The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Friday, May 05, 2006

Mmm, mmmm, good!!!

On "Cafeteria" Catholicism

"On the other hand, everything must be done to prevent an emigration of the progressivists, however uncomfortable their continued presence in the Church will prove to be for the faithful.... I ask the bishops: Is the hearer of a [heretical] homily dispensed from Mass? May he, ought he perhaps leave this liturgy?

But such an approach is out of the question for the Catholica... [it] would have the effect once more of hurling the remnant back into lifeless, cheerless integralisms."

-Hans Urs Von Balthasar, The Moment of Christian Witness, Ignatius Press, p. 153

No wonder good ol' Hans is the darling of the Catholic right! He took the words right out of their mouths! What do you do about modernism in the Church? Should the faithful refuse to swallow the gruel of heresy and sacrilege? Of course they should! After all, the Church is not a cafeteria! If they don't like it, they can burn in Hell! (Wait a minute, Von Balthasar says hell is empty.....)

In any event, that is the absurdity of the position. It sounds morally superior to say that someone like me is picking and choosing, while millions everyday suffer a martyrdom of having to suffer a church that no longer nourishes them. I would retort however, that there is a difference between martyrdom and spiritual suicide.

Also, what an absurdity it is to try and impose a totalitarian system of belief in a completely subjectivist liturgical and spiritual milieux. Does not such an approach turn Catholicism into a purely rationalist set of beliefs that constitutes a checklist of what needs to be assented to? And as long as you conform to this checklist, you can worship however you want, pray however you want, and express your faith however you want? What happened to the Incarnation, the Word made flesh, in all of this? Can you really be an orthodox Catholic in a charismatic service, with drums beating and electric guitars screeching? Or have these people missed the point?

If what I have just said makes me a "cafeteria Catholic", then I will pass on the peas and go stand in line for the tapioca pudding (mmmm, pudding.....)


At 5:22 PM, Blogger Muriel said...

No you cannot be.

I mean you cannot be an orthodox Catholic in a charismatic service, with drums beating and electric guitars screeching. And if it was only the drums and them electric guitars screeching!

And no, they didn't miss the point. They never had one to begin with.

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Sean Roberts said...

Love the stock cafeteria photo, Arturo! You've mastered this bloggin business!

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you be recieving communion in an Anglican church and yet still be Catholic? Seems like cafeteria catholicism to me!

At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its modernism itself that alows you to think your Catholic yet recieve communion in an Anglican church.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Sean Roberts said...

It is also modernism to think that the word "your" can be used in a non possesive sense.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

I don't care about labels anymore. Call me an Anglican, call me a Catholic, whatever you want....

If it helps you sleep at night, then all power to you. On the other hand, if you want to refute anything that I have said, then please do so. Otherwise, I have absolutely no time to respond to name calling.

And if the spectacle that I see in the RC churches around here is "Catholic", then I'll choose my little "Protestant" church any day of the week. In any event, we do meet in the old Roman Catholic church with the blessing of the local parish priest. At least HE can practice some charity when it comes to these matters.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats right Traditional Catholic, Byzantine Monk now Anglican!! Whats next on the cafeteria line! You still keep me laughing!!

At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just hope YOU can sleep at night!!

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

Very well, thank you.


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