There Ain’t No Pure Church

This piece seems to be enjoying a new lease on life in response to the hysterics from various quarters in reaction to Pope Francis’ election.

  • The True Will

    I recall the words of (ritually impure) Andrew Greeley: “Good luck in your search for the perfect church. When you find it, join it… and know that on that day, it will become less than perfect.”

  • contrarian

    Thing is, a Catholic shouldn’t have to worry about whether his church teaches heresy. That’s *precisely* what makes us different than protestants.
    It’s not a matter of finding a perfect church. The letter writer here (from the pice linked) would be perfectly happy to have a church filled with sinners, losers, and slobs.
    But precisely because we have a Mass with set prayers (going back a loooong time), we shouldn’t have to worry about ‘finding a church’ that does anything other than teach the purity of the faith.
    But…we DO have to worry about finding a church that does that here in the VII era.
    I suppose one could criticize this letter writer’s complaint about the priest having his back to the Lord (which, I guess, is allowed now). But other than that, I think his complaints are quite reasonable. I don’t think he wants to stick the middle finger to anyone.

    • Mark Shea

      His Church does not teach heresy. Many Catholics do–and this has always been the case back to the very beginning. The New Testament was written, in large measure, to put out heretical fires in various early Christian communities. The problem is not that the Church teaches heresy. It’s that Traditionalists have a great deal of trouble really believing the Church does not teach heresy. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in your pope, but in yourself.

      • contrarian

        Well, ok. In order to keep the peace, I’ll bracket the question of whether the Mass of Paul VI is heretical (that is, whether there’s a heresy of omission).

        I guess I’d argue that your letter writer from that email isn’t sneering at his fellow Catholics next to him in the pews or the bored alter girls up front. He feels for those folks.
        He’s upset that *those in charge* allow this stuff to happen. His annoyance with the new mass has nothing to do with the guy in the pew next to him–quite to the contrary! He doesn’t think he’s better than this person by knowing that most people just don’t know any better.

        There’s nothing smug or ‘sneering’ about pointing out that your average guy in the pew has *no idea* how the church has become corrupted liturgically. This man’s ire is not with the guy in the pew, but with the priests and bishops who perpetuate this stuff. Well, perhaps his ire isn’t even with priests, as seminaries have become so corrupt that most priests don’t know any better either.

        Yes, we live in an age where many laymen know more about the faith than your average priest. This is certainly true of the writer of this blog, no?

  • EMS

    Mark, I was silently cheering at the top of my lungs and silently clapping loud enough to be heard 50 miles away. (Don’t want to scare my little dog with the noise of my delight.) That was why I read your blog! Keep up the good work.


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