Thursday, October 9, 2014

Between a rock and a hard place

On the one hand, I'm in agreement - and I said this before the Pope's election - with the idea that the communication of orthodox teaching on various sins, particularly sexual ones, could be done better than it currently is. I think the orthodox response, in terms of rhetoric, has been pretty abysmal for a long time.

On the other hand, I realize that 'we have to change our tone' is a pretty common progressive trojan horse. Whereas I think it means treating people more civilly, more reasonably, other people try to rework it into 'Make active unrepentant homosexuals feel welcome at your church! Hug them and apologize to them on behalf of all Christianity for what are largely imaginary sins! Say that the REAL crime of abortion is that the middle class 27 year old who's gotten one three times to cover adulterous affairs isn't treated with enough respect!' Those are rotten people, and yes, they really do exist.

So it's a great Catch-22. Adjust your tone, and embolden dishonest, progressive shits. Refuse to adjust your tone, and continue to communicate poorly. Charting the proper course between these two extremes isn't easy, but if it's necessary, what else can you do but try?


The Deuce said...

I don't think it's *that* difficult. What needs to be rhetorically emphasized is the possibility of forgiveness and freedom from the shackles of shame that comes with repentance. That's a "positive" sounding message, and its one that highlights the reality of sin, since to talk of forgiveness and freedom from shame in repentance inescapably carries the implication that you've done something requiring forgiveness, and that your shameful actions are objectively shameful and can be resolved through repentance rather than pretending that they aren't.

What needs to be done away with is all this empty blather about "inclusiveness," and "no stigmatization," and "dialogue" and other sugary therapeutic feel-goodisms that help no one and imply that Christianity is all about making people comfortable (which is impossible without answering and resolving their shame anyhow). You ever notice how the people who promulgate that stuff almost never mention forgiveness, which is really the one thing people who come to the church are looking for?

Craig said...

Surely there are lots of different ways one can change rhetoric, rather than a single-value "toward progressiveness".

Stressing forgiveness, as The Deuce suggests, is one option. Crude, do you have positive changes to suggest? (By which I mean, things to do and not things to stop doing.)

Crude said...


It depends where we're talking about it - in Church or in government.


A fantastic question, one that deserves its own post in reply.

BenYachov said...

I don't this it's science to use better rhetoric. I don't think even the Church can come up with a formula for that.

I think it's more like Art.

As the Koran says before shooting the arrow of Truth dip it in honey.*

*Hey even a clock that has stopped can be right twice a day".

The Deuce said...

Crude, you heard the latest about the garbage that has emanated from the synod?

And it appears it wouldn't have happened had Pope Francis not unilaterally and arbitrarily added six hand-picked liberals to counteract the "wrong" outcome of the bishops' secret ballot. Putting this together with him apparently calling that divorced woman and denouncing her priest for not giving her communion, his opening the synod with remarks about pastors who "lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others, which they themselves do not lift a finger to move" and so forth, I think it's really hard to honestly not reach a particular conclusion about what he's hoping to achieve here.

Again, maybe it's presumptuous of me to talk since I'm not Catholic, but I am pretty concerned about what happens to the Catholic Church, and imo orthodox Catholics need to stop trying to explain away so much of what he says, and start thinking about how to (as Mark Shea puts it when hysterically condemning the mildest perceived criticisms of his cult god) "defend the Church from the Pope" to pressure him to back off and limit the damage he does.

Crude said...

I don't really need to reach a conclusion, since they're going to do what they'll do one way or the other - I just have to wait and see. If the Pope or the synod does something disastrous like declare that sodomy is moral, it's not really a confusing moment - I'll note that they not only are wrong, but they don't have the power to declare as much in any meaningful way, and counter them however I can.

On the flipside, as I keep saying - there does need to be a change in approach, though no need for change in dogma, which can't be changed besides. I am not convinced the conservatives or orthodox have the best track record for, oddly enough, defending orthodoxy.

BenYachov said...

Mark Shea is right as per usual when he defends the Church(when he discusses politics he turns into Mr Hyde).

I completely support him on his pushback against the Francis bashing crowd.

If I may reproduce my post from Dr Blosser's blog on the six liberal..

(One blogger quoted another as describing the 6 individuals as Strong liberals)


Cardinal Ravasi?

Why is he a “strong liberal”? At worst he believes Evolution is compatible with the Bible? Well so do I and last time I checked so did St. JP2, Benedict and Traditional Catholic Philosopher Edward Feser. Ravasi wrote an article titled "He was not raised; he arose.”
Which some called an attack on correct doctrine yet Pope Benedict trusted him & "has always held Ravasi in great esteem. As pope, he delegated to him the task, last Holy Friday, of writing the texts of the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum: a certain sign of high favor.

"On the crucial topics of abortion, euthanasia, unborn life, when ultimate principles are at stake, he is as cutting as a sword. He preaches absolute respect for the life of every person, at every moment, “for the same reason why respect is due even to the sinful man.”

This is all from Sandro Magister not exactly an admirer of Pope Francis these days.

Cardinal Wuerl?

Ok he is clearly not a Latin Mass enthusiast & has openly tried to buck the moth proprio? But how does that make him a “Liberal”? Since when is loving the Old Mass a requirement for orthodoxy? I find him lacking tolerance toward the old rite which I think is silly but “liberal”?
OTOH he has tolerated the giving of communion to Catholic Politicians who vote “Pro-choice” (kind of liberal)but Wuerl signed an ecumenical statement, known as the Manhattan Declaration, calling on evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox not to comply with rules and laws permitting abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences. Pope Benedict made him a Cardinal in 2010.

Slightly liberal yes but “strong” liberal? I don’t know….

Arb Victor Manuel Fernandez

I can’t find any information one way or another other then his association with Pope Francis(who is default called liberal) as his personal Theologian.

Arb Aguiar Retes,

Ditto just have Rorate Caeli’s word on it & an italian article that translates all these men have "a liberal tendency”.
Bp. Peter Kang

Nothing just Rorate Caeli’s word on it.

Fr. Adolfo Nicolás Pachon the "Black Pope" head of the SJ.

He is positive toward Liberation theology. I might tag him as “strong”if only because I want to be nice & give RC at least one.