The monumental hubris of the modern heretic

As a Catholic (well, aspiring — 41 days till baptism!) in this degenerate sinkhole of a declining civilization, I’ve gotten pretty used to reports of heresy. Like this one:

A call by reform-minded Catholics in the German-speaking world for the church to soften its stances on homosexuality, divorce and celibacy among priests and to end its ban on women in the clergy is drawing loud criticism from conservatives. They argue the group is threatening to create a schism within the Catholic Church.

With its often more progressive stances on some controversial issues, the arm of the Catholic Church in the German-speaking world has long posed problems for Rome. Now a modern day schism is threatening the area’s priestly establishment. The brewing split exposes a rift in the German speaking world between more liberal reform minded and conservative Catholics regarding the future of the church. The stakes are high, with the number of men applying for the priesthood in decline as the church loses appeal among younger generations.

The liberal Pastors’ Initiative wants to reverse that trend, which has forced parishes to close, by making priesthood more accessible. Last June it put out a “Call for Disobedience,” calling for a rewrite of the church’s long standing views against homosexuality, divorce and celibacy.

The title of the article suggests a formal link to the Austrian heretics who still, inexplicably, have not been severed from the society of faithful Catholics, although it’s hard to tell if that link is real and formal or if the paper is just trying to drum up a sensationalized “movement” out of formless sentiment.

In any event, I’m impressed by the monumental hubris these heretics pretty consistently display. Think for a moment about the stakes of what’s involved here. The Catholic theological tradition goes back thousands of years — to several centuries before the birth of Christ, in fact, with the works of Plato and Aristotle. To believe what the heretics are saying, we have to assume that 2400 years or so of thinkers and philosophers, including a large number of saints, theological doctors, holy men, and martyrs — people who devoted their entire lives to prayer, contemplation, and holiness, and at least one of whom was blessed for his labors with a miraculous encounter with God Himself — managed to get everything wrong. And we, the products of an apostate age of casual barbarism and unreason, have it all figured out. Move over, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas! Father Flake is here, and he’s got some timeless theological insights he discovered after six months of halting pseudo-reflection (which only by coincidence happen to align perfectly with the self-indulgent and utilitarian spirit of the present age)!

It’s worse than just hubris, though — it’s also impiety. What monstrous things must one have to convince oneself about earlier Church thinkers in order to swallow the leftist line on these issues? That generations’ of condemnations of buggery by holy popes and saints were motivated merely by hatred and ignorance? You expect leftist philosodomites to indulge in damnable lies like this; you at least hope for something better from men who call themselves Catholics.

Like most faithful Catholics, I found myself in the awkward position of simultaneously wishing the bishops would excommunicate the bastards for the good of literally everyone, without wishing to presume to advise holy mother Church where my advice was not solicited. I can only hope she knows what she’s doing.

About these ads

19 thoughts on “The monumental hubris of the modern heretic

  1. That often the Catholic position. It is sad and awkward, but there is very little to do, or at least nothing to do that I can summarize in a comment. I’m glad you’re coming on board, though.

    Two general points regarding what you say.

    “The Catholic theological tradition goes back thousands of years — to several centuries before the birth of Christ, in fact, with the works of Plato and Aristotle”: Well, the Catholic Tradition also includes the Old Testament, so it goes back a bit further than that as well; I think its important to keep that in mind. We do worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as the God of the philosophers… and the former seems to have opposed sodomy pretty well, as well. I wouldn’t want to appeal to Greek philosophy, in first or even in second resort, in opposing sodomy.

    “Philosodomites”: I’m always searching for terms to cast discourse in that are non-liberal terms, to counter the liberal newspeak we hear constantly. (If the Orthosphere could get a new vocabulary in use, one not loaded with liberal connotations, that would be a great accomplishment.) “Philosodomite” is interesting, and gets the point across viscerally enough. How about “homophile,” though? It seems a tad less awkward, and matches “homophobe” nicely. It could be used in meaningless, responses in shouting matches on TV as well: “Homophobe!” “Better a homophobe than homophile…” Eh. Maybe. What do you think?

    • Fair point about the Old Testament — I was thinking more along the lines of the natural law moral-theological tradition, but even that has its antecedents in the OT.

    • In a similar vein, I had indulged in the neologism “heteronormophobia” – or “heteronormophobe” – some time back (see http://bonald.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/a-rubicon-moment-for-the-anglo-american-left/; http://bonald.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/a-crisis-moment-for-the-anglo-american-left/). However, “philosodomite” certainly has a punchiness that the above term lacks.

      I am very much reminded here of Orwell’s seminal essay, “Politics and the English Language”, and his observation regarding political prose being employed “to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Of course, his great conception of Newspeak in “Nineteen Eighty-Four” flows directly from his earlier insights. The key lesson is to never yield language to your cultural enemies without a struggle. Remember Kennedy’s eulogistic observation on Churchill: “He marshaled the English language and sent it into battle.”

  2. @Proph –

    One of our biggest problems of the age is our inculcated resistance to simple and overwhelming arguments such as :

    ” To believe what the heretics are saying, we have to assume that 2400 years or so of thinkers and philosophers, including a large number of saints, theological doctors, holy men, and martyrs — people who devoted their entire lives to prayer, contemplation, and holiness … managed to get everything wrong. And we, the products of an apostate age of casual barbarism and unreason, have it all figured out. Move over, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas! Father Flake is here…”

    That is it! – for a real Christian, that is conclusive.

    We don’t need to keep arguing; in fact saying anything more weakens the case.

    *

    The only problem with this argument is that is also knocks-out some of the changes over the past 1000 years which most churches, and most people (esepcailly in the West), want to keep – a wide range of things from the Reformation and its denial of the real presence at Mass, to priestly celibacy and the immaculate conception, to the notion tha Christianity is pacifist and against slavery.

    (These things may be more or less expedient, more or less helpful to Church organization etc., but the historical argument suggests they are not necessary or core aspects of the faith.)

    So, rather than use the simple and decisive historical argument – which collaterally demolishes aspects they want to claim as core to Christianity – defenders of tradition are often forced-into more specific, more complex and less-convincing arguments – such as arguments concerned with scriptural interpretation, or claimed implicit back-projections of innovations.

    Christian denominations ought not (although they usually have, and continue to) fall out and fight over non-core aspects.

    Somehow, moderns need to focus on the simple ‘mere’ Christian core as the basis for unity and salvation; and regard all the rest as being individual helps (or hindrances) to salvation; yet respecting that each denomination of the true mystical Church has its necessities; and that the mystical Church must (and will – even if minuscule) survive to the end.

  3. “As a Catholic (well, aspiring — 41 days till baptism!) . . . ”

    Let me extend a premature congratulations. I probably won’t be on the Internet after the Easter Vigil to congratulate you in a more timely manner.

      • Of course, my apologies. I’ve read your blog, I should have known better!

        I’ve written once about it before back at C:TB. I’ve found it so far to be too insubstantial to be really heretical. I think that’s pretty much the state of affairs at my parish: vapid but well-intentioned.

  4. well, aspiring — 41 days till baptism

    For children: “Can. 867 §1 Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptised within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it.”

    So, why are you, an adult, made to wait so long (I assume your wait started some time ago)? Was it your choice to delay the baptism?

    • In the American Church it is customary for adult converts to go through a lengthy period of catechesis and instruction, lasting about six or seven months months. This is probably because I’ll be receiving three sacraments all at once (baptism, confirmation, and communion), instead of spread out over a dozen or more years, which is the norm for cradle Catholics. I probably could’ve spoken with the priest and gotten it all done much sooner, but I didn’t want to risk missing anything important. Plus, humility and deference are virtues I could really stand to cultivate.

  5. As I recall in the RCC priests in all rites, except the Roman rite can be maarried. Not that it’s intrinsically bad of course either way. But it seems to be something a lot of RCs and non-RCs forget.

    • That, I believe, is the only one of their complaints that could actually be addressed, priestly celibacy being a discipline and not a doctrine — even so, to bring the Roman rite in line with the eastern ones would only be to lift the ban on married men being ordained; it would not lift the prohibition on priests marrying.

  6. There are exceptions in the Roman rite as well; Fr. Longenecker being the most notable in the Catholic blogosphere.

    No, we don’t forget that. The problem is that it is uncommon to find the Western Catholic who calls for ending the celibacy rule by itself; it usually comes in a package of demands like women priests, greenlighting sexual perversion, and democratizing Church structure and doctrine. Our Eastern Rite brethren have serious restrictions on married priests that your typical drum-banger for ending celibacy isn’t going to care about bringing over into Roman rites. But while there is some bleeding between the two, it is not a stretch to say the Eastern Catholics main battle is against the dictatorship of Islam; Our battle is primarily with the dictatorship of relativism–i.e. exactly what these Austrian dissidents are cheerleading for.

  7. Pingback: A New Reactionary Site « Patriactionary

  8. brucecharlton: “The only problem with this argument is that is also knocks-out some of the changes over the past 1000 years which most churches, and most people (esepcailly in the West), want to keep – a wide range of things from the Reformation and its denial of the real presence at Mass, to priestly celibacy and the immaculate conception, to the notion tha Christianity is pacifist and against slavery.

    (These things may be more or less expedient, more or less helpful to Church organization etc., but the historical argument suggests they are not necessary or core aspects of the faith.)”

    I once thought that as well. However, the collapse of mainstream protestant Christianity in my lifetime suggests that dispensing with those things that most people in the West wish dispensed with had unintended consequences.

    I was raised in what became the UCC. When I was a child, I was taught, and most believed, that the 16th century confessions were an EXTENSION of historical Christianity. My parents, my grandparents, and most protestant Christians believed that, then.

    This church, in fifty short years, now spits on the gospels, preaches perversion and heresy, and is (thank God) rapidly dying.

    Maybe the whole reform project was not as stable as was once believed.

  9. Pingback: What love isn’t « The Orthosphere

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s