This Amazon Synod is bad, very bad, unbearably nauseatingly bad. I loathe its agenda. I thought I was a fairly run-of-the-mill though slightly acerbic Catholic, nothing strange, nothing wacky, not traditionalist enough to be a target for Pope Francis, not "leftie" enough to be at home with the majority of Bishops, BUT I feel utterly marginalised. It feels like the Church doesn't me want me, I feel like I've been spat out, I feel on the outside, looking in, I no longer feel part of it.
Not feeling remotely attached to the media Am-Trads (Taylor-Matt-Voris etc) isn't helping at this point, I can't understand their zeal, it feels Protestant to me.
And here I am in the most God-fearing country in Europe, surrounded by Orthodox and seeing a faith I recognise, a faith our Catholic forefathers would recognise: a Christ centred faith, a faith of Sacraments, mystery, veils, hiddenness, devotion, humility, ritual, ordinariness coexisting with the subliminal, of beauty, manliness and ancient pedigree. What is not to love?
So why not go Orthodox?
What keeps me Catholic? It isn't the Ordos, Vetus or Novus. I have little attachment to the 1962 and even less to the 1969. It isn't the Catholic devotions; the rosary, Adoration, novenas, as powerful as they can be. It isn't Her history, which looks more and more ignominious with every passing day. An Eastern European perspective on the political machinations of the Catholic Church is disquieting and eye-opening. It isn't the Mariology. I find this sickly and saccharine next to Orthodox devotions to the Mother of God and further more I think that most of the apparitions (with the exceptions of Knock and Lourdes) are Satanic. The Faith doesn't ask me to accept them, and I can't. Gosh I feel better for coming out with that, it has been bothering me for years.
So now you Catholics probably think it is time I jumped ship, I'm verging on apostasy, so good riddance, but hear me out.
No, what keeps me Catholic is the Petrine Office. I happen to believe in the supremacy of Peter, in his special, Christ-given role in the oeconomy of salvation. So how do I square this with the somewhat dismal example if the current successor of Peter? This is no problem to me. Vatican I sought to limit papal power and define those limits, and I believe that it did so for the day when we'd have a wayward, arrogant, dolt of a pope, just like today. It shows his powerlessness, his inability to hurt the Body of Christ. What is hurting the church is our growing inability to communicate with each other (and I am not talking dialogue, loathe that word). It is our lack of fraternity that is destroying the Church, the inability to accept the wayward, the sinner and the pithy curmudgeon like myself as family. And we've forgotten how to communicate because we've forgotten how to praise God, we're losing our understanding that the praise of God is the most powerful, Satan-busting prayer, basically WE Catholics are losing our orthodoxy.