"In many ways, the American experience is all about forgetting"
(07-14-2010, 03:32 PM)Mhoram Wrote:
(07-14-2010, 03:00 PM)Robert De Brus Wrote: You know I have to say that I think Mexican Catholicism was compromised a long time ago, at least going back to the 1920s.  The author is also making the mistake that immigrant culture = Catholic culture, and that the more there is a ghetto the more Catholic you are. 

I haven't read all his stuff, but what I have read is pretty contemptuous of middle-class white America, to be blunt.  The standard multi-culti viewpoint, really: all cultures are valuable except one, and they tend to increase in value the more different they are from that one.

It stands to reason that Mexican Catholicism would be compromised.  Mexico had one of the earliest communist revolutions in 1910, and though there weren't the gulags and mass killings there like there were some places in Europe (well, not counting a massacre here and there) Catholics were certainly persecuted, as we always are by socialist governments.  Priests were run out of the country at gunpoint and churches were closed.  As he suggests in this article, a nation can forget a lot of things very quickly when it tries.  The Mexican government has been more or less socialist and oppressive ever since, so it's not like there's been a lot of opportunity for a rebirth.

I'm not saying there aren't devout Mexican Catholics, obviously.  I'm sure there are many.  But the idea that everyone south of the border carries around a rosary and makes devotions to the Blessed Mother every day appears to be a fantasy of Hollywood and Republican strategists who think it'd be easier to import new voters than win back old ones.

I think he is a perfect example of a typical (yet still reverent) Mexican Catholic: emphasis of 'folk'  Catholicism and a near total dismissal of 'High Church' Catholicism  and the hierarchy.  He himself gives a perfect example of this sort of thinking on his blog:

Quote: will add that my own lack of enthusiasm about the goings on in the Roman Catholic Church is from what I have deemed a healthy form of anticlericalism. While I have always felt that in the end one must always go along with what the Church says because it is, well, the Church, I have not in a long time put all of my hopes and dreams in the external acts of the Church. As my former abbot once said, put your trust in Christ and in Christ alone.

  Personally, I've never liked the idolization of the immigrants communities, it leads to Catholics getting nutty about immigration policy.  And something that the descendants of later immigrants often forget is we do have a locally grown English Catholic culture, of which I come from, in Maryland.
To me, what matters most is unstated so far:  As Catholics, Christ is our King, and we will be what God wills us to be so long as we seek to live and do according to His will.  Out of this time of passion for the Church, we will do what we can, and God's grace will leave standing what He wants for His Church.  Our grandchildren and their children and so on will pass on what they will see as the traditions of their ancestors who lived through a time of very visible spiritual war.  We may feel lost and adrift sometimes, but we are forced to cry out to our God by necessity because we are nothing without Him.

The writer of the article makes some good points despite himself, such as the silliness of pitting the Irish against everyone else.  Sounds a little spun to me.  What if many of those folk traditions are gone because it was God's will?  Isn't the Church like Job?  What was lost will be restored somehow.  I can't find any fault with the writings of the Saints and Doctors of the Church, like St. Alphonsus Liguori, being a huge influence on the rebuilding of what has been damaged and lost.  Maybe us readers and doers aren't perfect, but we should be praying against our faults, anyway.  Look to the Saints and Doctors of the Church, and the Holy Trinity most of all?  Sounds great to me.  At least we have books.

I'm with HK, I hope one new tradition is scholas everywhere.
In short, I'd say that I fully acknowledge a lot of what we might call "tradition" to actually be reconstruction. It's probably more likely that a church that has celebrated solemn high Mass has probably learned it from reading Fortescue/O'Connell and watching videos of the FSSP or something, rather than learning it all firsthand from a priest who ministered before the Council. In my city, we have an old priest who can't celebrate a sung Mass with incense and doesn't have time to learn.

My difference with Arturo-ism, if you will, is that "reconstructed traditionalism" (solemn Masses, Gregorian chant, the sung Office at the parish level) is often preferable to "actual traditionalism" (what was actually done in the early 20th century Church by the plebs). I know that sounds condescending to those of you who might have lived before the Council or had super-pious grandmothers, but it was those generations who built both the Council and the problems it tried to solve.

It's kind of like Renaissance faires or the Society for Creative Anachronism, to use a crude analogy. They exist to idealise the "good things" about the past (fine dress and manners, unique craftsmanship) and leave behind the bad (plagues and illiteracy). Likewise in traditional Catholicism, there are some things about the pre-VII Church, especially in folk Catholicism like bandito saints and treating heaven like a mafia/favour for a favour system, that are best left behind.
Aligning yourself with the multi-cultural crowd is a way you can simultaneously appeal to the slick, overeducated mandarin who reads Commonweal, New Yorker and the like, finds 20th Cent Haute Couture engaging and sophisticated, and has rejected scholasticism wholesale.

Isn't that it, scholasticism isn't sexy enough for Arturo. 
(07-14-2010, 06:42 PM)Augstine Baker Wrote: Aligning yourself with the multi-cultural crowd is a way you can simultaneously appeal to the slick, overeducated mandarin who reads Commonweal, New Yorker and the like, finds 20th Cent Haute Couture engaging and sophisticated, and has rejected scholasticism wholesale.

Isn't that it, scholasticism isn't sexy enough for Arturo. 

To be fair, the multicultural card is a great play if you happen to be a trad of non-white/non-European descent. Ex: "I'm Asian and I love the Latin Mass." Gets most liberals to shut up for a while. But Arturo definitely aligns himself with western culture.

I think Arturo likes scholasticism. He does say in a recent post:

Quote:Most people who criticize scholasticism, “neo-“ or otherwise, have little idea of what “scholasticism” actually is. Long ago have I stopped listening to those people.

I'm not sure exactly what that has to do with this topic, though.
One big problem with this article acknowledges one very large group that is typically ignored, apostates, but does not even mention the other largely ignored group that this problem mostly pertains to: converts.

Many Catholics, whether cradle or revert, at least have their grand-parents or their parents memories of their great grand parents to build off of. They can go in the attic and find hidden Catholic treasures or hear stories about their family and neighborhood in the past. It is not easy, but typically it is possible to be somewhat acquainted with the traditions of one's own Catholic culture.

But Converts mostly don't have a Catholic culture, at least not on already pre-decided for them. I find myself practicing certain traditions as they come and rather than demanding that I am the most traditional or authentic, just ask the Holy Spirit to guide me so that when I have kids I have some kind of culture to offer them. What else am I to do? I find that I practice Christmas traditions in a very British way not because my family did it this way but because I want to recreate the kind of Christmas Dickens, Lewis, and Chesterton talk about. But I'm not British, so what am I to do (besides for better cooking, obviously)? Am I trying to live out a fantasy when I adopt a tradition here and there? Or am I to marry a cradle Catholic and just practice whatever traditions she has?

I am not saying these questions bother me. I know what I am to do. What bothers me is that they are never addressed. This issue, which I think is an important one for converts, is either ignored or cradle Catholics point out this problem and how annoying converts are without actually taking the time to help these frustrated or naive souls.
(07-14-2010, 06:50 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: I'm not sure exactly what that has to do with this topic, though.

Are you trying to derail this topic with you quotes?  Hmm?  :fish:
(07-14-2010, 07:32 PM)3Sanctus Wrote: Are you trying to derail this topic with you quotes?  Hmm?   :fish:

I'm not trying to derail anything.
(07-14-2010, 02:41 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote:
(07-14-2010, 02:30 PM)timoose Wrote: Okay I'm old and stupid. I just read this article and what he said in the article is like a spike driven through the heart of the problem. What am I missing ?  (Boy I wish I had a cig right now!)

You're not missing anything. I think it's a good article. Arturo just says some nutty things on his blog, usually something related to folk Catholicism vs. clerical Catholicism.


Trippy, trippy blog.
And Arturo also plays into Prot propaganda when he calls the more sense-oriented aspects of Catholicism (statues, bloody crucifixes, Gothic architecture, etc.) "pagan."  Oh goodness, that only works if you adopt a Protestant attitude and isolate devotional statues and votive candles as aspects common to paganism and Catholicism. I would just say that we need to have sacramentals in addition to sacraments.  That's the correct, Catholic way of accounting for these expressions of immanent divine influence in the material world that paganism *to some extent* allows for but Protestantism not. 

But Arturo does a good job of provoking thought.  For instance, growing up I thought the only two saints you really prayed to were St. Anthony of Padua (when I lost something) or St. Jude (when I thought I was hopeless).  Never prayed to any of the other Apostles, just Jude.  The Blessed Virgin Mary I didn't even consider as a saint, so much did hyperdulia impress me over and against mere dulia.  Later on of course I encountered private devotions to the saints in the form of my mother's 101 (it seemed) novena pamphlets and holy cards, but that is most of what my mother seems to have known about most saints' bios -- what those cards said.  I mean, every Catholic knows how to recognize St. Anthony's statue and we all love him dearly.  But almost no lay person knows when he lived, where Padua is, that he actually wasn't from Padua, or what he ever did in life to become so popular.  He is "just" a saint -- his life on earth is irrelevant.  All that matters is that he's up in Heaven now getting stuff done for us.  And that's enough to merit our everlasting love and admiration.  Folk Catholicism in a good sense, I'd say. 

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