31 January 2018

Impertinent Converts

I'm sure many readers will have been moved to sympathy by the account, in the thread attached to an earlier post, of the sufferings endured by an Anglican priest desiring to enter into Full Communion with the Catholic Church but meeting only hostility. I know how he feels, because I have myself been somewhere like that.

On the Internet there was recently a debate about what a 'convert' should do, say, and think when, having been required to undergo the RCIA, he discovers that he is being taught error or, indeed, heresy. Is it necessarily arrogant for such a 'convert' to behave as if she knows better than her 'instructor' what her 'new Church' believes? (Praetereo the not-entirely-unhysterical view of Austin Ivereigh, that such converts have a 'neurosis'.)

This is not a new problem.

During World War II, Dom Gregory Dix temporarily took over his brother's church in Beaconsfield so that his brother could sign up as an Army Chaplain.

One of his parishioners decided to 'convert'. Since Dix was a very convinced Anglo-Papalist, this caused him little concern. But there was one thing he could not and would not overlook.

So the Monsignore at S Theresa's Church found a very eloquent Dix occupying the presbytery doorstep.

"Your curate is instructing my Mrs X for reception.  But he's teaching her all wrong!"

(Incidentally, the Oxford Oratorians, who run a very fine show, do not stretch out their 'converts' on Mgr Procrustes' rather lumpy bed. Each person is prepared individually and 'received' when (s)he is ready. Now there's a community that  know its business.)

30 January 2018

I have just ...

... updated my piece from early today on the 'Revision' of the Catechism. I do hope readers took the trouble to penetrate my frothy beginning, and got the point of my very considerable anxiety.

If I were one of the plotters, my plan of action would be to:

(1) get the section in the CCC on Capital Punishment changed. Not many people would bother very much about this, because Capital Punishment is already abolished in most countries, where it is regarded as a self-evident barbarism. But a change in this part of the text would serve to establish firmly the principle that doctrine in the Catechism can be changed (the change made here by S John Paul II affected prudential, not doctrinal, considerations).

(2) get Communion for 'remarried divorcees' into the text. The ground for that has already been prepared by those tedious and corrupted 'synods' and by Amoris Laetitia and the papal back-up given to one interpretation of that lamentable document.

(3) make a combined onslaught upon Humanae vitae and the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. The link between those two parts of the Magisterium is, of course, that they both uphold a radical link between sexuality and procreation.

As I have said before, what I find most inexplicable about the current attacks upon the Church's immemorially ancient teaching on sex is the implication that sexual temptation and sexual sins are part of a new situation facing the Church, calling therefore for new thinking.

As if the previous millennia had known nothing at all about sexual temptation ... as if (according to the old English joke) sexual intercourse really was invented in the 1960s by the Beatles.