January 21, 2020 (Steven O’Reilly) – Over the weekend there was a protest in Munich (see here) to draw attention to the German synodal process which threatens to protestantize the Church with its call for women’s ordination and other liberal demands. These are all things faithful Catholics should object to.
As I understand it, the small protest invited only (100+); it was organized in secret, and the protesters gathered at the site without even notifying the local archdiocese of their purpose. When I heard this was the general outline of how this meeting came to be and I read Fr. Z’s excellent post (see here) on the Munich demonstration, an old saying came to mind: “if a tree falls in a forest, and there is no one around, does it make a sound?” I don’t know why necessarily, but this morphed into the thought: “if there is a Catholic protest in a forest, and there is no one around, does it make a sound?” Does anyone hear it? Does it have an impact?
Certainly, Catholic readers of certain online magazines and podcasts may have heard of it, and Catholic twitterverse, of course…but what did Pope Francis, Cardinal Marx and their ilk think of such a tiny, secret gathering in the grand scheme of our times? Trying to imagine it from their vantage point, only one word comes to mind: lilliputian.
It is not my intent to knock these organizers and demonstrators. Indeed, it was a noble effort. Each of them does great work. They all do. I mean that sincerely. So, no insult is intended. Truly, this wee blog (your humble Roma Locuta Est) — needless to say — is an insignificant nothingness in comparison to their great work, scale, audience, etc. This article is meant only as a positive suggestion. I certainly don’t want to be that the yappy and whiny ‘ankle biter’ guy; however, at the risk of appearing so, I can’t help but feel the “resistance” needs to think at least a little bigger. [NB: I’ve elsewhere offered some thoughts on “bigger” for resistance prelates, such as on an imperfect council (e.g., here, here, and here)].
While I get it that the small protest in Munich is symbolic, as a suggestion for the future for a start, I think perhaps a stronger message might be sent if — instead of one protest — multiple ones are coordinated and staged simultaneously around a country, region, or the world. Perhaps in major cities in front of each local bishop’s residence or cathedral, and in front of as many nunciatures as possible — and at the Vatican — all on the same day.
I could be wrong but I can’t imagine it would be too hard to get at least 100+ local people who are concerned enough about the Church to show up. Just replicate that model in a number of key cities/capitals around the world all on the same day — such as after the release of the coming Pachamama Exhortation; then rinse and repeat as the occasion warrants. I don’t know, of course, but I suspect each new demonstration just might grow a little bigger than the one before. We just need some visible lay Catholics and organizations with the wider audiences and networks to pool resources and organize it (e.g., but imagine how many Catholics–hundreds and or thousands–could be mobilized with the combined collective reach of the LifeSites, ChurchMilitants, and the Fr Z’s of this world!).
Admittedly, I have never attempted organizing anything more numerous than insisting the parents of the players I’ve coached get their kids to the baseball field on game day at the requested time. That’s about it…so I could be wrong. Indeed, I have it on very good authority (namely my wife) that I have been wrong before…so I may in fact be wrong again here, too; but the “resistance” is thinking way too small, in my humble opinion.
But, having ventured this far, I will tread a bit farther with a few more observations. Certainly pray during each protest as the protesters did do. However, there are many, many faithful Catholics around the world who are clueless to much of what has been going on these last 7 years (really 60+ years!). They need to be brought up to speed. Therefore, two things:
- How about carrying some signs with some pithy messaging, e.g., “No to Heresy!”, “No to Women Deacons!,” “No Money for Heretical Bishops”, “No to Pachamama!”, “God ONLY wills His Church”, etc.?
- Tell somebody. National and local secular news media? Other Catholics?
Then…when all this is said and done, imagine a copy of the same letter being delivered by the demonstrators at each protest site, e.g., to each local nuncio or bishop, all on the same day. I am confident Pope Francis will get that message. Now, what that would actually do–if anything, of course, is debatable. We might not be able to say he would do anything…but, if nothing else, “we” would be able to say “we” did do something. Something akin to but a little more staid than olden days when Catholics stormed churches occupied by heretics.
Okay….that’s it. Roma Locuta Est now returns to its humble insignificance in hopes the “resistance” can one day manage something more than another Munich.
Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is author of the recently published Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms. (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions. He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA)