The Flying Buttress: What Inquisitors' Minds Want to Know

An archive for issues of The Flying Buttress newswire, whose purpose is to comment satirically on dissent within and relating to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Disclaimer: These publications are works of satirical fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental, but it all depends on what you mean by the word "is." May the Lord bless you and keep you!

Monday, November 05, 2007

'Til "Conscience" Do Us Part

+A stunning development, the very schism long feared by Pope Benedict, may be in the works for the American conference of the Roman Catholic Church.

+The Flying Buttress has received word that a surprising number of American bishops, “progressives” all, have apparently grown impatient with the pace of the Masonic/modernist makeover of the post-Conciliar Church. As a result, they have been conducting high-level discussions about leaving the Church to form a new and independent federation.

+Rumored to be leading these schismatic deliberations are Their Excellencies Roger Mahony, Donald Wuerl, Daniel Pilarczyk, George Niederauer and Harry Flynn. Moreover, a disturbing yet persistent element of these reports is that this group - which may consist of as many as one-third of American bishops - is being advised behind the scenes by none other than William Levada.

+From what we understand, these august powwows have addressed two pressing concerns: one, how to justify the abandonment of the modernist principle of transforming the Church from within, and two, the development of a set of viable, ethical and coherent operating principles for promulgation. Apparently, the group is satisfied that the principles they have agreed upon – reportedly, there are eleven of them - speak to both their concerns. Their consensus is that these principles possess sufficient messianic and utopian magnetism as to immediately attract huge numbers of those disaffected with the Roman Catholic Church, creating an exodus which will cause its collapse:

Principle One

The overarching founding principle of the modern Church is individual conscience, joined together with other individual consciences to form a common conscience, shaped by the rigorous ideals and demands of social, environmental, and sexual justice, and fortified by the universal bonds of humanity.

Principle Two

We must look neither to the past, nor to nostalgia for the past, for hierarchical solutions with which to govern the modern Church. In order to create a workable, global font of justice, the modern Church must arise from the ashes of the past to fully embrace a collective and egalitarian present. Simply put, the modern Church is a collegial democracy, governed not by a pope, but by wise elected councils doing the will of the great congregation of the faithful.

Principle Three

The modern Church, rooted in the ever-changing present, can successfully adapt to its time only by remaining responsive to the needs of the community it serves. All its signs, symbols and sacraments must reflect that eternal responsiveness.

Principle Four

As such, the inclusive and responsive modern Church can no longer identify itself as “the Bride of Christ.” Henceforth the modern Church, desirous of partaking fully of all the joys and sorrows of its faithful, shall be known as “the partner of humanity.”

Principle Five

The modern Church does not have the answers to every modern dilemma. These answers can only be produced by the community of the faithful, who will arrive at them through a process of communal discernment guided by an intuitively formed conscience and goodwill toward all.

Principle Six

The development of the liturgy of the modern Church shall be guided by Principles One and Two, be implemented through Principles Three and Five, and facilitate Principles Seven, Eight, Nine and Eleven. The keystone of all liturgical development shall be “sincere, faithful and committed consensual dynamic participation.”

Principal Seven

The priest has no special status or privilege in the Church or in society: he is a collaborator with the laity, their servant, brother and presider, and a facilitator of the Universal Priesthood of Believers. He represents Christ only as he succeeds in representing humanity, and in so doing, is empowered to lead the faithful into a new garden of social enlightenment.

Principle Eight

We believe it is counterproductive to place unreasonable demands upon priestly vocations in a world already suffering from undue stress. Therefore, in order to make vocations more attractive to the modern mentality, and for the good of the modern Church, the requirement of celibacy is hereby abolished.

Principle Nine

The Church’s ancient taboo on the ordination of women and homosexuals is clearly outdated, offensive and discriminatory. The modern Church, upon whom the mantle of justice must rest, opens its priesthood to all who may desire it.

Principle Ten

In Roman Catholic parishes, wherever there is a stable group of faithful who reject all liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to leave the parish, so that they may be welcomed into a parish aligned with our new federation of churches, and celebrate the Communal Meal according to the liturgy to be developed using Principle Six.

Principle Eleven

The modern Church will not discriminate against any of its members or catechumens because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or sin. The modern Church will ensure that all its members achieve universal salvation regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or sin. The modern Church is an Equal Opportunity Redeemer.


+To date, the thorniest issue facing this group is, surprisingly, the issue of names. What to call this Manifesto of operating principles? More importantly, what to call this new Federation? The Flying Buttress, whose own operating principle - “Romanita, no! Vox Populita, si!” – nicely captures our predilection for getting to the bottom line, has a few suggestions:

Titles for “The Manifesto”:

1. “Our Disorders Were Burning Within Us.”

2. “Copulo ergo sum” (from one of our readers, “The General”).

Names for the New Federation:

1. Federatio Sensuous Catholicus (FSC).

2. The Roamin’ Homosexual Catholic Church in America (RHCCIA).

Miscellanea CATHOLICA

+Both Franciscan University at Steubenville and Ave Maria University – yes, you read that right - have denied large numbers of students (155 at Franciscan) petitioning for Mass in the Extraordinary Form, whereas similar groups at Notre Dame and Georgetown have been accommodated. Fr. John Zuhsldorf is keeping a watchful eye on Franciscan on his blog.

+How’s attendance at Notre Dame’s Extraordinary Form? See for yourself!


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