Division, Diversity and Dissent

We preach Christ crucified

The Bishop was present in the parish over the weekend to celebrate the sacrament of confirmation, and after sharing dinner with him and the Holy Deacon I was pondering the immensity of his task. The Catholic Church is so amazingly diverse, and the bishop is the focus of unity for the diocese. How does he do it?

Considering the clergy alone he has to deal with secular clergy and religious, priests from Africa, Asia, South and Central America. Many of them have English as a second language and struggle to minister in a foreign land. Then he has to deal with aging priests, a few married convert priests and young priests still wet behind the ears. Added to this diversity are differences of opinion regarding liturgy, theology and priorities in the church.

Diversity in the church is a rich blessing, but division in the church terrible curse. There is acceptable diversity in cultural expressions of worship and different styles of worship, but there is no room for ‘diversity’ when it comes to the teaching of the Catholic Church–and this is where modernists stumble and betray the faith. They mistake proper diversity of style and culture with dissent on crucial matters of faith. So they will maintain that it is okay that they disagree with the church on artificial contraception, women’s ordination, same sex ‘marriage’ or abortion. “This is all part of the “diversity” we celebrate in the church.” they claim.

There are indeed some matters of church teaching and devotion which remain provisional or are only “pious opinion.” The Blessed Mother has not been defined as Co-Redeemer. You don’t have to wear the brown scapular if you don’t want to. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is optional and women don’t have to wear hats to church. There are many practices and principles that are up for grabs, but the heart of church teaching is not, and when we treat as optional the truths that are defined and defended as de fide  we are on the path of division and dissent–not simple diversity.

The most subtle form of this division and dissent is when a Catholic emphasizes a legitimate aspect of church life over and above the core mission of the church. Put it like this: the basic mission of the church is to be the Body of Christ on earth. She does what Christ did, and these are four things: 1. Teach the Truth 2. Heal the Sick 3. Forgive Sins 4. Take authority over evil. The basic mission of the church is therefore to bring Christ’s redemption to a needy world–in other words–to save souls.

When we put anything else before this fundamental mission division is the result. Read More

 

 

  • http://virtualchapel.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Well said, Father.

  • michael

    Who’s the Holy Deacon, The Bishops sidekick?

    • frdlongenecker

      Parish deacon. I always call my deacons ‘Holy Deacon’. It really annoys them.

      • Ray Cherry

        Lol!

      • Christian LeBlanc

        Of course some of them may actually be holy.

  • Mary Parks

    Not: #1. Teach the Truth. But #1: Make Christ known!

    • ANNE_JMJ

      You can not make Christ known without teaching the TRUTH.

  • ANNE_JMJ

    DIVERSITY does NOT mean VIOLATING the Doctrines of the Church by any baptized “Catholic” regardless of position within the Church.
    These Doctrines are contained in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” from the Magisterium.

    “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.
    I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid
    and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II. (CCC pg 5)

    “….the Catechism has raised throughout the world, even among
    non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete
    exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II
    (CCC pg xiv)

    “In this Year of Faith let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments.” – Pope Francis, May 15, 2013.
    Those Catholics (including Clerics) who do not adhere to the CCC in entirety are HERETICS and/or SCHISMATICS. And they VIOLATE the UNITY in the CHURCH.
    (The CCC can be found on the Vatican web site.)

  • ANNE_JMJ

    DIVERSITY does NOT mean VIOLATING the Doctrines of the Church by any baptized “Catholic” regardless of position within the Church.

    These Doctrines are contained in the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” from the Magisterium.

    “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.
    I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid
    and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II. (CCC pg 5)

    “….the Catechism has raised throughout the world, even among
    non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete
    exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II
    (CCC pg xiv)

    “In this Year of Faith let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments.” – Pope Francis, May 15, 2013.

    Those Catholics (including Clerics) who do not adhere to the CCC in entirety are HERETICS and/or SCHISMATICS. And they VIOLATE the UNITY in the CHURCH.

    (The CCC can be found on the Vatican web site.)
    – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

  • ANNE_JMJ

    If every Priest, every Nun, every Catholic read and adhered to the CCC – which is world-wide and must be upheld regardless of various cultures, there would be no issues or concerns. Because this is the way it is – end of subject.

    Regarding the Mass – within the USA there are only two options as approved by the Vatican:
    1) The Ordinary Form (vernacular language) according to GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal;
    2) The Extraordinary Form (Latin) according to the 1962 Missal.

    Also of interest should be the Code of Canon Law.
    The CCC, GIRM and Canon Law can be found on the Vatican web site.)
    So why are there any issues of conflict?

    • vox borealis

      Anne, you are incorrect. The Ordinary Form according to the GIRM does NOT pertain only to the vernacular language. In fact, the normative version of the Ordinary Form is Latin (for most of the ordinary of the mass), though it *may* be celebrated in the local vernacular, or indeed in any language according to the approved translation from the Latin original.

      Otherwise, you are basically correct.

      • ANNE_JMJ

        You are incorrect. Check it out on the Vatican or USCCB web sites.
        The Ordinary Form (aka Novus Ordo) is not the Extraordinary Form (aka Latin) Mass.

        • vox borealis

          No, you are simply wrong. The Ordinary form/Novus Ordo is composed originally in Latin, as is the GIRM. It is then translated into various vernacular languages, the translations approved by the Vatican and relevant bishops conferences. Therefore, one can have the Novus Ordo in Latin (indeed, one can attend such a mass, for example, at St. Patrick’s basilica in Montreal once a month), or the Ordinary Form in one of several vernacular languages, or the Extraordinary Form, which is only in Latin following the 1962 Missal.

        • vox borealis

          I direct you to a few passages from the GIRM of the “Novus Ordo”:
          ===
          389. It is the competence, in the first place, of the Conferences of Bishops to prepare and approve an edition of this Roman Missal in the authorized vernacular languages, so that, once their decisions have been accorded the recognitio of the Apostolic See, the edition may be used in the regions to which it pertains.

          The Roman Missal, whether in Latin or in legitimately approved vernacular translations, is to be published in its entirety.

          392. It shall also be for Conferences of Bishops to prepare with care a translation of the other texts, so that, even though the character of each language is respected, the meaning of the original Latin text is fully and faithfully rendered. In accomplishing this task, it is desirable that the different literary genres used at Mass be taken into account, such as the presidential prayers, the antiphons, the acclamations, the responses, the litanies of supplication, and so on.

          ===

          Both indicate that the Roman Missal of the “Novus Ordo” is published in Latin (in fact, the third edition was published in 2002) and only then published in vernacular translation. The Ordinary Form may, therefore be celebrated in Latin or the vernacular.

          Oh, and if you wish to purchase a copy of the Missale Romanum 2002—the Novus Ordo—in Latin: http://www.amazon.com/Missale-Romanum-Editio-typicam-tertiam/dp/1890177555

        • wineinthewater

          Anne_JMJ,

          Vox did not say that. He said that the Ordinary Form is actually in Latin, which it is. But unlike the Extraordinary Form, an authorized vernacular translation of the Ordinary Form may be used. There is nothing inherently vernacular about the Ordinary Form, even if it is almost always in the vernacular.

    • wineinthewater

      I think, even if one holds to the Catechism and Canon Law, there can still be a problem. You can have all the right belief and still over-emphasize the secondary. It’s not just about what you believe, it’s about what you do. It is very easy to so de-emphasize the evangelical mission of the Church in favor of a particular mission of mercy or justice of the Church, that the evangelical mission gets lost. All while being perfectly orthodox.

  • guamang1

    Once at a diocesan (Episcopal) clergy conference the Social Services folks made a presentation. One that did not mention God, grace, or any kind of spiritual connection with the Lord. I stated then, which was totally ignored, what I had heard a Protestant minister from the South once say. “If we do not feed the poor, someone will. If we do not cloth the poor, someone will. If we do not preach the Gospel to the poor, no body will.”

    BTW, I humbly request a prayer (George) as I prepare for ordination (Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter) at the end of this month, Lord willing.

  • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

    “The most subtle form of this division and dissent is when a Catholic emphasizes a legitimate aspect of church life over and above the core mission of the church.”

    It seems to me this is the core problem of the ‘post-conciliar Church’?

    But might it be that the motivation hasn’t been deliberate dissent at all, so much as ‘good-will-gone-bad’ owing to a desire to appease and ‘be relevant’ in a hostile secular environment which thinks that Christianity is simply a form of morality and nothing else (a la Kant)?

    Maybe we were just as badly catechised ‘pre-Vatican II’, except we could parrot the Catechism word-for-word without any understanding whatsoever because it had been beaten into us, but Anachronists don’t want to admit it?

    Maybe Vatican II, being a ‘pastoral council’, realised this, and that parroting Neo-Thomist phrases without understanding, although grand-sounding, was absolutely no use in addressing the problems of the modern world and bringing Christ’s love effectively to bear on a world that was becoming rapidly de-Christianised?

    I have been present in many circumstances, including blogs, where ‘dissenters’ (who appear to be just ignorant Catholics) have been viciously confronted by prissy Anachronists, and the result has been utterly counterproductive.

    In fact, ‘the dissenter’ – possibly being in a position of openness at the beginning – is driven to shut down and entrench, through the use of quotations and THE USE OF CAPS AND EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!! telling the ‘dissenter’ exactly how wrong they are in the most unpleasant way.

    It seems to me it results only in the Anachronist feeling warmly self-righteous and faithful (QED chaps!), having got the rant off their chest and ‘annihilating’ (in the sense of treating them as ‘nihil’) the supposed dissenter, and the ‘dissenter’ feeing bad, sad, or simply driven towards dissent even if they weren’t at the beginning.

    After all, as Pope Voris I teaches, ‘nice’ is the language only of wimps and dissenters…

    Dare I say that I think a lot of ‘dissent’ is merely a reaction, rather than an action, by many in the laity? Could it be that so many of the laity have been so poorly catechised they’re incapable of actively dissenting on doctrinal grounds anyway, and are just doing the best they can, whilst being shouted at by supposed team mates – who aren’t trying to shout them on, but shout them down?

    Now I await the barrage of replies accusing me of Modernism and daring to challenge Pope V… :)

  • DeaconJohnMBresnahan

    One aspect of legitimate Catholic diversity is regularly ignored–that is the Eastern churches in communion with Rome. A Roman Catholic can fulfill his Sunday obligation at any Eastern Catholic parish from the Maronite to the Chaldean, etc.


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