Suzanne Fortin blasts Father Z’s take on the peripheries

Father Z had an interesting post here about the peripheries, and noted those who prefer the Traditional Latin Mass are on the periphery in the Church.

Ottawa blogger Suzanne Fortin writes in response:

Traditional Catholics are not “the periphery.”

If you’re a Catholic in good standing with your Church, whether you get your preferred liturgy or not, you are not the periphery.

Here is a speech that Pope Francis gave that will help understand what he’s talking about:

 Evangelizing pre-supposes a desire in the Church to come out of herself. The Church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries, not only geographically, but also the existential peripheries: the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and indifference to religion, of intellectual currents, and of all misery. 

When the Church does not come out of herself to evangelize, she becomes self-referential and then gets sick. (…) The evils that, over time, happen in ecclesial institutions have their root in self-referentiality and a kind of theological narcissism.

When the Pope talks about going to the peripheries, he’s not talking about bellyaching about our pet Church pet peeve.

That’s being self-referential.

He wants us to GO OUT AND SAVE SOULS.

What the heck do we suppose the Church is for?

When you go out and save souls, you’re not trying to fight a culture war, or get somebody elected, or get the priest to face the crucifix during Mass, as important as all these things may be.

You’re trying to bring Christ into their hearts, to heal them, not to gain an ideological convert.

I love Fr. Z. I love the pro-life movement, am a culture warrior, but really, we really have to get over ourselves. It’s not about us or our causes.

It’s about the people.  All the lost, confused and damaged souls who don’t have Christ in their lives.

Another good post, Suzanne!


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Suzanne Fortin blasts Father Z’s take on the peripheries

  1. Macy says:

    Foolishness, you have every right to moderate this long comment out of existence and tell me to get my own blog 🙂

    Fr Joseph Fessio, S.J.
    “If we look briefly at the 5th century, we will find that the situation is instructive. Rome was an old empire. The leaders were often morally despicable, but were popular because they fed the people (welfare), and en tertained them with violence in the Colosseum. Everyone thought that life was going to go on and on in this one great superpower. I remind you I’m describing the 5th century.

    “Rome had a tremendous threat from without. Despite the fact that the Roman Empire had grown old and weary, it still produced a magnificent system of roads, aqueducts, colosseums (or colossea, I suppose), and a system of law. It had assimilated much of the great Hellenic culture, and so it truly was the high point of the ancient world. It was attacked from without, by barbarians who began to come in from the north and eventually broke up and destroyed the Roman Empire and began the period of history we call the Dark Ages. Just how dark they really were perhaps remains to be seen, but it was certainly the period in which the great Roman civilization disintegrated.

    “In the midst of all this, a young man named Benedict, from a noble and wealthy family, was a magistrate in Rome. His future was assured. But the state of society was so depraved, and the culture had reached such a low point, that he thought the only thing to do was to leave it, not to try to save it. Benedict fled Rome, and went to a cave in Subiaco. For what purpose? To serve God, to worship God, to do what was the original opus Dei—the work of God. What was he seeking? One of his great biographers sums it up in two words, summa quies. He was seeking perfect peace and quiet, solitude. This he wasn’t given, because he was not alone in sensing the hostility of the culture to his faith. Many other young men came out to talk to Benedict, to re ceive counsel from him, to pray with him; then many wanted to stay with him. So the lonely hermit became the father of a monastic family.

    “They eventually went to Monte Cassino and formed a huge monastery. It was so wildly successful that more and more monks came to join them. They had no room for them all, and so they started other monasteries. Every where in Europe the Benedictines would split up and seek the most remote places they could find. They would find swamps which were unsalubrious, drain the swamps, make farmland out of them, and build a monastery there. They would find forests which were impenetrable, (this is before the age of hyperecology) cut down some trees and make it livable. They would go to the desert, and irrigate it. And so they spread throughout all of Europe, and over the centuries they grew. And in the monasteries they preserved the great culture that had been passed on from the Greeks through the Romans. They preserved the monuments of our faith by copying Scripture, and copying the great Fathers of the Church. Slowly, but inevitably, a new civilization was built up.

    “Benedict, by fleeing the falling Roman Empire, had unwittingly, but providentially, laid the foundations for the greatest civilization, the greatest union of faith and culture and science the world has seen, medieval Christendom. He did it not by trying to influence society. He did it not by forming a committee for some kind of social betterment. He did it not by running for political office. He did it by putting God first. Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all things else will be given you.”

    Fessio goes on to say that home schools are the Benedictine monasteries of our time.

    • EPMS says:

      I think the last sentence is an overstatement. Plenty of people are homeschooled to keep them from finding out that the world is more than 4,000 years old, or that not everyone believes that the Second Coming will take place in Springfield, MO. Any form of schooling is only as good as the teacher, the curriculum, and the opportunity it provides to engage constructively with ideas.

      • EPMS says:

        PS. Actually it’s Independence, MO. Apologies to Mormon readership.

      • Macy says:

        I’d take the young-earth creationists over my children’s current classmates and their 5th-century-Rome debauchery raised to the power of smartphones…

  2. pioraviacasino says:

    AS JESUS called Peter from the boat, He also calls each one of us to step out of our comfort zone, sometimes into the unknown, even to the PERIPHERIES.Can we accept the call? Fr Bill H.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s