Denying The Truth Doesn’t Change The Facts
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “The point was that the knowledge of science is not superior. It is not the knowledge. The knowledge is knowing the truth. That leads to wisdom. The knowledge of wisdom does not lead to wisdom.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: The point was that the knowledge of science is not superior. It is not the knowledge. The knowledge is knowing the truth. That leads to wisdom. The knowledge of wisdom does not lead to wisdom. Sapiente in Latin — I know, [mocking] “There you go with the Latin.” As a matter of fact, where’s Ross Douthat. This guy writes at the New York Times. He’s supposed to be a conservative Republican. Shouldn’t Ross Douthat be on a never-ending, nonstop quest to bring you political information and the latest from the campaign and political theory and the bashing of Obama? If I understand his job title, he works in media. He’s a “conservative.” I’m told there’s only one role for “conservatives” in media, and that’s to bash Obama. That’s to stand in the end zone and shout, “USA! USA! USA!” even when USA does not deserve to be cheered, because it has participated in and begun an unjust war.
Ross Douthat, wasting his Saturday column space in the New York Times when he should be bashing Obama. He should be writing about Primary 2016 because that’s what everyone wants to hear, don’t you know? Why is he writing this then? I must say, I’m shocked by this title. I’m mortified by it. I’m going to quote the title to you so you don’t think I made it up. I can’t wait to hear the conservatives out there say, [mocking] “What do you expect from the libs at the New York Times?” Right, libs at the New York Times I would expect would print this title, “The Plot to Change Catholicism,” Ross Douthat, 17 October 2015.
The Vatican always seems to have the secrets and intrigues of a Renaissance court — which, in a way, is what it still remains. The ostentatious humility of Pope Francis, his scoldings of high-ranking prelates, have changed this not at all; if anything, the pontiff’s ambitions have encouraged plotters and counterplotters to work with greater vigor.
And right now the chief plotter is the pope himself.
Mike: Now, on Thursday night last when I was granted the opportunity to speak to that crowd of pro-lifers in Michigan, I challenged them to stop calling the pro-life movement a movement. A movement is something that is started by man. Either you’re for life or you’re not. Life begins at conception. The moment, nanosecond conception occurs, God implants a soul and it’s alive. Note the recent hoopla over finding not life but a drop of water on Mars. They don’t even have a photograph of the water. They have a shadow of it allegedly moving. Oh, but that’s the greatest discovery ever. But the discovery using the aforementioned telescope or microscope or ultrasound or whatever that life begins when those two chromosomes, 13 and 13 make 26 and bammo, fertilization has occurred. Life is there. Kablowee. Soul is present. That’s quite a discovery. That’s quite a knowledge, by the by.
Francis’s purpose is simple: He favors the proposal, put forward by the church’s liberal cardinals, that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion without having their first marriage declared null.
Thanks to the pope’s tacit support —
Mike: By the way, folks, he can’t do this, and neither can they. We know what the teaching is. The Church knows what the teaching is. He cannot alter it and they can’t alter it either. If they write something pastoral, if you’re one of the ones that thinks you’re going to “benefit from this” — by the way, I would be one of the ones that would “benefit” from it. I have the assurance of the pastor at our Latin Mass Society I will never be granted such a license. I don’t want it. This is what Douthat is writing partially about. The laity is now going to find itself as the last defender of the teaching, the magisterial truth and the teaching.
But if his purpose is clear, his path is decidedly murky. Procedurally, the pope’s powers are near-absolute: If Francis decided tomorrow to endorse communion for the remarried, there is no Catholic Supreme Court that could strike his ruling down. [Mike: There’s a Holy Ghost, Ross, who could strike him down before he could write it, see: Pope Paul VI.]
At the same time, though, the pope is supposed to have no power to change Catholic doctrine. This rule has no official enforcement mechanism [Mike: It doesn’t need one] (the Holy Spirit is supposed to be the crucial check and balance), but custom, modesty, fear of God and fear of schism all restrain popes who might find a doctrinal rewrite tempting.
And a change of doctrine is what conservative Catholics, quite reasonably, believe that the communion proposal favored by Francis essentially implies. [Mike: That’s because it does, Ross.]
There’s probably a fascinating secular political science tome to be written on how the combination of absolute and absolutely-limited power shapes the papal office. In such a book, Francis’s recent maneuvers would reserve a chapter, because he’s clearly looking for a mechanism, that would let him exercise his powers without undercutting his authority.
Mike: You know what’s fascinating about this whole thing to me? It requires — this is not an infallible act here that he’s attempting. We don’t know the difference between fallibility and infallibility. That wouldn’t make any sense. It’s not an infallible act. What’s fascinating is that the very people that allegedly are going to benefit from this are the ones that are going to suffer the greatest scandal as a result of it. A blind man could see that, especially a blind man that’s been hanging about and watching this septic tank of a culture that we live in. You give one millimeter towards no-fault divorce, etc. — and that’s what this is the first step towards — you get current marriage attitudes, procedures. Look at what’s happened since that cat has been let out of the proverbial bag. See: Stan and Steve, for example.
Unfortunately such a statement has proven difficult to extract—because the ranks of Catholic bishops include so many Benedict XVI and John Paul II-appointed conservatives, and also because the “pastoral” argument is basically just rubbish. [Mike: That’s exactly what it is.] The church’s teaching that marriage is indissoluble has already been pushed close to the breaking point by this pope’s new expedited annulment process [Mike: Another joke, another not-fallible. He is not infallible on that.]; going all the way to communion without annulment would just break it.
So to overcome resistance from bishops who grasp this obvious point, first last year’s synod and now this one have been, to borrow from the Vatican journalist Edward Pentin’s recent investigative book, “rigged” by the papal-appointed organizers in favor of the pope’s preferred outcome.
Mike: There’s more on this. I won’t bore you with the rest of it. I’ll read you Douthat’s conclusion:
The entire situation abounds with ironies. Aging progressives are seizing a moment they thought had slipped away, trying to outmaneuver younger conservatives who recently thought they owned the Catholic future. The African bishops are defending the faith of the European past against Germans and Italians wear of their own patrimony. A Jesuit pope is effectively at war with his own Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the erstwhile Inquisition — a situation that would make 16th century heads spin.
For a Catholic journalist, for any journalist, it’s a fascinating story, and speaking strictly as a journalist, I have no idea how it will end.
Speaking as a Catholic, I expect the plot to ultimately fail; where the pope and the historic faith seem to be in tension, my bet is on the faith.
But for an institution that measures its life span in millennia, ”ultimately” can take a long time to arrive.
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Mike: Then we have this, Joseph Pearce, Imaginative Conservative website, “God or Mammon: Choosing Christ in a World in Crisis.”
One of the biggest and most dangerous temptations that Christians face is the addiction to comfort. Our desire for comfort and our unwillingness to sacrifice ourselves for others is at the root of much that is evil and destructive in the world. It was for this reason that Chesterton, when asked what was wrong with the world, replied that “I am.” The paradox is that Chesterton was right in seeing himself as wrong, whereas we are usually wrong when we think that we are right. We are smug. Our hearts are essentially self-centred. We surround ourselves with trinkets and trash, forgetting the words of Christ that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also.
End Mike Church Show Transcript