The Lure of Orthodoxy
When the Bear left the Catholic Church for the Orthodox Church, he was right. The Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church had not been vandalized. He had led his family into true heavenly worship, and a right and rich tradition of the Ancient Faith. Orthodox like to say:
We are what you once were. We believe what you once believed. We worship as you once worshipped. If you were right then, we are right now. If we are wrong now, you were wrong then.You know, it's true. We didn't have to dread some innovation at Divine Liturgy, or cringe during our Russian priest's homily. When the Gospel said Jesus cast out demons, we got a homily about the demonic, not mental illness. When the Gospel said Jesus multiplied bread, we got a homily about a miracle, not sharing.
There is not a day goes by that the Bear doesn't wish he were still Orthodox.
Rod Dreher is a more well-known person who jumped off the Barque of Peter into the incense haze of Orthodoxy. He was shaken that the Roman Catholic Church could harbor an untold number of homosexual clergy who molested pubescent boys. (He would have put it in the conventional terms of "pedophilia"; the Bear once again insists on the findings of the Jay Report, which tells a different story.)
Dreher concluded there was something rotten to the core about such an institution. You know, it's true. Orthodoxy, as the Bear is sure Dreher has since learned, has its own scandals, but nothing as horrific as the Catholic sex abuse scandal.
The Church of Wrong
We must fear a cabal of our own shepherds in Rome, as they meet to change the nature of family, to deform the sweet, strong and simple sacrament of matrimony. Our Lord's own words in the Gospel about the impossibility of divorce are given no more weight than a Roman cab driver's chatter. We don't trust the hierarchy anymore. You know it's true.
We have a pope we don't like who is at best habitually imprudent in his speech, and at worst the mastermind behind the very things we dread.
The Novus Ordo mass -- concocted with the help of Protestants and maybe even a Freemason -- bears no resemblance to the mass circa 1563 or even 1962. It only poorly represents a sacrifice, since the priest has his back to the One to Whom the sacrifice is offered. There's a table for a meal, not an altar for a sacrifice. People slouch up and grab a host with their hand without reverently kneeling. We are forced to sing the same Protestantized hymns week after week about Dancing Jesus, or our Journey, as the People, maybe with a band accompanying us while liturgical dancers in gauzy dresses dance around the altar like something out of The Wicker Man.
Even if the bishop doesn't show up dressed as a clown, or a cowboy, it's still torture to the pious soul.
Look at the numbers if you want to behold a ruined Church. We have to import priests from Africa because our seminaries are empty. Our parishes are a shadow of their former selves. "Ex-Catholic" is the third largest "denomination" in the country, after Catholics proper and Baptists. If it weren't for immigrants from south of the border, the decimation would be even more obvious. (And many of them become Protestants before long.)
You know all this is true. After Vatican II, the Church imploded. Therefore, it is obviously the fault of Vatican II.
So all that stuff about the Church being "indefectable" turned out to be bunk. Let's face it. The Church is wrong. Wrong about its Mass, which we all know is a feeble pantomime if not an outright offense to God. Wrong about Vatican II. Wrong about the Synod on the Family.
You know it's true. How? You can read Scripture, and exercise plain reason. It is plain the pope, to the extent he is behind this abominable Synod of the Family, is in error.
Leaving the Church
The way the Bear sees it, now that the scales have fallen off his eyes, we have a number of options.
- SSPX has the real Mass, and strong reservations about Vatican II. So what if the "Church" says they don't have faculties to hear confessions and absolve our sins, and they can't conduct valid weddings. The Bear is sure the "emergency" doctrine or some other technicality will correct any formal defects. Besides, who cares what the "Church" says? We've already established it is wrong. Indefectability is like a bursting bubble. If it's wrong in one thing, it might as well be wrong in everything.
- Society of St. Pope Pius V. These guys are even more correct than the SSPX. For ex-Catholics who are totally unwilling to compromise, SSPV is like the SSPX, only more so. Think SSPV are cream puffs? There are many sedevacantist groups scattered about, tracing ordinations back to Archbishop Thuc, for those who "don't need no stinking pope."
- Few of us have a local SSPX chapel. When the Catholic Church starts marrying homosexuals as an "extension of mercy," (which would be wrong) we can just curl up in our lairs, nests, houses, etc. and say a rosary. If we were to go to a Church of Wrong Novus Ordo mass, that would surely be wrong, and probably a sin. So under the current emergency, we'll make do the best we can.
- The Orthodox Church is the real deal, the Bear can tell you. He's even a tonsured reader, which is a much bigger deal than the Conciliar Church's lectors. Divine Liturgy is exactly that: divine. And no crazy-making pope! (Seriously, think about that.) It's like a living museum of faith, where nothing has changed since the Great Schism, way before the Council of Trent. Trust the Bear: you'll love it if you love the truth, tradition and a beautiful liturgy. (Yeah, they went wobbly on divorce, but nobody's perfect.)
- Once you are liberated by recognition of the undeniable fact that the Catholic Church is wrong, you can even explore further afield. Remember, wrong is wrong, and once that bubble bursts, how do you know what you can trust and what is dangerous? If you discover your wife putting cyanide in your coffee once, are you ever going to trust her again? Doesn't it make more sense to understand "the Church" in the broad sense as the invisible community of believers? Evangelicals are Bible-believing (unlike Modernist Catholic scholars) and sincere. They're also growing, so they must be doing something right. The Bear enjoys the music of Casting Crowns and Mercy Me, so he might enjoy an Evangelical service.
These are just some suggestions. Most mainline Protestant churches are pretty dismal, and the Bear cannot recommend them. Maybe some Lutherans, but the Bear has no experience.
Inspirational Quotes: Time to Go
Imagine your life, your personal devotion, free of constant turmoil caused by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. Imagine being secure in an enclave of tradition somewhere. Imagine being able to trust. Who better can you trust than yourself, if we're being completely honest? You know what's right. You don't need an erratic gaggle of bishops gabbling nonsense at you. To quote the man who recently had a square named after him in Rome, Martin Luther, “I have within me the great pope, Self.”
Since your majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns or teeth. Unless I am convinced by Scripture and by plain reason (I do not believe in the authority of either popes or councils by themselves, for it is plain that they have often erred and contradicted each other) in those Scriptures that I have presented, for my conscience is captive to the Word of God, I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me. Amen.Where will you stand? SSPX? Orthodoxy? Protestantism? Where?
As for the Bear, he stands as a Roman Catholic. He is unimpressed by any argument that proceeds from an alleged error by the Church of Rome. Surely he may be scandalized, but he hopes for the grace to exercise humility and obedience. If the hierarchy messes something up, that's on them. God will not punish the faithful who remain behind to fight, next to Jesus in the tabernacle (if we can find it) during these confusing and frightening times.
If the Roman Catholic Church creates a divorce mill and recognizes homosexual "partnerships" in some fashion, the Bear will be scandalized. He will still stand with the Roman Catholic Church, because he is a plain old Roman Catholic Bear with no hyphens or qualifiers, just a period.
Granted, having his foot nailed to the floor in front of his favorite pew helps.