THE ENEMY

Jul. 21st, 2014 10:48 am
fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
The narrow defeat of the Obama administration in the Hobby Lobby case has sent its supporters into ecstases of rage and hate that have to be seen to be believed, and that in some cases can only be described as murderous. I am glad I don't live in the USA. But this fury, that bewilders many conservatives and independents, does not bewilder me. The Mandate was criminal from the beginning, criminal in its prehistory. Remember how deliberately the President lied to poor Bart Stupak and destroyed his career. And the Mandate is really much more basic to the Obama project than people realize, because they can't see its actual purpose. Le me draw a historical parallel.

Ireland has one of the saddest modern histories of any country in the world. Repeatedly invaded and devastated by the larger neighbouring island, its Catholic majority was reduced to a pulverized peasantry, paying tax they could not afford to Protestant landlords and being tithed for Protestant parsons; a miserable swarm of penniless, ignorant and leaderless grubbers of the soil, fed by potatoes, with no middle class or aristocracy or any consistency. But what you have to realize is that, the destruction of the Irish educated classes, in spite of the frightful massacres and repeated wars, were not the result of military oppression or even of mass murder; they were, in the main, the result of laws. England wrote dozens, indeed hundreds,of laws, to destroy the Irish nation as elaborately and as legally as possible. As the Irish Protestant Edmund Burke said, the English laws against Irish Catholics - or "penal laws", as they are shamefully called - were "a complete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested and well composed in all its parts. It was a machine of wise and deliberate contrivance, as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”

The Mass, of course, could not be said: to have it said or to say it meant life imprisonment. But neither could Catholics be educated: to set up a Catholic school was equally a matter of life imprisonment. And Catholics were to be robbed by law: "Every Roman Catholic was... to forfeit his estate to his nearest Protestant relation, until, through a profession of what he did not believe, he redeemed by his hypocrisy what the law had transferred to the kinsman as the recompense of his profligacy." The law encouraged Protestants to steal from their Catholic relations, or even pretended relations; and not just large amounts, but everything - every bit of property they had. "When thus turned out of doors from his paternal estate, he was disabled from acquiring any other by any industry, donation, or charity; but was rendered a foreigner in his native land, only because he retained the religion, along with the property, handed down to him from those who had been the old inhabitants of that land before him."

"....Catholics, condemned to beggary and to ignorance in their native land, have been obliged to learn the principles of letters, at the hazard of all their other principles, from the charity of your enemies. They have been taxed to their ruin at the pleasure of necessitous and profligate relations, and according to the measure of their necessity and profligacy,"

"Examples of this are many and affecting. Some of them are known by a friend who stands near me in this hall. It is but six or seven years since a clergyman, of the name of Malony, a man of morals, neither guilty nor accused of anything noxious to the state, was condemned to perpetual imprisonment for exercising the functions of his religion; and after lying in jail two or three years, was relieved by the mercy of government from perpetual imprisonment, on condition of perpetual banishment. A brother of the Earl of Shrewsbury, a Talbot, a name respectable in this country whilst its glory is any part of its concern, was hauled to the bar of the Old Bailey, among common felons, and only escaped the same doom, either by some error in the process, or that the wretch who brought him there could not correctly describe his person,—I now forget which. In short, the persecution would never have relented for a moment, if the judges, superseding (though with an ambiguous example) the strict rule of their artificial duty by the higher obligation of their conscience, did not constantly throw every difficulty in the way of such informers. But so ineffectual is the power of legal evasion against legal iniquity, that it was but the other day that a lady of condition, beyond the middle of life, was on the point of being stripped of her whole fortune by a near relation to whom she had been a friend and benefactor; and she must have been totally ruined, without a power of redress or mitigation from the courts of law, had not the legislature itself rushed in, and by a special act of Parliament rescued her from the injustice of its own statutes..."

It says enough about the power of brute prejudice, of a kind we see in the highest places today, that this unanswerable attack on a disgraceful law lost Burke an election he should have won. The English had been taught to hate Catholics so much that they evidently thought that nothing done to them could be wrong or unjust.

What the Mandate is designed to do, mutatis mutandis, is exactly this. This is why the political and media leadership of your country has fought for it so obstinately, so savagely, and so underhandedly; this is why it took even a narrow defeat with murderous rage. It is because the real purpose of this abomination is to exclude Christians and especially Catholics from economic life. In a world in which money is the only power that can really affect politics - as Obama and his people know all too well - it is intolerable to them that there should be a number, however small, of rich people and of company owners who take their Christianity seriously. In this day and age it is not yet possible to make it legal for a man of the government's party to simply steal the property of his dissenting relatives; and besides, there is not - or not yet - a simple test of identity to separate the government's friends from its enemies, as membership in the "Protestant" church was in Burke's time. But they can impose a tax for a purpose that no Christian can accept, and then savagely penalize them - not by jailing them, which is not what they want, but by fining them into ruin.

Look at it in this light, and the whole mechanism becomes lucid, clear, rational and perfectly designed for its purpose. It is intended to make it impossible for Christians to have any independent economic activity in the USA, by making sure that they either have to resign their principles or be taxed into bankruptcy for them. Of course, they could not possibly declare their purpose; of course they lied from beginning to end. But that, and nothing else, is what this Mandate does.

Incidentally, this also gives you an insight into the real view that Obama and his henchmen have of the political process in your country, and of the nature of political power. This law is not meant to strike at Catholic or Christian faith. It does not try to obtain conversions. It does not set up anything like the imposing apparatus by which republican France, after 1875, worked tirelessly to break the ancestral Catholicism of its masses. The only thing that matters, the thing for which they have fought, the thing for which they have lied, the thing for which they ruined Bart Stupak and compromised the word of the President of the United States of America, was to be sure that no rich Catholics or Christians should exist. Wealth had to remain exclusively among people who had no problem with paying tax to distribute IUDs and abortifacients with a shovel. Because in the eyes of Obama and his crowd, only the very rich are politically significant. This attempt to winnow the Christians from their numbers makes it perfectly clear.
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It is worth reflecting on this: the very culture that drives the demand for legalized euthanasia is also fanatically committed to destroying any faith in God and immortal souls. In other words, it not only wants to kill the old, weak and sick, but it wants to send them into the dark terrified, quivering and alone. Never mind that God and immortal souls are real; that is the end of life these men ultimately intend for themselves, and in the name, mind you, of "compassion". No wonder that Dr.Kervorkian, old, decrepit and prey to a thousand ailments - the very image of a claim for compassionate euthanasia - is absolutely refusing to apply his own teachings to himself.
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Sorry, [personal profile] shezan. But I find it agonizing and repulsive to watch a whole profession, member after member, repeating a complete misinterpretation of a passage that is not even so hard to understand, in order to invent a papal "trend" that does not, never did, and never will, exist, so as to be ultimately able to castigate the Pope when he tries to pull them back to reality. The fraudulency, the deliberate manipluation, the conscious (how can it not be conscious?) misrepresentation, and the driving energy of forcing events and discourse in a false and lying direction, are all so abjectly, so loathsomely immoral. I have rarely seen men so close to Hell.
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If I were the Pope, I would cancel the visit to Britain and say why.

Nobody is under any obligation to invite the Pope, or even to treat him with respect. But civilized people do not insult those they invited.
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...has written a furious and largely justified response to the ongoing assault on the Pope (in which Rupert Murdoch's media are taking a disgraceful prominence). http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/05/pope-benedicts-critics-dont-care-about-kids/ ONe point he made particularly struck me: where were all the stern defenders of innocent childhood when Michael Jackson was buried in a golden coffin and all the world's media wept crocodile tears?
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Anyone who thinks that the fact that the everlastingly resurrected scandal stories about the Church always peak about Eastertime is pathetically naive. The journalistic mob and their managers know what they are doing. This is their way of writing Easter sermons.

These sermons have already cost me a friend - someone who believed the propaganda implicitly and who was shocked, poor creature, to find that I would not crawl - neither in the Church's name, nor in mine - before the ever-remewed, never-satisfied demands of our masters of morality. As I told her, I would be glad to renew our friendship when she realizes who has been manipulating the mob, who has been lying and misrepresenting and leading on those who knew no better. But meanwhile, I have no intention of being treated on my own blog as though there was something left to apologize for.

Father Cantalamessa is right. This is persecution. It is an attempt to use the means of mass manipulation to destroy the cohesion of the Church, and it is directly comparable to the use of those same means to discredit the state of Israel - a process which, especially in Britain, no longer even pretends to draw any distinction between Jewish communities and Israel as such. And is it a surprise that both processes are going on at the same time? Not to anyone who has studied modern Jew-bashing. There are, of course, people who claim some sort of Catholic identity and bash Jews; such intellectual perverts and deviants are hardly representative and are constantly on the edge of schism, where indeed they are not schismatic already. But especially in modern times, the assault upon the Jews preludes to the assault upon the Churches. I have argued elsewhere that there is a subterranean solidarity between the Jewish people and the institution of the Papacy; recent events hardly contradict that. As the assault upon the Pope - and specifically upon the Pope - reaches its height of noise and smoke just before Easter, so the brutal treatment of Benyamin Netanyahu by a certain American politician happened just as the Jewish people was preparing for Passover. And chag v'kosher Pasech samech to you too.

But it is becoming increasingly clear that the more the poison is used, the less it works. A report from Ireland, whose secularists have the peculiar ferocity of certain small countries whose survival is only due to the Church - Quebec is another - is that in spite of the witches' sabbath joyously performed by all the media and almost every politician, the churches this Holy Week have been full to an unprecedented degree, to the point where the public overflowed and had no place to stand, let alone sit - this in a country not short of church buildings( http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/why-our-passion-never-dies-2123832.html ). It sounds as though even lukewarm and nominal Catholics have resolved to stand up and be counted; and it is not even Easter yet.

After all, we are barely being touched yet. The enemy has not yet tried the tactics they use in Orissa or Pakistan. The wave of hate and lies is only meant to try and make us doubt the Church and ourselves. But whether, when they find this tactic not only failing but counterproductive, they shall use the more hands-on methods of their Muslim or Hindutva colleagues, only time will tell. We already have an Oxford professor proposing that parents should be forbidden to teach "religion" (and guess what he means by religion?) to their own children. Worse may well come. But we have been here before; and the Church has a strange habit of turning up, at the end of the worst and most concerted assaults upon her, stronger and more widespread and more respected than ever.

As for me, I pray for the peace and blessing of God not only on us but on all men of good will and right understanding, Christian or not; and for light and understanding to the rest. Amen.
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...to proclaim that the Church has lost its moral authority.  As though such creatures had ever believed it had any.  But to those of us who know what the Faith is, the only answer is Simon Peter's: Lord, to whom shall we go?  Do they imagine that we shall take the hirelings of Rupert Murdoch and his unwholesome likes any more seriously just because some of our priests proved criminal?  These creatures have always been jealous of the moral authority exerted by a bunch of powerless celibates, and they cannot imagine why their round of divorces and backstabbings should not give them at least as much respectability.  Well, boys and gals, I have news for you: the news you have been reporting since your vile trade began - Church about to collapse! - was false then and is false now.
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The High Council of the Judiciary (Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, or CSM) is a constitutional organ of the Italian state that has no parallel in Britain and America. Presided by the President of the Republic, it is both the professional body and the high governance court for the whole order of judges, from the lowest to the highest level. It is a body very jealous of its prerogatives and power, and it is at present practically at war with Prime Minister Berlusconi. So there is no suspicion of partiality in favour of the government or of the right.

Today, it passed the final sentence on a judge who has been suspended for three years over his refusal to have a crucifix in his courtroom. Long before the European Court sentence, Judge Luigi Tosti had made an issue of the religious symbol, blocking several trials over his prejudicial refusal to appear in a courtroom with a crucifix. The chairman of his court offered him the use of a room without symbols, which Tosti refused; it became clear that his goal was the removal of all crucifixes from all courts in Italy. In 2006, the Court of Last Appeal (Corte di Cassazione) suspended him for grave and unjustified refusal to perform his duties; today, the CSM has permanently removed him from his office and rank - the ultimate and most devastating sanction in its power.

Of course, the fanatic has declared that he will appeal to the European Court.
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A MORON
...i wish the Church would go die in a fire =)

FPB
As a member of said Church, thank you very much for your kind intentions. I am actually quite grateful: you are yet one more demonstration that anti-Catholicism of the most poisonous variety is the group hatred of choice of our time. Vicious little haters like you need to be encouraged to speak their mind freely and without hypocrisy, so that our people realize that being nice to your likes will buy them exactly nothing. Catholics need to wake up to the way people like you really feel about them ("die in a fire" - and please let us have no garbage about the distinction between the Church and the members; the members are the Church), and the more your self-indulgent hatred is vented in public, the sooner we will all realize that there is nothing to expect from you but hatred. Too many of my fellow Church members have not yet awakened to reality, and only a constant barrage of this kind of thing will remove the stars from their eyes when it comes to your kind. Keep it up: they must realize that they have no friends in people like you, and the more you open your mouth (or whichever anatomical part you use for self-expresssion), the more they shall be waking up.

A MORON
I didn't read your rant, but if you want to argue, I don't think the correct place to do it is on someone else's LJ. =)

FPB
Happy now?
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My experience is that the Pope's decision to form an Anglican grouping - not yet a Rite, but the difference is slight - has unleashed a vicious avalanche of anti-Catholic hatred such as I had not seen in quite a while. Catholic blogs are suddenly awash not only with Protestant and Anglican, but, more to the point, with atheist and Christian-hating trolls. And I hope my Protestant friends are not offended, but this seems to me to really throw off the masks of many so-called atheists. They do not reject or hate God. Of course, if you asked them to argue against the Aristotelian Unmoved Mover or against the Hindu Self of Selves, they would - in a fairly untroubled, perhaps even bored tone, as a duty. But what they really hate, what unleashes their rage and fury, is the Catholic Church. What makes this obvious is how the Pope's effective dismissal of further ecumenic progress with the CofE as it is, and his decision to create a Catholic Anglican area, have drawn such rage. Richard Dawkins, in his hideous Washington Post screed (http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/richard_dawkins/2009/10/give_us_your_misogynists_and_bigots.html), really throws off the mask. If he took his atheist positions - yes, those same views that have earned him millions of pounds through a worldwide bestseller - at all seriously, he would be as much against the Church of England as against the Catholic Church. Indeed, he might well oppose it more fiercely, because it means subsidizing "religion", however vague, with taxpayer money, and giving a status, however vague, as a part of the nation's legal establishment. (Compare and contrast Article 7 of the Italian Constitution: "The Italian Republic and the Catholic Church are, each in its own sphere, independent and sovereign.") But that is the absolute opposite of what he does; what enrages him is that the Catholic Church should dare to try and claim the Anglican heritage for itself. He valued the Anglican Church as a breakwater against the Catholic Church. So, basically, Dawkins is lying to someone; whether himself, or only his public, I do not know and have no interest in knowing. The point is that his supposed opposition to "religion" is blatantly revealed to be opposition to the Catholic Church alone.

As revealing as Dawkins' rant is that the Washington Post published it, and the string of horrors in the comments thread. Even the Bishop Williamson affair had not called forth so much sheer brute hate for the Church; but then, those who objected to Williamson and to the SSPX were not all motivated by hatred for the Church - they included people like me, who love it. In this case, the only thing that can possibly call forth so many haters is the Church itself; and anyone who wants to claim that anti-Catholicism is not one of the main, the driving forces in modern culture and politics must first explain away this horrible outburst of bigotry and hatred.
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...some new and interesting evidence turned up.

In 1938, just as the persecution of Jews was moving into high gear, the Vatican not only came near breaking point with Italy about its new "racial laws" (and it was not the Vatican that blinked), it also bashed Catholic Poland for some similar bright ideas. And the man who did the bashing was the future Pope Pius XII - yeah, right, "Hitler's Pope" according to the vile propaganda of creatures best left unnamed.

Read more... )
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The most dramatic part of World War Two as far as Italy was concerned began in September 8, 1943, when the Nazis, no longer as overbearing supposed allies, but as open enemies, invaded most of the country. One of the items on their agenda was to put an end to the culpably lax attitudes of most Italians to the Jewish problem. They wanted to destroy every Jew in Italy, and set about the work with gusto.

On direct orders from the Pope, every resource of the Catholic Church was made available to hide and disguise Jews and other prospective Nazi victims. The Vatican itself became overcrowded, as were dozens of cathedral closes and hundreds of churches, church schools and monasteries. Cloistered nuns were released from their vows to attend to necessary secret business. The Pope issued the Swiss Guard with machine guns and ordered them to use them if necessary. Everywhere, priests and trusted laymen worked overtime to produce false identity certificates and smuggle dangerous persons from farmhouse to monastery and from monastery to hotel.

One of the most astounding of the many episodes in this epic has only just come to light. The Church recruited one of her most famous lay faithful, the cycling champion Gino Bartali (Tour de France winner, 1938, 1948) and sent him on an impossible mission - cycling from Florence to Assisi and back in one day, to bring to Florence the false documents secretly printed in the town of St.Francis by a local printing-shop owner. The man who discovered the story, history graduate Paolo Alberati, was himself a professional cyclist who competed six times in the Giro d'Italia (1995-2000); but when he tried to match Bartali's exploit, in spite of having a bike half the weight (seven kilos against Bartali's fourteen), better roads and no Nazi patrols to dodge, he could not do it; he broke down half-way back. Bartali did this forty times between 1943 and 1944: forty world-class performances in the most appalling circumstances, more riding than a professional would ordinarily do for prizes, risking his life. He was never caught. And that in spite of the fact that he had been in the black books of the Fascist secret police (quite literally: he was Suspicious Person no.576) for at least five years. They did not like the fact that he openly and continuously refused to dedicate his victories to Mussolini, preferring to offer them up to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Bartali kept the secret to his grave, and for a long time even his wife and son knew nothing about it. His wife actually could not believe that the cloistered Poor Clare nuns of San Quirico, Assisi, knew her husband, but she went there and they answered - of course, madam, how could anyone be possibly mistaken about a man whose face had been in every newspaper in Europe? When his family asked, his answer was typical: "There's things you just do and don't brag about. I'm no hero, me. I just did the one thing I knew how to do - ride my bicycle."

The mission was sanctioned from the highest quarters. The man Bartali met at five o'clock in the morning of the first of his great rides was the private secretary of Cardinal Dalla Costa, Archbishop of Florence.

Tell this to the next moron you meet who dares open mouth about "Hitler's Pope" or the like.
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With the passing of years, I become more aware of the faults in my character; and especially of that savagery that enters my speech and behaviour every time I face something that is, in my view, really unacceptable. That I become, at such moments, quite offensive, is something of which I am more and more conscious; though I do not grow, unfortunately, more capable of controlling it in any way. And this bad habit of anger has a particularly vicious twist: that as it comes on at times when I really do feel I am in the right in opposing certain things, it leaves me unable to make an apology that would go to the core of the disagreement, for I cannot honestly alter my mind about the issues. In many cases, the likelihood is that some sort of estrangement was inevitable, and that my temper only sped it up; but I do wonder from time to time that I have any friends at all.

[personal profile] rfachir is a friend, she is dear to me, and I have just treated her quite badly. Typically, I feel I am in the right about the issues; indeed, it is sheer astonishment that anyone should not see the point of what I had posted, that led to the abuse. I was astounded that a supposedly Catholic institution of higher learning should hire an atheist, not just as a professor of theology - that would be bad enough - but as subject director; and I was even more astounded that someone could not see the point. My view was, and I have to say that it remains, that [personal profile] rfachir was, in this instance, misled by common but false notions about education. The answer I returned, however, was dismissive and - I suspect - contemptous-sounding; which is entirely wrong. Just because her ideas are common, if they are false I should at least take it on me to discuss them and show why they do not apply to the situation in hand - or to any situation at all.

What [personal profile] rfachir said was this: "Do you expect a college, especially a Jesuit one, to endorse anyone who did not encourage students to question their assumptions?" And I still believe that the primacy of "questioning [one's] assumptions", which this implies, is a mistaken notion. So let me try and show what I mean in a more civil manner; pausing, first, to apologize to [personal profile] rfachir for my lousy temper and bad manners.
............................................................................................

When I think of the pleasure and the good that I got out of school and university, I am not conscious that "having my assumptions challenged" played any great part in it. To the contrary, what gave me delight was finding out more and more things; facts; confirmed, established, truthful statements and descriptions. I pored over maps, accounts, descriptions, dates, and images. I sought out textbooks and went through dozens of entries in encyclopedias; I read collections of old magazines; I even collected stamps for the bits of things that they could show me of other countries and times. I absorbed data like a sponge. I still do. From elementary school to middle age, what has never changed for me is that the pleasure of learning is the pleasure of finding things out, and the pleasure of explaining.

What this has to do with the famous quote "the wisest of them all confirmed that he knew only this, that he knew nothing", is that the widest learning, if taken with a sense of proportion, only shows us how little we know. The men who reach furthest in study and investigation only become aware of how much more there is to be still found out - and how much more never can. The human race, for instance, has been on Earth for some 170,000 years, according to estimates I heard not so long ago - yet I know that the earliest traceable history goes back to less than 6,000 years, and that is over a very small territory. The vast majority of human history can never be known; a sufficient demonstration of how permanently small and provisional our knowledge is bound to remain.

Nonetheless, permanently small and provisional though it may be, knowledge is itself the ultimate authority. Reached at the price of enormous efforts from generation upon generation of people whom, if we met, we would rightly kneel to, it is not to be lightly rejected or discarded. The people who are most keen on "challenging assumptions" are cranks - flat earthers, six-day creationists, and the like. Sane minds accept what they cannot prove, on the authority of those who can prove it; they accept the description of the cosmos from scientists, and of the past from historians. If nothing else, they know that they do not have the tools to mount a serious challenge; they know that superior knowledge brings superior authority. Every one of us has some of that in his or her own field. I would not presume to challenge a plumber's knowledge of hydraulics, or an accountant's way around figures, or a mother on child-rearing. On the other hand, I love to hear from them. Have you noticed how, whenever a person is speaking about something s/he is competent and experienced in, their conversation always becomes more animated and interesting?

The sane position, then, is a general expectation that knowledge is provisional, coupled with a specific confidence in those who have specific knowledge. The crazed position is the presumption that we have to "question authority" - that is, ultimately, competence. We are not competent to do so, except in our own fields; and in our own fields, our concern ought to be, if we had any sense, not with any position, but with truth. As a historian, I do not give a damn if the most prestigious scholar disagrees with my interpretation of a text, so long as s/he cannot bring an argument that trumps mine. (I have been proven wrong dozens upon dozens of times; it is a very educational experience.) It is not because of any attitude of "challenging assumptions", but because of a reverence for the ultimate authority of truth - which is what s/he, I and every other historian ought to be devoted to - that I will disagree with anyone, from Dumezil on down, if I feel their interpretation of facts is insufficient or downright misleading. And I will do so with due respect for their knowledge and insight - but... "Athenians, I love you and respect you; but if I have to choose, I will follow the God" (that is, truth) "rather than you."

You are unfortunately all too right in saying that Jesuits teach their students to "question assumptions" - especially those of the Church. That is why that order is declining in numbers and prestige. They have set themselves on a sterile road of worldliness, pandering to modern cliches, and destruction for its own sake; not unaided, so it is said, by a rich appreciation for the pleasures of anal sex. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church is about authority - the authority of Jesus Christ, the authority of 2000 years of succession, of generations of debates which came to definite conclusions and excluded one proposition while accepting another. The notion that all doctrines are of equal value, that all may and should with equal propriety be "challenged" - with no reference to their status with respect to truth, or even only to their position with respect to the teachings and life of Jesus - is of all things the least Catholic; as well as the least scientific, the least historical, and the least rational. Knowledge proceeds by exclusion; if you cannot declare one thing false and another true, you do not have knowledge at all, but groundless opinion.
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Boston College is supposedly a Catholic university.

It has recently appointed an atheist, member of a Universalist church, as its Director of Theology.
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One of the things that really annoy me as a Catholic is when people like... well, let us just say, some who were once friends of mine... assimilate the Catholic faith to the least acceptable features of Protestant Fundamentalism, or, even worse, Osama Bin Laden's religious views. There is no way to convince them of the opposite - any more than you could convince Osama - because, without realizing it, these people are just as closed to argument. Their vision of the Catholic Church is fixed, and they are not going to have it spoiled by the facts, let alone by argument - something that their attitude excludes in any case. And if you believe I am exaggerating, I would refer you to my extraordinary exchange with a certain would-be Buddhist, which ended with my being banned from her LJ purely because she did not want to be told that there were reasonable arguments against her PC views. I was to be a "nutjob" if she had to shriek herself hoarse in my face and poke all her fingers in her ears not to listen to my arguments. Clearly, such people have much more in common with the very worst Fundamentalists than they imagine - even apart from the fact that the Fundamentalist bogeys of their nightmares hate the Catholic Church as much as they do.

The article I place behind the cut - not because there is anything to be hidden about, quite the contrary; only because it is very long indeed - has a lot to say about the relationship between faith and reason. It is written by a real live scientist who also knows a lot of theology. It is timely, in that it deals with a dangerous movement in some Catholic areas which I too have seen, and seen, what is worse, not only in America but even in Italy. (Luckily the Bench of Bishops stepped on it pretty sharp.) What I mean is the increasing desire to imitate Fundamentalists in their rejection of science and what amounts to a revolt against reason, which is of all things the least Catholic. Wiccans, atheists and pseudo-Buddhists may live on faith alone and disregard argument and evidence, but if Catholics do not believe in reason, they deny their religion and make it useless.

Read more... )
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You can if your bishop's name is Lynch, obviously. Read how the Catholic Church rewarded a murderer.

Read more... )

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