Clarity and the like.

6 Feb

Apparently, dear readers, I should stick to 7 Quick Takes and random musings on Disney and dating. I get myself into too much trouble otherwise. After I published the post before last, I have gotten three different searches for “Secret Vatican Douchebag” that directed people to my blog. Nice! After much debate behind closed doors, I feel I should clarify a few things. After this, we can put this brief moment where I attempted to be intelligent behind us and get on with our merry lives! Tongue in cheek there, guys.

When I wrote “Where has all the charity gone?” I was not, in any way, trying to speak ill of my fellow ORU converts – and I was not, in any way, denouncing the particular anonymous group in question. That’s precisely why I kept all names unmentioned – even the name of the one who was very unjustly spoken ill of, and did not mention the medium the discussion occurred in. Only that it happened online. If this had been the first instance of an attitude like this I might not have even said a single thing. But this is by far not the first experience of this nature I have witnessed from my student convert friends (and only the student converts) – both from ORU and not, online and in the nonvirtual world. I was using the instance in question to speak out against radical instances of uncharity to our brothers and sisters in the Church. This exchange was the most recent – and I still say appalling – example I had before me.

Kevin Clay, of MonkRock/Transitus Oblates of the Last Martyrdom wrote an excellent and thoughtful response to the post – you can read it in the combox of “Where has all the charity gone”. He is one of the most charitable – and Traditionalist – Catholics I have ever met. I agree very much with his statements, and they did much to ease my troubled soul. I do, however, still stand by premise that our attitudes amongst each other can greatly help or hinder the case for Conversion we present to our separated brothers and sisters. This was the point I was trying to make with my statement that those outside of the Church often have nothing to go on but their interactions with us. I would be hard-pressed to educate myself about a faith whose participants continually attacked each other. I know of several deeply personal instances where this has unfortunately been all too true. I do agree, however, that once a person has been exposed to the Truth found in the Church there is nothing that can hinder them from coming into her arms except for their own “hang-ups” so to speak, and at that point any fingers pointing in the direction of infighting are mere excuses. (I realize that my dear Orthodox friends will have more than a thing or two to say about this! :D) The problem is when that infighting prevents someone from having a reason to even begin considering setting their prejudices aside. This has, unfortunately, been more than true with many friends on campus whose only experience with Catholicism has come from less-than-charitable exchanges with zealous, well-meaning converts on and off campus.

I was not denouncing debate, nor was I trying to promote an All You Need Is Love approach to conversation. There is certainly room for lively, intelligent, and indignant debates and conversations regarding the liturgy. I actually love these conversations. Charity and debate are not mutually exclusive. Anyone who knows me knows that I am snarky, I have a dry sense of humor, and it is really, really difficult for me to separate the two from any conversation I’m having – and it gets me into plenty of trouble. But there is a difference between friendly, tongue-in-cheek jabs, good-natured debate, and ill-tempered name calling. The latter is what I was denouncing.

I was also not attempting to denounce Traditionalism. If I had to choose between Traditionalism and Modernism, I would choose Traditionalism in less than half a heartbeat. I love the t/Traditions of the Church, and my personal, private spirituality is far more Traditionalist in nature than most people realize – I do, however, worship corporately in a Novus Ordo parish that I love deeply, and I do not see this changing at any point in the near future.

In summary:

1) I do not hate my fellow ORU converts.
2) I do not hate Traditionalists. No, not even the SSPX. Which apparently makes me a Modernist? Another post for another day.
3) I should control my social workers need for justice while writing response posts.
4) Being snowed in for a week makes me a very impassioned writer.

Now, who wants a peanut butter brownie recipe? Sigh.

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12 Responses to “Clarity and the like.”

  1. Calah February 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    I’m sorry you felt you had to write this. I think you’re attitude is to be emulated…you are being much more charitable than those in question. I’m sorry that a conversion that should bring you into the peace of our Mother Church is instead throwing you smack dab in the middle of a nasty family squabble. And you don’t even have the grace of the Eucharist to console you yet!

    Time off in Purgatory for you. A lot of it.

    • Calah February 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

      Uh, your attitude, not you’re. Sorry.

    • The Secret Vatican Spy February 7, 2011 at 9:27 am #

      When they day comes I will refer God to this comment. 😉 Thanks for your support, Calah.

  2. blueberriesforme February 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    Sorry you’ve had a rough patch! I really like your blog.
    I have a question – how do you feel as a convert learning the words for the Mass then re-learning them when it changes? (For the English Mass anyway). I’m scared cause it’s what I’ve known my whole life, how will I ever unlearn it?! But I’d go crazy if I learn one version then have relearn another haha.

    • The Secret Vatican Spy February 7, 2011 at 9:26 am #

      I’m actually very excited for the changes, for two reasons. One, I feel that they’re a step in the right direction for bridging some of the liturgical divide. Two, I’m a history lover, and it gives me all kinds of delicious chills to think that I get to be a part of such a huge liturgical reform. The memorization is a daunting thought, but I just remind myself that I could be having to learn the entire Mass in Latin!

      • khouria jen February 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

        it is actually possible to do — if you’ve sung any classical masses (i.e. bach, haydn), you’re partway there!

  3. Tara Meghan February 7, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    I liked your post! It is good to be impassioned if you can also be charitable, which I think you were. There were no harsh words, just a very reasonable plea not to lose sight of the reason and purpose for Catholicism’s details. What I took away from it is this: if we can be harsh and unkind in our discussion of the details of Catholicism, then we have truly lost sight of its heart, and are in danger of making an idol of the Law, rather than putting our worship in its proper place…and how sad is that? To be so close to Jesus, and yet so, sooooo far.

    • Tara Meghan February 7, 2011 at 9:21 am #

      Which is not to say that the details are unimportant! Merely that, without charity, the details amount to exactly Nothing. Because our friend Paul said so in 1 Corinthians 13.

      • The Secret Vatican Spy February 7, 2011 at 9:23 am #

        Agreed, whole heartedly! Details are nothing without love. Miss your sweet presence on Twitter, friend!

      • Tara Meghan February 7, 2011 at 10:03 am #

        Baw! And I miss you, and the lovely Vita Catholic and EE, and Unvirtuous Abbey, and all the other beautiful TwitterPeeps. I am currently putting all my TwitterLove into a novel, and when it is done I will send you a copy! 🙂

  4. priest's wife February 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    HEY! Where’s the peanut butter brownie recipe????

    🙂

  5. khouria jen February 8, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    i actually thought your entry was very good. ignore the detractors. when they throw lemons at you, wing them right back and add a few of your own!

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