More Dreary Reformations

Someone wrote to me this morning with the link to Per aspera ad astra: On Hard-Identity Catholicism. This stuff might catch on.


From the Bishop’s Office

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I have decided that things are too soft in this Diocese and we are not sufficiently challenged in our faith. I have therefore decided to make it really hard for you.

As of next Sunday, the Cathedral and all parishes of the Diocese are to be closed and sold and there will remain a Benedictine monastery on the top of a mountain with no access by road.

We’re going to make it really tough for you all, since the monastery will be surrounded by minefields and guards with vicious dogs. That should not deter anyone who really wants to satisfy his Sunday obligation. On the way to the secure area, pilgrims will hear speeches on the loudspeaker system from Professor Dawkins and other atheists about the futility of the faith. That is designed to toughen you up even more.

Naturally, all laity and redundant clergy are expected to continue tithing for their Bishop who will not be carrying the 100 lb rucksacks on pilgrimage to the forbidden monastery. Hard identity is for others.

Zealous, obedient, and ready for humiliations. That’s the way it’s going to be now. Don’t forget that the hardship must come first and you must put aside any idea of beauty. That is just bait to catch fish with. Even if you make it to the monastery, the common people are not allowed into the church.

Your money will do very nicely. Just give us your full bank details and we will do the rest.

+ Ebenezer

It might seem childish, but the article obviously confuses the state of most people who are still mildly interested in churchgoing and the spiritual elite in the lay communities like the charismatics and the monastics. I have already written on this subject before. You cannot impose the maximum of perfection on all, and you cannot allow the spiritual aristocracy to be held back and down.

I agonise about these matters, but the thought comes into my mind. In our little Church, we have many faithful who are not elite or athletes, just good decent people. Most of us clergy are very ordinary folk, yet our Church has a sense of identity without being something like the military academy of Saint Cyr.

The mind of those conservatives is always on the same thing, how truth can be imposed on all and made mandatory. There are no prizes for guessing their political penchants. One cannot do good through doing evil.

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