Ralph Martin has posted a follow-up to his broadcast of Michael Scanlan’s prophecy:
There’s a lot to unpack here.
First, much of what he says is fine. One of the things I’ve tried to do is to discourage people from leaning too hard on the benefits of the civilisation (such as it is.) The call of Jesus Christ is too high to do so, either in times of prosperity or certainly in times of trouble like we’re in now. In this country the worst thing we do is wrap our Christianity around “moving up,” and I’ve decried this for a long time. It may produce big numbers but it isn’t prepared for what we’re facing now.
My real issue is his context, and that may seem abstract, but it’s not. He’s come up with another prophecy from Fr. Scanlan and that brings up two important questions, one for the time it came out and one for now.
In the traditional Roman Catholicism Martin professes to live in, the prophetic gift didn’t (and doesn’t) work in the way that Scanlan exercised it. The Church has generally taught that the Holy Spirit acts through the church as a whole. The way he exercised it is more in line with what we’ve seen in modern Pentecost. So how can he fit the two together? Or better, how did Ralph Martin, like Scanlan, get to #straightouttairondale?
The fact is that many of us at the time, when confronted with this radical call, couldn’t figure out how to respond to that meaningfully in the parish system then and now. So we left. Given the current state of things, the only way to do this is to go for a “church within a church.” That was what the Sword of the Spirit was all about, and it wasn’t all that Catholic. (It had other problems, too.) That’s also what SSPX is about, and they’re having problems. The Trads are trying to do the same, and they’re not getting the cooperation from the Church they think they should. It’s great to set forth a radical call to the Gospel, but how do we get there? We couldn’t figure it out forty years ago, why should we think you can?
There’s no doubt that we’re facing bad times. There’s also no doubt that the Catholic Church at large in this country is unprepared for them or unprepared to defend its flock. Do we need two layers of problems when it’s hard enough to deal with one?
But I guess these are the problems that result when you’re better at making unlikely transitions within the Church rather than facing the problems the way they are.