The Divine Lamp

Archive for August, 2008

Pimping Pelosi (part 2)

Posted by carmelcutthroat on August 31, 2008

An organization billing themselves as CATHOLICS FOR CHOICE, which in reality means Catholics for heresy, have issued an ill-conceived and poorly reasoned defense of Nancy Pelosi’s distortions and manipulations of the Church’s teaching on the right to life. The statement makes an appeal to the Church’s teaching on conscience  but, in true heretical fashion, it only appeals to that teaching in part. In order not to look at the forest they’ve jammed their heads into the knothole of a particular tree.

“On conscience, Catholic politicians need no reminding that Catholic teaching requires them to follow their own consciences—even if it is in conflict with church teaching. In addition, Catholic teaching requires at least tolerance, if not respect, for other people’s decisions.

The Church’s teaching merely asserts that people have the right to be ignorantly wrong. It does not follow that the Church thereby surrenders its right to teach the truth so as to inform and correct those who are ignorantly wrong. Nor does it follow that she surrenders her right to exert her spiritual authority (e.g., excommunication) or enact spiritual discipline (revocation of the Eucharist).

The concept of tolerance and its relation to conscience was dealt with in the previous post and will not be repeated here (see link above).

Speaker Pelosi and the many other prochoice Catholic politicians are following this teaching to the letter when they recognize the proper place for personal religious convictions in the political arena, and support policies that help ensure affordable contraception, safe and legal abortions, comprehensive sexuality education, and affordable health care for all people in this country.

As I have already noted, the teaching on conscience has been truncated by the Heretics for Heresy, allowing them to put their own spin on it. The “personal religious convictions” of Catholic-in-name-only politicians like Pelosi are just that; their own personal religious convictions. By what right do they twist, distort, and ignore Catholic teaching to justify these personal convictions (whereby they will be convicted on Judgment Day), and still claim they and their convictions are Catholic. Catholic means “all in one,” not ” Tom, Dick and Pelosi for themselves.”

“Despite what many bishops might hope, they cannot impose teachings on an unwilling faithful. Barely a fifth (22%) of Catholics in the US agree with the bishops that abortion should be completely illegal, and Catholic women in the US have abortions at the same rate as women in the population as a whole. In fact, while the bishops may seek to make abortion an election issue, it is clear from a poll conducted by the noted Washington, DC, firm Belden Russonello and Stewart, that many of the hierarchy’s teachings on reproductive health and rights have not been received by the faithful.”

Seriously? An appeal to the sensus infidelius (sense of the unfaithful)? I’d love to meet the theological genius who penned this paragraph.

When the Son of Man comes, do you think he will find faith upon the earth?-Luke 18:8

Many are called (by the Gospel preaching), but few are chosen (at the judgment).-Matt 22:14

3:1 But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come.For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these, also. For some of these are people who creep into houses, and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Even as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so do these also oppose the truth; men corrupted in mind, who concerning the faith, are rejected.But they will proceed no further. For their folly will be evident to all men, as theirs also came to be..I command you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside to fables.But you be sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry. (2 Tim 3:1-9; 4:1-5 WEB Bible)

The Shepherds are not at the beck and call of the sheep; and certainly not subject to the bleating of the faithless ones. A shepherd is supposed to lead the sheep, those who would follow the herd will soon be up to their armpits in sheep’s dung.

One wonders if the Heretics for Heresy understand the basic concepts of Church and faith. The word Church generally translates the Greek word ekklesia, which is derived from ekkalien, meaning “to call someone out.” The Church is the community called together by the proclamation of the Gospel. Faith comes through hearing the proclamation of the Gospel by those who are sent (Rom 10:14-17; see also Col 1:3-8; Gal 3:1-6). The faithful are those who are obedient to the message (Mark 16:15-16). The faithless do not construct the Gospel. If they fail to repent in light of it, they will be destroyed by it (Matt 7:26-27).

Why is it deathocrats seem to think that the Church is, or ought to be, democratic? Scripture speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven (or “of God”), and not the Democratic Republic of Heaven. God didn’t feel himself compelled to go along with the herd when the whole human race decided to eat the apple. He didn’t consign Himself to the whim and fancy of the flock when, at Babel, they tried to scale the heavens by their own designs.  God is decidedly non-Pelosian.

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Faith, Reason, And The Object Of Philosophy

Posted by carmelcutthroat on August 31, 2008

To Read Part 1 go HERE.

What follows are some notes of mine on chapter two of Etienne Gilson’s THE PHILOSOPHY OF ST THOMAS AQUINAS. Due to the length of the chapter, and the difficulty of the subject matter, I will deal with it in several posts. Boldfaced numbers refer to the paragraphs in that chapter.

7. In this paragraph Gilson seeks to answer the question “what is the object of metaphysics?” (also called “first philosophy” and “wisdom”) He presents what is basically a summary of Book 1, Chapter 1 of the Summa Contra Gentiles. Here is what St Thomas himself wrote: a. The general use which, in the Philosopher’s opinion, should be followed in naming things, has resulted in those men being called wise who direct things themselves and govern them well. Wherefore among other things which men conceive of the wise man, the Philosopher reckons that it belongs to the wise man to direct things. b. Now the rule of all things directed to an end of government and order must needs be taken from their end: for then is a thing best disposed when it is fittingly directed to its end, since the end of everything is its good. c. Wherefore in the arts we observe that the arts which governs and rules another is the one to which the latter’s end belongs: Thus the medical art rules and directs the art of the druggist, because health which is the object of medicine is the end of all drugs which are made up by the druggist’s art. The same may be observed in the art of sailing in relation to the the art of ship-building, and in the military art in relation to the equestrian are and all warlike appliances. d. These arts which govern others are called master-arts (architectonicae), that is principle arts, for which reason their craftsmen, who are called master-craftsmen (architectores), are awarded the name of wise men. e. Since, however, these same craftsmen, through being occupied with the ends of certain singular things, do not attain to the universal end of all things, they are called wise about this or that thing, in which sense it is said: “As a wise architect, I have laid the foundation;” (1 Cor 3:10) f. whereas the name of being wise simply is reserved to him alone whose consideration is about the end of the universe, which end is also the beginning of the universe: wherefore, according to the philosopher, it belongs to the wise man to consider the highest causes.

Summary of the quote:

a-b. It is common to term a man wise when he is able to direct things to the proper end.

c. Some arts, such as architecture, rule others, such as carpentry and masonry.

d. For this reason they are called master arts, and those proficient in them are termed Master Artists, or Wise Men.

e. They are however called wise only in a certain, limited sense. They are wise only in regard to this or that art.

f. Gilson: “If we imagine, on the contrary, a sage who proposes to consider not such and such a particular end, but the end of all things: He would not be called a sage (i.e., wise man) in such and such an art, but an absolute sage.” The object of metaphysics (wisdom, first philosophy) is the end of all things, “and, since the end of an object is the same as its principal or cause, we meet again the definition of Aristotle: the first philosophy has for its object the study of first causes.”

8. In this paragraph Gilson continues his summary of Book 1, Chapter 1 of the Summa Contra Gentiles. St Thomas writes: a. Now the last end of each thing is that which is intended by the first author or mover of that thing: b. and this first author or mover of the universe is an intellect, as we shall prove further on. c. Consequently the last end of the universe must be the good of the intellect: and this is truth. Therefore truth must be the last end of the whole universe; and the consideration thereof must be the chief occupation of wisdom. d. And for this reason, Divine Wisdom, clothed in flesh, declares that He came into the world to make known the truth, saying (John 13:37): “For this was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth,” Moreover the Philosopher defines the First Philosophy as being the “knowledge of the truth,” not of any truth, but of that truth which is the source of all truth, of that, namely wo that which relates to the first principle of being of all things; wherefore its truth is the principle of all truth, since the disposition of things is the same in truth as in being.

a. The last end of anything is that for which it was made.

b. the first author or mover of all created existence is an intellect.

c. The last end of all created existence is the good of an intellect. The good of an intellect is truth. Truth, then, is the final end of all creation. Truth, being the end of all creation, is the proper object of Wisdom and the Wise man’s contemplation.

d. Metaphysics, or the first philosophy is defined as knowledge of the truth. But it is not knowledge of just any truth “but only that truth which is the source of all truth” (Gilson). When Aquinas writes that “the disposition (final arrangement) of things is the same in truth as in being,” he is saying that truth and being are equivalent. This means that: “A truth which is the source of all truth can be found only in a being which must be the first source of all being” (Gilson). The object of first philosophy therefore is the truth made known By the Word made flesh. God is the proper object of metaphysics since he is the highest (first) cause of all created being.

For more on this, consult the Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 3, Chapter 25; also, lessons 1-3 of St Thomas’ Commentary of the Metaphysics of Aristotle.

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Faith and Reason The Object of Philosophy (part 1)

Posted by carmelcutthroat on August 30, 2008

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What follows are some notes of mine on chapter two of Etienne Gilson’s THE PHILOSOPHY OF ST THOMAS AQUINAS. Due to the length of the chapter, and the difficulty of the subject matter, I will deal with it in several posts. Boldfaced numbers refer to the paragraphs in that chapter.

1. The historian of Philosophy, in analysing the philosophical system of a modern philosopher, would have to “determine the concept of human knowledge held by our philosopher.” In dealing with St Thomas, or any philosopher of the Middle Ages, a different approach becomes necessary. This is due to the problem of the relation between faith and reason. St Thomas was not simply a philosopher. He was a philosophical theologian. A philosopher, pure and simple, claims to draw truth from reason alone; whereas the philosophical theologian claims to draw truth from two sources; namely from Reason, as a philosopher, and “from faith in the truth revealed by God, and its interpreter, the Church,” as a theologian. This means that the historian of philosophy must ascertain what the respective spheres of Reason and Faith are. “Must the one be sacrificed to the other or can they be harmonized?”

2. Distinguishing between philosophy and theology from an abstract point of view is quite easy to do. The former consists of pursuing truth by means of reason alone. The latter begins with a fact independent of Reason; “the Revelation given by God to the human mind of truths superior to Reason, i.e., truths which unaided Reason would be unable to reach, or even understand once it possessed them, or consequently justify.” But what seems so simple from the abstract point of view becomes quite difficult in the actual attempt to answer the question “can they be harmonized?” A number of difficulties present themselves. The first is this: “of the same texts different historians, when asked to distinguish the philosophical from the theological matter, neither retain nor abandon always the same points.

3. Gilson see this problem as coming from two attitudes based on a “philosophical thesis of “the dogmatic kind” which are hidden behind “the cloak of historical impartiality.” He deals with the third attitude in paragraph 4, and the second in paragraph 5. In paragraph 6 he suggests adopting, “at least provisionally,” a third attitude.

4. The first attitude he deals with is, he says, almost popular in certain circles. This attitude simply passes St Thomas by “since he is also a theologian,” and, “must necessarily therefore be tainted.” This, it seems to me, is a presupposition to intellectual laziness. Gilson terms it an “a priori assertion, based on the demands of an uncompromising rationalism.”

5. The second attitude is probably as widespread as the first. It admits “de jure and de facto,” to the existence of a philosophy proper to St Thomas, but insists that this can only be in independence of his theology. This attitude is opposed to the first in so far as it admits the existence of a philosophy proper to St Thomas, but it starts from the same basic premise.

6. “One might, at least provisionally, adopt a third attitude, and without attempting to judge, inquire what are the relations of philosophy and theology in the system of St Thomas.” It seems to me that if St Thomas attempted, or even at least claimed to deal with the problem of the relationship between philosophy and theology from a philosophical perspective, then merely ignoring him on the basis of an assumption exhibits arrogant stupidity; the most detestable of all forms of stupidity.

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Definition and Scope of Moral Theology

Posted by carmelcutthroat on August 30, 2008

Chapter 1.  The definition and Scope of Moral Theology.

Definition; Catholic Moral Theology, broadly speaking, is the scientific exposition of the ethical teaching of the Gospel, or, more definitely, that theological discipline which sets forth the laws, rules, and precepts man must know and obey in order to attain his supernatural destiny.

There is a distinction between”moral” and “ethical.”  “Ethical is derived from a Greek word which means in the singular, custom, usage, habit; and in the plural, disposition, temper, character (Latin, mores) see 1 Cor 15:33.  Every free act, good or bad, performed by a rational being is “ethical;” but no act is ‘Moral’ unless it be ethically good (see ST Ia IIae, q. 58, art 1).

The words “moral” and “immoral” are sometimes used with sole reference to the Sixth Commandment.  Their true meaning is much larger.  Morality is by no means confined to the sexual sphere.  Other vices, such as injustice, hatred, revenge, can be and are quite as immoral as the vice of impurity.  The fact of the matter is that the use of the expressions “immorality” or “immoral life” for the vice of impurity is merely an idiomatic euphemism adopted to avoid a clearer description of what is meant, and is not intended to restrict immorality to the sexual sphere.

Scope: In order to give a scientific exposition of the laws that govern human conduct, Moral Theology must first ascertain the conditions under which man’s actions will enable him to reach his final destiny, and then draw from Revelation the correct principles for guiding him aright both in public and private life.  All the problems of human existence, including those of the social and economic order, have a religious and an ethical bearing, and they can not be completely solved except in the light of Christian justice and charity (see John 1:9; 14:6; 1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:17).

Moral Theology must avoid two extremes: over-emphasizing the ascetic point of view and resolving itself into mere casuistry.

Moral Theology is an independent science with a well-defined scope and object, and it is neither its sole nor its principle aim to train preachers or confessors.  The latter function belongs to casuistry, which is “the study of cases of conscience” with a view “to define the exact limits and frontiers of wrong-doing.”-excerpted from A HANDBOOK OF MORAL THEOLOGY by Koch and Preuss.

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The Infinity of God (A Simple Summa)

Posted by carmelcutthroat on August 29, 2008

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ST IA, Q. 7, 1 God is Infinite because His Immensity is not bounded by matter. The Divine Being is not contained in anything, but He is His own Self-Existence, and hence He is Infinite and Perfect. ST Ia, 7, 2 There is nothing absolutely infinite but God, although relatively it may be so. With regard to infinity as applied to matter, it is evident that everything in existence must have some form; thus its matter is determined by form and cannot be infinite, properly speaking; but in so far as matter remains in potentiality to an infinitude of forms, it is accounted relatively infinite. If we speak of infinity as applied to form, it is evident that those forms which are actually united to matter are finite; but the created forms independent of matter, as the opinion is regarding the angels, these would be relatively infinite as not limited by matter; but, however, because they are limited by a determinate nature, they cannot be, [properly speaking, infinite; and, therefore, God alone is absolutely infinite.

ST Ia, 7, 3 No natural body can be infinite in magnitude, because every natural body has a determinate substantial form to which belong fixed accidents; hence a body has a determinate quantity of more or less, which makes it impossible for it to be infinite. The same is evident if we consider motion. Every body has some movement, whereas an infinite body could have none; neither straight, for nothing can so move except outside its own place, which could not exist at all were it infinite; nor circular, because such a movement requires that one part be transferred to the place hitherto occupied by another part, and this could not be in an infinite circular body, for the lines radiating from the center become more distant from each other as they are more and more drawn out; if, therefore, a body were infinite, such lines would become infinitely distant from each other, and one could never get near the other.

ST Ia, 7, 4 It is likewise impossible for an infinite multitude to exist. A multitude exists according to some kind of multitude, and kind exists according the species of numbers; and no species of number is infinite, for number is multitude cannot be, either directly or accidentally. There can be, however, an infinite multitude in potentially, because increase of multitude follows upon division of multitude, and the more a thing is divided the greater will be the result in number. The infinity of being is thus found in potentiality, by the division of that which is continuous; and a like idea of infinity is also found in the addition of multitude.

From Walter Farrell’s Companion of the Summa:

No limits are to be placed on the goodness of God, as no limits are to be assigned to any other divine attribute. How can you have a fence with nothing, absolutely nothing, on the other side of it? What is there of reality, that God will not have, to mark the spot where the fence must begin? Limitation is essentially a declaration of potentialities achieved or potentialities capable of achievement; without potentiality limitation is a contradiction in terms. And there can be no potentiality in God, for potentiality is a declaration of dependence. God has not received existence within the limits of a human, an animal or an angelic nature; He has not received at all, He is. The idea of reception is the idea of change, of potentiality actualized, of perfection within limits–something that our proof for His existence forced us to exclude from God. He is infinite, and He alone; for He alone is first, receiving from no one, giving to all. (Source)

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Great, Another Blog I’m Gonna Read and Not Understand

Posted by carmelcutthroat on August 28, 2008

Michael liccione, a Catholic philosopher and blogger (and fellow upstate New Yorker) has started a new group blog consisting of himself and other Catholic Philosophers.  These others include Dr. Scott Carson and Dr. Philip Blosser.

From the welcoming post:

This blog is in the making as group blog for Catholic philosophers. Several of my friends, erstwhile colleagues, and would-be colleagues have already agreed to come on board and contribute. You can read about them on the About page. But as the idea for this blog originated with me, the chief responsibility for administering it has fallen to me.

I thought it peculiarly appropriate to launch on the liturgical feast day of St. Augustine, who was a philosopher before he became a Catholic. Once he underwent his conversion, a process so eloquently documented in that classic of Western literature known as his Confessions, Augustine adopted a different set of priorities for his thought.  He became a Catholic first, a theologian second; soon enough he became a bishop in a very contentious region; and as for philosophy—well, he gradually abandoned philosophical inquiry for its own sake.  He prayed, he preached, he meditated, he theologized; but philosophizing for its own sake, he came to suspect, was something only pagans did.

Some philosophers think that meant he ceased to be a philosopher; some believers think he didn’t leave philosophy nearly far enough behind. On my own account as a Catholic, I’d say that I do philosophy for the sake of understanding myself, the world, even God better than I would if I didn’t do philosophy.  I know by long experience that studying philosophy in depth, and constructing serious philosophical arguments which do not require any divinely revealed truth as premises, is an excellent discipline even for committed believers.

That good philosophy is intrinsically valuable remains so even for those of us who believe that, in the final analysis, our response to divine revelation and grace, as manifest in how we are thereby transformed as persons, is far more important than philosophy as an academic discipline. Divine revelation is for everybody, after all—as is philosophy in the original sense of the Greek term, which means “love of wisdom.” Everybody who comes to love God and neighbor comes to love wisdom too. But philosophizing in a systematic way is for the (relatively) few. I think most of my contributors would agree with that. Of course they would have qualifications to add, and probably wouldn’t say it the way I have, but that’s a philosopher for you. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Look for more. We’ll be here. And we’ll have much of substance to say as time goes on. St. Augustine, pray for us.

I wonder if Hannah Montana has a blog.

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Obamarama National Tour Update

Posted by carmelcutthroat on August 28, 2008

Tonight, in the Mile High City of Denver, American politics will acheive a new low when Deathocrat Senator Barak “just try to guess my position on the issues” Obama will accept the Deathocratic Convention’s nomination for President of the United States. Sadly, no natural disaster which might bring an end to this travesty is looming; however, the National Weather Service is predicting gloomy darkness, waterless clouds, and insubstantial mist driven by the hot air of empty bombastic rhetoric (see 2 Peter 2:17-18)

What’s an empty suit like Obama going to do in the Oval Office? Hang around in the closest where President Clinton didn’t have sexual relations with that woman?

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Pimping Pelosi (part 1)

Posted by carmelcutthroat on August 28, 2008

Hat Tip to LARRYD

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Catholics for Choice, or, as Larry likes to call them, Apostates for Choice, have come out with a defense of Speaker of the House-and self-proclaimed ardent Catholic-Nancy “kill’em before you birth’em” Peolosi.

Speaker Pelosi was correct in noting that Catholic teaching has changed over the years, even on the issue of when life begins. But the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops used the occasion to bang the drum on their issue sine qua non in American politics: abortion. In doing so, the bishops ignored many relevant issues, including the importance of conscience, what Catholics themselves actually believe, and the role of religion in politics.

Was Pelosi right? Well, no, she wasn’t right. As Archbishop Wuerl points out: “As the Catechism and early Church documents make clear, abortion is always an evil. That is an unchanging teaching. The question on when the soul enters the body (i.e., when life begins) was a philosophical question that grew out of a lack of scientific data at the time of St. Augustine. We have the data today which shows the embryo is human. There no longer is any discussion of whether the unborn is human and so the philosophical discussion of St. Augustine’s time is not relevant today.

Here we see that both Pelosi and her pimps are quite wrong in their take on the matter. A collection of individual Fathers, Theologians, or Doctors of the Church, does not the Catholic Church make. It betrays either a great deal of ignorance or malice for allegedly informed Catholics to assert or pretend otherwise. What Pelosi and her minions are attempting to do is sow confusion among the faithful and for the sake of the faithless. The Church has never taken an official stand on when human life begins, not does it have to on this question of whether abortion is morally justifiable (but see the Catechism). “The Magisterium has not expressly committed itself to an affirmation of a philosophical nature, but it constantly affirms the moral condemnation of any kind of procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and is unchangeable” (Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and the Dignity of Procreation, Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith, 1987).

How can this be? Isn’t it absurd for the Church to forbid abortion since it cannot determine when life begins?

Just as there is criminal intent in the legal sphere, so too their is intent to sin in the moral sphere. If I go out hunting deer during deer season and shoot at a noise in the woods, not knowing what I am shooting at I manifest criminal intent. Acting in such a callous manner on the mere pretext that it might be a deer is illegal, immoral, and just plain stupid.

“The exact time when a fetus becomes ‘animated’ has no practical significance as far as the morality of abortion is concerned. By any theory of ‘animation’ abortion is gravely wrong. Why so? Because every direct abortion is a sin of murder by intent. It is, to say the least, probable that every developing fetus is a human being. To deliberately kill what is probably human is murder.

“If a person does not know for certain that his action is not killing another human being, he must accept the responsibility for doing so. Anyone who is willing to kill what may be human is, by his intention, willing to kill what is human. Consequently, the one who performs or consents to abortion inescapably assumes the guilt of voluntary homicide.” -The Catholic Catechism, John A. Hardon, S.J.

What about conscience? It used to be said that “conscience doth make cowards of us all.” Now it could truly be said that “conscience doth make moral reprobates of some.” Here would have to include those self-proclaimed Catholics who invoke in a half-a$$ed and incomplete manner the Chruch’s teaching on conscience. This the Pelosi pimps do in the paragraph following the one quoted above.

“On conscience, Catholic politicians need no reminding that Catholic teaching requires them to follow their own consciences—even if it is in conflict with church teaching.

Apparently, however, the Apostates for Immoral choices and the deathocrat politicians they support do need to be reminded that this is not the sum total of the Church’s teaching on that issue, so why is it the only point the Pelosi’s of the world ever invoke?

Sadly, though I have a good grasp of what the Church teaches on the matter of conscience-O how I wish it were as simple as certain simpletons make it out to be-though I have, as I said, a good grasp the the Church’s teaching on this matter, I lack the competence to explain it adequately. I would however like to recount some things The Pontiff formerly known as Cardinal Ratzinger had to say.

Speaking about the idea that people can be justified by an erroneous conscience Ratzinger writes: “The erroneous conscience, by sheltering the person from the exacting demands of truth, saves him-thus went the argument. Conscience appears here not as a window through which one can see outward to that common truth that founds and sustains us all, and so makes possible through the common recognition of truth the community of wants and responsibilities. Conscience does not here mean man’s openness to the ground of his being, the power of perception for what is highest and most essential. Rather, it appears as subjectivity’s protective shell, into which man can escape and there hide from reality.

Liberalism’s idea of conscience is in fact presuppossed here: Conscinece does not open the way to the redemptive road to truth-which either does not exist or, if it does, is too demanding. It is the faculty which dispenses with truth. It thereby becomes the justification for social conformity. As mediating value between the different subjectivities, social conformity is intended to make living together possible. The obligation to seek the truth terminates, as do any doubts about the general inclination of society and what it has become accustomed to. Being convinced of oneself, as well as conforming to others, is sufficient. Man is reduced to his superficial conviction, and the less depth he has, the better for him. (Especially if he’s seeking political office in the Deathocrat party!).

What I was only dimly aware of in this conversation became glaringly clear a little later in a dispute among colleagues about the justifying power of the erroneous conscience. Objecting to this thesis, someone countered that if this were so, then the Nazi SS would be justified and we should seek them in heaven, since they carried out all their atrocities with fanatic conviction and complete certainty of conscience. Another colleague responded with utmost assurance that, of course, this was indeed the case: There is no doubting the fact that Hitler and his accomplices, who were deeply convinced of their cause, could not have acted otherwise. Therefore, the objective terribleness of their deeds notwithstanding, they acted morally, subjectively speaking. Since they followed their (albeit mistaken) conscience, one would have to recognize their conduct as moral and, as a result, should not doubt their eternal salvation.

Since that conversation, I knew with complete certainty that something was wrong with the theory of the justifying power of the subjective conscience-that, in other words, a concept of conscience that leads to such results must be false. Firm, subjective conviction and the lack of doubts and scruples that follow from it do not justify man.

A truncated view of conscience, which, in reality seeks to escape feelings of guilt for one’s actions, is not Catholic, pace the pleading of Pelosi’s pimps to the contrary.

Did the bishops ignore “what Catholics actually believe?” Catholic means, literally, “all in one.” In other words “the totality in unity.” Such a definition doesn’t leave much room for heretics, schismatics, or deathocrats. This concept of Catholicity is based upon Jesus’ threefold use of the word “all” at the end of Matthew’s Gospel. All authority was given to him, thus allowing him to send the Church to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that he had commanded.

Pelosi’s pimps on the other hand seem to be under the delusion that Catholics, irrespective of whether they are faithful or faithless, get to decide what constitutes Catholicism. Obviously, then, they have a vested interest in something other than the Church’s theology of ministry with all that it implies. Indeed, they have no concept of the nature of the Church. And I strongly suspect that their knowledge of Jesus Christ doesn’t extend beyond being able to spell His name correctly.

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Thought for the day (August 28)

Posted by carmelcutthroat on August 28, 2008

How is it possible that a rational soul, having once tasted the delights of Divine love, can ever turn voluntarily to drink the bitter waters of mortal sin?  Children who are fed on milk, butter, honey, detest the bitterness of wormwood and orpine, and cry piteously if they are forced to taste it.  How, then, O true God! can a soul that has once tasted its Creator’s goodness and love, forsake Thee to follow the vanities of the world?-St Francis De Sales, Treatise On The Love Of God, book4, ch. 1

For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.  It has happened to them according to the true proverb, ‘the dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire-2 Peter 2:21-22

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Thought of the Day (August 27)

Posted by carmelcutthroat on August 27, 2008

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God-Micah 6:8

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