The Anchoress is using Nancy Pelosi as a launching point of sorts to predict stormy times ahead, for the Church and for the country... but she ends on a note of hope and wise advice:
I get yelled at when I say this but the worst-case scenario — and I think it’s inevitable — will be a schism and the creation of an American Catholic Church, one that works very closely with the government to “do the right thing” and reaps its worldly rewards, both material and elitist. It will claim apostolic succession as I have no doubt at all that some bishop in the US will be willing to act as titular head, and it will likely — with the help of the government (via fines, settlements, levies) — quickly lay claim to (or be awarded) Roman Catholic properties.
You think this cannot happen? Why not? It’s happened before:
. . .their resentment builds; they mark every sin within the church, all of its human faults and deep failings, and slowly they convince themselves that their ardent desiring is not objectionable, but the sin-riddled church clearly is. And so they break away. With astonishing speed, a new church is formed in authority, trained in tolerance, unified in purpose and installed within sacred structures confiscated by law, while the disgraced and rigid old church and her clergy are hounded underground.
. . .consider that such a scenario has already taken place in history — right down to the confiscation of properties and the hiding of clergy — and is in fact considered . . .to be one of King Henry VIII’s great “achievements.” . . . All of this speaks to our own era of material abundance, instant gratification and what our good Pope Benedict XVI calls “the dictatorship of relativism,” wherein we create our truths and then drown them in a syrup of sentiment disguised as justice: I like her and she wants to be a priest, so she should be. Divorce doesn’t matter. They’re so nice, why shouldn’t they marry? It’s not fair; the Church is cruel! [As with Henry]…Personal autonomy seeks greater freedom and worldly wisdom encourages self-actualization above all.
The American Catholic Church will quickly become mainstream because it will be seen as victorious over that stuffy old Roman church, and people want to be on the side with the “winner.”
I read something I really liked this week, by a writer named Margaret Rose Realy, who is a master gardener; she has a wonderful way of taking what she’s learned amid the turned earth and seeds and applying it well. In line with our stormy times, Margaret writes:
All storms end and after the big ones there is usually the fall-out and debris of broken branches littering the street and lawns. The weakest limbs, those that have declined from the lack of nourishment, have snapped off during the turbulent downpour. It is usually those branches that had grown farthest away from the trunk that have fallen away.
Energy was not drawn up from the root; the branch no longer has life within it. It is no longer able to withstand the storms. A pretty clear analogy of how I should live: Drawing life from His strong roots, developing a living faith so I won’t break apart in the turbulent storms that come.
A good analogy, too of how things will fallout within our church and our country. And, too, how the church will remain who and what it is. As she is tossed, she will draw energy from her root. And when all of the movers and shakers have had their way and perished, she will remain. And she will still be the most radically counter-cultural entity the world has ever known.
It's time, past time really, to become rooted. Storms are a'coming.
Do yourself a favor and take the time to assess how far from the trunk you may've fallen.
I believe there to be nothing more important than that assessment.