DOCTRINE AGAIN
#1
August 18 2012

The scorn of “doctrine” is an immense problem today. The “best” of Catholics in our 21st century pay lip-service to the importance of “doctrine”, but in their modern bones they feel instinctively that even Catholic doctrine is some kind of prison for their minds, and minds must not be imprisoned. In Washington, D.C., around the interior dome of the Jefferson Memorial, that quasi-religious temple of the United States’ champion of liberty, runs his quasi-religious quotation: I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. Surely he had Catholic doctrine in mind, amongst others. Modern man’s quasi-religion excludes having any fixed doctrine.

However, a sentence from the “Eleison Comments” of two weeks ago ( EC 263, July 28) gives a different angle on the nature and importance of “doctrine”. It ran: So long as Rome believes in its Conciliar doctrine, it is bound to use any such (“non-doctrinal”) agreement to pull the SSPX in the direction of the (Second Vatican) Council. In other words what drives Rome supposedly to discount “doctrine” and at all costs to conciliarize the SSPX is their own belief in their own Conciliar doctrine. As Traditional Catholic doctrine is - one hopes - the driving force of the SSPX, so Conciliar doctrine is the driving force of Rome. The two doctrines clash, but each of them is a driving force.

In other words, “doctrine” is not just a set of ideas in a man’s head, or a mental prison. Whatever ideas a man chooses to hold in his head, his real doctrine is that set of ideas that drives his life. Now a man may change that set of ideas, but he cannot not have one. Here is how Aristotle put it: “If you want to philosophize, then you have to philosophize. If you don’t want to philosophize, you still have to philosophize. In any case a man has to philosophize.” Similarly, liberals may scorn any set of ideas as a tyranny, but to hold any set of ideas to be a tyranny is still a major idea, and it is the one idea that drives the lives of zillions of liberals today, and of all too many Catholics. These should know better, but all of us moderns have the worship of liberty in our bloodstream.

Thus doctrine in its real sense is not just an imprisoning set of ideas, but that central notion of God, man and life that directs the life of every man alive. Even if a man is committing suicide, he is being driven by the idea that life is too miserable to be worth continuing. A notion of life centred on money may drive a man to become rich; on pleasure to become a rake; on recognition to become famous, and so on. But however a man centrally conceives life, that concept is his real doctrine.

Thus conciliar Romans are driven by Vatican II as being their central notion to undo the SSPX that rejects Vatican II, and until they either succeed or change that central notion, they will continue to be driven to dissolve Archbishop Lefebvre’s SSPX. On the contrary the central drive of clergy and laity of the SSPX should be to get to Heaven, the idea being that Heaven and Hell exist, and Jesus Christ and his true Church provide the one and only sure way of getting to Heaven. This driving doctrine they know to be no fanciful invention of their own, and that is why they do not want it to be undermined or subverted or corrupted by the wretched neo-modernists of the Newchurch, driven by their false conciliar notion of God, man and life. The clash is total.

Nor can it be avoided, as liberals dream it can. If falsehoods win, eventually even the stones of the street will cry out (Lk.XIX, 40). If Truth wins, still Satan will go on raising error after error, until the world ends. But “He that perseveres to the end will be saved”, says Our Lord (Mt.XXIV, 13).

Kyrie eleison.

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#2
(08-20-2012, 11:35 PM)GottmitunsAlex Wrote: The scorn of “doctrine” is an immense problem today. The “best” of Catholics in our 21st century pay lip-service to the importance of “doctrine”, but in their modern bones they feel instinctively that even Catholic doctrine is some kind of prison for their minds, and minds must not be imprisoned.

I find this to be an extremely poignant observation. It is one which must be constantly fought and guarded against. In my own experience, I have noticed myself making some sort of assumption of this sort in disturbing circumstances. Actively fighting the errors of our world is extremely difficult and requires consistent vigilance.
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#3
Doctrine as in formal study was never part of the lay person's job. His is to learn what is taught and obey and the Bishop's is to teach. When the Church comes roaring back it will be this way again.

The Catholic Faith is not a home study job it is a get out there and by example show the Faith, and by that convert people.  I'm not saying the lay people should not be taught doctrine, but it does not fall to them to spend time pouring over what the nuances are.

This crisis was not caused by the laity being ignorant, it was caused by wicked men that taught crap. These wicked men will answer for their deeds, along with the laity which knowingly joined in those efforts.

Bishop Williamson appears to want all to be seminarians or theologians,that's a danger and that ain't right. Bishop Williamson's job is to teach, not expound.

tim
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#4
Gosh, I think you are on to something, Tim!

Although in the practical order, almost no one listens to the bishops or priests anymore – most of the laity are armchair theologian know-it-alls. Maybe that's why Bp. Williamson (and many others) speaks as he does...

Great observation!
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#5
I'm guessing Old Man you saw that in action too. If for any reason something important came from the Vatican to be explained to the laity, the Bishop and his staff would go over it with their fine minds and express it in a few succinct sentences which everyone could understand. Then on a given Sunday from every pulpit at every Mass it was read to all the laity, and if the priest/pastor thought it needed a bit more elucidation he taught a little more on suceeding Sundays.

There were let's call them zealots in those days. They'd dot evryone else's  i's and cross their t's and watch the other's p's and q's, considering their vast self-taught impression of theology.  The priests would try to corral them in and get them in to some activity so they wouldn't be out there putting burdens where they did not belong, and misinforming the laity with their opinions. 

The laity can go where Bishop's don't go usually. We can take Christ with us to the Amusement park or our favorite saloon. Not to slap my self on the back, but once several of the machinists were in my office complaining about mgmt. I was busy and they had become annoying. The refrain was they can't make me do that. Being fed up, I turned and said the only thing you must do is love the Lord Our God with your whole soul, heart, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourelf. The rest is horse shit.

Here's the part I never expected. The conversation changed and they were treating me as if I was great man or something. You see I had repeated the catechism, and they thought I was profound. All but one are dead now, and that one I have no idea where he is. RIP boys.

tim
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#6
Well he has moved from talking about two Catholic Churches to talking about two SSPXes.  One can see him making a distinction  between a "conciliar" SSPX and an "authentic" SSPX.  It looks like he is setting up the theoretical framework for a split.
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#7
Exactly what I fear.

tim
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#8
(08-21-2012, 10:25 AM)JayneK Wrote: Well he has moved from talking about two Catholic Churches to talking about two SSPXes.  One can see him making a distinction  between a "conciliar" SSPX and an "authentic" SSPX.  It looks like he is setting up the theoretical framework for a split.

This notion of a parallel SSPX has been a topic of discussion among my colleagues for quite some time. What will eventually happen is the anti-Rome faction headed by Bp Williamson or another disaffected SSPX bishop will operate a rump SSPX and those in favor of a "deal" will probably establish a new organization under the post-V II Church. Knowing how the SSPX operates. both sides can expect a protracted legal battle in the courts. The whole thing is sad, but one can see the merits of both parties involved. The problem is, at least from my perspective, theologically the rump Society will continue in its theological wonderland.
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#9
(08-21-2012, 07:07 AM)Tim Wrote: Doctrine as in formal study was never part of the lay person's job. His is to learn what is taught and obey and the Bishop's is to teach. When the Church comes roaring back it will be this way again.

The Catholic Faith is not a home study job it is a get out there and by example show the Faith, and by that convert people.  I'm not saying the lay people should not be taught doctrine, but it does not fall to them to spend time pouring over what the nuances are.

This crisis was not caused by the laity being ignorant, it was caused by wicked men that taught crap. These wicked men will answer for their deeds, along with the laity which knowingly joined in those efforts.

Bishop Williamson appears to want all to be seminarians or theologians,that's a danger and that ain't right. Bishop Williamson's job is to teach, not expound.

tim

Agreed.  But how did you know Bishop Williamson wrote this?  I don't see a citation or his name anywhere in the OP. 

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#10
OOPS !, I attributed it to him by his usual closing, Kyrie Elieson.

tim
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