The Inner Struggle

Go And Sin No More … coattails again …

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

Fr. Hunwicke

Fr. Hunwicke

Back a couple of years ago I wrote and quoted from other sources to the effect that “Liberalism is a sin“.  The following quote is from a post on Fr Hunwicke’s blog , about the dangers of Liberalism, which I stumbled upon while studying the modern corruption of the Latin phrase “argumentum ad hominem”. On that front, just in passing, I touch on a big boo-boo in modern discourse, at least in some circles.

The notion that “argumentum ad hominem” somehow equates in English to  “A personal attack”, as found commonly in current usage across a spectrum of pseudo-intellectual pontifications by players indulging in personal and maliciously slanderous attacks on those who disagree with them, all dressed up as if they were a legitimate logical argument.

The current notion is that “ad hominum” is not a legitimate debating technique because it is “just a personal attack” and in our current moral quagmire we are expected to accept that morality or even the notion of right and wrong are nothing more than personal opinions and views and all such views are equivalent.

I have always abominated bullies and especially those of any stripe or occupation who attack the innocent from their respective podiums and pulpits whilst hectoring their captive audiences. It does not follow that the individual with the loudest bully pulpit defines what is truth and what is good or even that they are automatically on the side of the angels. (see “Useful Idiots” in a previous post)

“Argumentum ad hominem” is defined by Locke as “Pressing a man with the Consequences of his own Principles or Concessions.” … that is to say pointing out to or otherwise leading the man (or woman) with whom one is debating into understanding the logical fallacy of the mutually exclusive principles which they may have just enunciated in the debate, in consequence of which they must either change one or the other or both principles or simply surrender the point in order to retain any debating credibility going forward.

At least, that is what I understand it to mean, however, gentle reader might favor the modern corruption, or as I have said before, your mileage may vary. After all, “I don’t care about your damned facts, Joe, I just want to have a pleasant conversation with my friends”.

Anyway, here is the quoted material, a quote from Fr. Hunwicke  containing a quote from Blessed John Henry Newman, on Liberalism …

Blessed John Henry Newman

Blessed John Henry Newman

“When (Blessed John Henry) Newman received the biglietto signifying his elevation to the rank of Cardinal, he made a speech which has often been quoted; and I am going to quote it yet again and not least because it beautifully enunciates the essential continuity of his life as a Catholic with his years as an Anglican.

But, at the end, I wish to draw attention to a very important realisation of Newman’s which is not so often quoted or appreciated. So here he goes:

For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. … the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily.

It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are a matter of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. …

As to Religion, it is a private luxury which a man may have if he will; but which of course he must pay for, and which he must not intrude upon others, or indulge in to their annoyance.”

[Note the deft, almost imperceptible skill – so characteristic – with which Newman points to us the paradox that this ‘liberalism’ is itself a doctrine, an imposed and inexorable dogma. But it is his next observation which, I feel, gives us tremendous material for thought; when he adds that:]

There is much in the liberalistic theory which is good and true … justice, truthfulness, sobriety, self-command, benevolence ….’

Cardinal Farrell

Cardinal Farrell

[Ah, we incautiously surmise, Liberalism isn’t too bad after all; he admits that Liberalism has its Good Side. But no. Newman has tricked us. He is playing exactly the opposite game. In the spirit of the argumentum ad hominem, he is about to pounce. Let us watch carefully, and analyse, how the cat jumps.

Remember that in his earlier years Newman had been preoccupied with the concept of Antichrist. At the heart of this biblical notion, there is a realisation that the greater an evil and the closer it comes to Ultimate Evil, the more sumptuously the Enemy adorns it with rags and tatters of the good and the true and the noble. An error will be so much more dangerous precisely because it has been made to look so beautiful. So … Blessed John Henry goes on:]

“There never was a device of the Enemy, so cleverly framed, and with such promise of success.”

Snap! Gotcha!

“Despite its superficial charms, indeed, because of its apparent beauties, Liberalism is diabolical, a trick of Satan.”

Cardinal Kasper

Cardinal Kasper

There is a great warning for us as we, more than a century later, face the devices of the Enemy in our own time.

Just one modern example of this will be enough for today: our blessed Lord did not say to the woman in the Johannine pericope de adulteraGo; and sin some more“.

Whenever, whoever, decks out encouragement or tolerance of adultery in nobly coloured biblical garments, whether ‘Mercy’ or any other scriptural tags, we know that the Spirit of the Antichrist is abroad.”

Cheers

Joe

with patience and charity for all …

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The Inner Struggle

An injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved …

The Beatitudes

Contemplating one’s sins. The problem with developing a conscience is that is is really uncomfortable and one can rarely do much about those times in the past when one swallowed one’s leg up to the hip, except to be ashamed and sorry.

In our outrage at a perceived evil do we indulge ourselves in an “injurious manner of speaking”? When we write about apparent errors and evils perceived in the secular world around us do we do so with charity and compassion or with the very malice and contempt the use of which we are castigating in others’ propaganda efforts, the secular sales pitch which tempts and converts so many?

Crusaders Charge 2015-10-01-niles-aIn essence, what I ask here is “Do I (and others whose work I read) retaliate in kind for perceived injustice, do we match “atrocity with atrocity” in a small verbal war of attrition fought in our own minds and transmitted through our writing?

Am I using a “Donald Trump” style of communication or a “Jesus Christ” style of communication?

orcsWhen I match them, the “others”, stone for stone and stick for stick, am I loving my enemy as Christ commanded or am I returning hate for hate because of my own wounded pride?

Whatever my “good intentions”, am I on the side of the Angels or the side of the Orcs? Sins of pride piled upon sins of malice piled upon sins of hate, sins, sins, and more sins to the last syllable of time, Screwtape, and the father of lies must be laughing all the way home.

Gandalf StudyI am reviewing all my posts, doing fact checking (again), and looking for inappropriate content and style. Looking back, checking the back trail, in retrospect it’s kind of like looking at a large mirror of one’s thoughts, undeniably one’s own sins and biases and food for reconsideration of one’s approach now removed from the heat of the moment. In a post a couple of years ago I quoted a small book called “Liberalism is sin”.

In the uproar after it came out in Spain in the 1800’s, the work was denounced even within the church because it offended some bishops. Eventually, the conflict made it to Rome where the ruling came down in favour of the original work and the detractors were required to withdraw their efforts to suppress the little book.

In part the Sacred  Congregation wrote:  “The same judgment, however, cannot be passed on the other work, that by D. de Pazos, for in matter it needs corrections. Moreover, his injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved, for he inveighs rather against the person of D. Sarda than against the latter’s supposed errors.

Therefore, the Sacred Congregation has commanded D. de Pazos, admonished by his own Bishop, to withdraw his book, as far as he can, from circulation, and in the future, if any discussion of the subject should arise, to abstain from all expressions personally injurious, according to the precept of true Christian charity; and this all the more since Our Holy Father, Leo XIII, whereas he urgently recommends castigation of error, neither desires nor approves expressions personally injurious, especially when directed against those who are eminent for their doctrine and their piety.

So I guess the take away is simply that “the ends never justify the means”. That using the same styles and tools as one’s opponents to berate and castigate ones opponents instead of dealing only with the facts in question is simply never acceptable. My grandfather used to say, “if you  can’t say something good about someone then say nothing at all.”

Looked at in this way the problem of how to write about these atrocities, dressed up as they are in a secular cloak of desirability, is rather magnified. The bar of quality and justice is significantly raised when considering writing a charitable blog about evil things in the mainstream culture.

Cheers

knight_templar_battle_wearyAlways remember, “be charitable in your judgements, never take yourself too seriously” and of course “Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

Sometimes when I post, I look at my sig and wish that I’d follow my own damned advice. And who says he is an idiot? Maybe he’s right and I am the idiot, maybe not, but can I leap to judgement using the same clubs the “idiot” uses?

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Liberalism and Narcissism -is there a connection?

Item found at http://www.amazon.com/Liberalism-Sin-Conde-Pallen-PhD/dp/1492847976

In 1886 there appeared in Spain a little work under the title El Liberalismo es Pecado, “Liberalism Is a Sin,” by Don Felix Sarda y Salvany, a priest of Barcelona and editor of a journal called La Revista Popular. The book excited considerable commotion. It was vigorously assailed by the Liberals. A Spanish Bishop of a Liberal turn instigated an answer to Dr. Sarda’s work by way of another Spanish priest. Both books were sent to Rome, praying the Sacred Congregation of the Index to put Dr. Sarda’s work under the ban.

The following letter, under date of January 10, 1887, from the Sacred Congregation itself, explains the result of its consideration of the two volumes:

Most Excellent Sir: The Sacred Congregation of the Index has received the denunciation of the little work bearing the title El Liberalismo es Pecado by Don Felix Sarda y Salvany, a priest of your diocese; the denunciation was accompanied at the same time by another little work, entitled El Proceso del Integrismo, that is, “A refutation of the errors contained in the little work El Liberalismo es Pecado.”

The author of the second work is D. de Pazos, a canon of the diocese of Vich. Whereupon, the Sacred Congregation has carefully examined both works and decided as follows: In the first, not only is nothing found contrary to sound doctrine, but its author, D. Felix Sarda, merits great praise for his exposition and defense of the sound doctrine therein set forth with solidity, order and lucidity, and without personal offense to anyone.

The same judgment, however, cannot be passed on the other work, that by D. de Pazos, for in matter it needs corrections. Moreover, his injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved, for he inveighs rather against the person of D. Sarda than against the latter’s supposed errors.

Therefore, the Sacred Congregation has commanded D. de Pazos, admonished by his own Bishop, to withdraw his book, as far as he can, from circulation, and in the future, if any discussion of the subject should arise, to abstain from all expressions personally injurious, according to the precept of true Christian charity; and this all the more since Our Holy Father, Leo XIII, whereas he urgently recommends castigation of error, neither desires nor approves expressions personally injurious, especially when directed against those who are eminent for their doctrine and their piety.

In communicating to you this order of the Sacred Congregation of the Index, that you may be able to make it known to the illustrious priest of your diocese, D. Sarda, for his peace of mind, I pray God to grant you all happiness and prosperity, and subscribe myself with great respect,

Your most obedient servant,

FR. JEROME SECHERI, O.P.

Secretary of the Sacred Congregation Of the Index. To The Most Rev. Jacobo Catala et Alboso, Bishop of Barcelona.

Cheers

Joe

CSR

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