Stepping Back to Consider the Decline
As a father, you've got to realize that you're going to have to raise your kids not to think that they can be just any silly thing in the world. Instead, you're going to have to train your kids to be hard, callous, and tougher than you were. They're going to have to deal with punks and scumbags. Sociopaths and ignoramuses. Their peers will be whores and drug aficionados. They'll have to have grit, and they'll have to be a few degrees more merciless to their enemies than you were if they are to protect themselves.
They will not be able to safely walk to the store, or walk to the park so carefree as you once did. Your childhood neighborhood is gone. What is left is a balkanized war zone. The streets are littered with broken bottles and wadded up aluminum that a meth user tried to cook his drugs in. Our children will have to have a quick wit. They'll have to be switched on. They'll have to be able to draw their weapon fast. And most of all, they'll have to realize that the world is not a happy place where they can let their guard down all of the time. Instead, the world is a horrible place where most of the people in it want to eat them alive. People will want to tear your children into pieces, simply because your kids have something that they don't. If our kids are ignorant of just how bad things have become, they'll be strangled to death.
I Still Think Sedevacantism Is Wrong
I really enjoy Brian McCall's article in the Remnant, which covers Fr. Cekada's recent criticism of a book he has not even read yet. The article pretty much sums up in words what I have not yet said about the matter:
Rather than Traditionalists fearing Sedevacantism, it seems that those holding the opinion rather fear the complexity of the crisis God has willed to permit His Church undergo. Rather than the arduous work of sifting through the confusion that has been coming out of the Vatican and chanceries for decades and applying certain Catholic principles to make proper distinctions between legitimate commands and those that lack authority, the opinion of Sedevacantism proposes an alluring simple black and white solution that avoids this difficult work of discernment.
Like Conciliar Catholics who unthinkingly accept everything coming out of the Vatican press office, Sedevacantists take an analogous approach of accepting nothing. In different ways both avoid the more arduous path.
Traditionalists who hold fast to the principle of discernment have nothing to fear. If Jorge Bergoglio is the Vicar of Christ, they will render obedience when required, if he legitimately commands what is in harmony with higher law, and they will withhold obedience when he exceeds his authority. They will therefore not be led into erroneous actions.
If we learn from the Church someday that he was not a legitimate pope, then we still have nothing to fear. We will have only obeyed commands that are consistent with Divine and Natural Law and we will have made merely an error in factual judgment. We acknowledged a Man who has been accepted as the pope by Catholics throughout the world.
I couldn't agree more.
So, just to sum up where I'm at these days, I feel that it is actually the Novus Ordo Mass that is illicit, and it is the Latin Mass that is licit. Novus Ordo Mass is irregular, but the Tridentine Latin Mass is regular. I heartily enjoy the fact that there exists diocesan Latin Mass, and I appreciate the FSSP. Furthermore believe that the SSPX is not in schism with the Catholic Church, even though the Conciliarist clergy like to scoff at the Society and say it is in schism--or even irregular--when in fact, it is not. Recently, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has recently said of the Society that "the life and the work of these Catholic priests and faithful of the SSPX as a gift for the Church in our days." The Church has truly been in a state of emergency since 1968, and this has justified the emergency actions of the Society. And finally, sedevacantism is schismatic.
I am not on a quest to prove sedevacantism is schismatic. It is merely my publicly stated opinion on the matter. If anyone is interested in knowing how sedevacantism is an error, there is always this book: True or False Pope? Refuting Sedevacantism and Other Modern Errors, by John Salza and Robert Siscoe.
But please, don't come lookin' to me to pick a fight on the matter. I'm not a theologian, and it's not my calling to set out and disprove sedevacantism. I've publicly proclaimed my thoughts on the matter because, basically, someone once asked me to have an opinion on it. And now I have.
Which leads me to my final thought for the evening:
Forums and Blogs Are Not My Calling
Yes, believe it or not, I have a life outside of the scribbles and chats I have with you people. Most people in our circles don't know much about me, which I prefer. I've other interests and projects that I put a majority of my energies towards. The writing and participation in the online Catholic community, however, is not a part of those projects.
Like you, I come online and talk for fun. It is a hobby. I enjoy exploring ideas. I like to hear something new, talk about the news, state a case and try to argue for it, or learn that I was wrong on an issue. Human beings are social creatures, and I am a human being. Most of my day, I am not surrounded by a Catholic community. That's one of the reasons the Internet has been such a blessedly useful tool in our modern age. Having access to practicing Catholics across this country and the world has been a very nice thing.
I am not out to market this blog, which is a mere extension of my online forum presence. I am not out to market any books as of yet. I've written one, but it was written a while ago, and I don't really push it much. I am not out to prove a point, such as proving that sedevacantism is schismatic. It is not my calling. My calling is elsewhere, and my attention is directed towards other things in real life.
I do not spread myself out too thinly, if I can help it. I prefer to stay focused, if possible. Consider this advice from The Intellectual Life, by A.D. Sertillanges, O.P.:
It is a painful thing to say to oneself: by choosing one road I am turning my back on a thousand others. Everything is interesting; everything might be useful; everything attracts and charms a noble mind; but death is before us; mind and matter make their demands; willy-nilly we must submit and rest content as to the things that time and wisdom deny us, with a glance of sympathy which is another act of homage to the truth.
I definitely think that everything is interesting. But time is limited, and I'm not going to live forever.
I'm not called by the Almighty to convince the Online Catholic Community of any particular thing. I'll leave that kind of work to Steve Skojec, Ann Barnhardt and others. Sure, I've had my little pet projects where I've tried to break through to the community about one idea or another. And yes, I have my little "missions" and convictions to inform people about something. But look where it's gotten me; I'm an outsider.
Besides, most people are TL;DR, SWPL Blue Pills who can't make it to the end of a medium quantity of written text. Most people can't hold their attention long enough, and most people can't even process what they are reading. So, really, why bother to truly reach out at all?
I'm just here. Take it or leave it.