Saturday, 25 June 2011

Am I a nasty Catholic?

No, don't answer that one! It is purely rhetorical. It's just that Shadowlands has spoken out against traditionalists (I think) who criticise Charismatics (although as far as I am aware there is nothing  in Left Footer's post about 'Nasty Catholics' that mentions Charismatics).
I don't think that there is anything wrong with criticism; it's when the boundaries between humour and nastiness get blurred that people start to get edgy. One man's satire is another man's poison maybe.

 I enjoy satire and I even enjoy jokes about traditional Catholics; that's very much a part of Catholic culture, one that we share with the Jews also. It is not a bad thing to be able to laugh at oneself from time to time; and to also laugh at things that irritate. Without that freedom we become politically imbalanced, prudish and precious. We need to puncture certain balloons occasionally, without that freedom lies the road to insanity!

So, here goes......

"Last week I couldn't even spell Charismatic and now I are one!"


  1. I didn't mean left footer attacked charismatics, he was just sticking up for nasty and calling it nice, if you see what I mean so I used it as an analogy of the typical defence of unfriendly Catholics. A least thats what I meant it as? I don't know if left footer is trad, I know he relishes the possibility of watching certain sinners burn so I would'nt want to get on the wrong side of him, if he gets me now, it's your fault Richard ;).

    As far as how I view you personally Richard, catholicism wise, I mentioned your 'type' of Catholic (in my view only ofcourse) when I typed this:

    'I know other fans of this type of 'speak' will tell me to take the title as tongue in cheek. I know they will mean this genuinely too,'

    See, I reckon you're an authentic cumudgeon!

    Two posts on charismatics appeared this week. My dad is charismatic, yet very orthodox and faithful(daily rosary, spends hours in meditative prayer). I defended him in the post really as it feels as if my whole Catholic childhood structure (60's and 70's) is being collapsed by some bloggers, not all though. So Set me on fire already!

    I do have a sense of humour too !

  2. Good sentiments! If one cannot laugh at one's religion then one can never take it seriously !

  3. You're very obviously a good egg, Richard! However, I've seen lots "nice" Catholics driven to embrace a very nasty Catholicism, in reaction to the attacks and degradations of the past 40-odd years, instead of recognising that the time for vainglorious narratives and defending the indefensible is over. The game's up. The toothpaste (to resort to a wanton mix of metaphors) isn't going back in the tube, because there's no civil power any more to help contrive the illusion. When we transform Christianity into a crusading ideology, whether of the left or the right, we simply betray the Gospel. That's all. Traditionalist "Crisistianity" is no better than the liberal form of worldliness in this regard: in fact it's worse, IMO, precisely insofar as it looks for a remedy in all the vile abuses which fomented the disease in the first place.

    It's all there, in black and white, in Dostoyevsky. Alyosha and his beloved Elder Zosima, or the monstrous Grand Inquisitor. Note that this is not an opposition of "ideas", but of persons on the one hand and ideological parody on the other.

  4. At risk of indulging in over-simplification, I'd say that the this is the whole tragedy of Western Christianity in the past thousand years: an unceasing cycle of Papism/Protestantism, action/reaction, as though this was somehow normal or paradigmatic.

  5. Thank you Ros and Anagnostis and also thank you Father (EFPE).
    I am quite happy being a curmudgeon for Christ!

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  7. As someone who had the honour of being "put down" by the famously rude Bishop of Peterborough ( CofE ) I would like to point out that it hurts and it can be counter productive to be constantly the butt of "jokes" and the humour only works if your one of the in crowd.
    Dont you hear Mary saying
    Children,play nicely and do not call each other names.

    (I removed and re edited this post as it had a mistake in it.)

  8. Having read Shadowland's posts recently I have to say that she certainly is on the mark regarding posts belittling certain groups within the Catholic Church. Left Footer's post doesn't fit into this category but a number of other posts by so called "Catholics with a sense of humor" have a very sharp bite indeed, and their pens can be quite poisonous. Besides, what is wrong with being a Catholic who loves the charismatic community, the Latin Mass, AND the Novus Ordo. You would think, from reading a number of posts that have popped up in the blogosphere recently that one must make a choice - you cannot be a proponent for all three. Well, the truth is...many of us are :)

    Shadowlands has a point in that a number of articles regarding the New Mass and Charismatics are completely lacking in charity. A few might treat these subjects with humor and still be respectful but others have a mocking quality to them that borders on rudeness. Isn't the point of blogging to draw others closer to Christ?
    As a side note, do you know that I have yet to stumble across a charismatic blog that engages in attacks like these? That in itself speaks volumes to me.

  9. Mary, thank you for your comment but I do not believe for one minute that the Charismatic movement brings people closer to Christ. By focusing attention on the shortfalls of such movements one is flagging up the dangers in becoming involved with 'evangelical' worship (hopefully). Doing it with a touch of satire may make a point more deftly but not, apparently without causing upset.

  10. Richard,
    With all due respect, I have to disagree with you - the charismatic community in our area has produced numerous vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life. I have heard testimony after testimony, also, on how involvement with this community has deepened the prayer life of those who attend, increased their faith, given them a deep love for the Eucharist, brought them to an increased respect and love of the Mass, etc... And these are not good fruits? When I attend daily Mass do you know that the largest number of these daily attendees that I see I have also seen at the charismatic community in my area? They love do I. Yes, there are times when I've heard of abuses concerning charismatics but never have I heard one ever claim that the Novus Ordo Mass is invalid as I've heard recently being claimed on a couple of sites. When someone claims a Mass as invalid they are treading on thin ice - this is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ that they are denigrating and this borders on heresy. I do not consider myself a "charismatic Catholic" (this is simply a term I use for ease in writing) - I consider myself a ROMAN Catholic in good standing with the Church. And I love Jesus with all my heart. I owe the charismatic community great thanks for drawing me closer to Christ and I hold them in great respect.

    What I ask you is this? How does denigrating the charismatic community draw one closer to Christ? I must be missing the point in your comment above. Why not focus on the strong points of our brothers and sisters in Christ?

    I'm not sure the blogging community understands just how many people have been offended by the recent proliferation of posts against Catholic who use the charisms they are given and Catholics who attend the Novus Ordo Mass. A touch of satire is not what many folks are seeing. They do not comment on these posts because they know they will be attacked. I am commenting on yours because I don't see this same type of unkindness that I see on other blogs. In other words, I know you will respond respectfully so I dare comment (lol).

  11. As a Catholic who has a preference for the Extraordinary Form but most often attends the Ordinary Form of the Mass, I wonder if may contribute my two cents? I have been to so-called charismatic Masses where I cringed in horror at lay people making themselves the center of attention. I know they probably mean well and that they love the Lord and this is their preferred way to worship, but I felt that if I continued to watch in silence, I'd be an accomplice to an unintended profanation of the Blessed Sacrament. One thing I know when I go to a Traditional Latin Mass is that I will not see the kinds of abuses and displays of disrespect that, when I have encountered them, have always taken place at a Novus Ordo Mass (which incidentally is the Mass I grew up with).I am not saying abuses always take place at Novus Ordo Masses, but I am saying that they never take place at the TLM.

    I don't like labels. I know some extremely charitable charismatics and some particularly creepy and nasty trads, but ironies exist everywhere in life and the church is no exception. I guess what I'm saying is that I am most comfortable at Masses where the center of focus is rightly on the Holy Sacrifice taking place at the altar. A Mass where there are no cell phones ringing, no lay people appropriating privileges and gestures solely owned by the clergy and no mass exodus at the conclusion of Mass that more closely resembles a movie theater letting out than a solemn and holy occasion coming to its conclusion.

    I agree that on some sites there is a undeniable lack of charity and it's by no means limited to those who don't have an affinity for the Extraordinary Form. Having a little fun is one thing. Snide mocking of other people is quite another. That is why I love Richard's sense of humor so much. He has true wit, and he makes his point in a gentle way rather than outright mocking those with whom he disagrees. There is no place in Christianity for unkindness.

  12. Sorry, Richard, another comment if I may:
    I agree with TLW's above comment. If a Mass is not Christ-centered there is definitely a problem. Perhaps I am blessed in that the charismatic community in my area does not involve themselves in these types of shenanigans so I cannot relate to the abuses that folks claim to see. I am not an advocate of any person or persons who abuse the Mass in any way shape or form. Having never seen a profanation of the Blessed Sacrament I can only hope that this is a rare occurrence.
    As a proponent of the TLM, the Novus Ordo, and the charismatic movement I guess I can only classify myself as a "mutt" :) Thankfully, I am a "mutt" who is head-over-heels in love with the Author of Life and I seek to promote unity within our Church as well as dispel some of the lack of understanding regarding charismatics. Our Blessed John Paul II gave his blessing to the charismatic movement a number of times. Personally, I believe that he, himself, had a number of charisms, and that we may soon hear more of this "mystical" side of Blessed John Paul II.

  13. I simply must join Mary333 in disagreeing with your statement that the Charismatic movement does not bring people closer to Christ.

    I was most fortunate in being sent to excellent Catholic schools by my rather traditional Catholic family. In spite of this, I fell away from the Church in my teens. When I was 18, I agreed, albeit reluctantly, to go to a Charismatic prayer service. What I experienced there was initially over the top for me, but the joy and sincerity of the people had me going back (well, also because I was rather attracted to the girl who had invited me).

    My point is that there was great emphasis on not only reading, but also praying, the Scriptures; not only saying prayers but speaking to Christ as one would to a friend. To be fair, the school I attended taught us this, but it seemed dry and mechanical compared to what I encountered amongst the charismatics. It was during this period that my faith was rekindled and a love for Scripture blossomed in my heart. Indeed, it led to me changing my mind as to what to read at university.

    I have been back in ‘mainstream’ Catholicism for some time now, but shall always be grateful for the grace I received during my ‘Charismatic’ period when I encountered an effervescent love for Christ that I that I still find most appealing. As for the young vixen who invited me to my first Charismatic prayer meeting: she has spent the last 4 years working as a missionary sister in southern Sudan.

    Please, please refrain from saying that the Charismatic movement does not bring people closer to Christ; as St Ignatius well knew, God uses many means to draw us unto Himself.

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  15. By the way, I do like the use of the hilarious Marty Feldman (a Jew) as an image of the Charismatic movement. I think he would have approved.

  16. As uncomfortable as I am with many aspects of the charismatic movement, I would point out that Pope Benedict XVI, and his two predecessors have all given it their approval. If they say that it's ok, then it's ok. There is of course room for great abuse, but there can be room for great growth. The idea of focusing on the Holy Spirit's gifts and trying to bring about an increase of them through prayer is not so crazy an idea. It's just that it's often poorly executed.

  17. After 36 years as a priest and being involved in the Charismatic Renewal since 1978, I could write a book about its joys, fruits and stupidities. I have been annoyed and frustrated with it (or with some other charismatics) and sometimes seen others greatly blessed and healed. With all these things we must use discernment and we need to pray for the gift of wisdom. As I say, I could write a book...
    Sometimes I see and hear annoying things coming from other directions. People struggle and make mistakes wherever they are and whatever they join. To my mind, the most dangerous group in the Church is the "liberals" and by that I mean, people who do not really believe in the supernatural, who downgrade the importance of sin, who try to explain away the miraculous and are generally given to rationalism. Those who think that they are are a magisterium unto themselves, who decry infallibility and then make statements as though THEY are infallible. They sneer at those they consider uneducated or outdated. You will find them in different places. Their humour is cruel and hollow and, in my opinion, they are the enemy within. I cannot laugh too much about them - they are not a joke but a frightening reality. In so far as they have and continue to affect the Church - have entered bishops' palaces, parishes, religious orders and even the Vatican they are, in my opinion, precisely the wolves who are often in sheep's (or shepherd's) clothing.

  18. Ha! At last I can post a comment.

    I'm really sorry for all the unhappiness I seem to have caused, and did a new follow-up post on my blog yesterday, if anyone cares to read it.

    Pax! Pokój! Peace! God bless.

  19. Oh I just read Left-footer's post and was stopping by to tell others!

    Richard was just trying to get me killed! Foiled again Meestur Collins as Left-footer appears to even 'like' Charismatics and had we not had this leetle upset, we would never have found this out heehee!

    (that's supposed to be funny, btw)!

  20. Fr John said:

    'To my mind, the most dangerous group in the Church is the "liberals" and by that I mean, people who do not really believe in the supernatural, who downgrade the importance of sin, who try to explain away the miraculous and are generally given to rationalism'


    'In so far as they have and continue to affect the Church - have entered bishops' palaces, parishes, religious orders and even the Vatican they are, in my opinion, precisely the wolves who are often in sheep's (or shepherd's) clothing. '

    That is why the average laity person, such as myself gets confused. I mean, if some of the priests, bishops and even cardinals are infiltrated, how do you know just who is telling the truth? You end up having to make your own mind up, it seems to me. So therefore, we are all a bunch of Protestants in Catholic clothing or maybe we should only listen to the Pope and Richard, (I might not always agree with him, but I do trust him, the cumudgeon! Richard I mean, not the Pope. I'm not calling the Pope a cumudgeon).
    One is almost forced to make one's own judgment,faith/Rite wise after one has fully informed one's conscience ofcourse, but isn't that still protestantism?

    Oh no! I am Martin Luther. Pin me to a church door already!

  21. No, Shadowlands, if we stick with the Pope and the bishops in union with him (I say those IN UNION WITH THE POPE) - and we are consecrated to the Immaculate Heart, we will not stray from the truth. The Rosary, as you know, is a good protection against false teaching. I have no fears about that. Our Lady told Fr. Gobbi that this is how we know we are in the Truth.

  22. Thank you all for your comments and thank you especially TLW. I apologise if I misread Shadowlands post (and nearly got her killed!)and then compounded the fault by relating my post to Left Footer's. Ah me! Human frailty. At least it led to an interesting debate but the last word has to be Fr John's. I do not think I or anyone else could improve upon that. Thank you Father.

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