The Two Ditches

Fr Z. has a great post with two show stopping videos. It’s all about the extremes you can fall into when you disembark from the Barque of Peter. One is a video that has been making the rounds of an extreme left wing Catholic group celebrating Mass with oversized puppets and old ladies doing liturgical dance. The other is of an anti-pope in Spain experiencing a vision of Jesus. He (and his minions) are dressed in the most over the top traditionalist gear, and are in what looks like a beautiful old Catholic Church.

What tickles me about these videos is that the extremists shown are only extreme in the outward expression of their independent religious views. The people in the videos have obviously gone off the deep end–following what is right in their own eyes.

However, philosophically they are no different from any individual or group who have intentionally departed from full communion with the Holy Father to do their own thing. The other schismatics and heretics might seem more sane and spiritual and sweet and nice, but that too is merely the outward appearance.

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  • This video of “Pope Whatever” brought back memories. My wife, two sons and I were vacationing in the South of France – Provence and staying at the hotel also was this group of “clerics” all of whom seemed to hover around this seemingly important personage who appeared to be blind. Curiosity got the best of me and I inquired of one of the clerics who this person was. I was shocked when they told me he was the Pope. I inquired further and asked to speak with him but they wouldn’t allow me any contact. They gave me some literature which I kept for awhile but then discarded. This was back in the mid-1980’s and I always thought this was over-the-top. When I returned home and told people that I had met the Pope and in fact he was staying at the same hotel as I, people were surprised and then disbelieving – just as I was those 20 years ago. I have since learned that this guy has died.

  • The vestments look like they came from a theatrical wardrobe department’s cast-offs.

  • Outward displays of reverence and holiness are pretty shallow. Didn’t someone write a book about cheap grace? How costly grace costs everything and cheap grace is grace we bestow on ourselves?

  • The poor altar boy in the video looks really out of place! Many of the old folks in the video look pretty confused themselves. What was with the dual blessing at the end? Confusing… The music is really terrible as well. I think the shelf life on this stuff is really rather short… thankfully! Keep smiling and God bless! Padre Steve, SDB

  • Hi Fr..please update your links to my new blog…details on the old..many thanks..

  • I wish I could draw here a scene I once saw: Imagine a light in the center of the universe. All else is darkness and empty space. There is a way to that light, depicted as a long pathway of Roman arches. I think the meaning is very clear: You can get There from existential anywhere, but only one way is a sure guide–the Holy Roman Catholic Church.Éstiel

  • I wish I could describe a scene I once saw: There is a light in the center of the universe. All else is dark emptiness. There is a way to the light marked by a long series of Roman arches. The meaning is clear: You can get There from existential anywhere but there is only one pathway marked–the Holy Roman Catholic Church.Éstiel

  • Fr. L -I think this is a great post that you highlight here. I really like the contrast between both ends of the schismatic spectrum. Very apt. Thanks for sharing.