The Inner Struggle

Duty … Virtue … Suffering (part three)

The Beatitudes”, from the album “Biscantorat – The Sound Of The Spirit From Glenstal Abbey” – The Monks of Glenstal Abbey – (2009)

(onward from part two) … This does not mean, however, that suffering in the psychological sense is not marked by “activity”. There are, in fact, multiple and subjectively differentiated “activities” of pain, sadness, disappointment, discouragement or even despair, according to the intensity of the suffering subject and his or her specific sensitivity. In the midst of what constitutes the psychological form of suffering there is always an experience of evil, which causes the individual to suffer.

*****

Thus the reality of suffering prompts the question about the essence of evil: what is evil?

Saint John Paul II "The Great"

Saint John Paul II “The Great”

This questions seems, in a certain sense, inseparable from the theme of suffering. The Christian response to it is different, for example, from the one given by certain cultural and religious traditions which hold that existence is an evil from which one needs to be liberated.

Christianity proclaims the essential good of existence and the good of that which exists, acknowledges the goodness of the Creator and proclaims the good of creatures. Man suffers on account of evil, which is a certain lack, limitation or distortion of good.

We could say that man suffers because of a good in which he does not share, from which in a certain sense he is cut off, or of which he has deprived himself. He particularly suffers when he ought”—in the normal order of things—to have a share in this good and does not have it.

Thus, in the Christian view, the reality of suffering is explained through evil, which always, in some way, refers to a good.

In itself human suffering constitutes as it were a specific “world” which exists together with man, which appears in him and passes, and sometimes does not pass, but which consolidates itself and becomes deeply rooted in him. This world of suffering, divided into many, very many subjects, exists as it were “in dispersion”.

Every individual, through personal suffering, constitutes not only a small part of that a world”, but at the same time” that world” is present in him as a finite and unrepeatable entity. Parallel with this, however, is the interhuman and social dimension. The world of suffering possesses as it were its own solidarity.

Mother Teresa

Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Mother Teresa – Small of stature, rocklike in faith, Saint Teresa of Calcutta was entrusted with the mission of proclaiming God’s thirsting love for humanity, especially for the poorest of the poor. God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.

People who suffer become similar to one another through the analogy of their situation, the trial of their destiny, or through their need for understanding and care, and perhaps above all through the persistent question of the meaning of suffering.

Thus, although the world of suffering exists “in dispersion”, at the same time it contains within itself a singular challenge to communion and solidarity. We shall also try to follow this appeal in the present reflection.

Considering the world of suffering in its personal and at the same time collective meaning, one cannot fail to notice the fact that this world (of suffering), at some periods of time and in some eras of human existence, as it were becomes particularly concentrated.

This happens, for example, in cases of natural disasters, epidemics, catastrophes, upheavals and various social scourges: one thinks, for example, of a bad harvest and connected with it – or with various other causes – the scourge of famine.

One thinks, finally, of war. I speak of this in a particular way. I speak of the last two World Wars, the second of which brought with it a much greater harvest of death and a much heavier burden of human sufferings.

The second half of our century (The 20th Century) , in its turn, brings with it—as though in proportion to the mistakes and transgressions of our contemporary civilization—such a horrible threat of nuclear war that we cannot think of this period except in terms of an incomparable accumulation of sufferings, even to the possible self-destruction of humanity.

In this way, that world of suffering which in brief has its subject in each human being, seems in our age to be transformed—perhaps more than at any other moment—into a special “world”: the world which as never before has been transformed by progress through man’s work and, at the same time, is as never before in danger because of man’s mistakes and offenses.

APOSTOLIC LETTER, “SALVIFICI DOLORIS, of the Supreme Pontiff, Saint John Paul II to the Bishops, Priests, Religious Families and to the Faithful of the Catholic Church on the Christian meaning of Human suffering, pp 7-8,  February 11,1984.

*****

Cheers

Joe

Gaudete Sunday

Gaudete Sunday

Come Lord Jesus, Come …

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Amoris Laetitia and the spread of a moral heresy …

“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)

So, it is Sunday morning again, and as usual on Sunday mornings my thoughts turn to our one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Like all organizations or institutions involving human beings, our church has not been without it’s share of serious controversies and problems over the last two thousand years.

It is noteworthy, however, that it is the ONLY institution in existence today which has actually survived ALL of these controversies and problems over the course of the last two millennia and continues to this day – and so do the problems and controversies. It’s as if this unique institution enjoys Divine protection because it is not actually a human institution.

Anyway …

This is a “Catholic” post. This article references or is lifted mostly from Fr. Z’s blog. It is something of interest to Catholics especially but also to non-Catholics who may be interested in the shenanigans  currently eventuating in the Roman Catholic curia and the senior reaches of the Catholic Church administration. I post the whole thing here in its entirety because of the importance of the information and one can visit the original at Fr. Z’s Blog.

For those with a taste for history it should be noted that this modern “Liberal Progressive” vs “Conservative Traditionalist” civil war within the Roman Catholic Church has been ongoing at least since Vatican II in the 60’s and was most evidenced in Canada by the notorious “Winnipeg Declaration” or the “Winnipeg Statement of the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops.

The Winnipeg Statement was the Canadian Bishops statement on the encyclical Humanae vitae from a Plenary Assembly held at Saint Boniface in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Published on September 27, 1968, it is the Canadian Bishop’s controversial document about Pope Paul VI‘s July 1968 encyclical on human life and the regulation of birth.[1]

A case might be made that subsequently the Canadian Catholic Church was in de-facto schism from Rome to the extent that even things as basically Catholic as the Canadian Liturgy and the Canadian Missal was not approved by Rome, that is, they had no imprimatur and that the Canadian Bishops basically thumbed their noses at Rome at that time and for several decades thereafter.

A very interesting take on this period can be found at Mark Mallett’s blog site “https://www.markmallett.com/blog/2016/01/29/a-tale-of-five-popes-and-a-great-ship/

Anyway, on with Fr. Aidan Nichols …

Aidan Nichols

Picture taken in Cambridge at Palmsunday 2014, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40226603

Fr Aidan Nichols, OP, (OP – Order of Preachers – Dominicans – Their identification as Dominicans gave rise to the pun that they were the “Domini canes”, or “Hounds of the Lord”) is without doubt the most considerable living theologian of the English-speaking Catholic World.

And he is as prolific a theological writer as Joseph Ratzinger (on whose theology he wrote a still normative guide, long before the election of Benedict XVI).

Now Fr Aidan has delivered a characteristic lecture on the crisis which has been precipitated by Amoris laetitia.

I can’t find the full text on the internet (yet), but the Catholic Herald gives a report. And Fr Zed reproduces the Catholic Herald report. I urge everybody (Catholics at least) to read it; and to take it very seriously.

*****

When Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP, has an opinion, it’s a good idea to pay attention.

Fr. Nichols is concerned about what is happening because of Amoris laetitia.

From the Catholic Herald:

Leading theologian: change canon law to correct papal errors

Fr Aidan Nichols, a prolific author who has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge as well as the Angelicum in Rome, said that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia had led to an “extremely grave” situation.

Fr Nichols proposed that, given the Pope’s statements on issues including marriage and the moral law, the Church may need “a procedure for calling to order a pope who teaches error”.

The Dominican theologian said that this procedure might be less “conflictual” if it took place during a future pontificate, rather as Pope Honorius was only condemned for error after he had ceased to occupy the chair of Peter.

[Honoris (+638), desiring to avoid the notion that Christ had two wills in conflict with each other, strayed towards the heresy of Monothelitism, the error that Christ has but one will. Constantinople III condemned him in 680. That said, later it has been concluded that the Pope didn’t formally teach error.]

Fr Nichols was speaking at the annual conference in Cuddesdon of an ecumenical society, the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, to a largely non-Catholic audience.  [Oh dear.]

He said the judicial process would “dissuade popes from any tendency to doctrinal waywardness or simple negligence”, and would answer some “ecumenical anxieties” of Anglicans, Orthodox and others who fear that the pope has carte blanche to impose any teaching.

“Indeed, it may be that the present crisis of the Roman magisterium is providentially intended to call attention to the limits of primacy in this regard.”[…]He has not publicly commented on Amoris Laetitia until now, but was a signatory to a leaked letter from 45 priests and theologians to the College of Cardinals. The letter asked the cardinals to request a clarification from the Pope to rule out heretical and erroneous interpretations of the exhortation.

In his paper Fr Nichols mentioned some of the same concerns as the letter: he noted, for instance, that Amoris Laetitia could seem to imply that the monastic life was not a higher state than marriage – a view condemned as heretical by the Council of Trent.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

The exhortation has also been interpreted as arguing that the divorced and remarried can receive Communion without endeavouring to live “as brother and sister”.

This contradicts the perennial teaching of the Church, reaffirmed by Popes St John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  [Yes, it does.  AL is objectively ambiguous on this point, open to bad interpretation.]

Fr Nichols said that this interpretation, which Pope Francis has reportedly approved, would introduce into the Church “a previously unheard-of state of life. Put bluntly, this state of life is one of tolerated concubinage.” [Did you get that?  “TOLERATED CONCUBINAGE”.   Card. Kasper referred to “tolerated, but not accepted”.]

Cardinal Kasper

Cardinal Kasper

But Fr Nichols said the way in which Amoris Laetitia argued for “tolerated concubinage” (without using the phrase) was potentially even more harmful.

He quoted the exhortation’s description of a conscience which “recognizes that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the demands of the Gospel” but sees “with a certain moral security…what for now is the most generous response.”

Fr Nichols said this seemed to say “that actions condemned by the law of Christ can sometimes be morally right or even, indeed, requested by God.”  [Which undermines everything we believe about Christ.]

This would contradict the Church’s teaching that some acts are always morally wrong, Fr Nichols said. He also drew attention to the statement – presumably referring to attempts to live continently – that someone “may know full well the rule yet…be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin”.

Fr Nichols noted that the Council of Trent had solemnly condemned the idea that “the commandments of God are impossible to observe even for a man who is justified and established in grace.” Amoris Laetitia seemed to say that it is not always possible or even advisable to follow the moral law. [AL is open to bad interpretations.  And those who wanted their heterodoxy and heteropraxis confirmed have indeed chosen the bad interpretation.]

If such general statements about moral acts were correct, Fr Nichols said, “then no area of Christian morality can remain unscathed.” He said that it would be preferable to think that the Pope had been merely “negligent” in his language, rather than actively teaching error. But this seemed doubtful, given the reports that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had suggested corrections to Amoris Laetitia, and was ignored.  [Nichols seems to have built a case.]

4 Cardinals

His Eminence Walter Brandmüller, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences, His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, His Eminence Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of Bologna (Italy), and His Eminence Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne (Germany)

Cardinal Raymond Burke has publicly discussed making a formal correction of the Pope. However, Fr Nichols said that neither the Western nor Eastern Codes of Canon Law contain a procedure “for enquiry into the case of a pope believed to have taught doctrinal error, much less is there provision for a trial.”

Fr Nichols observed that the tradition of canon law is that “the first see is judged by no-one.” But he said that the First Vatican Council had restricted the doctrine of papal infallibility, so that “it is not the position of the Roman Catholic Church that a pope is incapable of leading people astray by false teaching as a public doctor.  [Yes, Pope’s can teach error.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t guarantee the veracity of everything they teach.]

“He may be the supreme appeal judge of Christendom… but that does not make him immune to perpetrating doctrinal howlers. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly given the piety that has surrounded the figures of the popes since the pontificate of Pius IX, this fact appears to be unknown to many who ought to know better.” [Like certain gnostic papalatrous writers at CRUX, whom I shall not name]

Given the limits on papal infallibility, canon law might be able to accommodate a formal procedure for inquiring into whether a pope had taught error. Fr Nichols said that bishops’ conferences had been slow to support Pope Francis, probably because they were divided among themselves; but he said that the Pope’s “programme would not have got as far as it has were it not the case that theological liberals, generally of the closet variety, have in the fairly recent past been appointed to high positions both in the world episcopate and in the ranks of the Roman Curia.[To our horror.]

Fr Nichols said that there was “a danger of possible schism”, but that it was unlikely and not as immediate a danger as “the spread of a moral heresy”.  The view which Amoris Laetitia apparently contains would, if it passed without correction, “increasingly be regarded as at the very least an acceptable theological opinion, and that will do more damage than can easily be repaired.

He concluded that the law of the Church will live on, because of those who “give the law life by faithfulness in love”. Yes, friends, there is now a danger of the spread of moral heresy.  You hear it and read it more and more often now. We need saints to rise up in our day.

We also need lay people, the rank and file, to put their noses collectively into books like the Catechism of the Catholic Church and get informed. Friends, get together with your friends and form “Base Communities of Resistance” against the “danger of moral heresy”.

*****

The more vigorously the primacy was displayed, the more the question came up about the extent and and limits of [papal] authority, which of course, as such, had never been considered.

After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council.

Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West.

In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith. … The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition.”

Joseph Ratzinger
in The Spirit of the Liturgy

AND …

Raymond Card. Burke

Raymond Card. Burke

We as Catholics have not properly combated (the culture) because we have not been taught our Catholic Faith, especially in the depth needed to address these grave evils of our time. This is a failure of catechesis both of children and young people that has been going on for fifty years. It is being addressed, but it needs much more radical attention…

What has also contributed greatly to the situation is an exaltation of the virtue of tolerance which is falsely seen as the virtue which governs all other virtues. In other words, we should tolerate other people in their immoral actions to the extent that we seem also to accept the moral wrong. Tolerance is a virtue, but it is certainly not the principal virtue; the principal virtue is charity…

Charity means speaking the truth. I have encountered it (not speaking the truth) many times myself as a priest and bishop. It is something we simply need to address. There is far too much silence — people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not ‘politically correct.’ But we cannot be silent any longer.” 

Raymond Card. Burke

 

As always Catholics, Pray, Pray, Pray …

Cheers

Joe

As just another weary foot soldier in the battle of eternity, we are not promised victory in this life. This is the Long Defeat. This life is Boot Camp. We are simply called to remain faithful. Never give up, never give up, never give up.

Semper Fidelis

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

When is Evil not Evil?

“Lady Antebellum”, Sunny Choi, from the album “Best Artists, Best Songs”, 2011

(FILES) This file photo taken in 1970 at an unknown location shows China's chairman Mao Zedong (L) greeting top Khmer Rouge official Ieng Sary (R), also known as "brother number three", while Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot (C) looks on. Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith were arrested 12 November 2007, bringing to four the number of regime leaders now facing Cambodia's UN-backed genocide court. A French-educated communist, Ieng Sary emerged as the public face of the secretive Khmer Rouge, while his wife became the murderous regime's social affairs minister. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

(FILES) This file photo taken in 1970 at an unknown location shows China’s chairman Mao Zedong (L) greeting top Khmer Rouge official Ieng Sary (R), also known as “brother number three”, while Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot (C) looks on. Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith were arrested 12 November 2007, bringing to four the number of regime leaders now facing Cambodia’s UN-backed genocide court. A French-educated communist, Ieng Sary emerged as the public face of the secretive Khmer Rouge, while his wife became the murderous regime’s social affairs minister. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

It is fairly common knowledge that Canada has had a “special” relationship with various Asian regimes (including the old Soviet empire) for going on 45 years now. Nothing has changed and in fact things have only gotten chummier lately.

In this post we are thinking about the moral and logical questions inherent in the modernist philosophy exemplified by the statement  “I’m OK, Your OK”. In our relativistic PC modern English culture how does a person  distinguish between acts which are generally wrong but might be OK [usually for oneself!] in special circumstances; and acts [usually which other people do!] which really are always wrong?

Mao and Trudeau

Chairman Mao and Canadian Prim Minister Pierre Trudeau had a famously cordial relationship.

Here in the west (Canada, the U.S. and most of Europe), things have reached a point where it has become impossible to even talk about right and wrong because the language of discussion has been perverted and contaminated such that words no longer even mean what they once meant.

Any serious discussion is brushed aside by our

Castro with Pierre and Margaret Trudeau

The Trudeau family had a close relationship with Fidel Castro and Canada resolutely maintained close ties to Cuba is spite of much international pressure.

leadership and rendered subject to the judgements of our Star Chamber Human Rights Commissions under the catch-all category of “Hate Crimes”, reserved for those who disagree with the wisdom of the leadership and their pet groups.

Truly, it has been accurately observed that people’s disposition, views and inclinations are revealed by the company they keep and the people and philosophies they support. This has certainly been the case for Canada’s long string of Socialist governments.

Mao,_Bulganin,_Stalin,_Ulbricht_Tsedenbal

Mao, Bulganin, Stalin, Ulbricht, Tsedenbal

There is an interesting piece by another blogger over at “Orwell Today”. “In the late 70s, having not that long ago returned from travelling and working around the world (and being particularly amazed by Afghanistan), I was horrified when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. I was happy when President Carter announced that the United States would stop sending grain to the USSR in the hopes of starving them into pulling out their troops. But for the grain embargo to be effective, all other Western nations would ALSO have to stop sending grain.

15-CCBR-003 No2Trudeau-Postcard-F

Like Father, Like Son

I remember how ashamed I was of Canada when our Prime Minister – the Red-Chinese and abortion-loving Pierre Trudeaurefused to stop shipments of our wheat to the USSR. It seemed strange to me then, as it does now, how friendly our government was toward the Soviet Union, that we would keep on sending them food even though they were seeking world domination over free and democratic nations.

Justin_Trudea_F-bomb-marked

Remember “Fuddle-Duddle? Like Father, Like Son.

But the bitter truth is that all the modern western systems for judging right and wrong which developed since  the moral and societal upheavals of the 1960s fall under the condemnation of the teaching of Saint John Paul II’s encyclical “Veritatis Splendor. Quite simply, S John Paul II taught that there are some things which are inherently and always wrong. (Para 80; intrinsece malum). The Catholic Church has always taught that there are are subjective circumstances in which the subjective guilt of an individual may be attenuated; but the act itself remains always wrong.

People talk about incrementalism … step by step … or about making the best of a bad situation … or discerning elements of good in an otherwise wrong context … and in Canada this has become almost our national sport (after hockey), but we really should apply an appropriate test to these statements. How about a test like: “Would you say that to a perpetrator of genocide? Would you say that to pedophiles like the members of NAMBLA, or a sadist, or a zoophiliac, or a necrophiliac? What if the necrophiliac enjoys creating his own fresh bodies in order to enjoy his passion?” There are endless likely tests of this sort.

I knew one of these sort of individuals personally back when I worked in our prison system where he was doing time for murder, but in a curiously Canadian twist he had never been charged with any crime for the necrophilia, just the murders (multiple). I guess necrophilia is OK in Canada as long as one does not personally kill the bodies one is indulging one’s passions with? I knew another fellow who was doing time for multiple murder but not for the cannibalism after the murders. WOW!  So Canadian, eh? We dare not be “judgemental”.

O Earth O Earth Return”, Bill Douglas.

And even the “murders” are touch and go here in Canada depending on the “category” of person you fall into. After the last round of Trudeau Liberal legislation, now Babies, Seniors, and the Handicapped are fair game and the programs get government funding to carry our the “Final Solution” for these inconvenient persons. But we can’t even have a discussion about the right or wrong of these sorts of things.

I heard on American media that 22,000 people demonstrated against this legislation on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Strangely, the Canadian Media didn’t mention anything, it’s like it never happened for Canadians who don’t follow outside media. The CBC, CTV, and Macleans  Magazine, as the self proclaimed voice of Canadians, have pretty much sewn up the market for what Canadians are allowed to think, and no-one questions it.

The apparent Canadian popular opinion about folks who object to Canada’s Holocaust is pretty much summed up as scathingly wrong right wing nutz by the Bright Light Liberal Intellectual writing a popular blog found at  Dammit Janet. Given the caliber of writing, and many stylish similarities he/she/it/other probably also writes for, or used to write for, “Being Liberal“, another popular Facebook site which I have mentioned before.

My including these links in no way implies that I in any way remotely endorse the material appearing at these sites but only as illustrative examples of what we are up against when trying to discuss morality and the significant lack thereof in our modern English society.

These days, few people have the remotest understanding of logic, and we would get totally irrelevant but extremely angry objections to a test like that above. I can think of any number of replies which would go something like this “Are you saying that remarried divorcees (aka habitual fornicators and adulterers) are as bad as Nazis?” Or something like: “Are you saying that homosexuals are all pedophiles?”. 

Of course that isn’t what we are saying at all. We are simply saying: if you don’t agree that adultery, or fornication, or sodomy, or other homosexual interactions (with or without children involved), are always, in themselves, wrong, OK, I won’t try to prevent you from having your own views; but then, by the same logic, who are you to say that there is ANY other act which is in itself always wrong?

If we can’t tell you that sex between “remarried” divorcees is, in itself, intrinsically wrong, why are you entitled to tell a pedophile or a necrophiliac that what he does is, in itself, intrinsically wrong? If one were able to get this point over to the sort of people to whom we refer, they might very well reply [you often hear something along these lines] “Ah, but what they do harms others; what I do doesn’t” (another ‘consequentialist’ approach condemned in “Veritatis splendor”).

This at least opens up the possibility of suggesting that, for example, the serial habitual adultery [“remarriage after divorce”] of modern societies does harm others; and of arguing that there are, for example, recorded societies, such as aristocratic societies in some Greek cities, where institutionalized pederasty was not perceived to harm its ‘victims’.

The above was derived from a post by Fr John Hunwicke.

The sad proof of the thesis here is that the movement to legalize and “normalize” homosexuality and pedophilia has in the last few years gone increasingly public and mainstream. The fact is, the mainstreaming of homosexual “marriage” was never just about homosexuality. It was always about the Progressive’s attack on the very idea of human nature, of human beings with inherent rights and dignity.  The abandonment of even Natural Law in our modern English society is deeply disturbing, for it is nothing less than a full court press to deny that the human individual has inherent rights and characteristics by virtue of our humanity, in fact it is a very explicit attempt to subordinate to the Secular Progressive will the very things which make us human.

Cheers

Joe

coptic-desert

Always remember, “Be charitable in your judgements, and never take yourself too seriously”

Standard