Saturday, May 12, 2018

Late-Stage Schism And The Law Of Gravity

As well as the Creeds, I also believe in the law of gravity. I don't think either makes me someone who "yearns for authority or infallibility", as Mr Chadwick suggests. I think it just makes me prudent. I'll have more to say below about Mr Chadwick's posts.

At the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society blog, Fr Seraiah refers to "someone who wants the Ordinariates to fail". I simply don't know if he has me in mind, but I will discuss the question of whether I want them to. I have a great deal of respect for Fr Seraiah, since he's been through a lot in becoming a Catholic priest, and he's one of a very few in the OCSP who've performed successfully in both diocesan and ordinariate roles -- and of that small number, in the short time we've seen them, two have so far failed utterly. So I have no beef at all with Fr Seraiah, and he and all other priests continue in my prayers.

But here we see Mr Wile E. Coyote in a typical moment of recognition that the law of gravity is about to apply to him in yet another case. Do I want him to fail? No -- nor do I think anyone in the audience wants him to fail, simply because the audience has a different set of expectations. Given the universe of circumstances governing him and the road runner, he is inevitably going to fail, and the audience will laugh in watching the inevitability play out.

It's hard for me not to think -- amd I'm sure he recognizes this himself -- that Fr Seraiah came out better than might be expected given the outcomes in 2012 for many other OCSP candidates. The denial of votum for David Moyer was simply the most public of those treated less well, and it led to the observation that the OCSP was dominated by a clique surrounding Msgr Steenson. I think the impression continues that those who proceeed to ordination aren't necessarily the best qualified, or indeed qualified at all, but simply happen to be in a position to make the OCSP look good for a particular moment.

If an organization, secular or holy, runs this way, the law of gravity is going to catch up with it. I don't "want" it to, any more than I "want" Mr Coyote to fall, but it's going to happen. In 2011-12, I wanted very much for St Mary of the Angels to go into the OCSP, but in large part due to factors within the OCSP itself, it's a very iffy question whether this will happen, or even if it does, whether it will happen in any way to allow the parish to continue viably. I still would like this to happen, but I have my doubts. I believe those doubts are prudent and realistic, which is why I just got back from Saturday morning mass at a diocesan parish.

Now let's get to Mr Chadwick, who lives in France but is somehow qualified to psychoanalyze me at a distance of roughly 5600 miles. He says,

We should begin by imagining the ideal world of this fellow. The entire planet is a suburb of some great American city in the 1950’s, every clean and in order. It is the collective society in which everyone followed the same curriculum through college, high school and university and joined the same grey lines to the rat race. The tensions between the churches – Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant and fundamentalist – largely follow the kind of cars people have and the plants they display in their windows. . . Individualism only began to enter the scene from the late 1960’s when the post-war order was challenged for its baseless certitudes.
I don't know what TV show he got this from; certainly it came from something like TV, although if someone now pays $60,000 a year for a college education, they'll still hear it there, too. But let's look at media figures in the US in the 1950s: Hugh Hefner. Liberace. James Dean. Marlon Brando. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ven Fulton Sheen. Billy Graham. Lenny Bruce. Elvis Presley. Chuck Berry. Fats Domino. Er, where's the conformity? What about literature? Allen Ginsberg, Howl (1956). Kerouac, On the Road (1957). Burroughs, Naked Lunch (1959). I was too young to read them right when they came out, but I did read them a few years later, like millions of others. Where's the conformity? Film and TV? High Noon (1952). Shane (1953). Vertigo (1958). The Wrong Man (1956). The Twilight Zone (1959). Where on earth is the collective, the gray lines in the rat race?

I notice that several bloggers seem to want to characterize me in the context of stereotypes about the US, when I question how much they know about the country at all, or for that matter, me. If they'll drop that stuff, I'll take them seriously. But in Mr Chadwick's case, I can't understand how he thinks the outcome could be other than it is for the G-4, the PNCC, and any other fringe group he might choose to join. The law of gravity applies to all of us. Isn't this at the basis of Aquinas's thought? But as he puts it, sin dulls the intellect. Best to get to a place where you can find sound teaching and valid sacraments.