A Synod Designed to Push Lies
On Instagram, thebasiccatholic has shared some very interesting information.
Accountability? You must be kidding. Bishop Zanchetta gets caught abusing seminarians and fiddling the books, so Francis gives him a job overseeing Vatican finances. pic.twitter.com/ZGhumCuTmh— Damian Thompson (@holysmoke) September 25, 2022
Thompson puts his finger on the most important point for me. Why are clergy and bishops so quiet? Why are they allowing this to happen?
It reflects particularly badly on those who like to be thought of as orthodox. https://t.co/GJ1YMMbp7K— Damian Thompson (@holysmoke) September 25, 2022
But I was wrong. My last year in the seminary (1980-81) the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky where the seminary resided got a new, and much more liberal, “That 70’s Church”, type of bishop. What followed was an immediate purge at the seminary with many fine priest/professors getting the boot out the door, without, of course, any due process or “dialogue”. They were all replaced with very liberal priests of the “Father skippy-toes sings Broadway show tunes” variety who immediately instituted a new formation program characterized by the then popular fetishization of “openness” and “big tent dialogue”, which in turn soon led to a reign of terror where vocations were annihilated and the personal character of many seminarians assassinated.
But what struck me the most, even at that young age, was the manipulation of language for the furtherance of this new genital Gnosticism as a legitimate “development of doctrine”. We were told in a pounding, percussive succession of re-education lectures (“Days of Recollection”!) that God was “doing a new thing” that apparently contradicted all of the “old things” that God used to do but now regrets, and that we could not be “fundamentalists” anymore since fundamentalism is one of the things God once liked but no longer does. And by “fundamentalist” they meant adhering to Church teaching in matters of sexuality and liturgy in particular or holding to a view of Revelation that was even remotely related to the notion of objective truth and propositional clarity. What was even more striking was that the words “Christ” and/or “Jesus” were very rarely mentioned and scripture was rarely quoted. [Again, this sounds like the present pope!]
There was a strange and ironic ecclesiolatry going on as well since all of the emphasis was upon the Church as the generator of truth, and in this case, new truths, and not on the Church as the preserver of truths that had been gifted to her by God in Revelation. And to the extent that they did emphasize that God alone was the source of the truth of Revelation it was only to reinforce some bizarre voluntarist concept of a God who could just make crap up as he went along and as it suited him/her/they/them/it.
Therefore, what was true yesterday could be false today since God’s pedagogy in Revelation is characterized by a historical unfolding whereby we move from infancy to adulthood with many missteps along the way. And those missteps could include errors in the Bible and Church dogmas – errors which were the product of a more naïve and pre-scientific adolescent stage of our development and which we alone now have the vantage point from which to set them right. Because we are now, in our own minds, in the “adult” phase of the pedagogy. In other words, history as a rolling party bus of bar-hopping dynamical flux does eventually have a terminal point, and that point is us.
This sense of history’s inevitable progression into modernity as the final phase of some ill-defined maturation process is not believed any longer by most modern secular intellectuals. Most of them have long since moved on from such high-minded and hortatory Enlightenment moralizing which is viewed by most now as still far too classical in its understanding of existence. They have moved instead into a cynical and merely stipulative Liberalism having no grounding in anything except our functional desire to create the social conditions necessary in order to maximize the digital transformation of our world into a techno-paradise of manufactured reality tailored to the whims of the untethered self. There is a nihilistic weariness with reason and metaphysical thought as such viewed now as just so-many epiphenomenal brain ejaculations having no purchase on reality. We are now content to rest in the shallow end of the pool which is the safe zone of techno-manipulation. It is the quiet totalitarianism of an “opposable thumb” anthropology that sees humanity’s most distinctive and defining trait as our ability to grab hold of things in order to acquire them and bend them to our immediate material needs.
These revisionist Catholic genital Gnostics continued to use words like “Revelation” but invested them with subtle new meanings. Rahner’s epigones in the chronically mediocre clerical world of the chanceries and seminaries appealed to “anonymous Christianity” and “the transcendental structure of unthematized spiritual experience” as the new privileged location for discerning God’s Revelation -- a “Revelation” that could now only be teased out and understood by the Germans apparently. The Germans were fond of making sweeping generalizations about “modern man” along the lines of what it is that “modern man” can “no longer accept or believe”. In reality, all they were describing was the bourgeois Angst of highbrow culture in places like Cologne and Munich and confusing that with every culture on the planet. Which is a move you can make only if you are assuming that your own culture is somehow paradigmatic in a “cutting-edge” and normative kind of way for all others.