Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ax Grinding and Novus Ordo "Apologists"

A very interesting turn of events has occured recently, some real ax grinding. A Novus ordo attempted to post a comment, not the first time, but let's just say it wasn't "productive". Novus ordos consider anyone who thinks the way Catholics did a hundred years ago as an apostate [maybe it's more profound than this?], but I checked out his site, which was full of the same old anti-traditionalist stuff, that they're schismatics, or they're nutty, or something like that, primarily in response to Gerry Matatic's latest radio appearance, and a link from there took me to Mark Shea's blog, a NO "apologist", where I found exactly the same thing, only exercised in reference to Gerry Matatic's position, NO's don't generally take into consideration the fact that there is a crisis in the Church and that perhaps there might be some merit in someone's criticism of the NO's inability to sense it, or the honesty in someone's intellectual or religious conviction, strange for an ecumenical NO, how fast the warm and fuzzy feeling wears off when you start talking about Trads.

For instance, Mark Shea's response to Matatic's radio appearance:
"The ad informs us that Matatics only "grudgingly" uses the term "sedevacantist" to describe himself. Is that because he doesn't deny that the Pope is the Pope. No. He denies it alright. The name for people who deny that the Pope is the Pope is "sedevacantist". So why deny what he in fact professes? I suspect it could have something to do with the fact that, as the ad says, "Prior to Gerry's adoption of sedevacantism ... he was one of the most highly sought after Catholic apologists in America, and was one of the most highly praised contemporary defenders of the Catholic Faith." Now that he has chosen to regard himself as smarter than Holy Mother Church and to do radio shows aiding and abetting professional anti-Catholics, it's hard to persuade Catholics that he isn't the best person to turn to for information on the Church. "Sedevacantist" doesn't help enhance that reputation. So while advocating a sedevacantist position, Matatics prefers not to *name* that position too loudly.

The refusal to give things their proper name is always one of the marks of hell at work... Gerry Matatics has apostatized into nutty sedevacantism..."
And Again:
"...the frequent sedevacantist hatred of joy is but one of the things that marks the sect out as despising the True Faith. My advice to sedevacantists: Repent and return to the True Church or you will go to Hell. You, of all people, know well that there is no salvation outside Her. Your responsibility and culpability for schism is far greater than the garden variety Know Nothing who splits with the Church..."
Apparently, kissing the koran is perfectly Catholic to Mr. Shea. We can go tell people not to convert, and we're not heretics or schismatics, but, if we do the opposite, then we are. Do these gentlemen, novus ordo apologists, seriously believe that there is no scandal coming from Rome? Do they seriously believe that there is no merit to any criticism of that scandal? Or any honest reaction to it? No, they do not. Amongst them, one might note that they are the first ones to say that not everything is all black and white, but when it comes to traditionalism, it suddenly goes that way, either you're ok with V2 ecumenism or you are a schismatic.
"The ad informs us that Matatics only "grudgingly" uses the term "sedevacantist" to describe himself. Is that because he doesn't deny that the Pope is the Pope. No. He denies it alright. The name for people who deny that the Pope is the Pope is "sedevacantist". So why deny what he in fact professes?"
Oftentimes novus ordo critics don't really care to find out what people are actually saying, it's the motive to make some sort of cynical remark concerning someone or something, disregarding the facts, as liberals do. Does Gerry Matatics profess sedevacantism? According to Gerry, no, his position is not so much that the See of St. Peter is vacant, sede vacante, but that Joseph Ratzinger does not occupy it. Let's say, for sake of argument, that we're in 1411 in France, and someone denies that Benedict XIII, that is deLuna, is the pope, is that person Sedevacantist? um, perhaps not, look a little closer and they might say the guy from the Pisan line is the pope. Are they sedevacantist? No, they merely deny that a papal claimant is the real pope. This is the case with Dr. Matatics. Mr. Shea has completely ignored this in regards to what Matatics professes, since we are talking about what he professes, right? So why the the ax grinding?
Matatics sees and honestly recognizes a real problem in the Church and acts accordingly, according to apparently valid Catholic principles that is, do we see any kind of move on Shea's behalf to give his former colleague even the benefit of the doubt, or any spirit of understanding at all? Nope, what crisis?, he implies, kissing the Koran is cool!, we should all do it. Let's go tell the Muslims they worship God too, and tell them they're gonna go to heaven too!
If Mr. Shea believes that Matatics is wrong, why is he not trying to reach out a helping hand to someone he sees as an erring brother? Why? because Gerry's not a "brother" to him, he's an apostate because he thinks that he's more catholic than the pope because he failed to kiss a koran, perhaps. His charity, he is an apologist, after all, is the model for non-Catholics, Shea puts himself up there as a model Catholic for non-Catholics in his work to convert them, he is supposed to be showing them what a Catholic is, he should be the first to show what Catholic charity is by lending a helping hand to a former colleague, does he?.......
"Now that he has chosen to regard himself as smarter than Holy Mother Church and to do radio shows aiding and abetting professional anti-Catholics, it's hard to persuade Catholics that he isn't the best person to turn to for information on the Church."
Now, I've never seen or heard of Gerry claiming to be "smarter than Holy Mother Church", but I have seen him defend its holiness against the scandals of novus ordo clerics...
IS Gerry one to look to about info on the Church? Gerry says no, he tells people to look to the saints of the Church and magisterium. The problem is that professed Catholics are not showing any charity to each other, Mr. Shea is treating his former colleague as if he had the plague, or were some enemy to be attacked, and where is there any apologetics to reach out to either him or those who believe like him? None... they're enemies, why would we ever try to understand them?
"The refusal to give things their proper name is always one of the marks of hell at work."
So we see that according to Mr. Shea, traditionalists are working with the forces of "Hell"...If Shea claims to be an apologist, and can't find any more charity in his heart than this, then I think he should reexamine himself and his vocation to be an apologist. I don't exactly call this as a model of the Church's charity at all.
"...the frequent sedevacantist hatred of joy is but one of the things that marks the sect out as despising the True Faith."
I guess it must be that hatred of the "joy" of praying in synagogues...
"Repent and return to the True Church or you will go to Hell."
Mr. Shea should define which Church that is, which one is the true Church? According to the Vatican, the true Church subsists in the Catholic Church, and in other Christian churches who share "elements" of the truth, which is sufficient for them. Which means that even for those who dissent from the novus ordo there is salvation, because they have elements of truth in their religion. And therefore, they will not go to Hell, because God uses those religions as a means to save them. Therefore, if Gerry has left the true Church, which is debateable, he can still be saved because he has elements of the truth in his religion, right? I mean, Mr. Shea does accept Benedict's theology, right?
"Your responsibility and culpability for schism"
Ah, so Gerry is a schismatic and the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Greece, hailed as a pastor in the Church by Benedict, is not? What a new twist in novus ordo theology, where Catholics are schismatics, and heretics are brother "Catholics". I think Shea needs to follow in Benedict's footsteps if he truly wants to represent it to non-Catholics, he needs to hold true to the theology he claims to espouse.

Aside from the whole sedevacantist thing, novus ordo apologists waste no time in labeling a traditionalist a "dissident", trads from all groups take the criticism, be he an SSPXer or what have you; dissent from Vatican II theology represents schism and dissidence, it is apostasy to reject it and schism to prefer the traditional theology to it, criticism of V2 theology is heresy.
Jews are our "older brothers in the faith", and if you question that, then you are treading on dangerous ground and bordering on heresy. All are saved via Christ's incarnation, He took the nature of us all, and we are all united to Him because of this glorious event, by which He achieved our salvation. Question that, and you are nearing heresy. The Eucharist does not really become our Lord, He is just present in it in a special way. Question that and you are a heretic. The Novus ordo Missae was produced and implemented by the authority of the Church, and thus it requires one's assent and love as a true and holy sacrifice, question that, or prefer the old mass to it, and you are a schismatic. These and more are some of the threads running throughout novus ordo apologetics, and they are by no means friendly towards the eternal traditions of the Church.
After Vatican II, all condemnations ceased, Protestants and Eastern "Orthodox" were no longer under the anathema of the Church, the Counter-Reformation was ended with the "new Springtime", the "second Pentecost" of Vatican II; except for the resounding condemnations of those within the fold who would not accept the changes. Those condemnations were new ones, and they continue to this day.


Anyways, over an Athanasius' blog: Athanasius composed an article about the novus ordo apologists denigrating the traditions of the Church. And Dave Armstrong happened to find it an left a comment. Following his link to his own post about it, one notes the comments on his post, and the vitriol there towards traditionalists, where here is an excerpt:
"I've long noted, in any event, how Catholic "traditionalists" are similar in their mentality to both Catholic liberals and Protestants...."Traditionalists" try so hard to come off not looking extreme and unbalanced, but they just can't do it, because their absurd beliefs always shine through... Gerry Matatics is one sterling example. He became so "Catholic", er, Protestant, that he now no longer believes that Pope Benedict XVI is pope. Robert Sungenis is another. "
So, we're similar to Liberals! These guys are sooo far in outerspace, they think the moderate centre is "liberal"! We're Protestant, because we honestly recognize and criticize the neo-Protestantism of the Novus ordo. They're soooo nice to eastern schismatics and Protestants and all ecumenical with them, calling them separated brothers and all, but they quickly come out with the name-calling when it comes to a traditionalist, oh, we're schismatics, or apostates, or heretics because we believe like Rome did a century ago, I wonder who apostatized then? How hypocritical is this attitude amongst NO "apologists". Mr. Armstrong says we're "extremists", and calls Bob Sungenis, a moderate "moderate", an extremist traditionalist! Bob Sungenis will do backflips to defend the NO and also labels trads as "extremists", and Bob, good ole Bob, is an exteremist himself! Armstrong is so dizzy he can't tell the right from the left if he thinks that we're similar to the liberals, or that Bob Sungenis is an extremist.
Let's get this all straight here. A "liberal" is a leftist. A "traditionalist" is considered an extreme "rightist", but they're alike according to Armstrong... that's like saying a monarchist is similar to an anarchist! I think Mr. Armstrong needs to stop and catch his bearings.
And of course it's the same old attitude towards anyone who tries to make sense out the utter confusion and chaos of the novus ordo, clown masses and ecumenism and brother Protestants... same train of thought as Shea employed about Matatics... Even Athanasius is an "extremist" and is "unbalanced", it seems that no matter which side you take, if you oppose V2, you're a non-Catholic.

At least one reader of Armstrong's had the honesty to recognize the gyst of Athanasius' post:
"What I am merely trying to show is that people have real concerns over things like Vatican II or the New Mass. We simply see that there is an obvious problem with say the prayers of the New Mass (not counting that it has a large amount of options and has adopted inferior forms like the priest facing the people or standing for communion) and that the small t traditions – namely that of organically developing the Mass instead of fabricating a new one and watering down the prayers is a problem."
Armstrong and Shea habitually condescend almost anyone who disagrees with them, be it a Catholic or a Protestant, that is when it's a Catholic anyways, they tend to be a little nicer with "separated brethren". They see traditionalism as some sort of non-Catholic religion and anyone who becomes a trad is an apostate. This leaves us with several questions: if Traditional Catholicism of nowadays is apostasy, then what was Pius XII? An Apostate? What's the real Catholic religion then?, the new ecumenism of Vatican II, is it a new religion? Or was the Catholic Church wrong all this time? Was this new Pentecost the Pentecost of a New Church? Does this signify to us that a new evangelism has been conceived, and the world is now being re-evangelized in this new gospel of Vatican II? Are these apologists, the new apologists of a new theology? These novus ordo apologists just leave us scratching our heads...