Sunday, 2 May 2010

Humpty Dumpty redefines 'tradition'...

I received an email the other day, that castigated a friend for not concealing the recipients' addresses of a round robin email, but then spammed all recipients, (who were not all known to the spammer) at the same time, using the original 'to' addresses.

It directed me to Val Farrel's blog, so I thought I'd drop by to see who would do such a thing.

The blog is really rather silly. Inter alia, it seems to be trying to redefine 'tradition' to mean the opposite of what it means.

According to the Catechism, tradition is the apostolic tradition, handed down from Our Lord to the apostles, and their successors. See paragraphs 75 ff.

According to Val Farrell, 'In the language of the Church, TRADITION is the way the community responds to the presence of God as,how and when, he reveals himself. That response can be expressed in devotions, creeds and rituals, but it is always an agreed community thing, not an individual whim.'

Val continues: "The teachings of Jesus were received and passed on to us by people with very different mindsets (moulds) from our own. And after them came other bearers of the message who used still other moulds witgh (sic) which to receive the message according as the times in which they lived were different from the earlier ones.

"Eventually the message reached us. We can do either of two things with it.
We can fail to allow for the mould into which our predecessors received the message and try to force the mould as well as the message into entirely new recipients. Inevitably this makes for ill-fitting reception of the message and sadly can make the message itself unbeliveable by the new recipients. People who insist on doing things that way often call themselves TRADITIONALISTS, but in reality they are more likely to be ATAVISTS. (Look it up)

"But we can also do something different. We can receive the message with reverence, as a gift for us in our time and lovingly set about helping our own generation to understand the message with the mindset of our times. Those who adopt this approach are true TRADITIONALISTS because they are willing to forego the old familiar mould if that is what it takes to understand the message in the mindset of their own time. This also equips them to better pass on the message to the next generation who will no doubt arrive on the scene with still different moulds into which to receive the truth.

This reminds me of Humpty Dumpty: when I use a word, it means what I want it to mean.

Elsewhere Val refers to 'offering it up' as 'some kind of down-payment on a heavenly reward,' which suggests an infantile education, if that's all his understanding of offering it up, and posts an article on the need for women priests with which he sympathises although he feels the writer overstates her case.

Val is, or claims to be, a Catholic priest.


David Obeid said...

Val may or may not be a Catholic priest, but rest assured, Val is an idiot.

berenike said...

Less of the personal abuse, eh?

But I see Fr Farrell has closed his blog to comments from non-"team members". And deleted the women priests one we had commented on.

Och well.

Ben Trovato said...

Let us merely say Val has some idiotic things on his blog...

I feel that's not a very inclusive thing of him to do... Most surprised. Surely our views are 'equally valid'...

berenike said...

He doesn't just have silly things - there is good stuff in there as well. And I like talking to people I disagree with - my best made-on-the-internet friend is a Free Presbyterian (the ones who kicked out that chap for going to a funeral Mass for his friend), and she's very happy to spend hours in my company, even though she thinks the Pope is "one of them [the antichrists]". It's a shame. He never did really answer anything I wrote, though, and I was usually less bolshie than in that womenpriests combox.

Fr Val Farrell, less ecumenical than the wee wee Frees :)

Ben Trovato said...


I too enjoy the company of those with whom I disagree - somewhat worryingly they are often better company than those who share my views... But I do like to be able to have a decent spat - a bit of cut and thrust - not just be ignored, referred to obliquely or misrepresented.

Your last line made me laugh!