The liberalists have long liked the slogan We are Church. As unpoetic and gramatically jarring as that phrase is, it's probably better than what Wikipedia says is the German equivalent, Wir Sind Kirche. That such a phrase is given a German equivalent - what with all that German bullying we had to deal with from 1870 to 1945 or so - well, this seems somehow quite fitting.
According to Wikipedia, the organization called We are Church advocates, among other things
- More participation of women in the Church, in particular female priests
- Ending the requirement of celibacy in the Latin Church priesthood
- Positive attitude towards sexuality, including homosexuality
- Promote a message of joy, rather than threat or discrimination.
As to the first item - women "priests" - I'm with Stanford Nutting.
|Thanks to Richard Aleman for this|
As to the last item - promoting a message of joy - I'm all for joy - the problem is homosexual activity and priests and priestesses who sleep with each other is hardly the way to find joy.
But the fact is We are Church. Or, in the interests of sloganeering, We is Church!
What I mean by that was revealed to me in a very encouraging way this past weekend.
Del and Terri Teeter, Chestertonians and John Hartford fans, hosted the First Annual Mid-West Chester-Fest in Waunakee, Wisconsin, which included drinking, debating, barbecue, and a fascinating talk by Dale Ahlquist on Chesterton and Education.
Dale's talk was given to benefit St. Ambrose Academy, an independent Catholic school, which, like the amazing Chesterton Academy in Minnesota, offers a classical education from a Catholic worldview.
These independent schools - privately run and not under the direct control of a diocese or parish - which are now popping up all over the country - are the proof that WE IS CHURCH. We is Church Indeed!
What do I mean by this?
Consider the problem with public education ...
- It is an education toward a liberalist political agenda
- It cultivates only one virtue - tolerance - at the expense of all the others
- God and questions of ultimate meaning are not allowed to be discussed
- It is social engineering, using our children as subjects in a kind of heartless experimentation
- It serves the interests of big government, big business and anti-Catholicism
- It is the primary weapon of the Dictatorship of Relativism
- It produces young people who are violent, perverse, and nihilistic
... I could go on.
The problem, however, with Catholic education - at least here in the U.S. - is that it is exactly like public education, only worse. I am speaking in general and as a rule - but most so-called Catholic education in the U.S. is neither Catholic nor education.
In fact, as I've written before, the most consistent indicator that a young Catholic will abandon his or her faith is twelve years of Catholic education.
Now I, like many others, have been furious about this for many years.
"Why don't the bishops do something?" I would scream. "How can a pastor of a Catholic parish allow his school to be run by a bullying feminist whose motto is Wir Sind Kirche and who makes the children chant praises to Mother Earth during the all-school Mass?"
That actually happened, you know. I was there for it.
It was one of the O'Brien family's many run-ins with the parochial school system in our home archdiocese. We even pulled the kids from one Catholic school and put them in another, only to find the second one was far worse than the first. It got to a point where I refused to meet with the principal of the second school without a third party present, because she would threaten and intimidate my wife and me if we met with her privately, and she would lie about having done so afterwards.
And once a year we'd have to cook for the teachers and make them brownies and clean up after them during Catholic Schools Week, which consisted of five consecutive days of them giving each other awards.
The thing is, though, that the liberalists get some of it right. We are THE Church - we are the Body of Christ. The Church is not just the bishops, not just the priests, not even just the feminist principals and parish secretaries who wield the real power in the vacuum created by the de facto abdication of the bishops and pastors. The Church is the Catholic laity - specifically, that body of lay Catholics who are orthodox and who have been bearing a very heavy cross these past several generations.
And these Catholics have finally started to get off their butts and do something about the problem.
Yes, homeschooling is one solution and a great one - but the other valid solution is what we are beginning to see - independent private schools that are actually Catholic in philosophy, in atmosphere, in charity, and in the quality of the education they convey and the graduates they turn out.
One of Dale's best lines in his talk was, "What we're aiming for is not the separation of Church and State - but the separation of Education and State." As long as the anti-Christian and increasingly totalitarian State educates our children, we are lost.
And I echoed that line when I spoke.
"In the same way that we need to separate Education from the State, we also need to separate Entertainment from Hollywood," I said.
For I spoke after Dale did, but I talked about Grunky.
Grunky is part of this same Catholic revolution, this same grass roots movement where independent lay initiatives are reforming the Church and the Culture. Now, it's hard to say that Grunky is reforming the "culture" when most of our videos are satiric sketches filmed in my basement in which I play all the parts, but that is in fact what we are doing.
So the next time you tend to despair, dear faithful Catholic reader, about bad bishops, bad priests, bad principals and the apparent death of the Catholic Church in America, just remember that You are the Church - you are as much a part of the Body of Christ as any narcoleptic bishop (Grunky Bishop Recumbent Weakman has had narcolepsy since he's been installed as bishop, which happened during the Second Vatican Council).
If you strive to reform the Church, you will probably be a bit extreme. You may even become a crank, for you will have little or no episcopal or pastoral oversight. But even that will change, for the young guys in seminary and the new young priests are orthodox, and if we lay Catholics lead the way, they will be encouraged, and they will follow, and once again the Church which has died a thousand deaths will find its way out of the grave, once again.
|The beautiful St. John the Baptist church in Waunakee, where we spoke.|
|Stained glass image at St. John the Baptist|
|Reproduction of a Madonna and Child at St. John the Baptist|
|Sean Dailey and Dale Ahlquist discuss education and wine.|