Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Evils of Tradition Put Forth

An amusing little diatribe which only shows we're winning. The cause of tradition is gaining strength and the progressives/modernists are getting desperate.

From the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese - Catholic Register

Another Perspective
Beware The Bathwater!


By: Monsignor Timothy P. Stein, Editor

A long out of print book, The Enthusiast, tells the story of Father Ignatius of Llanthony.
Father Ignatius was one of the more colorful, if not controversial figures of the 19th century Anglo - Catholic revival in England. Ignatius (Joseph Leycester Lyne) wanted to restore monastic life in the Church of England. He sought to establish a monastery of Anglican Benedictine monks. What he made, was a mess.
Father Ignatius was without a doubt a man of deep faith, and was a well - known missionary preacher and evangelist. But in working to establish a monastery, he simply played at being a monk. He was more concerned with the external trappings of monasticism than he was with the interior conversion that should be the result of living a religious life. Father Ignatius was more in love with his religious habit than he was with the discipline of religious life. He loved to surround himself with statues, pictures, crucifixes, altars, sacred vessels, and all sorts of pious geegaws. If one candle on an altar was good - - two dozen candles were even better. In fact, two dozen candles were not enough for Father Ignatius; contemporary accounts state that there were no less than 250 candles on the high altar at Llanthony Abbey. Father Ignatius loved what some have irreverently termed “smells and bells.”
The Father Ignatius’s of the world are with us still. They are the ones who charge that the Catholic Church, following the Second Vatican Council, threw out the baby with the bathwater. They have made it their mission to retrieve the bathwater. They would like us to be drowning in it.
Trappings of piety - - external symbols of religiosity - - are all well and good. They have nourished the faith of millions. But they are not an end, in themselves. They are but a means to an end. The bathwater is not more important than the baby.
“Smells and bells” and other assorted paraphernalia are supposed to help us nurture our relationship with Jesus. When they become a stumbling block, and prevent us from seeing Jesus, knowing Jesus, walking with Jesus, or when they obscure the path to Jesus for others, they must be put aside, or at least, reassessed. There were good reasons for throwing out so much of the bathwater. It had become murky. It was no longer serving a good purpose. It was time to take the baby from the bath, and move on.
Beware the bathwater! Hidden in its depths may be a dose of pretty poison - - the temptation to idolatry - - the temptation to worship fleeting forms while ignoring lasting, enduring substance. Don’t mistake devotion to exterior signs for an interior conversion to life in union with Jesus.
Just be sure to keep a tight grip on the baby.

We are never told what horrible things Fr. Ignatius has done? Too many candles? ahhh. The water was murky? And now all things are clear? hmmmm

Traditionalists consider yourselves warned and put on notice. Ignore it and carry on.


Tradcatholic said...

This Fr. Ignatius seems to have been a character - Anglican deacon,ordained by some old wandering Catholic Bishop in the end.Excentric. NOT trad Catholic!

Yes, VII did throw out the baby with the bath water but, Msgr Stein is in error thinking we trads want the murky 'bath water' back - it is the BABY we want, duh.! The 'baby' IS the Core, the essential beliefs,ceremonies,customs,Mass of the Catholic Ages.
On the contrary, Msgr is in possession ONLY of the bath water and 'geegaws', the trinkets and mimimalist surroundings of Catholicism.

(By the way, 'gewgaw' is the preferred traditional form of 'geegaw'.Does the Msgr likes nothing old?)

Ridicule of others does not make the Msgr look better. Is THIS the best the limping diocese of Altoona has to offer! Pathetic.

Madeline said...

I just love it when people have to speak in ominous warnings "bewares!" and other cliches, and metaphors that have no substance. Isn't it ironic?

hilary said...

yes, I thought of asking him, 'so, if the goal is spiritual conversion, and as you have admitted, the means are the 'externals' how do you now expect anyone to reach the goal?

In throwing out the bathwater, you have actually killed the baby. (or something, not sure how well the analogy holds up).

I found it odd to see him openly admit that the means to 'spiritual' conversion were the trappings and then to go on and say that now that we have no means, everyone is just to magically reach the end.

but logic has never been these people's strong suit.

boinky said...

The Bishop of Altoona sits in his castle in Altoona and is stuck fighting a bunch of pre Vatican II hard headed Polish Coal miners and steel workers who have a statue of Mary on their front lawn, protest him closing and renovating their ethnic churches, dislike his modern PC nuns teaching heresy to their kids, and dislike him for protecting pedophiles.
Poor guy.
Sounds like his newspaper hasn't changed since I wrote that the enneagram was not a scientifically valid tool in psychology...
The only place that likes him is Penn State's liberal community.

Thomas Shawn said...

"Ignatius (Joseph Leycester Lyne) wanted to restore monastic life in the Church of England."

Sounds like the "Father"'s first problem was that he did not first join the Roman Catholic Church, outside of which, there is no salvation.

The author of the article needs to understand that the foibles of Protestants are of no concern to Roman Catholics.