Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A final thought on undeserved mercy

St. John Paul The Great, in Veritas Splendor wrote:

It is possible that the evil done as the result of invincible ignorance or a non-culpable error of judgment may not be imputable to the agent; but even in this case it does not cease to be an evil, a disorder in relation to the truth about the good. Furthermore, a good act which is not recognized as such does not contribute to the moral growth of the person who performs it; it does not perfect him and it does not help to dispose him for the supreme good. Thus, before feeling easily justified in the name of our conscience, we should reflect on the words of the Psalm: “Who can discern his errors? Clear me from hidden faults” (Ps 19:12) (#63).

This to me is what is missing in the omission of repentance from Amoris Laetitia.  It does not matter if there was less culpability.  It does not matter if those divorced and remarried did not know that divorce and remarriage is always harmful.  Even the Forgiveness of Christ, does not entirely heal the temporal effects of sin.  We cannot use the internal forum to call divorce good and euthanasia mercy.  These misinterpretations of Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia must end.  Mercy, to be mercy, needs to be based in Truth, not in the easy lies of those who avoid the dubia.

Truth and Repentance are necessary parts of Mercy.  Without them, Mercy becomes merely pardon, and forgiveness will only affect the life of the person doing the forgiving.  So says the Pope's own Ambassador of Mercy, and so I'm right in my interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Odd things from the 2016 Men's Conference

Fr. Don Calloway is on fire for the Rosary and for our Lady, and told us some neat stories.  His book Champions of the Rosary sounds like it's worth getting to get Christopher fired up to using God's Lightsaber.

Need to look up this theory that Q, the missing source of the Synoptic Gospels, may have been interviews with St. Mary.

Satan is scared of a booming voice- a man should always pray loudly and without fear.

Truth and Repentance are necessary parts of Mercy.  Without them, Mercy becomes merely pardon, and forgiveness will only affect the life of the person doing the forgiving.  So says the Pope's own Ambassador of Mercy, and so I'm right in my interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.

To avoid online pornography, try praying bfore logging in, every time.

Smoking pot shrinks your brain.   Or maybe a shrunken brain causes you to be stupid enough to smoke pot.  Prayer can help you grow your brain and avoid dementia.

St. Joseph was asleep every time the angel visited.  What a hardworking father he must have been!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why I am against the Jesuits

In a post trying to explain the pastoral nature of Pope Francis, we find:
Imagine a businessman who owns a chain of department stores that specialises in affordable clothing. He is a practicing Catholic, and he wants to grow in his faith, but he is in clear breach of the Church’s moral law in one respect. All of his garment manufacture is done in a sweatshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he is the only client, and the conditions there are egregiously bad. The workers put in six and a half days a week and are paid a pittance; they effectively live in the factory, eating, washing and even sleeping there, hardly ever getting back to their families and villages; the building is structurally unsound and poorly wired, making it a health hazard of the very worst kind; and there are lots of ten- and eleven-year-old children working there – the same long hours as the adult folk and without any education, playtime, healthcare or family life. It is a hell. It offends against every notion of human dignity and every principle of social justice enunciated by the magisterium since Rerum Novarum. No Catholic has any business supporting it – to say nothing of profiting from it. The case is cut and dried.
So if you have this businessman in your pastoral care, should you just throw the book at him? After all, so long as he knowingly benefits from this outrageous exploitation he is in a sustained state of serious sin – at least as serious as that of the divorced-and-remarried or of unmarried co-habiting couples. Would you tell him not to receive the Eucharist?
At times, perhaps, you might. If he showed complete indifference to the welfare of these workers and no inclination to improve things, you would probably have to confront him harshly with his sin. But – and this is the crux of the matter – you would have to take a good, hard look at the particulars of the case first. Did the man initiate this unjust arrangement himself, or did he merely inherit it? That might make a difference to his culpability. Maybe he’s already shown his willingness to set things right. What if he had already sent a team out to Bangladesh to investigate standards? Good. That suggests some kind of purpose of amendment.
But what if the team came back with a whole set of complications? A developed-world notion of a just wage is simply not a runner. It would upset the local economy and invite in corruption. In any case, paltry as the sweatshop wages are, they are substantially higher than the alternatives available to the poor of southern Bangladesh. And, yes, the conditions in the sweatshop are intolerable, but the manager is one of the better ones, and he has made an honest effort to improve things. He has carried out some structural repairs, has improved ventilation, and has organised more breaks for workers. He’s unable to do any more, however, as he doesn’t have funds to invest in the building, and his first priority has to be meeting the production quotas. As for the children on the payroll, they are mostly the children of women workers who are desperate for them to remain. These women have no-one to mind their kids while they’re at the factory, and besides they need the extra income.

If I were the businessman, I would bar myself from the Eucharist.  I would also take 25% of my after taxes profits as a bonus for the manager of the factory, directing him to use the money to modernize and start a daycare for the workers, then with whatever is left, hand out raises.  I would also cut my order to help with lowering the quota, which would make my goods more scarce, and allow me to raise prices (because supply/demand always has to be satisfied).

And I want to be in a church that is indeed that strict.  Mercy continues to destroy justice.  Jesuit mercy, doubly so.  If this is an example of Jesuit teaching, then it is little wonder that the words "I am Jesuit Trained" have become synonymous with heresy.  It threatens “existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions”.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Catholic Teaching on Marriage and Communion is Unambiguous | ncregister.com

Monsignor Charles Pope comes down squarely between Group 2 and Group 3. Too bad, in the words of Crux Magazine, he's too late.

Catholic Teaching on Marriage and Communion is Unambiguous | ncregister.com:

'via Blog this'

Pharisees like you can go to hell

This was originally a response on Public Catholic to the question, what changed to make you feel unworthy of the Mercy of God?

This is long. Because it is very complex and over a year of thinking that has led me to this point. It started, really, when I noticed that in his fight against Clericalism, Pope Francis was throwing out the baby with the bathwater- that many fine clerics were being censored, while clerics accused of clerical abuse were being promoted. That, in and of itself, was not enough,but it is what started me thinking this way. At first, I even looked on it as a big positive- Pope Francis's concentration on mercy for the marginalized, has been an awesome thing to watch, pulling people into that church. And certainly, promoting the accused clerics and demoting the faithful clerics, fit within that narrative. But then came Cardinal Kasper and his ilk. Promoting divorce and remarriage as something holier, something more deserving of mercy, than any other sin. The two synods were excruciating, especially since between the first and the second, many dissenting Cardinals and Archbishops were quietly removed from participating in the second Synod at all. Then came Amoris Laetitia Chapter 8. I was even fine with that for a time. In my parish we had used a word cloud to discern the movement of the spirit and what sort of pastor we needed, with truly awesome results; I did the same thing for Amoris Laetitia and came up with the major theme phrase that really needs to be preached more within the church: "Church Family Can Love Life!" I so wanted to see marriage groups formed to help both young and old couples avoid the devastation of divorce- which I still see as a major evil in our society. The trouble is, we're now seeing three different interpretations of Amoris Laetitia Chapter 8 emerge: 1. The Kasper interpretation, which due to who Pope Francis chooses to promote, seems to be the Pope's favored interpretation: That indissoluble marriage is no longer promoted as a Sacrament , and that lifelong marriage is no longer an ideal we can believe in. 2. The Orthodox Interpretation (which my own Archbishop Sample has recommended- he describes it far better than I do here: Archbishop Sample's Love Letter to the Married and Faithful) 3. The interpretation of the "Pharisee Cardinals", that Group #1 has gained far too much power in the church, and that Group #1's interpretation is a valid interpretation that deserves outright refuting. I don't think that groups #2 and #3 are far apart, despite group #2 utterly denying Group #1's interpretation as valid, and Group #3 accepting Group #1's interpretation as valid but heretical. We can't move forward in universal unity without the Dubia being answered, and Pope Francis picking one of these three interpretations. If the Dubia is answered in accordance to #2, Group #3 is reabsorbed back into the Church, and Group #1 needs to rethink the meaning of the word accompaniment. Unfortunately, instead of actually answering the Dubia, the Pope has decided that #2 and #3 are just unreasonable Pharisees not worthy of the mercy of actually answering their questions. And by extension, not worthy of the mercy of God. It's almost as if, at the end of the Story of the Prodigal Son, the Father had instead said to the Older Brother, "You're just hired labor, you cannot have a party for your friends, your brother is worthy because he was dead and is now alive, but you who are alive and who were never dead are not worthy of the feast". The preaching at the end of the Year of Mercy seems quite clear to me now. The one sheep- the marginalized- has been found and brought into the fold. But the gate was left open, and the other 99 sheep, neglected and starving, are lost without pastoral guidance, now wandering in a desert without the green grass of justice to sustain them. Accompaniment is for homosexuals and the divorced; there is no time left to accompany those whose lives are ordinary- no mercy left for the victims, only for the criminals.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Four Types of Mercy and my dispair

Next week I get to go to the Holy Name Society Men's Conference in Salem.  In preparation for my confession, and in an attempt to bring some organization to my despair, here is my problem with the Year of Mercy- that never got resolved, but may have a very simple solution indeed.

The problem, as I see it, is I'm educated enough to know that there are four competing definitions of mercy in this world, that they are mutually exclusive, and that they can be described as four mutually incompatible religions.

  1. Unitarian Secular Humanism- Mercy is reduction of human suffering.  By any means.  In the atheist extreme, this leads to euthanasia and abortion- killing the suffering person to reduce human suffering overall.
  2. Hindu Karma- Human suffering is caused by needing to learn a lesson, so the most merciful action is to allow the lesson to continue and do nothing.  Eventually, the soul will start to learn (in this life or 10,000 lives down the road) how to avoid suffering.
  3. Buddhist Matrix Dharma- Human suffering is an illusion of expectation caused by the ultimate illusion of existence itself.  Mercy is helping the suffering soul realize this.
  4. Catholicism- Human suffering is the necessary evil needed to spur the righteous man to use one of the Spiritual or Corporal works of Mercy to help relieve the suffering.  Relief of the suffering comes from either Corporal reduction of Physical suffering (even after death, burying the dead in hopes of resurrection is a corporal reduction of potential physical suffering) or Spiritual Reduction of Spiritual Suffering, by bringing the expectations of the soul in line with reality.
The issue arises with certain items like the current Divorce and Remarriage debate, which looks an awfully lot like a choice between 1, 2, and 4:

  1. Marriage is dissoluble, and so an intolerable marriage should be given Divorce (euthanasia).
  2. Marriage is indissoluble, and we have been given an intolerable marriage because there is something we need to learn.
  3. Not being argued in the current debate, but it would be the Marriage is no longer a Sacrament and is illusory anyway, so why worry?
  4. Marriage is indissoluble, and with confession and the processes already available in the Church, can remain so while reducing some of the human suffering.
The trouble is, I'm having problems knowing the difference between accompaniment and enabling.  When does 4 devolve into 3,2, or 1?  At what level is the temptation there for a busy priest to just give absolution to everybody, or worse yet, be extremely harsh with everybody?

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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at http://outsidetheaustisticasylum.blogspot.com.