A brief argument against naturalism…

Naturalism assumes that there is no higher order beyond empirical nature, and, as a result, no basis for natural teleology (viz., an order in nature which points toward a higher intelligible order). It follows that we qua natural subjects cannot learn anything from nature, since, literally, naturalism forbids observing from empirical nature to anything higher. Nature, in other words, is not a teacher. 

Yet, man is a learner. If nature teaches nothing, how can man learn anything from it? Expressing empirical observations is not learning, since learning involves grasping principles, whereas observation merely involves sensory impressions. Only by positing a higher intelligible continuity that transcends any and all instances of empirical observation can those observations be constructed into a theory (i.e., a syllogism of learned principles). It follows that no series or set of observations can be constructed into a theoretical defense of naturalism itself. 

So, either humans are not simply natural, or humans have no way of learning the truth of naturalism from nature. 

A little Lewis, a little Plantinga, a little Reppert. 

Thoughts?

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The wheels are in motion…

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’ve been exceptionally busy with a new project at work, and a third child in the house, to boot, but my brain is slowly reemerging into the harsh light of bloggery. Granted, I’ve been staying quite active on Twitter (@eb4eliza), but it’s not as satisfying as doing longer-form writing on my blog. 

Alas, while I won’t be publishing my long-awaited promissory posts from the past few months this weekend, I decided to post some words and thoughts that caught my eye in a new reading campaign I’ve begun. 

It’s a “one book a day” reading project, inspired by Tai Lopez, but I don’t actually finish a whole book every single day. The main thing is that I’m forcing myself to suppress my usual habits of marking up numerous passages and brooding over most pages of a book. Instead, I get highly familiar with the contents, index, introduction, pertinent reviews, and then run through the text very quickly, marking only passages that I might like to peruse later. Last night, for example, I finished the introduction by Stuart Ewen to Edward Bernays’s Crystallizing Public Opinion and then ambled through the next 150 pages as I fell asleep, finishing the remaining 15 pages at breakfast this morning. 

Granted, Lopez’s reading strategy is, by his own admission, geared mainly to self-help, business, and psychology books, and he admits that novels and more academic books admit of a slower reading pace. Even so, I’ve found this new reading approach very effective even for academic works. For instance, a couple weeks ago I read James A. Herrick’s Scientific Mythologies in the span of about 24 hours. The book is very well researched, and full of  names and works that I did not know of, or had forgotten, but was organized well enough that I could read the introduction, opening and closing paragraphs of each chapter, and mark recurring themes or figures in the body of the text as I flew over it. I know from countless books in the last that even if I meticulously read every word and add my little pencil marks at every intellectual provocation, it would only be a matter of days before I had forgotten many of those details, and would need to return to the book for a refresher anyway. So, why not just do the “forgetting” as you read and then return to the book for a handful of major facts or personages that stuck out? As Lopez bluntly notes, most books only have a couple good ideas in them, but require a lot of verbal buttressing and padding to be marketable. Obviously, as I mentioned, this “flippant” attitude does not apply to serious theological and philosophical works, but life is too short to treat all books on a par. Besides, the satisfaction of “icing” one book after another as the weeks pass provides mental momentum, which also helps one to keep working through larger, deeper books. 

In any case, here are some tidbits from my latest “readings”. More substantive posts are, God willing, on the way. I may be slow but I get there in the end. Stay tuned, kind reader. 

  • Environmental Stewardship in the Judeo-Christian Tradition, The Acton Institute (2007)

Interestingly, Judaism regards vegetarianism as an announcement that one is “a very good animal,” as opposed to simply human. 

Industrialization as increasingly spiritual as opposed to merely material: information, service, and experience economy. 

When man does not exercise dominion over nature, nature will exercise dominion over man, causing great suffering to humanity. [Ecologism is often a form of misanthropic abdication.]

Nature “achieves balance” when one portion of nature takes advantage of another one. Big fish eat smaller fish. Respecting nature entails that humans respect this harsh but deli ate balance, not try to moralistically defang it. 

People are not a drain on terrestrial resources but the intelligent creators of new resources, protections, and potential for the common good and other ecosystems. 

Market profitability is inherently interested in ecological sustainability. Economics and ecology are lexically and logically related. 

“If pollution is the brother of affluence, concern about pollution is affluence’s child.”

Contrary to Paul Ehrlich’s “I = PAT” equation that pollution increases factorial lay as affluence does, pollution actually decreases as poverty lessens. 

  • Imagination First: Unlocking the Power of Possibility, Eric Liu and Scott Noppe-Brandon (2009)

Mark Roth, 2007, minute doses of poisonous gases to suspend animation in mice and then reanimate them

Learn to “routinize imagination”

Imagination –> Creativity (imagination applied) –> Innovation (novel creativity) 

No such thing as an instant innovation; imagination comes first. 

“A capacity for imagination cannot be outsourced.”

Golden triangle of inspiration, imagination, and innovation

“Hoard bits” — keep random thoughts and data together to mull over; gradually connections and insights will emerge 

“body-swapping” — role play to experience problem from a new perspective 

In discussions, don’t finish the story; leave space for the others/audience to fill things in. 

Instead of just saying, “no,” learn to say, “yes, and…”  

Observe how others observe. Experience a problem afresh by pitching it to newcomers/outsiders. 

Treat problem-solving as a quest, rather than a mere desire for “results.”

“What kids have and what adults need is counterfactuals detached from goals.” 

“Planning for surprise is not a method; it’s a mindset.” 

Alex Osborn, 1948, Your Creative Power: learn to “maxify and minify” along the z-axis of a problem or scenario based on absolute possibilities and limitations; e.g. photographer Chris Jordan 

“Will we always accomplish what we imagine? Of course not. But we will certainly never accomplish what we refuse to imagine.”

  • How Capitalism Will Save Us, Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames (2009/2011)

[Useful for topical reference. Extremely well organized with common questions and explanations; like a capitalist mini-summa.]

  • Un-Jobbing: The Adult Liberation Handbook, Michael Fogler (1997)

[Learn to spend less so you have to earn less. Learn to collaborate and share locally. Follow your passion; the money will follow.]

  • Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs, James A. Herrick (2008)

[“Scientifiction”–the original term, coined by Hugo Gernsback (1884-1967)–has long shaped scientific priorities and inquiries, as well as indulged in an air of pseudoscientific authority. As the authority of Christianity, and the concept of Authority per se, has waned, scientific fantasies, fueled by more ancient ethno-pagan tendencies, have rushed in to fill the void. Herrick ends each chapter with a cautionary proviso about how these new mythologies diverge from Christianity and how they pose risks to human welfare. Francis Bacon, Francis Godwin, Johannes Kepler, Bernard de Bovier le Fontenelle, Louis-Sébastien Mercier, Emanuel Swedenborg, Kurd Lasswitz, Percival Lowell, Olaf Stapledon, of whom I’d not heard before, was a major pioneer in science fiction. Leon Poliakov’s book on the myth of the Aryan race sounds like a fascinating work to explore, not the least as far as it illuminates the sci-fi interest in higher racial beings, eugenics, and polygenism.]

Space as a new heaven

Star Trek as white pride saga; “interplanetary racists in saucers” (Herrick)

A lot of alien contact lore is just recycled Gnosticism in a technological key 

“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” — Muriel Rukeyser

  • The Church of Christ: An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise, Rev. E. Sylvester Berry (1955)*

Superb resource! 

(As an interesting connection to Herrick’s book, it even discusses the alleged error of Pope Zacharias in repudiating the error that “other people” inhabited “another world”, such as is claimed in theories of subterranean non-human civilizations or alien-engineered polygenism.)

  • Magisterial Authority, Fr. Chad Ripperger, Ph.D. (2014)
  • The Binding Force of Tradition, Fr. Chad Ripperger, Ph.D. (2013)
  • The Origenist Controversy: The Cultural Construction of an Early Christian Debate, Elizabeth A. Clark (1992)

I have wanted to read this work for about sixteen years. I lived overseas so long that I do not automatically think of making interlibrary loans. Plus, I prefer to own my own copies of academic works, if possible. Until recently, the out-of-print copies of this book were at least over $100, so I held off. Not long ago, however, Princeton reissued it as part of its print-on-demand “Legacy Library”. It is meticulously researched and Clark admits her biases up front. It’s a superb resource for getting familiar with Origen, Evagrius Ponticus, Epiphanius, Theophilus, Jerome, Augustine, Pelagius, Shenoute, and other related figures. 

  • Reincarnation: The Missing Link in Christianity, Elizabeth Clare Prophet (1997)

This book was given to me by my brother, who is “into” esoteric history and spirituality. It turned out to be much better researched that I had anticipated, but of course, Ms. Prophet has been in this game for decades. Despite her obvious familiarity with primary and secondary resources, the book suffers a number of logical and historical defects that render it more suppositional (or, as one sympathetic reviewer put it, “imaginative and provocative”) than probative. Worst of all, her discussion of Arianism and the patristics teaching on salvation is so bad that it almost 86’d my entire impression of the work. The sizable bibliography provides a number of works that I shall explore in due time.  

  • The Reign of Christ the King in Both Public and Private Life, Michael Davies (1992)
  • The Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God, St. John Maximovitch (?/1978)

A handy little book, the longest chapter of which is–you guessed it–a refutation of Papist errors about Mary, which–you guessed it again–centers on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Maximovitch certainly marshals important evidence in support of Orthodox objections but I was ultimately unimpressed with his logical fallacies. The most interesting part of the chapter was learning just how explicitly and vehemently opposed to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception St. Bernard of Clairvaux was. Usually people make hay about the fact that St. Thomas Aquinas rejected the doctrine–which is only partially true–but it had never really registered with me that St. Bernard seems like an even more vocal and convinced critic of the doctrine. 

  • AA-1025: Memoirs of the Communist Infiltration into the Church, revealed by Marie Carré (1973/1991)

Admittedly fictionalized, I have found no evidence that refutes its historical basis. Even if Ms. Carré were completely fabricating the memoirs, their cogency and vividness rest in the fact that Communist infiltration was a real and pervasive tactic. This book should be read in conjunction with Bella Dodd’s School of Darkness, works on McCarthy and the Venona transcripts, and any honest study of how the Soviets undermined Russian Orthodoxy and Eastern European Catholicism. 

  • Crystallizing Public Opinion, Edward Bernays (1923/1951; 2011)

At the time it was groundbreaking but by now, for children of the mass-media age like myself, this work is pretty blasé. I think his 1928 book Propaganda will be a bit tangier. 

Stay tuned. 

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Timely wisdom that I’ve read just in time…

From my patron, St. Francis de Sales:

“The great Job cries out, ‘We accept good things from God; and should we not accept evil?’ [Job 2:10] Oh God, these are the words of a mighty spirit of love! Job professes that he loved the goods he had received, not so much because they were good, but because they came from the hand of God. Since this is so, he concludes that he must bear up lovingly under adversities because they come from the hand of the same Lord, Who is equally kind when He apportions affliction as when He gives consolations.”

— TLG, book 9, chapter 9

The present life is given to us only to earn eternal life. If we forget this, we tend to concentrate all our affections on the things of this world, where we are but birds of passage. Believe me, if we want to live as happy pilgrims, we must always have in our hearts the hope of finally reaching that country where we will settle down forever. But at the same time we must believe, and believe with all our hearts (this is a most sacred truth!), that God keeps a loving eye on us as we walk toward Him, and never lets anything happen to us that is not for our greater good.”

Letters 1502

With the single exception of sin, anxiety is the greatest evil that can happen to a soul. Just as sedition and internal disorders bring total ruin to a nation and leave it unable to resist the enemy, so also if our heart is inwardly troubled and disturbed, it loses both the strength necessary to hold on to the virtues it has acquired and the means to resist the temptations of the enemy. We then use up our energies fishing in troubled waters, as they say.”

— Introduction, part IV, chapter 11

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We interrupt our usual intermission…

Sorry I’ve been so inactive here lately. I’ve been swamped with work and family things, and have been limited mostly to “micro-blogging” on-the-fly via my Twitter account. As always I intend to get articles out which readers have requested but I’m just going to have to get through some obstacles first. Thank you for your prayers, and stay tuned!

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Catholic Priest threatens Mum of 3 with legal action, because she told him off for saying that the Holy Spirit is female, and then he lies on Twitter about her!

The Codgitator (A Cadgertator):

This is astonishing, depressing, and all too indicative if what’s headed our way. The smell of the sheep is a good thing, as long as the sheep don’t put on too much orthodox cologne, I guess.

Originally posted on Faith in our Families:

Fr-Dan-Fitzpatrick Fr. Dan Fitzpatrick

This is not a spoof post. This actually happened.

So my in previous article I wrote about how Fr James Martin SJ and Fr. Dan Fitzpatrick had been tweeting about how the Holy Spirit was female:

Father james martin

dan fitz

And how both of them had been sharing posts saying that ‘Ireland is for gay marriage because it is Catholic’.

Fr. Dan 1

And I gave them both a jolly good clip round the ear about openly contradicting the teachings of the Catholic church. Well, this morning I got a message from Fr Dan threatening me with legal action because I was ‘defaming his character’.

Fr dan legal 1

I messaged him back saying:

“Would you like to tell me the 2 statements that cause you upset? I would be happy to rephrase anything that is not correct.”

He messaged back with:

Fr dan legal 2

Edited out some of the abusive comments??! I did nothing of the sort! The truth is…

View original 626 more words

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On the aiding and abetting of schism and theological bafflegab…

[UPDATE: I added some material to the end of this post in a footnote.]

“We may speak freely of notorious and infamous sinners, but still with charity and compassion, avoiding arrogance and presumption, and not rejoicing in another’s ill, which is the sure sign of an evil, cruel heart. Of the enemies of God and His Church we must needs speak openly, since in charity we are bound to give the alarm whenever the wolf is found amongst the sheep.”

St. Francis de Sales, An Introduction to the Devout Life, III, 29.

When the shepherd becomes a wolf, the first duty of the flock is to defend itself.”

Dom Gueránger, The Liturgical Year, Volume 4, Septuagesima, pp. 379-380ff.



True to form, Pope Francis once again recently ruffled faithful feathers with some remarks he made to a Protestant worship gathering in Arizona on May 23. Here is a private video recording of the address as it was delivered to the 1500 participants in Phoenix that day. And here is an official upload of the message via CTV/Catholic Media Ministry, the latter of which a little more presently.

Also true to form, Jimmy Akin jumped into apologetical action to pen yet another clarification on behalf of the Argentine pontiff, titled, “Did Pope Francis say it doesn’t matter what kind of Christian you are? 9 things to know [and share]“. (I originally read and posted my comment at Mr. Akin’s personal blog, where my comment is still awaiting moderation, but then moved it to his NCR blog and changed the URL.)

I have done my best to avoid commenting on the ongoing spectacle that is the current papacy, and I am still very conflicted about the way we are to handle such, ahem, head-scratchers from the mouth of Rome, but I was so frustrated by Mr. Akin’s treatment of the issue that I decided to leave a comment at his blog. I’m reproducing my original remarks here, because, well, that’s just something bloggers do. I don’t see a need to delve into the magisterial basis for most of my remarks below. If you know, you know; if you don’t, please ask.

——

First of all, the Spanish is much less delicate than the common translation to which we’re all being treated. “Y me viene a la mente decir algo que puede ser una insensatez, [pregnant 4-second pause] o quizás una herejía, no sé.” There is no subjunctive  in it and no mention of what anything “might sound” like. It came to mind, Pope Francis explains, “to say something that can be a folly/nonsense, or perhaps a heresy, I don’t know.” How is an official, public address to a body of schismatic Christians unofficial and informal, and why must we coddle this pope as if he didn’t know how his words will come across? These were prepared remarks, which came from his own heart, and therefore surpass his usual “off-the-cuff” gaffes. There’s nothing “informal” about the message, even if it’s not being spoken ex cathedra.

Second, he never defines EXACTLY in what Christian unity CONSISTS. He refers to a number of symptoms or lesser signs of unity, but he never speaks of unity in creed, worship, and governance (or, “creed, code, and cult”), which is what Christian unity IS. It follows that, if he is merely praying for secondary and tertiary manifestations of Christian unity (prayer, labor, conviviality, etc.), then he’s not praying for true Christian unity. Not coincidentally, the promo video for this John 17 event begins with the claim that “unity is not something that can be defined,” which is totally false, otherwise one of the four marks of the Church could not be defined, and, thus, not recognized or preserved. In the same vein, Francis (whose opinion of theology is exceedingly low) denies that theological unity is attainable this side of the Eschaton, which logically implies that Christian unity does not entail or require doctrinal unity.

Third, the biggest problem arises from his claim that the wound of division exists “in the body of the Church”. This is utterly false, and in the “heretical” kind of way, to be sure. The Church is ONE and SPOTLESS; all such “division” is extrinsic to Her. Ironically enough, the divisions Pope Francis is addressing are themselves the result of schismatic Protestant history and an ongoing refusal to seek communion with Rome. So, by calling such divisions the work of the Devil, he’s right–all schism is diabolical, including that fostered by the organizers of the John 17 Movement!

Fourth, by saying that “from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, [he] will be with [the John 17 participants] spiritually,” and that he desires to “join [them] as just another participant” in the event, he vaults over the otherwise safe area of merely praying with non-Catholics and dives into formal co-celebration with them. The event in Arizona included Bible teaching and worship, not mere prayers, so, by uniting his person and intentions with the participants, Pope Francis has formally and publicly united himself as a member of Protestant worship,* which is a no-no, even in the post-Conciliar age (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 8). But, hey, who am I to judge?

Not that any of the above matters, of course. It doesn’t matter what this pope says, whose pious ears he offends, what traditional doctrine and laws he undermines and obscures. He’s the pope, after all. It’s all his show. As “faithful Catholics” we’re just expected to smile and nod.

——-

* Interestingly, at about 10 minutes into the second part of the footage of the John 17 event (footage hosted, oddly enough, by something called Catholic Media Ministry), full size portraits–arrayed in triptych form, no less–of various prominent Christians were placed on-stage (explained by the artist from about 2:44:30 onward): William Wilberforce, Pope Francis, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer at stage right; St. Teresa of Avila, Desmond Tutu, and William Tyndale at stage left.

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Then beginning about 19 minutes in, a handful of Protestant pastors deliver video messages to the gathering, which segues into a plenary address by pastor Giovanni Traettino, with whom Pope Francis has held semi-private and closed gatherings at least twice since last year. When Traettino finishes, a video of our man Cdl. Bergoglio, being prayed over by charismatic Evangelicals in Argentina in 2006, is shown, followed by the final Protestant pastoral video message–from the Bishop of Rome. The effect, obviously, is to situate the authority and message of Pope Francis upon one long, unbroken spectrum of Christian witness, and it is to this spectrum of indifference that Pope Francis publicly united himself as a participant and supporter.

The objection will be that The Leader did not know exactly what would happen at the gathering, so he can’t be blamed for ecumenical excesses. Well, first of all, we don’t know how much Francis knew about this gathering. As a close friend of Traettino, and having participated in an ecumenical gathering with evangelical pastors only weeks earlier, it stands to reason that he knew quite well the basic structure of such an event. It’s not his first ecumenical rodeo, after all.

bergoglio-cardinal-bergoglio-and-an-evangelical-preacher

francis-cardinal-bergoglio-protestant-pastors-pray-over-him

pope francis with pastor giovanni traettino and others

But aside from that, it’s precisely because he did not know what might transpire that the pope should not have given a carte-blanche endorsement of the event. I may not know exactly what will happen if I give my car keys to a ten-year-old boy, which is why I would never give him such perilous power in the first place.

Coda…

Insofar as Catholics are to submit themselves in all things to the shepherding of the Vicar of Christ, whoever he may be, it behooves faithful Catholics to submit to, embrace, defend, and even propagate Pope Francis’s position on this matter. We must follow the pope where he leads the flock, even, apparently, if it leads to encouraging worship with Protestants and a post- or non-theological account of the Church’s unity. So, in that sense, I commend Mr. Akin for following the winds of the Spirit wherever they continue to blow.

As for my other readers, I hear Pope Francis asking you, “Who do you say that I am?”  If one will not let oneself be taught, be molded, by those whom they recognize as the vicars of Christ, then those same persons refuse to submit themselves to the shepherding of the Christ in His divinely appointed vicars. And if they are only selectively molded, then they are only selectively obedient, that is, only selectively faithful.

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Happy thoughts from the front that dare not speak its name…

“[T]here is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion….”

— Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.

As is my wont, in this post I shall try to let cited passages, which I recently discovered in the course of my catch-as-catch-can reading, do most of my speaking for me. To wit:

A considerable body of Christians, untrained in the Christian philosophy of life, are allowing themselves to absorb principles which undermine the constructions of Christian thought. They do not realise how much dangerous it is for Christianity to exist in an atmosphere of Naturalism than to be exposed to positive persecution. In the old days of the Roman Empire those who enrolled themselves under the standard of Christ saw, with logical clearness, that they had perforce to cut themselves adrift from the social life of the world in which they lived–from its tastes, practices and amusements. The line of demarcation between pagan and Christian life was sharp, clearly defined and obvious. Modern Christians have not been so favorably situated. As has been stated already, the framework of the Christian social organisation has as yet survived. This organisation is, to outward appearances, so solid and imposing that it is easy to be blind to the truth that the soul had gradually gone out of it. Under the shelter and utilising the resources of the organisation of life created by Christianity, customs, ways of conduct, habits of thought, have crept in, more completely perhaps, at variance with the spirit of Christianity than even the ways and manners of pagan Rome. …

The Christian of to-day thinks that he is living in what is to all intents and purposes a Christian civilisation. Without misgivings he follows the current of social life around him. His amusements, his pleasures, his pursuits, his games, his books, his papers, his social and political ideas are of much the same kind as are those of the people with whom he mingles, and who may not have a vestige of a Christian principle left in their minds. He differs merely from them in that he holds to certain definite religious truths and clings to certain definite religious practices. But apart from this there is not any striking contrast in the outward conduct of life between Christian and non-Christian in what is called the civilised world. Catholics are amused by, and interested in, the very same things that appeal to those who have abandoned all belief in God. The result is a growing divorce between religion and life in the soul of the individual Christian. Little by little his faith ceases to be a determining effect on the bulk of his ideas, judgments and decisions that have relation to what he regards as his purely “secular” life. …

The sincerely religious–and there are many such still–are beginning to realise that if they are to live as Christians they must react violently against the milieu in which they live. It is beginning to be felt that one cannot be a true Christian and live as the bulk of men in civilised society are living. It is clearly seen that “life” is not to be found along those ways by which the vast majority of men are hurrying to disillusionment and despair. Up to the time of the recent cataclysm the average unreflecting Christian dwelt in the comfortable illusion that he could fall in with the ways of the world about him here, and, by holding on to the practices of religion, arrange matters satisfactorily for the hereafter. That illusion is dispelled. It is coming home to the discerning Christian that their religion is not a mere provision for the future. There is a growing conviction that it is only through Christianity lived integrally that the evils of the present time can be remedied and disaster in the time to come averted.

— Fr. Edward Leen, The Holy Ghost (Sheed and Ward, 1953), pp. 6-9.

Fr. Leen explicated sixty years ahead of me what I have for some time referred to as “squatting/squatters in the cathedral.” This is the phenomenon wherein post- and anti-Christian masses execrate Christian tradition and morality in one breath, but then take the deliverances of that same moral tradition for granted in the next. They are, in effect, squatting in a structure to which they pay no tribute, and which they desecrate and dismantle until it is too late, and the inevitable jackals of pre-Christian hegemony attack them and drag them into the darkness of social chaos.

This is precisely what has led to the further apostasy in Ireland recently, concerning the nation’s popular decision to ratify same-sex so-called marriages. Ireland’s social order, moral assumptions, and even its constitution are suffused with Christian reality, yet all those things have become only so much kindling to tend camp fires in the cathedral. The same goes for the bishops of that nation, and others like it. They are so sure that “the teaching of the Church is clear,” that they have mostly not bothered to proclaim said teaching. After all, the Church’s position is clear, and they are loyal sons of the Church, so why waste time rehashing stale orthodoxy? Surely it would be better to gin up “new ways” of speech, initiate “new historical dynamics” in the conciliar romance of “encounter”. Indeed, what the faithful need are not bishop-pilots but liberated pastoral guides who can listen, accompany, commiserate, accommodate, and adapt, right?

Fortunately, this “blind and unchecked passion for novelty” and the attendant syphilitic imbecile lust for compromise is but the flavor of our age, and not an expression of the Church’s true pastoral mindset. That mindset was profoundly expressed on Christmas day, 240 years ago, by Pope Pius VI, when, in the thick of the spiritual cataclysm caused by the French Revolution and Liberal/Rousseuavian philosophy, he wrote the following in Iscrutabile:

Beseech, accuse, correct, rebuke and fear not: for ill-judged silence leaves in their error those who could be taught, and this is most harmful both to them and to you who should have dispelled the error. The holy Church is powerfully refreshed in the truth as it struggles zealously for the truth. In this divine work you should not fear either the force or favor of your enemies. The bishop should not fear since the anointing of the Holy Spirit has strengthened him: the shepherd should not be afraid since the prince of pastors has taught him by his own example to despise life itself for the safety of his flock: the cowardice and depression of the hireling should not dwell in a bishop’s heart. Our great predecessor Gregory, in instructing the heads of the churches, said with his usual excellence: “Often imprudent guides in their fear of losing human favor are afraid to speak the right freely. As the word of truth has it, they guard their flock not with a shepherd’s zeal but as hirelings do, since they flee when the wolf approaches by hiding themselves in silence…. A shepherd fearing to speak the right is simply a man retreating by keeping silent.”

Amen, and amen!

Now, if only the hirelings higher-ups read my blog.

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