Published at InfoCatolica from Rorate Caeli by Peter Kwasniewski
The title that heads this note does not refer to the cinema before the invention of technicolor, but to the astonishing criticism of current ecclesiastical officialdom that is directed against the members of the Church who love the great Catholic Tradition, and who recognize that homogeneity is what should characterize the development of ecclesial realities: dogma, liturgy, law, institutions. I have often quoted St. Vincent of Lerins and the formulas he coined in his Commonitory. Those realities can be expressed nove (in a new way), according to the cultural contexts of certain times and places; but in the deposit to be transmitted one cannot include nova, new things, novelties, which imply a heterogeneity with respect to the origins.
For more than half a century (the Second Vatican Council ended on December 8, 1965), the Church has been torn by an undeniable division: on the one hand, fundamentalists or conservatives (I use the names with which they are usually disqualified), and on the other hand, progressives or liberals, who are delighted with the current pontificate. Am I oversimplifying the complexity of ecclesial processes and phenomena?
In the last decade, a relativistic conception of faith has been consolidated in the Church, which struggles to find a place in the global sphere of a de-Christianized, secularized culture; its promoters do not wish to appear and to be considered foreigners in that world, and so they try to find their place by watering down with muddy water the exquisite wine of Catholic Truth. Although history records analogous phenomena in the past, it would seem that those times of which St. Paul spoke have arrived: “difficult times” or “perilous times” (2 Tim 3:1: kairoi chalepoi).
The “shrinking” of the Church in countries that once had a Catholic majority is being disguised. Historical studies do not ignore the vicissitudes Christianity has undergone since apostolic times, although it is difficult to make value judgments on the various stages. It is more complicated to consider what has happened in the last half-century, because the din of a diversity of opinions close to us continues to make itself heard.