Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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It’s Elementary

July 12th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

Cleansing Fire: Sherlock Holmes minus the morphine and cocaine addition.

Anyone who checks Cleansing Fire’s Facebook page will have noticed that our most recent quote-post is from no saint, no pope, no priest, no martyr. It’s actually from Sherlock Holmes, the noted character of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s numerous books and short stories detailing the cases of the self-same man, our dear Sherlock. You may be asking yourself, “why are they talking about Sherlock Holmes?” For those of you who haven’t proven your love for us by clicking “like” on Facebook, here is the quote:

I am not the law, but I represent justice so far as my feeble powers
go. – Sherlock Holmes

I have been searching since the very beginning of this blog to find a suitable and succinct, non-religious, non-political way to describe why we do what we do. We find it necessary to post things like this because our detractors come in a steady stream, hurling hollow accusations and flawed logic in our direction.

Holmes mentions that he is “not the law.” Just as he isn’t the law, nor are we. We don’t speak with any real authority, save that which you give to us by reading this site. We don’t have any actual ability to sway diocesan policies, save by informing the people in the pews about what really should be going on at Mass. We’re kind of like the “Sea Shepherds” you see in Whale Wars on the animal station cable offers. Yeah, maybe we come across as being cantankerous and crazy, and we may not have any overt political clout, but we, like them and like Sherlock, “represent justice, so far as our feeble powers go.”

British author C.S. Lewis

Consider us the voice for the elderly women who see their parishes go from what they have known for decades into the circus we see all too often. They have no voice, and they have no say. Consider us the voice for the young children who go to Mass and realize that “this doesn’t feel like church.” I recently spoke with a charming Polish couple, whose three kids are between the ages of 5 and 13. When they arrived in Rochester two years ago, they first tried going to Guardian Angels in Henrietta. The father explained, “I could have put up with the stuff we saw going on – I didn’t like it, but I could rise above it – but the kids came to us and said, ‘mommy, daddy, that wasn’t really Mass, was it? It didn’t feel holy.'”

Sometimes people will complain saying that it’s not our place to do this. I recently met Gabriella from “Gabriella’s Blog,” and she was told by her bishop to “stop acting like a priest.” Excuse me, but if we don’t do this, who will? I don’t see our priests and bishops standing up for accurate teaching on theology and liturgy (with the obvious exceptions). They say “don’t act like a priest” – we could just as easily say to them, “Do act like a priest.”

It is a telling fact, indeed, that blogs have become so relevant to the local Church. The faithful have been fed the same mush for four decades, and now we’ve been roused to aspire for something more. Blogging is a natural reaction to not being permitted to have a voice where we rightfully should have one. We present a choice to people – you can either read this and try to learn our motives and perspective, or you can turn your back on dialogue and bury your heads in the rhetoric of “we are Church” and “being fresh.” You can either experience progress, or you can stand still, refusing to acknowledge the organic development of the Church. It was C.S. Lewis who said the following things which clearly apply to us in our diocesan situation:

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”

“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”

“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”

I do apologize for having to constantly give you our “mission statement,” but I guess liberals, spammers, and trolls are illiterate save for when it suits them not to be.

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2 Responses to “It’s Elementary”

  1. avatar Vox Clara says:

    I would have concluded it differently, but I definitely relate to this post. There isn’t a lot I can do, but if I can get just one person to rethink the modernism and heterodoxy that has been pushed on the younger generations, then my participation in this blog will have been well worth the while. Thank you Gen, for an excellent statement of our mission.

  2. avatar Susan Mary says:

    Undoubtedly you are a lifeline for numerous people in the diocese who have felt “the rug was pulled out from under them” forty years ago and are struggling to hang onto their Faith.

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