Monday, August 17, 2015

Church: If Not Expressly Traditionalist, Completely Modernist

When the Church ceases to be expressly traditionalist, it will become completely Modernist.
Bear's Law.

The Bear was inspired by O'Sullivan's Law, attributed to British conservative columnist John O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan's law says: "All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing."

Although it may sound counterintuitive, it takes a lot of work to keep things the same. There will always be those who, driven by ego, misguided principles and priorities, or the devil, want to change things. They are typically well-organized, fervent, patient and persistent.

The current of our age is one of change. Even if there were no cabals of novelty-seekers, it would still take a lot of work to keep things the same. "A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it," Chesterton said. And in an age of change, the changers will enjoy popularity. Preservers will be the butt of jokes and the targets of insults. ("Rosary Counters, Bat Christians, Creed Reciting Parrot Christians," are just three that come readily to mind.)

Those who wish things to remain the same fail to grasp that it takes more energy and cleverness to just hold on to what they have than for someone else to take it all away. Again, it is the counterintuitive nature of this truth that puts the faithful at a tremendous disadvantage. They never believe the threat, or, if they do, they don't take it seriously. They don't prepare for battles, and they are attritted by endless skirmishes.

During Vatican II, one incident perfectly symbolizes what happens when the unprepared forces of preservation meet the well-prepared seekers of novelty.

During the October 30, 1962 session concerning changes to the Mass, [Cardinal Ottaviani, the leader of the conservatives] went beyond the 10-minute limit imposed on all speakers. Upon Ottaviani passing this mark Cardinal Tisserant, Dean of the Council Presidents showed his watch to the council president for the day Cardinal Bernard Alfrink of Utrecht (whom the Associated Press described as "one of the most outspoken members...who want to see far-reaching changes inside the church."). Ottaviani engrossed in his topic went on condemning the proposed changes, saying "Are we seeking to stir up wonder, or perhaps scandal, among the Christian people, by introducing changes in so venerable a rite, that has been approved for so many centuries and is now so familiar? The rite of Holy Mass should not be treated as if it were a piece of cloth to be refashioned according to the whim of each generation." When he had reached fifteen minutes Alfrink rang a warning bell. When Ottaviani kept speaking, Alfrink signalled to a technician who switched off the microphone. After tapping the microphone to determine it was off, the half-blind Ottaviani stumbled back to his seat in humiliation while "there was scattered applause in the council hall" by [liberal] members of the Council Fathers who held that he had gone on too long.

Wikipedia article on Alfredo Ottaviani. Find a copy of The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber for an excellent description of how Vatican II's outcome was dictated by a well-organized "Rhine Alliance." (The same powers threaten the current Synod on the Family.)

How do we get back what we've lost? The Bear wishes he had an answer. He suspects the Church will continue on its way. Only a living thing can go against the stream. Fortunately, while we may be time-bound, the Church is not. Some -- very few, as a practical matter -- have access to the Mass undeformed by Vatican II. We can still read the truths of the Church, even though dogmas are buried in the cemetery of inconvenient truths, and yesterday's rock-hard morality is dissolved in today's fizzy, pleasant-tasting solution of "pastoral" sinlessness.

The Bear keeps thinking about the Church in Laodecia. It seems almost irrelevant as an institution. It is the only one of the seven churches in Revelation about which Jesus can't think of a single good thing to say. Yet He does not abandon the faithful remnant.

That is what keeps the Bear hopeful. We must be alert to see how God will take care of us should the unthinkable happen and the Church contradicts Jesus' words and its own infallible teachings. We don't leave the Church, but there may come a time when we can't entirely trust it. Only God could permit this.

All the more reason to nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there.


  1. "We don't leave the Church, but there may come a time when we can't entirely trust it. Only God could permit this."

    The Church is infallible and indefectible. She can be trusted. What you cannot trust is a counter church who like a virus has invaded the institution of the Church. The virus mimics much of the structures and features of the true Church but it is not the Church. Hold fast to tradition.

    Sadly a poor beaten down Ottavani bailed and accepted the V2 changes later on. We must not make this mistake.

    Loved the Chesterton quote, Mr. Bear: "A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it."

    Seattle kim

  2. When Truth is corrupted or suppressed, errors and lies enter in. Today the lies are covered by a diabolical ambiguity, like saying it is mercy to give Holy Communion to adulterers, er "divorced and remarried".

  3. Has Bear read Nikita Roncalli? A fascinating read, available online and explains A LOT.
    No way will I ever believe John XXIII is a saint.

    S. Kim

  4. It wasn't O'Sullivan. It was Robert conquest, the historian who wrote The Great Terror and Harvest of Sorrow, among others. He just died.

    1. Curious that it is called O'Sullivan's Law, then. Perhaps they both said similar things.


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