Monday, April 28, 2014

For the record: Dale Price has been wincing so often his face must hurt

Over at Dyspeptic Mutterings, the widely-read Dale Price is beginning to show signs that the cognitive dissonance is taking its toll. On March 12th, there was this: "This one caught my eye."
And not in a good way.

A little while ago, Walter Cardinal Kasper argued in favor of giving communion to those Catholics who remarried after a divorce without getting an annulment.

Put as politely as possible, Cardinal Kasper's proposals leave an empty, sham notion of marital indissolubility on the sacramental books while effectively gutting it.

Put more directly: they are casuistic bullshit.

Which makes it a little surprising that the Pope was so delighted with them, given his stance on such forms of reasoning.

Be that as it may, make no mistake--they are a frontal assault on the Catholic claim to indefectibility.

Should they become Catholic practice, I don't see how I could in good conscience remain a Catholic. Just felt like getting it out there, given my prolonged periods of radio silence. Prayer is at the top of my list of priorities.

It's going to be a long, worrisome summer. I hope and pray to God something approximating good sense starts exorcising the Return of the Spirit of '76.
Then on March 19th, there was this: "The last post on Catholicism."

From me, for the foreseeable future.

I'm tired. Really, really tired. Tired of arguing, tired of getting invocations of authority, tired of the lack of basic Christian brotherhood (mea maxima culpa from me, so please accept my apologies), tired of sounding and feeling like this guy.

The literal Hell of it, of course, is that I might be wrong. If so, it won't be the last time. In this case, though, the stakes are so astronomically-high.

What my essential problem with this papacy is the repeated message I'm receiving, which is:

"You overdid. Yes, it says that on paper, but..." Most recently:
"All of this depends on how Humanae Vitae is interpreted. Paul VI himself, at the end, recommended to confessors much mercy, and attention to concrete situations. But his genius was prophetic, he had the courage to place himself against the majority, defending the moral discipline, exercising a culture brake, opposing present and future neo-Malthusianism. The question is not that of changing the doctrine but of going deeper and making pastoral (ministry) take into account the situations and that which it is possible for people to do. Also of this we will speak in the path of the synod.”
Wore the ol' tux to a beach party, eh?

Believe me, I understand people who struggle with it. I'm one of them, every month. But you can drive a pastoral truck through that paper, can't you? Older brother-ish? Yeah, probably. But is the teaching morally-obligatory or just morally-praiseworthy? It's still there on paper, but..."that train left the station long ago," as Bishop Lynch shrugs?

Ditto the proposals to offer communion to the civilly-remarried...which are more than a mere discipline to be dispensed at will, as another smart man has noted. The possibilities from such a change are boundless, as some not-so-faithful have noted. If the Church can soft-pedal the words of Christ, especially as consistently understood by the Fathers, then "all things are lawful." At some point, lax discipline hollows-out doctrine, and no invocations of authority can patch that over.

If the sacramental teaching is correct, the discipline follows. If the discipline doesn't follow, what does that say about the correctness of the teaching?

Anyway, I'm arguing again and I'm tired of arguing. Spiritually-dessicated tired.


The nicest thing anyone did recently was offer to pray for me and have a mass said. She doesn't agree with my concerns, but that was actually the great part about it.

So, that's it. I have a wife and kids to love and provide for, an honorable job to do and a septillion books to read and almost as many board games to play. I'm even teaching the older three D&D.

Your prayers would be more than welcome.
Pray for Dale, yes, but not because everyone else knows so much better how things really are or ought to be. Please. Pray also for the Holy Father and for the good of the Church. I doubt that Dale's the only one who has felt a twinge of cognitive dissonance.


Ralph Roister-Doister


I have been having the same feelings lately. Someone recently remarked that this was going to be an awful year for Catholics with memories extending beyond the decade in which the Catholic Church institutionalized insipidity. Exactly.