A few postscripts on my column on the Great Apostasy, largely driven by reader comments and questions from my email box…
– When I speak of orthodoxy, I mean fidelity to both Christian doctrine and the authentic interpretive authority. Loyalty to Christian doctrine and to the Pope, individually, and the Bishops, in their collective capacity as far as the Magisterial, or formal teaching function, goes, is indivisible. Christ gave us the structure for authentic interpretations. If you claim loyalty to doctrine but dismiss the proper judges, you have declared yourself a law into yourself. If you claim loyalty to a nation, but would only submit to the decrees of its courts so long as they ruled as you want, that would be a prescription for anarchy. If you call yourself Catholic and seek to oust the Pope, you are not orthodox, no matter how intensely you claim fealty to certain doctrines.
– One fellow asked if I thought we are in schism. No, we are not. But when you see hostiles massing their forces at the borders and bringing in the heavy artillery to the front lines, you had best gird your loins or you will soon find yourself in the midst of schism.
– Some objected on formal grounds to my use of the word, ‘apostasy,’ when the term, ‘schism,’ would seem more technically applicable. I do not dismiss their critique lightly – and they are academically accurate in a way I am not quite yet. But I thought carefully and did not choose the term lightly, either. People often equate modern problems to the fall of the Roman Empire. Meh…I have long found the fall of the Roman Republic to be much more instructive. As the Caesars rose, they maintained the forms of freedom and representation while gutting them of their substance – culminating in the Emperor Caligula demonstrating his contempt for the legislature by appointing his horse to be a Senator. Age and arrogance may well have eventually felled Rome anyway, but the process was sped along dramatically by the slow, muffled gutting of its representative institutions. To keep the forms of worship while gutting the faith of the guarantors that Christ set up to interpret doctrine would be the same thing. It is far more deadly and comprehensive than people estimate right now.
– Some got the idea that the orthodox and those who revere traditional forms of worship are the problem. Big miscue! I said clearly that this last deception was designed to mimic what is objectively good. Orthodoxy and a respect for tradition engender fidelity and faithfulness – it is objectively GOOD, which is why satan chooses it for his final mask. While those who are orthodox and traditional may be most vulnerable to this deception, they are also the strongest bulwark against it when properly armed. My column was designed to help provide them with some ammunition.
A few have asked what happened to my sister, Kim, who was going to help in the clearing of comments here. She has MS and shortly after she was to get to it, she had one of her occasional relapses, this one more prolonged than most. Now when things are bad, she can be a little fuzzy-headed and very hot tempered. Knowing herself and where she is at, she is not going to start at it until she feels clear. Say a few prayers for her.
I am going to add a few permanent links over the next day or two. I think I will add a new category for ‘Insightful Christian Writers.’ Msgr. Charles Pope, of the Archdiocese of Washington has a wonderful piece out today. I will add a permanent link to him.
Also, our own Linda Summerfields has set up the Blessed Hope Forums. She did it in consultation with me. It has several avenues for discussion, but at the top it covers several key areas, including a forum for “Preparing for Changes.” This spot is where people are invited to go and discuss simple and homey preparations – things such as the Hawthorn Tea that many spoke of here a few weeks ago – at more length and depth. I list it among “Preparation” site links. Also, you should know that the gorgeous photo she uses in the title is one she took herself. I thought it was an art photo. It is, but she is the artist.
A correspondent from my old home state of Illinois who converted from Orthodoxy to Catholicism let me know that Eastern-rite Catholics do NOT take kindly to the term, “Uniate.” Apparently, it is used as an insulting pejorative by Orthodox in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. I did not know that, but I will make sure to use the terms Ukranian Catholics or Greek Catholics or whatever – and will edit any comments that refer to Uniate Churches to reflect that sensibility.
As this site has grown, so has the SPAM that comes into my box. The site segregates it automatically. Occasionally, a legitimate comment ends up there. It was originally easy to monitor it, but now I think I would need a part-time assistant to do it. I try, but sometimes it gets so huge I just have to dump it without looking through everything there.
If you have submitted comments that have not been cleared, first look at the rules on comments by pressing the “Comments” button on the bar at the top of this page to make sure you have been keeping to the basic rules. If so, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will watch to make sure your comments don’t get lost in the SPAM section.
Also, of late people have been touting their favorite projects to me, often straining to somehow relate them to the faith. Some of these are good, some not so much. But this website is concerned with matters of the faith. That is its purpose and focus. I ask you not to send such submissions – and if you do, I may not be able to respond.
Also, as I do have a “Comments” policy written that sets out some basic standards. If you send some absurd conspiracy theory, if you don’t give credible references (other than to say “it is well documented” without providing some actual, uh, documentation), I will just delete the comment. I used to respond to every commenter, by email, even if I could not clear their comment. I simply can’t any more. It is both too much time and too many are trying to slip stuff through. If you try to get stuff through without taking the time to think it through, document it, and follow the standards I will not burden my readers with it or waste time on it.
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Finally, in Ferguson, Missouri tonight the Grand Jury followed the evidence and gave no bill of indictment against the officer involved in the shooting of the young man who was trying to take his gun away. Everybody is expecting a riot. Police in my family are on heavy alert in completely different cities.
These are not protestors there: they are a lynch mob. People in it repeatedly said they did not care what the evidence or the law said; they just wanted the blood of a policeman that did not just lay down and be assaulted or die. Now, fomenting lynch mobs ultimately did not work out so well for white folks when they constituted 90% of the population, once the tide turned. I have to think it is not going to turn out any better for black folks who constitute about 15% of the population. I am surprised at how relentlessly the administration has tried to whip up racial divisions and hatreds out of nothing. They know that if there is widespread violence, there will be a widespread backlash. I can’t help but wonder why they would foment this, unless they were shopping for justification to declare a national emergency and assume emergency powers. Let’s hope this flops, too.
It is not about race, but about a socio-economic divide. The permanently dependent class has gotten very petulant. And the idiot media has been so irresponsible and inflammatory about half of them should be sentenced to life in prison.