So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Monday, November 28, 2016

Simon says... jump on the Burke bashwagon.

The good man rejoices to be corrected; every wicked man reacts violently against guidance (admoneri bonus gaudet; pessimus quisque correctorem asperrime patitur).—Seneca, De Ira, 3, 36, 4.
A representative of the Atlantic School of Theology, speaking about the dubia of the Four Cardinals, says
[Catholic Register]
“It is definitely disloyal.”(—)Atlantic School of Theology (AST) professor David Deane.
Burke has assumed the novel and informal mantle of “figurehead for the opposition” to Pope Francis, said Deane. (No, not really. There were four cardinals who submitted the dubia. And, there are a host of other faithful prelates weighing in who are just as concerned as the Four! An engaged student of theology would, at the very least, peruse some of the more balanced blogs and erudite theological forums around the Catholic world and by so doing would encounter a veritable treasure trove of well reasoned critiques directed at Amoris Laetitia by some erudite bishops, decent theologians, fair-minded canon lawyers and commonsensical pew-warmers. The good professor of the AST would be wise to examine our robust history concerning those saints, beginning with Saint Paul, who have corrected popes when their behaviour or thinking merited (blunt) intervention.) But his attempt to back Francis into a corner with questions that come within a hair’s breath of calling Amoris Laetitia and Pope Francis heretical aren’t really trying to advance a constructive debate, Deane said. (1) Hey—if it reads like a bad duck, references a duck's footnotes and lays bad eggs like a sick duck, it's probably closer to heterodoxy than some theologians care to admit. 2) A constructive debate began during the Synod on the Family. Using an ordinary means to engage the principal authority in the Church, i.e., the Bishop of Rome, to clarify theological matters, the Cardinals are merely challenging a publication that, to their considered opinion, contains ambiguous and/or problematic sections. 3) The Holy Father did not respond when politely asked. A reasonable amount of time passed without a response, so the Cardinals brought the questions to the entire Church in a forum with which the Holy Father has demonstrated comfortability. Surely the good AST professor can see the urgent need for clarification to allay any ambiguity as to the teaching of the current Bishop of Rome. The Four Cardinals are providing a service to the Church, to protect her from unnecessary confusion. What's not fair nor constructive?)
“I don’t think it can be said they are looking to start a conversation by virtue of the fact that the issues they raise are not issues anyone is in the dark about,” said Deane. “It’s an act of public shaming, or an act of trying to publicly shame Pope Francis.” (1) The Cardinals invited the Pope to respond. He chose not to speak on a matter of considerable (grave?) concern. The Cardinals went public only after the Holy Father chose not to respond. Surely a pope who is in the habit of giving off-the-cuff interviews and encouraging dialogue would have no problem with his cardinal-helpers asking a few questions, no? 2) The left has no concept of shame. They equate being held accountable with being shamed. Grow up, dear progressives, and take responsibility for your actions.)
Deane thinks it unlikely Pope Francis will ever respond to the dubia or to the publicity campaign Burke has launched by giving several media interviews. Initiating an act of correction is so rare that it is unclear what the process entails, particularly one being threatened by a group which represents less than two per cent of the total college of cardinals. (Who said numbers matter where the Truth is concerned? How many Arians were against Saint AthanasiusA Catholic worth his salt would weigh and value the arguments, not the voting apparatus.)
“The Pope’s a Jesuit. He’s not going to be outmaneuvered by these people. So he’s ignored them,” Deane told The Catholic Register in an interview. “He’s not going to be backed into a corner.” (So, is it fair to assume that Dr. Deane knows completely Pope Francis' modus operandi? Apparently, all Jesuits are wily tacticians who use predictable strategies to outflank the opposition. If that is the case, i.e., the Holy Father is a maneuvering Jesuit who maneuvers rather than engages, then Dr. Deane has pointed out yet another reason to question Amoris Laetitia. What good reason would justify the Holy Father to be inclined to "outmaneuver" concerned Catholics who, demonstrating appropriate deference to God and Church, have chosen to act in a manner that is entirely consonant with the biblical and apostolic witness? That is to say, the teaching of Jesus Christ.—cf. Proverbs 10:17; Matthew 18:15-18)
Burke may actually have a legitimate complaint about a lack of clarity in Amoris Laetitia, but the campaign seems far too political to have any positive effect, Deane said. (Political? Perhaps only to those who, viewing the world through "progressive" lenses, see legitimate attempts to engage in rigorous theological debate as a mere political act. In former times, Catholics lay and ordained fought heated battles about weighty theological points not unlike the current topic of interest. It seems that anyone who disagrees with lazy theological writing is expected to surrender the pursuit of Truth to those who, with little stomach for theological warfare, don't want error to be exposed. "Let's sip overpriced lattes at a trendy downtown cafe and avoid the unpleasantness of Truth-seeking, shall we?")
A kick in the AST.

Use buzzwords, mischaracterize the nature of an inquiry, engage in crass gerrymandering of enemedia stereotypes while avoiding engaging the questions and facts and, voila!—you have someone reduced to a mere caricature so that you can (avoid the facts and) jump on the bashwagon and attack with seeming impunity a man (Cardinal Burke) whose charity, holiness and theological acumen will withstand the cheap shots and annoying ballyhoo of scholars whose bottoms are well accommodated by the proverbial bum steer.

Instead of pointing a finger in the wrong direction, perhaps those who enter the public debate might do well to avoid wasting time by using the Catholic media to achieve their 15 seconds of fame and instead reexamine the content and tone of the dubia and thereby be enlightened as to the merit of the Four Cardinals' action.

Does any bishop actually send his seminarians to AST? Online links indicate that Archidioecesis Halifaxiensis-Yarmuthensis sponsors a "Diploma Program in the anything you want it to be New Evangelization".

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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