Support This Website! Shop Here!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Teaching Traditionalists

The Catholics at seem aghast and agog at a bit of Catholic doctrine they were apparently never taught. The headline to the story is:
Evangelii Gaudium: "We become fully human when we become more than human?" (sic)
The misplaced question mark (it should be outside the quote, not inside) is quite telling. Apparently, the headline writers never heard of the doctrine of deification.

Deification, aka divinization, is one of the most ancient doctrines of Catholic Faith. Because of this doctrine, we know exactly what the sacraments do to us: the sacraments make us gods.

If you think I'm overstating the case, read CCC 398, 460, 1589, 1988 and 1999. These reference and quote St. Ireneaus, St. Athanasius, St. Thomas Aquinas and the very Scriptures themselves. Man was never intended to just be and remain man. God always intended us to become gods.

He is Bridegroom, because He first makes us eligible to marry. A man cannot marry a dog or a horse because no animal has a human nature. In the same way, God cannot marry human beings because our nature is infinitely different from His. In order for Him to be Bridegroom, in order for Him to join us to His own Divine Body, we must first be changed. We must share in His nature.

Since He always intended us to share in His nature, He always intended us to be more than human. Human nature is, itself, a waypoint on a journey to the divine destination.

Evangelii Gaudium is beautifully and exquisitely accurate in its single-sentence summation of the ancient teaching of the Church. But the traditionalist community, unable to wean itself from the childish Baltimore Catechism, is thereby rendered completely unable to comprehend the precision of the adult doctrine.

The EF Mass may be a beautiful and mature expression of the Faith, but the question mark at the end of the Pewsitter headline (like the recent screams at Bishop Olson) shows that the participants at this Mass are largely immature in their understanding of the Faith. This is, strictly speaking, not entirely their fault - their pastors should be teaching them the adult Faith. Obviously, this hasn't yet happened. Perhaps it will one day.


Patrick Button said...

I don't think ignorance of deification has anything to do with the EF. I should think that Traditionalists are generally better versed in their faith than most Catholics.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

A) Well, talk to Pewsitter and ask them why they put the question mark on a doctrinal statement. Sure looks like EF advocates don't know doctrine.

B) I have seen no evidence that Traditionalists are better versed in the Faith. Oftentimes, I find they quote documents without being able to put those quotes into the context of Church teaching. So, they may know a few documents better, but they don't understand them any better than the typical Catholic. In fact, they often understand them worse (too stringently).