Thursday, November 03, 2011

Quote of the Day

. . . SSPX [the Society of St Pius X] can be counted on to support Pope Benedict and the Vatican in three critical areas, none of which have a thing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the Catholic profession of Faith: an all male celibate hierarchical priesthood wielding total control of Church assets and teaching authority, the Aquinan/Augustinian approach to sexual understanding and morality, and the status of women, most especially reproductive rights and women's secondary status. SSPX certainly has no issues with the Vatican over these three areas – at least until one gets to the very top of the hierarchical pyramid.

If these three areas are indeed the most critical areas for the Vatican, that of maintaining the rights and privilege's of the Trentan clerical system, natural law sexual morality, and the secondary status of women, it becomes much easier to see why a priest like Fr Roy Bourgeois, or a Bishop like William Morris become such threats that they must be humiliated, expelled, and dismissed like errant children. Their big sin was to threaten some aspect of the BIG THREE. Virtually everything Benedict has done with his notion of the 'reform of the reform' is to underscore some aspect of one of these three, especially the BIG ONE – the Trentan clerical system and magical sacramental power of the priesthood. SSPX is the flag carrier for this understanding of the Catholic priesthood. SSPX leadership obviously understands their trump card in this 'discussion' between them and Pope Benedict's Vatican is the fact they have seminaries full of these kinds of priests.

I wish Pope Benedict was able to process the fact that very few people in the developed world believe in his kind of priesthood any longer. The recent Survey of American Catholics certainly underscores this fact. Although 63% of American Catholics rate the sacraments as very important to their faith, the clerical priesthood is rated as important to only 21%. In fact the importance of the clerical priesthood comes in last across the board. Vatican authority is rated only slightly higher. These two trends spell disaster for the Trentan priesthood and I don't think this is entirely due to the abuse scandal. I think it actually has more to do with the fact the Vatican has forced this prioritizing on Catholics precisely because it refuses to consider any other options to deal with the priest shortage. . . .

– Collen Kochivar-Baker
"Here's A Shocker"
Enlightened Catholicism
November 3, 2011


Anonymous said...

Just touching on your mention of Vatican support for "the Aquinan/Augustinian approach to sexual understanding and morality", I find in very interesting that they can still use the Aquinan approach in denouncing same-sex marriage/relationships. Aquinas focused on "natural law", but this doesn't exclude homosexual sex as they seem to claim it does. (even though Aquinas may have argued this himself). We now know that humans and many, many animals engage in it. Aquinas believed that “revelation comes in two books—the Bible and Nature” and “a mistake about nature results in a mistake about God.” Surely, now that we now homoerotic attraction is a natural and unchosen as hetero-erotic attraction, we can actually use Aquinan theory to at least a degree to SUPPORT homosexual relationships. I'm sorry if my reply is a little incoherent, I'm not very good with saying what I mean, but I hope you understand. :)

Your blog is awesome, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Well, if the majority of people think that the hierarchical nature of the Church is wrong, then it must be wrong.......
Except that's not how revealed doctine works.

And why in the world would anyone without hubris call their blog "Enlightened Catholicism." Why not just call it "Gnosticism" for accuracy sake? (I do notice that the blogger calims to be a psychic.)

Michael J. Bayly said...

Actually, Anonymous, "revealed doctrine" in the Catholic tradition very much depends on the experiences and input of the entire church, not just the bishops. See, for example, here and here.

As to your disparaging remarks about Colleen and her blog, I and many other Catholics find Enlightened Catholicism to be a very insightful and erudite resource.