Synod Preamble . . . The Pope’s Extraordinary But Perilous Policy

In light of the fast approaching Synod of the Family, here is an excellent article written for The Wanderer by Louise Kirk:


September 24, 2015

Synod-on-the-Family-imageThe time of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. has arrived as I write this. Each stage of his journey, in Washington, New York, and Philadelphia, promises individual riches but will also be watched by the world as a preamble to the Synod of the Family happening in October.
The Holy Father is aware of this. In a direct challenge to the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling he recently urged Catholic married couples to take up the defense of marriage between one man and one woman as a mission entrusted to them.
He explained that this mission is all the more important given that “the image of the family — as God wills it, made up of one man and one woman, in view of the good of the spouses and also of the generation and education of children — is deformed through powerful contrary projects supported by ideological colonizations” (September 10 to the Équipes Notre Dame).
This statement boldly opposes homosexual “marriage” in the name of the spouses themselves, and not just for the sake of the children. It continues the teaching on the family which has been a feature of the Holy Father’s catechesis in the last year.
Two days before this address, Pope Francis issued a moto proprio on marriage annulment, shifting emphasis away from defense of the bond toward making annulment easier and faster. The move, made in advance of the synod and without the expected consultation, has caused consternation, giving rise to a seven-page dossier which is being passed around the Vatican.
Raymond Cardinal Burke, who used to run the Apostolic Signatura, warns that America has already tried streamlining by abandoning a second tribunal, and that it led to the equivalent of “Catholic divorce.”
Cardinal Burke has been omitted from the Pope’s list of special appointees for this October. The list of 45 names is included in the official announcement of the composition of the synod released on September 15. Eyebrows have been raised at his selecting notable liberals, at the exclusion of prelates such as Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Belgium and Ennio Cardinal Antonelli, retired president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
Against this, the geographical spread is wider and the number of observers and experts has grown since last year. It is good to see that the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family is being represented.
What Pope Francis is doing is extraordinary. He is opening up the whole Church to fight out in public every issue which touches family, giving prominence to ecclesiastics with contrary positions, one hopes so that they cannot, as at present, go on rumbling in the background.
The policy is a dangerous one. We have already been warned by leading figures such as Gerhard Cardinal Mueller, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan that the Church is in danger of schism.
The existing situation would have to be perilous for any Pope to risk such a strategy, but that is exactly what Pope Francis is telling us is the case. There are too many souls currently being lost, and we have to do something. Ever since St. John Paul outlined the need for a New Evangelization, the family has been given prominence within it and Pope Francis is now forcing us to focus on this.
There are a daunting number of people out there, including baptized Catholics, who are currently lost to grace and many of them have fallen by the wayside because of the status of their family life. Many cannot even hear the call to mercy over their fear of being rejected.
The extent of dissent within the Church among bishops and cardinals has caused shock but I wonder if it should. The fact is that serious sin is already endemic among Catholics in their sexual lives, and this enfeebles us all, including the hierarchy. It is not just what people have done, but what they have omitted to do. Whole dioceses have at best been lukewarm in passing on the fullness of the faith and in educating the people in the truths of sexuality.
We have had St. John Paul’s rich teaching on the Theology of the Body for some three decades, but how many priests, let alone ordinary faithful, understand it? It has been said that, without the media, many Catholics wouldn’t even know that the Church has a problem with contraception. Conscience clauses to protect doctors and druggists are few, and many Catholic medical professionals (and teachers) have joined the compromise.
Add to this the shame of sacrilegious Communions. These must be happening everywhere each Sunday. The number of remarried divorcees approaching the altar rails is small compared with the number of people who are contracepting, or cohabiting, or have missed Mass on Sunday, or who are not even Catholic, but are yet coming up for Holy Communion without first going to Confession. The sin is private, and in many cases will be ignorantly committed.
However, just as a vase is still broken whether or not a vandal or child breaks it, so the offense to our Lord remains and reverence for the sacrament is diminished.

Humanae Vitae
And The Synod

Back in July, Voice of the Family went through the Instrumentum Laboris, on which discussion at the synod will be based, pointing out its many weaknesses. Voice or the Family shows that the word “contraception” is avoided, and that the one and only paragraph which covers Humanae Vitae is confusing.
On September 10, 50 theologians and philsophers, headed by David S. Crawford and Stephan Kampowski, complained about this paragraph, saying that its wording allows for contradiction between a well-formed conscience and objective moral norms.
“Paragraph 137 should be removed and replaced by a paragraph that speaks of the conscience in a more precise fashion, that celebrates the wisdom and beauty of Humanae Vitae, and that helps spouses to appreciate that the graces are available to them to live out God’s plan for the gift of sexuality.”
Humanae Vitae goes to the heart of the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality. If it falls, the Church’s true Gospel of the Family goes with it.
It is easy to be dismayed by the confusion being spread abroad, but there is another trap, which is to become cynical and lose hope. Love for unity and authority within the Church, and for our Holy Father who leads us, is also a precious characteristic of what it is to be a Catholic.
Fr. Paul Check, well known for his good work among homosexuals, suggests that the current debate on family is as much a discussion on the Church’s role to speak with authority about sexual morality as it is about the form that that morality takes.

Truth Will Not Be Contained

How can we hope that the Family Synod will help to turn things around, given that it only has consultative status? (It will be the Pope himself who draws conclusions together in an expected apostolic exhortation.)
Much of the groundwork has already been done. Since Pope Francis called the two Family Synods, an impressive range of research has been published, illustrating the history of the Church’s teaching, its pastoral importance and how it all hangs together. This includes the books Remaining in the Truth of Christ, a new edition of Marc Cardinal Ouellet’s Mystery and Sacrament of Love — A Theology of Marriage and the Family for the New Evangelization, and Eleven Cardinals Speak on Marriage and the Family.
A remarkable new study on same-sex attraction called Living the Truth in Love has also just appeared and is likely to become a classic.
Something else remains true and cannot be turned round. Those supporting liberalizing Church teaching look out of date. The Pill has been no wonder drug. It damages women and fails. It has not brought happier marriages and families. It lies at the heart of much that has gone wrong in family life.
For too long Catholics have been embarrassed by the Church’s teaching on contraception, treating it as though it only applies to faith and to Catholics. Reason has now caught up, and is being explained by professionals in every field, doctors, sociologists, and economists to name but a few.
They are by no means all Catholic, as the next World Congress of Families, taking place in Salt Lake City at the end of October, will show. There are monied interests to oppose them, but eventually truth will not be contained.
When Pope Francis called for the two Family Synods, he begged for prayer. In response to his call, a family gathers in Poland at 9 p.m. every night to pray in front of our Lady’ miraculous picture at Czestochowa.
We have been promised that the Gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church but we cannot expect the Gates to fall if we do not attack them. On the Feast of St. Michael, a filial petition is to be presented to the Holy Father asking for clarity in the Church’s teaching. We can all fast and pray that in the months ahead we are given success.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Synod Preamble . . . The Pope’s Extraordinary But Perilous Policy

  1. The Mystical Body of Christ being attacked by the Pope himself!!Lord Help us!


  2. Did the writer attend Christendom College?


  3. johnhenrycn says:

    “What Pope Francis is doing is extraordinary. He is opening up the whole Church to fight out in public every issue which touches family, giving prominence to ecclesiastics with contrary positions, one hopes so that they cannot, as at present, go on rumbling in the background.
    The policy is a dangerous one. “

    Louise Kirk, the author, seems to be suggesting the possibility that His Holiness is playing ‘Cat and Mouse’ – with orthodox hardliners on the one hand and progressive radicals on the other – to weaken both sides by exposing them before suppressing them with a new via media encyclical.

    I think that’s a generous view of the situation. Is Pope Francis giving prominence to ecclesiastics with contrary positions? Contrary to what? Contrary to each others? Contrary to his? Or contrary to orthodoxy? I think it’s the latter, but is he doing so in an effort to suppress the progressive radicals? Hmm. Even if that’s the plan, it’s a dangerous one as Ms Kirk says.

    As loyal Catholics, we shall give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt for now, whilst redoubling our prayer efforts during October, the month of the Rosary.


  4. Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Muller, Bishop Schneider, et. al. do not seem to share a ‘La-La Land’
    optimism about Pope Francis or the Synod , and they are on the inside track. I will continue to pray the rosary but as for the benefit of the doubt, I require a bit more doubt before dispensing benefits.
    I am a loyal Catholic… as long as I am not being led away from Catholic orthodoxy in theology or practice. At this point, if a Schism results, one cannot depend on the Pope to be with the true Faith; and even Cardinal Burke warns that he will resist false teaching and practice.


  5. johnhenrycn says:

    Mrs. Avila (18:40) says:“…as for the benefit of the doubt, I require a bit more doubt before dispensing benefits.”

    Shouldn’t that rather clever (almost Chestertonian) retort be reversed to read: I require a bit more benefit before dispensing with doubt? 😉

    But, Maureen, you also say: “At this point, if a Schism results, one cannot depend on the Pope to be with the true Faith…

    That’s far too extreme. My advice is to keep our powder dry, pray the Rosary, not jump to conclusions and listen carefully. When I say listen carefully, I do not mean that Kasper, Danneels & Co. have anything to offer that might justify altering Catholic doctrine or practice. I despise their message; but the battle continues, and we need to understand what – in all its awfulness – they propose before counter-attacking. The fact is, they have been given the floor, and there is nothing we can do to stop that. Better to just listen for now.
    Ta, CP&S…for once, I’ve managed to post a comment without any HTML boners.


  6. kathleen says:

    Mrs. Maureen Avila @ 18:40 yesterday

    At this point, if a Schism results, one cannot depend on the Pope to be with the true Faith

    Like JH, I have been thinking over these words. Unfortunately it appears that there are very many faithful Catholics who would be inclined to agree with your affirmation!! Things are really heating up now as we come to the last days before the final Synod of the Family commences, and I, for one, am trembling in trepidation. We have had two and a half years of some very conflicting and confusing statements and actions from the Holy Father, but now we are coming to the crunch when after hearing the voices of the traditional and ‘liberal’ (read ‘heterodox’ here) Cardinals alike, he will have to finally fall either on one side of the ‘fence’ or the other!
    Everything will depend on his final pronouncement.

    Will Pope Francis stand by the Church’s unchangeable Doctrines and declare them loud and clear once and for all? Or will he side with the rebel cardinals and seek compromises?

    If the latter, then there will indeed be a Schism in the Church, Pope Francis would reveal himself as an anti-Pope – no longer defender and guardian of the Deposit of Faith – and we will be thrown into utter turmoil.
    Pray and beg Our Merciful Lord and Saviour, the Holy Virgin Mary, and St. Michael, that this will not be allowed to come about.


  7. Michael says:

    Here’s a good, and balanced, article from Ross Douthat, that assesses the impact Pope Francis has had (whether intentionally or not) on the hopes of liberal Christians within and without the Church:

    and a response to Douthat here which, whilst kind of missing the point (IMO) does make a couple of good points as well (which needn’t actually be in opposition to what Douthat is saying):


  8. USAkat_g says:

    Reblogged this on kgjjg911 and commented:
    Excellent article; admittedly, I had to read and reread slowly to feel sure I understood the points, warnings and implications.I ved through the time of the Second Vatican Council while still quite young, I remember the “lost feeling” so many Catholics had at the various “newnesses”, esp. in language, which somehow seemed (to me) to diminish The CatholicChurch ! I imagine many readers are familiar with EWTN (EternalWordNetworkTelevision), with a worldwide presence! Prior to Pope Francis I historic visit to the USA, Setp. 2015, I contacted EWTN in its Q&A arena, over 2-3 weeks posing two questions (1 ea time) regarding Papal Political Activism, as I was becoming concerned since this Pope’s elevation/election by COC in Rome three years ago–concerned about his many very public statements reflecting a clearly liberal voice & position on matters of Politics and social issues within sovereign Nations & nation-states, seemingly viewing the NWO (new world order) as a done deal, while still talking about justice, love, equality, noting females should be educated, all religious accepted, with no delineation addresing any ‘religion’ which expresses itself in violence, vengeance, oppression and total ‘codified’ control in the name of ‘religion’! My ?’s to EWTN were much shorter, simply regarding “Papal Activism”; still wawiting response which I not sure will be forthcoming!
    Yes, of course, dialog is healthy, a dialog which contains prayer and thought, some knowledge of an issues history; yet, as an American Catholic, many things are exactly what they are, have been, and will always be (no matter who says or writes what or labels it in celestial & poetic Latin), God’s Law, The Teaching of of Jesus, are not subject to revision based on the social mores of the day or the inclinations of those who only wish for the State to replace God!
    Interesting and accurate the article concludes with reference to the Gates of Hell and God’s promise they will never prevail against The Church, but, of necessity, goes on to note, that is, if we don’t attack them!
    The current Pontifical Positions seem, at least in part to, be taking a most dangerous path descending directly & aggressively toward the ‘gates of evil’–and with what consequence?
    God Bless and Help Pope Francis to see Your Everlasting Will for Your Church, and Grant Him Your Blessing to truly be a Faithful Successor to Saint Peter and The-Son-of God, Jesus Christ, through The Wisdom of the Holy Spirit, Amen!


  9. USAkat_g says:

    To: Mrs. Avila, and others here:
    Something is beginning to make some sense to me now and that is the Prophesies of St. Malachy; St.Malachy died in the latter part of the l400’s (15thC); however, during his life, among many other things I would imagine as I am not as expert, St. Malachy Prophesied The Succession of All The Popes after his death up to today and St. Francis, to whom he referred as, “Pietro Romano”, which is accurate given his father’s birth and I believe this Pope’s original name, middle I think!!!
    Not only did St. Malachy prophesise the Elevation/Election of Pope Francis I, he further went on to say, in his writings (which somehow I found on line) that Pope Francis I Would Be The Last Pope!!!!! Now I do not doubt the accuracy of St. Malachy after 7 centuries of being accurate; however, in view of all this new information and realization that Pope Francis I is very atypical, in deed, given his Political Activism, Quite Liberal Views, perhaps in Direct and Specific Opposition to The Doctrine Of The Church–(I say ‘perhaps’ because I am unable to cite specific Doctrine; however, in my heart, mind, gut and spirit, I know I am correct!
    I’m not in some ivy tower devoting my life to Research and Philosophical Debate on Roman Catholic Doctrinal and Dogmatic Issues, nor the entire History of The Roman Catholic Church; however, I will say that I am most grateful to have some framework, finally, into which to place St. Malachy’s Prophesy That Pope Francis I would be the Last Pope; that context, to use an expression noted above, is that of Francis being an Anti-Pope (which I don’t ever remembering hearing before, but it works here)!
    At such a tumultuous Era in The History of Sovereign-Nations and Nation-States World-Wide, it is at the same time most unfortunate and easily understood that the Hierarchy of the Roman-Catholic Church would begin to become frayed so publically!
    For this Catholic, there’s been enough duplicitous secrecy, both in My Church and In My Nation, The Republic of the United States of America!
    As An American Patriot, “We The People”, with the Help of God and a little help from Our Friends, We Americans will Right This Ship of State in The USA; just as, in time and over time, God’s Church and St. Peter’s True Successor Will Be Revealed to Us; this is not only a matter of Faith, , while it certainly is that, just as Freedom Is Not Free, Faith must be feverently and fiercely Protected and Nurtured!
    God Bless Us All! God Bless America!!!


  10. johnhenrycn says:

    Oh dear. Totally off topic, but I’ve been meaning to ask: does this blog have an emergency exit – just in case there’s ever a maniac on the loose?


  11. Plain old Toad says:

    No JH – you just jump out of the Windows, which I do, sporadically. Then, I have to come back in through the tradesmen’s entrance.


  12. johnhenrycn says:

    Michael (12:10) – That website is one worth saving. Not, from what I can see, an exclusively Catholic blog, nor a strictly conservative one, but their “About” page mission statement stresses “human dignity” not “social justice”, which is usually a good clue to where a blog stands in the culture wars. I like their sub-blog titled “Conjugality”.


  13. kathleen says:

    Hello USAkat g:

    I would like to just address a couple of the things you bring up in your above two comments.

    First of all, we certainly cannot say at this stage that Pope Francis is an ‘anti-Pope’. Time will tell. Although it can be said that he is ‘left leaning’ in his policies (as the writers of Michael’s two interesting links above attest) and no one could argue that untangling some of his messages is confusing, he has never, it appears, openly spoken or consented to any heresy against the Church’s dogmatic teachings.
    I only mentioned that bit about being an anti-Pope in the hypothetical case of an attempt to alter the Church’s doctrinal teachings on marriage (e.g. the impossibility of those living in adulterous relationships to receive Holy Communion) at the final outcome of the Synod being endorsed by him. In the same way as JH mentions above, I do not honestly think that will happen either… but just the very thought of it as a possibility, with so many progressive bishops invited personally by him to the Synod trying to push their heterodox ideas forward, makes a lot of us very anxious indeed. Only an ‘anti-Pope’ could allow such a thing to happen; we do not know yet how Pope Francis will act.

    Secondly, the prophesies attributed to the Irish bishop St. Malachy (who lived in the 12th century, not the 15th century) are not in fact to be taken seriously. It is true that some of the predictions about future popes have been uncannily accurate, but overall there have apparently been far more misses than hits! 😉


  14. Robert says:

    What makes you think that Francis is on St Malachy’s list he isn’t? Benedict clearly wasn’t the only dubious and contrived rational was a vague reference to St Benedict. St Malachy’s list refers equally to Pontificates as to Personages. Prophecy can come true before mans eyes and in our blindness we can’t see! Look at Jerusalem 2000 years ago and especially the Magi visit to Jerusalem! The Magi were told where the child would be born (Bethlehem) by the scribes and priests. Yet these rejected the Christ.
    Masonry and its false Charity stalks this world and Rome.
    Please tell me where St Malachy has be proven wrong or where mans interpretation of his mottos has actually be in error.


  15. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad (17:00) – Yes, of course – jumping out of Windows is an option when a maniac shows up on the Internet:

    “What makes you think that Francis is on St Malachy’s list he isn’t? Benedict clearly wasn’t the only dubious and contrived rational was a vague reference to St Benedict…Please tell me where St Malachy has be proven wrong or where mans interpretation of his mottos has actually be in error.”

    Thank goodness it’s never happened here.


  16. johnhenrycn says:

    “Kentucky clerk Kim Davis says Pope told her to stay strong”
    …said clerk being the one who refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples a month or two ago and was ordered jailed for contempt of court. We cannot read too much into this, however, as Cardinals Kasper, Danneels & Co. will hasten to remind the synod bishops.


  17. Plain old Toad says:

    “The Pill has been no wonder drug. It damages women and fails. It has not brought happier marriages and families.”
    It would be a heck of a pill to do that.
    I don’t recall it being advertised that way. Perhaps it was, though.

    We are blessed with relatively few outright maniacs on CP&S, compared with the rest of the internet.
    There’s always Toad, of course.


  18. kathleen says:

    Robert @ 19:35 yesterday

    Well, dear Robert, I’m not sure I understand your question really – it’s a bit all over the place – but I think you are asking me why I do not believe in the prophesies of St. Malachy, right?

    I am only going by what the Church says: that these prophesies alleged to come from the 12th century bishop of Armagh, and only ‘discovered’ 400 years later are considered by most Church historians to be a forgery! I am no expert myself on the matter, but given the evidence, it would be a bit naive to take the predictions as rock solid truth, don’t you think?

    I know wikipedia is not always considered the best source for information, but this article about it seems pretty good and reliable:


  19. Michael says:

    Johnhenry @ 18:38, September 30th:

    Yes, it does seem pretty sound from the link you’ve provided*, though to be honest the article I linked to originally is the only one I’ve read there. Will keep ‘tabs’ on it now!

    Some more links for today, which report on another narrative provided by the Holy Father during his US visit, one consisting of gestures rather than speeches, and which, as usual, ‘mixes things up’ a bit:

    You’ve mentioned Kim Davis already – some of the comments on that post are quite interesting, particularly the ones looking towards the Synod.

    *Do you know who the statue in the accompanying picture is of? It looks like a mixture between Gallileo and John Knox.


  20. Tom Fisher says:

    Nobody has ever successfully predicted a Papal succession by using the (so called) prophesies of Malachy. — They are deliberately vague in such a way that after any given Pope is elected it is easy to find a connection between that Pope and the “prophesies”.

    Wikipedia is a mixed bag, but the article Kathleen links to isn’t too bad. So for example (for people who don’t want to follow the link) Dog and adder is a prophecy about Leo XII, because: Proponents of the prophecies have attempted to link this motto to Leo XII by suggesting the dog and snake are allusions to his qualities of vigilance and prudence, respectively

    There’s a simple formula for bull***t prophesying: create the illusion of specificity, but always speak in flowery generalities.


  21. Michael says:

    Toad @ 07:04, October 1st:

    On the contraceptive pill, do you recognise any of these phenomena in our society over the last few decades?

    Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

    Humanae Vitae, 17.


  22. Tom Fisher says:

    Michael, would you be interested in contributing a chapter to From droit du seigneur to women’s suffrage: The collapse of women’s rights since the reformation ? 😉


  23. Tom Fisher says:

    *Do you know who the statue in the accompanying picture is of? It looks like a mixture between Gallileo and John Knox.

    It’s Gerard Mercator, the guy who is responsible for Greenland appearing gigantic on our world maps.

    A mixture of Galileo and John Knox would be very entertaining 🙂


  24. Plain old Toad says:

    “*Do you know who the statue in the accompanying picture is of? It looks like a mixture between Gallileo and John Knox.”
    I think it’s by Houdon. Not Voltaire I assume, but a dead ringer.


  25. Tom Fisher says:

    I think it’s by Houdon

    Nope 🙂


  26. Tom Fisher says:


    maybe it is. I was probably wrong there


  27. Robert says:

    Ridiculing Prophets and Prophecys is a constant feature of the Faith. This theme is consistent in the Old Testament. The other error is to place human reasoning above the divine. Aquinas greatest achievement was to be a Spiritual Son of St Dominic! He is a doctor of the Church because he synthesised the human thinking of the ancient (reaching a zenith in Greece) and imposed on the revelation.
    Heaven in the three critically important shrines , La Salette, Loudres and Fatima (Garabandal is intertwined with Fatima). Children were chosen!! Children just like Our Lord at the age of 12 instructing the scribes and Pharisees in the Temple!).
    Heaven Wisdom is superior to human! Who says so? The Sacraments and the Divine gifts passed to the Soul! Think of Baptism, think of Confirmation and especially of the Holy Ghost and Wisdom.
    Prophecy and Prophets this is how God through all generations has enriched the Faith, the Church and assisted the Church through her perilous journey. Feasts, Saints, Religious Orders etc.. etc.. have come to Us from Prophets.
    A Child knowing nothing and acting as a channel for God that is what we see at La Salette, Lourdes, Fatima ( and Garabandal).
    So we come to the St Malachy mottos. Scorned derided but the match and fit Pontificates and Papacy’s.
    Look at Religio depopulate (Pontificate of Benedict 15) 1914 World War One. That is by no means the only example BUT consider this was 400 years after these were rediscovered.
    The Church in the 19 century didn’t ridicule the Malachy list (see the Golden Trumpet).
    This is how to Judge the Faith.
    St Malachy’s list includes Anti Popes as well as Popes. So arguing that it doesn’t fit is probably because human reason has taken precedence over the Divine.
    Human Science without God is flawed. The Divine wisdom is superior to human reasoning.

    I say that De Gloria Olivae doesn’t fit Benedict nor his Pontificate. His resignation and human reasoning, look the eight sacrament, the Papacy is given to St Peter by Christ,( David was anointed ). That’s for Life until Death do Us part. So this worldly view of aging and retirement, what place does this have in the Faith?

    Petrus Romanus? Is this a title of a Pope or a statement of the Church at a time? Because today we make a distinction between Cain (UN worldly Empire , Global Warming, Gay marriage, Evolution) and Abel (God first). Petrus Romanus will be the Abels.

    1/ Abel – shepherd whose sacrifice was acceptable to God . Lived in the world BUT was not part of the World. God first! Abel and the shepherds that visited the Word Made Flesh in the stable at Bethlehem.
    2/ Cain husbandry – whose sacrifice wasn’t acceptable to God. Lived in the World and Part of the World. Man before God.
    Cain’s descendants and their considerable achievments in arts, science, trades (the paradise on Earth through Mans works)
    Cain and His descendants Herod, Pilate and the UN, Atheist Science (Masonry)

    Today who are the Cains and who are the Abels (Petrus Romanus will be the Abels). St Malachy’s list applies to the Abels


  28. Michael says:

    Tom @ 09:56, October 1st:

    Haha! Very good 🙂 If such a work existed, I suppose my (slightly longer than normal) abstract would go something like this:

    ‘Women have generally had a bad time of it throughout human history, yet contrary to received wisdom, their civic rights and social mobility gradually increased from the advent of Christianity up to the high Middle Ages. The phenomenon of the Protestant Reformation however, really messed things up a bit for everybody, women included – the introduction of a literalist scriptural hermeneutic, and an accompanying rejection of natural law rooted in previous generations’ acceptance of voluntarist models of human freedom, led to more strictures being placed on the feminine genius in European life and culture.

    The natural reaction to this over time resulted in various women’s liberation movements, which, whilst achieving significant breakthroughs that led to women having more rights and mobility than ever before, were thought through and conducted via the lens of a view of history also resulting from the aforementioned changes during the Reformation – that of seeing all things as motivated by power struggles. Therefore, the achievements of these liberation movements have also produced some unfortunate tensions between the sexes, wherein their relationships are lived out not in the context of an appreciation of the dignity of all human persons, but of the exchanging of one dominance for another.

    Finally, the introduction of the contraceptive pill really messed things up quite a lot – by giving women the impression they were, by not being beholden to the ‘burden’ of pregnancy, even more free and in charge of their own destinies, it allowed sexual intercourse to also become absorbed into the framework of power struggle previously noted, with both sexes seeing one another as objects for the satisfaction of urges (either momentary or sustained over the course of periods of varying length) and female sexuality ironically being exploited in greater, albeit more subtle, ways than before. An Italian chap said something about this just while the revolutions in human sexual behaviour were taking place, but most people ignored him – such is the way of the world.’

    P.S. Thanks for the info on Mercator (I did a search on the statue, and it seems to be by someone called Louis Pierre van Biesbroeck – never heard of him myself). It certainly would be interesting to see Gallileo and Knox contained in one person – though not very pleasant I imagine! Aside from their obvious ideological differences, apparently their temperaments were very similar…


  29. Tom Fisher says:

    The Church in the 19 century didn’t ridicule the Malachy list

    Actually Robert, the Church has never been conned by the Malachy list. It was regarded as ridiculous in the 19th century, just as it is in the 21st.


  30. Plain old Toad says:

    “The other error is to place human reasoning above the divine. “
    Human reasoning is the only kind of reasoning we are capable of. We have no idea what divine reasoning consists of – or even if it exists at all.
    If we did, we’d be divine ourselves.
    …Which we are not.

    Isn’t Robert miraculously wonderful? I can’t help wondering what he does for a living.
    He won’t say.
    Regius Professor of English at All Souls, I sometimes muse.


  31. Michael says:

    We have no idea what divine reasoning consists of – or even if it exists at all.

    Analogy, analogy, it’s all about analogy! I’m going to have words with my cousin Anthony at this year’s reunion – his insistence that our knowledge of God must either be univocal or equivocal has restricted your thinking on this subject considerably, and for that he must be reprimanded (after a good few glasses of port, naturally).

    But yes, Roger is wonderful – I’d love to attend his lectures at All Souls.


  32. Tom Fisher says:

    @ Michael Oct 1, 11:30. — I’ve just read your response from 24 hours ago — I’d just gone to bed when you posted, (in the antipodes) and haven’t had any time today. — I’ll respond with a withering critique soon, not intending to be rude by my lack of response!


  33. Plain old Toad says:

    I don’t suppose you’ve read Uncle Anthony’s book, “What I Believe,” Michael, But if you have – I’d be keenly interested in your verdict.


  34. Michael says:

    Tom @ 08:51:

    No problem! I look forward to the withering critique 🙂


  35. Michael says:

    Toad @ 10:15:

    I did actually flick through some of the earlier chapters in a bookshop the other day (the ‘Why I Am Not A Theist/Atheist’) ones. Unsurprisingly, his views resembled yours quite closely. Wasn’t terribly convinced by his conclusions I’m afraid – I think he goes too far in his assessment of what can’t be known, and that this is rooted in an insistence on seeing things in an either/or sort of fashion (strange for an agnostic). But I will give the whole thing a proper read one day!


  36. Plain old Toad says:

    “….this is rooted in an insistence on seeing things in an either/or sort of fashion (strange for an agnostic).”
    Wouldn’t have thought there was anything odd about that, Michael – either there’s a God or there isn’t. We just don’t know. Basic Agnosticism.
    Be careful Kathleen doesn’t catch you reading Kenny.
    He’s “dubious.” On the bonfire with his books!


  37. Michael says:

    Wouldn’t have thought there was anything odd about that, Michael – either there’s a God or there isn’t. We just don’t know. Basic Agnosticism.

    Blimey – tough crowd tonight. My point was that his approach was a bit black and white in assessing the evidence and deciding the criteria for what we can or can’t know about God, which is a bit strange for an agnostic, given that that position is, at least in theory, committed to avoiding making certain judgements about such things. The irony is that, by trying to say there are certain things we definitely can’t know or say about God, in order to make the case for agnosticism, Kenny has taken a decidedly non-agnostic position in his procedure.


  38. Plain old Toad says:

    “The irony is that, by trying to say there are certain things we definitely can’t know or say about God, in order to make the case for agnosticism, Kenny has taken a decidedly non-agnostic position in his procedure. ,”
    I don’t think he’s saying that, Michael. (Might well be wrong, though) I think he, or I – anyway, is/are saying that, while there are things we don’t definitely know about God, we can’t say there’s definitely anything we can’t know about God, because we don’t know if such information exists or not. If you see what I mean.

    I believe I’m firmly and definitely agnostic. And that is not a paradox. In my book.
    I firmly believe there are things as yet unknowable, and thus incomprehensible. And yes, we may get to know all about God when we are dead. Or we might not.


  39. johnhenrycn says:

    “And yes, we may get to know all… or we might not.”

    Don’t you ever get tired of using that same formula, variations of which you use in about 90% of your comments? I only say this as your friend, much as I would tell a friend about his very bad breath if he constantly had it. I invite you to point out any hackneyed phraseologies that I happen to use (as if!) on this blog.


  40. Plain old Toad says:

    “Don’t you (Toad) ever get tired of using that same formula, variations of which you use in about 90% of your comments? “
    Yes, JH, very often indeed, and very dreary it is – but what’s the alternative?
    Meanwhile everyone else on here is also trundling out their own weary, threadbare, formulas – abortion is bad, sin is bad, virtue is good, Trad is good, Lib is bad, Ancient is good, Modern is bad, communion in the hand is bad, altar rails are good, altar girls are bad, altar boys are good, Thomas More was good, Henry Vlll was bad, Pope Francis is lovely, The Dear Old Generalissimo was an absolute sweetie, Cardinal Kasper is a total toad, C.S. Lewis was a Protestant heretic, etc.
    We are all trapped in the parallel lines of our individual idiocies from the moment we are born.
    Or so reckon. (Might be wrong. But doubt it.)


  41. Plain old Toad says:

    …It may be stupid, but surely it’s funny?


  42. johnhenrycn says:

    You misunderstand my complaint, POT. It’s not your beliefs / non-beliefs that I refer to, although they often conflict with mine, but rather the habit you have of ending 90% of your comments with “I could be wrong”. Never mind.


  43. Plain old Toad says:

    Montaigne frequently ended a thought with, “But what I know?” You are right, as usual, JH, but dogmatism is, in my book, the bugbear. The idea, prevalent on CP&S, that there is only one way to skin a cat – goes against Toad’s grain. But I will try, repeatedly to be less repititous. (It says that’s spelled wrongly – looks all right to me)


  44. Michael says:

    Toad @ 11:10, October 3rd:

    I think he, or I – anyway, is/are saying that, while there are things we don’t definitely know about God, we can’t say there’s definitely anything we can’t know about God, because we don’t know if such information exists or not. If you see what I mean.

    Well, that’s not the impression I got – but then I did only flick through those chapters. However, I have had the pleasure of properly reading through your comments on this topic on several occasions, and to the extent that Kenny is the basis for your own views, I would say that my earlier critique stands.

    You/he(maybe) claim that you are saying that ‘we can’t say there’s definitely anything we can’t know about God’, which is a bedrock agnostic statement I would say. But the problem comes in the following line – ‘because we don’t know if such information exists or not’. I would say that this, in practice, exhibits a certainty in uncertainty, if you will – the problem being that the agnostic is not actually agnostic enough.

    In the case of Kenny’s book (and again, perhaps a closer read would remedy my misinterpretation) I did get the distinct impression that he was pretty darn sure that we couldn’t say anything meaningful about God (i.e.; he was pretty non-agnostic about that) and that this view was rooted in his insistence on seeing our knowledge about God as being either univocal or equivocal, refusing to consider that we might be able to gain some knowledge of God via analogy – this is, again, not very agnostic, but rather a deliberate and certain decision that some ways of knowing are out of court from the start.

    In summary, I find it strange, and a little inconsistent, that the conclusion of agnosticism is itself rooted in a decidedly non-agnostic consideration of the potential evidence for or against God’s existence. I got this impression more from Kenny than from yourself (at least in this moment in time) though, I must admit.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s