If we are going to name a new heresy, we should get the etymology right

October 30, 2015 § 10 Comments

At One Peter Five, Michael Lofton writes:

It would seem that a new heresy is being created before our very eyes. What is this new heresy? If Arianism was named after the priest and theologian Arius, who championed the denial of Christ’s divinity, it seems fitting to call our present corruption of Catholic belief, “Kasperism” – inasmuch as it has been promoted most vigorously by the German Cardinal Walter Kasper. What is Kasperism? It is the view that dogma is to be left intact in theory, but may be contradicted in practice.

This is giving Cardinal Kasper far too much credit.  If we want to give credit where credit is due, we’d be better off calling the position that dogma is to be left intact in theory, but may be contradicted in practice Castiglionism or Capellarism.

§ 10 Responses to If we are going to name a new heresy, we should get the etymology right

  • CJ says:

    Why those two popes? It isn’t obvious from the Wikipedia articles, although I’m guessing it’s the mixed marriages thing for Pius VIII

  • Zippy says:

    CJ:
    Those were the two popes who formally approved the practice of just ignoring usury in the confessional. (link from OP).

  • Zippy says:

    Basically, the “don’t ask don’t tell in the confessional, and go ahead and give communion to objectively unrepentant ongoing usurers” pastoral solution was implemented by those two popes.

  • Mark Citadel says:

    Should God strike down this fallen cardinal, I think Catholics in general would be better off. A priest, especially one of high stature is held to a higher standard of responsibility than most. When he produces poison, he does not only commit spiritual suicide, but spiritual homicide with his influence. Diabolical indeed.

  • Bruce says:

    Maybe the newer heresies should be simply be lumped together and called the “modernist heresy.” Maybe they date back to the pastoral practice on usury.

  • Zippy says:

    Bruce:
    If nothing else, it is pretty clear to me that usury – leaving it formally condemned but officially pastorally accepted, and just ceasing almost all discussion of it otherwise (although both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have publicly condemned usury by name, as well as a few other recent popes, without elaborating on what they were condemning) – is a critical inflection point.

  • Bruce says:

    Zippy, I wonder if the post-inflection point heresies can be thought of simply as the Church’s reaction to the first mass apostacy. There have been heresies but has there ever been a mass apostacy? Seems like a “stage” thing where the Church grew big and became closely integrated within society. How does an organization whose mission is to save as many souls as possible react when so many are leaving the Church over teachings that are “too hard.”

  • Zippy says:

    It is an interesting speculation, Bruce. But I am never very confident tying our particular moment of history to particular prophecies; partly because of my own ignorance of such things and partly because doing so is notoriously fraught.

    On the other hand the answer to “There have been heresies but has there ever been a mass apostacy?” seems to be “no”.

  • Bruce says:

    I guess I don’t mean to sound like I’m invoking prophecy. I mean this is just the real situation and the clergy is responding. Since they are flawed men their response is not perfect.

    Actually I don’t think this is much different than your idea that the problem is disobedience. I do think some of it is apostacy because I suspect many modern Christians simply do not believe. And it’s apostacy because many people just leave the Church and even Christianity.

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