In a post about the removal of an dissident Irish Dominican (read "heretic" from the views he seems to hold) Fr Ray Blake has at last spoken that which is at the heart of the disintegration of the Church in so much of the western world - certainly in this country:
"There is an "anti-Church" within the Church arguing against Orthodoxy and undermining all that might be done."
No matter what the Holy Father tries to do - and I don't just mean the present one, it applies equally to Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II - by way of legislation and example, it's of no use if clergy - priests and bishops - smile nicely and completely ignore it. Not just new legislation such as the Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum, but ignoring even the basic truths of the Faith such as the nature of the Priesthood and the Sacrifice of the Mass (such as the Irish Priest referred to in Fr Ray'sBlog).
There is an "anti-Church" within the Church labouring in parishes, deaneries and curial offices in complete opposition to Pope Benedict's teaching that the the Second Vatican Council should be interpreted in a hermeneutic of continuity, such as this unreliable and impossible to substantiate tosh in last week's Tablet, where the writer more or less says the Vatican II did what Jesus wanted but Trent didn't.
This anti-Church seems to have existed in hidden form underground for many decades but grasped the Second Vatican Council to come out into the open and now openly preaches in opposition to the public teaching of the Magisterium of the Church. The parish priest leaning on the lectern at Mass, without wearing a chasuble, telling people that women should be ordained, or the parish priest inviting people to general absolution, is not an outlandish caricature but a daily reality.
This third column, which I've experienced many times, is full of clergy who appear to hate the Church as it has manifested itself for hundreds of years, certainly hate the Pope, hate Rome and hate the Tradition which has been the vehicle of transmitting the Faith and the Scriptures down the generations. If you hate a club and everything it stands for, why join it, why stay in it? Why not go off and start a club of your own or join one that is in harmony with your opinions (there are plenty of them)? Why do these people insist on trying to turn the Church into another version of all those Reformation breakaways? All the things they want - no Pope, no Tradition, no authority, lay-led services, women priests and free-style dancing, elected elders and doctrine by popular vote - are available in the many denominations that abound throughout the world. But no - they must stay here and work to change The Church from within for reasons that I cannot fathom.
I wonder if they ever sing the words of Newman's hymn "Firmly I believe and truly and if they do, is it done with the same nonchalance with which the Creed is recited, as a poetic statement not to be taken literally?
For the love of Him alone,
Holy Church as His creation,
And her teachings are His own.