It is so beautifully un-PC I must have it on my blog.
“If heretics no longer horrify us today, as they once did our forefathers, is it certain that it is because there is more charity in our hearts? Or would it not too often be, perhaps, without our daring to say so, because the bone of contention, that is to say, the very substance of our faith, no longer interests us? Men of too familiar and too passive a faith, perhaps for us dogmas are no longer the Mystery on which we live, the Mystery which is to be accomplished in us. Consequently then, heresy no longer shocks us; at least, it no longer convulses us like something trying to tear the soul of our souls away from us…. And that is why we have no trouble in being kind to heretics, and no repugnance in rubbing shoulders with them… It is not always charity, alas, which has grown greater, or which has become more enlightened: it is often faith, the taste for the things of eternity, which has grown less…”
Henri de Lubac: Further Paradoxes (Newman Press 1958) and reprinted in Paradoxes of Faith (Ignatius Press 1987)
The 500th anniversary of the date conventionally considered the start of the Heresy of Luther (1517) is fast approaching, and the V II – ecumenical hearts are all a-flutter already.
Cardinal Koch, the man at the Vatican in charge of telling it as it is without ever telling it as it is, has started the hostilities by declaring that the Church does not participate in celebrations of sins. He would, instead, favour a kind of strange “commemoration” during which a “two-sided admission of guilt” would take place. How very John Paul II.
The Cardinal is now running the risk of being accused of not being ecumenical enough; than if you are truly “ecumenical” you are supposed to “charitably” overlook little details like Truth and Heresy, and to take part in the Great Mahatma Gandhesque Ecumenical Love-In, in which everyone loves everybody, God forgives everyone everything, and it should be good that we remind ourselves that we are, at times, all a bit naughty in one way or another.
I do hope the Cardinal does get accused. Firstly, this would have the beneficial effect of unmasking those within the Church who are openly sympathising with heresies; secondly, it might have the effect of forcing the Cardinal to tell a couple of things straight rather than always, always taking the whip out of the drawer and starting the usual public self-flagellation. This is a new fashion introduced by Blessed John Paul II, the brilliant Pope who went around implicitly criticising the Crusades (and perfectly happy to have the media understand the message in that way) whilst he protected all sort of sodomites, fornicators, thieves, and protectors of paedophiles.
In fact, one can reasonably say Cardinal Koch made the first step, but stopped with the second foot in mid-air. His warning that Luther committed “a sin” remains a very vague and very weak statement, if the Cardinal doesn’t openly tell why. Explicit, unmistakeable and insisted condemnation of heresy should be the very first duty of each and every Prince of the Church. Instead, we are served a feeble voice in favour of Truth, without a clear statement as to what this Truth is based upon. The Cardinal should have used this occasion for an open condemnation of heresy and an open call to conversion, without any consideration for the popularity of such statement. This would have been at the same time authentically charitable and authentically ecumenical, then he who does not strongly upholds the faith does not promote Christian unity, but Christian division. The watering-down of Truth through the umpteenth admission of past guilt is not really enticing for confused Christians. On the contrary, the Cardinal’s statement will reinforce in them the feeling that everyone is wrong one way or the other; and if this is so, why shouldn’t they continue to consider the Church wrong in theological matters?
We live in such disgraceful times that even these feeble accusations expose a Cardinal to criticism – a state of thing actively promoted by the Vatican itself in these last 50 years -and we must therefore be grateful for every half word of support for truth.
But make no mistake, every mention of the Heresy of Luther which does not clearly and openly attack heresy falls short of the mark.
My last post was in defence of Michael Voris complaining about those religious who seem to have forgotten (probably because they have) what Christianity is about.
If you want an excellent example of such behaviour, look no further than to the Numero Uno of English Catholicism, our well-known disgraziato Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols.
Nichols is already notorious for the zeal with which he undermines Catholic doctrine and Catholic principles. His clear support for so-called same-sex couples speaks volumes about the heretic Pope Benedict has made the mistake of putting at the top of the English Hierarchy (and the even bigger mistake of not removing when it became clear that the man doesn’t care a straw for Catholic orthodoxy), and his continued refusal to put an end to the scandalous homo masses in Soho should leave even the most naive supporter of Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols in no doubt as to what side he has chosen. He has also managed to pick another scandalous battle in the Cardinal Vaughan School matter. In short, wherever he can undermine Catholic values, he relishes the job.
On another occasion (when our anti-hero decided to bash bankers; a very popular and risk-free activity at the moment and therefore an ideal occupation for this disgraziato) I have written about him as follows:
++ Vin “Quisling” Nichols lives in a world where abortion kills 200,000 a year and the womb has become the most dangerous place to be, easily eclipsing war zones. He has witnessed the disintegration of British society through the widespread recourse to divorce and easygoing, taxpayer-financed, future securing teenage pregnancy. He has seen the mockery of the family through the legalisation of so-called civil partnerships and has had the nerve to say that he was not against, and that the Church’s opinion on the matter is “nuanced”. He presides over a society where no Hollywood comedy thinks it can do without the obligatory faggot and the BBC even has the temerity to re-write the recent rendition of Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead revisited” in very pink tones. He sees every day how every kind of monstrosity (from old couples, let alone old men, adopt children to the renting of uterus to the slow crumbling of opposition to euthanasia) gets a foot in the door of British society, and he complains about ……bankers!
This applies – verbatim if you exclude the miraculously let aside bankers – to the present situation; with the important exception that we are now in the middle of the Holy Week.
You would think that the UK Catholicism Supremo would profit of the Holy Week (when he is bound to have more media attention) to:
1) point out to the many ways in which our society behaves in an an-Catholic or at least un-Christian manner (say: abortion; divorce; sexual promiscuity; homosexuality) and
2) extol the virtues of the Catholic way as a sure remedy to those evils.
You would think that he would do it, if he cared for Catholic values. But the simple fact is that Archbishop Nichols doesn’t care a straw for Catholic values.
He really, really doesn’t. All he cares for, is to speak every now and then over economic social issues, which should be the preserve of politicians, whilst he is supposed to be, first and foremost, occupied with the cure of souls. If he believed in their existence, that is.
We are now well into the Holy Week, and our astonishing Vincent “Quisling” Nichols has been on record as follows:
1) On Sunday (Notabene: Palm Sunday!) on the Sunday Telegraph. He gets a big interview on a major newspaper on Palm Sunday and what does he talk about? Yep, that Cameron’s “Big Society” is not “social” enough for his liking.
2) On yesterday’s Evening Standard (not as prestigious as the “Telegraph”, for sure, but read nationwide) our chap is on record as intervening to ask a brewery not to change the name of a pub entitled to Cardinal Manning. And do you think that he did so defending Cardinal Manning’s lifelong battle for everything Catholic? Of course not! He does it because in this way Manning’s commitment to “social good” would be played down.
“Social good” is everything Vincent “Quisling” Nichols is interested in. It is the only issue he wants to go on record during the Holy week. This is a mickey mouse of an Archbishop, if there has ever been one.
I can’t wait to hear about our completely de-Christianised Archbishop talk about earth day on Good Friday, or on the immediately following weeks. But I’m sure he’ll put some social issues in the middle; just to be on the safe side, you know.
This man is a scandal through and through.
I am now re-reading C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape letters” and I am truly enjoying every word again. In a sense, I had almost forgotten how witty, profound and instructive the man was.
This book is, so to speak, the non-Catholic counterpart of the great G.K.Chesterton. More rapid to get to the point than the latter probably, though perhaps not so full of surprises and paradoxes.
Most of all, C.S.Lewis is amusing. He instructs whilst he entertains. The book is even more remarkable because, though written in the midst of the Second World War, it does not have anything of the propaganda or “Gott mit uns”-Attitude you might expect in a book written in such difficult and passionate times. Written in the middle of a savage conflict, the book reminds one even more of the far more momentous conflict (because linked, each one, to an eternal result) that the battle for the soul of every one of us is. C.S. Lewis flies over the conflicts of his time and dwells over the conflicts of every time.
The man is also remarkably orthodox from a Catholic perspective and is therefore, in my eyes, rather safe reading as instruction, too.
Many of you have probably read the book already. I think the others won’t do any damage to themselves by ordering it. Books which make it a pleasure to open and re-read at regular interval are seldom wrong investments.
(There. No one will be able to say that I always shoot at Heretics now….)