Thursday, March 05, 2015

Ways the Pope can be a heretic, and more

  • Opus Publicum: Ways the Pope can be a heretic. I'm sure most non-Catholics who bother to really inquire about the faith are surprised to learn that the Pope is relatively not that important; as Fr. Hunwicke tirelessly explains, our doctrine really limits his office's powers. Our first loyalty as Catholics is to Jesus Christ, true God and true man, and to our holy mother, the church; it's about the Pope's office belonging to the church, not the man sitting in the Chair of Peter. Every movement that thinks it knows better than the church is a dead end. Unsurprisingly, charismatic-bred Steubie U. decides in Pope Francis' favor, and they happen to be right. He is the Pope.
  • Ad Orientem: Eastern Orthodoxy's Modernists. Orthodox Metropolitan Ambrosius of Helsinki of the Finnish Orthodox Church invited female Evangelical Lutheran bishop Irja Askola to the altar with him during a clergy ordination at the Sunday Divine Liturgy. This has sparked much controversy. Just like when a Catholic bishop does that, it doesn't mean anything. What Orthodoxy teaches on that, as Archbishop Leo teaches, is pretty clear. Just shows they have the same problems with Modernism that we do, only they had the sense not to fall for the space age; they didn't modernize their services in the '60s. But underneath that strong selling point, they have divorce & remarriage and now contraception, just like Protestants, and that's on top of their anti-logic and xenophobia. They don't think they know better than the church; they think they are the church. Obviously they're not.
  • Why our children don't think there are moral facts. Commentary from Rod Dreher, who writes good things when he's not subtly trying to get conservative Christians to surrender.
  • Golden-era deism. Frank Sinatra in 1963 quoted on Wikipedia (also, a reason the mainstream loves Hugh Hefner, who printed this): I think I can sum up my religious feelings in a couple of paragraphs. First: I believe in you and me. I'm like Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in that I have a respect for life — in any form. I believe in nature, in the birds, the sea, the sky, in everything I can see or that there is real evidence for. If these things are what you mean by God, then I believe in God. But I don't believe in a personal God to whom I look for comfort or for a natural on the next roll of the dice. This, brewing since the Renaissance, Protestantism, and the "Enlightenment," is what caused Vatican II (faith in "Progress!") and the rest of the Sixties; the hippies were both part of the problem and reacting to it (was it Chesterton who wrote that if you take away God, people will believe anything?). This is what our elites believed at the time (not Middle America — yet); everybody on "Mad Men" thinks like this. Gives credence to the reactionary paleo-conservatives' and traditionalists' point that back then, the Sixties were like a zit about to pop. Dr. John Rao has pointed out that churchmen in the "Enlightenment" were like this too. The Sixties were reality mugging Sinatra, who then became a Republican ("the Chairman of the Board") and reconciled with the church by the time he died.
  • The Anti-Gnostic: The Bumbling American's Twitter feed of one-liners. Finally a use for the thing.


  1. Makes "Papal Infallibility" seem a load of old rubbish, don't it!

    1. No, because the Pope's opinions can't change the church's teachings. Papal infallibility is really a kind of church infallibility. The Catholic Church has consistently defended these beliefs so I have no reason to leave it. I've been to the high-church alternatives (the Episcopalianism of my birth and Eastern Orthodoxy) and found them wanting.

      As I like to say, to me the Pope's a distant figure whose name the priest whispers in the Canon at Mass and to whom I send my Peter's Pence envelope once a year (money he gives to charity).

    2. Old rubbish? Um, only if you insist on misunderstanding papal infallibility.


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