In truth, the most salient fact of contemporary Catholic life in the West is the way it is pervaded by the pattern of saying things and then acting as if something else were true.
(I’m learning, slowly. Everything below that is sarcasm or the voice of a liar, heretic or apostate is in GREEN.)
Indeed. This sentence, penned earlier this week by a secular columnist almost sums up what pretty much everyone is too cowardly to say. In fact, it is the base premise underlying the derivative statement above that is the real 800 pound gorilla sitting squarely in the middle of the room. And, since it is my job to state with all of the bluntness, clarity and precision I can muster the objective truths that no one else will say, I’ll say it. I’ll answer the question: Why do Catholics today, including and most especially clergy and religious going all the way to the TOP, say one thing and then act as if something else were true?
Because they don’t actually believe any of it.
Now, you can squirm and call me uncharitable all you like, but deep down you know just as well as I do that if you were able to corner the vast majority of these people at a cocktail party where they would open up to you honestly, OF COURSE they don’t believe in the Divinity of Christ. OF COURSE they don’t believe in the concept of sin, much less Original Sin, and certainly not in any sort of judgment by a personal deity, much less the ridiculous fictions of hell or damnation. OF COURSE they don’t believe in the Mass as The Holy and August Sacrifice of Calvary Made Present, and CERTAINLY not in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. I mean, come on, this is all a bunch of medieval bullshit that a bunch superstitious neanderthals used to oppress and control each other up until we “sang a newchurch into being” in 1965 after Saint Second Vatican Council incarnated in the hearts of men on October 11, 1962, and then ascended on December 8, 1965, thus liberating modern man from nineteen centuries of monumentally embarrassing and oppressive bullshit.
It doesn’t matter what the Mass was like before, and it doesn’t matter what the Fathers and Saints taught before, because MANKIND ITSELF was different, and not just different but INFERIOR. Thus everything “old” is just a bunch of bullshit, and everything “new” is good, and thus the Church must also be new, and thus different. None of that ridiculous old bullshit can possibly speak to the new, superior modern man, who, being liberated from nineteen centuries of bullshit, can now “encounter” Christ and “dialogue” with “him” as an equal. Anyone who takes any interest at all in any of that archaic nonsense must then, by definition, be of sub-standard intelligence at best, and TOTALLY UNCOOL at worst. You don’t want to be UNCOOL, do you? You don’t want to be THROWN OUT OF SEMINARY, do you? You don’t want to be disdained and sneered at and mocked behind your back by your professors, superiors and peers, do you? You don’t want to be exiled to some *gasp* RURAL parish, do you? You don’t want people to think that you ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT BULLSHIT, right?
Modern man, having moved beyond and having been liberated from the bullshit, can now act as his own arbiter of truth, conceptualizing the notions of good and evil within himself, and truth, goodness and beauty are now negotiable and dynamic. Modern man need not rely upon or even be informed by strict, antiquated, superstitious teaching (the bullshit), but now, in his superiority, can confidently rely on how things make him FEEL, and thus liberate himself and others from the bullshit, and thus stop obsessing over minutiae and trivia, and start worrying about the things that really matter: giving the state the power to redistribute wealth and incur incalculable debt so that unlimited amounts of free shit can be “given” to “poor people”, thus eliminating material inequality which is the root of social evil, and, of course, climate change.
The concepts of “mercy” and “charity” must be redefined as “PERMISSIVENESS born from INDIFFERENCE” according to the new order – the exact opposite of their antiquated and oppressive pre-St. Vatican II bullshit meanings.
Ladies and gentlemen, in the eyes of these people there is today only one sin, and that sin is actually believing what the Catholic Church teaches. It embarrasses them. It embarrasses them to the point of rage.
Over Passiontide I came across several pieces on the web speculating as to the motives behind Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Our Lord. One surmised that Judas loved Our Lord so much that he wanted to force the hand of the Romans and Jews and bring about the installation of Christ as an earthly king. Another postulated mere greed as the core motive. No, no, no. We are told in John 6 exactly why Judas betrayed Our Lord.
Judas was EMBARRASSED by Our Blessed Lord. And there is nothing in this world that stokes and fans the flames of hatred as quickly and violently as EMBARRASSMENT.
John 6. The Eucharistic Discourse. Let me recount the events briefly. This moment is the “height” of Jesus’ earthly ministry in terms of popularity. He has drawn a crowd of five thousand men (verse 10), which means that when women and children were counted there were even more than that. Anyway, at minimum five thousand people have spontaneously gathered around Him. This is impressive to say the least. Judas and the other Apostles are STOKED and are seriously starting to think about Jesus somehow being made king and expelling the Romans, and all of the perks that go along with being a member of the inner circle of a KING. Then Jesus performs the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. OH. MY. GOSH. Serious momentum building now. This is so cool. He’s gonna be king and we’re gonna be PRINCES. And then…
“You must eat My Flesh and drink My Blood.” Over and over and over again.
And all the people start saying, “What in the WORLD is He talking about?”
Hearing and seeing the thousands and thousands of people pretty much freaking out at His words, and, you know, being God Incarnate and omniscient and all, He then repeats it with more clarity and force. “For My Flesh is meat indeed: and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.”
At this point the entire crowd, who just a few minutes ago were totally on board with the program, and would have been the vectors of a likely movement to put Jesus on the Throne of David, almost to the man get up and leave. C-ya.
And why did they leave? Because Our Blessed Lord just told them about His Real Presence in the Eucharist – that bread and wine would be transubstantiated such that their substance would actually become the substance of God that we could physically eat and thus take into our own bodies – because that is how much He loves us.
The other eleven Apostles are CONFUSED to be sure (aren’t we all), but they know who Jesus is, and their faith, despite their near-total confusion, keeps them from abandoning Him. Jesus walks over to them, and instead of saying, “Aw, shucks, I was just talking symbolically,” as the protestant heresy would have Him do, He gets in their faces and forces them to make an Act of Faith right then and there: “Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?”
At this point Peter makes one of the greatest Acts of Faith in all of human history, up there with the Fiat of the Blessed Virgin at the Annunciation and the near-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham: “And Simon Peter answered Him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God.”
Backing up to verse 65, we see Judas who was so utterly EMBARRASSED by Our Lord’s revelation to mankind of the Holy Eucharist, and the near-instantaneous loss of the power base that Judas, just a few short minutes before, envisioned elevating him to a princely throne with all of the wealth and power and popularity-by-association that would come with it, that he is enraged, and is already plotting to betray Jesus. “But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray Him.”
Please note that the metric here is not UNDERSTANDING, but BELIEF. No one to this day understands the mechanisms of transubstantiation. Got that? It is a mystery how the substance of one thing can be changed into the substance not just of something else, but of God Himself, whilst the accidents (the appearance, taste, etc.) remain. Absolutely. No. Clue. It requires faith. Hence, verse 64: “It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.”
Judas Iscariot did not believe in the Holy Eucharist and was thus EMBARRASSED by and ASHAMED of It, which is to say, Our Lord. This embarrassment and shame was instantly converted into anger and hatred of Our Lord.
Ahem. Cough-cough. Is anyone else experiencing a weird deja vu kind of vibe right about now?
Now, bringing it full circle, tell me who you would assign the following quote to: Judas Iscariot or the average modern western Catholic?
How in the hell do you expect us to get anyone to join and support us if you keep talking about this bullshit? This superstitious crap might have flown back in the day, but crazy bullshit like that only drives people away now. You either need to drop that talk all together, or walk it back and tone it way the hell down into some meaningless, non-offensive symbolism or shared community meal meme, or something. Bottom line, you are embarrassing us with this bullshit. STOP EMBARRASSING US.
And so, ladies and gentlemen, the next time you see or hear something that fits the pattern of “saying things and then acting as if something else were true”, ask yourself if the following foundational premise would totally, completely explain everything you are seeing:
They don’t actually believe any of it.