Q: Ann, longtime reader from WAY back. My wife and I are convinced, and have started RCIA because there is no TLM anywhere close, but we know that RCIA will get us into the One True Church. Thoughts? Advice?
A: When people hear the truth, and see the reality of the situation in the Church today, not only is it not repellant, it is ATTRACTIVE. Lots of people, including people who have been militantly anti-Catholic are seeing the obviously PRETERNATURAL attack upon the Church, the Papacy, and Pope Benedict, and are realizing that the locus of Christianity isn’t in the United Methodist Church, or the Presbyterians, or the Baptists or the Lutherans. The Bergoglian Antipapacy is, in a certain sense, shining a huge light on the fact that it is The Catholic Church that is the One True Church founded by Jesus Christ in the Upper Room, and that the successor to St. Peter is its visible earthly head and Principal of Unity. Seeing that the Church, the Papacy and Pope Benedict XVI are under withering attack, people WANT TO JOIN THE FIGHT – including lots of converts.
So, what to do if you are located in one of the remaining liturgical deserts? First, the correspondent is absolutely right in that converting through a Novus Ordo parish and the RCIA program will absolutely get you “in”. Antipope Bergoglio is not invalidating any sacraments… YET.
The risk, as I see it, is that people who are still very much learning the faith might be scandalized by Novus Ordo RCIA antics and misinformation, and run screaming. This CAN be overcome. As always, the way to overcome scandal is INFORMED TRUTH. How? Contact a TLM parish in a metro area and tell them your situation. Ask if they can help you with your conversion studies. Do they have a reading syllabus for converts, and even better, would it be possible for them to do convert instruction sessions via Skype or some other video conferencing software.
Now, understand, these TLM parishes all commemorate “Francis” at the Te Igitur. What you are looking for is NOT a parish that is openly BiP. What you are looking for is just solid convert instruction in the basics of the faith, NOT a forum to adjudicate the identity of the Roman Pontiff. I think it is fair to say that at this point more than half of the pew sitters in TLM parishes have, at minimum, doubts about the validity of Pope Benedict’s resignation, or just about Bergoglio in more general terms, but don’t expect the priests to take any hard stand against Antipope Bergoglio. Understand this, and just get yourself into Holy Mother Church as best you can, with as much solid catechesis as you can get.
The two main TLM groups in North America are:
Get on the phone. Talk to people. Ask for referrals. Network. It would be totally reasonable for someone in west Texas to do online convert instruction with a priest in New England… or even Europe. Don’t put up geographical barriers where none actually exist thanks to telecommunication.
We live in glorious times. WE have been chosen for these days. We have the technology to talk to anyone, anywhere on the planet, for all intents and purposes. We have access to the sum of human knowledge, instantly. We have the toolkit. All we need is the initiative, the fighting spirit, and the LOVE OF GOD. The victory is ours. The only question is how it plays out.
Welcome to the war!