Bleeding Christians

YouTube Preview Image

The two churches nearest to him, I have looked up in the office. Both have certain claims. At the first of these the Vicar is a man who has been so long engaged in watering down the faith to make it easier for supposedly incredulous and hard-headed congregation that it is now he who shocks his parishioners with his unbelief, not vice versa. He has undermined many a soul’s Christianity. His conduct of the services is also admirable. In order to spare the laity all “difficulties” he has deserted both the lectionary and the appointed psalms and now, without noticing it, revolves endlessly round the little treadmill of his fifteen favourite psalms and twenty favourite lessons. We are thus safe from the danger that any truth not already familiar to him and to his flock should over reach them through Scripture. But perhaps bur patient is not quite silly enough for this church – or not yet?
At the other church we have Fr. Spike. The humans are often puzzled to understand the range of his opinions – why he is one day almost a Communist and the next not far from some kind of theocratic Fascism – one day a scholastic, and the next prepared to deny human reason altogether – one day immersed in politics, and, the day after, declaring that all states of the world are equally “under judgment”. We, of course, see the connecting link, which is Hatred. The man cannot bring himself to teach anything which is not calculated to mock, grieve, puzzle, or humiliate his parents and their friends. A sermon which such people would accept would be to him as insipid as a poem which they could scan. There is also a promising streak of dishonesty in him; we are teaching him to say “The teaching of the Church is” when he really means “I’m almost sure I read recently in Maritain or someone of that sort”. But I must warn you that he has one fatal defect: he really believes. And this may yet mar all.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who takes up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, has a brilliant fisk at Midwest Conservative Journal detailing how upset some Episcopalians are at the Pope, because so many other Episcopalians are swimming the Tiber:

I said once before that if one of the marks of a genius was the ability to drive otherwise-sane people absolutely bat crap, then Pope Benedict XVI is Albert Einstein.  Come to find out that some Episcopalians are STILL bent about the Ordinariate.  Last weekend, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly did a story about a Maryland Episcopal parish that recently swam the Tiber:

In Bladensburg, Maryland, the Catholic service unfolds smoothly, a comfortable routine for priests and parishioners alike.

But one year ago, members of St. Luke’s parish were devout, devoted Episcopalians. This is the first Episcopal church in the country to convert to Catholicism under Vatican rules designed to attract disaffected Episcopalians.

Father Mark Lewis and his congregation preferred Roman Catholic order to the Episcopal tendency to make crap up as they go along.

We left the Episcopal Church not because we were running away from the issues of the Episcopal Church. We left the Episcopal Church because we were running to the Catholic Church. We came to the point where we realized the theology of the Episcopal Church is what was lacking. The theology of Rome, the authority of Rome, the unity in the Holy See and in the bishops: that was appealing to us.

As did Father Scott Hurd.

There is a real hunger amongst some Episcopalians and Anglicans for authority. It was the question of where can true Christian authority be found that was a key element in this community’s journey.

There wasn’t one particular reason, said congregant Stephen Smith.  There were a whole lot of reasons, each building on the last.

There’s not any one real incident you can point to, but it’s like the strands of a rope giving one by one, and each one weakens the rope as a whole.

Anne Marie Whittaker agrees.

All of a sudden it was do-your-own-thing mass, and there was a lot going on, for instance, a clown mass. I would come in and someone put a red nose on me! I saw children circling altars. One by one, parishes started to succumb to some of these practices in order to attract people, and it made it difficult for me to worship in that atmosphere.

Maryland Episcopal Bishop Eugene Sutton tried hard to be diplomatic.

I like to say that we are really one spiritual family. We believe about 90 percent of things in common. Where we disagree is on matters of authority and some other spiritual matters. But the important thing is that we are not fighting; we are not in competition with one another.

On the other hand, the Rev. Ian Markham, president and dean of the Virginia Theological Seminary, didn’t even try to hide his anger at the papists.

There’s quite a lot of traffic currently going both ways between the two traditions, especially at the level of congregants. What’s interesting here is you’ve got entire congregations and clergy making the shift. So, yeah, I think the Roman Catholic Church is a threat, because we’ve lost the sense of our theological understanding and identity.

How so?

There was a perception that this was poaching by the Roman Catholic Church of Anglicans around the world. It was discourteous, it was stealing sheep, it was unecumenical.

Stealing sheep?  Unecumenical?  In what way?

It’s viewed as not recognizing the value of and integrity of our traditions.

I’ve been covering the Current Unpleasantness since it began nine years ago.  And while some of you might feel the need to get into a theological argument with that line, I have arrived at a point where words like those just make me smile.

I wonder if Markham realizes how pathetic he sounds; I can’t conceive of an Orthodox or Roman Catholic Christian uttering those words or ever feeling the need to.  Because those words could not possibly occur to any person who is confident about his or her Christian tradition as Markham seems to imply here.

Go here to read the brilliant rest.  The modern Episcopal Church is hemorrhaging members because it has abandoned Christianity.  There is no great mystery about this.  Frankly, over the past few decades we have had more than a few people in the Roman Catholic Church, some holding large amounts of authority within the Church, who wished the Church would follow a similar path to extinction.  Fortunately, we Catholics have the Holy Spirit to make up for our blind guides who have so fecklessly attempted to destroy the Faith given to us by God while He walked among us.  We thus have no prideful attitude towards the former Episcopalians who join our ranks, but merely a humble thankfulness for the Good Shepherd who saves so many before the fall of night.

 

10 Responses to Bleeding Christians

  • Scott W. says:

    Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who takes up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith

    Hehe. It reminds me of Grandpa Simpson flashing back to his time as a minesweeper in WW2 and repeatedly blowing up his own forces and after the flashback concludes with, “And that’s how I won the Iron Cross!” :)

  • Mary De Voe says:

    Let me do that again, as I was late for Mass.
    “bat crap” I love it. It is interesting to see how some Episcopalians do not understand that man has a free will and reason and a love for God that is only fulfilled in the Catholic Church.”
    Scott W.: Simpson was injuring his own and good people. Christopher Johnson is redirecting the wayward into the TRUTH.

  • Anne Marie Whittaker says:

    Interesting discussion.
    I was interviewed for about 45 minutes and much of what I expressed, unfortunately, was not included.
    At first, I merely dipped my toes into the Tiber, and retreated; I had loved the Episcopal Church’s doctrine and liturgy. It was heart-wrenching for this sheep to leave; but my shepherd abandoned me and was not attentive to the instructions from his Master. It’s wasn’t easy, but I needed to leave for my own soul’s sake. The transition is actually easier than I had imagined. However, I have subsequently learned, to my horror, that many Roman Catholic parishes have also celebrated the infamous, ‘Clown Mass’! I hope that bishops, Archbishops, and Rome put a stop to that sacriligious behavior. At least St. Paul’s Chapel in NYC had a bit of an excuse: after all, they are on Broadway.

  • anzlyne says:

    Anne Marie I am glad you came over! I hope there are no clown masses or other liturgical messes anymore! That seems a lot less likely now with the new translation of the Mass.
    In the parish here the tabernacle was just moved to the center back of the sanctuary from a side place– progress is steady I think. Now if we can just move away from that Dan Schutte music!

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    The problem for the Anglican Church is that, once having rejected authority at the Reformation, it can never succeed in imposing its own. History bears this out: if Canterbury could reject the authority of popes and councils, why should the Puritans submit to the authority of the Convocation of Canterbury?

    Bishop Eugene Sutton really goes to the heart of the matter, when he claims, “we are really one spiritual family.” This only works, if “we” has a definite meaning in extension. Now, for the Catholic, this is simple. As Mgr Ronald Knox put it, “The fideles, be they many or few, be their doctrine apparently traditional or apparently innovatory, be their champions honest or unscrupulous, are simply those who are in visible communion with the see of Rome.”

    This is a real test, for it avoids the question-begging approach of defining the Church by its teaching, or the faithful by their tenets, which, inevitable leads to a vicious circle: “The true church is the one that teaches the true faith” and “The true faith is what the true church teaches.” It is also remarkably easy of application; just what one would expect of the criterion of a divine message, intended for all, regardless of learning, capacity or circumstances.

    It is worth noting that the Edict of Thessalonica (Cunctos Populos) of 380, which established Christianity as the religion of the Roman empire and which stands in pride of place at the beginning of the Codex of Justinian contains no mention of doctrine, but speaks of ““that religion which from then to now declares itself to have been delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness.”

  • T. Shaw says:

    “It’s viewed as not recognizing the value of and integrity of our traditions.”

    About what “traditions” is Spanky speaking?

    Is it the “clown masses”, or the sanctification of sodomy?

    Liberals are stupid.

  • Jeanne Rohl says:

    I had forgotten that phrase of Lewis, “bat crap crazy”. Or perhaps I was young enough in my journey of life that I could not relate to the full measure of what that could mean. Now I can place a perfect example of what has happened to me and my thought processes in perspective! For in my study of the leadership and direction of my beloved Faith, and the forked road that has been taken what else could it possibly be? We are ALL being driven “bat crap crazy”! “Skrewtape, Skrewptape, Skrewtape!! Ye are alive and well.

  • Foxfier says:

    *blink*
    I’m not sure if it’s an insult to Mr Lewis or a HUGE complement to TAC (or a comment on my sleep deprived self) when I read a long quote from CSL and interpret it as an opening comment from one of our good writers, rather than a classic quote…..

    It’s sad that I can see Priests that would be both, with great ease– as folks might guess from my talk of Father Hippy, Father Vietnam, etc.

Follow TAC by Clicking on the Buttons Below
Bookmark and Share
Subscribe by eMail

Enter your email:

Recent Comments
Archives
Our Visitors. . .
Our Subscribers. . .