An unexpected connection between usury and sedevacantism

June 27, 2016 § 287 Comments

Warning: in this post I am kind of talking out of my hat, just sharing something I recently discovered.  I haven’t done the sort of due diligence that would warrant a strong view on my part.  This is just one of those things that make me go “hmmm.”

A personal admission: I tend to get bored out of my mind when I start to read sedevacantist material (articles expressing and attempting to justify the view that there is presently no Pope of Rome, and that the man who presently appears to be Pope is not in fact the Pope).  In my experience, the folks advancing those arguments tend to be completely unaware of their own metaphysical baggage.  At the very least their metaphysical baggage remains hidden and unacknowledged — perhaps because acknowledging it would weaken their arguments, or perhaps because they simply suffer from a limited imagination and are unaware of all of the questions they are begging.

Life is short, and when writers issue too many promissory notes of which they seem utterly unaware themselves I tend to lose interest in what they have to say.

It was interesting to discover though that sedevacantist arguments seem to draw heavily on the Jesuit School of Salamanca: the same “Georgetown of the Middle Ages” that (arguably) brought us Jesuit economic anti-realism  and waffliness on usury.

§ 287 Responses to An unexpected connection between usury and sedevacantism

  • Zippy says:

    When reading Rothbard on Salamanca on usury it is interesting that Rothbard’s big complaint was about the Jesuit insistence that, even though the Jesuit loopholes effectively made usury a dead letter, the Salamancans kept insisting that ‘doctrine had not changed’.

  • Mike T says:

    What is the Latin for “I believe he’s the real pope, but he acts like a Marxist socket puppet?”

    I mean FFS, we owe apologies to the gays? I must have missed the news of “radical Christians” threatening nice gay couples that own bakeries with the total destruction of their livelihood if they won’t bake a cake for them.

    That whole issue adds a whole new dimension to the joke about “first world problems.” Awww, mean Christian won’t bake you a cake? Could be worse buckaroo, Mohammed and Abdul are just itching to settle a bet on whether a gay man bounces more if dropped from 15 stories than 10.

  • buckyinky says:

    Mike T,

    There is enough confusion surrounding Pope Francis even without paraphrasing him. Could you provide the direct quotation of his that would help us to conclude that a fair and reasonable summary of that point of his flinterview was “we owe apologies to the gays?”

  • Mike T says:

    Buckyinc,

    I’m not going to run around fact checking the Pope. It’s not my responsibility. What I find tiresome as a Protestant is that the Pope is “always being misquoted” on subjects near and dear to conservative Protestants and Catholics alike.

  • ignacy says:

    Where does the link to Michael Davies on sedevacantism establish any connection with pro-sedevacantist stance and School of Salamanca?

    Suarez is mentioned as rather opining against the possibility of a pope being allowed by God to err. Any theoretical speculations are mentioned in line with the same considerations by Robert Bellarmine, who although a Jesuit, is a Doctor of the Church not associated with Salamanca.

    In fact, the Michael Davies’ text doesn’t provide almost any pro-sedevacantist argument, at least if I understand him correctly.

  • buckyinky says:

    Mike T, got it.

  • Todor says:

    Positivism: the text means what it means.
    Hermeneutic scholar: the text means exactly the opposite of what it seems to mean.
    Good Catholic: the text means what the Church says it means.
    The Church: …

    Right?

  • Mike T says:

    buckyinc,

    Maybe he is genuinely innocent of making some bull#$%^ statement that played right into their hands. Still, my attitude toward him is that after the first one or two times of being “misquoted” and made to sound like he was upending centuries of established moral teaching, he’d be more cautious. Teachers are held to a higher standard according to the Apostles, and there is no higher teacher in the RCC than the Pope. So if the Pope can’t bring himself to “know his audience” and save technicality-laden discussions for the appropriate audience that can get the nuance (and won’t run shrieking gleefully that the Pope is now supporting heresy), he is certainly behaving like a serious problem.

    Whether you want to call most laymen idiots, low information voters or something else, the fact is that the Pope is supposed to help lead the Catholic ones to heaven.

  • buckyinky says:

    If the Pope is not being careful in what he says, and giving reason for us to suspect, or even to conclude, willful obfuscation, we can help to clarify matters by neglecting to be careful in our own representations of what the Pope said. This is especially true if you are not a Catholic.

  • itascriptaest says:

    subjects near and dear to conservative Protestants

    Is the Pope a Marxist when he makes friendly overtures to Protestants?

  • Mike T says:

    This is the closest I can get to the full text of what he said. Now here is a simple question. For what do we have to apologize to the gay community? If you have the full text please link to it.

  • Mike T says:

    Is the Pope a Marxist when he makes friendly overtures to Protestants?

    Is the Pope being a responsible steward of the largest part of the body of Christ when he openly acknowledges that accepting massive waves of “refugees” is dangerous to the Christian societies he is leaning on, but effectively says “damn the consequences, it’s what Jesus would do?”

  • itascriptaest says:

    Mike T,

    I don’t want to hijack Zippy’s thread but I just find it strange that a conservative Protestant dislikes the most pro-Protestant Pope to ever reign. We have this problem at Orthosphere as well. Certain people demand cooperation between Protestants, Catholics and Eastern “Orthodox.” Yet Pope Francis-who facilitates this all time-is still called an evil leftist by these the same people.
    Rod Dreher’s sensational reporting last year dearing the Synod is another good example. The whole point of the Synod was the Catholic Church adopting the Eastern “Orthodox” practice of divorce and remarriage. How can Dreher act like the sky is falling when the Catholic Church is just adopting what his own church teaches? Shouldn’t he be happy?
    Regarding refugees and such I think the Pope’s larger concern is with not blaming the victims of the global economic system. He has also told people they should stay in their home countries.

  • buckyinky says:

    At the risk also of hijacking the post, here is a transcript of the full interview.

    I’d being willing to give Mike T the same amount of points for accuracy as I’d give Reuters.

  • Well, the putative pope has produced positive heresy in his A.L. trying to teach that grace accompanies fornication and then he publicly declared A.L as sound doctrine and public reiterated the point about grace attending fornication.

    In his plane presser he said that we Catholics and Lutherans have the same doctrine as regards Justification which is a falsification of galactic magnitude and he also praised the Heresiarch whereas Trent taught the truth about Justification and the then Pope (drawing a blank right now) described Martin Luther as a wild boar but virtually all of Tradition is becoming Invisibilium in the Shadow Church (it has no substance) owing to the obvious truth that Ecumenism is the universal solvent of Tradition.

    Jesus promised His Church would never fail and Vatican 1 taught the Holy See would always be preserved from error and, thus, when a putative pope spews rank heresy, one can observe the obvious – he ain’t pope.

    It is not that he is different – as everyone knows- from the 265 previous Popes, it is that he is relentlessly different in tone and content of what he says compared to all of the popes who preceded him and that is why so many are saying the rhetorical question – Is the Pope Catholic? – no longer is valid.

    He is a wild bore and he is as humble as The Donald.

  • Zippy says:

    MJY:
    If that (or something like it) is true then some future Pope or ecumenical council will formally declare it to be the case. At that point – and not before – Catholics will be free to believe it.

    Right now, declaring it to be the case exceeds the authority of any Catholic.

    And the idea that authoritatively revealed truth can be separated from authority is decidedly non-Catholic, or, more generally, is incoherent.

  • donnie says:

    Zippy,

    Obviously it is far outside the authority of any layman to declare the Pope a heretic, even if he objectively is one. But when the Holy Father’s ordinary magisterium is at odds with holy and immutable doctrine of our Faith, to include the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium of his predecessors, do we not have a duty to, in firmness and in charity, correct his errors?

  • Todor says:

    And what if the next Pope declares that the successor of Francis is wrong and that Francis was an orthodoxe pope?

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    I suppose it depends on the particulars.

    My present view of Pope Francis is that he seems to be a provincial Latin American mid-level bureaucratic functionary who has been elevated to the office of Pope, where he is very much out of his depth. Given that there are writings by other popes and very great saints which I (and likely most Catholics) have yet to read, I’m not sure that there is any compelling reason to read Francis’ multivocal interpret-this-to-mean-whatever-you-want-it-to-mean ramblings at all.

    St Athanasius is probably the model, I suppose. But with apologies to Lloyd Bensen, when it comes to clearly making a theological point Pope Francis is no Arius.

  • Zippy says:

    Todor:
    What if there were no such thing as hypotheticals, and we had to deal with the actual world as we actually find it?

  • donnie says:

    Zippy – Seems almost as if Pope Francis strikes you as a kind of Chauncey Gardiner of the Vatican, a view I find both humorous and oddly comforting.

    Trouble is, I find it hard to think of Pope Francis as simple-minded. If he really doesn’t have the mind to understand the damage he’s doing, how was it that two-thirds of his peers elected him to Chair of St. Peter?

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    I believe there are only a few thousand bishops on Earth, and they are mostly selected for their competence as bureaucratic functionaries. As a financial institution, for example, the Vatican is like a middling sized regional American corporation somewhere shy of the Fortune 500. It is difficult to make the point respectfully, but given the pool and the numbers a pope like Francis is hardly surprising. What is more surprising is when we get a true genius like (whatever his other shortcomings real or imagined) John Paul II.

  • Todor says:

    Zippy’s view is only comforting if you believe that invincible ignorance is a “get out of hell” card. Sure, Catholics now believe all sort of heresies, but they don’t know any better. It’s like the jewish friends of Francis – they don’t “know” that one must be Catholic to be saved. He tried to explain it to them, but their situation is such that it’s impossible for them to understand what he’s saying.

  • Mike T says:

    I don’t want to hijack Zippy’s thread but I just find it strange that a conservative Protestant dislikes the most pro-Protestant Pope to ever reign.

    I wasn’t trying to jack it either (was just trying to be a smartass at the expense of the sedevacantists). So here’s my response.

    I am not a Catholic, but I have a deep respect and even a sort of affinity for orthodox Catholicism. It is not my tradition, but I recognize that there is far more truth than falsehood (in my perspective, not trying to start a fight on this). So when I see a Pope doing what appears to be his level best to undermine orthodox Catholicism, it is upsetting to me for much the same reason when I see Protestant leaders throwing off centuries of established doctrine and interpretation to be “seeker sensitive” or whatever nonsense they espouse as a justification. I guess it comes down to seeing Pope Francis and people like him as a bull in a China shop, destroying something that while not mine, is beautiful and valuable.

    It’s important to understand that Francis is probably no friend of Protestants like a lot of the ones I know who are staunch believers that divorce is always wrong, that homosexuality is always sinful and that abortion is murder in all cases. He may not be an enemy, but I doubt he’d like most of the conservative Protestants I know any more than he’d like you or Zippy on these matters.

  • Mike T says:

    buckyinc,

    Thanks, I’ll try to read it soon. Did a casual search on the page (browser text search, not Google) and noticed to my surprise that one of the words that was quoted was not even there as best as I could tell. Would be interesting to see if they modified or invented a quote outright to advance their agenda.

  • Zippy says:

    I suppose what different folks find comforting probably varies, but I don’t know what Todor is talking about. The whole shibboleth of ignorance as the eighth sacrament has been subjected to relentless criticism here.

  • donnie says:

    Well, when you put it like that…

    I’ve worked for a middling sized regional American corporation before. And I certainly remember how incompetent some of my co-workers were. Imagining that these are the types of people managing the Church is not a comforting thought. It certainly would be a minor miracle to find a CEO of true genius from among that bunch.

    Interesting you think of St. John Paul II as a true genius though. He was certainly a man of unquestionable personal holiness, but I always found his writings to be at times inspiring, at other times muddled, and at other times downright incomprehensible. Though he is a saint a far holier man than I have ever come close to being, so perhaps the error lies with me on that one.

    However, if we continue the Pope as CEO analogy, it seems quite clear to me that his management of the church was lax in the extreme, to the point of negligence. A saintly man, no doubt. But not, I think, a true genius.

  • donnie says:

    Todor,

    Imaging Pope Francis as a Chauncey Gardiner-type character probably shouldn’t be a comforting thought, but the humor eases the tragedy of it all.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    My only point was that JPII was in fact, objectively, a quite exceptional genius intellectually. That says nothing about management ability, leadership, or comprehensibility. In point of fact both JP II and BXVI are exceptional intellects.

    (In my experience geniuses are often not very good leaders or communicators; but leadership and comprehensibility weren’t the point).

    Francis, at least in my very fallible assessment, is a rather unexceptional run of the mill Jesuit bureaucrat.

  • Mike T says:

    The sedevacantists sound very similar to a certain style of Protestant church, that sort who think that their church founded in 1967 by the Right Reverand John Smith just somehow stumbled onto the one true interpretation and the rest are full of darkness and lies. Invariably, you find that they’re more likely to be nuttier than a fruitcake than straight down the line.

  • Todor says:

    I was talking about the sedevacantists who believe that the post-Vatican II popes have lead countless souls to damnation. It’s not a comforting vision. But if you believe that the declarations of Francis have no effect on the salvation or the damnation of anyone, sure, Francis is just a funny little bureaucrate.

  • Zippy says:

    Todor:
    It was another commenter who suggested humor. (Dark humor, as I took it).

    Not to endorse any particular view of reality, but you seem to be suffering from the impression that “either/or” is the only possibility. You may be overlooking “both/and”.

  • Todor says:

    What do you mean, Zippy?

  • Pope Francis can be a bureaucrat elected to a position beyond his depth and somebody who is having an effect on the salvation and damnation of people.

    And what we all need here – Papal defenders and Papal bashers alike – is perspective.

  • Zippy says:

    Right Malcolm, on both counts.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy’s view seems emminently sensible to me, perhaps because it has always been my own. Maybe it’s a consequence of being a medievalist, I believe that Francis, and his theological pronouncements, ought to be treated with the precise amount of respect that I would have given Benedict IX or John XII.

  • Dear Zippy. But we are told to judge- with right judgment.

    And if the putative pope is engaged in a heterodox praxis it does not require that one be a saint to see it and say it.

    What is not acceptable to most men is to witness mayhem and be told -Well, you will just have to wait until some future authority tells you that what you saw and heard is what you saw and heard.

    I could even post the teaching of Pope Leo XII telling we laity that we are required to do what many of us laymen are already doing and, of course, there is the New Testament vis a vis heretics

    The N.T. is a compilation of letters written by Catholics to Catholics in an already existing, but nascent, Catholic Church and there is not an exegesis of the fathers that I am aware of declaring one must have a special competence to notice heresy and to tell and warn others about their heresies.

    It is simply not acceptable that we have a ravening wolf with authority rather than a shepherd.

    O, and MJY is not judging his soul but his very public not-perplexing praxis.

  • Wood says:

    Dear Might Joe Young Catholic,

    How is what you are advocating any different from a Protestant “consent of the governed” approach? You are not “just” noticing heresy and warning others about it; just doing my best seeing it and saying it. You are implying the Holy Father Pope Francis is an anti-pope. People say things like that all the time on the internet lately, almost as if it’s something of little consequence. Meh, I’ll pull for the Mets instead of the Yankees from now on. I spent 10 long years struggling with the Faith, and all this “false pope” business was a big part of that. That’s not your fault – it’s mine. But please consider how grave the statement – from a Catholic – that Pope Francis “ain’t the pope” because of formal heresy is. Maybe you are correct, but what if you are wrong? I don’t impute this to you at all, but I do wish the sedes would think about the scandal they are possibly causing to people struggling with conversion. Considering the internet is one big fat bullhorn to a bunch of strangers of considerably different capacities, I think the blogosphere could use a little humility from time to time.

  • Dear Wood. Good points all, really (except for the consent of the governed for if a putative pope has a praxis of heterodoxy, he loses the office)

    But, as a member of the Church militant, MJY has a duty (freely accepted at Confirmation) to war against error/heresy in extra and ad extra and the obverse of the coin of controversy you righty identify is that silence in the face of the shepherd striking his won sheep is cowardice.

    if the laymen does not stand and defend the Faith, who will?

    To me, papolatry is far worse; all of the pretending that he was misquoted, that he has not changed doctrine etc etc is jejune.

    O, and that is not even to identify who it is who is giving scandal; it is not MJY, it is the putative pope. He is responsible for the chaos.

    Many men ask why MJY does not just pick up his cross and clam-up but Jesus prayed the cup pass Him by and Jesus asked the soldier who struck Him, why’d you do that?

    And we are supposed to imitate Christ.

    As for the cross, I pick it up each time I am constrained to assist at the Lil’ Licit Liturgy (every Sunday, virtually).

    Finally, questioning/criticising me is the safest thing on earth to do. I have no power to change ecclesiastical praxis, no power change the discipline of the sacraments, no universal jurisdiction, no universal adoration for appearing to oppose all that came before me, and no power to discipline those I find irksome.

    The putative pope has all of that power and also the Bully (B.S. more often than not) Pulpit and he is attacking my Faith, the Faith of my Father, the Faith of my Grandfather, and the faith of all of my progenitors and I will not have it.

  • Zippy says:

    MJY:
    It seems to me that you are (perhaps ironically) responding to specific objections with vague generalities.

    For a lay Catholic to decide and declare who is Pope and who is anti-Pope exceeds the authority of that lay Catholic. This means you.

  • Zippy says:

    Part of the problem with sedevacantism (I alluded to this upthread) is that it attempts to treat matters of authority as if they were matters of logic. It is like treating the question “who is the legitimate king of France” as a question which can be answered by coming up with the right mathematical formula.

  • Todor says:

    I have a soft spot for sedevacantists since I came back to the faith after reading the Dimond brothers. What a revelation! The Church was not just a bunch of old ladies and effiminated priests. We have inherited a rich tradition, philosophically sounded, a beautiful cathedral built by the most brilliant men of all times. You have a question? Read the Fathers, read the encyclicals of Pope Pius IX. We don’t have to tremble before our ennemies: we have infallible teachings to oppose them! Oh, the feeling of security! But then, someone told me: “Well, it’s just, like, your opinion man.” And it was all over.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    >The Church was not just a bunch of old ladies and effiminated priests.

    Just a bit of a digression, but what’s with all this posturing/huffing and puffing about the lack of manliness in the church? The clergy may be all male, but the Church is your Mother. And anyone who thinks that mothers in general are too soft and indulgent of their children clearly doesn’t know enough mothers.

  • Mike T says:

    MJY,

    If the Borgia Pope can be a valid Pope, then what can be said against Francis aside from the fact that he is incompetent at public speaking and appears to be mushy on his stances. It is a hard fact that Romans 13 and other teachings on authority naturally imply that God often puts or just allows stupid, venial, sinful and even evil men into positions of power. That’s just the way of the world because men are fallen.

  • Mike T says:

    And anyone who thinks that mothers in general are too soft and indulgent of their children clearly doesn’t know enough mothers.

    Most of our problems today stem from a lack of manly authority backing female authority and the resulting chaos that ensues. That’s why a lot of congregations resemble a brood raised by a single mother more than a stable nuclear family.

  • buckyinky says:

    I realize it’s not a nail in the coffin argument against SVism, but the fact that any putative popes that have taught heresy, and therefore disqualified themselves as papabile also happens to disqualify every single putative pope in most, if not all, SVs’ lifespans*, presents the SVs with the problem that they have never proven themselves able to submit to an actual, living, breathing pope.

    Sorry to bring the manosphere into the whole thing, but it begins to sound suspiciously like SVs would have no problem submitting to a Holy Father but all these supposed popes are making them unhaaaaapy.

    *I suppose there are some SVs out there now who recognized BXVI but who do not recognize Pope Francis (and also don’t subscribe to the idea that BXVI is somehow still Pope), but the vast majority of SVs, once they convert to the position, make it retroactive to Pius XII or so, nulllifying any submission to a putative pope after that time (e.g., Laura Wood).

  • Wood says:

    MJY,

    I’m not advocating silence or clamming up or papolatry. I’m advocating Catholic laymen not calling Pope Francis an anti-pope (or even a “putative pope” for that matter). I get this is a pretty weird time in history, but I don’t agree that the converse of sedevacantism entails what you suggest. How do you define heterodoxy of praxis and how do you know when your definition obtains? Have you considered that perhaps sedevacantism is an attack on the Faith?

    Todor:
    Funny you brought those guys up. I found them nearly simultaneously with my discovery of Catholicism, and they were ones I was mentioning above. It is interesting to me how – initially – the SV take their position as calmly spelled out in proof texts from Saints or whatnot. But once embraced, SV position morphs into an obviously self evident truth and only the willfully blind, sheeple idiots blissfully worshiping the anti-Christ can’t see it. I just don’t see any period in Church history where our Faith “worked” that way.

  • Specificity is desired, specificity is delivered (Examples abound)
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A layman asked about the “crisis of marriage” and how Catholics can help educate youth in love, help them learn about sacramental marriage, and help them overcome “their resistance, delusions and fears.”

    The Pope answered from his own experience.

    “I heard a bishop say some months ago that he met a boy that had finished his university studies, and said ‘I want to become a priest, but only for 10 years.’ It’s the culture of the provisional. And this happens everywhere, also in priestly life, in religious life,” he said.

    “It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say ‘yes, for the rest of my life!’ but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know.”

    Pope Francis attributed the marriage crisis to people who “don’t know what the sacrament is” and don’t know “the beauty of the sacrament.”

    “They don’t know that it’s indissoluble, they don’t know that it’s for your entire life. It’s hard,” the Pope said.

    He added that a majority of couples attending marriage prep courses in Argentina typically cohabitated.

    “They prefer to cohabitate, and this is a challenge, a task. Not to ask ‘why don’t you marry?’ No, to accompany, to wait, and to help them to mature, help fidelity to mature.”

    “It’s a superstition, because marriage frightens the husband. It’s a superstition we have to overcome,” the Pope said. “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity, but there are local superstitions, etc.”

    “Marriage is the most difficult area of pastoral work,” he said.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A man not disposed to receive Grace does NOT receive grace. Period. And men and women fornicating are not in a real marriage and they are not recipients of Grace and they should NOT be accompanied in sin.

    Zippy. You knew this in the 7th grade and you do not need to have been elected Pope to know he is speaking heresy.

    Here is how he is opposed to Catholic Doctrine SPECIFICALLY

    Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubi

    Armed with these principles, some men go so far as to concoct new species of unions, suited, as they say, to the present temper of men and the times, which various new forms of matrimony they presume to label “temporary,” “experimental,” and “companionate.” These offer all the indulgence of matrimony and its rights without, however, the indissoluble bond, and without offspring, unless later the parties alter their cohabitation into a matrimony in the full sense of the law.  
    Indeed there are some who desire and insist that these practices be legitimatized by the law or, at least, excused by their general acceptance among the people. They do not seem even to suspect that these proposals partake of nothing of the modern “culture” in which they glory so much, but are simply hateful abominations which beyond all question reduce our truly cultured nations to the barbarous standards of savage peoples.

    MJY is not the problem and he is not being vague. Th putative pope is th problem.

    But, let’s get at this from another direction.

    Those of you who object to my describing Bergoglio as the putative Pope, defend what the says here; tell me that what he said is not clearly heresy and then tell me that when a putative pope speaks heresy he is still considered to be a legitimate pope.

    If you can’t do that, tell me what he has to do for you to stop saying he is the Pope ,for it is an infallible Dogma, it is the promise of Our Creator, Redeemer, Saviour, and Head of His One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Holy See can not teach error/heresy

  • If the Borgia Pope can be a valid Pope, then what can be said against Francis..

    There have been plenty of popes who were personally immoral, none who have been heretical. Did the Borgia’s attack Doctrine/Dogma?

  • Zippy says:

    MJY:
    You weren’t being asked for a long litany of specific complaints. I was just pointing out that you fail to address the specific point: which, I repeat, is that you, as a lay Catholic, and all sedevacantists everywhere, do not possess the authority required to declare who is and is not pope or anti-pope.

  • Todor says:

    Mike T,

    John Paul II going around with his mistresses and his bastard children would have been less troubling than him kissing the Koran and asking John the Baptist to protect Islam.

  • Zippy says:

    For those who are unaware of it, we anticipated Pope Francis’ contention that most modern marriages are null a few years back:

    https://orthosphere.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/are-people-even-marrying-anymore/

    Of course, my recommendations as to what to do about it have not been adopted:
    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/pastoral-suggestions-for-the-upcoming-extraordinary-synod/

  • Dear Zippy. I have never claimed a whit of authority and so you pointing out I have no authority is accurate but it is an accuracy that misses the point which ought to be the putative pope and what he is telling the world and, thus, convincing the world that my Faith is a joke and that we never did believe what we Catholics have always said we do believe.

    You didn’t write anything about what he said about his false teaching that grace is realised in fornication or that fornication is a real marriage.

    I could quote for you his words, during a sermon, that Jesus dirtied Himself with sin and many many other things and I would expect that you would not respond to what the putative pope said but point out that those stating the obvious in response to such blasphemy – that no Pope has the authority to make such evil claims – have no authority to say any man who says such things is an obvious heretic and, thus, not a real pope.

    It seems your response to what you consider untoward is directedy at those with no authority and those who understand they have no authority, just the Sensus Catholicus that apprehends the Faith once delivered.

    Of course I can say the obvious because I can see the obvious, that he is a heretic and, thus, aught but the putative pope and it doing so I understand that you do consider such a man a legitimate pope and so what I say is, really, of no consequence, but what he says has captious consequences to the Faith but I don’t see you defending the Faith against him and maybe that is just a matter of how each of us sees our moral obligations.

    What I do know is that you are light years above me in intelligence and knowledge but I do not see any wisdom in what you are doing.

    C’est la vie.

    No hard feelings from MJY

    As to the others worried about what sedevacantists say, why is what they say more troubling then what the putative pope says?

    O, and I do not label my own self a sedevacantist or a sedeprivationist or any other type of sede and I do have that authority.

    In any event, what I think about the putative pope will have no practical application in my life; I will still go to the Lil’ Licit Liturgy and still frequent the Sacraments of Confession and Communion and wait on The Lord.

  • donnie says:

    MJY,

    You and I certainly would agree that Pope Francis has said many things regarding the holy and immutable doctrine of our Faith which are, objectively, wrong.

    I would disagree with you that this somehow automatically delegitimizes his divine authority as the successor of St. Peter. Pope Honorius I was certainly a heretic and nonetheless still legitimately Pope.

    My question for Zippy is this: I agree with you that it takes one with the authority of St. Peter to declare definitively that one who appeared to possess that same authority, in actuality, did not.

    Given that, does it require that same authority to declare definitively whether the current pontiff has, in fact, committed heresy.

    If you had happened to walk in on Pope Alexander VI fornicating with his mistress you would not need to be the Pope to know his actions are objectively wrong. So if you happen to witness Pope Francis saying something that is objectively contrary to the Church’s perennial Magisterium, can you not say the obvious?

  • donnie says:

    MJY,

    Regarding Zippy not defending the faith against Pope Francis:

    I am a new reader here but it is eminently clear to me already that Zippy has defended the Faith on this blog for a number of years against the pervasive errors of our time. If he chooses not to combat the errors of Pope Francis head on that doesn’t diminish the fact that he’s still doing God’s work here.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    It doesn’t really require any special circumstances to merely disagree with a pope, or to suggest that his actions are imprudent, etc. Ultramontanism is false. (I’ve been saying as much in those words or different ones since before the World Wide Web even existed, so this isn’t any sort of new position for me.)

    MJY has claimed that he isn’t a sedevacantist, but goes on and on in his public comments about the “putative” pope, and stated outright upthread that “when a putative pope spews rank heresy, one can observe the obvious – he ain’t pope.”

    I’ll just note that that is at least as equivocal as the statements (and their contraries) by Francis that MJY finds problematic.

  • Zippy says:

    Francis has himself stated outright and publicly – on multiple occasions now – that when it comes to moral matters, “who am I to judge?” That is, he has explicitly told us that he is incompetent to judge moral matters unequivocally, and all evidence points to the veracity of his self-assessment.

    What I don’t really understand is why more people don’t take him more seriously on the specific point.

  • donnie says:

    Interesting interpretation, but I don’t think Pope Francis means to convey that he is incompetent to judge moral matters unequivocally, just that he prefers not to judge *certain* moral matters unequivocally. Lest we forget:

    “Christians who obstinately maintain ‘it’s always been done this way,’ this is the path, this is the street—they sin: the sin of divination.”

    – Pope Francis, Homily from Mass at Casa Santa Marta, January 18, 2016

    Clearly he believes himself to be perfectly competent to judge moral matters unequivocally when it suits him.

  • donnie says:

    And for those who want the context:

    http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-obstinate-christians-are-rebels-and-i

    As an aside, when Pope Francis first became Pope and started referring to himself as “Bishop of Rome” and suggesting that he wanted a more synodal Church, I was overjoyed. I saw these gestures as overtly directed toward the Orthodox Church, and it gave me hope that God might have finally sent us a Pope who could mend the Great Schism. What a thought!

    But when I read his words from that homily, I am crestfallen. I don’t know a single God-fearing Orthodox Christian who would ever agree with such a vicious attack on those who simply hold fast to the Faith of their fathers.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    As is his habit, Francis speaks equivocally enough that you can take him to mean whatever you want him to mean. I take his repeated “who am I to judge” self assessment seriously and generally: as I said, its veracity certainly seems to be corroborated by the evidence.

    And to the extent he is exercising his magisterium as opposed to voicing personal views as the man who happens to be pope – which I expect is not much, and is certainly not the case in interviews – the rule of interpretation is that his words must be interpreted in a manner consistent with other statements of magisterial authority from the church. He is equivocal enough that this isn’t hard to do: equivocation says everything at once and therefore nothing in particular.

    I really think that most people would be better off simply ignoring Francis.

  • Todor says:

    Zippy,

    That’s the beauty of liberalism: to save what you think is the deposit of the faith, you must play the spin doctor and accept that words are not univocal…

  • Zippy says:

    Todor:
    Once again I don’t really know what you are talking about. I don’t see any particular need to spin Pope Francis’ words. They do plenty of spinning on their own without any of my help.

    Univocity is a feature of meaning though, not of words.

  • Todor says:

    I’m talking about the humiliating task of conservative apologists who must day after day explain to their readers that Francis “didn’t really say that”, “What he really meant was…”, “The contradictions are only apparent…”, “When in doubt, assume that even his most revolting declarations are perfectly orthodox.”

  • Zippy says:

    Todor:
    Sure. Conservative Catholics tend to be ultramontane, so every time a Pope says or does something goofy or heterodox they feel compelled to spin it to try to say that the heterodoxy or even just goofiness was always what the Church believed and how the holiest and wisest of men have always acted.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for conservative Catholics the Francis pontificate is an exercise in discrediting ultramontanism by practicing it.

  • donnie says:

    Zippy,

    “And to the extent he is exercising his magisterium as opposed to voicing personal views as the man who happens to be pope – which I expect is not much..”

    I’m not sure Pope Francis would agree with you even here. Once again I turn to his own words:

    “Somebody did say to me once, ‘Of course, of course. Discernment is so good for us, but we need much clearer things.’ And I answered: Look, I wrote an encyclical—true enough, it was by four hands [with Benedict XVI]—and an apostolic exhortation. I’m constantly making statements, giving homilies. That’s magisterium. That’s what I think, not what the media say that I think. Check it out; it’s very clear. “The Joy of the Gospel” is very clear.”

    – Pope Francis, Interview for ‘America’ magazine, January 5-12, 2015 Issue

    Source: http://americamagazine.org/issue/we-must-reach-out

    I would like to ignore him as you suggest. I tried, after his first year, and got away with it for a while. But then Amoris Laetitia was published and I couldn’t ignore him any longer. How can we sit idly by as he endangers thousands if not millions of souls by his errors??!!

  • Zippy says:

    On the subject of whether to read Francis or instead spend the finite time available reading some saints or other Popes you also have not read, I would suggest that folks seem to be heavily influenced by liberal democratic rituals.

    Liberal democracy teaches people to think that they are influencing events, when in fact it is events which are influencing them.

  • Wood says:

    donnie,

    I don’t know how best to handle the situation of the Church right now. But there are some ironies that have been enjoyable. I don’t remember the specifics, but around Christmastime there was some mild firestorm when Pope Francis said something about Jesus in the context of “The Finding in the Temple.” People I tend to read were freaking out. But it occurred to me that in praying the Joyful Mysteries I never actually focused on joy. I just focused on the events and not the joy surrounding it. Ever since then every time I pray the Joyful Mysteries and get to the “Finding in the Temple” mystery I focus so much more on the joy Mary and Joseph must have had to find Jesus safe and sound – and how I hope to “find” Him when my life is over as well. I’ve also never prayed for a religious figure like I have for Pope Francis. A lot of times I literally don’t even know what to pray for regarding him, but I just pray the Lord’s will be done. Maybe its a reverse “Francis effect” : ) I’m not blowing off the shenanigans, and I worry about the world my kids will find – just offering another perspective.

  • Mike T says:

    Liberal democracy teaches people to think that they are influencing events, when in fact it is events which are influencing them.

    I have an older relative who cannot grasp this. Sits around and reads the news, blogs, etc. Total keyboard warrior who barely gets out of the house but is always up on the latest “ZOMG did you know…” clickbait from every ostensibly right-of-center publication out there.

    He cannot understand why I don’t give a damn about 90% of that stuff anymore. Why all of the fear of gun control doesn’t have me down, the possibility (remote as it is) of UN troops doing this or that, etc. My response is we’re middle class, not in the halls of power. If that day comes, do what our ancestors did and cry “praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.” Until then, pray and go about your life because all you’re doing is subsidizing big pharma with the blood pressure spikes you’re causing.

  • Avraham says:

    While I am not Catholic, I do have a suggestion. Spend a few years learning Aquinas and some of the other classic father of the church. Forget about the moderns. If this would be science, I would not say so. But here we are talking about religious and ethical issues. So my suggestion is to go through Aquinas and St Augustine about ten times each. Add to that Anslem. By that time nothing that is going on now will matter.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    The office of the Vicar of Christ is inevitably somewhat mysterious. The conditions for exercise of Magisterial authority are objective; popes are just men and are perfectly capable of sin and error (in fact this is inevitable, since only Mary was immaculately conceived). It seems perfectly possible for a Pope to be under the impression that his personal subjective intentions with respect to his, um, pontifications in airplane interviews and the like carry an authority which they in fact do not carry. Popes qua private theologians are fallible (that is, wrong) about theology all the time.

    I haven’t read everything Francis has produced and am unlikely to do so. But saying in an interview that reflections and exhortations carry doctrinal authority (if indeed that is even what he means by the statement you quoted) doesn’t make it the case. In order to exercise his authority he has to actually exercise it, not just say in interviews in Spanish whatever it was that he said which was translated as “that’s magisterium”. (It is certainly true in a sense that every time a bishop gives a homily “that’s magisterium”, but that doesn’t immunize said bishop from spouting nonsense).

    I really think that a lot of the trouble people are having stems from a view of the Church as if it were a modern institution. Even “traditionalists” and certainly conservatives tend to view the Church as if it were a Protestant divine right monarchy, which is really a kind of modern institution / understanding of authority.

  • Zippy says:

    Almost all religious debate in the past several centuries has been framed by Protestantism, with Catholics buying into that framing. The counter-reformation, like most counterrevolutions, conceded the framing of the conflict to the revolution.

    What you are witnessing is not the deconstruction of the Church; it is the ultimate triumph – and thereby defeat and despair – of the Protestant frame.

  • donnie says:

    Zippy,

    Can you elaborate further on the point in your last comment and the final paragraph of your comment before it? I’m afraid I don’t understand at all what you’re trying to convey.

    What do you mean when you say Catholics today view the papacy as a Protestant divine right monarchy? How exactly in your view did the counter-reformation concede frame to the Protestants?

  • Many men think the Catholic Church as had popes who were heretics but that claim was treated at Vatican 1 which concluded, that, no, no pope had been a heretic.

    Page 241 at this link

    http://tinyurl.com/j46h8at

    O, and this is just an interesting aside, but most men think Popes have taught infallibly only a handful of times but during the First Vatican Council Bishop Gasser, in his relatio (the official catholic church teaching on the matter) reported than there have been 1000s of infallible teachings.

    If I left the wrong impression that Zippy has not defended the Faith then I apologise. That certainly was not my intention.

    Obviously, we have different approached to defending the Faith and I say that a putative pope can not repeatedly deny and publicly oppose doctrine without automatically forfeiting his office.

    But though we or an angel of heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you let him be anathema.

    The putative pope is preaching a new gospel when he preaches that Jesus dirtied himself with sin.

    I just make the logical next step and say, the putative pope is a heretic and, thus not a pope.

    Now, there will be no use in me posting the teachings of Saint Robert Bellarmine (Dr of the Church) which were recently translated by Mr. Ryan Grant which teaches what I merely recognise.

    The conversation is a dead end. Y’all think a pope can preach such things and remain the pope but that is an absurdity for it is infallible Dogma that the Holy See (its occupant) can not teach error.

    So, you can defend the putative pope as a legitimate real pope but not MJY.

  • Bishop Gasser’s Vatican 1 Relatio excerpt

    [S]ome will persist and say: there remains, therefore, the duty of the Pontiff – indeed most grave in its kind – of adhering to the means apt for discerning the truth, and, although this matter is not strictly dogmatic, it is, nevertheless, intimately connected with dogma. For we define: the dogmatic judgments of the Roman Pontiff are infallible. Therefore let us also define the form to be used by the Pontiff in such a judgment. It seems to me that this was the mind of some of the most reverend fathers as they spoke from this podium. But, most eminent and reverend fathers,this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here. Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See; where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments? [19]

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    Maybe some time that can be another post or series of posts.

    Very briefly:

    John Wyclif (possibly in collaboration with his political sponsor John of Gaunt and Gaunt’s secretary Geoffrey Chaucer) attacked church authority on a number of levels, including attacking the Real Presence in the Eucharist. A cornerstone in his attack was his theory of “dominion”: a positivist theory of authority in which he argued that personal mortal sin destroys episcopal authority and capacity to confect sacraments: mortal sin on the part of priest or bishop constitutes a demarcation criteria between persons with authority and persons without. This was accompanied by a positivist theory of the meaning and authority of Scripture (probably swiped by Chaucer from the Moslems) as a replacement for the destroyed ecclesial authority of flawed and sinful men.

    Combined with Abelard/Ockham style nominalism, this frame has dominated theological and political debate, and debate about authority in general, for the last half millennium.

    The Protestant divine right of kings was an outworking of this ideology of authority; later the descendants of those DR kings would face the headsman as ideological logic-chopping led to physical head chopping.

    But it is a large subject, really.

  • donnie says:

    Thanks Zippy,

    Lots to mull over. I for one would be grateful if this topic was delved into further in a future post or series.

    MJY,

    Thanks for the link. I see now where you are coming from, as the text you link to is very clear that a heretic looses his membership in the Church the moment he apostatizes from a known dogma, so it follows that a heretic can hardly be the head of the Church that he is no longer a member of.

    Trouble is the text appears to directly contradict an earlier apostolic decree, which I take to be among the “thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments [that] have gone forth from the Apostolic See”:

    “And in addition to these we decide that Honorius also, who was Pope of Elder Rome, be with them cast out of the Holy Church of God, and be anathematized with them, because we have found by his letter to Sergius that he followed his opinion in all things and confirmed his wicked dogmas.”

    – Third Council of Constantinople, thirteenth session, March 28, 681

    If Zippy’s view that Wycliffe’s “dominion” theory has infected Catholic thinking since the counter-reformation, perhaps the text you link to is evidence of that. But I don’t know, all I do know is there is an apparent contradiction between what you linked to and the above Apostolic decree of the Third Council of Constantinople.

  • Todor says:

    Contradictions are so pre-Hegelian.

  • It is a dead end.

    Maybe Pope Francis is a heretic; but until Holy Mother Church declares him such and excommunicates him, it’s not my job to decide and I need to address him as Pope.

  • Mike T says:

    Using the stance on gays as an example, it is possible to be functionally antinomian without being one formally. If you argue against any form of discrimination and functionally remove the ways society would sanction the behavior you are stopping short of challenging its status as sinful behavior. However, you are creating an environment where for all intents and purposes it is treated as not sinful.

  • donnie says:

    OK, I have a question:

    Zippy, you have been an adamant crusader against the pervasive error that legitimate authority is derived from the consent of the governed. Instead, if I understand correctly, authority is legitimate inasmuch as it is consistent with natural law. I.e. a legitimate authority figure sets forth moral obligations which are derived from natural law, and his subjects are morally bound to meet these obligations.

    Now perhaps this is where I go wrong but in my understanding, if a person who claimed to have authority attempted to set forth moral obligations that contradicted natural law, the putative authority figure is, as a matter of fact, illegitimate. Real authority is always consistent with natural law.

    So if hypothetically, as scandalous as it is to imagine, the Pope were to say that Catholics have a moral obligation to recognize the practice of homosexuality as a legitimate and natural alternative to traditional heterosexual monogamy, it could no longer be said that the Pope’s authority is legitimate since he would have contradicted the natural law. Thus, he would cease to be the Pope, and the College of Cardinals would have a moral obligation to depose him and elect a legitimate successor.

    My question is 1) is the above reasoning correct, and 2) would the Pope have to make that claim ex cathedra in order to cease being the legitimate Pope.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    The reasoning is incorrect.

    Every human authority (including the Pope’s) operates within limits, as you observe. Outside of those limits, commands issued by that authority do not bind the consciences of subjects.

    Each command from a legitimate authority binds when it is consistent with the limits on his authority. If he gives an illegitimate command there are several kinds of cases. If he commands something intrinsically immoral, subjects are obligated to disobey. Otherwise whether or not to obey is a matter of prudence: much more could be said about those kinds of cases but that is not what we are considering here.

    But there is no “one drop” rule, such that a single (or multiple) illegitimate commands from a legitimate authority makes that authority illegitimate in general.

  • Zippy says:

    In general, the answer to hypotheticals like “what happens if a Pope appears to declare heresy X ex cathedra” is “have faith, and stop worrying over such things”. These events are all much bigger than you, and are in the hands of Providence. Trust that God will sort it all out in the end, probably in ways that never occurred to your (our) tiny and insignificant imagination(s).

  • Dear Donnie. Yeah, I think you are right

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-heretic-pope.html

    but he was just writing a letter, not an apostolic exhortation – Two now from Bergoglio that promote heresy.

    In any event, I’m back to lurking and learning

    O,and Zippy. That last comment by you re limits etc is VERY helpful to me

  • donnie says:

    Zippy,

    I am trying to reconcile my limited understanding of this matter with what MJY linked to above. On pages 237 – 242 the text quotes Archbishop Purcell describing how the First Vatican Council addressed his objections to the doctrine of papal infallibility. Purcell says that during the Council it was recognized that some forty popes in the early ages, including Pope Honorius I, Pope St. Nicholas I, and Pope John XXII, taught heresy during their pontificates but did so in their capacity as private theologians advising individuals, not as the Pope addressing the universal church (therefore not ex cathedra).

    Then on page 241, His Excellency relays the following:

    “The question was also raised by a Cardinal, ‘What is to be done with the Pope if he becomes a heretic?’ It was answered that there has never been such a case; the Council of Bishops could depose him for heresy, for from the moment he becomes a heretic he is not the head or even a member of the Church. The Church would not be, for a moment, obliged to listen to him when he begins to teach a doctrine the Church knows to be a false doctrine, and he would cease to be Pope, being deposed by God Himself.”

    – Archbishop John B. Purcell, quoted in Rev. James J. McGovern, Life and Life Work of Pope Leo XIII, p. 241

    I presume based on the context from the prior pages that the Council is not saying that the forty odd popes they identified as having taught heresy at one point or another during their pontificates were in fact illegitimate popes (after all, Pope Nicholas I is a saint!). So I take it then they are saying that if a Pope speaking from the chair of St. Peter (ex cathedra) becomes a heretic then he is no longer legitimately the Pope.

    What I don’t get is how your understanding is compatible with the conclusions of the First Vatican Council, assuming Archbishop Purcell’s account of things is accurate.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @MJY

    could quote for you his words, during a sermon, that Jesus dirtied Himself with sin and many many other things and I would expect that you would not respond to what the putative pope said but point out that those stating the obvious in response to such blasphemy – that no Pope has the authority to make such evil claims – have no authority to say any man who says such things is an obvious heretic and, thus, not a real pope.

    I learn a lot from these exchanges which Zippy hosts. I also make an effort to merely observe because I am a Protestant. However, perhaps my Bible-thumping ways can be of some to you and ease at least this one point of contention you have with Pope Francis. In his Second Letter to the Church in Corinth, St. Paul wrote:

    From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    I realize that you are the furthest thing from being bounded by Protestant interpretations, but the plain reading–whatever it means–says “He (God) made Him (Christ) to be sin”. Pope Francis merely said Jesus got dirty. St. Paul said Jesus became sin. That is a substantial difference. It is possible that Pope Francis didn’t go far enough; perhaps out of pity on the less Biblically-literate. The sermon touches on the mystery of the healing power of the serpent upheld on a pole in the Book of Numbers.

    4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6 Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7 And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

    It is traditionally believed this bronze serpent on a pole pre-figures Jesus. And, of course, the serpent is the ancient symbol of sin. Perhaps Pope Francis deserves a bit of slack in at least that one instance.

  • Zippy says:

    Once you venture into the domain of hypotheticals (e.g. Francis making an infallible proclamation of anything at all, which he has not done) you are really just telling stories.

    Even when it comes to the doctrine of infallibility there is much less there than meets the eye. There may be infallible doctrines, but we are not infallible in our capacity to understand doctrines.

    In general, the one constant in all of your various struggles with faith, is you.

  • donnie says:

    Point taken.

    I don’t wish to dwell on hypotheticals, but rather better understand the true nature of legitimate authority.

    You say, “But there is no ‘one drop’ rule, such that a single (or multiple) illegitimate commands from a legitimate authority makes that authority illegitimate in general.”

    But as MJY has pointed out, at least when it comes to the authority of the Holy Father, it would seem that the First Vatican Council agreed when debating the doctrine of papal infallibility among themselves that it was possible for a Pope’s authority to be made illegitimate in general, or in the words of Archbishop Purcell, to be “deposed by God Himself.”

    Do you have any thoughts on this? Do you think Archbishop Purcell is wrong in what he is quoted as saying?

  • Zippy says:

    If someone posted an actual cite of the actual ratified canons of the council which are being interpreted in this way, that might be at least mildly interesting. I’ve done due diligence on enough “the Magisterium says” and “the X council said” claims to be reluctant to take claims about them at face value.

    And if the author citing the bishop who is interpreting “the council” (whatever the specific referent of that term) is just discussing “meeting minutes” for council sessions (the proper word escapes me at the moment), I’d just point out that they have no doctrinal weight in themselves.

  • Zippy says:

    Also, even if the actually ratified canons in fact do unambiguously address the specific question, it remains entirely irrelevant to our actual situation — because, again, Francis has made no infallible proclamations whatsoever. (It would be extraordinarily odd for him to start making infallible proclamations of doctrine, given his constant farrago of insults directed at sticklers for infallible doctrines).

  • Jill says:

    This conversation is enlightening. Thank you.

  • Dear Cane Caldo. MJY oncet had a pastor who sermonised about that – that Jesus became sin – and he was quire irked when I told him what the Fathers of the church had to say about that; he could not understand the concept of the Hypostatic Union which means it is an ontological impossibility for Jesus to become sin but on a more natural level , how would an offering that was sinful be acceptable as the Salvific act?

    Here is the Catholic exegesis as summarised by Cornelus a Lapide:

    Ver. 21.—Him who knew no sin. Experimentally, says S. Thomas, Christ knew no sin, though by simple knowledge He did, for He did no sin.

    Hath made Him to be sin for us.

    For us, says Illyricus, who were sin; because, he says, sin is the substance and form of our soul. But to say this of ourselves is folly, of Christ blasphemy. (1.) The meaning is that God made Christ to be the victim offered for our sin, to prevent us from atoning for our sins by eternal death and fire. The Apostle plays on the word sin, for when he says, “Him who knew no sin,” he means sin strictly speaking; but when he says, “He made Him to be sin for us,” he employs a metonymy. So Ambrose, Theophylact, and Anselm. In Ps. xl. 12, Christ calls our sins His. (2.) Sin here denotes, says S. Thomas, the likeness of sinful flesh which He took, that He might be passible, just as sinners who are descended from Adam are liable to suffering. (3.) Sin, in the sense of being regarded by men as a noteworthy sinner, and being crucified as a malefactor. So the Greek Fathers.

    Of these three interpretations the first is the more full, significant, and vigorous, and the one more consonant with the usage of Scripture, which frequently speaks of an expiatory victim as sin. Cf. Hosea iv. 8; Lev. iv. 24 and 21; Ezek. xliv. 29. The reason of this metonymy is that all the punishment and guilt of the sin were transferred to the expiatory victim, and so the sin itself might seem to be also transferred to it. In token of this the priest was accustomed to lay his hands on the victim, and call down on it the sins of the people; for by the hands are signified sinful actions, which are for the most part executed by the hands, as Theodoret says in his notes on Leviticus i. Therefore the laying of hands on the victim was both a symbol of oblation and a testimony of the transference of guilt to the victim, showing that it was expiatory, and that it bore the sin itself, with all its burden of guilt and punishment. In this way the high-priest on the great Day of Atonement turned a goat into the wilderness, having imprecated on it the sins of the whole people. Cf. Lev. xvi. 20.

    That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

    (1.) That we might be made righteous before God, with the righteousness infused by God through the merits of Christ. So Chrysostom. He says righteousness and not righteous, says Theophylact, to signify the excellency of the grace, which effects that in the righteous there is no deformity, no stain of sin, but that there is complete grace and righteousness throughout. (2.) The righteousness of God was Christ made, in order that its effects, or the likeness of the uncreated righteousness of God, might be communicated to us by His created and infused righteousness. So Cyril (Thesaur. lib. xii. c. 3). (3.) Christ is so called because God owes not to us, but to Christ and His merits, the infusion of righteousness and the remission of our sins. Cf. Augustine (Enchirid. c. 41). Cf. also 1 Cor. i. 30. Heretics raise the objection that Christ was made for us sin, in the sense that our sin was imputed to Him and was punished in Him; therefore we are made the righteousness of God, because it is imputed to us. I answer that the two things are not parallel; for Christ could not really be a sinner as we can really be righteous, nor does the Apostle press the analogy. He only says that Christ bore our sins, that we through Him might be justified. Moreover, Christ actually was made sin, i.e., a victim for sin (this is the meaning of “sin” here), and therefore we truly become the righteousness of God. So easily and completely can we turn the tables on these Protestant objectors.

  • As an autodidact, one of the ways I learn is by arguing tooth, nail, and bone about any particular belief I have arrived at and in doing that here, I realise that I don’t know one-half of what I think I know about a pope and heresy and so I thank my opponents, I retract my claims that Franciscus should be called the putative pope rather than the Pope and I apologise for any scandals I caused.

    I will go back to lurking/learning after a specific thank you to Zippy; for some reason, your explanation about limits (at June 29, 2016 at 2:51 pm) was the dynamite that blowed-up my castle of certitude about this problem.

    Thank you

  • Mike T says:

    MJY,

    It is true that Christ could not literally become sinful in the eyes of God. However, the Father did turn away from Him which suggests that what God saw when Chris took on the punishment of the world’s sin was probably about as ugly.

  • Zippy says:

    Thanks for your participation MJY. From my perspective, modern day sedevacantists have adopted Wyclif’s theory of dominion (with mortal sin replaced by heresy), for much the same reason that Wyclif adopted it: doing so allows them to declare that, while in theory a legitimate pope is possible and at some point in the idyllic past there used to be legitimate popes, the actual pope today is not legitimate. Therefore they are relieved of the obligation to obey him (which is great, because he is – by their lights, and we can even assume for the sake of argument that they are right – such a heretical jerk. They would much rather be married to, I mean subject to, Pius X than Francis).

    As I mentioned upthread, this rests on positivism and cognate ideas in the vicinity of positivism: it relies on treating authority as if it were a kind of mathematical theorem, such that a single illegitimate act by someone in authority falsifies or destroys that person’s office and authority in general.

    I don’t have a general theory of human authority; but I know that it is not a mathematical theorem or logic box subject to general falsification, as Wyclif and his ideological descendants think. The fact that one must in good conscience disobey one’s father/husband/King if he tells you to do evil does not make him cease being your father/husband/King — including the moral imperative of obedience whenever he exercises his authority within its legitimate limits, whether you agree with him on the wisdom of his decisions or not.

    An authority which you are only obligated to obey when you agree with his decisions is no authority at all. And that is just the way modern people like it: consent of the governed and all that.

  • Ed says:

    Mike T,

    if by “the Father did turn away from Him” you allude to: “Father, why have you forsaken me…” I encourage you to read the whole psalm 22.

    It appropriately begins with:

    My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Why art Thou so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?

    but somehow manages to include:

    For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from Him, but when He cried unto Him, He heard.

    It is my opinion that the Father never abandoned the Son,

  • Mike T says:

    It is my opinion that the Father never abandoned the Son,

    Obviously he didn’t, as abandonment would have implied no resurrection. What I take away from those parts of the NT is that what the Father saw may not have been Christ literally becoming covered in sin as some interpret it, but it was so ugly that the Father could not bear to look upon it.

  • Ed says:

    Mike T,

    “but it was so ugly that the Father could not bear to look upon it.”

    Ok, I disagree with such a view but I guess I get your point.

    (and Zippy, sorry for meandering away from the OP)

  • Ver. 46. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama Sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? quoting Ps. xxii. 1. “Sabachthani” is Syriac, not Hebrew.

    He was indeed continually praying on the Cross, and offering Himself wholly to God for man’s salvation. But as his death was drawing near He recited this Psalm, which throughout speaks of His Passion, to show that He was the very person there spoken of, and that the Jews might thus learn the reason why He refused to descend from the Cross, viz., because the Father had decreed that He should die for the salvation of men; as David had there foretold.

    Calvin says impiously that these were the words of Christ in despair, for that He was obliged to experience the full wrath of God which our sins deserve, and even the sufferings of the lost, of which despair is one. But this blasphemy refutes itself. For if he despaired on the Cross, He sinned most grievously. He therefore did not satisfy but rather enflamed, the wrath of God. And how can it be said that Christ ever despaired, when He said shortly afterwards, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit”? Christ therefore does not cry out as being forsaken by the Godhead and hypostatic union of the Word, nor even by the grace and love of God, but only because the Father did not rescue Him from instant death, nor soothe in any way His cruel sufferings, but permitted Him to endure unmitigated tortures. And all this was to show how bitter was His death on the Cross, the rending asunder of His soul and body with such intense pain as to lead Him to pray in His agony and bloody sweat, “Father, if it be possible,” &c. So S. Jerome, S. Chrysostom, Theophylact, and other Fathers; nor do & Hilary and S. Ambrose mean anything else in saying, “The man cried aloud when dying at being separated from the Godhead.” For they mean not a severing of essence and of the hypostatical union, but of support and consolation. For the faith teaches us that though the soul of Christ was separated from His body, yet the Godhead remained as before, hypostatically united both to His soul and His body. Besides this, Christ complained of His desertion, because the Godhead withheld Its succour, solely to keep Him still suffering, and to prolong His life for greater endurances; nay, rather to augment His pain when He saw Himself, though in union with Godhead, enduring such atrocious indignities (see S. L. Justiniani, de Triumph. Agone Christi, cap. viii.).
    Symbolically

    : Christ here inquires why He was thus forsaken. What have I done that I should die on this Cross? I am most innocent, the Saint of Saints. He gives His own answer. “Far off from My salvation are the words of My sins” (Ps. xxii. 1), meaning thereby, “The sins of men, whose expiation the Father hath put on Me, these are they which take away My life, and bring Me to the death of the Cross.” But some (see Theophylact) consider that He is here speaking not of His own desertion, but of that of the Jewish people.

    Origen thinks He is complaining of the fewness of those who will be saved, and the multitude of the lost, in whom the fruit of His Passion comes to nought. Why forsakest Thou My kinsmen in the flesh, for whom I am dying? Why savest Thou the few and rejectest the many? For in so doing Thou forsakest Myself; for thou makest the fruit of My suffering to perish.

    Topologically

    : [Arnold apud] Cyprian (de Passione) thinks He spoke thus in order that we should inquire why He was forsaken. “He was forsaken,” he says, “that we should not be forsaken; that we should be set free from our sins and eternal death; to manifest His love to us; to display His righteousness and compassion; to draw our love towards Him; lastly, to set before us an example of patience” The way to Heaven is open, but it is arduous and difficult. He wished to precede us with His wondrous example, that the way might not terrify us, but that the stupendous example of God in suffering might urge us on to say exultingly with S. Paul, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

    This, then, His fourth word on the Cross, is a consolation to all who are desolate and afflicted. He consoled in this way S. Peter Martyr when falsely accused. The Saint complained to Christ (he was kneeling before the crucifix) that he had kept silence, and not defended him. Christ replied, “What wrong had I done to be crucified for thee on this Cross? Learn patience from Me, for all thy sufferings cannot equal Mine.” The Saint on this was so strengthened that he wished to endure still further suffering. And therefore Christ at length established his innocence, and turned all his disgrace into glory (see Surius, April 29).

    I always use this incredible free site when it comes to disputes about exegesis.
     
    https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home

  • Dear Zippy. It is well know throughout the hinterlands that if you think your idea/thesis is sound, then you must go and defend it before Dr. Zippy

    Thanks Dr.

  • imnobody00 says:

    @Zippy

    “But it is a large subject, really.”

    It seems so. But if you decide link to a page or a book that explains it well, I would be delighted and grateful. (I guess doing a series of posts is too much to ask).

  • donnie says:

    This back and forth on legitimate authority has been very educational. Zippy, your little quip about how sedevacantists would rather be “married to” St. Pius X really puts things in perspective.

    This has caused me to ponder the nature of legitimate authority and the just power of a sovereign. As I understand it, since the reign of Pope St. Gelasius in the late fifth century, and for roughly a millennia afterward, the Church asserted that Christ granted St. Peter two powers (or two swords, a reference to Luke 22:38): one ecclesiastical, the other temporal. The Pope wields his ecclesiastical power directly, while his temporal power he outsources to Christian rulers, who as laymen were thought to be more fit to handle temporal affairs. Nevertheless, all legitimate authority, both ecclesiastical and temporal, was thought by the Church to come directly from Christ through His Vicar.

    I don’t know if this was ever defined as dogma, but it certainly was believed and practiced by many medieval Popes. Even then, as you say Zippy, legitimate authority has its limits. Blessed Pope Benedict XI and Pope Clement V both upheld that the majority of the claims made by Pope Boniface VIII’s papal bull Unam Sanctam were null, clarifying that it was an overreach of papal power attempting to illegitimately assert papal supremacy over secular rulers.

    In any case, now you have me wondering about what makes authority legitimate. Perhaps all just powers, whether ecclesiastical or temporal, do flow through the Pope, even if the Pope himself might be obligated to hand over temporal power to secular rulers. If true, that would seem to mean that the difference between a legitimate sovereign government and an illegitimate government is whether or not the Pope has deemed the government to be legitimate.

    These are just my initial thoughts on the topic, and will almost certainly change as I do more research, but just thought I’d share here.

  • donnie says:

    Alright Zippy, here’s a thought for you:

    I am wondering if there might be such a thing as “natural authority” in the same way there is natural vs sacramental marriage. In my analogy, the Pope expressly granting authority to a sovereign would be comparable to a sacramental marriage (although not a sacrament, obviously), whereas natural authority would arise, well, naturally, comparable to a natural marriage.

    I guess what I am trying to get at is where does the authority of the sovereign come from? We know the Pope’s authority comes from Christ. It seems evident that temporal authority must also come from Christ, due to his role as King. But how does Christ bestow his temporal authority on legitimate sovereigns? Is it through the Pope, as was thought in the Middle Ages? Or can it occur directly without the Pope’s involvement?

    I wondered if you might have some insight into the matter since you or far more knowledgeable than I when it comes to these matters.

  • RichardP says:

    For those who have read through the original post and subsequent comments, how many think that a person with only a third-grade education would understand all of the nuances of what has been said here? Then think through the fact that these are the people that the Pope is talking to. His comments must remain simplistic if he is to be understood at all – trusting that the Holy Spirit will take the simplistic words and make them real in the necessary way to the hearer.

    I also am not Catholic. As such, I’ve not ever before been exposed to the concept that the lay people could consider the Pope to not be an actual Pope because of things he does or says. But I do know the propensity of the press to present a person’s words however they wish to present them, the truth be damned.

    Being a curious sort, I have read some of the articles written about the current Pope since he was elected. I’ve seen the “spin” that the press puts on what he says. But I happened by chance upon this quote from the Pope once, paraphrased: “nothing I am saying should ever be interpreted to mean that I am aiming to change Church doctrine.” I’m content to let my thoughts rest on that statement. It is such a “well, duh!” moment.

    That is, it seems so normal to me that a Pope would argue that the church should be more embracing of sinners – to gain their receptivity. How else will the Church ever get a chance to share God’s word with them, so that the Holy Spirit can use that word in the sinner’s life? Rejecting the presence of the sinner won’t help that to happen. One can reasonably change the way they talk about sinners and to sinners while at the same time not changing at all what God says about the sin. Two completely separate issues. My uneducated Catholic opinion is that the Pope has been making just such a distinction with what he has been saying.

    If he ever actually starts to say that what God calls sin actually isn’t sin, well, that will be another matter entirely. I haven’t seen that happen yet.

  • Todor says:

    Richard,

    The Church used to welcome all repentant sinners. Now, we are told that even if we don’t believe that sodomy or aldultery is a sin, the Church will “accompany” us, since God is patient and loves us “as we are”. The Faith is not something you accept or reject anymore – it’s a process, a very long process. That’s a big difference.

  • John-Henry Westen / LifeSiteNews

    NEWSCATHOLIC CHURCH, MARRIAGEFri Jun 17, 2016 – 11:35 am EST

    Pope Francis: Most Catholic marriages are null, some ‘cohabitations’ are ‘real marriage’

    Catholic , Pope Francis

    June 17, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis spoke yesterday at a pastoral congress on the family for the Diocese of Rome, and his remarks are causing consternation among faithful Catholics. In off-the-cuff remarks, the pope made the dual claim that the “great majority” of Catholic marriages are “null” – in other words, not actual marriages – and that some cohabitating couples are in a “real marriage,” receiving the grace of the Sacrament.

    “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity,” he said.

    Pertinacity in perversion- adultery/fornication – is now one condition for Grace.

    Yes, to persist in the perversion of objectively mortal sin is to be properly disposed to receive grace; that is, Jesus now blesses/dispenses grace for actions He used to condemn.

    Yes, Jesus shares part of His Divinity as a prize for pertinacity in perversion and all is right in the Catholic world.

  • buckyinky says:

    My waking thoughts this morning:

    What exactly is the distinction among sedevacantists that makes Pope Francis’ caprice of the day evidence of his embrace of heresy that doesn’t also speak in the same way against the several examples in history of (ostensibly) unrepentant fornicating popes?

    Is it because the latter merely lived as though fornication is not sinful and didn’t, as Pope Francis does, verbalize aloud in whimsical interview about how it might not be, or at times, put on paper things that give us reason to suspect that deep down he may not believe it to be?

    Why doesn’t the sort of scrutiny SVs give to Pope Francis’ words extend to other popes’ actions. Can’t a pope teach by example or is it only the words that count?

  • Zippy says:

    buckyinky:
    For all we know there were many such verbalizations. Lots of minor papal statements/reflections (like Francis’ “The Joy of Adultery” or whatever it is titled) are lost down the memory hole, and of course the 24/7 microphone-in-the-face phenomenon is of rather recent vintage.

  • Johannes says:

    Zippy,

    This is a bit off topic here, but I have a serious question for you:

    What do you think are your obligations to the United States of America?

    As I say, it is a serious question.

    Johannes

  • Zippy says:

    Johannes:

    The obligations of a citizen of the USA toward the USA are in general the same as the obligations of a citizen of Iraq toward Iraq, of Russia toward Russia, of Japan toward Japan, of Germany toward Germany, of Somalia toward Somalia, etc. I don’t have an exhaustive theory of what those obligations entail, but they include willing and working toward the common good specific to one’s home polity in whatever manner makes sense in one’s particular station. In general I do not believe in “loyalty liquidity” — that is, emigration and joining an adoptive new polity requires at least some justification beyond “it is what I want to do” or “it will improve my personal prospects” or what have you.

    But again, I don’t have a general theory.

  • Dystopia Max says:

    Whoa, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

    “In my experience, the folks advancing those arguments tend to be completely unaware of their own metaphysical baggage. At the very least their metaphysical baggage remains hidden and unacknowledged — perhaps because acknowledging it would weaken their arguments, or perhaps because they simply suffer from a limited imagination and are unaware of all of the questions they are begging.”

    Maybe they grew up swimming in sedevancicist whatever and they’re finally realizing that the reasoning applies most thoroughly to our Current Rulers: “the Jesuit School of Salamanca: the same “Georgetown of the Middle Ages” that (arguably) brought us Jesuit economic anti-realism and waffliness on usury.” SJWs always project, which means that the arguments they use always match them more thoroughly than their targets,

    I don’t begrudge Donald Trump for dropping “DEMS ARE THE REAL HOMOPHOBES” any more that I’d drop “Are you suuuuuuuure you’re not using an argumental structure that a HERETIC once used?” when a mediocrity is Il Papi and serious Christians around the world are finally shaken out of their routine enough to notice.

  • Zippy says:

    Dystopia Max:

    What?

    I can’t make out much from your comment, other than that you may have created a ‘tu quoque’ logic loop in there. And that maybe you think Donald Trump writes for Novus Ordo Watch?

  • PB says:

    The thought of Trump writing for NO watch is very amusing. “The new liturgy is very low energy! We’re going to make the Mass great again!”

  • Dystopia Max says:

    Zippy:

    No, I just thought that throwing out an UNPACK YOUR INVISIBLE METAPHYSICAL KNAPSACK argument is pretty laughable among the people most likely to use and recognize the “America is a Communist Country” argument.

    Though the case for Donald Trump as new Pope is intriguing (here’s hoping he just asks the prior officeholder for a short list of candidates and then lets Rorate Caeli make the call.)

  • Dear Zippy. I admit I fell hard for the sede arguments (Like John Cleese having been turned into a toad “I got better”), but I realised it was wrong and today I was reading Fr Hunwicke and he asks a GREAT question:

    (2) Whichever of the many forms of sedevacantism you are tempted by, subject it to the Pope Honorius Test. He was condemned by an Ecumenical Council and anathematised by a successor. But can anyone produce any evidence that the Council, or any subsequent popes who condemned him, or any reputable ecclesistical writer, has ever argued that Honorius had ceased to be Pope at the moment when he acted heretically?

    Whether or not you like Bergoglio, he is, beyond any shadow of doubt, the Pope.

    You endanger your soul if you risk flirting with such ideas.

    Posted by Fr John Hunwicke at 10:48 No comments:

  • Zippy says:

    MJY:
    There is no doubt in my mind that the faith of many is shaken because of the burden of their own unrealistic (in the literal sense of disconnected-from-reality) expectations.

  • Todor says:

    Is Fr Hunchwick talking about antipope Honorius II (Pietro Cadalo)? If he is, I don’t understand his argument. Honorius was declared to be an antipope because his election was invalid (there was already a validly elected pope, Alexander II). He was never Pope. Am I missing something?

  • Zippy says:

    Todor:
    Sedevacantists are always missing something. One of the most central “somethings” that they are missing is that they do not have the authority to determine who is and is not the Pope, and upon that determination declare themselves juridically emancipated from the Church as it actually exists (as opposed to the idealized Church of the mind which exists in their interior holodecks).

  • Wood says:

    Todor,

    He was speaking of Honorius I.  An interesting episode of Church history that had little relevance on the day-to-day Faith of Christians until whole countries started abandoning the Faith and Old Catholics wanted none of papal infallibility. That the episode gets brought up, yet again, with modern sedes is instructive considering the historical company they are keeping.  Also, if the Honorius episode, once a supposed embarrassment, is now a tonic against sedevacantism it would be an pretty interesting working out of Providence. 

  • Zippy says:

    Wood:

    Also, if the Honorius episode, once a supposed embarrassment, is now a tonic against sedevacantism it would be an pretty interesting working out of Providence.

    I don’t have anything to add to your comment, but I wanted to see that part highlighted.

  • Todor says:

    I guess it’s good news. Francis is indeed the Pope and he will surely be anathamized one day.

  • Zippy says:

    Todor:

    That is possible. But it is, as the saying goes, above our pay grade. And yours.

  • Todor says:

    More seriously, sedevacantists believe Francis to be a formal heretic (Honorius I never was one). So Fr Hunchwick will not convince many of them.

    By the way, I used to read his comments with great pleasure every morning. But last month, he wrote: “It is a sobering thought that it may be easier for us, who are instructed Catholics, to go to Hell than it is for the uninstructed.” Waugh wrote the same thing in “Brideshead”. Almost threw the book out the window. How depressing.

  • Zippy says:

    There is no convincing modernist revolutionaries who reject authority because they are stuck to the tar baby of their own hubris. In the case of sedevacantists it is particularly ironic though.

  • Wood says:

    Todor,

    Not an argument, and I have no idea who, in particular, goes to Hell. However when I look around me at all the blessings I’ve been given and read Luke 12:48, I want to fall to my knees and think Father Hunwicke isn’t as far off as you think. 

  • Zippy says:

    (Though admittedly, having a liberal monarch is intrinsically paradoxical, and I get the sense that that paradox does tend to short circuit the minds of certain kinds of people).

  • Zippy says:

    A liberal monarch is an authority variant of the liar’s paradox: “I command you to be disobedient”.

  • Todor says:

    Wood,

    I don’t know if Fr Huchwick is wrong or right. I know I feel like the biggest cuck in the world when I read stuff like that, tho. “Join the Church and increase your chance of eternal damnation!” Yeah!

  • Wood says:

    Todor,

    I’ll grant that seems to be a theme of sorts these days, but I don’t think you’ll find “ignorance is the 8th sacrament” accommodated much here. And anyway I don’t think you believe that anyway and are just being a nay-sayer with an arch-tone. 🙂

    Zippy,

    Interesting you brought that up because I was thinking about that liberal monarch situation recently. I’m wondering if it’s such a scandal that it should be shucked right along with the non-monarch liberalisms. Sorry I’m not expressing myself well but the thought came to me with the recent discussion of whether the US Constitution is salvageable

  • Mike T says:

    More seriously, sedevacantists believe Francis to be a formal heretic (Honorius I never was one). So Fr Hunchwick will not convince many of them.

    As an outsider to the whole thing, what makes the sedevacantists seem so naive and useless is that there are all sorts of awful things the Pope can do that are just as bad as heresy without actually being a heretic. Case in point, the Pope lamenting the Polish government’s steadfast refusal to facilitate cultural suicide by importing more Muslims. There is nothing heretical about urging Christendom to commit cultural suicide. There is, however, something borderline treasonous, particularly for the alleged Vicar of Christ, to urge the bringing of more enemies into our camp.

  • Crude says:

    Case in point, the Pope lamenting the Polish government’s steadfast refusal to facilitate cultural suicide by importing more Muslims.

    I’ve heard the muslims don’t want to live there anyway, which makes it even more hilarious. I checked out their routes – they pass by a lot of ‘safe’ areas to seek out the places with the juiciest welfare benefits.

    I recall Francis has a problem with the poles on other topics as well. The bishops aren’t about to follow his beat on marriage, and by their lights, they don’t have to anyway since this matter’s been settled – including most recently by a polish pope.

    I think what Pope Francis needs more than anything at this point is heckling. I want to see him give one of his little asides about how bad Christians are and the muslim religion is a religion of peace and all of the sudden he just hears ‘BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!’ It may reach him. At least it would be satisfying.

    The biggest problem I have with Francis on this front is that there’s no acknowledgment that there is a problem with the muslim faith as commonly practiced, or the muslim culture in general. To him it’s all just the nicest stuff and goodness, just misunderstood. But Christian culture? Now THAT is worthy of a lot of condemnation.

  • donnie says:

    There is, however, something borderline treasonous, particularly for the alleged Vicar of Christ, to urge the bringing of more enemies into our camp.

    I recall Bonald posted something in a similar vein on his blog about a month ago, essentially arguing that while sedevacantists may be doctrinally wrong, they are right in a practical sense: the Pope has betrayed the Church by allying with Her mortal enemy (liberalism). Therefore while he may still be the legitimate Pope, he is not a Pope that any Catholics owe loyalty to. After all, no soldier owes a traitorous general his loyalty once the general has outed himself as a traitor.

    But St. Peter betrayed Christ, did he not? Would this not make him too a traitorous general? Did the disciples cease to owe him loyalty from the moment of his betrayal, at least until he was forgiven by Christ following the Resurrection?

    What about the other eleven apostles (bishops)? All but St. John abandoned Our Lord in His hour of greatest need. And Judas handed Him over to His enemies! In that moment, what became of, say, Mary Magdalene’s loyalty to the apostles? Was her loyalty only to St. John from that moment on, at least until all the apostles (save for Judas) were forgiven?

    I honestly am not sure what the answer is.

  • Zippy says:

    How many Mohammedans are there in Argentina? The theory of Francis as an ignorant provincial not-very-bright mid level Latin American Jesuit bureaucratic functionary still seems pretty credible to me. To him the world is just Buenos Aires with more acreage. It just needs more of Francis’ ruthless uncompromising liberating tolerance.

    Crude’s holy heckling idea isn’t bad. A lot of people seem to be responding to the ridiculous as if it should be taken seriously. That’s the one thing that shouldn’t happen. I tend to do what most previous generations did when it came to every pope by default through lack of technology: ignore Francis’ party tricks and airplane antics. But other approaches are possible.

  • Basically, I find the hysterical “Yes, yes, I get these other things happened in other generations, but we’re SUPER SPECIAL ULTRA BAD!!!!” to be rather precious.

    In the 2,000 year history of the Church – a history that has involved a period of anti-Popes and the moving of the Holy See from the Vatican to Avignon, for goodness sake – it’s US who have it worse than anybody else ever.

    It’s just another way of making it all about us moderns. We can’t JUST be going through a period of poor decision-making and bad Popes, we need to have the WORST POPE EVER and be living in the WORST TIME EVER.

    We modernists are all just special, tragically persecuted snowflakes, and it is our special destiny to be the heroes of the Church and be remembered in later definitions.

    The important thing to remember here is that we’re SPECIAL, of course.

  • Mike T says:

    donnie,

    I am not a Catholic, so bear that in mind…

    But St. Peter betrayed Christ, did he not? Would this not make him too a traitorous general? Did the disciples cease to owe him loyalty from the moment of his betrayal, at least until he was forgiven by Christ following the Resurrection?

    Peter betrayed Jesus in a straight forward manner that was entirely human. It was motivated by fear before Peter received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

    In terms of intent, I think Francis is not actually trying to betray anyone. It would probably be preferable if that were the case because the Catholic hierarchy could approach Francis from the perspective of a genuine enemy of the Catholic Church and Christianity in general.

  • Mike T says:

    The biggest problem I have with Francis on this front is that there’s no acknowledgment that there is a problem with the muslim faith as commonly practiced, or the muslim culture in general. To him it’s all just the nicest stuff and goodness, just misunderstood. But Christian culture? Now THAT is worthy of a lot of condemnation.

    If one looks at the list of armed conflicts recognized by the US Government, it becomes quite clear that Islam is the most significant barrier to global peace out there. The very notion that Islam is peaceful is an insult to anyone who can look at its fruit. The fact is that if Islam disappeared in some form (mass conversion or all Muslims falling into a dimensional rift), the world would be largely in a state of general peace.

  • Zippy says:

    malcolm:
    Yeah I see that too: we are soooo special and our place in history is soooo special. In the theater of the mind we are all Horatius on the bridge, and the world hangs in the balance.

    Basically, whatever narrative is required to rationalize that in our super special situation we are emancipated from authority.

  • Todor says:

    “Why did you do nothing when the Church was crumbling down?”
    “The Church has always been crumbling down.”

  • Todor,

    Is that meant to be a criticism of my post? When did I say or imply we should do nothing?

  • Todor says:

    Malcolm,

    I assume there is nothing to be done since everything is business as usual. Not that I know what we should do. To me, the situation seems inextricable.

  • Crude says:

    Agreed with Malcolm, to a point. I think ‘Francis is the worst pope EVER’ is a bit much. I’ve read about some interesting ones. I don’t think it’s a modernist thing so much as a human thing. What’s the line? Comedy is when your house burns down, tragedy is when I cut my finger? When it happens to us, it’s more noticeable.

    I also think there’s a sense of betrayal, though. Keep in mind that everywhere, you have modernist-liberal rot. I mean everywhere. Schools, universities, video games, TV, comics, news, politics, charities. Everywhere. But the Church, until recently – at least formally – held firm. It was solace. It was a place where you could go, mentally and physically, and take a breath. So when even that is threatened, from the top, people get furious. And rightly so.

    The expectation that it would all go away by going ‘It is the POPE saying this, you HAVE to obey’ doesn’t seem to be flying. In fact, going by what I’ve read in Poland, even bishops are getting into the act. (Lesson learned: when you decide to passively open the door to people being creative with Church teaching by giving them freedom, they may well use their the newfound freedom to double down on, you know, actual church teaching.)

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:

    But the Church, until recently – at least formally – held firm.

    I suppose it depends on what you mean by “recently”.

    Todor:
    If you are like me, you become a digger.

  • Crude,

    That we have different problems I don’t argue with. It’s the idea, not even that this is the worst Pope ever, but that our era of history is uniquely and truly worse than any other era in the 2,000 year history of the Church that I find rather eye-rolling.

    But as Zippy pointed out, whatever it takes to name ourselves secret kings.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    I suppose it depends on what you mean by “recently”.

    I mostly mean that within living many for memory people, JPII and Benedict reigned. And, for all their faults, they were unapologetic defenders of Church moral teaching.

    Malcolm,

    Well, I won’t deny I see some people saying ours is like that. They’re overblowing it, but I think it isn’t that we’re ‘secret kings’ or anything. It’s just that people always think of their own situation as the most dire one ever. I do think some situations are reasonably unique, at least in context, for certain people. As Zippy himself as pointed out, we live in an era of constant media access where everything the Pope says gets amplified. Make an utterance in Italy at 2pm and by 4pm – if that late – the Americans know.

    On the other hand, I also don’t believe Francis doesn’t get that. My ability to cut slack for poor Francis who just doesn’t understand nuance took a bit of a dive when I saw him more or less personally freak out over Cardinal Sarah’s ad orientem mass comments. Funny how it was so silly to expect clarity (‘the catechism, the catechism, it’s what he means!’) until that point, but when a bit of traditionalism is the order of the day it’s time to set the record STRAIGHT.

  • Todor says:

    Here’s how I see our little problem: the authority of the Church is saying that “we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.” Now, it’s not that a poor guy has stumbled upon an obscur article saying the exact opposite: we have tons of documents. We can’t all read them for ourselves. They are right here on the Web. But wait a second: how do you know how to interpret them correctly? When Pius IX wrote: “We’ve always been at war with Eurasia”, maybe he was not speaking ex cathedra. Maybe it’s a genuine mistake. Maybe it’s taken out of context. Are you Big Brother Francis?

    No, I’m not. But don’t tell me this is not the most humiliating thing in the world.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:

    You are missing the point.

    … were unapologetic defenders of Catholic moral teaching.

    Only to the extent that “unapologetic” means “selective”. Where are their unapologetic defenses of Church moral doctrine on usury?

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    Only to the extent that “unapologetic” means “selective”.

    I think you’re the one missing the point, Zippy. Point out the church failed in some other capacity and I may well agree with you. But insofar as people are animated against Francis, it’s for the reason I said.

    B16 and PJPII didn’t get into usury? Alright. Usury is an important issue, but with respect, the church is having severe trouble getting people to have families anymore. I can forgive B16 for not expounding on the problems of money lent and Aquinian theories of value when we’re dealing with people who think babies make for a fine source of organs or fuel. For that matter, I’m pretty sure neither B16 nor PJPII would have punished people for warning against that, clergy and laity alike. Francis doesn’t care, but be prepared for a direct visit and a stern talking to if you’re not hot on giving the Eucharist to divorcees.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:
    You appear to be assuming that usury and the sexual revolution are unconnected. But there is good reason why Dante put usurers and sodomites into the same circle of Hell.

  • Crude says:

    You appear to be assuming that usury and the sexual revolution are unconnected.

    No. Not completely. If you’re trying to tell me that usury is the root of our cultural problems, though, I admit you have your work cut out for you.

    That’s not to say I think usury is a non-problem or a non-sin. But I think sanctity of human life and family is a bit more fundamental.

    But there is good reason why Dante put usurers and sodomites into the same circle of Hell.

    ‘This is horrible! This place is *ugly* and we can’t afford renovations!’

    “Even worse, no one has any collateral!”

    More seriously, I’m pretty sure the stuff I’m talking about is underneath them both.

  • Crude,

    They’re overblowing it, but I think it isn’t that we’re ‘secret kings’ or anything. It’s just that people always think of their own situation as the most dire one ever.

    How about a synthesis: Throughout history, everybody has always wanted to play secret king.

    I’m thinking of a guy – honestly can’t remember – who responded to me on Vox Day; he seemed to have a popular opinion there. I opined that if Francis truly is an anti-Pope, the Church will announce him an anti-Pope one day. Until then, he’s the Pope as far as I and everybody else in the Church are concerned.

    He responded with something to the effect of “Well, the only way that’s going to happen is when the SJWs are purged from the Vatican! An SJW-converged Vatican won’t turn on one of their own!”

    Well, maybe not. That’s not actually relevant to this particular point, however.

    We don’t get the right to declare ourselves the final judges of Vatican orthodoxy just because we dislike the current hierarchy. Anybody can be subject to Charlemagne. But how about Louis V?

    We are subject to the Pope, whoever he may be.

  • Crude,

    I’ve read a lot from Zippy about this, who has some excellent, fairly scholarly work out there on usury, and the long and short of it is that I disagree. Usury is a mortal sin; that is, it can send you to Hell. It is a damnable, evil crime. If you engage in it, you are risking your immortal soul quite as much as fornication.

    That you don’t see that is, I think, part of Zippy’s point, actually.

  • Crude says:

    Malcolm,

    Well, I’m in agreement with you. On the other hand, for me that means I recognize him as the Pope, and the rightful Pope at that. He’s just pretty bad.

    I won’t speculate as to the authenticity of his papacy beyond that. I’ll settle for booing him and the like.

  • Zippy says:

    If the contention that I have work to do is substantive I’ll let the obviously unread material here speak for itself.

    If it is rhetorical, I’ll just observe the irony in those who do not understand suggesting that it is those who do understand who have work to do.

  • donnie says:

    But there is good reason why Dante put usurers and sodomites into the same circle of Hell.

    Somewhat off-topic, but I recently had the misfortune of being in Manhattan on the same day as the gay pride parade. While only in the parade’s vicinity briefly, I noticed that, though the event had a whole host of corporations sponsoring it, by far the most prominent sponsors were banks, who sent representatives out on to the street to pass out free bank-branded merchandise. For the rest of the day all over the city I would see pedestrians and parade attendees carrying rainbow colored flags, T-shirts and signs branded with the logos of TD Bank, Bank of America, HSBC, Wells Fargo, Citi, Capital One, Deutsche Bank, and the list goes on.

    Lesson in there…

  • Zippy says:

    Todor:
    If it offends your pride that Francis is Pope, it is entirely possible that one of the reasons that Francis is Pope is to offend your pride.

  • Todor says:

    Malcolm,

    Can the Church give stones to her children instead of bread? The idea that the Church has failed to warn us about the danger of usury seems blasphemous to me.

  • Todor,

    Read Zippy’s stuff to set yourself straight on that topic.

  • Todor says:

    The Church cannot be responsible for the damnation of good Catholics. It’s blatant heresy. Tell me you don’t believe this Zippy.

  • Zippy says:

    “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.” – St. Athanasius

  • donnie says:

    Todor,

    The Church is a divine institution with a human element. I don’t think it is blasphemous to suggest that the human beings in the Church have led countless souls to perdition by electing not to teach certain immutable doctrines.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    Maybe I just plain disagree with you, no matter how much digital ink has been spilled. Argument ad ‘if you disagree then you’re just ignorant’ doesn’t work on me; if it did I’d be a feminist right about now.

    Todor,

    The Church cannot be responsible for the damnation of good Catholics.

    The Church, no, but I’m damn well sure you can have a bad priest, or even a bad pope, and yes, either can promote a wrong – just not in the relevant capacity. Sometimes the Holy Spirit works in spite of someone’s acts. (It better, given how Peter acted at times.)

    The army of possible doubts and worries don’t move me, and shouldn’t move anyone in and of themselves. Some of your worries seem awfully close to ‘But what if we’re all brains in vats?’ Eventually you have to make a choice and grapple, not just question, no matter what.

  • Zippy says:

    Part of the problem is that modern Protestant-influenced Catholics tend to think of the Church the way Protestants think of Scripture: as a kind of magic 8-ball for answering doctrinal questions. Important as answering doctrinal questions may be, it is really quite insignificant next to the Church as appointed bearer of sacramental grace.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:
    Sure, maybe you just disagree with me. Take a number.

    But who has more work to do depends on who is objectively right and who is objectively wrong, not on your rhetorical preening.

  • Wood says:

    Crude,

    But isn’t it frightening to think out the consequences of the Church’s capitulation on usury and how that relates to the problems you are also addressing? I thought I had a fairly normal moral barometer, and until recently I didn’t even know what usury was. Imagine if in, say, a few more generations people will literally not even know what fornication, sodomy, whatever are. Zippy said something way back in the torture debates to the effect (again, forgive if inaccurate) that by capitulating on torture there is no way forward unless we turn back and repent. Surely there is a valid comparison there to the Church’s “way forward” regardless of what are the current worse sins we are closing our eyes to. What if Pope Francis is a reward for our capitulation on usury?

    donnie,

    I hear you. My neighborhood pretty much approaches the Gay Singularity during that carnival.

  • Crude,

    This coming from a guy who agrees with you probably 95% of the time, but:

    Did you ever stop to consider the idea that maybe there is more to this topic than you, who as far as I know have never written a word about it, actually realize?

    Do you actually know what the Church says about usury? Not the two paragraph Catechism quote you might be able to find, but her actual historical teachings?

    Because I doubt it.

  • Crude says:

    Malcolm,

    Did you ever stop to consider the idea that maybe there is more to this topic than you, who as far as I know have never written a word about it, actually realize?

    Yep. The problem is I never said otherwise.

    I didn’t tell Zippy that I disagree with him that it’s wrong or sinful. I didn’t disagree that the Church hasn’t exactly been emphasizing it (that’s putting it very mildly.) In fact, all I said was that the previous popes were at least friendly to people trying to uphold church teaching about various modern sins. Zippy responded with chiding about usury, and I expressed my skepticism that it’s in the same running in terms of modern vital importance.

    Responding with ‘You’re wrong, which you’d know if you were educated, because to understand this is to agree with me’ is, put gently, not going to convince me, or move me. And it shouldn’t move anyone, right or wrong. Another attempt is needed.

    Wood,

    The problem is that I don’t think it’s ever that simple. Not where sin and cultural rot is concerned. I can be convinced that usury – what with it being freaking ubiquitous – is a dire problem. Tell me that it’s THE problem, and I’m skeptical. Even if that were true in a historical sense, I think sin and cultural rot has a way of taking on a life of its own, a lot like a cancer. Once it spreads enough, the original entry point isn’t as relevant anymore, because eliminating it THERE won’t kill it elsewhere. I do not think it is like a tree.

    Put in perspective, from my admittedly imperfect understanding: muslims take this ‘usury’ thing a whole lot more seriously than we do, even now. Argue that they find creative ways around it which may ultimately add up to the same thing; fine, but I don’t think there’s any denying that they are vastly more attentive to the issue than we are, to this day.

    How’s that working out?

  • Responding with ‘You’re wrong, which you’d know if you were educated, because to understand this is to agree with me’ is, put gently, not going to convince me, or move me.

    Sure, but that’s not what’s going on here. You made a claim, which was disputed. If you just click on Zippy’s usury tab – heck, on one of the links he used to respond directly to you – you’d see that he actually put an enormous amount of scholarly work into thought and discussion about usury.

    Neglecting to read it because you just disagree is another way of saying that no amount of new information or facts will ever lead you to changing your opinion.

    I get that I quote Zippy enough now that I’m starting to sound something like a fanboy, but…trust me about this on usury. More than anything else he’s written, that’s what you want to take a look at.

    Usury is literally destroying people’s lives. I’m not sure why you don’t think it’s as big of a modern problem as sexual morality.

  • Crude,

    Muslims are also much more concerned with sexual morality. What’s that supposed to mean? What happens to be a besetting western sin tends not be a besetting muslim sin.

  • Crude says:

    Malcolm,

    Sure, but that’s not what’s going on here. You made a claim, which was disputed.

    Being disputed is fine. Being told I clearly don’t understand, because if I did I’d agree?

    As for Zippy’s work on usury – sure, he’s done a ton. I’ve expressed skepticism that usury is meaningfully the root of our cultural decay, for which addressing would solve or go a long way towards solving our other problems. I say I don’t see that, and suddenly that – and that alone – is enough to show that I have no idea about usury at all? Or that I haven’t been reading Zippy’s articles at all?

    Usury is literally destroying people’s lives. I’m not sure why you don’t think it’s as big of a modern problem as sexual morality.

    No denying the first – but a lot of things are managing that. As for the second, no, I said sanctity of human life and the family. That’s beyond sexual morality, but obviously related.

    What I denied is that usury is THE problem, not A problem. Viewing it as A problem is easily. Even a very substantial, major problem which we are uniquely blind to. But when the message starts to become that usury is THE problem such that every other problem or failing is a footnote compared to it, no, I’m not convinced.

    Muslims are also much more concerned with sexual morality. What’s that supposed to mean? What happens to be a besetting western sin tends not be a besetting muslim sin.

    Muslims have a whole lot of issues with sexual morality too, concern be damned. Back to sanctity of life and the family – in fact they’ve managed to swing some eerily similar problems to the west at times (look at the Iranian birthrates, etc.) For all their differences.

    My point is that for all of their abundant concern about usury, they are still wracked with problems. Moral problems, even, some of which they have in common with us, some of which they don’t. Which backs up my view that the problems we’re facing are multi-pronged. Again: tell me that usury is a problem, a MAJOR problem, and I’ll agree. Partly because economics at large is something I do not doubt is a problem (see my views about the WWWtW view that some communities should just die and everyone should move because free trade has deprived them of their real value, ie, their most efficient economic value.) Suggest that it’s the only problem that really matters and, no, that’s going too far.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    Yeah I see that too: we are soooo special and our place in history is soooo special. In the theater of the mind we are all Horatius on the bridge, and the world hangs in the balance.

    Hahahaha!

    Wholly agree with that sentiment. However, I wouldn’t write such a thing here. The host gets touchy when you point out historical precedents…

  • Mike T says:

    Which backs up my view that the problems we’re facing are multi-pronged.

    Human societies have an unknowable number of inputs from external influence. Adding to the problem is that while causality only proceeds in one direction with respect to time, it can proceed in many directions with regard to space and human choices. That effectively dooms Sociologists and Philosophers to always coming up with nothing better than educated guesses as to why large scale trends happen the way they do. It is not possible to falsify a question like “why did America become sexually licentious” and come up with a definitive, specific reason other than “sinnners gonna sin.”

  • We seem to be talking at cross purposes. Who said it was the only problem that really matters?

  • Crude says:

    We seem to be talking at cross purposes. Who said it was the only problem that really matters?

    I think dismissing previous popes’ emphasis on those teachings as ‘selective’, and the further implied suggestion that these modern sins are ultimately rooted in usury, goes that way.

    Really, I think this whole thing has a lot more to do with style than content.

  • But he’s not dismissing them. That’s the point I’m trying to make. They really did emphasize those teachings as “selective”.

  • donnie says:

    Malcolm,

    Crude, as I understand him, is arguing that the modern fights over the sanctity of life and the family are of greater importance than crusading against usury, even though he admits usury is a grave moral evil.

    But the modern crises with regard to the sanctity of life and the family are crises that stem directly from the sexual revolution. And the sexual revolution is a clear case of people ceasing to believe in an objective sexual reality.

    Zippy has argued in the past that the only way we ever reached a point where whole societies completely abandoned belief in an objective sexual reality is because generations ago our societies completely abandoned belief in an objective economic reality. Usury being the first domino in a long line of objective reality rejection.

    At least that’s how I understand it.

  • Zippy says:

    I didn’t say that usury is the root of all evil. I disputed Crude’s contention that the Popes have been “unapologetic defenders of Catholic moral teaching” until recently, as contrasted to the unique Francis. I pointed out that the claim is false unless recently means centuries ago and/or unapologetically means selectively.

    Crude replied by raising the straw man of usury being the root of all evil, and simultaneously suggested that I have my work cut out for me. All that shows is that he missed the point and can’t read.

    The point, again, is that recent Popes can be viewed as unapologetic defenders of Catholic moral teaching only if “unapologetic” means “selective”.

    Francis is also selective about defending Catholic moral teaching. He just has a different selection. (Although the citation I linked from the Vademicum published under JPII might call that into question even on the subject of chastity).

  • Zippy says:

    That Crude is ignorant about the connection between capitulation on usury and capitulation on chastity is an additional flaw in his knowledge and/or understanding. But even if there were no connection his claim that recent Popes have been unapologetic defenders of Catholic moral teaching is false — unless “unapologetic” means “selective”.

  • Zippy says:

    The bulk of Catholic theologian-level resistance to Humanae Vitae rests on invoking usury as precedent. Read Curran, Noonan, and the like. Or just Google “Catholic contraception usury”, for crying out loud.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    I pointed out that the claim is false unless recently means centuries ago and/or unapologetically means selectively.

    The only way that claim can be done justice is to define ‘selectively’ so broadly that you yourself are guilty of it. You say I can’t read – I say you’re falling back onto equivocation.

    Francis is also selective about defending Catholic moral teaching.

    Francis being ‘selective’ is not the problem. If he emphasized and focus on one sin, one failing or even one set of sins or failings as opposed to others, that would be one thing. Francis’ problems are that he simply gets some things wrong, communicates confusion and bad ideas, and does so so consistently that it seems almost intentional.

    But to you, there’s apparently a continuum from Francis to Benedict to PJP2, and even further back, and the common thread happens to begin with a ‘u’ and end with ‘y’. It makes me suspect that your biggest complaint with Amoris Laetitia was that you scanned the whole thing and, as near as you can tell, they didn’t discuss usury even once.

  • Zippy says:

    Progressive Catholic theologians are just following the usury-established playbook. If you want to stop the sexual revolution within the Church, you have to reverse the usury revolution – a revolution which was already complete long before any of us were born.

    Otherwise, Humanae Vitae is just the new Vix Pervenit.

  • Crude says:

    That Crude is ignorant about the connection between capitulation on usury and capitulation on chastity is an additional flaw in his knowledge and/or understanding.

    And there it is again. DIsagreement is evidence of ignorance. Agreement is evidence of enlightenment. And I disagree that usury is meaningfully wrapped up with the problems related to the sexual revolution, the respect for human life, and the assault on the family. Therefore, automatically, I must be ignorant of these topics.

    Who’s the one who’s taking a stance such that no evidence could change their mind?

    If that move is accepted, then let me know how the Black Lives Matter rally is, because trust me – this move is in common circulation.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:
    You obviously haven’t read the material. If you had, you’d be disputing specific points.

  • Crude says:

    I’m engaging every specific point that you’ve raised with me. If that’s ‘none’, well – I’m waiting.

    Actually no, I’m not. I’ll bring up your own points, such as here.

    Trying to connect the ‘sexual revolution’ with usury on the grounds that usurers played a game which amounts to ‘intent determines culpability, and I know how to use that as a loophole’ is stretched. You may as well say that Aquinas himself is responsible for the sexual revolution, because Aquinas saw intention as playing a role in mitigating culpability under certain conditions, such as fits of rage or being mistaken.

    Finding refuge in the subjectiveness of intention isn’t an innovation of usurers – it’s a longstanding game. And part of the reason people fall back on it is because it has merit; people can be honestly mistaken, and the honestly mistaken may not be culpable of a given crime, and may even have been engaged in something noble. (Feeding a starving person with allergies the wrong food, etc.)

    Note that none of this defends usury, or the free market. Shall I keep going?

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:
    The connection isn’t established merely by similar argument structure. It is established by the fact that pro-contraception theologians (e.g. Curran) consistently cite usury specifically as the sort of “development of doctrine” which (they contend) makes contraception morally acceptable.

  • Crude says:

    ZIppy,

    Curran also cited other developments of doctrine, including ones which have nothing to do with usury, and it’s easy to see why: because Curran and company will point to any and every development of doctrine as precedent for any and every change desired. It doesn’t have to have to be a bad change; it has to be any change at all. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be a real change, just a perceived or an argued change. And if they lack even that, they’ll argue that just because there’s never been a change doesn’t mean that a change is unthinkable.

  • Okay, this is what this discussion has looked like to me.

    Crude: The problem is that up until recently the Church had always stood strong against modernist liberal rot

    Zippy: Actually, this is not true. We’ve seen this sort of thing before with usury. Take a look at my scholarly resources to see what I mean.

    Crude: I don’t agree that usury is the root of all evil, and I don’t think you should be telling me to read things to make your point.

    I don’t think Zippy is the one missing the point here.

  • Crude says:

    Malcolm,

    The problem is that up until recently the Church had always stood strong against modernist liberal rot

    No: “I mostly mean that within living many for memory people, JPII and Benedict reigned. And, for all their faults, they were unapologetic defenders of Church moral teaching.”

    That’s a recognition that B16 and PJP2, though they had faults, stood firm on moral teaching. You’re expanding the scope considerably, and I don’t think the Church has always stood firm. Not even at the Papal level. I’ve said before that we’ve had some rotten Popes.

    Zippy: Actually, this is not true. We’ve seen this sort of thing before with usury. Take a look at my scholarly resources to see what I mean.

    And that’s not what was said. If that’s all it was – ‘Actually the Church has failed on this front before’ – I’d have nothing to dispute.

    We’ve progressed – Zippy really is connecting the sexual revolution (or at least Church defenses of it) with usury. I’m reading his own words, I’m linking to them, I’m responding.

    Is there something I’ve not addressed that you think needs addressing? If so, bring it up. So far I’ve started with Curran, and I’ve explained why I don’t think the usury connection works there.

    I can keep going.

  • Zippy says:

    My summary:

    Crude’s claims that during the pontificates of JPII and BXVI the Church unapologetically defended Church moral teaching is true, as long as there is a “some” in front of “moral teaching”. Of course the same is true now under Francis, with that qualification.

    Crude’s claim that the sexual revolution inside the Church herself (that is, among Catholic moral theologians and clergy) is not in any way related to usury is false, as anyone with access to Google can verify.

    Also, these are distinct.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    Alright, let’s play your game. Name me the Pope for whom ‘some’ cannot be placed in front of ‘moral teaching’. Especially if the qualification kicks in just due to a relative or even total silence about some other aspect of Catholic moral teaching. You’ll ‘some’ them all.

    If you say that nevertheless this Pope was better than that Pope, well, welcome to Crudeland, and the ‘some’ qualification was a red herring.

    Crude’s claim that the sexual revolution inside the Church herself (that is, among Catholic moral theologians and clergy) is not in amy way related to usury is false

    If you’ve watered down the connection between usury and ‘the sexual revolution in the Church’ to mean ‘some theologian made some reference to it no matter how strained and ultimately minor, in the course of justifying the extremely broad concept of ‘the church can change its teaching” then go for it. You’ve generalized your claim into near oblivion. To defend your references to usury on those terms is to defend the relevance of usury as a footnote.

    Insofar as you treat intellectual consistency and precedent as a necessary ingredient for ‘modernist innovations’, to say nothing of the cause of it, you are making a mistake.

  • Zippy says:

    [… places another quarter in the Crude-o-matic …]

  • What, exactly, would convince you then?

  • Crude says:

    While Zippy nervously fumbles with his change…

    Malcolm,

    Of what? A dire link between usury and the sexual revolution? Something else? I ask because I don’t want to be accused of misrepresenting the claim here.

  • Zippy says:

    I suppose I am mildly curious whether Crude actually owns any of Curran’s or Noonan’s books (or books by equivalent progressive pro contraception Catholics). It doesn’t seem plausible to me that he has actually taken Sun Tzu’s advice.

  • Crude says:

    Alright. That’s a tall order actually, not because of what I know about usury, but what I know about sex, people, and how they justify things.

    How about this. Instead of asking what would convince me (that’s difficult) let’s set the bar lower: what would strike me as evidence for the claim, regardless of whether it convinces me.

    Sound fair? If so, how about this: explain how usury’s promotion or acceptance encourages people to consume pornography.

    If that’s not fair, maybe you can come up with an alternative bar to jump. I’m trying to find a nice balance here between ‘reasonable’ and ‘too easy/too hard’.

  • Wood says:

    Crude,

    It’s not so much “just” a usury thing. As if, after a given amount of time, a society commits enough usury that it inexorably starts fornicating and using contraception. But the Church’s silence and near complete capitulation on such a grave issue of morality were unheard of in 1800 years. I’m still learning, but it looks like a watershed moment similar to something like the sack of Rome – with both the good guys and bad guys going, “So, did that really just happen?” I’m not suggesting the Church was sacked, but is it not possible that from this first silencing of the Church, the means used to accomplish silence on other grave moral issues was inspired?

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    It doesn’t seem plausible to me that he has actually taken Sun Tzu’s advice.

    For all my Catholic/theological/political talk, my focus and interest tends to be on a very different area. I keep an eye on culture, particularly popular culture, because I’m convinced that it’s there where a lot of values get communicated. That also happens to be where Catholics and Christians generally are weakest.

    There’s a lot of enemies.

  • Crude says:

    Wood,

    I’m not suggesting the Church was sacked, but is it not possible that from this first silencing of the Church, the means used to accomplish silence on other grave moral issues was inspired?

    So far, I doubt it. Especially since the Church hasn’t really been silent on many grave moral issues -aside- from usury, or so it seems. And has it really been silent on usury? It looks like both B16 and PJP2 condemned it, but maybe ‘not strongly enough’.

  • Zippy says:

    It is possible that Crude is talking about his everyday impressions of human beings and society, and is simply missing the fact that that isn’t really the subject. Of course usury doesn’t necessarily lead to sexual sin as a matter of everyday psychology. Shylock might or might not go to prostitutes.

    But of course nobody has claimed that it does.

    The subject isn’t where Miley Cyrus came from, it is where Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis came from. It is a question of pastoral/theological/ecclesial developments among clergy and theologians. And to grasp that – as someone said upthread – you have work to do.

  • Crude says:

    The subject isn’t where Miley Cyrus came from, it is where Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis came from. It is a question of pastoral/theological/ecclesial developments among clergy and theologians.

    Clergy aren’t segregated from cultural forces, especially the more liberal clergy. And the modern regressives’ psyche is not beholden to rapt intellectual consistency, or in fact much of anything at all.

    This reminds me of some cries I hear from conservatives now and then: ‘You can’t do this! If you do this, the regressives will point at it as precedent someday! If you do this, the regressives will justify doing some other thing!’ They operate under the view that it’s they who determines what the modern liberal regressive will or won’t do. That said regressives don’t give a damn and will come up with whatever justifications they please doesn’t seem to pop up in their minds as a possibility.

  • Crude, I’m afraid I’m baffled as to what that previous comment has to do with usury or the current situation.

  • Todor says:

    Wouldn’t it be simplier to explain your point clearly to Crude?

    Usury is a mortal sin, but the Church used pharisianic arguments to permit in practice and after a while just stopped talking about it.

    The same strategy is now used to turn a blind eye on the sexual revolution.

  • Crude says:

    Malcolm,

    Crude, I’m afraid I’m baffled as to what that previous comment has to do with usury or the current situation.

    Last comment for today, lest Zippy’s comment box just say ‘Crude’ over and over.

    Zippy seems to be treating the Church’s history – call them blind spots, even pastoral failures – on the subject of usury to be of major importance in the formation of modern clerical psyches. Such that if the Church was better on the subject of usury, maybe a lot of problems could have been avoided.

    The problem I have with that kind of reasoning is (to say nothing of the problems of hypothetical alternate histories) that it relies on a love of intellectual honesty (of a sort), precedence, and consistency to have teeth. The idea that if the usury failings weren’t prevalent in Church history – if the Church just fought harder – then Kasper and Francis wouldn’t have an intellectual leg to stand on, and their hands would be tied. The comparison I see with conservatives is their hand-wringing over ‘precedent’, and how if a conservative or right-wing politician uses this or that power heretofore unused, it’s a terrible thing, because now he’s given some future regressive the ability to say ‘Aha, I have precedent! I can do this OTHER thing which is horrible, on similar grounds!’ so it’s better not to do that at all. Deny them the ability to claim precedent!

    Okay, you do that. And they’ll just do it anyway and use another justification, because they don’t give a damn about consistency, or precedent, or much anything else in that vein. At least, they’ll do it if they can, and ‘if they can’ has to do with other factors. Culture’s a good chunk of that. The real value of consistency and right teaching has to do, I think, with helping the formation of the conscience of sincere seekers. Don’t look to it as a barricade for the unabashedly ‘progressive’. They don’t care.

    Anyway, let me know if the bar I set is fair for you. Lacking that, pick another. I’ll look into it tomorrow or something.

  • Wood says:

    Crude,

    Your comment makes a lot of sense if you take the powerful Progressive prelate as a necessary being. Much of the opposing view on this thread has been questioning that assumption.

  • Zippy says:

    Pointing out the way things have actually occurred is to engage in counterfactual history. But contending that things would have gone this way even if the Church had not ‘pastorally’ capitulated on usury is not to engage in counterfactual history.

    Every day is opposite day.

  • Todor,

    I thought that had already been more or less said throughout, if not in exactly the same words.

  • Zippy says:

    How about a few facts to help the discussion along.

    Did the Church condemn usury as an execrable mortal sin for millennia? Yes.

    Was usury considered by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and by many great saints, to be as execrable as adultery, murder, and other grave sins? Yes.

    Was there a “Humanae Vitae” moment with respect to usury wherein, after centuries of debate and obfuscation by theological progressives, the Pope issued an encyclical reasserting orthodox doctrine? Yes.

    Did progressives continue to lie and obfuscate just like modern progressives do with HV, even to the point of turning their questions into lies? Yes.

    Did the Church rule “pastorally” in response to these lies-posed-as-questions – generations before any of us were born – that unrepentant usurers were to be left undisturbed, granted absolution, and admitted to Holy Communion? Yes.

    Did the sexual progressives both before and after HV continually cite the case of usury as a centerpiece of their arguments, contending that doctrine had changed or that conditions had changed so the moral prohibition no longer applies? Yes.

    Is amoris laetitia basically a mimic of the earlier “pastoral” rulings that confessors should grant absolution to unrepentant usurers? I don’t know: I haven’t read it and am not likely to read it. But the Kasper Proposal in general is just the “pastoral” usury capitulation applied to the pelvis.

    Did the Vatican under JPII instruct confessors to remain silent rather than telling sexual sinners that they are sinning, if the confessor suspects that the sinner might not repent? Yes

    What precisely to make of all of these facts is, as always, debatable.

    But they are all facts, to the best of my knowledge.

    You can lead horses to water but you can’t make them drink. Many people will simply refuse to see what they don’t want to see, for whatever variety of reasons.

  • Zippy says:

    Oh and are modern “conservatives” now staunch defenders of the “new normal” achieved by the progressives? Yes.

  • itascriptaest says:

    Oh and are modern “conservatives” now staunch defenders of the “new normal” achieved by the progressives? Yes.

    Indeed. We are now called to be martyred for Milo Yiannopoulos. Because Western Civilization.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude has a post up on this. I tried to comment there without success, but his post makes no sense. GLBTwhatevers would kill for the status of today’s usurers. Nobody even knows what usury is, let alone thinks it is wrong, let alone condemns usurers, let alone refuses to bake them cakes.

  • Zippy,

    As I said, I’ve been going back and forth with Crude for a long time. Comments are moderated there automatically (mine included); he’ll probably approve it later.

  • William Luse says:

    Zippy,
    It may be a peculiarity of my own thinking, but I’ve always considered Catholic moral teaching as ‘whole cloth.’ That is, one is not likely to go soft on sin in one area without eventually extending this solicitude to others. But we do tend to compartmentalize. I don’t know anyone who is soft on fornication but hard on contraception. I do know some, though, who are soft on contraception but hard on abortion. I can imagine SJW types (not knowing any personally) who would love your usury doctrine but despise your position on those other matters. I think that’s where Crude’s coming from: the usurers are over here and the sexual anarchists over there and the twain do not necessarily meet; that tolerance for the one should lead to surrender on the other is not obvious to most people. (Perhaps out of ignorance, as you say).

    But what the usurers and the fornicators have in common is the desire to “use” someone, to treat that person as an object for either profit or pleasure. People in deep credit card debt know what it is to be a debt-slave. The lender turns his debtor into a money whore. (I surmise some debts have been paid in sex). It’s not a big leap, in my mind, to suppose that the willingness to use someone for one purpose might make it easier to use him for another.

    Maybe the time factor is a problem. Didn’t the pastoral dereliction on usury far pre-date the current collapse on sex? If so, the connection, again, becomes less obvious.

    Btw, I do think Crude is wrong to say that “The usurers don’t care [what you think of them] – Team LGBT cares very much indeed. They won’t let your teaching merely go quiet. They will not accept being tolerated, even tolerated to an absurd degree. They want complete parity and condemnation of the unequal past.”

    Well, usurers want this too, and they have gotten it. Credit card vendors very much value their reputations as prestigious, highly paid scions of the financial world, and “complete parity” has come in the form of their protection under color of law. I think they would be quite devastated to have that protection withdrawn, and their reputations returned to the status assigned them by Dante: “at the lowest ledge in the seventh circle of hell – lower than murderers.” The LGBT’ers will indeed let the teaching go quiet. That’s what the lawsuits are all about: banning it from the public square. They too want the protection of the law, knowing they can’t find it in the truth, or change what’s in our hearts.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    I see no comment in the queue by you, nor in the spam filter. I pretty much approve everything but idiots doing comment drive-bys and people wasting my time in volume. Comment and I’ll approve.

    Anyway:

    “GLBTwhatevers would kill for the status of today’s usurers.”

    The status of today’s usurers? ‘Most people hate them, lots of people rail about the evil they cause, there’s even moves at times to punish their most powerful’? Usurers are politically and economically powerful, but their reputation – contra Luse – isn’t so great among most people. To put this in perspective, think of how many Americans are in debt, how many are paying interest on that debt. How happy are they about it? How many think ‘this is great’ or even ‘this is bad but it’s my own fault’?

    And that’s just Americans. Go worldwide with it – tell me what the Greeks think of usurers. You can argue, fairly, ‘Even the Greeks aren’t railing against usury full stop, but various usurers, interest, predatory loans, excessive interest.’ I’d agree. But those things are tied up together, and – the key part? Usurers don’t really care. Because their reputations are absolutely secondary, much as they like it in a corporate image sense. They like profit – usury gives that. That’s why it’s desired.

    Team LGBT is different.

    I’ll illustrate: civil unions. All the legal benefits of marriage, but with a different name, a different technical category. No difference between marriage in a meaningful, legal sense. It’s just kept distinct in a definitional sense, an intellectual sense. Usurers wouldn’t care about that, because being proud of usury doesn’t mean a damn thing to them. People celebrating usury – ‘Yay interest-bearing loans!’ – means nothing to them, even at their most powerful.

    It means everything to Team LGBT. They’ll scream bloody murder about how that distinction is their being pushed to sit in the back of the bus a la civil rights. Refuse to service a same-sex wedding as a pizza parlor and prepare for death threats, condemnation, and legal harassment.

    Go ahead, refuse to take a loan to expand your business. Refuse to acquire a credit card. Go on record as saying you despise mutuum loans. Show me who comes for your head.

    Okay, pivot. Tell me that usurers are so powerful that they don’t have to care. Fine: show me when in history they ever behaved that way. Maybe it happened! But I doubt it.

  • Mike T says:

    Indeed. We are now called to be martyred for Milo Yiannopoulos. Because Western Civilization.

    Milo is actually to the right of the majority of conservatives on most social issues. He’s also a fighter. That’s why he’s such an embarrassment to mainstream conservatism. A flaming homosexual from Britain has more testosterone and balls that practically clink as he walks compared to the average conservative commentator.

  • Well, the parallel is obviously not exact. But nevertheless we’ve seen:

    – Progressives obfuscate teaching on usury over many years

    – A Pope issue a firm and clear statement reaffirming Church teaching

    – Continued lies from progressives resulting in “pastoral” capitulations on many points

    – Direct quotes from the same-sex advocates explicitly pointing to Church capitulations on usury to make their arguments

    – Proposals like the Kasper proposal that effectively amount to the exact situation we have with usury

    …And somehow the situations are so different that we can learn nothing from it and one doesn’t have to do with the other.

    That one is not the *direct cause* of the other, well…yeah. That people are more passionate about sex than money, well…yeah. Money helps you buy things that will bring you pleasure, sex just brings you pleasure.

    But do we have a roadmap from centuries past of the Church “officially” holding the moral line in regards to a doctrine but gradually losing its practical enforcement of that moral line thanks to decades or centuries of attacks by progressives? Yes.

    To say that the Church has never before gone soft on an important moral issue and betrayed the laity by ignoring the extreme gravity of a mortal sin is just not true. And I find it skeptical to believe that we can learn *nothing* about our current situation from what has happened in the past.

  • Crude says:

    Malcolm,

    Let me get at I think one of the central points of dispute, at least with me on this.

    And somehow the situations are so different that we can learn nothing from it and one doesn’t have to do with the other.

    Where have I said this? Where have I even implied it?

    I think the situations differ in important ways – dire ways. I do not see the weakness of the church on usury (which I don’t think is as weak as you suggest) meaningfully ’caused’ the problems we’re seeing with the other sins. I do get bugged at the idea where same-sex marriage or sexual morality is regarded almost as a red herring because the real problem is usury.

    But tell me that the usury fight is instructive? Sure. Tell me that there are similar arguments? Alright.

    I’m not sure what more you want other than some kind of committal to the idea that the ‘real’ problem is usury, that to solve one is to solve the other, etc. Honestly baffled.

    Also:

    But do we have a roadmap from centuries past of the Church “officially” holding the moral line in regards to a doctrine but gradually losing its practical enforcement of that moral line thanks to decades or centuries of attacks by progressives? Yes.

    What would ‘practical enforcement of the moral line’ look like on usury?

  • I do get bugged at the idea where same-sex marriage or sexual morality is regarded almost as a red herring because the real problem is usury.

    This is what’s getting me confused. Who ever said that?

  • Crude says:

    This is what’s getting me confused. Who ever said that?

    When I say that PJPII and Benedict 16 were unapologetic defenders of Catholic moral teaching, and I get told I’m missing the point and “Only to the extent that “unapologetic” means “selective”, or my disputing that these problems all ultimately trace back to usury gets a response of “Pointing out the way things have actually occurred is to engage in counterfactual history.”, I start to smell a pattern.

    That said: as ever, I’m game. And this is the sort of thing that can be settled with a question.

    Zippy, do you think the modern problems of same-sex marriage or sexual morality – and the attempts to combat modern liberal attitudes towards them – are ultimately red herrings, because the real problem is usury/the Church’s attitude towards usury?

  • Mike T says:

    That one is not the *direct cause* of the other, well…yeah. That people are more passionate about sex than money, well…yeah. Money helps you buy things that will bring you pleasure, sex just brings you pleasure.

    A lot of the outrage over usury doesn’t even make sense to the average person. For example, the average person would reasonably ask why someone who borrows $500 to buy a TV they didn’t need should be let off the hook because of what they perceive as a legal technicality regarding the method of securing the loan. It is not even that unreasonable to see most borrowers as justly deserving their fate at the hands of lenders who demand full repayment come Hell or high water because for every destitute borrower who needed to pay a medical bill, there are probably half a dozen or more who used it to buy stuff they don’t need.

    This is related to one of the hurdles you Catholics have of convincing the public today that contraception is intrinsically immoral in and of itself. If all contracepted sex is “worthy of Hell fire” you are saying that if Michelle Duggar prefers to have contracepted sex to avoid having a 20th child in her last year or two of fertility she is as deserving of damnation as a PUA who is banging a slut he just met in a public bathroom insofar as contracepted sex is concerned (yes, the fornication might make the act even worse, but in principle they’re both in a similar category).

    Right or wrong, the higher and philosophical arguments about these things simply do not really penetrate into the public’s understanding or concern. Certainly the public may have been influenced in a better direction in the past, but we can also never know how the public would have chosen to behave if 1,000 years ago cheap and safe contraception and credit cards were widely available. In general, people choose to live a life utilizing reason as a tool to rationalize their desires, not a life formed by reason. So it’s impossible to know what they would have chosen if doctrine had collided with technology back then.

  • Crude says:

    A lot of the outrage over usury doesn’t even make sense to the average person. For example, the average person would reasonably ask why someone who borrows $500 to buy a TV they didn’t need should be let off the hook because of what they perceive as a legal technicality regarding the method of securing the loan.

    No one’s arguing they should be let off the hook, are they? I mean, it’s one thing to say mutuum loans are immoral, always and everywhere. It’s another to say that if someone gives you 500 bucks with an interest contract that you don’t owe them anything at all because mutuum loans are immoral so that money is just gone. At the very least you’d be on the hook for 500 reasonably.

    Though that does make me wonder about the morality of someone procuring a loan that they damn well have no intention of paying back and for whom legal recourse against is practically nil. It’s not exactly unheard of for people to make X dollar loans, and someone else recovers – ultimately – 25% of X.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:
    The sexual revolution and its fruits are pervasive, despicable, heinous evil which must be resisted with all of our strength.

    But it isn’t the first act in the anti-realist play. There is good reason why a society that sees nothing wrong with usury also sees nothing wrong with contraception. And there is good reason why a society which sees nothing wrong with contraception sees nothing wrong with fornication. And there is good reason why a society which sees nothing wrong with fornication sees nothing wrong with sodomy.

    Resisting the sexual revolution while favoring usury is like resisting fornication while favoring contraception: a self defeating exercise in making ourselves feel like “good people” while in fact enabling the very revolution we pat ourselves on the back for opposing.

    People pretend not to see the connection, but that is just because of their own moral blindness. Correcting that moral blindness — repentance — is therefore step one.

  • Crude says:

    Okay, well, that sure seems like an effective ‘yes’ to my question.

    Also…

    Resisting the sexual revolution while favoring usury

    Other than people making a fortune, who the heck is doing this. I mean obviously some people favor usury – namely usurers. Obviously usury is pervasive. But who -likes- it? Who’s super proud of it? Who’s all outraged at Islam because their countries typically dislike it?

    I mean this doesn’t cover mutuum loans totally but I’d think this should at least make you realize people aren’t usury cheerleaders in the main. And again: yes yes I know it’s not just ‘predatory’ loans but ‘mutuum loans, period’. Still!

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:
    You are asking the wrong question. Not just the wrong question, but the wrong kind of question.

    The right question is, how many people participate in usurious contracts, and how many believe them to be morally licit.

    I assume that the majority of people who believe homosexual sodomy is morally licit do not “like” homosexual sodomy for themselves.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    I assume that the majority of people who believe homosexual sodomy is morally licit do not themselves “like” homosexual sodomy themselves.

    I gotta wonder if you wrote that, then realized you damn well better put ‘homosexual’ in as a modifier. Even with the modifier, the answer would be ‘quite a number do, for the opposite gender in the right conditions’. Being brutally honest.

    The right question is, how many people participate in usurious contracts, and how many believe them to be morally licit.

    Your FAQ says there’s no sin (scandal aside) to take an usurious loan. Not many people are giving them. As for how many people believe them to be morally licit, I consider that less obvious than you do. Most people probably don’t think about it, in part because they’re just on the receiving end. Insofar as they do think about it, let’s just say, I question the assumption that people believe in the moral fiber of their debt-holders or their contracts.

  • Zippy says:

    There is the water, horse.

  • Zippy says:

    Also, the usury FAQ doesn’t go into detail about the moral philosophy of material cooperation with evil, because that would be off topic. (I do discuss that in other places on the blog).

    But although it is possible to borrow at usury without formally cooperating with the usurer, it does not follow that this is typical. Most borrowers probably are in fact formally cooperating.

    And beyond that, pervasive material cooperation with evil shouldn’t be met with a shoulder shrug.

  • The FAQ doesn’t say there’s no sin in taking a usurious loan, it says there might be no sin involved in taking a usurious loan.

    Okay, well, that sure seems like an effective ‘yes’ to my question.

    No, it was not. I’m not even sure where you got that from.

  • Crude says:

    There is the water, horse.

    Such travails the Secret King must endure.

  • You keep trying to claim that people here are yelling about how “The real problem is usury!”, when nobody ever said or implied that.

    The bigger point isn’t that the problem is usury; it’s that the problem at its heart is not sexual morality, not usury, but in fact – to use the modern parlance – SJW entryism. And that occurred long before the sexual revolution. It occurred long before Pope Francis. It occurred before Vatican II. That’s the real claim here.

  • Crude says:

    Malcolm,

    The FAQ doesn’t say there’s no sin in taking a usurious loan, it says there might be no sin involved in taking a usurious loan.

    “Since borrowing at usury is inherently scandalous, it probably depends on the extent of the need. But you’ve got pretty wide moral discretion to hand over your property to thieves, so you’ve probably got similar prudential latitude here. As a matter of intrinsic morality, usury – insisting on interest when making a mutuum loan – is a sin on the part of the lender, not the borrower.”

    That latitude and the talk of intrinsic morality is all I need to keep what I’ve said standing.

    But at this point I’m prepared to be told that the above doesn’t really mean that one has latitude on taking mutuum loans, sin-free, or that the sin is really intrinsically on the part of the lender rather than the borrower, because lo’, I’ve not repented, and thus the scales have yet to fall from my eyes.

    No, it was not. I’m not even sure where you got that from.

    I’d attempt to clarify it with Zippy with another straightforward question, but I’ve seen how useful that is. Still, I admit he does a bang-up job fighting the excesses of usury, since my interest has vanished.

    Zippy’s free to sigh laboriously, shake his head, and remark how this is just one more effect of the modern love affair with interest-bearing debt.

  • Crude says:

    You keep trying to claim that people here are yelling about how “The real problem is usury!”, when nobody ever said or implied that.

    Resisting the sexual revolution while favoring usury is like resisting fornication while favoring contraception: a self defeating exercise in making ourselves feel like “good people” while in fact enabling the very revolution we pat ourselves on the back for opposing.

    You bring me a quote from Zippy unequivocally saying that the problem isn’t usury but the equivalent of SJW entryism then. Press the point, I say. Prepare for some disappointment.

  • Sure, it is always a sin to lend on usury. It is often a sin when not.

    The talk of handing over money to thieves applies only in the analogous situation, that is, you have no options and your life is going to be ruined if you don’t comply. That a person getting, say, a new car when a perfectly good used one can be bought is definitely committing the sin of usury seems to be pretty clear to me. And it’s not like this doesn’t happen *all the time*.

  • You bring me a quote from Zippy unequivocally saying that the problem isn’t usury but the equivalent of SJW entryism then.

    Give me a quote where he says the problem is usury. You haven’t. The quote you provided has absolutely nothing to do with that point either way, and once again I’m baffled as to why you think it does.

    The contention here is that this whole pattern of Popes not holding to moral teachings in the face of threats is not new, and in fact already occurred in regards to usury. You keep saying…I’m honestly not even sure at this point. What are you disputing? That this didn’t happen? Because it did.

  • Not only that, the quote is correct: To be consistent, you can’t *just* say sexual morality is the problem. Usury is *also* a problem, and both of them relate to the larger problem of SJW entryism.

  • Todor says:

    The more I read about usury, the more I’m affraid you are willing to deny a dogma of the faith because you care more about philosophy than faith. The Church cannot teach errors. The Church cannot lie to us, mislead us or betray us. The idea the saint Pius IX and saint Pius X could have led countless Catholics to hell by their negligence is outrageous. Now, if you want to bring attention to the sin of usury, as the Church understands it, I’m all for it.

  • Zippy says:

    Todor:
    No doctrine has been repudiated. But ‘pastoral practice’ which effectively ignores doctrine is old news. Centuries old.

  • donnie says:

    There is good reason why a society that sees nothing wrong with usury also sees nothing wrong with contraception. And there is good reason why a society which sees nothing wrong with contraception sees nothing wrong with fornication. And there is good reason why a society which sees nothing wrong with fornication sees nothing wrong with sodomy.

    OK, I’m with you there. But are you implying that successfully convincing our society of the intrinsic evil of usury would in time rollback the evils of the sexual revolution?

    If so, I’m not so sure I agree, although I would like it to be true. As Crude points out quite a lot of people in the modern West, including very liberal people, are negatively predisposed to banks, credit cards, car loans, mortgages, etc. Compared to combating the pervasive evils of the sexual revolution, I think it would be far easier to galvanize a group of SJWs into taking an impassioned stand against usury. Heck, if we could get enough SJWs to make a big deal about it, maybe Pope Francis might take some action!

    The trouble is I don’t see how such a movement wouldn’t simply be a case of turning anti-usury into a leftist cause. Even if it were successful, it would just be another example of Cthulhu’s sinistral backstroke.

    Not saying it wouldn’t still be 100% worth it to eradicate usury. Just saying I don’t see how making liberal society more liberal (even if in a virtuous way) would lead to a scale back of sexual depravity.

  • Getting rid of usury isn’t liberal at all, though.

  • I dunno, I’m probably sounding too harsh/too dogmatic here. I’m not, really. I do sort of get what Crude was coming from. I’m just looking at all the comparisons between sexual morality and usury and I’m finding it really easy to spot the patterns.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    I think people who believe “if only we do X that will fix everything” are deluded, and I don’t give much credence to my own prognostications let alone the prognostications of others.

    However, I think the right liberal fantasy of rolling back the sexual revolution without also unequivocally repudiating usury is a particularly deluded fantasy, because they both rest on modernist anti-realism. I can’t say what it would take to kill one or the other, but I am quite confident that you can’t kill just one of them because they are both ultimately facets of the same more basic problem.

    Also, I think the actual historical progression from gaining approval of usury to gaining approval of various sexual sins is clear.

    Crude on his blog says (I paraphrase) that his focus is on practical things we can do, and that he filters his interests through that. One criticism of that is that while not necessarily consequentialist it will have consequentialist tendencies. But even if we carefully guard against consequentialism that approach will inevitably conflict with my own, which is to gain an adequate objective grasp of our situation before leaping to conclusions about what we ought to do. Most of my blogging in particular is descriptive (including description of where we are and how we got here), not prescriptive, and people who want Answers About What To Do To Fix Civilization Right Now are likely to find my approach unsatisfying.

  • Zippy says:

    More succinctly, I do have various strong views on what will definitely not “work” and will in fact be counterproductive.

    But I have no magic bullets which will fix everything.

  • donnie says:

    Malcolm,

    Was getting rid of slavery liberal?

    It’s certainly seen that way.

    My point isn’t whether being anti-usury is objectively liberal or not. My point is that if you want to actually abolish usury, the first people to go to to get something started are the Occupy Wall Street-type SJWs.

    And assuming the anti-usury activist campaign is successful, there’s no reason I can think of for our anti-usury SJW allies to start rolling back the evils of the sexual revolution. To them, it’s just another victory in the age old war against tyranny and oppression.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    FWIW my criticisms would apply just as much to Catholics who think it is helpful (as opposed to enabling and dysfunctional) to attack usury while studiously ignoring the sexual revolution.

  • Zippy says:

    Said still differently:

    It is as difficult to galvanize right liberals against usury as it is to galvanize left liberals against the sexual revolution. Most of them frankly like it (their “it”) and will fight against any attempt to roll it back. And that provides a bulwark against genuine rejection of liberalism specifically and modernism-qua-heresy in general.

  • donnie says:

    Zippy,

    I mostly agree. However…

    Let’s say I am an early nineteenth century Catholic living in Maryland. As a Catholic, I bemoan the pervasive evils that plague my surroundings, such as rampant Protestant heresy and chattel slavery. Unfortunately, many of my fellow Catholics who share my views on heresy don’t share my views on chattel slavery, and there hasn’t been a strong condemnation of slavery from the Vatican that anyone is aware of, while there has been very strong condemnations against Protestant heresies. Nevertheless, armed with the true knowledge that chattel slavery is one among many heinous and wicked contemporary sins, I set out to abolish it.

    Eventually I find common cause with Protestant heretics in the North who share my hatred of chattel slavery. Together we devote all our strength to fighting slavery, starting with opposing its spread into new Western states, and in time pushing for the emancipation of all slaves. Eventually, after a bloody Civil War, our cause succeeds.

    So what has been achieved? For starters, an execrable moral evil has been abolished. In time, nearly all of the country’s citizens will rightly believe that chattel slavery is abominable. An entire country will have repented of the anti-realist logic that was once used to justify chattel slavery.

    But what about the anti-realist logic used to justify other grave sins, such as heresy? That form of anti-logic will spread like wildfire and engulf the country.

    As you point out in your FAQ, the aspect of usury that makes it evil is not too dissimilar to chattel slavery. It is not inconceivable to me that if today’s predominant heretics (modernist SJWs) realized this, they could band together to fight usury, perhaps even succeeding in abolishing it in the form of 27th amendment.

    If that ever happened I would fully support the SJWs in this effort, even while vehemently disagreeing with 99% of all of their other beliefs and positions. And once usury was abolished, I would not anticipate that this would at all get us closer to one day rolling back the evils of the sexual revolution. Those lies would likely to continue engulfing the country, thanks to the now victorious anti-usury SJWs.

  • I’ll forge ahead with this line of inquiry. Would you say that, to use modern parlance, SJW – or, if you’d prefer since that perhaps might be a more recent phenomenon – liberal entryism is at the root of both of the “pastoral changes” we’ve seen in usury and sexual morality?

  • donnie says:

    Long story short: I can conceive of a future where our grandchildren’s grandchildren are taught from a young age that usury is a heinous abomination.

    I cannot conceive of a future where the same is taught about contraception, fornication, or sodomy, at least not until the Second Coming.

    Also, quick correction, in my comment above I meant 28th amendment, not 27th.

  • Zippy says:

    I can conceive of all sorts of possible futures. That and six bucks will buy you a ketogenic latte at Starbucks.

  • Zippy says:

    malcolm:
    “Entryism” implies greater coordinated agency than I would grant. I think most people really do believe that their own anti-realist premises or inarticulate sentiments are true.

  • But really believing it would make coordination more likely, not less, right?

  • Zippy says:

    malcom:
    Sure, people who think usury is morally licit and necessary for prosperity will naturally flock together, as will people who think that traditional sexual morality is a burdensome, cruel and false prejudice.

    This creates an “internal” conflict within modernity which contains any virtuous tendencies folks with different propensities might have. Left liberals demonize right liberals, right liberals demonize left liberals, each preens in their own moral superiority, and liberalism itself is never questioned. By keeping all conflict intramural liberalism insures against anyone questioning liberalism itself.

  • Step2 says:

    Mike T,
    Is it okay to refer to Milo as Colonel Klink?

    Zippy,
    What sort of fish questions water?

  • Wood says:

    Step2,

    Interesting article (the fish one). I can’t say I agree with it, but I enjoyed reading it and think it’s pertinent to much of the discussion in this thread. From my perspective, I think there’s a good bit of danger in questioning the water too much with no considerations for the bowl.

  • William Luse says:

    Step2, enjoyed the David Foster Wallace essay. It makes vivid the reality of qualia, and why there are so many sociopaths among us. I think he and Zippy would understand each other.

  • Mike T says:

    No one’s arguing they should be let off the hook, are they? I mean, it’s one thing to say mutuum loans are immoral, always and everywhere. It’s another to say that if someone gives you 500 bucks with an interest contract that you don’t owe them anything at all because mutuum loans are immoral so that money is just gone. At the very least you’d be on the hook for 500 reasonably.

    A contract is a legally binding moral obligation of sorts. Therefore if it is rooted in objective evil, it’s an oxymoron of sorts: an agreed upon obligation to do evil. Therefore by all rights, it should not be enforced by any competent authority adjudicating the matter.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    Right — should public resources be expended and authority exerted to enforce prostitutes’ claims for compensation against johns? Etc.

  • Of course, that should mean the deal is null and void completely – which would mean, yes, you do owe back the original 500, lest that be stealing.

    Or so it seems to me.

  • Mike T says:

    In the interim, usury could be adjudicated by taking existing contracts and modifying them by sovereign authority over both parties to terminate the recourse in particular assets of the borrower (decided by the authority if necessary). Beyond that, options exist such as fining the lender the amount of interest they’ve collected and assigning the interest paid by the borrower as either a tax obligation or additional principle so as to explicitly punish the borrower for seeking out a usurious loan.

  • Zippy says:

    malcolm:
    It is probably true that johns owe something – though that something may have little relation to their agreement – to prostitutes as a moral matter. But the sovereign has no business enforcing criminal agreements, in my view. And the less he does so, the less incentive people have to strike them in the first place.

  • Well, let’s say Joe gets 500 dollars from Bob, on the condition that each month he pays back 5 dollars of it plus 10% interest. Bob gets his 500 dollars.

    The sovereign suddenly declares usury unilaterally illegal and all usurious contracts null and void. Perhaps he shouldn’t regulate the exchange, but Joe should probably give back the five hundred dollars.

  • (Should be Joe gets his 500 dollars, of course.)

  • Zippy says:

    malcolm:
    What to enforce during transition is up to the prudential judgment of the sovereign, and certainly principal owed might – in some cases – be treated as severable, especially under “grandfathered” contracts. (See the post I linked upthread).

    Transitional periods aside, if I were king there would be two general sorts of cases. In the more egregiously exploitative cases the mutuum would be deemed a gift. In less exploitative cases the mutuum would be owed back to a designated charity like the Little Sisters of the Poor. In no cases would a lender who attempted a mutuum for interest receive his money back.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    What do you make of this? I know her reputation is… “mixed…” but seems somewhat plausible that Francis is not factually the Pope because Benedict resigned under invalid circumstances.

  • Zippy says:

    Barnhardt is gonna Barnhardt.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Zippy, could Barnhardt make you question Francis’ status by asserting that he is, indeed, the Pope?

  • Zippy says:

    Peter Blood:
    Barnhardt’s views are not a factor in what I think about much of anything.

  • Not a decent argument to be found in that lunatic rant. Pass.

  • Mike T says:

    Frankly, Benedict’s decision to resign did seem to have a whiff of duress to me. I found Benedict to be a particularly impressive priest every time I read his statements, particularly when he made a statement to the effect that the Catholic Church should begin preparing itself to grow much smaller in order to maintain its integrity.

    I will say that if you have followed the secular sex abuse scandals in the UK (BBC, Parliament, etc.) at all, it tends to lead one to wonder precisely what Benedict ultimately found at the higher levels of religious power. My guess is that just as the UK is finding that the highest levels of their political class are filled with pederasts and their enablers, Benedict probably hit on something equally evil. I’m not a Catholic, so I wouldn’t even know where to begin with in terms of guessing what Benedict could have actually done in real exercise of power if that were to be the true reason he stepped down. Could he have effectively dissolved the College of Cardinals, summarily defrocked vast numbers of bishops, etc?

  • Peter Blood says:

    Barnhardt reminds me of the narrator in Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman”. It all sounds so plausible, once you’re insane.

  • Yes, if we assume many things we have absolutely no evidence of, then it’s definitely true that other things might or might not be true.

    This isn’t very useful to me, though.

  • Mike T says:

    Yes, if we assume many things we have absolutely no evidence of, then it’s definitely true that other things might or might not be true.

    absolutely no evidence is a particularly powerful statement in this context.

  • It is. I stand by it.

  • Mike T says:

    Then you are, in effect, denying the epidemic of sex scandals because that is included in the absolutely no evidence. Absolutely no evidence means that it is in the realm of “flying spaghetti monster actually exists” territory.

  • Wood says:

    Mike T,

    I believe Malcolm’s point is, quite correctly, that there is no evidence Benedict invalidly abdicated, whether it was by Barnhardt’s premise or under duress related to the sexual abuse crisis. From personal experience, there are probably limits beyond which non-Catholics really shouldn’t trouble themselves with the inner baseball of the papacy. It’s often just a veiled attempt to find solace in rejecting the Catholic faith. 

  • Mike T,

    Wood is right. That there was an epidemic of sex scandals is in no way, shape, or form evidence Benedict invalidly abdicated.

  • Elostirion says:

    According to BBC, and others, Benedict did defrock several hundred Priests for child abuse, to partly answer your question Mike T. I don’t know if anything was done about Bishops and the like.

    On the validity of the resignation, it seems clear . The confusion seems to reside in what to do with an ex-pope. (See Ed Peters blog, an old article on the subject: https://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/papa-emeritus/ )

    I agree with Wood about the inner machinations, but extend the suggestion to Catholics. Who knows what’s going on in there all the time?

    An article about defrocking.

    (hopefully all the links work)

  • Zippy says:

    Speaking of interesting links, the lede seems buried here: http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/142257-jesuit-scholar-explains-pope-francis-views-love-marriage

    “Pope Francis, himself the son of divorced parents …”

    Don’t know if that is true or not.

  • GJ says:

    That doesn’t seem likely, since his father died before divorce was legalised in Argentina.

  • Mark Citadel says:

    I wanted to ask Zippy, is the belief that Pope Benedict is still the true pope a form of sedevacantism, or is there another term for this? I am encountering this increasingly when I interact with Reactionary Catholic circles. They believe that Benedict has not truly renounced the Papacy, and there has been foul play behind the scenes.

  • Per Zippy’s article, that is the only place I’ve EVER seen that claim made.

    Mark,

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think it matters much. It may technically not be sedevacantist now, but if Benedict dies before Francis it will be.

  • Zippy says:

    Mark Citadel:
    I don’t know the proper latin phrasing for “believing what you want to believe”.

  • Zippy says:

    malcolm:
    Same here. The article was forwarded by a reader.

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