Sunday, January 25, 2015

Taking the measure of where we are and where we're headed

The underground correspondent we keep on retainer in an Atlantic Seaboard city that knows how to keep its secrets, Guy Noir - Private Eye, has been earning his keep lately and keeping me on my toes with as many questions as insights. And here came his three-page telegram today with a gin and tonic to boot (which always helps).

Citing an Ignatius Press add for a new book by Cardinal Schoenborn, he writes:
Ignatius Press has been instrumental as a source in my own journey as a Catholic. I hate to criticize them. And as a major contributor to the CCC, Schoenborn’s has been a name I esteem [in fact, I recall thinking he would be a good replacement for JPII back when his name was being kicked around: now I think, “Hey, either give me a Burke or give me a bonafide conservative. It is easier to steer between clear lines!” Hence Francis may not be quite the pox some think?] . Yet that is actually WHY his waffling on the homosexual question has been a turn I could not help but notice and one that makes me wonder at the theological assumption that enable his turn. “I thought you thought like me,” also means “I thought you thought like the Church,” and most importantly, “I thought I understood the Church and thought like it taught me to think!"

[Mary] Healy’s name is only one here form a list of blue chip names. All of whom I figure are much farther along the road to sanctity than am I. So I will only pose this question:

How are we to know what to believe or who to trust, other than from some party line as it floats from Rome, disconcertingly different in tone each decade? Theological assumptions seem fuzzy, official statements are fuzzy, and regardless of what detours the popular names take, they seem to unflaggingly receive the same hearty endorsements. No, we do not need to be orthodoxy police. On the other hand, if you praise Rowan Williams-types to the sky, don’t be surprise when Rowan Williams-type thinking becomes the reigning paradigm. Evangelicals were relieved when Welby succeeded Williams, but to and behold, it turns out the difference between the two, and their respective ways of thinking, has diminished to the point that one could be the other. When concern for orthodox morality or theology is de-emphasized, religion as human flourishing becomes the mantra. Schoenborn and von Balthasar are IP’s heavy-hitters and yet to me, IP seems, rather naively, stunned and dismayed when anyone pursues a novelty, unless of course it is a novelty already normalized by one of their own over the past 50 years or so. "Tradition matters!" Fr. Fessio’s team seems almost to shout… “As long it is that tradition as espoused by our own orthodox players. If you are part of the JPII-Benedict XVI coterie, you are by definition Truth as we know it.”

As Boniface notes,
. . . this thread demonstrates some inherent problems in the neo-Cath position: To what degree will we see that alleged orthodoxy to the Church is really just a matter of supporting what is viewed as “current policy”? Is there not a problem with viewing a perennial discipline as merely “policy”? Is not the value of discipline and tradition severely downgraded. if so? And if these sorts of matters are simply the “current policy” that can change the way it changes with each American presidential administration, what tools does the Church really have to ensure discipline and continuity in the long run?

Ultimately, the neo-Cath strategy is to insist loudly that certain things can never be changed so long as the current Pontiff does not want to change them; then, when the “policy” changes with another pontiff, suggest just as loudly that such matters were never immune from change to begin with. I’m not suggesting the practical question of whether or not to admit persons with deep-seated homosexuality to the seminary is a doctrinal question or that infallibility is on the line here; I am suggesting that reasoning that the Church’s very old discipline on this matter (it goes back to Trent and before) can be seen as merely “current policy” is destructively reductionist.
[From Boniface, "Facebook fun with His Sheaness" (Unam Sanctam Catholicam, January 23, 2015)]


Son of Ya'Kov said...

I am confused by this post?

Is it about Cardinal Schoenborn & what does he have to do with the "neo-Cath"(btw people if you use language like this don't cry when someone calls you a radtrad..just saying..) charge?

Is it about Mark Shea and his thin skin? Is it about Austin Ruse's article on "homophiles"(which full discloser I despised. Terrible article)? Is it about wither or not under certain circumstances we should or should not let celibate and chaste gay Catholic males become Priests?

I don't know this is all over the place?

Can anyone enlighten me?

c matt said...

Hence Francis may not be the pox some think.

True - we could have gotten Maradiaga. And those calling for the end of Francis's reign, may yet get him.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Papal positivism and the praxis of these progressives proves that Chesteron was right when he observed:

The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.

Anyone with a lick of common sense understands that a sodomite - by that fact alone- is disqualified from being a Priest whether he is celibate or acting on his devilish lust.

Sodomites are naturally subversive and they will do what they can to eliminate any strictures against sodomy in any organization rash enough to admit them.

Pertinacious Papist said...


There's probably a touch of that (being "all over the map"), yet some interesting insights for the discerning as well.

Think about what Ignatius Press, Cnl Schoenborn, and Mark Shea all have in common. There's a hint.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

>Think about what Ignatius Press, Cnl Schoenborn, and Mark Shea all have in common. There's a hint.

Getting all Vorlon on me eh Doc?

(You have to be a Babylon 5 fan to get that reference.
Consult Jimmy Akin for details).

I'll give it a mull.

JM said...

This seems in sync with Austin Ruse, and hard to argue with...

Son of Ya'Kov said...


Accept the author of that piece is same sex attracted himself and he isn't attacking other SSA Catholics who at worst might disagree with him on a minor technical point & he is not calling anybody names like ""Narcissistic" and other unwarranted personal attacks. Ruse can't make the same claim.

It isn't just Mark Shea being himself here. Maggie Gallagher called the original article "vile".
I read it(mainly to find reasons to bag on Mark for over-reacting but it rubbed me the wrong way).

It gave scandal to non-believers that Catholics simply hate all SSA/gay people even those faithful to Church teaching.

Ruse's follow up article looked like damage control to me.

Anyway I still can't figure out the point of this post.
But I will press on.

Pertinacious Papist said...

Ben Y.,

The article you link is nothing itself if not anti-Catholic hate speech.

Austin Ruse is a terrific journalist and has a perfectly legitimate point to make.

Watch the video interview with him here which is toward the beginning of the program: For that matter, watch the whole program. It's an eye opener.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

@Doc P

>The article you link is nothing itself if not anti-Catholic hate speech.

I beg to disagree it is an example of a non-Catholic who is scandalized by Ruse's original article which was pretty bad & gave him the impression Ruse was putting additional burdens on these SSA young people.

>Austin Ruse is a terrific journalist and has a perfectly legitimate point to make.

But the way he made it was wrong & it is clear it caused scandal. So Francis speaks imprudently but Ruse gets a pass? Even if we put more of an onus on Francis because of his office I see no reason to excuse Ruse.

We will have to agree to disagree.

Here is a more chartable criticism from another blogger of Ruses original article sans Mark's over heated verbosity & my own harshness.

You might find that more agreeable then the scandalized non-Catholic.

Naturally I will give the interview a mull.

Peace doc.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

Well Doc I watched it and it's basically Ruse complaining about people being mean to him for him being mean.

Also I called it over in the Crisis comments box. This is not so much about the writings of these two SSA Catholics (which I am afraid he does not directly address & I think he distorts) but Ruse using them as a proxy to attack the Synod midterm report. He should not attack non-combatants.

Also I resent his claim nobody has answered his arguments.

I certainly did and the link I provide in my previous post goes into better detail.

To quote myself (I hope that doesn't come off as narcissistic) QuOTE"Ruse is being uncharitable and unkind but he has a valuable point or two obscured by his overwhelming desire too be unkind first and teach the Faith second. I have have been guilty of this in my time.

Indeed these days it’s seems to be a universal problem in the blogs……….

Anyway Ruse could have simply explained plainly (without personally attacking the characters of these two young people) how valuing somebody’s gayness can be understood correctly and incorrectly.
A homosexual disposition is an objective disorder (not to be confused with an act of gay sex which is intrinsically disordered). It is not in itself a moral failing of any kind but is a privation of a properly ordered sexuality. Thus it is in essence a lack of something good the person should have but doesn’t have (admittedly threw no fault of their own). It is like a genetic predisposition to Alcoholism it is not good in itself in essence. But since it is part of the goodness of God to bring good out of evil it is good in the sense it serves as an opportunity to overcome an obstacle by the Grace of God and Grow in merit. It is good in accident. Sort of like the proverbial "O’Happy Fall! Whose transgression brought so great a redemption”. Obviously original sin is an evil that afflicts people but God brings good from it. Obviously a predisposition to desire persons of the same sex is evil in that there is no lawful way it may ever licitly be expressed. But to choose not to give in to it and embrace Grace creates a path for spiritual growth.

Even Michael Voris made some video about how gay persons may be victim souls given the opportunity for great holiness or something. So he gets it so what is Ruse's problem??"END

That last bit is ironic.

Anyway I think I beat this horse to death.

Charles said...


Then by all means, please: QUITE BEATING A HORSE TO DEATH! (Thank you in advance!)

"Doc" can answer for himself, but from my eavesdropping on the show, I would respond thus:

Your imputation of meanness and responses to meanness, etc., are as futile as they are facile. Meanness is a measure of subjective perception, and even though it is the lingua franca of our times, it can't be used to prove anything. Ruse wasn't simply emoting or whining. Not at all. There was specific objective content to what he said. Imputing meanness doesn't prove a thing. So please bug off from all that sappy crap.

And I wouldn't quote MYSELF like you did in that last comment post. I don't think "Doc" takes kindly to that sort of thing.

I have a good idea: why don't you start your own blog where you can go on and on and on and say anything you want???

Charles said...


You find it the least bit surprising that anyone who questions anything said by well-promoted "gays" immediately becomes a lightening rod for the vociferous attacks by self-appointed defenders of that new protected class?

And comparing Ruse to Francis?

Pleeeezze. Francis has a snowball's chance in hell of being accused of hate speech. That's part of the problem: he's completely undiscriminating in what he says.

Son of Ya'Kov said...


>Meanness is a measure of subjective perception, and even though it is the lingua franca of our times, it can't be used to prove anything.

If that is true then fair is fair. Ruse doesn't get to then complain about how Shea or Maggie Gallagher responded to his article since their "mean" responses and rebuttals are just as subjective.
Same with his complaints about his non-Catholic critics.

Put yourself in that box if you like I pass.

>There was specific objective content to what he said. Imputing meanness doesn't prove a thing. So please bug off from all that sappy crap.

I didn't see any content in either the video or his original article only hostile rhetoric which he clearly tried to back track.

Ruse wasn't going after two dissidents from Dignity or fans of John Boswell.

These where two orthodox faithful Catholics.

Gentile loving correction on the use of proper terminology is fair cop(ex:they are Chaste not Celibate).

But he falsely attributed to them opinions they didn't believe(i.e like rejecting therapy to change sexual orientation). Well I went to the source and read Eve and her cohort writings.

No rejection they just didn't believe that was the end all an be all of pastorally dealing with all gay chaste Catholics.

If you want to talk specifics Charles that would be more productive.

If you want a rhetorical shouting match.


JM said...

Rude did overreach, which is a shame. We don't need to provide any distractions from a necessary discussion.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

I am liking this post by Ruse.
If only because it jives with my personal political views and he isn't attacking anybody by name.

He might be implicitly referring to someone but I grant him plausible deniability.

More like this please.

Anonymous said...

This I thought corroborated the actual post a bit. IP plugs the book this way

"Cardinal Schönborn addresses the basic questions of Christian morality, and how we live what we believe as followers of Christ. He shows how we are not left alone in the difficult task of coping with life’s challenges: God’s grace is a strong help for us. Thanks to this divine help, good moral conduct is possible— as we see in the shining examples of the saints."

And yet from what I have read. the good Cardinal also praises cohabitating homosexuals as good parish members. I do not know what "good" means in his estimation, but gay sex is a basic question of Christian morality, so I think there is a case to be made that the Church's teaching is being... I don't know...fuzzied. Some moral questions are pretty complicated but this one does not especially seem to me to be so, thus I wonder why the soft focus.