Thursday, July 15, 2010

Et noctium phantasmata...

If you haven't found it yet THE VORTEX  is a rather useful tool for Catholic apologetics. Hosted by Real Catholic TV  and presented/authored by Michael Vores (a graduate of Notre Dame would you believe?) it provides a regular five minute or so commentary on current affairs as they affect Catholics. I haven't been able to place this lot on my tradometer yet as I really don't know where they stand on the traditional rites- I suspect they might fall under the general umbrella of 'Neo-Con'. The attraction, to a simpleton like me, is the format of bullet point rebuttals that Vores provides. It does mean at times that the presentation tends to generalize and that's where I was slightly worried by the latest offering.

Now Vores is writing/presenting from the North American situation and this episode finds him rather fraught after a midnight to 3 conversation with an old class mate who has basically given up on Catholic belief. Vores gets it right- you're either Catholic or you're not. But there's a sting in the tail that needs to be questioned. This episode arrived with the following introduction;
'It used to be parishes that got late night phone calls from people in spiritual  crisis. Now it’s lay people who are getting the calls at midnight and the wee  hours of the morning. Where are the bishops? Where are the priests? What has  happened?'
Michael Vores is largely right. One of the strange knock on effects of the last forty years has been a problem of accessibility. Obviously numbers of clergy in that smaller part of the Catholic Church (i.e. the West) play a part in this. Too few pastors spread too thin is a reasonable assumption. Unfortunately add to this a career 9-5 mentality that has entered pastoral life and it's no wonder that the well informed Mr Vores will have what was obviously a 'bad hair' day after a marathon nocturnal session of pastoral counselling. Actually given the matter at hand I think the caller was in safer hands than having to rely on the call centre approach to late calls that has been set up in some dioceses. You ring the presbytery number after hours and you get automatically redirected to the priest for the area who is 'on call'.

But it is not the whole story is it? There are many priests who, taking up the 'slack', are working themselves sick, or worse still, into early graves. Spare a prayer for these valiant souls and for the bishops who do stand up in the public forum for the Catholic faith. Whilst each day they are growing in numbers, thanks be to God, they can only manage it by the grace of God and the assurance of our prayers.


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  2. I had a good look at his videos and he seems to be able to locate the current malaise in the church as being "within the last 40 odd years" but as with many "conservative" Catholics avoids going that one step further, which would consign him as a "trad" and say that the council itself causes a fair bit of confusion.

  3. So where are the Priests and the Bishops? I am fortunate to have a wonderful Parish Priest who has time in the day for everyone but he is going to be moved in the next 9-12 months when the next game of musical chairs gets underway.

    His successor will have to deal both with my parish and the parish with which we are being merged. One thing I do know is that there is little chance of getting the EF (better form) once he moves.

  4. I am not sure about Michael Vortex but will stand corrected. We have three children (22,19 and 13) that live their faith and we asked them to look at this (hey, its $10/month for premium)

    Lucy (22) said on the previews that there was a lack of anything to do with the liturgy (yep, a staunch one on this!)
    Jack (19) thought it was a American C--p in his words. (Our family grew up in California before moving back to the Uk so he knows what he is talking about).
    Kate (13) said "the man is very angry". She normally gets it right in matters of the faith.

    A Link if others want to some of the stuff Vortex will be charging $10/month for.

  5. I have enjoyed watching The Vortex since I came upon it about a year ago. Michael does a great job at pointing out dissent/dissenters within the Church. I love the way he speaks the TRUTH and Teaching of the Church.

  6. You write, 'I haven't been able to place this lot on my tradometer yet as I really don't know where they stand on the traditional rites...'

    This might answer your question:

  7. I thought he was over the top at first but he has got under my mental block.

    I like the way the presentations unroll with the bullet points reinforcing what he says.

    Now he gets a mention on blogs such as yours, Fr Tim Finnegan's and Fr Z's, he is now respectable!

    So attaboy Michael!


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