Our Catholic Church here split into three pieces: (1) the American Catholic Church whose new Rome is Cicero, Illinois; (2) the Dutch schismatics who believe in relevance but not God; (3) the Roman Catholic remnant, a tiny scattered flock with no place to go.
The American Catholic Church, which emphasizes property rights and the integrity of neighborhoods, retained the Latin mass and plays The Star-Spangled Banner at the elevation.
The Dutch Schismatics in this area comprise several priests and nuns who left Rome to get married. They threw in with the Dutch Schismatic Catholics. Now several divorced priests and nuns are importuning the Dutch cardinal to allow them to remarry.
The Roman Catholics hereabouts are scattered and demoralized. The one priest, an obscure curate, who remained faithful to Rome, could not support himself and had to hire out as a fire watcher.
–from Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy
I was reminded of that quote from a recent quote from the Anchoress:
I have no doubt that there will be a “schism”within the next few decades that will find an “American Catholic Church” formed (Cardinal Mahoney will probably be its titular head) which will look quite a lot like the Church of England or the Anglican church – rites, rituals, “sacraments” etc, and it will even have the imprimatur of the government insofar as it may – and it will be a church that the majority flock to; it will be seen by many as the “victory” over that stuffy old, stubborn Church of Rome. People will go on Oprah and say “I always loved God but I never felt accepted, but this enlightened American Catholic Church tells me what I need to hear, that God loves me and that divorce, abortion and all that stuff doesn’t matter as long as I am a good person, and I AM a good person, Oprah, I AM, and now I am accepted, and (weep, weep) I feel like God finally makes sense in the world!”
“That’s right,” Oprah will declare, “there is no sin, except the sinfulness of not loving the self! God doesn’t make junk!”
Applause, applause.The only ideal that matters is the one that makes you happy and doesn’t challenge the status quo.
Quite different from what Archbishop Romero or Archbishop Dolan are saying here, though.
And the Church of Rome will probably be sued into seeming non-existance, too, for one political point after another. The church will be declared in extremis. And that is when the remnant will kick in.
The Remnant is much deeper than any movement, and it will surface on its own – full of surprising and surprised people – in due time, when it must, and that may be soon, but neither you nor I know the day or hour. The thing about remnants is that they identify themselves after a carpet has been laid or a robe has been cut, not before.
Remnants do not stop a construct from happening…they survive it.
There will always be a remnant.
The Roman church will become very much smaller, I think. I’m not afraid of it. In America, of course, the idea of “bigness” is conveyed as superior. But then we’ve all always known that ‘bigger” is not especially “better.”