...what makes a tapeworm...

By Fr. Wilson ( articles ) | Aug 07, 2003

Yes, Diogenes, you're quite right. Bull's-eye. But of course, it's important to remember that some of the tapeworms are quite innocent. They don't even realize that they were trained to be tapeworms.

A few months ago I had a call from a gentleman who had been dismissed (by Rockville Centre Bishop William Murphy) from the seminary at Huntington. He then sued the seminary, arguing breach of contract: he had paid good money for a Catholic course of studies, and hadn't gotten it. I was deeply skeptical about a court ever judging such a matter, but conversation with Mr Quinn and later his attorney gave me pause.

Quinn described what his Moral Theology classes had been like; for me, it was deja vu. He had some of the same professors, and all of the same Moral Theology: the consequentialist/proportionalist approach to Moral Theology. Precisely what I had experienced in the same place twenty years earlier. I had had problems with it, couldn't reconcile it with my understanding of Catholicism...

...Neither could the Pope. Ten years after I was studying this stuff he devoted a quarter of "Veritatis Splendor" to trashing the whole theory. Pffffft.

Ten years after I studied this stuff, the Pope trashed it, devoting a quarter of an encyclical to it. Twenty-six years after, Mr Quinn encountered it in a seminary course, just as I had. As though the Holy Father had said nothing at all. And this is the seminary used by my diocese (the recently retired Bishop of which, Thomas V. Daily, has always been regarded as ardently loyal to the Pope and orthodox). A young man, presenting himself in good faith to my diocese for formation and discernment for Priesthood... would get this stuff in class.

Young priests learned these things, and in good faith regard themselves as enlightened when they teach it (the professor REFUSED Mr Quinn's offer to purchase copies of the Encyclical for each class member so they could at least discuss it). Admittedly, few here learn these things, because we have astoundingly few seminarians (a 1.6 million member Diocese of Brooklyn has 17 major seminarians studying in our five-year program. We can lose the services of 25 priests in a year, and ordain two). Up and down the eastern seaboard of the USA there are men serving as priests who should be working here in Brooklyn, but who avoided our formation program because of the seminary, by applying elsewhere.

Most of today's tapeworms can't even dimly recall the days when the Vatican Council was in session; they get their impresson of that event from... well, in some cases, the lousy formation programs offered by ardently papalist, orthodox bishops

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