Monday, July 16, 2007

On Last Week

Last week the Vatican released the two most important documents since "The Ten Commandments for Drivers". They were the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (on the Latin Mass) and the CDF instruction "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church". They are creating quite a stir.

It can be heartbreaking to see the secular media provide an outlet to detractors of the Church without presenting the alternative view. Perhaps I haven't learned my lesson yet, and should stop hoping for fairness from these sources. But what does that make me? As a born-and-bred Massachusetts boy, I identify with the Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram. It is very alienating to imagine that these publications no longer echo my thoughts.

I have no doubts about the stances of these papers. But there is still a very deep feeling of betrayal when I see them libel my true hometown: Rome.

All that being said, I'm really happy about the two latest words from Rome. I'm not a huge fan of the Tridentine mass, but I am a huge fan of the Latin tradition within the Church. We need to be using more of it. It is the equivalent of Hebrew to a Jew. It reminds you that you are a part of something bigger, something older, something more beautiful.

And as for the document on the Churches, it is also most welcome and nothing new. We need to be bitingly clear to other Christian denominations: Christ only founded one Church. It's really nothing that wasn't said by St. Paul himself: One faith, one Lord, one Baptism. As many have said over the last week, ecumenism starts with honesty. It's not about blurring the lines so that it appears that everyone fits inside. That's called bullshit where I come from, and it doesn't help anyone.

The interesting idea that arises from the events of last week is this: how do we exist as a disliked sub-culture in a post-Christian era? Where do we find our voice to talk back to the Boston Globes and to reach out to our fellow men?

I think the answer is participation. Plant your roots firmly in this culture and start to spread out. You and I have a right to be here, and we shouldn't go down without a fight. After all, we built this house.

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