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Thursday, 3 September 2015

"Well, I Read It On the Internet, So It Must Be....."

I have heard over and over, from many people, that in the olden days, (that's right, during which I was alive,) many, many Catholics -- mostly lay people, but some priests, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn some bishops could be included in this group -- got their ecclesiastical news from the secular media.
"Time Magazine says that Vatican Two ordered us to..."

"The Star Ledger says Pope John XXIII wants us to..."

"According to the Gazette-Journal, Catholics no longer have to...."

"From now on, it said on WCBS, Catholics don't believe...."
"A guy on the radio said that from now on Catholics are allowed to..."
I don't think anyone would deny this led to a great deal of confusion, and the dissemination of disinformation, and some bald untruths -- utter, agenda-driven LIES that "everybody knows" to be "true."

And I wouldn't say it was the fault of media or of the Church structure itself, since the Church was used to moving slowly, and there was a protocol to who needed to be informed and in what order that information was to come, that was not always observed or even known by people in the press, (this was taken advantage of by the unscrupulous fringes of the Church, but I digress.)

It isn't only in matters ecclesiastical that such protocols obtain.
I remember standing in my Mother-in-law's kitchen, having just told her that we were going to be married, when I hung up the phone Himself was trying to dial, (no, not really "dial", but push buttons,) with a very firm, No. I don't care who you're trying to call, sibs, or ex-wife, or best friend, but not before I get my Mom on the phone to give HER the news.

So, is the Catholic Church reliving the sixties?

I mean, it seems unlikely, in this day and age of instant communication, but can it be that the Holy Father's letter regarding, no, revealing his indulgences for the Year of Mercy was so off-the-cuff that,
"a question also arises as to why there was not a direct communication to the SSPX. The communique from the SSPX indicates that they only learned about it via the press. Generally, grants of faculty are communicated directly to the cleric to whom the faculty is being granted or to the cleric’s superior where appropriate." [emphasis added.]
I get that canon law and that kind of thing has changed since the Holy Father studied for the priesthood, but, um... isn't that the reason why people in positions of ENORMOUS authority and influence and responsibility have advisors?

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