When I was a younger man, I use to engage in Catholic Apologetics. Apologetics is the practice of defending a position or belief. In my case, it was defending the Catholic faith against Protestants. I did this for about 7 years. In fact, my website, The Catholic Legate, is still up and I update it a few times a year. When Canada started opting for the Sodom and Gommorah option in 2003 by putting marriage on the ropes, I quickly realized that it’s better to pick up a bucket and start bailing than it is arguing who should be steering a sinking ship. In other words, Christians need to concentrate more on saving our culture from the crapper than arguing the finer points of soteriology or the procession within the Trinity.
When I became more embroiled in the culture war, I quickly realized just how pathetic the state of the Catholic Church is today, especially within the episcopacy. In fact, sometimes I wonder if we are not living in the proverbial twilight zone; the scandals could not be more bizarre or incredible. And I am not even talking about the sex scandals, however outrageous they are. I am talking about the basic stuff where one can ask a bishop to enforce a very rudimentary Catholic principle or teaching, and he looks at you like you are from another planet or gets very agitated and nervous at the mention of any kind of discipline or discomfort. Over the years, I have kept my mouth shut at this sad spectacle. I’ve done so for a number of reasons:
1) Making a public judgement on a bishop or even a group of bishops is serious business because there can be incredible damage inflicted on everyone – on the bishops and, by extension, their teaching authority; on the faithful who might be prone to listen to the accuser and lastly on the accuser himself.
2) It is not in my nature to keep my mouth shut about too many things. And I don’t trust myself sometimes. So I played it safe and gave the bishops the benefit of the doubt. And let me tell you, that has been a “big benefit”.
3) And lastly, being a big mouth burns bridges. And burning bridges with people who have access and influence is a pretty dumb thing to do if you are in the business of trying to influence the culture.
And so, over the years, I have kept my mouth shut and died dozens of silent deaths, enduring the most unbelievable comments and witnessing Judas-like abdications, just to get a shot at being heard.
Well, I just can’t do it anymore. I just can’t.
What we are dealing with, I am thoroughly convinced, is a diabolical disorientation and blindness that has seeped deep into the episcopacy of the Church. For certain, if the Catholic Church was not divinely protected by Her founder in what she officially teaches, she would be walking the exact same road as the Anglican communion is right now.
So, the latest scandal I have been watching with utter amazement is the whole brohahaha over Tony Blair’s imminent “conversion” to the Catholic Faith. If you read the news reports and the bizarre maneuvrings of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, you’d be wondering just what the hell is going on here?
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster, advised Mr Blair that it would be unwise and inappropriate to use such a high-profile occasion for such an important private event, particularly coming just days before he was due to leave Downing Street. He was preparing to make a declaration about his faith as one of his last acts as Prime Minister. But the cardinal recommended that it would be better to wait until he had left Number 10, amid fears that the announcement could cause a political storm. (Source)
That’s it? Some administrative and political baloney about the diplomatic nature of his reception into the Church? In other words, folks, they have their knickers in a knot over the “political scene”, some paper work, and ensuring the cutlery is nicely arranged for the big party.
This must be some kind of sick joke on us. It just must be.
And here I was thinking the most important thing for the Cardinal to be doing is helping Blair prepare a public retraction for his almost universal anti-Catholic positions he has held virtually his entire political life. Everything from abortion to embryonic stem cell research to the propagating homosexual agenda to what ever your anti-life, anti-Christian gig is at the moment. Reality check for the Cardinal: this guy’s latest achievement was to ensure the Catholic orphanages under your authority are forced to give our Catholic children to same-sex couples.
You know, it would be kind of scandalous if he were to quietly come into the Church and privately retract his position. In truth, that would not be acceptable, really. It would not be in keeping with the spirit of conversion which would require a public retraction from such a public figure who did much damage to Christianity, Catholicism, and his own country, BUT at least we could stomach it somewhat. After all, the guy changed his mind, right?
Maybe he has. Maybe he hasn’t.
If he hasn’t, then the whole thing is a big sham.
If he has, the whole thing is still a big sham because he has not been required by the Church to publicly repent of his position. He was a public figure who inflicted incredible harm on Britain, and the cross and martydom to be laid upon the faithful of that country in the future – probably within his own lifetime, in part because of his schizo-Christianity, cannot even be fathomed.
The Church is permitting scandal by allowing this two-faced politician to be received into the bosom of Holy Mother Church while maintaining the heresy I dub “Cuomoism” – named after the slick former New York Governor who made it stylish to be Catholic on Sunday and a heretic the other days of the week.
To be received into the Church, Tony Blair MUST publicly repent of his sins in order to avert scandal. If he does not, the Church would be implicitly accepting that a sin committed while holding a public office does not need to be repented of. Sadly, there is absolutely no hint that he will be required to do so. Apparently, they are too busy planning for the big event in Easter 2008 to be concerned with something so yesterday as sin.
Here’s a couple of more observations…
During the service he will recite the Nicene Creed and make a formal declaration that reads: “I believe and profess all that the Holy Catholic Church believes, teaches and proclaims to be revealed by God.”….More recently he has developed a friendship with Prof Hans Kung, the respected theologian. (Source)
You mean the same respected theologian who was stripped of his teaching position as a theologian by the Servant of God John Paul II, Tony? No wonder you are all screwed up. I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry for you and the Cardinal.
“It’s difficult if you talk about religious faith in our political system,” Blair said. “If you are in the American political system or others then you can talk about religious faith and people say ‘yes, that’s fair enough’ and it is something they respond to quite naturally. “You talk about it in our system and, frankly, people do think you’re a nutter. I mean… you may go off and sit in the corner and… commune with the man upstairs and then come back and say ‘right, I’ve been told the answer and that’s it’.” (Source)
Well, it’s good to know that we are accepting such courageous people like Tony Blair. I mean, of course, we all understand that it’s more important to be considered “respectable and normal” and betray the Gospel, then it is to be a “nutter” (did you ever ask Pope Benedict what he thought of your attitude, Tony?) and actually witness to the State, like a certain man named Thomas More once did. You know, the guy, I’m sure. He had the gall to believe he must keep his faith and his public witness in line with one another. He actually believed that God would judge him on being one person and not two persons, or, at any rate, one person with two faces.
The bishops and cardinals of the Church, at least in the West, are not really serious about the Catholic faith. If they were, they would be assuming their roles as fathers and shepherds by calling Catholic politicians to account. What we have here folks is a mirror of what is transpiring in the culture at large – delinquent fatherhood.
For all the Church’s talk about politicians having to tow the line on Catholic teaching, apparently Tony Blair (and virtually every other Catholic politician in the world) is getting a pass this coming Easter (unless, of course, you happen to be in His Grace Raymond Burke’s diocese where Catholicism is taken rather seriously and Catholic politicians are real Catholic politicians). But for the most part, Tony, it’s all smooth sailing for you. An easy transition. So come right in, Tony, you’ll feel right at home with the rest of us hypocrites. We bishops are just like you: All talk and no repentance. Let the good times roll, boys. We’re more concerned about being politically correct than breaking down the walls to allow the Gospel to shine in public life.
Words cannot express my revulsion and disgust.