Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Catholic Priests as the West's Confucian Scholars

Arturo Vasquez has some interesting observations recalling his "experiences in the Lefebvrist seminary, which I always say was just like an old fashioned seminary back in the good ol’ days" — Catholicisms. He continues:
    We actually had classes on how we needed to stand in church, genuflect, and even make the sign of the Cross. And of course, there were entire seminars on liturgical, social, and personal decorum. It was a bit militaristic at times, or maybe the military is a bit like a seminary…

    In any case, when describing this experience to someone recently, he said that the reason this was done was to prepare us to be part of a civil service class akin to the government bureaucracy of the old Chinese empire: it was to yank us out of our peasant, “undeveloped” Catholicism to put us squarely in the realm of “romanitas” (mind you, I went to seminary in Latin America, so Catholicism down there is much different than it is here). “Romanitas” in the old days was the string that held the Church together, the Catholicism of the clergy that bound so many disparate cultures into one Church. [Emphasis added.]
Indeed. The "classes on how… to stand in church, genuflect, and even make the sign of the Cross" and "seminars on liturgical, social, and personal decorum," are very Confucian, as is the meritocratic "yanking" from the peasant classes. Regarding Romanitas, China, with its "so many disparate cultures," is today an Eastern manifestation of what might have occurred had the Roman Empire never collapsed and fragmented.

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