I am not sure how far he is to be taken literally in terms of the faithful’s right to lodge their concerns to their pastors. On the other hand, he makes a simple and valid point that most of us have come to give way too much importance to the way we think the Church ought to be instead of fostering the unity of the Church by not habitually and publicly contradicting our pastors and undermining their authority. Catholic orthodoxy/traditionalism has pretty effectively aped the rabble rousing progressives and felt banner wavers of the 60’s and 70’s.
The internet and social media, now a part of the fabric of our lives, seems to carry with it the assumption that somehow all of our opinions are important all the time. The digital age also validates the idea that we can say anything we want and then slough off responsibility for having said it.
The internet is a quicksand of cultural exibitionism and voyeurism. We Catholics have been suckered into it in the name of all that is holy.
In the comments on the post at the second link, Steve makes the observation that the real reason why the postconcilar crisis occurred was because the preconciliar Church was actually quite weak. One of Steve’s objectors say this appears to be post hoc ergo propter hoc, but the same can be said of the opposite argument—the more frequent one—that the preconciliar Church was strong and that the Council simply wrecked everything.
A more complex answer is probably the a more accurate one: there were preconciliar weaknesses, as well as the unrealistic optimism of the 60’s concurring with the sexual revolution, and the consequent disastrous implementation of the Council under the influence of ideologues who were able to throw off the fetters. These created a perfect storm.
A theology professor of mine made the astute remark that within the Church, the simple answers sound the best, but are usually wrong. A theological example of this is the doctrine of the hypostatic union. Nestorianism is simple and easy to understand: two persons, two natures, one indwells in the other. The Council of Ephesus is far more complex and difficult to understand: two distinct natures (one fully divine, the other fully human), but only one divine person, with no human person whatsoever.
Ephesus was right. Nestorius was wrong. The truth is not always simple.
Historical narratives are probably even more susceptible to such oversimplification, because they describe the particular and concrete, which are quasi-infinite. A historical cause and effect creates a ripple, which multiplies causes and effects exponentially.
Furthermore, we do not even know what we do not know. This is also a endemic problem on the Internet. Bloggers treat a few facts that they cobbled together like these were a compendium on the nature of everything.
Simple answers are appealing and convincing, especially in the wonderful world of search engines, viral causes and comboxes. We effectively sell our Catholic pontifications in sound bites, tweets, instagrams and blog posts, because that is the way contraception, abortion, same sex marriage and gender relativism has been foisted so successfully on the public.
Today evangelical genius consists in the ice bucket challenge.
I would suggest that we try to resolve our difficulties by having recourse to the living magisterium, but that would be too ultramontane.
There is one simple idea in the Church, a mystical one, which resolves all the complexities and anomalies.
But what do I know? Never mind.