Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Notes: Wednesday, May 19, 2009

Ms Maley's 'flexible take on fact'

In an article in The Sydney Morning Herald today in relation to remarks by The Hon. Tony Abbott M.P. about not taking his unprepared statements as 'Gospel truth', Ms Jacqueline Maley concludes by writing that

Abbott will be comforted by St Ignatius's flexible take on fact: ''I will believe that the white that I see is black if the hierarchical church so defines it.''

What St. Ignatius (of Loyola) actually wrote, in the thirteenth of his Rules for Thinking with The Church, was that

if [the Church] shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black.

Note that it is a question of appearances, which, as we know, can be deceiving. Especially for the colour-blind.

Mr. MacIntyre on the present-day British class system

Worth reading, if nothing else but for a bit of amusement. Here's a taste:

[The Rt. Hon. David] Cameron [M.P., British Prime Minister] would seem to be posher, genealogically. He is a descendant of William IV and distantly related to the Queen. His mother is the daughter of a baronet. His mother-in-law is a viscountess. Samantha Cameron is authentic old money county posh, being the eldest daughter of Reginald Adrian Berkeley Sheffield, 8th baronet and a descendant of Charles II.

But there is blueish blood in the Clegg veins too. His grandmother was a White Russian baroness. His great uncle was clubbed to death by his own peasants, which carries a certain aristo-cachet. His great aunt was a spy: it is well known that before about 1992 MI6 did not recruit anyone who was not directly out of the top drawer. On the other hand, his ancestors on the other side were Dutch colonial entrepreneurs: yes, trade.

... Lying is morally permissible in three circumstances. The key to lying is for people to understand when it is OK to stretch (and indeed break) the truth.

First, it is OK to lie to protect unjust attacks on higher order interests, such as the right to life, liberty and physical integrity. To this end, parallels can be drawn with the right to self-defence. This entails that lies are justifiable only where the threat is relatively imminent and there is no other lawful means to readily neutralise the risk. Thus, you needn't think twice about pointing an aggressor in search of his intended victim in the wrong direction.

The second exception to the general prohibition against lying is where it is necessary to achieve important social goods that cannot be secured (at all or at least not very effectively) through transparent means.
Thus, covert law enforcement practices and investigative journalism are soundpractices.

And it is probably permissible to tell your children there is a Santa Claus and your wife that you are at work instead of at the pub having an extra drink.

Finally, you get to tell the occasional white lie. They're OK where the topic of the lie cannot readily be avoided and it is done to spare a person's feelings. Thus, when your partner asks you "Does my bum look big in this new dress?" or "Is my new haircut nice?" you get to say no and yes, respectively.

This is irrespective of how many kilograms they have piled on recently or how ill-suiting the hairstyle actually is. But it is not desirable to make the same remark if it has not been prompted; instead, compliment your partner on their great personality.

White lies are also permissible where they act as social lubricants, obviating the need to engage in drawn-out character evaluations. Better to say you can't make it to dinner because you're busy rather than because you find the person revolting.

Character appraisals rarely work; they lead only to hostility and defensiveness.

In fact, lying--speech contrary to one's mind--is never morally permissible; the natural law forbids it always and everywhere. As an abuse of the speech faculty, whose purpose is the communication of truth, it is intrinsically evil and always at least venially sinful. But I expect to hear the contrary from Prof. Bagaric; the following will shed a bit more light on his moral philosophy:

The doctrine of double effect has been discredited in philosophy schools for decades. In the end, there is no inherent distinction between consequences that are intended and those which are foreseen. The fact civilians will be killed is often just as certain as the killing of combatants. We are responsible for all the consequences which we foresee, but nevertheless elect to bring about. Whether we also "intend" them is largely irrelevant.

Mr. Ferrara on H.H. The Pope's recent reference to the Third Secret of Fatima

Here's an excerpt:

And now none other than Pope Benedict XVI—only days after the Fatima Challenge conference in Rome—has clearly and deliberately reopened the entire Third Secret controversy! During the Pope’s flight to Portugal for his just completed papal visit to the Fatima Shrine, papal spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi read to His Holiness three questions that represented a “synthesis” of the questions to which the press pool sought answers. In answering these questions, as John Allen notes, the Pope “was hardly caught off-guard. The Vatican asks reporters travelling with the pope to submit questions for the plane several days in advance, so Benedict has plenty of time to ponder what he wants to say. If he takes a question on the plane, it’s because he wants to talk about it, and he’s chosen his words carefully.”

In other words, the Pope wanted to talk about the Third Secret of Fatima, ten years after the subject was supposedly laid to rest. Here is the pre-selected question and the pertinent portions of the Pope’s explosive answer:

Lombardi: Holiness, what significance do the apparitions of Fatima have for us today? And when you presented the text of the Third Secret, in the Vatican Press Office, in June 2000, it was asked of you whether the Message could be extended, beyond the attack on John Paul II, also to the other sufferings of the Pope. Is it possible, according to you, to frame also in that vision the sufferings of the Church of today for the sins of the sexual abuse of minors?

Pope Benedict: Beyond this great vision of the suffering of the Pope, which we can in substance refer to John Paul II, are indicated future realities of the Church which are little by little developing and revealing themselves. Thus it is true that beyond the moment indicated in the vision, one speaks, one sees, the necessity of a passion of the Church that naturally is reflected in the person of the Pope; but the Pope is in the Church, and therefore the sufferings of the Church are announced…. As for the novelty that we can discover today in this message, it is that attacks on the Pope and the Church do not come only from outside, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from sins that exist in the Church. This has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from enemies outside, but arises from sin in the Church.

Now, it is obvious that the vision of “the bishop dressed white” does not depict an attack on the Pope and the Church from enemies within, but rather the execution of (apparently) a future Pope by a band of soldiers outside the half-ruined city, followed by the execution of bishops, priests and members of the laity in a train of martyrs, not sinners, whose blood is gathered up by the angel who appears in the vision. Only one thing could harmonize the vision with the internal subversion of the Church to which Benedict refers: a text in which the Virgin explains how a crisis within the Church leads to a chastisement of the Pope and the Church as seen in the vision, probably accompanied by a chastisement of the whole world, as the half-ruined city filled with bodies would indicate. (Tellingly, at the Fatima Challenge conference De Carli referred to the bodies as carbonizzati—charred! Where did he acquire that detail?)

It would seem, then, that we are dealing with a missing text that would predict a great chastisement having to do with the telltale phrase that both Sodano and Bertone have avoided like the plague for the past ten years: “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc”—the “etc” having been added by Sister Lucia to indicate a precious message-warning from the Virgin in the words that follow. This is the phrase the Vatican commentary on the vision suspiciously evades by drawing the text of the Message of Fatima from Sister Lucia’s Third Memoir rather than the Fourth Memoir in which she added to the integral text of the Message the momentous reference to Portugal and the dogma of the Faith. Even more suspiciously, the Vatican commentary consigns that reference to a footnote, describing it as “some annotations” by Lucia, when it clearly contains a direct quotation of the Mother of God.

[italics in the original]

Mr. Muehlenberg on Australia's latest development in degeneracy:

His first three paragraphs:

As soon as I saw the headline my mind went to Table 34. Sure, they are not identical, but they are both in the same ballpark. So what in the world am I talking about? The headline in question is this: “Sex quiz for toddlers”. And Table 34 refers to gruesome experiments conducted on toddlers and even babies by sexologist Alfred Kinsey.

The news item, found in today’s Herald Sun, begins this way: “Children as young as three have been questioned about kissing and flirting in a project by a university researcher from Melbourne. Monash University’s Dr Mindy Blaise, who spent five days at an unnamed childcare centre, wants sexuality to be an official subject at kinders and preschool centres. It would include discussions about homosexuality. Dr Blaise said it was important that kids felt ‘healthy sexuality was not dirty or wrong’. Boys and girls as young as three were asked questions such as ‘Are you a flirt? and ‘Have you ever kissed a boy?’”

Here we go again – another know-it-all sexpert invading the lives of very young children. Just how much sex is on the brain of a three-year-old for heaven’s sake? It seems these Monash eggheads would have us believe toddlers have deep thoughts and discussions about sexuality just like we find in Sex in the City.

And if you think that Mr. Muehlenberg is drawing a long bow in making the connection to Kinsey, this comment in the combox at that post indicates not:

John Angelico
18.5.10 / 11pm
…[sic]and another thing to notice:

The H-S article says “The research was paid for by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, a US-based organisation dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about sexuality. But Dr Blaise is employed by Monash University, a taxpayer-funded university.”

This is the website of that society,
which has under its awards category a Kinsey Award! [...]
[my square-bracketed interpolations]

An upcoming Vatican conference on witnesses to Christ in the political community

Full text of the relevant item from the Vatican Information Service's daily e-mail bulletin:


VATICAN CITY, 18 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The twenty-fourth plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity will take place in Rome from 20 to 22 May on the theme: "Witnesses to Christ in the political community".

A communique on the event explains how "Benedict XVI has, on various occasions, highlighted the pressing need for a renewed commitment of Catholics in political life".

The plenary will be inaugurated by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and is scheduled to include three lectures: Lorenzo Ornaghi, rector of the Sacred Heart Catholic University in Milan, Italy, will speak on "politics and democracy today: 'status quaestionis'"; Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the "Cultural Project" of the Italian Episcopal Conference, will examine the topic of "Church and political community: certain vital points"; finally Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, will speak on "the responsibility of the lay faithful in political life".

The assembly will also include two reports, one by Andrea Riccardi, founder of the St. Egidio Community, on "what the great Christian figures in the history of politics have to say to us today"; and the second by Guzman Carriquiry, under secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who will discuss "criteria and methods for the formation of the lay faithful in politics".

The participants will be received in audience by the Pope on Friday 21 May.

On the afternoon of Saturday 22 May, Bishop Joseph Clemens, secretary of the pontifical council, will consider the dicastery's achievements and explain its programmes for the future.
CON-L/ VIS 20100518 (270)
[bold type in the original]

I wonder whether any of the speakers will bring up the necessity of working for the Social Reign of Christ, with everything it implies--the Confessional State and the union of Church and State chief among them? I fear not.

Blog comments by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
May 19, 2010 at 4:03 am

“the Church would have been far better served by another anti-modernist pope like St. Pius X who would have anathematized the proponents of the liceity of contraceptive practice, advocates of “choice” in the matter of abortion, and proponents of WO and SS within the Church, and cast them out of the Church if they refused to recent their views.”

Hear, hear, Dr. Tighe.

“[You] still hope for such a pope.”

And so do I.

Cardinal Pole
May 19, 2010 at 4:08 am
“Brian [Coyne] just wants to turn [The Catholic Church] into a facsimile of himself.”

Louise, for a laugh, check out Mr. Coyne’s “vision of a vibrant Catholicism”:

Cardinal Pole
May 19, 2010 at 5:15 am

“does it just represent their status, and therefore should be read as “Bishop”, “Archbishop”,“Cardinal” etc as is appropriate to the name that comes with it?”

It just signifies that the person is a Bishop; it saves the writer having to write out the full title. (I wonder whether it was used in this way before the Internet?)

It comes from how traditionally, an Ordinary (if I’m not mistaken they have to be Ordinaries, not just Bishops) would sign his name with the plus sign in front. (And traditionally, in English or English-speaking Sees, substituting the name of his See for his family name. So for instance, a man named Reginald who was Lord Archbishop of Canterbury would sign his name ‘+Reginaldvs Cantvar’.)

Here’s a note from Fr. Zuhlsdorf on the matter:

“One of the perks for a Cardinal Bishop is that he can sign his name with a +. I remember at a gathering some years ago with the titular Cardinal Bishop a Suburbicarian diocese, Joseph Card. Ratzinger, we heard about the +. He said that when he became Archbishop of Munich, he was +Joseph Ratzinger. He became +Joseph Card. Ratzinger when elevated to the College. When he was moved to Rome to be Prefect of the CDF he was then Joseph Card. Ratzinger without the +. When he was made Cardinal Bishop it was back to +Joseph Card. Ratzinger.”

At Coo-ees:

Cardinal Pole said...
"Why wold a Melkite sub-deacon be working for the Latin-rite Sydney Archdiocese?"

Are you familiar with the concept of the Trojan Horse?

May 19, 2010 3:11 AM
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Cardinal Pole said...
"To be fair, the vestments are nice."

I'm surprised that you think that, Joshua. The mitre's shape is unobjectionable, but the pattern looks, from here at least, pretty ugly. And conversely for the pseudo-Gothic chasuble: A true Gothic chasuble's edge would not extend past the biceps, whereas Msgr. Fisher's would probably cover his hands if he dropped them at his side. What he's wearing is basically a glorified poncho; suitable perhaps for profane ceremonial functions, but not for the offering of a true and proper sacrifice, which would be difficult to immolate with a circus tent floating around one's forearms. Though the pattern's alright, I suppose.

And obviously, whatever one might think of each garment in itself, they can hardly be said to go well together.

And what is that totem pole thing supposed to be? I don't ask that as a joke question; I'm seriously wondering. It isn't really meant to be a crozier, is it?

May 19, 2010 3:27 AM
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Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Peter Celestine, Pope, Confessor, and of St. Pudentiana, Virgin, A.D. 2010

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "church" does not think. Only individual human beings, one at a time are capable of thinking.

Plus it seems to me that such a statement inevitably leads to "heresies" and the persecution of those who make them. And then to the persecution of all of those who agree with any given "heresy" in any time and place.

Anyone for the Inquisition?