Friday, March 16, 2007

The Sarabite: Reconstructing Roman Catholicism

A must-read from one of my favorite Catholic bloggers (and fellow East Bay resident):

It has been my contention for some time now that what is going on in the Roman Catholic Church is not reform but destruction. Even if all of the doctrines on the books continue to be the same as before the Second Vatican Council, the practice and atmosphere of the church is slowly mutating into something strange and different. As I have noted previously, many aspects of the traditional Christian and apostolic traditions of the West have either been dismissed as minutiae or consigned to the rubbish bin of history. Historical consciousness becomes an excuse to uproot and change, "reform" and destroy according to the fashions and wills of so called "experts". These technocrats are able find fault with everything from church architechture to traditional piety to sacramental praxis, and propose changes according to the latest theological fad of academia.

Such criticisms against this are not new, and they are formulated by a small minority in the Church known as traditionalists. Often, however, this so-called traditionalist rhetoric is embedded in its own positivist and authoritarian narratives of what the past was like and how the present should be. It is not enough to preserve in some sense the forms used in the past. One must go deeper, into the very foundations of these practices that were dismissed as medieval, baroque, and decadent. Traditionalism, as it has appeared as a movement since the 1960's, is not radical enough, in the sense that "radix" in Latin means the root of living things. Traditionalism tends to ossify liturgy, theology, and the Catholic ethos into an agenda that did not exist prior to the changes. In this post, I want to feature three distinct voices that characterize true meditations on what it means to be a Christian in the West in the 21 st century: Roman, Catholic and Apostolic. These voices not only analyze doctrine, but go to the root of art, literature, and culture to find a new way of adressing the question: Is it possible to be a true Roman Catholic in postmodernity?

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