Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Outlook Going Forward

As I noted a few days ago, I thought 2017 hit a generally discouraging note regarding prospects for Anglicanorum coetibus. I spent the last couple of days wondering in part what to do about this blog. While I haven't reached a final decision, here are some items I've thrown into the pot:
  • I think it's basically reckless for anyone, cradle Catholic or Anglican (or whatever else) to attend mass at an OCSP group. For non-Catholics, there's no assurance that they'll have a good catechesis. For cradle Catholics, especially if they're coming back to the Church after falling away, they can be lulled into serious error. For evidence, I simply point to Mrs Gyapong's recent post, in which she asserted that it isn't a sin voluntarily to enter a near occasion of sin -- by her authority, the Anglican patrimony (whatever that is) cancels this out. She seems to think people who believe this are "Jansenists", which suggests her understanding of theology is limited.
  • The odd thing is that if I were to post this, I can imagine that at least two or three people would send me e-mails setting me straight, and I'd wind up removing the post or correcting it. (However, these would all be well-catechized diocesan Catholics.) So far, this hasn't happened. Nor has there apparently been any sort of notice taken by OCSP clergy. If I were Bp Lopes, I think I'd want to post something in the Ordinariate Observer correcting any misinterpretations, since this error would otherwise appear to have OCSP sanction. So far, this hasn't happened.
  • I've said over and over here that I would not go to an OCSP priest for confession unless the matter were urgent and I had no other option. The circumstances above reinforce this view, but beyond that, I think it might be dangerous for anyone, especially a new Catholic or lapsed cradle Catholic, to go to confession with an OCSP priest. On the other hand, I wonder how many OCSP laity in fact go to confession, and, given the opinion so strongly expressed by Ms Gyapong, what their examinations of conscience would be like in any case.
  • One piece of advice I see for Catholics on the web is to stay away from sources of erroneous advice and not to waste a lot of time arguing, because these people aren't going to change their minds. This probably goes to more general advice that it's important to choose one's friends and associates well. It isn't a good use of my time at this point to say more than what I've said above.
  • I've probably said about as much as I can say here about the OCSP, barring new developments. I think it's reckless for Houston to continue in its current direction, which seems to be to be to ordain men who probably shouldn't even be candidates at their stage of formation and turn them loose on often well-motivated but poorly catechized laity. It is, as far as I can see, also reckless to let these poorly formed men operate with the closest supervision in some cases thousands of miles away.
At this point, barring new developments, I intend to report on legal developments as they affect St Mary of the Angels, but what I do with the blog beyond that is very much up in the air.