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All is Well!

 

 

If a Pope decreed that all Catholics must paint their bottoms yellow,  I suspect Mark’s only response would be to inquire what shade.

Donald R. McClarey

For those of you disturbed by the Relatio of the Synod, go here to read about it, Mark Shea explains at length why you are simply a misguided “Reactionary”:

The latest in months of Reactionary panic (ongoing since March 2013 with the election of Francis) was on display last week in the fears about “gradualism” being discussed at the Synod. What’s gradualism? Gradualism is the common sense fact that conversion usually takes a long time and sinners typically require baby steps to change.  Calah Alexander, who is, like Yr. Obdt. Svt, a wretched sinner, has some rather appreciative words for gradualism. To which I say, “Hear! Hear!” I’ve never met a confessor who was not a gradualist and I doubt you have either. Indeed, most confessors I know tend to discourage gigantic vows of massive instantaneous conversion, particularly with entrenched sins. Why? Because when we fail to keep them, as we almost surely will, we can fly to the opposite end of the spectrum and despair. So the counsels tend to be “slow and steady wins the race”.

Unfortunately, Reactionaries (who tend to lack people skills) tend also to understand “gradualism” to mean “Let’s gradually change basic Church teaching until it conforms to the world, the flesh, and the devil.”  When they hear “gradualism” they don’t hear “How can the Church welcome sinners and help them to become saints by baby step?”  They hear “How can we slowly pervert the teaching of the Church until  abortion and gay marriage are the eighth and ninth sacraments?”

Go here to read the rest.  I am sure that Mark is correct.  There is absolutely nothing to worry about.  We have a papal statement in fact that we can look to at this time to reassure us that all will be well:  Pope Leo X’s initial reaction to the 95 theses:  “Brother Martin is a man of fine genius, and this outbreak is a mere squabble of envious monks.”

 

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

19 Comments

  1. “Indeed, most confessors I know tend to discourage gigantic vows of massive instantaneous conversion, particularly with entrenched sins.”
    .
    That’s not true. Look at St. Paul on the Road to Damascus!

  2. “Indeed, most confessors I know tend to discourage gigantic vows of massive instantaneous conversion, particularly with entrenched sins.”

    “Conversion is the matter of a moment. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime.”
    St Josemaria Escriva

    Of course Mark is confusing conversion and sanctification. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime and none of us are ever done.

    But this requires us to convert which is to reject sin, especially the entrenched ones, even though we recognize that we will fall again and again. Thus the words of that famous reactionary “Go and sin no more.”

  3. Because if anyone is an exemplar of the gradualist appraoch – taking people where they are, and slowly and softly converting them – it’s Mark Shea, the guy who scornfully dismisses everyone who doesn’t agree totally with him on every viewpoint.

    Self-awareness is clearly not a theological virtue.

  4. Tito Edwards: “Nicholas punched out Arius for his heresy. I guess he had poor people skills.”
    .
    I beg to differ. Nicholas had excellent people skills. How many people did Nicholas save. I had forgotten how delighted I am that Nicholas did.

  5. Yes, Mark’s correct of course. That Card. Burke is nothing but an irrational reactionary with no people skills. If only Mark could take his place.

  6. At least some cracks are starting to form in the Patheos facade. Father Longenecker has begun to voice sharp criticism of the Synod in general and the Relatio in particular. It’s only a matter of time before the Patheos circle jerk becomes a circular firing squad and begins to attack the “reactionary” Father Longenecker.

    Heck, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, sometime before next year’s Ordinary Synod, some Patheos luminary will actually go after the “reactionary” Cardinal Burke. Oh, they’ll couch it in tones of “disappointment” or some such B.S., but the result will be “Why can’t Burke just shut up and get with Pope Francis’ program of ‘mercy’ ?”

    Bank on it, folks.

  7. This reminds me of a book I read in elementary school – Wrinkle in Time. A brother and sister are being held captive by some space aliens and being fed food – the sister sees nothing wrong with the food (steak and potatoes IIRC), but the brother won’t eat it because it is nothing but mush. The alien explains that the sister’s mind is not as strong as her brother’s (how misogynist) so the aliens can control it enough to make her think she is eating steak, whereas the brother refuses to let them in so he sees it as it is.

  8. This thing about gradualism is like telling an alcoholic that he can gradually quit alcohol, or like telling a drug addict that he can gradually quite cocaine or heroin. “Just cut down a little – drink only a six pack instead of two per night, have only a bag of dope a day instead of four.” Sex addicts – fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, whatever – are NO different. This methodology does NOT work, has NEVER worked, and will NEVER work.
    .
    Now I could understand if the Synod Fathers recommended http://www.sa.org/ for those afflicted with the imperious need for self-gratification. That, however, is unlikely to occur.

  9. This is another time I start wondering how in the world Mark got any respect for his theological views…

    1) So gradual steps and taking people where they are at. Would that include… reactionaries?

    2)

    “Let’s gradually change basic Church teaching until it conforms to the world, the flesh, and the devil.” When they hear “gradualism” they don’t hear “How can the Church welcome sinners and help them to become saints by baby step?” They hear “How can we slowly pervert the teaching of the Church until abortion and gay marriage are the eighth and ninth sacraments?”

    How the heck does he think Evil takes over in the first place? GRADUALLY! Almost nobody wakes up one day and goes, “You know what? I want to kick a puppy.” No, instead what happens is that we all make little compromises – we refuse to feed the puppy, we yell at the puppy, etc – that we always justify because we can always point to something that’s worse (“well at least I’m not…”).

    Really as someone who wants to put himself forward as a great theologian (even writing an article series on “arguing well”) this is shoddy and horribly written. The man should be ashamed.

  10. That is spot-on, Anzlyne (15 Oct; 11:421am).

    They’re plagiarizing the noted American theologian: Jerry Seinfeld.

    And, that pretty much says it all.

    More proof that theology simply is making up stuff about God.

  11. Mark’s earlier stuff wasn’t bad (eg., By What Authority). Can’t really tell when he went off the rails – my best guess is with the torture debate. He felt that anyone who sincerely searched for a workable definition of torture was really just trying to obfuscate things. True, some were. But some were honestly trying to figure a workable definition of something that is rather slippery. The Potter Stewart definition of “I know it when I see it” is rather hard to work with. Once that “poisoned his well” so to speak, he now treats anyone who disagrees with him as anathema.

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