married clergy
#11
I agree with Renatus.  The idea that we have to change traditions is based on a false and dangerous idea since it is rooted in a evolutionary and revolutionary understanding of tradition (which is to say that there is no tradition or that tradition is not important). It should be enough to point to the hundreds of years of practice to support the continuation of a particular practice, but that is not enough for modern man, who insists that he is somehow special. This is nothing more than the hubris that comes from recentism -- a pridefulness in one's generation instead of a humble acceptance of what came before.

It is tiring to defend traditions against these attacks. When a novelty is raised, the response that "it is tradition, that is enough" should stiffle the discussion. In our times and with our leaders, though, it is the tradition they are trying to undo. They have no respect for anything but their own novelty.  It is all the more annoying since they're a bunch of old men who come across as pathetic panderers to neo-pagan modern causes.  They look ridiculous and everyone seems afraid to tell them how silly they look -- in the same way one would hesitate to tell one's grandfather that it isn't "cool" when he wears a Metallica shirt. Someone has to be honest about all of this and not let the old men continue to parade about in their senility.
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#12
Obviously there's a range of thinking with regards to tradition including a modern superiority complex, but the general concept of possible change is rooted in the fact that the Church in the past made certain changes that were deemed advantageous at the time, therefore the Church today can undo those or make other changes if it deems it advantageous--because it is one and the same Church.   

I agree with this general point.  However, where I think the problem lies is in the analysis of when it is advantageous to make a change.  The analysis tends to look at the thing to be changed itself without looking at its adventageousness as tradition too.  Such traditions have a value simply as traditions by reinforcing unity and continuity between members of that one Church throughout time and space and to help tie us to those unchangeable things that are also constant.  They help reinforce the confidence we have that our house is built on the unshakable rock. 

Take Friday abstinence as an example.  The Latin Church's fasting and penitential rules are one of the areas where there has been the most continual changes made over the centuries.  Therefore clearly the Church can make changes here.  Likewise, a good argument can be made that making Friday a more generally penitential day admitting of many forms of penance rather than prescribing one certain thing (that can be performed quite easily and without a spirit of penance) would be advantageous.  But the effects of changing it were quite different, in that it led both to the doubt of unchangeable moral laws as well as a general loss of Catholic identity and unity--it had become a tradition that bound us Catholics together and therefore bound us to Christ--its value was more than the specific act of having some cheese pizza or fish and chips rather than a hot dog.

One of the reasons the Catholic Church has been historically so successful at evangelizing in every time and place is because of that flexibility that does not bind the Church arbitrarily to certain practices of the past.  But we have been unsuccessful at it in these days because in our haste to try and adapt to rapidly arising new problems we neglected the value of tradition itself as a strong support and remedy. The "standard of proof" for when it was justified to make a change to a tradition was much higher in the past because of this respect for the inherent value of tradition.  Traditions weren't immutable, but the good to be gained by change had to outweigh the significant cost of altering a tradition.
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#13
That is a very good statement of the situation that accounts for the nuance of change over time. 

It cannot be understated that the changes in the past are more acceptable to us because they were made in a way that appears to be more prudential -- that is, they were not made by people who are otherwise heretics or who are overtly and covertly attempting to undo the Church through these sorts of changes.  That is what makes modern changes inherently suspect -- they are part of an overall programme of change that culminated in the doctrinal reformations of Vatican II and the post-conciliar ideologies.
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#14
(12-11-2015, 02:39 PM)ermy_law Wrote: That is a very good statement of the situation that accounts for the nuance of change over time. 

It cannot be understated that the changes in the past are more acceptable to us because they were made in a way that appears to be more prudential -- that is, they were not made by people who are otherwise heretics or who are overtly and covertly attempting to undo the Church through these sorts of changes.  That is what makes modern changes inherently suspect -- they are part of an overall programme of change that culminated in the doctrinal reformations of Vatican II and the post-conciliar ideologies.

I think they are also suspect because the changes never stop coming. In and of itself, if celibacy were to be relaxed in the manner of the Eastern churches (only celibate priests or monastic priests can be made bishops), I could live with it. But if it's done to soften the vocations crunch, it would be a disaster to overturn a venerable tradition for what would only, at best, provide a short-term bump in priests. The problem is that a great many young men are not seeing any value in the priestly life. I don't think celibacy is the problem, or at least not he main problem; a lack of faith and a materialistic outlook are the chief problems. If we measure our life's value in terms of money and the amount of stuff we have, and our life is dedicated to acquiring things and spent worshiping at the altar of our own wills (the real god of this age), the Catholic priesthood is incoherent. If the chief good is attaining what *I* want, then a life serving Christ and His people is not even a possibility I would ever entertain. The Church - from the pope down to you and me - has to openly live the REAL Catholic Faith, and then I think this problem eventually takes care of itself.
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#15
That's a good observation, Aquinas.  A couple additional observations could be made about the so-called vocations crisis.  First, this crisis does not appear to be manifest among adherents to the traditional Roman Rite. Second, the crisis of vocations is probably more related to the crisis of childbearing in general. When people only have 2.5 children, it is less likely that one of them will answer the call to the priestly vocation. That is related to the materialism that you mentioned. Third, the changes with regard to altar servers probably have something to do with the lack of priests in the Novus Ordo.  And I mean both the inclusion of girls for this task, as well as the fact that altar servers in the Novus Ordo are pretty pointless since the priest spends so little time at the altar there is little for the servers to do. In the Roman Rite, on the other hand, a server who works his way up to being an MC is right there in the action, deeply exploring his vocation.
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#16
(12-11-2015, 03:42 PM)ermy_law Wrote: That's a good observation, Aquinas.  A couple additional observations could be made about the so-called vocations crisis.  First, this crisis does not appear to be manifest among adherents to the traditional Roman Rite. Second, the crisis of vocations is probably more related to the crisis of childbearing in general. When people only have 2.5 children, it is less likely that one of them will answer the call to the priestly vocation. That is related to the materialism that you mentioned. Third, the changes with regard to altar servers probably have something to do with the lack of priests in the Novus Ordo.  And I mean both the inclusion of girls for this task, as well as the fact that altar servers in the Novus Ordo are pretty pointless since the priest spends so little time at the altar there is little for the servers to do. In the Roman Rite, on the other hand, a server who works his way up to being an MC is right there in the action, deeply exploring his vocation.

It is interesting to watch a traditional Mass, or maybe particularly a Divine Liturgy and see how busy the servers (and the deacon!) is compared to the NO.
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#17
Yep, NO servers hardly do anything.

Anyway, I can see point where these days it's very common for many men to come back to the Church as adults, so at this point it could be too late for them. However, I think there are greater reasons for the lack of priests than celibacy.

Poor catechesis for the young who end up falling away not knowing anything about the religion they were raised in.
Altar server program being nonsensical
NOM being just plain bad and downright terrible in most places.
Priests who give poor examples to the young of what being a priest truly should be.
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#18
(12-11-2015, 09:59 AM)StMichael929 Wrote: celibacy is a powerful witness to this decadent culture.  I'd hate to jettison it.

That's another reason for priestly celibacy. That's one of the things that make it so beautiful. It serves as a reminder that we were made for heaven, where people "neither marry nor are given in marriage."
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#19
(12-11-2015, 11:03 PM)GangGreen Wrote: Yep, NO servers hardly do anything.

Anyway, I can see point where these days it's very common for many men to come back to the Church as adults, so at this point it could be too late for them. However, I think there are greater reasons for the lack of priests than celibacy.

Poor catechesis for the young who end up falling away not knowing anything about the religion they were raised in.
Altar server program being nonsensical
NOM being just plain bad and downright terrible in most places.
Priests who give poor examples to the young of what being a priest truly should be.

LOL, they do one remarkable thing: they distribute Holy Communion.
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#20
(12-12-2015, 06:14 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote:
(12-11-2015, 11:03 PM)GangGreen Wrote: Yep, NO servers hardly do anything.

Anyway, I can see point where these days it's very common for many men to come back to the Church as adults, so at this point it could be too late for them. However, I think there are greater reasons for the lack of priests than celibacy.

Poor catechesis for the young who end up falling away not knowing anything about the religion they were raised in.
Altar server program being nonsensical
NOM being just plain bad and downright terrible in most places.
Priests who give poor examples to the young of what being a priest truly should be.

LOL, they do one remarkable thing: they distribute Holy Communion.
Thankfully I've never seen this one. 95% of EMHC are >50 years old from what I've seen.
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