When Teaching Truth Stops Being a Church Priority

Basic issues have basic importance. Does God exist? If he does, what is he like? If he doesn’t, can an objective moral order survive his absence? It seems obvious that such questions are crucial to all aspects of life, including our life together in society.

That conclusion has inconvenient implications. Christian societies, Muslim societies, and secularist societies are all different from each other. One excludes another, so we can’t favor them equally. It seems then that we must choose one over the others, or else live with a compromise that is likely to prove awkward and shifting—a situation, of course, that is often very difficult to improve upon.

That view of the matter makes people today uncomfortable. They would like to agree with the political philosopher John Rawls, who wanted basic questions put aside in public life as divisive, and claimed that could be done in a principled way to the satisfaction of all reasonable citizens whatever their outlook. Rawls devoted a great deal of effort to working out those views, and they have become extremely influential.

Catholics had already accepted much of the argument. After the Second World War thinkers such as John Courtney Murray and Jacques Maritain attempted to define ways in which the Church could give full support to a public order that leaves basic questions unresolved and relies instead on “articles of peace” or a “democratic charter” that people with different fundamental commitments could agree on. Such views made enormous progress in the 1960s and later as the Church attempted to rethink her approach to the modern world.

Rethinking seemed necessary. A liberal form of modernity had triumphed that appeared hard to reject completely because it seemed likely to dominate the social world into the indefinite future. Parallel to that triumph there arose a tendency in the Church to put less emphasis on the reality of God, since reality is essentially a public matter, and more on the subjective side of the Faith. Theologians began to speak of God as Mystery rather than Being, catechists and moralists turned away from doctrine toward experience and human relations, and celebrations of the Mass began to emphasize community and the response of the faithful at the expense of transcendence. What had seemed firm began to seem negotiable.

The apparent hope behind such tendencies was that lessened emphasis on transcendent absolutes would make the Faith more accessible to modern man, and enable the Church to cooperate in the construction of a peaceful and tolerant world in which Catholics could maintain personal and religious integrity as citizens of a free and open society. They would serve God by serving man, acting as a leaven and transforming hearts and minds.

The hope hasn’t panned out, and the transformation has gone the other way. Integration of Catholics into a society that rejects the Faith ever more comprehensively has mostly led them to redefine Catholic belief as strictly private opinion or an idiosyncratic restatement of existing social aspirations. For conservatives, Faith often merged with faith in America. For liberals, who have had more intellectual and organizational influence, Love became mostly equivalent to social welfare as understood by their secular colleagues, and the Divine Other tended to give way to the human other, so that outreach and inclusiveness came to substitute for the mystical union.

At the same time secular social aspirations, deprived of any standard outside themselves, became ever more single-minded and far-reaching. “Peace and tolerance” came to mean that all significant aspects of human life must become commercial, bureaucratic, or strictly private and individual, since otherwise conflicts may arise that cannot be resolved. And it became accepted that a “free and open society” must control human relations ever more comprehensively, so that the private commitments of individuals do not affect others and thereby oppress them. Pluralism as an ideology turned out more monolithic than Sharia, at least in principle, since Sharia explicitly permits the legitimate enduring survival of self-governing communities that reject it.

Under such circumstances Catholicism, as a system of fundamental principles regarding man and the world accepted as true and taken as a practical guide for human relations, becomes illegitimate. Recent developments requiring Catholics to collaborate in “gay marriage” and provision of abortifacients have driven the point home. Since such principles are an essential feature of the Faith, it has evidently been a mistake for Catholics to accept subordination of what is real to what seems politic, and tailor their faith to the demands of a supposedly free, tolerant, and democratic Caesar.

As Catholics and rational beings, we should put God and reality first. Insistence on reality and truth does raise special issues with regard to divine things. Saint Thomas tells us that we cannot see God in his essence in this life, and Paul says that Love is greater than Faith or Hope, at least for us here and now, since our shaky grasp of the divine things toward which the latter virtues are directed means that at present we can realize the good of love in greater perfection.

Even so, love is concerned only with its object, however darkly we see it. To emphasize love is therefore to insist on reality and truth; otherwise we are concerned with our own state of mind and not the beloved, and our love becomes moral preening and not love at all.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that subordinating reality to human relations and subjective experience hasn’t had the benign effects people imagined. Instead, it’s led to suppression of justice, since justice depends on truth, and to activism in place of the active life as traditionally conceived. The active life is lived in the service of truth, so it’s based ultimately on contemplation. Activism, in contrast, creates its own truth. It does away with “in the beginning was the Word” in favor of “in the beginning was the Deed.” Reality becomes something we create through our own efforts, which means that worldly power has the final say on what’s what.

Such tendencies have had enormous influence. “The philosophers,” said Marx, “have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.” And his followers have indeed tried to change the world, subordinating truth and justice to human relations (in the form of class struggle) and what was claimed to be the subjective experience of the oppressed. The bloody results are known to all, although leaders of thought have pushed them out of active historical memory.

The Church has also suffered from such tendencies, whether in the gross form of alliance with Marxist movements or the more widespread everyday form of official suppression of those who prefer orthodoxy and tradition to current ideological projects. Examples have included abusive treatment of seminarians who accept perennial Church teachings and of doctrinal and liturgical traditionalists.

However damaging they may be, and however worth opposing, such tendencies are ultimately self-limiting, because they are not based on reality. Hard Marxism has generally disappeared, although a softer form of progressivism that gives similar primacy to human relations and subjective experience at the expense of truth is still with us. The tendency toward self-limitation especially applies within the Church. In matters of state false ideologies often lead for a while to great power. In the Church, however, the result of rejecting truth is rapid decline. The Church cannot be concerned basically with worldly power, since at bottom she has none. She must be about truth or become useless and disappear.

The law that the Church becomes weak by pursuing worldly influence and strong by giving herself to truth offers hope for the future. Magna est veritas et praevalebit—truth is great, and will prevail. That is why the Church was able to provide a superior vantage point that abolished the absolutism of power within Christendom. And it is the reason that for 2000 years she has always come back, whatever the abuses and scandals.

Even within the Church tyrants and their courtiers arise from time to time and have their day, but their influence is nothing compared with that of her saints and doctors. It is to the latter that we should go in times of confusion and trouble. They are the ones who instruct us in basic truths, and it is only by holding fast to those truths that the Church has been able to overcome the world.

Editor’s note: This column first appeared February 2, 2015 in Catholic World Report and is reprinted with permission. (Photo credit: City Methodist Church, Gary, Ind. / Kris Arnold)

James Kalb

By

James Kalb is a lawyer, independent scholar, and Catholic convert who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisitorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command (ISI Books, 2008), and, most recently, Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It (Angelico Press, 2013).

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    No one asserted the primacy of Revelation in political and ethical theory more vigorously than Jacques Maritain.

    “Integral political science . . . is superior in kind to philosophy; to be truly complete it must have a reference to the domain of theology, and it is precisely as a theologian that St. Thomas wrote De regimine principum . . . the knowledge of human actions and of the good conduct of the human State in particular can exist as an integral science, as a complete body of doctrine, only if related to the ultimate end of the human being. . . the rule of conduct governing individual and social life cannot therefore leave the supernatural order out of account” (Primauté du spirituel, Pourquoi Rome a parlé (1927).

    “Man is not in a state of pure nature, he is fallen and redeemed. Consequently, ethics, in the widest sense of the word, that is, in so far as it bears on all practical matters of human action, politics and economics, practical psychology, collective psychology, sociology, as well as individual morality,—ethics in so far as it takes man in his concrete state, in his existential being, is not a purely philosophic discipline. Of itself it has to do with theology, either to become integrated with or at least subalternated to theology. . . . Here is a philosophy which must of necessity be a super-elevated philosophy, a philosophy subalternated to theology, if it is not to misrepresent and scientifically distort its object.” (An Essay on Christian Philosophy, Jacques Maritain).

    Thus, Maurice Blondel, too, insisted that we must never forget “that one cannot think or act anywhere as if we do not all have a supernatural destiny. Because, since it concerns the human being such as he is, in concreto, in his living and total reality, not in a simple state of hypothetical nature, nothing is truly complete (boucle), even in the sheerly natural order”

    Maritain’s belief that “men possessing quite different, even opposite metaphysical or religious outlooks, can converge, not by virtue of any identity of doctrine, but by virtue of an analogical similitude in practical principles, toward the same practical conclusions” must be read against that background

    • ColdStanding

      Um, er, but didn’t Jesus Christ reveal doctrine and train His Apostles in a specific tradition by which men might be saved? Or is that something different from “identity of doctrine”? I do not really understand what an “identity of doctrine” is. I can identify doctrines. Does one gain an identity for being able to identify?

      See, this is why Maritain et al are suspect to me. It looks like he is saying something profound but the sentence dissolves when the prepositions are questioned. What is practical about a principle? How can one predicate practicality of a principle? Principles upon which a true relationship may be predicated may, under some conditions, produce practical outcomes. I doubt that, while admitting I have never attempted to do so, that there could be a taxonomy drawn up of principles practical and principles impractical. It looks like the attempt is being made to retain the cache that the word “principle” has from its long use in the discipline of logic as it is transposed into a Maritain’s new system of integral political science.

      Here is another: If opposite metaphysical or religious outlooks can converge upon the basis of “analogical similitude in practical principles” (what is that?) it is only by enticing the occupants of the various metaphysical and/or religious outlooks, upon which the original relationship of opposition was noted, to now occupy a new metaphysical and/or religious position which they may or may not find agreeable and may or may not actually be true. The landscape is further fractured. You will then have the original positions and the newly crafted position Maritain is proposing. It also introduces the idea that all of the original positions are false. Most of the original positions are false, but it is not perforce true that they all are. Easily it can be that there is one that is not. If you have to leave all positions to occupy the one new one Maritain proposes, some people will be leaving the true position to occupy the new one.

      Way too many questions are generated by the productions of Blondel’s intellectual progeny.

      • GG

        The key is not to question intellectual masturbation. Just pretend it is profound.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        “What is practical about a principle?”

        It is customary to distinguish speculative principles (directed to though) from practical principles, which are rules of action. “Look before you leap,” is an example of a practical principle.

        Convergence in practical principles can occur. A Christian may give alms in hopeof a heavenly reward, a Buddhist because by giving one destroys those acquisitive impulses that ultimately lead to further suffering. For a Jew, tzedakah (alms giving), along with prayer and repentance, is regarded as ameliorating the consequences of bad acts.

        Each, for quite different reasons, commends almsgiving and might well co-operate in an enterprise for doing so, without compromising their beliefs.

        • ColdStanding

          I was operating under the assumption that the purpose of developing, maintaining and applying the intellectual program, perhaps in its fullest expression: the philosophy of the schoolmen, was to attain certitude of the truth. What cause have I to worry myself about the results of the investigation compromising the beliefs of those working in, what can only be called, compromised traditions? I do not accept that it is impossible to arrive at the genuine, certified, unexceptionable truth.

          It is common usage to call expressions such as “Look before you leap” practical principles, but maxim or rule of thumb is much better. Maxims belong to the genus of Wisdom. A philosophical principle belongs to the genus of Knowledge. A principle, in the system of logic, is a term which can not be reduced to less complex parts. So, again there isn’t a logical taxonomy that separates principles into Principle: speculative and Principle: practical. Speculative pertains to reason as in speculative reason. Its counter part is practical reason.

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            “I do not accept that it is impossible to arrive at the genuine, certified, unexceptionable truth.”

            But what has that to do with action? “The door is shut” may be true or false, but “shut the door” can be neither and Maritain i s concerning himself with joint action. One man wants to conserve Chartes because it was built to the glory of God another because it is a pricless part of his national heritage; both can co-operate in the task.

            • ColdStanding

              I’m sorry, but do you actually mean that as a serious question? Shall I start addressing you as Pilate? Truth is an actual, genuine, in-the-proper-sense-of-the-word principle upon which one may proceed with certainty. How can the effect it has upon action be missed?

              Nobody has any need of the elaborate, expensive and time consuming investment the scholastic program requires to determine whether or not the door is open or shut. These simple things are easily determined. What it is required for is rectification disorder to enable right reasoning.

              There is a pressing need to determine if the Christian message, aka the Gospel, bears the criteria of a true message from the actual creator of the universe. I say pressing need because this message demands serious changes in our behavior and great personal cost. The message comes with, what might be called, an lot of noise that makes it very difficult to sort out what goes where. Having a science of knowledge is extremely useful in grading the parts of the message. If it were not possible for man to come to know what is true the task would be impossible.

              Your example of Maritainian “joint action” does not help your cause. Truth reigns. This has always been, is now, and always will be the case. It is possible that people from divergent view points might find, on some few things, common cause, but upon what principles will choices be made that will affect the course of their common endeavor? One says this is true. The other says “What is truth?” Surely one will wash his hands and walk away.

              • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                Professor Jean Porter, who has written extensively on Natural Law, observes, “It is not clear how the rival claims of disparate moral traditions could be adjudicated through an encounter of rival traditions. It is not even clear that moralities can come into conflict, in such a way that we can plausibly regard them as rival traditions. You, collectively, arrange your lives in one way; we arrange our lives in a different way. Is it clear that we even disagree? Even if we do, what would count as resolving our disagreements, since there is no question here of coming to agree on a description of anything? Certainly, we might come to agree on the best way to arrange our lives, but that would represent a change in mores, and not a convergence of thinking about a shared object of enquiry.”

                That is how people “with quite different, even opposite metaphysical or religious outlooks, can converge…”

    • I don’t doubt what you say is true as to Maritain. My point is that the belief you mention in the last paragraph didn’t turn out nearly as reliable as he hoped.

  • St JD George

    What is our collective answer when the world asks of us “What is truth?” Is our answer “to peacefully coexist” like the bumper sticker, or do we answer boldly “Everyone who is of the truth hears his voice”, or contrarily and more aptly “what the voices in MY head tell me.” Because most of us do not feel the heavy weight of the cross in our daily lives, yet anyway, it is easy to forget that evil exists in the world and that evil desires to destroy Christ’s church. At first through breeding apathy, then through perverting the message of the gospel as quaint and relativistic, next by regulating and controlling, and finally by squeezing economically to close down and make inaccessible until the minority is easily dismissed.

    • ForChristAlone

      When people ask us “What is truth”, our answer should be “Truth is a Person.” That’s why, to my thinking, when Pilate asked this same question to Jesus, Jesus stood silent. He need say nothing because Pilate was looking at truth – he just didn’t know it!

      • St JD George

        A person? That’s not the answer I would have given, except in the historical context of his earthly mission and the embodiment of his triune nature. Pilate may not have accepted, but he knew Jesus was no ordinary man and his wife Claudia’s premonition I’m sure haunted him. Still, his roll to play in the Passion was foretold, he was a pagan man, and he was a prefect from Rome sent to instill law and order against the backdrop of the chief community agitator Caiaphas. Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life is the message I would give to start the conversation to those whose ears who have not heard.

      • jacobhalo

        Truth is Jesus Christ imbedded in our minds, body and soul. Anything else said or done in this world means nothing.

  • publiusnj

    “Peace and Tolerance” as worked out in the American Polity has meant public adoption of amoralism. That makes the “American Way” increasingly unattractive throughout the World. For example, people of Good Will throughout the World can look at the “American Way” and dismiss it as a non-solution. After all, if America’s boys really did fight and die throughout the World for unlimited abortion and the right to make love to the boy in the next foxhole, how is such a polity something they wish to follow?

    “Peace and Tolerance” as worked out in the American Polity also means that the only requirement for being an “American” is finding oneself within the borders of the United States Polity, legally or illegally. Anyone who can cobble together an electoral majority out of a temporary coalition of voters therefore gets to define what “Americanism” means for the next electoral cycle. Today unlimited immigration is one of the key elements of Americanism. Even if the people coming across the borders are totally opposed to “Peace and Tolerance” as we presently understand it, they are entitled to think differently.

    So, we may someday find an electoral coalition put together that does not appreciate separation of powers or free speech or the free exercise of religion as presently understood, and if they can control the courts (as Obama and Schwarzenegger did when they got Gay Marriage through over the objections of the People of California), then the Americanism of that electtoral cycle will NOT require either separation of powers or free speech or the free exercise of religion. Someday, indeed, a coalition could be put together that might interpret Peace as Submission to Sharia Law and Tolerance as allowance of freedom of worship only.

    • And amoralism has meant the public adoption of immoralism.

  • AcceptingReality

    Subordinating Truth and justice to the experience of human relations; putting less emphasis on the reality of God and more on community, has led to people who sit and chat rather than pray before Mass starts, people who talk all through Mass, people who answer cell phone calls during Mass, joke telling priests, priestly remarks meant to elicit applause, an overall failure to acknowledge the sacrificial nature of the Mass, a lack of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament……In short it has led to a shallow experience of God that is based on whether we “feel good” or not.

    • GG

      Exactly.

    • ForChristAlone

      No one has put it better.

      I have often thought that every parish ought to have taken a page from the Protestants by reserving Wednesdays for community building. There can be a parish supper, perhaps a brief talk but plenty of time for hootenanny music and all sorts of entertainment that people are wont to enjoy. That would address the parish’s need for emphasis on the so-called horizontal dimension and laud ourselves for the wonderful specimens we are.

      But then Sunday, the day we worship the all powerful and loving God who deigned to save us, should be reserved for the transcendent – allowing ourselves to be lifted up in awe and reverence. Thus liturgy should lift us beyond ourselves to higher planes than the mere mundane. Let Wednesdays be the time and place where the pastor can tell his dumb jokes, people can yuk it up, answer their cell phones and clap to their hearts content. Let Wednesdays be the day they show up in tank tops, breasts half exposed, in sandals, cut-offs, and like they just rolled out of bed.

      • Thomas J. Hennigan

        According to the Didaché, perhaps the most ancient collection of moral, litugical and canonical prescriptions going back pobably to the first century, states that Wednesday and Friday are days of fast for Christians. In my opionon a parish would do much better for its faithful if it were to teach and practice fasting, which has practically disappeared in the Church, since the bishops foolishly decided that instead of Friday abstinence some optional form of penance should or could be observed. Fasting and abstinence disppeared when they became optional. Once something is declared optional , it desappears. I have noticed that the Australian bishops have reintroduced Friday abstinence. It is going to be difficult as once the horses have been let out of the corral, how can they be put back in?
        As for celebrations in the parish, usually the patrola feast can be celebrated as well as other important feasts, perhaps the anniversay of the dedication of the church, with external glee, if such is condered good for community building.

      • You sir have obviously been to MY local novus ordo Church.

    • Atilla The Possum

      Don’t forget the windbags who titter and chatter on their way to receiving Our Blessed Lord! Disgusting!

  • St JD George

    I’m curious to know what others thought of Jesus’s message in today’s reading from Mark, particularly his opening statement to them “Keep your eyes open and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod” which follows from yesterday’s reading for them calling for a sign.
    http://evangeli.net/gospel

    • ForChristAlone

      Yeast is not necessarily to be interpreted as a good thing. When added to flour, it begins the process of fermentation that produces gases causing the yeast to rise. But this process is the beginning of an ultimate destructive condition. The yeast of the Pharisees was hypocrisy – acting one way for people to see and yet having an inner heart that will ultimately destroy. The yeast of Herod was that of throwing your lot in with the secular world. In the case of Herod, he went along with the Roman occupiers (aka pagans). This kind of yeast will also end in ultimate destruction.

      • St JD George

        Stop parroting my thoughts back to me (ha). The question of course was a bit rhetorical, but highly relevant to today’s times and therefore worth pondering … I thought. I’m sure some still see them as purely benevolent overlords and masters happy for whatever crumb they provide but not by the fruit of their own labor, and with strings attached.

      • Thomas J. Hennigan

        Yeast or leaven was actually made by keeping some of the previously kneaded dought and let it ferment. So, the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the Jews means a new beginning, and they have to check the whole house to make sure no old leaven remains. So, the leaven of the Pharisees would also mean what is outdated as Jesus brings the new leaven and the new wine, as in Cana, which surprisingly is better than the old.

  • ArthurMcGowan

    Something other than the truth reigns supreme in the minds of many in the hierarchy:

    December 6, 2014:

    The Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich
    Archbishop of Chicago
    PO Box 1979
    Chicago, IL 60690-1979

    Your Excellency:

    I have viewed the video and read the transcript of your recent interview with Norah O’Donnell.

    You declared that the reception of Communion is “a time of forgiveness of sins.” Since the specific sin at issue was the promotion of abortion, your statement implies that the reception of Communion forgives the sin of promoting abortion.

    But this is impossible, since the reception of Communion forgives only venial sins.

    It could not have been your intention to imply that promotion of abortion is only venially sinful.

    Thus, it is your duty to make another public statement, clarifying both that: The promotion of abortion is mortally sinful; the reception of Communion does not forgive mortal sins.

    Moreover, far from forgiving mortal sins, the reception of Communion in the state of mortal sin is the mortal sin of sacrilege. You did not mention this in the interview.

    The other major assertion in your interview was that you reject the Church’s discipline of denying Communion to notorious grave sinners.

    As Cardinal Burke established beyond a shadow of a doubt in his now-famous article on the subject, giving Communion to notorious sinners is always grave matter. It is always a source of grave scandal because it is a public sacrilegious act, and because it constitutes public approval of the notorious sin in question.
    http://tinyurl.com/canon915

    Thus, giving Communion to a pro-abortion politician is to give public approval of his promotion of abortion, and, necessarily, abortion itself.

    Canon 915 merely codifies this moral norm. The act prohibited by Canon 915 is always grave matter. You pledged to commit this act.

    Having been reminded that giving Communion to persons who are obstinately persisting in manifest grave sin is itself a mortal sin, you are obliged to repudiate the pledge you made to Norah O’Donnell to commit that mortal sin.

    Other bishops have made the same public pledge. And they have punished priests who refused to commit the same mortal sin.

    Because no bishop has the authority to mandate that any minister of Communion commit this mortal sin–

    4. Bearing in mind the nature of the above-cited norm (cfr. n. 1), no ecclesiastical authority may dispense the minister of Holy Communion from this obligation in any case, nor may he emanate directives that contradict it.
    http://tinyurl.com/pont915

    –the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago have the right to be reassured immediately that there is no possibility that you would punish a priest for obeying Canon 915. Indeed, it is your duty to remind them of their strict, grave obligation to obey it.

    I am sure I need not elaborate on the extreme urgency of correcting the situation of a Catholic bishop’s pledging in public to commit mortal sin.

    I will offer Mass and a Rosary for the intention that you receive the graces you need at this time.

    Yours sincerely,

    Rev. Vincent Fitzpatrick

    • ForChristAlone

      Wow! I just hope a copy was sent to Vignano and to His Holiness in Rome, the Supreme Shepherd of the Church and Pontifex Maximus.

    • AdMaioremDeiGloriam

      Wow…that’s not only passionate but also well thought out logic. Did the cardinal respond via letter. I haven’t seen anything in the media.

    • jacobhalo

      Rev. That is a magnificent letter. The truth will set you free. I will offer a rosary a day for you. God Bless!

    • jacobhalo

      Rev. you might be defrocked for writing the truth. Some of these bishops and cardinals “can’t handle the truth.”

      • Thomas J. Hennigan

        Bishops cannot “defrock”. He could appeal to the Congregation for the Clergy and eventually to the Signatura. They generally don’t like dictatorial bishops. The problem is that Roman machinery works very slowly and justice dealyed is not justice.

        • Atilla The Possum

          The Roman machinery works quickly enough to attempt to sue the pants of a faithful Canadian Catholic Blogger … for telling the truth about the creeping agendas concerning communion for the divorced and remarried, gays etc. at the 2014 Synod!
          It’s a typical trait of the guilty party to issue threats to sue someone for telling the unvarnished truth in order to ”shut them up”!
          Check out Church Militant Special Report for more details. It’s sickening.
          We must stand firm against errant, narcissistic, litigious, bullying turbulent priests and clerics who are making another push to forward agendas that are against Church Teaching!
          Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
          O Mary Conceived Without Sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee and for those who have not recourse to thee – especially for enemies both inside and outside the Church – and for those who are commended to thee!
          St Michael The Archangel, defend us in battle!

      • jacobum

        ..Not to mention…”they can’t handle what they don’t know or even worse..don’t believe”. The lack of belief is the real problem.

    • Thomas J. Hennigan

      Even more, there is an authentic interpretation of Canon 915 by the Pontifical Commission for the Intrepretation of Legislatieve Texts which reiterates the duty of ministers not to give holy communion to such people and to do their best to explain tis to them before they come to the altar. If in fact, they do approach the altar, then the priest or deacon can give them a blessing and not holy communion. No bishop has the authority to derogate Canon Law or such authtentic interpretations which also have the force of law. Of course, as you say, it is law because of the moral pinciple which is being defended juridically by the law.

      I don’t think this is correct: “since Sharia explicitly permits the legitimate enduring survival of self-governing communities that reject it”. The Jews and Christians who are given the option of being subjugated second or third class citizens and forced to pay a kind of mafia style protection money (jizia) are not constituted as a self.governing communiity within the islamic ummah. They are taken advantage of in order to be extorted by this unjust tax and over the centuries many of them, due to the burden of such subjugation eventually converted to Islam. Sharía has other humiliating laws against Jews and Christians, such as being humiliated on the occasion of paying the tax by having to present themselves to the muslim authorities on their knees, and also sharia has another law which obliges them to move to the edge of the street if a muslim approaches. According to the Qu´ran the muslim is part of the best of humanity and is called to rule over others, who are eventually expected either to “submit” (islam means sumbission) or pay the humiliating jizia. Besides, it is probably that the decadence of muslim dominated countries began once they had fewer Jews and Christians paying the jizia, as they had either been reduced to poverty due to the tax or had eventually converted to Islam, or left as many Jews have done by going to Israel.

      • TheWhiteLilyBlog

        The section you quoted above with doubt, regarding Sharia’s theological commitment to ‘enduring survival’ of other faiths, bears some discussion.

        It does, and it did for centuries in these lands. Every news piece on the condition of Christians now in the ME refers to the harmony that used to maintain in regions now ablaze. Even today, or at least five years ago, the official Islamic state of Kelantan in Malaysia has a set of reasonable rules for other faiths, with five days set aside in which they may host open houses and invite the public to learn about their faith and worship. And the Catholic parishes there do not participate! I was planning a visit there, until I had health issues, and looked into it at some length, their websites are up, they look rather like folks you’d find in Minnesota or Florida, but they –and they, just like Florida–do not try to convert anyone. Because it would violate ecumenism, because outreach of this kind has been forbidden to us little by little around the world as this dreadful spirit of syncretism has taken hold.

        This should make us consider what has changed. It is exactly what the author of this piece details–Christianity has backslid and now represents everything Islam hates–the destruction of language and meaning, the subordination of faith to profits, the tolerance of immoral and socially destructive behavior, the denial (this is the worst) that religion has any place in the state, and so forth and so on. Christianity’s voice now urges Islam to modernize the way we have, and never joins with Islam in the legitimate call for laws against sinful behavior (as the bishops in one region refused to participate in a campaign against pornography in the community for the same reasons Blaze Supich gave for not participating in 40 days for life: not Catholic–yeah, not ecumenical enough, not secular enough, denies someone the right to kill their child, denies the ‘freedom’ we have hung our fortunes on, je suis Charlie etc.). If you have not, please go to the Vatican website and read the document from the Middle East Synod (about three years old now, I think). We tell Islam they have to wise up just like we have. They must think us daft.

        WE changed. ISIS has specifically named the corruption of western religion as a grievance in one of the few–I mean one hand few–statements the media allows explaining their political aims.

        So to me the way forward to peace in the Middle East is clear. Repudiate Vatican II. Repudiate Francis’ (yes, and Benedict’s, and John Paul’s, yes, all of them) Low intensity Catholicism, it is a new world religion with a personally interpreted Christ but no Church and no rules.

        But that is not happening. I was on a traditional Catholic website yesterday that was quietly encouraging individuals to go join the Christian militias in Syria. Yes. Defending secularism there, defending abortion and homosexual marriage and contraception and the complete divorce of faith from society. If they win, Francis and his agenda win. And Francis is himself whipping us toward this new war which will end in a victory against Islam, well, insofar as you can bomb belief out of people, which you can’t, I was around during Vietnam, so you can bet out of the ten men standing at the end (what the devil wants, the eradication of humanity, just like always), four of them will be unable to stand the secular conditions. I can’t stand them either.

        The way forward in the Middle East is to fix our Church. Please, please take the message of this post–not mine, I’m no priest, no theologian–to twitter and to facebook and to your parish. We are going to end up in a war, our sons dying, with people who are fighting for religious sensibility so similar to ours that we could live more easily under Sharia law than under our own. We too ought to be for a Catholic state here in our own land, and the way to that is not arms but outreach, steady efforts to convert our people until they embrace the mild structure of a just state, one that names God and honors Him. Pius XI wrote that no justice is possible in a state that denies God, as it is the first justice. We have been had since the beginning of this nation, it was us, our heresy, that derailed Vatican II, please let us not continue down this sterile, suicidal road! Ones very like Obama and Francis will make their move, to erase all religions into one syncretized mess. Like the new mass, but with Hindu decorations and Muslim liturgy. They know how to do it. Because we need religion. We sicken, without God.

        I am about to publish a book of fiction in which a group of Muslims run from the first space colony with a similar group of Catholics to terraform an asteroid in the Oort Cloud, much as Catholics fled to Scotland’s badlands. It’s called Run, I’m on the final edit. We can live in peace, if we give up modernism. That’s the secret. A commitment by the state to honor God, the rest will follow, and Islam and our Faith can live in our detente as we did before. They cannot bear secularism, the Gallop poll of 2008 found that among a billion muslims. We should not, either.

    • jacobum

      Father, God Bless You! As they say down South…”Ya Done Good!” How refreshing, encouraging and uplifting that there are still priests and men of faith who not only know the Truth but have the courage to speak “Truth to Power and Falsehoods”. It is/has been in critical shortage within the Church for the last 60+ years as clearly evidenced by the societal and Church disasters post V2.

      • St JD George

        Ugh.

    • TheWhiteLilyBlog

      Thank you, Father. I live in Chicago.

    • Carlos

      Remarkable that this is happening in the hierarchy of The Church. And tomorrow Bishop Dolan is marching with proud homosexuals in the St. Patrick’s Parade. Why is our Pope absent in these terrible abuses???

    • Carlos

      Thank you Rev. Vincent Fitzpatrick for standing up for us and The Church. It is becoming very difficult to be faithful at this time. I have to travel 25 miles to attend Mass at a real parish. Many parishes have been taken over by bad priests and bad bishops that allow it to happen. I respect the priesthood. God bless you!!!

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    “Hard Marxism has generally disappeared…” What is taking its place is far more radical because it attacks our divine humanity, family, sexual identity, innocence, the sanctity of life itself.

    • St JD George

      But cunning and deceit never go out of fashion for the dark prince. Blunt force trauma is hard to conceal today, better to spin a weave of deception that leads you to make a decision of your own demise without ever being aware of the manipulation … under the guise of free-will and pro-choice.

      • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

        A good example is child abuse: bruises and broken bones show, but encourage your ten year old to ‘decide’ that he is a girl – that is not child abuse?

        • St JD George

          Or neither, or whatever they feel they want to be on any given day, or to use whatever restroom. Truly the serpent who runs free on his belly in the world today is a multi-headed Hydra, and the only anti-venom is the Eucharist and the Cross.

  • samnigromd

    The old metaphors, while accurate and meaningful in the originating languages accurately translated, just do not work as well with the atheists, secularists, and satanists deforming science. There are scientific metaphors which need promulgation with Traditional analogous understanding….

    LIVE THE LAST WORDS OF CHRIST—A POETIC EFFORT of sorts… These are the eight
    ensoulment “plays” to win the “game” of life by following the “rules” of life. They constitute “LOVEOLUTION” (page
    616)–the revolution/evolution brought by Jesus through the Church.. Sacramental living is to participate in the
    pre-Big Bang Eternity…the Statimuum with God.

    From Samuel A. Nigro, M.D.’s books ANCIENT
    SECRETS, SOUL OF THE

    EARTH and EVERYBODY FOR EVERYBODY:

    (One of the LAST WORDS OF CHRIST can apply to every activity…

    Learn
    ENSOULMENT (the Anthropic Schema) of the basics of
    Christian living—

    Sacramental, universal, scientific, virtuous, transcendental

    {Therapeutic.

    as existing in basic physics. (Otherwise,
    it is entropy.)

    [Mass Mantra: Life,
    Sacrifice, Virtue, Love, Humanity,

    Peace,
    Freedom, Death without Fear]

    “Father, forgive them for they know not
    what they do.”

    “Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid
    faciunt.”

    Confess into a unity spectrum giving
    hope and identity…

    {Selective Ignoring.

    “spectrum”-a splitting of energy
    into position-time

    relationships.

    [ Humanity]

    “This day thou shall be with me in Paradise.”

    “Hodie
    mecum eris in Paradiso.”

    Holy Order into a dimension
    for Life (the Father) giving

    courage
    and being…

    {Non-Reactive Listening.

    “dimension”-space
    coordinates (length, width,height) and

    time.

    [ Virtue ]

    “Woman, behold thy son. World, behold your mother.”

    “Mulier,
    ecce filius tuus. Omnes, ecce mulier
    tuus.”

    Baptism into a dignity
    event giving faith and matter…

    {Living Things are Precious.

    “event” –a point in space-time of something certain that

    happens.

    [ Life ]

    “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

    “Deus
    meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me?”

    Holy Communion into an
    integrity field giving charity and

    truth…

    {Subdued Spontaneity Non-Self
    Excluded.

    “field” –a matrix existing throughout space and time.

    [ Sacrifice ]

    “I thirst.”

    “Sitio.”

    Matrimony into an uncertainty for Liberty (the Son)
    giving

    temperance and
    good…

    {Personhood…Conscious of
    Consciousness (C2) for the

    Species.

    “uncertainty” –accuracy of position is inverse to accuracy of

    movement.

    [Freedom ]

    “It is finished.”

    “Consummatum
    est.”

    Extreme Unction into a spirit
    singularity giving justice and

    beauty…

    {Detached Warmth and Gentleness.

    “singularity” –a point of space-time curvature infinity at

    gravitational collapse.

    [Death without Fear ]

    “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

    “In
    manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum.”

    Confirm into an identity
    quantum giving prudence and

    oneness…

    {Affect Assistance.

    “quantum” –the indivisible unit of giving and receiving

    energy.

    [Peace ]

    “The earthquake finale.”

    “Il
    Terremoto.”

    Grace into a force Pursuing the Transcendentals (the
    Holy

    Spirit giving holiness and being.

    {Make that relationship count! The Flag of Mankind and:

    “I
    pledge to treat all humanely by caring for and respecting other’s bodies; by
    understanding other’s minds but being true to myself without disrespect; and by
    accepting the emotions of others as I control my own. I will have mercy on others with gentle
    liberty and empathic justice for all.”
    (Check out PeaceMercy.com)

    “force” –that which affects matter particles—transcendental

    strings
    between human particles.

    [ Love ]

    • St JD George

      I don’t know, the words from the Gospels mostly jump off the page to me as being ageless, and personal. The letters and especially Revelation maybe not so or as much. I understand though, much like the gift given to the disciples from the Holy Spirit to speak in foreign languages we need to start in a way that draws people to hear what they have not heard, and come to understand.

  • hombre111

    If only your words about superior moral insight were true. But research over the years have shown that the Catholic sense of truth on moral issues is no different than their neighbors. A recent Pew study, on torture, showed that Catholics were more prepared to accept torture than the humanists around them.

    • St JD George

      I know, it is far better to keep ones tunic unsoiled and just kill them and all around them from above without ever looking them in the eye to peer into their soul. It would have been far better to capture enemy combatants bent on our destruction and read the Holy Gospel to them for hours until they had an epiphany. But then, the ACLU would have had a conniption fit over state sanctioned proselytizing for Chirst.

      • hombre111

        The destruction of a straw man is not a sound argument, sir. The simple fact is, secularlists often have as good or better moral sense about some issues than Catholics. This has been demonstrated, as I said, by many a study. Those people who screamed insults at me when I preached in favor of civil rights during the 60’s had just been to Communion. They had no insight into the irony of it all. As Peter Berger, the famed sociologist, taught in his books, we are usually no further advanced in a moral sense than the society all around us. Rare (and wonderful) is the person who stands his ground.

        • St JD George

          That sounds about as illogical as BHO citing the crusades in defending the evil which is not random but is compelled in the world today. A lot aren’t good practitioners of their faith, be damned to all, is that what you are suggesting? Rare and wonderful indeed is the person who stands with and for Jesus Christ in the world, not the secularists who concern themselves with themselves and only of this world affairs, and whose compassion is for longevity not fullness (spiritual, not material) of life. Charity without concern of salvation is a mere act of sympathy, or guilt. What is so wonderful in standing your ground if the ground you are standing on is quicksand, or over a fault line I ask you? Blessed is he who stood on the mount and delivered his sermon.

        • ForChristAlone

          “The simple fact is, secularlists [sic] often have as good or better moral sense about some issues than Catholics.”

          If we only considered you as a case in point, we’d all agree that you’re correct.

        • Are you as windy there as here?

        • fredx2

          Do you hold your Democratic party membership card in your hand when you post?

          • hombre111

            My whole approach is based on my religious principles, including the Compendium on Social Justice printed by the Vatican Press, which summarizes the social teachings of the popes. Conservatives who howl about observing Humanae Vitae carefully avoid reading the Church’s teachings on Justice and Peace, making “prudential judgments” that enable them to ignore the fate of the poor, the migrants, and those trapped in the wars we keep starting.

            • ForChristAlone

              “My whole approach is based on my religious principles, including the Compendium on Social Justice printed by the Vatican Press, which summarizes the social teachings of the popes. ”

              And if what you write is a reflection of how you interpret Catholic Social Teaching, you should return to reading Psychology Today and Boys Life.

              • Putting something like the Compendium on Social Justice in his hands would be like giving a normal kindergarten kid a calculus book.

            • You have no religious principles. You are a pure political partisan.

          • He brings religious views. He’ll dispense with the Sixth and Ninth Commandments at the drop of a hat.

    • thebigdog

      People who vote Democrat love… no, lust over the idea of judging people who sincerely believe that enhanced interrogation, when used in very rare circumstances, can in fact save countless innocent lives, while doing no permanent harm to those committed to murdering every non Muslim on earth.

      Here’s a dirty little secret… the limp-wristed left loves imprisoning people — yes, even life in prison with no chance of parole. As human beings, created in God’s image, we require freedom and dignity. To lock a human being in a cage like a wild animal for decades, until he / she stops breathing is undoubtedly a form of torture. Don’t believe me… ask parents if they would rather their child be water boarded and sleep deprived or be locked in a cage for forty years… parents would never choose the greater form of torture for their children.

      • hombre111

        Of course, bigdog, you have the research to back up your second paragraph. Didn’t think so. Just went on line to a government site and discovered that, as usual, the red states have the most people in jail, led by Louisiana. Also included are Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas. The prison system is one of the ways they deal with the poor and the mentally ill.

        • Louisiana-home of the heavily Democrat New Orleans, or as its better known “The Big Easy”

          Hey, but thanks for playing.

        • thebigdog

          “…red states have the most people in jail”

          Really? You are going to use the HuffPo / Politico intellectually lazy “red state” argument? The U.S. has over 300 million people and over 3000 counties. If you want to be accurate, you would research and learn that regardless of whether a state is blue or red, the vast majority of inmates in federal penitentiaries are from blue counties.

          I notice that you couldn’t deny that throwing human beings in cages like wild animals is a form of torture… did you fall off your high horse?

          • hombre111

            Just do some Google work and you will see that the red states, especially Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Arizona, and Missouri have more prisoners per capita than those liberal blue states.

            • thebigdog

              But the convicts in all states are Obama voters… are you really this dense?

            • ForChristAlone

              coming from certain counties with certain demographics – mostly those that produce children without the benefit of marriage and a father living in the home. Get honest for a change and tells us about the demographics. Yo boy in Washington has made matters worse – deliberately.

            • You ought to do some promise work and cease publishing political pornography.

        • fredx2

          When you have a priest that posts about red state versus blue state things, you have a political actor, not a priest.

          • When you have a Priest that posts incessantly in favor of homosexuality and birth control, you have an imposter.

        • Asmondius

          You’re blaming Bill Clinton?

    • littleeif

      I don’t understand what you mean by “sense of truth on moral issues”. Whatever does that mean? Where exactly does a “secularist” derive a “morality”? I would be interested in reviewing a study demonstrating “secularists” have a better grasp on right and wrong than those who pursue its source. You are begging many questions.

      • JP

        Which secularists do you speak of? Those in France? Germany? Japan?

        • littleeif

          I used quotes because the article and the comment employ the word. The word isn’t mine. I would rather ask where an unbeliever derives a morality since to me that is the sense of the article. Since I favor the separation of Church and state, does that render me, a believer, a “secularist”?

      • ForChristAlone

        You’ll learn that he’s not to be taken seriously.

      • hombre111

        A good short summary of the issue appeared in Psychology Today, which compared the difference between red states and blue states, and found the highly religious red states to have higher murder, pre-marital sex, abortion, divorce, wife-beating (along with other crimes) rates than more secular blue states.

        • ” Psychology Today, which compared the difference between red states and blue states, and found the highly religious red states to have higher murder, pre-marital sex, abortion, divorce, wife-beating (along with other crimes) rates than more secular blue states.”

          My state is “purple” with a Democrat governor, a Republican legislature, A senator of each party, and so on..

          Absent Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, York, and a few other locations, this would be a solidly red state , with a markedly lower rates of murder, pre-marital sex, abortion, divorce, wife-beating (along with other crimes)

          .
          I’m so happy to hear that these locations will be voting Republican in the future, unlike you know 2012 when Philadelphia voted around 85-15 Obama.

          Liars can figure and figures can lie. Are you a liar or a figure?

          • ForChristAlone

            It’s all in the demographics. First people fled the cities of the North because of the immorality. Then they fled the North because of it.

        • fredx2

          You really do have to lay off that Huffington Post stuff

        • Asmondius

          Of course population size and density, for example, have nothing to do with any of that…..

        • Rickage

          Consider the source. Psychology Today is published by the American Psychological Association, a liberal-left advocacy group. ASA allied themselves with the American Federation of Teachers. The ASA hides their political agenda behind science.

          • hombre111

            If the conservative right can have its moment of truth, so can the liberal left. I do not dismiss out of hand stuff that appears in Crisis, even though it is allied with the Acton Institute, with its own suspicious agenda tilting toward predatory capitalism. In this case, Psychology today is citing government statistics.

            • ForChristAlone

              You do know that any shred of credibility you had left went out the window when you announced that you’re still reading Psychology Today. Do you still read Boy’s Life?

            • ” Crisis, even though it is allied with the Acton Institute”
              Evidence, please.

              • hombre111

                You won’t trust me, so you will have to do the work I just did. Google Crisis Magazine, the Acton Institute, and the Sophia Institute Press, and you will see how linked together these names are. You will also note how many people who write for Crisis are, or were, involved in the Acton Institute.

                • I realize how certain rudimentary things are outside your grasp, but “allied” generally means things like common ownership, common directors, contractual relations, joint participation.

                  An association on Google is none of these. As a general rule, when I ask for evidence, I’m asking for objective facts, not some confluence of Google search results that constitutes a nefarious plot to a hyperactive paranoid leftist posing as a Catholic priest.

                  If you had facts that were reasonable and verifiable, your personal lack of credibility wouldn’t affect their probity and you would have presented them.

                  • hombre111

                    Which is a long winded way of saying I couldn’t prove to you that the sky is blue.

                    • In others words, as usual, you got nothing.

                    • hombre111

                      In other words, as usual, you would find away around any evidence, from anywhere, from Pope John Paul, or Pope Benedict, or a direct message from God.

        • littleeif

          This doesn’t make the case at all for the point you offered. That’s not logically sound. Is that the best you have?

    • But research over the years have shown that the Catholic sense of truth on moral issues is no different than their neighbors.

      The wandering of the sheep is due in no small part to indifferent, effete and derelict shepherds, obsessing over the transient, temporal and trivial, while excusing that which affects the eternal.

      • St JD George

        You know, I had that very same (last) thought and typed it out, then deleted. There is a comic relief dimension if taken with a sense of humor, but one has to be in the right mood. There also is dimension of reality watching lost souls fumbling in the darkness that can see but are afraid to come into the light which compels mercy, but again, one has to be in the right frame of mind to reach out to that which may bite.

        • As I wrote the other day, his posts show a moral condescension that reminds one of the man who marched into the Temple and offered gratitude for not being like everybody else. There’s something sobering about the injunction to work out your salvation with fear and trembling that seems to escape him.

      • hombre111

        The main problem is a lack of conversion. There are several kinds of conversion within a Christian framework, beginning with religious conversion. This means putting on the mind of Christ. The fact that 2,000 years have gone by with so little progress means this is a tough thing to do. Lifetime after lifetime, growth is so slow. This is because every child starts, not from where his/her parents left off, but from the beginning. Even if he/she is born into a loving Christian household, he/she has to decide whether or not to believe in God, whether or not to be open to Christ and to the Holy Spirit, whether or not to live by love and forgiveness, and on and on. Over the years, I have seen some real monsters come from wonderful Catholic parents, and some real saints emerge from a bad background.

        Sociologists show that we get our sense of reality first from our homes, then from our larger community, then from the larger world. The people in my small Baptist controlled universe have a difficult time understanding larger realities. People who read only Crisis have their own difficult time. That is why I post here, to show an alternate view.

        • The alternative to the truth is a lie.

        • There are several kinds of conversion within a Christian framework, beginning with religious conversion.

          When you have an authentic experience, let us know.

          “This means putting on the mind of Christ.”

          Perhaps you’ll adopt this approach, keep your promise and stop harassing people. Jesus would keep his promises

          “to show an alternate view.”
          You mean like Funhouse mirrors ? Purposefully distorted and unreal?

          • hombre111

            You remind me of a kid I met in county jail on a pastoral visit. Red and purple hair in put up in spikes, tattoos on every limb and extremity. He was talking about another kid, and said, “that guy is a real weirdo.”

            • Wipe the spittle from the corners of your mouth.

        • Asmondius

          I can get a finer and more entertaining ‘alternate view’ from reading MAD magazine.

        • Michael S.

          And people who read only Psychology Today and government statistics have their own difficult time also..

          • hombre111

            So, talk to somebody who reads only Psychology Today. Do you ever venture outside of right-wing discussions?

      • John200

        Gosh, Adam, I would say stop spanking Hombre, you are going too far, man, this ain’t right, …

        but he likes it.

        • “but he likes it.”
          File under negative attention seeking behavior.

    • I’m behind on some projects, and have a bad cold to boot, so I won’t be able to respond adequately to your various comments. Some comments of my own though:

      1. The relation between belief, morals, and social order is complicated. I puzzle over one complication (more orderly societies are mostly less religious, but decline of religion usually means decline in social order) at http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/2409/religion_liberalism_and_worldly_success.aspx.

      2. If you look at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0308.pdf it’s not obvious that Red and Blue line up with more and less crime in the way you suggest below (compare DC and Wyoming). If you look at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0311.pdf it seems that demographic differences may be more important.

      3. Today as you note there’s not much moral different statistically speaking between Catholics and others. Not surprisingly there’s more difference between Catholics who take the religion somewhat seriously and others.

      4. I’m not sure what the litmus test issues should be to determine how converted someone is. Torture (waterboarding?) seems an odd one. War, meaning shredding or incinerating people whose only crime is doing what they’ve always been told is their duty, and very likely have been forced to do, is OK under conditions. Does the kind of interrogation the US engaged in clearly cross the line when shrapnel, flamethrowers, etc. don’t? It’s not a longstanding universal prohibition, which seems to mean the point isn’t so obvious as a commonsense matter. (I’m not arguing the substantive point, only that it seems a bad litmus test.)

      • hombre111

        Thanks, James. I hope you get over your cold. The first place to look is what I call the Catholic narrative on war. Begin with the words of Popes John Paul and Benedict on our decision to make war on Iraq. Then, go to the Catholic Catechism, for its section on peace and war.

        The Catechism gives the four principles for a just war, and says they must all be fulfilled at the same time. And so, the principle says we must be CERTAIN that we have been attacked. In Iraq II, we went to war with a country that had not attacked us, trying to justify ourselves by a search for WMDs, which did not exist. So, from the get-go, the war was unjust.

        The whole problem with modern warfare is that many more civilians are killed than combatants. I acknowledge it is a sticky problem. Pope John Paul seemed in favor of our war in Serbia. Right now, what do we do with ISIS? Especially, now that it seems to be expanding, with possible ISIS cells even here in the U.S..

        But it is worthwhile to read what the Catechism says, understanding that war, and the tactics used, do not get the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes we should look back with great regret, but we don’t. Without using the names, the Catechism calls the bombing of London and Berlin, the fire-bombing of Dresden and Tokyo, and the destruction of Hiroshima Nagasaki crimes against God.

        • ForChristAlone

          “Right now, what do we do with ISIS? ”

          We’ve decided to send you to Syria to negotiate with them and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Seriously. Apart from that, you’re relegated to the ivory tower you’ve been in for oh so long.

    • Michael S.

      These Catholics simply followed the logic of abortion to its conclusion. If you can abort, you can torture…..

  • St JD George

    James, a beautiful (even if reprinted) column today. Thanks again for your insight, wisdom, and way with words.

  • Satanic_Panic

    Well, considering that the bible is full of nonsense and makes utterly retarded (and obviously false) claims about reality, I’d say the church never has been in the business of teaching the truth.

    It’s much more profitable for them to sell lies.

    • ForChristAlone

      This is very enlightening. Thanks.

    • St JD George

      Brian Williams, is that you? Come out from behind that silly disguise. It is indeed more profitable to sell lies, the MSM has made a good living off it for a long time and the stains on their souls bear the marks.
      Despite your spite, you are a child of God and he wants you to be close to him. Do not despair or frightened in embracing that which you can not understand. Come and be at peace, come out of the darkness and into the light.

      • Satanic_Panic

        I understand your “god” perfectly. It’s made up.

    • Michael S.

      And what is wrong with telling lies? If that is what it takes to survive in this world of survival of the fittest, then lying and propagating nonsense is justified. I find it amazing that people like yourself appeal to some moral standard that is grounded in the Bible which you deny the validity of.

      • Satanic_Panic

        You obviously don’t understand the concept of survival of the fittest.

        My morality isn’t grounded in the buybull and, I suspect, neither is yours.

        Have you read the buybull? I bet you wear mixed fabrics and eat shellfish. These things are abominable to the lord (along with about thirty other, trivial things).

        When’s the last time you stoned someone to death for adultery or working on the sabbath or cursing their parents?

        And don’t tell me that that’s all “old testament” stuff, because I’m sure you’re all about the Decalogue (aka 10 Commandments) – which is straight from the OT. Besides “jesus” explicitly said that he didn’t come to change the law, so all those strictures are in effect.

        You act like the buybull was the first source of laws and morality, ignoring the fact that people had been successfully socially interacting for thousands of years before that piece of trash was written.

        /YAWN

        Come back with a real argument.

  • BillinJax

    To me it has become quite evident that much of our clergy beyond the parish priests have lost their love of the Word of God and Cannon Law, and have found favor in their own eloquent political correct speech as it has rolled from the lips of the father of lies into the hearts of those who desire the destruction of all Judeo-Christian morality which stands in the way of Relativism.

  • clintoncps

    “(The Church’s) saints and doctors . . . are the ones who instruct us in basic truths, and it is only by holding fast to those truths that the Church has been able to overcome the world.”

    And let’s not forget about one other rather special Person: The Holy Spirit!

  • James

    How should the Church respond when the people stop caring about Truth?

    You could provide convincing proof for God, for Christ, for the Church, and for the Sacrament and a typical response from many would be “So what?” or “I don’t like the way that makes me feel.”. How does the Church preach to a generation more concerned with feelings than truth?

    • Preach the word in season and out of season. Eventually people become tired of falsehood and fantasy. Also, live as much as possible in the truth.

    • I think the key is to follow the way from the beginning. The first step is proclamation by a witness of the Truth. As Paul VI said (EN, 41):

      “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses. St. Peter expressed this well when he held up the example of a reverent and chaste life that wins over even without a word those who refuse to obey the word. It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus- the witness of poverty and detachment, of freedom in the face of the powers of this world, in short, the witness of sanctity.”

      We have many teachers and preachers! Maybe a few witnesses. The harvest is plentiful, and the laborers are few.

  • “The philosophers,” said Marx, “have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.”

    Holy hatracket, bat man. It just dawned on me the second half of “hope and change” does have a Marxist pedigree. Did Marx also comment on hope?

  • Milan Beres

    Mr. Calb, thank you very much for the excellent article. This is the clearest and most cogent explanations of the changes in the life of our society that have taken place since the WWII.
    I am old enough to remember the war at least since 1941. I have experienced life under Communist dictatorship in Europe first hand before I was lucky to come to live in US in 1960s. You have shed light on the confusing, often incomprehensible and very painful decline of the western civilization during this period. Thank you.

  • TheWhiteLilyBlog

    “The tendency toward self-limitation especially applies within the Church.”

    Flannery O’Connor terrifically admired self-limitation, used it exactly as used here, and it’s a flag of her liberalism, which most trad Catholics don’t get because she SAID she was traditional.

  • pescher

    Will we be forced to accept a modified version of our Lord’s saying, “Render unto Caesar….God’s”? If so, it might go something like ‘Render unto Caesar what is his and don’t render unto God since Caesar will have both portions’.

MENU