I occasionally look at Fr Zuhlsdorf’s blog, and find his articles worth what they are worth. This one hit me – Are the aging-hippies burying Benedict’s legacy?
As I mentioned in an article a few days ago, I have never been a hippie, even though I had some contact with the trailing edge of that subculture in the very early 1970’s as an early teenager. Fr Z is talking about churchmen and so-called “experts” in liturgy, albeit of a “progressive” ideology.
First of all, the hippies eschewed all institutional religion or any symbol of what they perceived as institutional oppression. Progressive churchmen are anything but freedom-seeking anarchists and “artists”, but rather are conservatives and bureaucrats maintaining a status quo or neo-orthodoxy. They are establishment men, defending something they believe should be permanent in the Church.
Fr Z’s article would deflect the blame from conservatism for the way the so-called liberals wish to “bury Ratzinger” and bring back the anti-traditionalism of the 1970’s. To be a good Catholic, you have to be conservative (and conformist).
In my experience of life, I just see one kind of conservatism in conflict with another kind of conservatism, whilst creativity and freedom are suppressed both by some traditionalists and those who would impose the type of liturgy that has been in vogue over the past forty years and more.
Catholic tradition is not conservatism, but rather spiritual communion with the whole of the Church in space and time. Many of the saints’ lives were marked by eccentricity and unconventionality. Their law was that of grace, love, beauty and freedom.
I defy some of those Catholic liturgist bureaucrats to grow their hair long and eschew the establishment. Some of those men are rather more like the dull grey characters one would find on the Board of Directors of your bank!
Update: I had already written this reaction to Fr Zuhlsdorf’s article when I saw Deborah Gyapong’s The divide among Catholics. She approaches the question more from the point of view of how different groups of conservatives live with a liberal status quo in terms of the kind of democracy and religious freedom on which the American Constitution is built. Here in Europe, conservatives tend to appeal to the old union of the Throne and the Altar, the Catholic Kingdom.
I won’t go into these questions that I find very tiring and energy-consuming. No form of government is perfect, and all forms of authority and politics work against the freedom and dignity of the human person. In terms of art, and even technology and science, man’s genius was always manifested in persons who had the courage to break with the “system” and the “mould”.
The Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath.
This being said, I see a healthy sign in some companies and their methods of designing new products and organising projects. Instead of crushing conformism, they begin to reward unconventional thought and “brainstorming” in the awareness that human progress comes from individual persons of talent and not from group thinking. This is interesting. Perhaps Churches will take another fifty years to catch up with the leading edge!