Tuesday, September 08, 2015

"Joe Biden's confused Catholicism"

Carson Holloway, "Joe Biden's confused Catholicism" (Catholic Vote, September 8, 2015):
The White House is getting ready for the September visit of Pope Francis to the United States, according to this AP article.  The article includes the following comment by Vice President Joe Biden, who is a Catholic: “Pope Francis has breathed new life into what I believe is the central mission of our faith: Catholic social doctrine.”

Conservative Catholics will no doubt be tempted to use this remark as an occasion to take Biden to task for his own imperfect commitment to Catholic social doctrine.  After all, religious freedom, the right to life, and the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman are very important points of Catholic social doctrine.  Yet as a public man Biden has not been a defender of those principles.

But while this is an understandable and predictable reaction, it would overlook something also very important.  Surely Biden errs in saying that Catholic social doctrine is the “central mission of our faith.”  Catholic social doctrine is addressed to society, with a view to informing it how it can be more justly organized.  This is indeed very important.  But, as C.S. Lewis observes in one of his writings, societies, nations, communities don’t go to heaven or hell.  Surely the “central mission” of the faith is not the construction of a more just social order–as important as it is to strive for that–but instead the proclamation of truth and the ministry of the sacraments in order to save souls.  That is the Church’s highest and most urgent concern.
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[Hat tip to JM]


5 comments:








Amateur Brain Surgeon

said...

Surely the “central mission” of the faith is not the construction of a more just social order–as important as it is to strive for that–but instead the proclamation of truth and the ministry of the sacraments in order to save souls.

Well, that's half right. Jesus established His One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church with two ends in mind; Salvation and Sanctification and the Mass and Sacraments (especially Purgatory, but not excluding devotions pilgrimages etc) are the necessary holy means to accomplish those two ends.





Robert Allen

said...

What do you expect from a man vain enough to not only get hair plugs, but also to fail to realize that they look hideous? RFGA, Ph.D.





Red Ruffansore

said...

Catholic social doctrine is written on an etch-a-sketch. Shake-a-shake-a-shake and write something new. It has always been this way, but the process has hugely accelerated with the ascension of democracy: its not as easy as baptising the king anymore. Its a matter of debaptization, actually, and debaptization has always been a sacrament of capitalist liberal democracy.

That's why you have Catholics like Biden and Pelosi -- and Jeb Bush, for that matter.

The basic thrust of Christianity is to do what Jesus would do. That has always been a hoax with protestantism, which was not so much a religion as a religious fig leaf for capitalism. The process of unravelling has been much slower with Catholicism, but the secularist nature of liberal democracy has brought that process to its final stage of unravelling, at which the tension is all but gone and the folds lay in a useless heap.

This is why what was once unimaginable is now routine. This is why we have a caudillo as pope. This is why that caudillo pope proposes drive-thru annullments as a counterpoint to the drive-thru divorces that have become so popular among American Catholics -- and does so a few weeks before his rock star tour hits Philly. Smooooth as Joe Biden any day!





Amateur Brain Surgeon

said...

And to think is was a Pope Paul Vi (Excluding the Avignon Papacy) who first left Italy to travel as a media sensation.

There is no putting that glam-genie back into the Apostolic Palace Jar but it does give ABS a reason to point out that it was Sancta Marthae where the revolutionaries met to plan their subversive actions during the council, so, why is anyone surprised that Our Pope and Our Cross chose to live there?

Semiotics can sometimes help explain interior motivations, no?

From his residence, to his vestments, to his sermons, to his Maundy Thursday washing of the feet of Muslim chicks, (the list is exhausting long) to the Annulment Surprise (The abattoir of marriages) just WHAT is it that Franciscus has to do to wake-up the Patheos Posse?





JM

said...

Catholic social doctrine is written on an etch-a-sketch!


Haha!