Why Online Church Reform?
I learned French, Spanish and Portuguese to go to the mission. Why now am I a hermit who prays several hours a day and now works at Church reform online?
In my last non-Latin Mass assignment for my home diocese, I was hearing 10-40 hours of confessions a week, less than a golf shot from a large State University. Most of my penitents were University students and I’d sometimes hear confessions past midnight. I had no iPhone (only a flip-phone) and I had no FaceBook, Twitter, blog or podcast. I had no desire for social media. However, approximately one complaint per month against my orthodox doctrine (as well as me having called the police on an employee having a nervous breakdown with aggressive behavior to me) was my reason for removal from my last non-Latin Mass assignment in 2014.
Those who removed me from that assignment now receive many more complaints against my teaching (including the liberal National Catholic Reporter claiming I’m their number 1 conservative troublemaker online!) as I am still in good standing with my diocese. But my superiors would do well to remember that when I was removed from my quiet confessional near the University campus, I had no smart phone, no FaceBook, no Twitter, no blog and no podcast. It seems one complaint a month is better than a dozen complaints a month, but I was obedient to every removal, so I can not be held liable for being obedient to every move hitherto.
I have little desire for parish life (but would have to be obedient to this call if ever my hermit rule of life were rejected). The missions sound nice, but the true ancient faith is distorted everywhere. For this reason, it seems it works out well in my life that what has fallen in my lap (far from my own desires) is to prioritize Church reform above normal apostolic work. We Catholics are now in a situation not found in normal centuries where there were occasional aspects of doctrinal confusion peppered through Christendom. We Catholics are in an unprecedented crisis in Church history.
Again, in seminary, I had prepared for both parish life and the missions. In my priesthood, things changed and I began to believe that my mission was domestic, hearing thousands of confessions of University students. Either way, I still pictured the Catholic Church as an oceanliner. My job (whether being an international missionary or simple confessor of young people) was to be a lifeguard throwing life-preservers into the ocean of chaos to good Catholics, bad Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Muslims and even pagans. My life-preserver was baptism but mainly confession. I had heard confessions in French, Spanish and Portuguese in North America, South America, Africa, Europe and even Asia in my priesthood.
But when mid-ranking officers on deck of the ocean-liner kept throwing me off the boat into the chaos of the ocean for being too traditional, I began to realize how many on this ship needed supernatural faith more than politics. They claimed to be orthodox, but repeatedly punished orthodoxy. The more I studied what happened in 1963 and 2013, the more I realized which type of people were running the oceanliner from the Captain’s deck. This was not the oceanliner I could work to make converts to. Or rather, it was indeed God’s exclusive oceanliner, but the mid-ranking officers were not who I thought they were. I found they were going to always compromise faith and morals in order to pacify the wackiest men sitting way up in the Captain’s deck outside this country.
This is different from normal times of Church history that is full of glory and tragedy, saints and sinners, doctors and heretics. If such were the case, I’d be happy to go to the missions or back to parish life. But now I see that reform is needed as we make converts in all nations. Yes, I still believe this oceanliner in my analogy is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I still believe Christ can have only one Bride (the Catholic Church) but now I believe she must be rescued from wacky men at the helm before (or during) the time when we bring all nations to Christ via His Church. Otherwise, these nations will learn the ubiquitous modernist heresy that was once completely foreign to the Bride of Christ.
It is for this reason I am quite content being a hermit who teaches online. I believe people must learn traditional Catholicism regardless of what superiors believe about the Apostolic faith given from Christ Himself to the Apostles. I can no longer throw life-preservers to people who will be led to heretical wolves in the average parish on any of the seven continents. Personally, as far as Church reform online, I also see that (unlike Luther’s reform who was not countering imposters) we are in a time when a mutiny against a mutiny is truly obedience to the Captain of Our Salvation (cf Hb 2:10.) Yes, Jesus Christ is the Head of a Church that will always be One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic objectively. But subjectively we on earth have a job to return her to the rightful leaders before imposters arrived on scene. This will not happen on its own, but rather, we must remember Christ has no hands but yours.
Or perhaps Christ will return in glory soon if Our Lady of La Salette has already been fulfilled, for Archbishop Viganò recently quoted from that very apparition, “Rome will lose the faith…” But until then, we must heed the words of the Apostle to take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.—Eph 5:11