Saturday, January 17, 2015

No, Virginia, we are not all children of God

"Terrific piece. Terrific," writes our underground correspondent we keep on retainer in an Atlantic seaboard city that knows how to keep its secrets, Guy Noir - Private Eye. "Also jaw-dropping in the context of a Catholic journal: I can't think of a single Vaticanista who would dare strongly concur with this one. Not even a Pope. They would sooner trip over their robes in public, I'd wager. But wait, Lu is -- of course -- a convert. Perhaps she is a counter-exhibit to the uncomfortable fact of Mark Shea (just kidding, sort of)."

G. Noir was referring, of course, to Rachel Lu's "We Are Not All Children of God" (Crisis Magazine, January 14, 2015), about which the irrepressible Noir continues to muse:
Holy Cow.

This is actually so rudely counter to current theology assumed within the Church that she'd have been safer in terms of media reception if she'd gone straight for "Jesus wasn't necessarily divine nor Mary necessarily a Virgin." Those statements have come to sound less shocking. Just try uttering the various lines in public Catholic quarters and see which seems most shocking to most people! "We aren't all children of God? What, are you founding some new hate group or something?"

Nonetheless, it is an undeniable:

"After all, aren't we all children of God?"

An affirmative YES to that question is hermeneutical key to the entire project of Modernism. As the bumper stickers say, COEXIST and ONE PEOPLE, ONE PLANET. In such a schema, judgement and an honest interpretation of the Bible simply don't make any sense. No matter how many doorstops and happy tracts come from the pens of Germans like Barth, von Balthasar, and Kasper, or how many positive and prolix papal encyclicals come from Rome.
Well. Food for thought.

I do remember asking our resident court metaphysician, Fr. John McDermott, S.J., whether the Biblical references to the "Fatherhood" of God can be understood in any other way than via the analogy of proper proportionality. For example, whereas many Catholics fall into the illusion of thinking that calling God "Father" is simply a metaphor, it is not; because that would mean that while God is similar to a father, as Herod is similar to a fox in his cunning, God is no more a real father than Herod is actually a fox. Fr. McDermott concurred, but with this interesting proviso, that the "Fatherhood" of God obtains only through the Sonship of Jesus Christ for those who are made fellow heirs by adoption and incorporation into His body, the Church. All of which puts the matter in an altogether unforgivingly vivid new light -- a light amplified here by Rachel Lu.


Raider Fan said...

Trads have argued in this manner forever especially as it applies to the putative dignity of man.

Well, if the dignity of the Baptised in not elevated infinitely higher than the dignity of the Jew or the pagan then what'n'hell are we talking about?

Who knows as this sort of mush has been poured out upon us with increasing intensity and volume since soon-to-be-canonised Pope Paul VI abandoned all distinctions when talking about man qua man; all apparently are good and all we need to achieve peace on earth is to dialgogue with our enemies.

And, since the advrnt of the current Bishop of Rome this sort of democratic levelling has been universally pervasive.

It'd be interesting to read some ultramontane papolatrist reconcile the new theology/modernist theology of man (snark intended) with what, say, Pope Leo taught:



The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and the Giver of heavenly gifts, "through the envy of the devil," separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth. The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only-begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God...

After Communion, Raider Fan prays a Traditional prayer, par of which is a Thanksgiving to God that He has separated me from the UnGodly...

Maybe the Bishop of Rome would threaten to punch me if he knew what R.F. was praying...

James Joseph said...

I often consider the Divine Word, Our Lord Jesus Christ who speaks from eternity, "Vos ex patre diabolo estis: et desideria patris vestri vultis facere."

Translation into American:

Hey! All y'all's daddy is the devil and all y'all wanna' do is brownose with him.

Scott Woltze said...

The no-brainer quote is from Ephesians 2:3, "you were all born children of wrath", but I noticed Rachel Lu doesn't use it, nor does it show up in the comment section.

Charles said...


I'm not sure what point you may have been trying to make by your Scripture quote. Can you explain?

Robert Allen said...

I'll explain it to you, Charles. Mr. Woltze is just providing scriptural support for Father McDermott's earlier assertion that it is only through Baptism that we are freed from divine wrath and adopted, by our acceptance of Jesus Christ's divine Sonship, as co-heirs of His eternal Kingdom, i.e., that we become children of God. God does indeed love all men, but, like any good father, will not force his paternal love upon any of those whom He longs to treat as His children.

Charles said...

Thanks Robert.

BenYachov said...


>Well, if the dignity of the Baptised in not elevated infinitely higher than the dignity of the Jew or the pagan then what'n'hell are we talking about?

Even the Baptized can mortally sin their way out of the dignity that was given them by grace & die in final impenitence.

Also as Pius IX and other Popes preV2 taught innocent nonbelievers (also known as non-believers by negation) can following the extra-ordinary grace God might give them be saved. Though we cannot know whom among them fall into that category or use their possible existence as a pretense not to preach the gospel to non-believers.

But that quote of yours from HUMANUM GENUS it seems Leo XIII is referring not so much to the formally baptized vs the unbaptized but the elect vs the reprobate.

Sam Schmitt said...

Maybe someone could provide me with a quote from the Holy Father contradicting what the article says?

Dark Horse said...

You can probaly find qotes from this Holy Father saying just about anythg you wwant.

BenYachov said...

Maybe this is what you seek?

Pope Francis says you can't be Christian outside of the Church

The Pope is Catholic? Who knew?

JFM said...

Sam, a google provides this Christmas chestnut, but I am sure there are a zillion similar ones from Paul VI on, all spouting well-intentioned but unscriptural nonsense:

In these days, throughout my visit, I have listened to you sing the song: “We are all God’s children”. That is what the Santo Niño tells us. He reminds us of our deepest identity. All of us are God’s children, members of God’s family."

Etc etc etc Who cares about precise theology when we believe that religion = affirmation

JFM said...

Inf ariness, I also find lines like these from Francis:

"One does not become a Christian, a child of the Father and a brother or sister in Christ, as the result of an authoritative divine decree, without the exercise of personal freedom: in a word, without being freely converted to Christ. Becoming a child of God is necessarily linked to conversion: “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). All those who responded in faith and with their lives to Peter’s preaching entered into the fraternity of the first Christian community (cf. 1 Pet 2:17; Acts 1:15-16, 6:3, 15:23): Jews and Greeks, slaves and free (cf. 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:28). Differing origins and social status did not diminish anyone’s dignity or exclude anyone from belonging to the People of God. The Christian community is thus a place of communion lived in the love shared among brothers and sisters (cf. Rom 12:10; 1 Thess 4:9; Heb 13:1; 1 Pet 1:22; 2 Pet 1:7).

- See more at:"

But I wonder how many fans of Francis would mark this sentence false: "Becoming a child of God is necessarily linked to conversion." I think lot. Which means teaching effectiveness is not on the upswing.

BenYachov said...

The problem is the term "children of God" can be used equivocally.

Either it refers to intellective creatures in general (which is why in the book of Job, Satan is counted among the "sons of God") or specifically to those who are formally baptized or to the elect(some of whom can be baptized spiritually in an extra-ordinary fashion).

So there is a familyhood of man by which we are all brothers and that is lovely but the familyhood of Christ and Heaven is better.

BenYachov said...

>"Becoming a child of God is necessarily linked to conversion."

I agree a 100% with that one.