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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sodom Must Fall!

Two articles on a priest and a bishop persecuted for their fidelity to the Church's moral teachings. Depressing stuff. I wonder how much harm has been done by Pro-Life organisations keen to build cross-confessional support ignoring issues like homosexuality and contraception. There is no objective justification for such exceptions both practices can be shown from natural reason to be gravely immoral. Both ought to be proscribed by the civil law even in a 'confessionally neutral' State. Of course the fundamental problem is the failure among nominal Catholics at all levels to believe that there is anything basically wrong with the world. This failure quite simply stems from a lack of Faith. If there is nothing basically wrong with the world then practices such as abortion, sodomy and fornication can't really be wrong because they are not just accepted but central to modern culture. The Church's refusal to accept these practices as legitimate stems from an historic lack of judgement which, like the Galileo case, will be overcome in the face of the greater power to achieve truth possessed by secular culture. The transition however will be painful because of the lack of judgement shown by Rome. Rome's fundamental failure for such bishops is in not grasping that the central importance of Vatican II was not in saying anything in particular but in contradicting the former magisterium. This proves that the Church is not infallible in anything but a pickwickian sense and so loyalty to the teachings of the church is like loyalty within a political party, one keeps to the party line at election time but one hopes for changes in the next manifesto and a certain amount of overt dissent within the ranks helps to move things along. If the faith cannot be certainly known what is point of adhering to it? Does adherence to the faith result from a combination of a desire to fulfil the requirement of the natural law that we worship God as best we can and a probable judgement that Christianity is the best way for me? This position too is no use to the individual who cannot accept that there is anything truly evil in sodomy, fornication and abortion because he cannot consistently reconcile such a belief with adherence to the concept of natural law. To escape from the natural law he has to make the existence of God a matter of 'faith' rather than reason. The failure to believe in the availability of theism to natural reason cuts the link between the Church and the world. If an acceptance of the existence of God is exclusively a matter of faith then nothing in the natural law drives man to seek to worship the one true God in the best manner possible. This is why 'faith' is spoken of as if it were something that non Christians have ('interfaith dialogue', 'those of all faiths and none' etc.). A generic virtue of believing nice things without rational basis that is helpful for some people. Pius X saw all this and where it was going that is why he described the availabilty of God's existence to natural reason as first among the principal truths directly opposed the errors of this day. Hence the oath against modernism, "I N. firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (cf. Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated… I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our Creator and Lord." Amen