|The offending issue|
I have a book somewhere in my scattered library by a (Spanish?) priest entitled Liberalism is a Sin. When it was written some cleric complained and it was given to some bigwig in the hierarchy. That bigwig not only gave it the all-clear but ordered its widespread dissemination.
This was all well before V2 and the "spirit of renewal" which many now see as the 'smoke of Satan' which has (as the Latin Mass Society reported this week) emptied the pews and the seminaries.
As in the modern world when the rise in abortion, abuse, divorce and single parents is met with "we need more of the same liberalness which caused this." The poison becomes the cure. That seems to be the mentality of some at The Tablet.
"Quick nurse the patient is dying of morphine poisoning! Bring more morphine!"
"The church is empty. We need a renewal of the renewal. Making the church worldly has wrecked it, we need to become more like the world."
If Catholics want a disco, there are plenty of very professional discos about. Same for pubs. Same for nightclubs. Same for creches and nurseries. Same for drop-in centres. Same for advice centres.
What Catholics want is a Catholic Church. If the Church wishes to open roller discos, or drum n bass youth clubs - then it should do so down the road. We want Churches. We want Catholic Churches. They have stood for 2000 years whilst fads and fashions (hat-tip to GKC) have come and gone.
I'm sure in Roman times there were voices saying "let's turn a blind eye to infanticide" or "let's invite the pagans in to hold ecumenical services" and suchlike. I wonder what the early Church fathers would have said to such nonsense. Actually I don't. I know what they'd say! They'd probably fall short of swearing, but only via the Grace of God!
It's like GK Chesterton wrote, we want a Church that is right when we are wrong. It is our pillar, our rock, our refuge, our sanctuary. When the world is mad, bad or sad - the Church should be there as an antidote, not a mirror image or a watered down version of the world.
And so we come back to The Tablet. The other day I came across an old copy (30/10/1999 to be precise) and flicking through it I found an article by Alain Woodrow entitled "a Monk for the End Times" about Joachim of Fiore. 'Sounds interesting' thinks I, so a scan the piece.
I quickly find that he was condemned as a heretic by two Church councils, was treated with suspicion by Aquinas (the big daddy of all Church thinkers) and "had a big influence on revolutionary groups... [such as] Marx" (sic)
The article celebrated a coming together of a few dozen of his acolytes in Italy. The meeting was even opened by Cardinal Vik and closed by Archbishop Agostino.
Perhaps the most damning sentence comes near the start of the article when we are told "Joachim (c. 1135-1202) is beginning to be recognised at last as a genuine mystic and true precursor of church reform."
I think the old monk (and let's not forget that old liar and and heresiarch Luther was a monk too), whatever the gravity of his faults would baulk at one thing: being held responsible by the Tabletistas for the emptying of our pews! Surely no-one in their right mind would want to boast of that crime?
As for The Tablet itself, it seems no heresy is beyond rapprochement, just as no ethical evil is beyond celebration. Hilaire Belloc wrote 'Survivals and New Arrivals' to warn us about the enemies of the Church and how the assault the Mystical Body of Christ in waves, old and new. It seems only in the world after Vatican 2 the official Catholic press is a vehicle for these heresies to eat away at our beloved Church.
And they wonder why the pews are emptying?