Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Quote of the Day

. . . The so-called Reform of the Reform will sputter out precisely because it cannot drill in the Arctic, in the Gulf, or in people's backyards for the massive amounts of inappropriate guilt that were pumped into the lives of Catholics to keep them in their pews and in their places in the Father-is-always-right era into which these deluded pied pipers of reform are determined to lead us.

. . . These zealots do not understand the profound pastoral majesty of a Servant Church whose energy source is the Spirit; they want a Church as Master that exercises power to control and condemn, if need be, every believer's slightest thought or impulse.

They detest Vatican II because it did away with the pseudo-guilt that made good people feel uneasy or unclean about even the healthy aspects of being human, such as having sexual feelings and the desire for union that goes with genuine love. They want to overturn Vatican II because it placed the dignity of the human person at the center of its deliberations and as the subject of its extraordinary documents. They dislike Vatican II precisely because it did away with the imaginary guilt that these out-of-touch reformers need to fill up their out-of-style vehicles of spiritual life.

. . . Catholics cut down on confession not because they abandoned the idea of sin but because they discovered the meaning of sin and realized that it was much different in many of its social dimensions than the personal foibles they had been trained to feel guilty about in the pre-Vatican II Church.

The Reform of the Reform is therefore doomed because it can no longer make healthy people feel unhealthy and unnecessary guilt about being human. That is why, when once asked why he convened Vatican II, Pope John XXIII replied not with a discourse on the sinful world but with perhaps the most Catholic sentence spoken by any pontiff in the 20th century: "To make the human sojourn on earth less sad."

– Eugene Kennedy
"Guilt Shortage Dooms Reform of the Reform"
National Catholic Reporter
August 4, 2011

For more of Eugene Kennedy at The Wild Reed, see:
Quote of the Day – July 24, 2010
Eugene Kennedy on Roman Catholicism's "Post-Hierarchical Blues"
Celebrating the Dormition of Mary
What Is It That Ails You?


James C. said...

My God, has Kennedy even *READ* the documents of Vatican II?

Michael J. Bayly said...

Why do you ask, James?