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Draeris

TO ARCHITECT A FAITH

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”Eminence, it's 4 o’clock! Time for your daily dose of modernism.”

 

TO ARCHITECT A FAITH

OUR MOTHER CHURCH AND ITS PLACE IN MODERNITY

 

Only one legacy within our sacred institution can be attributed to the notorious Friar Boniface: the silent death of our relevance. In our locking of arms to counter the Friar’s attempt at a schism, to handle  the expulsion of Haense and our general efforts to counter mankind’s march to atheist modernism: we have failed to articulate a proper case for our monopoly on morality, and our monolithic standing as an institution of the faith.

 

This cannot be blamed on anyone specifically: for it is a proper human instinct to focus on the imminent threats, rather than the abstract ones that are further ahead. But it is my duty as a former Cardinal and Prince-Archbishop to return our gaze onto what truly matters for our continued existence. Namely, the way we operate as an organization and our attitudes as its custodians.

 

 

 

EMBRACING GOD’S FINEST

 

The Holy Canonist Church should be the last to turn its back on willing Canonists, even if they appear to be astray from our doctrine and norms. This belief is for example displayed by our generous patience to the Friar Boniface, or the willingness of His Holiness to trust our Owynist contemporaries with legitimacy once more. 

 

But not all have the piety and dedication necessary to be impactful heads of dioceses, even more so to be seated on our Synod.  And even if they have the piety, do they have the competence and vision necessary to preserve the relevancy and presence of the Church? Do they profoundly understand that we are in a perpetual competition to remain the monolith of morality, and the sole proprietor of faith for mankind? 

 

The traditional notions of what makes a good clergyman, like their presence in their congregation, whether they author a thesis from time to time & the general perception that they are pious: have become outdated and thus, insufficient. Unlike the circumstances of their  predecessors: the authority of the Church is no longer backed unconditionally by Imperial society, who allows anyone to influence its decision making, and grants power to those that we do not demand adherence to Canonist tenets of. 

 

The clergyman now must compete with an array of temporal authorities who, either electorally or through their participation in the general discourse, weaken if not contradict the vision of a pious society. As he stands silently, he cedes space to the loudest voices to be listened to instead. Voices that defend Edward Napier’s lovemaking to an Orc, the freedom of religion in Oren & the overall loosening of standards in human conduct. He will find his congregation indulging themselves with philosophies and lifestyles that inherently do not align with the wishes of our Holy Mother Church. He must find a way to successfully sway his congregation to the worldview of the Church, and cement his intimate social ties into a bastion of faith and conservatism. 

 

Do all Bishops and Cardinals fulfill this role, while a few are essentially missing from their diocese entirely as I write this? Do the Monsignors that surround His Holiness use their temporal authority & influence to aid the clergyman with this task? Not universally, unfortunately. But as a General cannot afford half of his officers to contribute insufficiently, neither can His Holiness. We truly are embroiled in a philosophical war as an institution that we cannot afford to lose, and yet we have reluctant and unwilling soldiers in our midst. The sad fact of the matter is that our sacred institution has perpetually dealt with de facto vacant dioceses and passive clerical prominents: who do not sustain a congregation, and who do not fight for us in the bigger discourse. 

 

The memory of my heydays where the Bishopric of Jorenus and our Prelate of the Priesthood stood empty, and where a majority of the Synod was unknown to mankind, have not faded. And while improvements certainly have been made, and more than commendable and competent people have ascended: competency, presence & sight of the bigger picture are far from universal among the clergy. Our new and amazing talent share a workspace with those responsible for our stagnation. It is an issue not tied to a specific region or culture: as the bustling dioceses swap seats with the derelict ones every generation or High Pontiff. Even within my lifetime I find my former diocese, once the largest, to now be devoid of life in its many churches and monasteries. It has everything to do with the way our institution chooses from its clergy, and the expectations that they enforce after selection. If a Cabinet Minister is practically absent from his workplace, he is fired. If a Bishop is practically absent from his congregation, he can maintain his standing if he is deemed sufficiently kind, or if he doesn't bother anyone. After all, a Friar who spend his entire life in Helena was the Bishop of Ves for over a decade. And while the commoners of Haense didn't know it had a Bishop, the Bishopric of Jorenus was officially ‘filled’. These shenanigans only occur within an organization unwilling to demand more from its own. 

 

Once we exclusively allow clergymen that see this bigger picture, and aid in our defense within it, to ascend to dioceses & the Synod: we can then formulate a more successful defense against progressivism and secularism. We must strive for a Church that has every diocese bustling, and that presents an united front in the discourse of temporal politics. Periodically empty dioceses in Jorenus & Ves, our inability to maintain a wholly present Synod and the lack of political allyship from our Monsignors are unacceptable in our times of war. Niceness, and our unwillingness to squander social capital with the temporal elites, do not transcend the stakes in this philosophical conflict: the authority and relevance we risk to lose. We simply must demand more, as there is no compromise on fulfilling God’s will.

 

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Cardinal Albarosa, Jorenus & Sutica with the Bishop of Ves and Lieutenant Governor Helvets, 1763.

 

 

OUR ROLE IN MODERNITY 

 

Even if the previous advice is implemented by dawn, this collective of present and competent clergymen would still not operate in an optimal fashion. We have since the days of yore expressed our faith through sermons and publications, and have trained our lesser in the ecclesiastical hierarchy to follow suit. 

 

But if our congregation is given more power in the Imperial political system, we find ourselves more responsible over the overall direction that they take our society in. The degrees of separation between hostile influences over our Canonist society and our congregation have drastically disappeared. It is no longer a single Emperor or Cabinet Minister that formulates, steers & influences the discourse: it is the brothers, mothers & companions of those in our congregation that do. Temporal folk that mingle with our own, share a dinner table or even a bloodline.

 

The formula of the late Albarosan clergy was correct. We fulfilled all tasks traditionally expected from us by the Holy Canonist Church, but we also actively involved ourselves in the temporal affairs of the Commonwealth of Kaedrin. It was our clergymen that spoke to consecutive governor-generals on laws and our Bishops that drew crowds for their homilies that praised or rejected specific developments in our society. They raised their glasses with the Rhoswenii, financed the tavern for the locals & even sat on the Kaedreni government themselves. The result spoke for itself: as Kaedrin that prided itself as the most pious subject, intimately interwoven with the interests of His Holiness and the clergy. Had the Lendian heresy evolved into a schism, had the Károly trial eroded ecclesiastical authority: His Holiness could’ve counted on an entire populace and government to aid him. More specifically, to aid him in matters that most temporal entities would not know and not care about.

 

Perhaps these dangers seem ancient by now: but the threats did not disappear entirely. Can we reliably say that all Canonist values remain as strong and universal in two decades, as they are now? Can we trust the heirs to all human polities and Crowns, generations from now, to care as much about our faith as the current ones do? If we do not put our foot in the door preemptively, we shall one day find it closed. 

 

This is why His Holiness and His Synod shouldn’t shy away from meddling in temporal affairs any longer. Dioceses must receive the instruction that they are to offer candidates for governmental functions locally, lobby against legislation they deem as destructive to the Canonist framework & to craft relationships in every echelon of society. Only when our clergy staffs all courts as advisors, ministers and representatives, when the will of His Holiness must be represented before every temporal leader: can we say that we have successfully defended our role in the temporal world.  Our interests must always be considered before decisions are made. Every time a temporal leader does not ask himself: “would this fly with the clergy?”, is a time where we have lost our war of influence against secularist elements. 

 

Gentlemen of the cloth: do we dedicate our lives to God, so that His Word slowly erodes from the consciousness of men in the generations after us? Did hundreds before us sacrifice their youth to architect the most ancient institution known to man, so that it may be weakened by the newest institutions built by men? Shall God’s presence in the souls of mankind die off at the ballot box and the speaking podium, because we did not dare to set demands? We have too much to lose for us to tolerate passiveness and a lack of quality. There is no excuse for any higher clergyman or Monsignor to not see and fight in the philosophical, social and political battles that we are embroiled in. 

 

Maiora Premunt, 

Laurence August Pruvia-Albarosa

Monsignor to His Holiness James II;

Spiritual Advisor to Governor-General Richard Victor Helvets

Edited by Draeris

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Upon reading the piece, Acolyte Cyril Eloi would hesitantly agree!

 

’There are many who adopt the cloth like a robe – some trials may be good for the clergy. I just pray I’m fit to see myself through my own!’

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James II reviews the paper in his morning briefing, remarking “It is a fine thing to see healthy, constructive criticism of the Church’s policy. I am loath to meddle too much in temporal politics, for fear of inciting a worldly attitude amongst the priesthood—yet applied judiciously, Laurence’s strategy could be an effective tool against secularism.”

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”Perhaps that Albarosan powder hasn’t affected the Cardinal’s mentality too heavily,” droned sardonically the Secretariat of the Mother Church, looming aside the pontiff.

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