Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Douthat: "The Pope's Marriage Endgame"

New York Times op-ed columnist, Ross Douthat writes (September 12, 2015):
It’s clear that this was all intentional: That Francis wanted a big internal argument over marriage and communion, that he deliberately started this civil war.

The question that remains unanswered, though, is how the pope intends to finish it.

... Now, though, the pope has actually made a major move on marriage. He’s changing canon law governing annulments, making it much easier for divorced Catholics to have their first marriage declared invalid, null and void.

The changes do not merely streamline the existing annulment process, as many expected, by removing a mandatory review of each decision. They promise a fast-track option, to be implemented at the discretion of local bishops ....

This is a major liberalization of the church’s rules, probably the most significant of Francis’ pontificate to date....

What the new rules do not do, however, is explicitly change the church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, in the way that admitting the remarried to communion absent an annulment would [so they do change the teaching, just not in quite the same way an explicit denial would? Then who even needs explicit doctrine when implicit reversal suggests we think it impractical?]. This may seem like theological hair-splitting [actually, very much so], but from the point of view of Catholic unity it’s crucial. [Then perhaps the obsession with Unity ... needs a bit of rethinking. What good is unity over faux-agreement to dead letters of the law? And if Unity requires identification with an always changing public face and wildly varied agendas, how is that any different from a cult?] [emphasis and comments in red from Guy Noir]
Fast-tracking annulments "does not formally reverse the church’s teaching about the nature of marriage and communion," as Douthat says; but as he also admits, it "weakens the credibility of Catholic doctrine, in both implication and effect." How can that be good? How can that be merciful?


JM said...

You are seeking clarity. Francis is quite evidently a merry, emotional Latino. He can't be bothered with.... doctrine.

Here is a commentator on famed Chilean Isabel Allende's novel 'House of the Spirits.'

"The prosaic truth of material objects mingled with the tumultous reality of dreams and the laws of physics and logic do not always apply... the world is swept away by the political cataclysm..."

Ring any bells? This is a literary genre called 'Magical Realism. It is very Pope Francis. He is the Pope of Magical Realism. "Marriage? No, not really! Nothing to see here..."!!

Magical Realism is very Latino. It is also very Henri DeLubac, decolonialized.

No offense to multi-culturalists and Europeans, but it is also lousy worldview and defective religious orientation. Among the reasons God may have elevated Greco-Roman thought and raised up a St. Thomas may have been their clarity of thought. You won't find that in postconciliar theology, because it is full of a Euro-version of Magical Realism. It is like dope, fuzzing and addictive -- witness modern seminary profs who try to defend this Pope -- and it is crap. Protestant David Wells sensed a 'Revolution in Rome' back in the late 70s after Vatican II, and he was right. Trade were fools to dismiss him based on his suspicious Evangelical orientation. (Modern Catholicism is a far more suspicious locale!) better a thing than the countless failed Latin American reforms. Our Lady of Guadalupe and Benign Euro-papists to the contrary.

Francis reminds me someone plugging for statehood for Puerto Rico, while never having lived in either locale. It sounds good and is romantically appealing. It is also a fool's game. Unless you are wearing Gustavo Gutierrez- or Richard O'Brien-tinted glasses. In which case you deserve to have your portrait painted to resemble that of Snoopy, as rendered by Peter Maxx. Which will be very popular, against a soundtrack backdrop of "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing," and very useless. Meanwhile Timothy Dolan can sheer "Bravo!"

Modern Catholicism is so very verbose *and* so much fun. That's why at Ross Dothat's com box someone could post this quote line:

"This Pope is the best in my lifetime and I'm an atheist."

"The prosaic truth of material objects mingled with the tumultous reality of dreams and the laws of physics and logic do not always apply." What, huh, and Roger that. Lead on, Holy Father. You lost me a long time ago.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Doc. ABS wrote this response to Dothan's column to the Palm Beach Post but they never print his letters to the editor)

Mr. Dothan's editorial addresses the reality that Our Pope intentionally started a civil war which brings to mind the remarks of Pope Paul Vl who addressed the Catholic Church's "auto destruction; " the insanity, heterodoxy, and unrest, trailing in the wake of Vatican Two.

Cui bono?

Certainly not the One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church or the Pope.

Mr. Dothan references the new Annulment process which seems to this author a reform that will result in the new process being the abattoir of marriage and Mr.Douthat's claims that the reform does not change doctrine is questionable.

There are many faithful clerics in the Curia (think of the Curia as the Cabinet of The POTUS) who have grave problems with the reform in that they were not consulted/included in the reform plans and, worse, they think the reform undermines the doctrine of marriage.

The 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia describes the Pope and what it is he symbolises in the Catholic Church:

"He is to be the principle of unity , of stability, and of increase. He is the principle of unity, since what is not joined to that foundation is no part of the Church; of stability, since it is the firmness of this foundation in virtue of which the Church remains unshaken by the storms which buffet her; of increase, since, if she grows, it is because new stones are laid on this foundation."

And then think about Mr. Dothan's statement that the Pope deliberately started a civil war in contradiction to his duty to be the principle of unity and stability.

Our Pope routinely describes we Traditionalists as "Pharisees" who do not desire the "surprises" he claims come from the Holy Ghost and which "surprises" he wishes to bring to the Church in the upcoming Synod in October where, many Catholics fear, he will open up Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried despite over more than 2000 years or orthodox praxis refusing that permission and a "surprise" that flies directly in the face of the "Familiaris Consortio" Encyclical by Pope Saint John Paul II which reiterated the unchanging practice, "...the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage."

Creating chaos and Civil War, leading the faithful into error by changing a multi-millennial discipline so intricately entwined with Jesus Christ, Holy Scripture, and Tradition is a formula that will intensify and increase our auto-destruction all in the name of "Mercy," (as though Mercy could be opposed to Truth).

Lord have mercy.

Pertinacious Papist said...

"... De Lubac decolonized ..." Good one.