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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The last post on Catholicism.



From me, for the foreseeable future.

I'm tired. Really, really tired. Tired of arguing, tired of getting invocations of authority, tired of the lack of basic Christian brotherhood (mea maxima culpa from me, so please accept my apologies), tired of sounding and feeling like this guy.


The literal Hell of it, of course, is that I might be wrong. If so, it won't be the last time. In this case, though, the stakes are so astronomically-high.

What my essential problem with this papacy is the repeated message I'm receiving, which is:

"You overdid. Yes, it says that on paper, but..."

Most recently:

"All of this depends on how Humanae Vitae is interpreted. Paul VI himself, at the end, recommended to confessors much mercy, and attention to concrete situations. But his genius was prophetic, he had the courage to place himself against the majority, defending the moral discipline, exercising a culture brake, opposing present and future neo-Malthusianism. The question is not that of changing the doctrine but of going deeper and making pastoral (ministry) take into account the situations and that which it is possible for people to do. Also of this we will speak in the path of the synod.”

Wore the ol' tux to a beach party, eh?



Believe me, I understand people who struggle with it. I'm one of them, every month. But you can drive a pastoral truck through that paper, can't you? Older brother-ish? Yeah, probably. But is the teaching morally-obligatory or just morally-praiseworthy? It's still there on paper, but..."that train left the station long ago," as Bishop Lynch shrugs?

Ditto the proposals to offer communion to the civilly-remarried...which are more than a mere discipline to be dispensed at will, as another smart man has noted. The possibilities from such a change are boundless, as some not-so-faithful have noted. If the Church can soft-pedal the words of Christ, especially as consistently understood by the Fathers, then "all things are lawful." At some point, lax discipline hollows-out doctrine, and no invocations of authority can patch that over.

If the sacramental teaching is correct, the discipline follows. If the discipline doesn't follow, what does that say about the correctness of the teaching?

Anyway, I'm arguing again and I'm tired of arguing. Spiritually-dessicated tired.

Despair-tired.

The nicest thing anyone did recently was offer to pray for me and have a mass said. She doesn't agree with my concerns, but that was actually the great part about it.

So, that's it. I have a wife and kids to love and provide for, an honorable job to do and a septillion books to read and almost as many board games to play. I'm even teaching the older three D&D.

Your prayers would be more than welcome.

32 comments:

  1. I hope you keep commenting on other blogs. Your insights are invaluable.

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  2. Prayers? Consider it done. St Joseph, pray for you and me.

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  3. I'm heading out to Mass for St. Joseph's feast in just a few minutes. You'll be in my prayers.

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  4. Prayers, as always.
    And teaching my own kids D&D is one of the joys of parenting for me.

    I know and understand the exhaustion.

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  5. Funnily, this is one way you and I are going slightly different directions - you are writing less (or not at all), and now I've suddenly found the urge to write more. Either way, yes, please don't fall off the map completely, friend.

    And prayers will be on the way.

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  6. You're definitely in my prayers, my friend. I'll take 'em to St. Joseph tonight. Rest.

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  7. I'll pray for you.

    BTW What do you think about what Michael Voris says here?

    I think it is good advice.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBG7AJEP1tQ#t=470


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyH2hMdg73w#t=566

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  8. >Ditto the proposals to offer communion to the civilly-remarried...which are more than a mere discipline to be dispensed at will,

    If I had dime for every chucklehead who in the 70's predicted Paul VI would allow Artificial Birth Control?

    Or for the lame jerks who said because JP2 Allowed Altar girls he was a heretic and that women priests are just around the corner?

    Pope Vigilius an anti-pope who got himself elected the real Pope after conspiring with with the pervious Pope's murderers (aka Emperor Theodore) on the promise he would teach monophysite heresy.

    When he became the real Pope it didn't happen.

    I hope the rest of you lot watch those videos by Voris.

    I really think you need it.

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  9. Relevant advice from Chris Ferrara: "Whatever goes on in Rome, stay Catholic. They can't take the faith from you unless you're willing to relinquish it."

    Prayers fer sher. We are living in interesting times.

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  10. awwwww, man! I just found your blog! I hope after a long hot shower and a good meal of fried beans and eggs with ketchup you'll be back in the arena. The lions won't stop charging, but that's when the faithful of the Church Militant need to hike their panties up and stand against the gusting wind all the more immovably. I'm tired too...DOG tired...everybody's tired! The enemy is blustering his loudest and proudest...something is 'up'...now's not the time to withdraw.

    Seriously DP, in the words of a culture warrior par excellence,
    "Don't go all wobbly on me now George!". Love your kids, read your books, but please, please don't stop writing...otherwise, the enemy has scored one more little victory, and quieted the voice of another burr in his saddle. Don't give him that. Offer it up (!) and keep writing.

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  11. You? Blog less?

    How much less can you blog?

    ;)

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  12. Keep praying. Keep going. That's what we do.

    Observation: Some Bishops seem to think Church's moral teachings are "bad for business". Not good. Remember: Many are called, few chosen.

    Michael Dowd

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  13. Susan:

    Never say never. But I definitely need a break right now. We'll see how well I can recharge.

    All:

    Thanks for the prayers--they are greatly appreciated.

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  14. >The possibilities from such a change are boundless, as some not-so-faithful have noted. If the Church can soft-pedal the words of Christ, especially as consistently understood by the Fathers, then "all things are lawful." At some point, lax discipline hollows-out doctrine, and no invocations of authority can patch that over.

    Dale I did some digging. This was all settled in Oct by the Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith with the approval of Pope Francis.

    People in public objectively sinful unions & relationships cannot receive Communion.

    If the Synod tries to find exceptions that prove the rule to show some mercy to some they will do so within the boundaries of Faith and Morals.

    If you want to switch gears and complain this is bad pastoral policy well that has nothing to do with the Church's indefectability now does it?

    Since even the most extreme Trads who post on your blog never get tired of saying (as I heard them back in the day) the Church is not infallible in terms of Pastoral Policy.

    I showed this post to Rosemarie. Since she is the emphatic one in our relationship(& I could give a rat's behind about people's feelings).

    She thinks if you are feeling despair then you might be suffering from Demonic Oppression.

    OH & too the rest of you lot. Those Michael Voris videos I linked too are spot on.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBG7AJEP1tQ#t=470

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyH2hMdg73w#t=566

    All this foul Francis bashing has done more harm then good & I submit if the rest of you clueless people keep it up Dale will go the way of Bill Cork or Rod Dreher and leave the Church.

    All that you are doing is enabling a brother in despair not reforming the Church.

    PS This is not open to debate as far as I am concerned so don't waste your breath anyone trying to convince me otherwise with lame arguments. I am not interested.

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  15. PS This is not open to debate as far as I am concerned so don't waste your breath anyone trying to convince me otherwise with lame arguments. I am not interested.

    Oh, come on, Ben. Do better than that, I normally like you.

    "PS People who disagree with me are wrong and their arguments are stupid" is immature and petty. Grow up, man.

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  16. I must be missing something HUGE because I can't believe this is an issue leaving the Church over.

    Are we to believe Our Lord was saying that a "marriage" between say Britney Spears and her boyfriend in a chapel in Las Vegas is indissoluble?

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  17. Anonymous:

    The problem is not that the Church agrees that such a marriage would be invalid. The problem is if the Church, in any official capacity, treats "remarried" persons as if their "second marriage" were valid and sinless because their own private conscience assures them that their first (Catholic) marriage was invalid.

    Or maybe I'm wrong.

    PS This is an open debate so don't worry that your time or mine will be wasted with cogent arguments. I'm interested.

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  18. >Oh, come on, Ben. Do better than that, I normally like you.

    Normally my Cynical Brother I am spoiling for a fight.

    But I've had it with trying to educate the stupid. I lack both the kindness & Charity for that endeavor.

    >"PS People who disagree with me are wrong and their arguments are stupid" is immature and petty. Grow up, man.

    That pretty much sums up the critics of Michael Voris among the extremist pseudo-trads who have sung his praises in the past & now over this issue have been shouting "Give us Barabbas!" in the proverbial sense.

    Either you get it or you don't & if one is resistant to getting it then what can I do?

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  19. Codgitator,

    I don't see why the Church can't make a pastoral provision for people in second marriages who believe their first marriage to have been invalid. It's entirely due to the fact that the understanding of the true nature of marriage has been completely obliterated by secular society. Unless I'm mistaken, the institution of the annulment tribunal is not of Apostolic institution.

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  20. Anonymous:

    In that case, I don't see why the Church can't make a pastoral provision for people in "open" marriages who still believe they are honoring Matrimony since they stay with their primary spouse as their most loved partner. The Church is constitutionally incapable of making provisions for sheer fictions. As it happens, open marriages are as incoherent in the Church's eyes as are fairweather vows. If I wake up tomorrow and decide that, based on an initially faulty grasp of what my marital vows entailed, I decide that my marriage is a sham, and that I'm therefore free to find a better (or "proper") wife, I'd be an adulterer, barring myself from Communion. Now, if the Church openly welcomes me to the Altar despite this utterly sinful decision, then what's left of the sacrament of Matrimony? If I seek a divorce and then confess and make penance, I am in the clear. (There's your pastoral provision!) If, however, I never repent, there is no amount of pastoral provincialism, er, provisioning the Church can do to undo my grave sin. Likewise, if I confess but then enter a new marriage, I am just returning to my adulterous ways, and a pastoral provision would be incoherent.

    Sacraments work ex opere operato, not based on feelings or rational calculations. Insofar as Matrimony, like all the other sacraments, flow from the Church as the Body of Christ, it is within Her competence alone to judge that no such sacrament was in fact ever performed. If respecting Eucharistic (and thus ecclesial) communion were simply a matter of talking out one's adultery with the pastor until the awkward feelings abate, then the same nominalistic acid would dissolve all of the Church's sacraments. Decrees of nullity are not "apostolic" but they are a tradition confirmed by the Ordinary Magisterium. By analogy, the particular words and gestures of ordination are not all strictly derived straight from the Apostles, but they exist in order to access the grace given by the sacrament of holy orders. Likewise, annulment tribunals are a post-apostolic development which exist for the same reason as particular rites of ordination. The Church no more "leave it up to" individuals--not even well meaning clergy--to dictate the reality of the sacraments. I may feel in my marrow that I'm a priest and go around convinced I'm confecting the Holy Gifts every day, but without submitting to the proper ritual of ordination as offered by the Church, I am living in a sacrilegious (and in fact schismatic) fantasy. Likewise, my wife and I may "feel" that we were never married after all, but it would be just as schismatic of me to negate the presumed prior validity of the sacrament of Matrimony based on private judgments. The Church simply has no authority to affirm the validity of second marriages unless She first judges that there was never a first marriage.

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  21. Codgitator,

    I don't think your analogy works. There is never a case where an "open marriage" is not either fornication or adultery. Adultery if the first marriage is valid, fornication if it is not.

    Going back to my case of Britney Spears getting married in Las Vegas we have a situation where the "marriage" is almost certainly invalid. Therefore, it is simply a matter of the Church issuing a declaration that will make de jure what is already de facto. It seems to me that this discipline can be changed without changing the doctrine on the indissolubility of a real VALID marriage.

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  22. Anonymous:

    The point of that analogy was to emphasize that it is no more "up to me" to decide what the bounds of marriage are than it is "up to me" to decide that I was never validly married. This is especially the case with Matrimony, since the Church is merely the witness of the sacrament which I and my wife enacted! An annulment is just the same Church declaring that whatever it witnessed at someone's contested marriage was not in fact the sacrament of Matrimony. Insofar as the Church doesn't witness elopements and civil marriages, the Britney Spears angle is a red herring.

    And then there's this claim: "Therefore, it is simply a matter of the Church issuing a declaration that will make de jure what is already de facto."

    Indeed. Such a declaration is called an annulment.

    I agree that pastoral concerns have a place here, but they must be confined to the annulment parameters, not to the rejection of annulments in the external forum. Backing the Kasper Kompromise just because the pope hasn't officially quashed it yet is as confused as it is confusing.

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  23. P.S. I should be more precise in my own terms, since an annulment is the fudge word for the proper term, "declaration of nullity" (cf. point #6 in this interview).

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  24. Codgitator,

    I'm trying to learn here. When you say that the Church doesn't witness elopements and civil marriages does that mean the Church doesn't require an annulment in such a case? I'm genuinely interested if that is true or not.

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  25. Anon:

    Yes, there are options besides a declaration of nullity. I don't mean to say that the Church only respects Catholic marriages! Rather, She assumes the integrity and indissolubility of any act of marriage. It is just a question of which path is taken: declaration of invalidity, Lack of Form, Petrine Privilege, Pauline privilege, etc.

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  26. You said:
    " She assumes the integrity and indissolubility of any act of marriage."

    That's exactly what I think the Holy Father is going to change. It seems preposterous to me that the in this day and age the Church should assume the validity of civil marriages. For Catholics that attend pre-Cana, absolutely. For the rest of the world, I think not.

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  27. I will remember you and yours during my Mass (daily, normally) intentions.

    May God Bless and keep you.

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