Evangelical Catholicism.”
Perhaps intellectual pride evident in current debates over the present Holy Father get in the way of repentance and conversion, and believing the good news?