30 September 2010

Doesn't Play Well With Others

Though most lay Catholics are unaware of it, the discipline of secular psychology has been a powerful force in almost every seminary and religious community in the Western Church since the early 1970's. During the naive enthusiasm of the years just after the Second Vatican Council, secular psychology was imported, usually uncritically, into the life the Church in her seminaries and religious communities, and we are still tallying the cost in vocations lost or destroyed and communities cut loose from their foundations.

I think of that today because the Church keeps the feast of St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church, who -- among the many accomplishments of his long life -- rendered the Holy Scriptures from Hebrew and Greek into Latin. He was also famously (or, depending upon your point of view, infamously) cantankerous, and I suspect that in most seminaries today, such a man would be sent away because he doesn't play well with others.

I am not suggesting that we should make a point of ordaining men who have grave psychological illnesses, but the sort of direct and honest toughness which makes a man an outstanding soldier or corporate executive is badly needed in the priesthood today. The problem is that even now, men with such qualities are subjected in our seminaries to constant criticism and ceaseless efforts at re-education. Being "nice" is too often prized above being honest and taking initiative, and a man who will not submit to this sort of "sensitivity training" will quickly be shown to the door of the seminary. And then we wonder why so few priests will stand in the breach against the toxic waste dump of our degenerate culture.

St. Jerome, pray for us!

28 September 2010

Time to Put Up or Shut Up

With whom are you in ecclesial communion?

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC has been appointed by the Holy See to direct the implementation in the United States of Anglicanorum Coetibus. Any Anglican parish, association, religious community or other group which desires to be restored to full, visible communion with the Catholic Church should write to him immediately:

The Most Reverend Donald W. Wuerl
Archbishop of Washington
Post Office BOx 29260
Washington, DC 20017

It has been eleven months since Benedict XVI responded to the request from groups of Anglicans around the world for a way to come into full communion with the Catholic Church while at the same time preserving all of their Anglican patrimony that is in harmony with the Catholic Faith. So, you've had a year to think and pray and talk and argue and pray some more. Enough. The time for excuses, evasions, rationalizations, dithering, and delaying is over. It's time to become Catholic or decide once and for all that you are really Protestants with cassocks and surplices. You simply can't have it both ways. The choice is yours. With whom will you stand?

13 September 2010

Lead, Kindly Light

Here's a splendid introduction to the life and work of John Henry Newman, who will be beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday 19 September during the pope's pastoral visit to Britain. My own journey to the Catholic Church almost thirty years ago was guided by this man's writing.