Sunday, May 14, 2006

On Hallowed Ground

I finally figured out my problem with Mr. Culbreath's blog, On Hallowed Ground, which he writes from the pagan hills and valley of northern California (no it wasn't a substantive problem; it was just a manifestation of my technical incompetency). I wondered if he'd given up the blog; it had been many, many weeks since I'd seen anything posted.

It turns out I had a problem with my blog reader. I've got him fed properly into my blog reader now, and did some catch-up. I greatly enjoyed his most recent post, the entry for May 12, the sixth anniversary of his profession of faith at the FSSP apostolate in Sacramento.

I first read the old profession of faith and abjuration of heresy that Mr. Culbreath made in my Baltimore Book of Prayer some time ago, and thought how inadequate the current formulas are when compared alongside it. Just one reason, among many, that most of us know so many people who go through the newfangled RCIA programs and are received into the Church, only to move back to heresy and schism when the particular mood or particular person that brought them to the door of the True Church passes.

All this reminds me, also, of something I heard on Catholic Answers last week, or maybe the week before. Someone called in with a question about the status of their marriage. They had been raised Catholic, left the church as an adult, been "married" by some layman--a protestant minister or judge--and then returned. The "apologist" was asking "Were you a Catholic when you got married?"


Well, let's see.... If one is baptized in the Church, one is Catholic, no? Perhaps there's no culpability in one's being carried into schism and heresy by one's parents before the age or reason or before one's Confirmation, but one who is baptized Catholic is always Catholic (whatever they do and whatever disabilities they impose upon themselves), right? Now, then, someone who is raised Catholic, or who is received into the Church can't cease to be a part of her, and cease to be (ultimately) subject to her jurisdiction by leaving of one's volition, can one?

Point #1, if issues regarding the validity of a marriage aren't addressed prior to one's reception into communion,what are we to say about the system of formation customarily received by converts? (I know, the same thing lots of people have been saying about ever since it was introduced by Bernardin's Boyz in the USCCB and phased in across the US; it's of the Devil).

Point #2, what are we to think of the Catholic Answers people's attempt to blur the lines? And if they're not blurring them; if one can really, truly, LEAVE the Church, let's see some clear proof the the contrary (preferably something straightforward and written prior to the 1960s, when "pastoral" somehow became an antonym of "doctrinal."). If that's the case, and I'm feeling lucky, I can quit, go be a "prosperity gospel" televangelist for a few years, get rich, and come back home to the bosom of Holy Mother Church--no harm / no foul........Cool!.............Or not?

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