(This post is a reply to an earlier article called Some Thoughts on Religion, Organized and Otherwise)
Great article and your observations are no doubt true about the subversion of the Catholic hierarchy and thus all of its institutions (can you think of anyplace more pagan than Georgetown University?). Unfortunately since the RCC is so top down in its formal structure, the Faithful have little if any input unless they simply withhold their envelopes (as was done in Boston when the pedophile enabling Cardinal was forced from his cathedral only to be made “archpriest” of a Roman basilica-a promotion!) and this would have to be done in a concerted transnational way with the US congregations indispensable in a leadership role. Historically, during the worst periods of venality and corruption in the RCC, the monasteries functioned as islands of piety, orthodoxy and reform. I can’t speak to their condition but if the seminaries have become bath houses and the convents are lesbian retreat houses celebrating Gaia, I have little hope for the monasteries, but I could be wrong since the homosexual population would tend to stay in the seminaries and parishes so they could have the most unimpeded access. What is especially galling is that the current Bolshevik bishop of Rome (am I a sedevacantist? I guess it depends if I really believe that the papal office itself is that important) has told us that climate change is the new dogma, homosexuality should be celebrated, but incredibly still he will not allow married men to become priests which would remedy the priest shortage and allow the RCC to enforce Benedict’s ignored directive to ban seminaries from accepting homosexual men from formation…..incredible.
This is not solely a rant, I think there is an escape hatch….Orthodoxy may well represent the life boat for the RCC fatihful. Don’t get me wrong, Orthodoxy has its issues (phylestism or the conflation between ethnicity/state and religion) as the current schism over Ukraine exhibits, but the Orthodox Church has never strayed from the tenets of the ancient church and has the added advantage of never having a Vatican I (infallibility and the Assumption) or Vatican II (the “Novus Ordo” or new mass, a disaster that brought us the “folk mass” and gender neutral hymns and bible translations). However, what has always bothered me is that joining the Orthodox Church means abandoning the cultural and emotional ties of childhood religious experiences (think of the Easter and Christmas hymns with triumphant organs playing before these were destroyed) and however beautiful the Divine Liturgy is, its not my culture.
Fortunately, one eastern Orthodox Church (the Greek Church of Antioch) has created a “vicariate” overseeing what they call “Western Rite Orthodoxy”. In its best formulation, it takes the Tridentine Mass, adds an “epiclesis” and conducts the Mass in English and allows these parishes to keep their Western Christian identity but within a hierarchical framework that precludes the perversions of the RCC. As an added bonus, children are not baptized and then “excommunicated” as they are in the RCC by not being confirmed (“christmated” in the eastern parlance) or allowed to Communion. These all happen at baptism which is followed by anointing and a drop of Eucharistic wine. Along with triple immersion at baptism, these elements would be the only thing foreign to a RCC member who decided to go over. My advice, find a nicely built abandoned Church from the high Anglican tradition, find some disillusioned ex-RC who left the seminary after realizing that he was surrounded predatory swingers who got married and got a job but always wished he could have ministered to the faithful and then approach the Western Rite Orthodox Vicariate and ask that your ex-seminarian be trained, he could very well be ordained and become your pastor. Soon as you ca, have the parish start a grammar school and then high school and you can save your kids.
What I just described has happened, reproduce it. Last one out, shut the lights in the RCC at least until there is a second Cluny.
You make a lot of good points Soterius. As for the matters of ritual, I am more or less neutral. I am more interested in transmitting the words of God to us. The outward community is very important but the exact trappings I think are less so. But teaching young people to try to find God within themselves is right now the most important work we can do. Our culture kills the soul in a way that puts to shame the ancient religions’ and cults’ harm. Baal would be envious.