Friday, February 06, 2015

Principles of Catholic Theology and Careful Readers

Just a brief aerogram today from Guy Noir in Rome, where he was apparently luncheoning with some friends among the papal paparazzi last Saturday. Always the Socratic gadfly, seizing upon every possible means of prodding me and provoking me to THINK, he scrawls out (in a remarkably florid John Handcock-esque hand) the URL to the mighty War Against Being blog of James Larson, and, with the words: "I believe this is depressingly right," refers to the following title and excerpted quote: "The Synod on the Family, Joseph Ratzinger, And the Destruction of the Catholic Mind" (WAB, January 22, 2015):
If that bishop possesses a mind which has fallen prey to the denial of substantiality inherent in Modern Physics, and if he is also an evolutionist: then, despite the fact that the good instincts he has inherited from the past may indeed have led him to vote correctly, he is not at all established in those foundational principles which are necessary for truly “thinking with the Church”. His orthodoxy, his conservativism, in other words, is built on sand, and is eventually bound to crumble – if not in himself personally before his death, then in his spiritual children. He may believe in the indissolubility of marriage, but he has no substantial basis for so believing. He may believe in the concepts of mortal sin and sanctifying grace, but these beliefs fly directly in the face of his being in bed with Science and Evolutionary Theory. He has feet of sand.
To which Noir adds a bit of text in Saxon Runes in mockery of my ignorance of them ...

... which he then "generously" condescends to translate for me as follows:
"... Which explains the ongoing tragedy that we witness unfolding in the well-meaning but impossibly-conflicted papacies of the last six popes. Meanwhile we witness the incredible spectacle of Ignatius Press adding more bricks to its literary memorial to Vatican II.(And I do mean bricks: peruse Fr. De Lubac's Paradoxes or More Paradoxes for confirmation; also note his biggest fan of late is John Milbank)."
Well enough. I never found Milbank rewarding enough to read anyway. I liked de Lubac's The Drama of Atheist Humanism,which shed some interesting new light on Auguste Comte and Ludwig Feuerbach, but I remain in two minds about some of his other work. My head hurts.

[Disclaimer: Rules 7-9]


Raider Fan


War Against Being has long been on the reading list for Catholic men of a certain bent but reading it will likely result in, at first, spiritual depression but, pursued with pertinacity, the reading of it will result in an increased faith in our Triune God and in Jesus Christ who is the Head of His Church.

Raider Fan


And here is a great piece about Bishop Emeritus Ratzinger, as Pope, promoting condoms

Try to name three Prelates who opposed the then Pope's great gaffe...

On the other hand, uncountable were the ultramontanists who averred that...

He was misquoted
He didn't mean in THAT way
He was right

This is what the average Catholic has to contend with in reading apologetics now, the descent to the lowly place from objective truth,



Thank you for this. I went to "War Against Being" and am finding it very comforting and helpful because it is truly, solidly Catholic. He explains a lot of the things I have found confusing. This is a very difficult time for a non-intellectual lay person in the pew - how do we cope with the massive disorder in our beloved Church? There are things in my family I am trying to discern while I have a few months of "normalcy". My cancer is in remission at the moment. The doctor said it would be months rather than years, but so far so good. How is your sister?

Pertinacious Papist


Dear Ellen,

Thanks for asking about my sister. She remains physically well, but spiritually quite dead. Please keep her in your prayers as we shall keep you in ours. God bless you and give you strength and health!