In case anyone thought yesterday’s blog post on Catholic fundamentalists was some sort of hit job on traditionalists, the comments box at CRUX on my most recent article remind us that the wild eyed fundamentalists are not only conservative Catholics. They’e on the other side of the fence too.
The radical trendies are just as loopy as the radical traddies.
My latest article over at CRUX website is a simple explanation of why lay men and women are not permitted to preach at Mass. I set out all the practical reasons why it might be a good idea for lay people to preach at Mass, but then explain why in liturgical terms it is reserved to men.
Don’t all these practical points prevail? Wouldn’t it make sense for lay men and lay women, after being properly trained, to help with the task of preaching?
Perhaps. However, when it comes to Mass, there is more going on than simply teaching the faith. Catholic worship is not merely utilitarian. A deeper and more mysterious transaction is taking place. The entire Mass is a liturgical expression of the life of Jesus Christ. Every aspect of the Mass is a celebration and recognition of the incarnation, passion, death, and resurrection of the Lord. Indeed, it is through the Mass that this mystery comes alive and is applied to the everyday needs of the faithful.
The Mass is not simply a gathering to hear a religious lecture. It is not a pep rally for people to sing songs and hear a speech about how to be nicer people and make the world a better place. The Mass is not just a cheerful fellowship where we all hold hands and try to raise one another’s self-esteem. The Mass is not a political rally in which we are instructed in an ideology to change the world. The Mass is not just a time for catechesis with bread and wine. It is not an RCIA class with hymns.
The Mass is a mystical sharing in the Body of Christ.
I then go on to explain how the priest (and deacon) in the liturgy are in persona Christi, and that this excludes laypeople.
You can read the whole article here.
Far more interesting than the article, however, are the comments from CRUX readers. At a simple, orthodox explanation of Catholic belief and practice their irrational rage bursts forth. All the anger over male only ordination spills out. Very little attempt is made to discuss the arguments at hand. Just more weary, emotional, “deeply concerned” liberal Catholic hypocrites.
One reader brings up a blog post of mine from a couple of years ago in which I ask why nobody every accuses the liberal Catholics of being hypocrites. It is always the conservative Catholics who are blamed for not living up to their Catholic faith, and yet the liberal Catholics are the most blatant hypocrites of all. They claim to be Catholic but are in favor of same sex marriage, abortion, women’s ordination and the whole shallow, non thinking liberal agenda.
Here’s a snippet of my rant…
Well, I am angry (whoops) deeply saddened by the hypocrisy and double faced self righteousness of the progressive Catholics . Why doesn’t anybody ever see them as hypocrites? We all think of the classic religious hypocrite as the pious rosary reciting sour puss who doesn’t live by his creed. Why are the progressives who don’t even intend to live by the Catholicism they publicly profess ever vilified as self righteous hypocrites, for that is what they most surely are. They profess to follow the Catholic faith and “cling to their Catholicism” while not living their faith in any way that is even remotely recognizable as Catholic. Instead they cause scandal and encourage others to think that it is perfectly okay to be “Catholic” but skip Mass, skip confession and support abortion and the rest of the culture of death agenda.
I’m blamed for telling them to clear off and join the Episcoplians? Well why not? Why should they not be honest with themselves and everyone else and leave the Catholic faith and stop being publicly insufferable self righteous hypocrites? Either they should do that or get themselves off to confession, bone up on what the Catholic Church really teaches and embark on the adventure of actually trying to live and pray and love like a Catholic.
As for being “saddened” and “deeply concerned”. It’s exactly that kind of passive aggressive nonsense that gets me going in the first place. Whenever I hear someone express their “deep concern” and that they are “deeply saddened” I hear a lot of repressed rage and fury papered over with a polite smile and sometimes a kind of pouty little sad look.
After my post yesterday on fundamentalist Catholics I should remind readers that they are not all traditionalists either. The radical trendies exhibit all the traits I outlined in yesterday’s post. They have the same anger, the same fortress mentality, the same blame of others, the same pick and choose approach to the faith, the same dismissal of the popes, bishops and priests they don’t like and the same paranoia, fear and loathing.
You gotta laugh.
Or you’ll end up weeping.