Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Zombie Catholics And Anglicans

A visitor sees a problem with setting "average", uncatechized, or however you characterize them Catholics as a standard to measure against the OCSP.
Sorry, I just had to wade into this pool of lifelong Catholics and their varying states of catechesis. The Baltimore Catechism was the gold standard introducing Catholicism to very young Catholics for years because of its simple question/answer format. That is the way people learn, by asking questions and finding answers. It is still, IMHO, the best distillation of Catholic doctrine on the market because hidden in the simplicity of the answers that a student would memorize are contained the most complex and difficult conundrums that human beings ever grapple with. Once you get past the first big three: who made us? who is God? and why did God make us?, we as Catholics are challenged our whole lives by the 4th question, “What must we do to gain the happiness of heaven? The answer, ”To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world.”

Seems simple enough until you examine the meaning of the words know, love and serve. All lifelong Catholics (as well as newly minted varieties) are bound by the same answer, but based on their levels of catechesis, the meaning of knowing God will be different, as will loving God and serving God in this world. All truly practicing Catholics should be actively growing in their knowledge, love and service to God as they strive to approach the perfection of Christ (they haven’t mastered Catholicism, that is why they are still “practicing”). Examples of lifelong Catholics who lose sight of this question (i.e. Zombie Catholics) do not prove the answer wrong, they simply fail to answer it appropriately.

The whole Anglican Catholic thing is a bit of a puzzle to me. Are you Anglican or are you Catholic? The Catholic Church is the truth. Some Catholics behave badly/are not well catechized/act like zombies and they tarnish the image of the Church but they do not diminish the truth of the Church. A well catechized Anglican may have great renown but unless they are in full communion with the Catholic Church, they are still mistaken. Catechized or not, Zombie Catholics/Anglican Catholics/OCSP types seem to have the impression the Catholic Church is like a bus, you can hurry up and jump in the door, satisfied you made it, then plop down and enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, the Church is much more like a Viking galley, you have to hurry up and jump on the boat, satisfied you made it, but then you have to pick up an oar and row like your life depended on it…

One thing that's made difficult by the disappearance of "Anglican Catholic" blogs that I mentioned earlier is that it's hard to gauge what rank and file OCSP members are doing in practicing a newly acquired Catholic faith. In addition to parish life, there are numerous resources available to everyday Catholics, including YouTube channels, Magnificat, Relevant Radio, and pastoral blogs from priests like Fr Z, Msgr Pope, and Fr Longenecker, though these are hardly the only examples.

I don't see any evidence -- if someone can point me to contrary examples, I'll appreciate it -- that OCSP members follow this sort of thing. Instead, I have the impression that they're following the Facebook pages of their little communities and the blogs from opportunistic characters like Dcn Bengry, not to mention the ignorant and misleading posts on the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society blog.

Catholics who actively attend diocesan mass also get opportunities for parish retreats and other activities. Teens post-confirmation have activities like LifeTeen and Steubenville. Teens can also get involved in server programs at active parishes. To claim that Zombie Catholics don't do more than OCSP members simply says that the OCSP is serving its members poorly, since at least in dioceses, the zombies actively reject the opportunities they have, while OCSP members don't get the opportunities in the first place. In fact, they may feel they're too special.

I've also heard numerous homilies and seen pastoral blog posts on how the Protestant-Evangelical "born again" theology contrasts with Catholic theology that, as my visitor points out, stresses the need to become more Catholic all one's life, rather than the idea that if you've done it once, it's good enough. Anglicans may claim they're neither Evangelical nor Protestant, and they're Catholic enough anyhow, but Anglicans don't actually know what they believe, and I think the more you look at the 1928 BCP, the more Reformed it is. Why play footsie with this stuff?

UPDATE: I just got an e-mail from our Bible study discussion leader that reads, in part:

Learn our Catholic Faith better thru these information, inspiring, well done programs. You can even watch them with your children and grandchildren and not have to press the mute button or block their eyes from viewing what's being shown. If your provider doesn't give you EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) your missing out. You can access these programs via the Internet as well at EWTN. The New Evangelization takes many forms. Face the facts, you and your family, if your like most families, watch hours of TV nightly why not give Catholic TV equal time.
A comprehensive list of Catholic television shows follows. Certainly zombies (or at least figurative ones) have the free will to ignore this sort of message. But it's being actively provided by the Church. I will put this directly to anyone in Houston who may be listening. Is this sort of thing being sent to anyone in the OCSP? If not, why not?

The real accountability here will be with the CDF and Bp Lopes, as well as the opportunistic ex-Protestants Houston has been ordaining.