A future “conservative” Catholic blog post

August 10, 2018 § 41 Comments

Some folks are getting all breathless about Pope Arius’ decision to officially recognize the dignity of homosexual marriages.

Is he going beyond his authority? Is he changing the catechism and breaking with centuries of church teaching? Is it true that if he does this he can do most anything? Rod Dreher over here seems  to think so.

I’m not so sure.

The classic example is the Catholic teaching against usury. In the Middle Ages the church taught that usury was a sin. It was argued that it was a sin because it was un natural. It used money to make money rather than honestly selling goods and services. Furthermore, it was invariably seen as a way for rich people to oppress the poor through high interest rates.

However, in the modern world the practice of lending money is far more complex and it is arguable that the money lender is indeed honestly selling a service–making loans. Furthermore, with loans being available to everyone, rather than oppressing the poor it is arguable that the poor are empowered by being able to borrow. They can get an education they could not otherwise afford and purchase things on credit to improve their lives. Is money lending still abused? Of course, but that’s not the main question.

When it comes to the death penalty the real change happened not with Pope Francis, but with Pope John Paul II.

§ 41 Responses to A future “conservative” Catholic blog post

  • Mike T says:

    I often get the feeling that the sort of people who like this papal decision imagine prison to be a monastic experience filled with reflection and penance in a serene cloister rather than what it really is: being locked in a big concrete cage with mostly unrepentant criminals and hoping that the guards are better men than the average person they’re guarding.

    A blogger I used to read had a rather salient observation about the DP that is relevant, which is that consistent causality combined with severe consequences are far more likely to drive home the need to repent or avoid the behavior altogether than letting men die of old age.

  • Mike T says:

    Also, Clyde Barrow of Bonnie and Clyde fame, apparently became a hardened criminal in prison. He went in as a soft, petty criminal and repeated homosexual violations that ended with him murdering his assailant left him the broken man that would be infamous for his violent crime sprees.

    That story has probably played out in varying degrees more times than we can ever count, and I doubt that the Pope would support the death penalty being swiftly applied to the sort of man who created the monstrous version of Clyde Barrow. Because dignity.

  • CJ says:

    “than letting men die of old age.”

    Well this may be a moot point because Francis has said that life without parole may be unacceptable/inadmissible/very bad no good.

  • djz242013 says:

    “Pope Arius” I loled

  • Mike T says:


    I don’t know if you’re serious, but Norway is already there. Their worst mass killer was only able to get a maximum of 21 years. That’s a few months per victim. In doing that, they’ve put the punishment into assault and battery territory, not murder in terms of sentencing.

    It’s sliding in the same logical direction as the way pro-lifers feel that women’s subjective opinions about babies in utero makes criminal punishment “problematic.” That slippery slope doesn’t end anywhere but reducing murder down to just another crime, just another felony at the worst.

  • T. Morris says:


  • Reginald McWhorter says:

    Well this is news to me. However, a person hosting a blog called Zippy “Catholic” might want to consider dropping “Catholic” from his name if he’s supporting the Pope’s decision on SSM.

  • Urban II says:

    In many of the discussions I’ve had with good Catholics I feel there is a complete lack of critical thinking. They tend to reason like this:

    1. Catholic Church cannot change doctrine;
    2. Pope says X;
    3. Ergo X is not a change in doctrine.

    So basically no matter what Pope Francis says they believe it can’t be a change in doctrine. Even if Pope Francis changed the Catechism to read “abortion is permissible in some cases” they would point to 1 and tell me nothing has changed.

  • @Urban II
    Or if he told us that adultery is sometimes what God asks of us.

  • Professor Q says:

    @Reginald McWhorter

    I believe our good host was engaging in satire, similar in spirit to Swift’s modest proposal. The point being that IF a future Pope (mockingly named Arius because Arius was an arch-heretic) endorses “gay” “marriage”, there will always be “conservatives” ready to defend his decision using nuanced (= duplicitous) arguments and language.

    For more context, you might want to look at the original (and rather shameful) post by Fr. Dwight Longenecker.

    Seriously, I sometimes think the real conspiracy against the Church is not so much one of Jews, Marxists, Freemasons or homosexuals, but of Protestant converts acting as a Hydra-like Fifth Column.

  • CJ says:

    Mike T

    Yeah, I’m dead serious. https://www.yahoo.com/news/pope-brands-life-prison-hidden-death-sentence-205903271.html

    I expect that from a far left, secularized Scandinavian country. Its different when the woke foolishness is COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE.

  • T. Morris says:

    CJ & Mike T.:

    Over the course of the last couple of years at least, I have had occasion to contemplate, at the risk of being branded… whatever, whether Pope Francis suffers from a more or less severe case of mild retardation. (pardon the pun)

    I once had a good friend (someone I had known since early childhood) who got into some trouble at 18, and spent the next ten years of his life in prison. Immediately after he got out of prison, he tracked me down and asked me for a job. I hired him of course, based on our past friendship, and with only two stipulations – that he cut his hair to a respectable length, and that he cover the tattoos he had acquired while in prison. He agreed to both, and our working relationship was almost altogether good for a year and a half, before he began to backslide into his former life of petty criminality. Towards the end of which we got into a heated discussion concerning the death penalty and life imprisonment for hardened criminals. I cited scripture at one point in the argument, explaining that, ultimately, his disagreement was not with me, but with God himself, declaring that he should take the issue up with God if he had a problem with it. To which he immediately stood to his feet, raised his clinched fist into the air and pronounced, “You’re wrong, God, you’re wrong!” I was a little shocked by his performance initially, but soon gained my composure and told him to leave my house. Which he did, and I have only seen or heard from him one time since. That incident occurred over 20 years ago; I’m almost afraid to track him down now as I imagine he is probably back in prison serving time for a crime I’m not sure I care to know about.

    At times I think of Francis in the same basic way. He seems to have the spirit for throwing up his clinched fist and declaring that God (and His Church) has simply been wrong over the centuries concerning homosexuality, divorce, the death penalty and so on. I hope not, for his soul’s sake. But it sure seems that way.

  • donalgraeme says:

    I have a great book recommendation for you mate. It offers some advice on how to end world hunger:

  • Roman Lance says:

    @Professor Q

    “Seriously, I sometimes think the real conspiracy against the Church is not so much one of Jews, Marxists, Freemasons or homosexuals, but of Protestant converts acting as a Hydra-like Fifth Column.”

    I call the protestant Fifth Column in charge of making us more pleasing to to their old doctrines, members of Team Convert.

    There is a real, but subtle, battle going on between us “cradle” Catholics and Team Convert. I sometimes read about it in diocesan publications where they extol the “great education” of Team Convert and denounce how shameful it is that us “cradle” Catholics don’t really understand the Faith.

    Like these converts will ever know what it is like to be raised Catholic, from childhood, in a hostile environment they themselves facilitated with their protestant shenanigans.

    Team Convert = Liberal Catholic.

  • Matt says:

    Last I checked, neither Pope Francis nor virtually any of the cardinals that hired him are protestant converts.

  • Roman Lance says:


    I didn’t say they were the ONLY liberal Catholics.

    Also with regards to Team Convert, I don’t consider every convert a member. For instance the ones that enter the church and keep their mouths shut and learn from lifelong members about what it means to be Catholic and live within Catholic culture, I don’t consider to be members of Team Convert.

    It’s the ones who come into the Church and want to take over running parishes and parish ministries( Like teaching RCIA, or organizing Youth Group activities) because they are just so gosh darn jazzed about being Catholic, while barely having lived life as a Catholic.

    They simply need to Pay, Pray, and Obey, quietly. For a several years at least, till they take down the banner “Catholic Convert” and raise the banner “Catholic”.

  • T. Morris says:

    Roman Lance:

    It’s the ones who come into the Church and want to take over running parishes and parish ministries…

    I agree 100% with what you’ve said, but I thought the above portion humorous as I’ve known the type in the past from their moving from church to church every other month within Protestant denominations.

    It’s in their DNA.

  • Roman Lance says:

    @T Morris

    “… Pope Francis suffers from a more or less severe case of mild retardation.”

    I think this same sentiment can be expressed concerning many of the men peopling the Catholic priesthood.

    They talk to the “audience” like children (for that is how they view us, as an audience), speak using cute expressions, tell “funny” jokes to get our attention, etc., because we must always be entertained, so they think.

    What is causing this type of sentiment other than a generalized retardation of our Priests.

    Of course it may be that the powers-that-be are purposefully recruiting people who are of a functional enough IQ to not be considered retarded, but still smart enough to offer a dumb downed Mass yet to stupid to ask difficult questions.

  • Professor Q says:

    @Roman Lance

    Excellent point. In fact, quite contrary to what the Epistles of Saint Paul teach, a lot of what passes for “Catholic apologetics” these days is done by members of “Team Convert”, such as Armstrong and Akin. However, when I alluded to the sinister effects of converts, I was casting my net a little wider.

    A simple illustration: what do the following cases all have in common?

    1. An author who poses as a Catholic apologist, but does hardly any apologetics, preferring instead to display his vituperative antipathy towards a man named Donald J. Trump in his every word and deed. Said author surrounds himself with a combox coterie of atheists, lapsed Catholics, homosexuals and “alt-left” types. In fact, he could verily be called “Catholic alt-left” without a hint of sarcasm.

    2. A bishop who belongs to a well-known traditionalist group. Said bishop has bizarre ways of demonstrating his “traditionalist” credentials, which include writing grade-school poetry, championing a bad fan-fic by one Maria Valtorta, embarrassing his group by making indiscreet comments to the media, starting a schism in said group, and being one of the few documented cases of Sound Of Music Derangement Syndrome.

    3. A “traditionalist” blogger who has a substantial following, but undermines her own work in ways that make the Landover Baptist Church look subtle. These include using crude language to the point of self-parody, coining a neologism to replace Anno Domini which sounds like a German rude word, championing usury, inventing “scientific” theories related to the Blessed Virgin which border on blasphemy, and hypocrisy when it comes to immoral behaviour among political figures.

    Answer: all Protestant converts. (Figuring out who they are, especially the first two, should be child’s play.)

    None dare call it conspiracy….

  • Roman Lance says:

    @Professor Q

    Ok, I’m pretty sure I know who #3 three is, and possibly #2, and #1 seems to be reflective of a certain Seattle based guy I’ve read, who writes for the diocesan publication we receive regularly.

    Of the three, #3 Is the one we have the largest problem with around my house. It seems she is also a champion for the bombing of children in Dresden because their parents paid taxes, who also deserved to be bombed for said violation.

    The other interesting facet of her diatribe over who deserved to die for paying taxes is that she doesn’t point to the jews as getting what they deserved for paying taxes; from her they receive nothing but empathy.

    Cognitive dissonance at it finest. And yet she still ends her vids with the sugary, breathless declaration “I Love You”.

    Also I like the term “Ctrl-Left” for those bozos on the left.

  • Mike T says:

    What you’re describing is more like SJW entryism than something you can blame on converts. In fact, if you read both of Vox Day’s SJW books, you’ll find that what you’re describing is eerily similar to what is described in those books and it is very much a problem we face as well.

    As a rule of thumb, allowing new members to take on a leadership role is stupid no matter what the issue is. You have no idea who they are. You have no notion of how sincere they are.

  • Zippy says:

    I think Mike T may have just made an argument for choosing Italian — or at least European — popes.

  • Professor Q says:

    @Roman Lance

    “Ctrl-Left” is a fantastic term. I think I shall borrow it from now on. Sadly, the Catholic Ctrl-Left is a very real phenomenon, with the iniquitous Patheos platform as its epicentre.

    @Mike T, Zippy
    While I agree with you in principle, given the current state of the Church in much of Europe, I wonder how it would play out in practice. (Not to mention that the stacking of the College of Cardinals with non-Europeans means that it, like FIDE, is going to deliver less-than-optimal results…)

  • Mike T says:

    I think Mike T may have just made an argument for choosing Italian — or at least European — popes.

    If it were me, I’d find a hard-line African bishop. One that makes Benedict look like Francis in terms of compromise. The Anglican ones scare the heck out of mainstream liberals in the US.

    You want to have a chance of ending the sex scandals decisively? That’s how you do it. Get a man whose faith was forged in the front lines of the Muslim-Christian divide. He’ll sooner have the priests and bishops crucified outside of their parish churches than slap them on the wrist.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    Robert Cardinal Sarah isn’t everything we could wish for in our wildest fantasies, but methinks he’s a very good starting point.

  • CJ says:

    Mike T – The SJW whiplash would be something to behold:
    “Black Pope Yay! White males closer to the dustbin of history!”
    *Learns his positions on their pet issues*
    “False consciousness! Religious Coonery! Mind Colonization!”

  • Zippy says:


    It seems like a well established pattern. Liberals never had any problem slandering and dismissing Clarence Thomas.

    Literally anyone, with any set of characteristics, can be the Low Man. What makes you the Low Man is not skin color but any in-principle opposition to liberalism (as a particular liberal sees it).

  • Mike T says:

    If a black bishop orders an auto da fe for a homosexual heretic priest, is it oppression neutral?

  • Professor Q says:


    I sometimes have a vision of a Pope Sarah, rather than the SSPX, being the late Marcel Lefebvre’s real gift to the Church. And to be honest, I can’t think of a better candidate among the current Cardinals.

    @Mike T
    Now that is a fine example of intersectionality in action!

  • CJ says:

    Mike T – Nah, it’s straight up oppression. Gays currently outrank black men on the victim scale. The Root- an online black progressive rag- published an article stating that straight black men are the white people of black people. We oppress black women and black alphabet people with our cishet privilege.

  • Mike T says:

    The Root- an online black progressive rag- published an article stating that straight black men are the white people of black people.

    Someone call the police, the black man stole my white privilege.

  • Mike T says:


    I feel like there’s a meme opportunity here. The early version in my head is “Rainbow Hitler.” You too can be Hitler thanks to the magic of intersectionality.

  • Cardinal Sarah is a remarkable and brilliant man. He’d be a terrific pope.

  • Mike T says:

    I’ve noticed that almost every time I smell sulfur in a Catholic writer’s arguments, a common pattern is to make a big to do about “human dignity.”

    – We can’t let people starve to death if they refuse to work. Because dignity.
    – We can’t execute people who commit senseless violence. Because dignity.
    – We can’t suppress homosexuality or even homosexual advocacy. Because dignity.

    I propose that it’s almost an axiom that if you see “human dignity” referenced in any context other than doing good to them by upholding the natural and divine laws, the argument can be dismissed as satanic.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    Literally anyone, with any set of characteristics, can be the Low Man.

    This is why I don’t pay much attention to “hierarchies” of victimization and oppression. Plus, if you ask an actual honest-to-goodness liberal who is on top ofnthe hierarchy, you’re unlikely to get any answer and get shut down for even for asking the question.

  • Professor Q says:

    @Mike T
    I’ve noticed that too. “Human dignity” as a secular concept is all of a piece with “rights talk” and reminds me of the late great Pope Leo XIII’s words: “The world has heard enough of the rights of man. Let it hear about the rights of God.”

  • buckyinky says:

    Re: human dignity and Catholicism, I don’t have enough breadth on the subject to warrant an overall opinion, but the presence of “human dignity” in a Catholic article often raises my hackles – that’s my preliminary reaction anyways.

    Just encountered that sort of thing in my daily exercise internet-errantry against feminism over at Crisis. Incidentally, there’s an interesting motte-and-bailey occurring in the comment section. The motte amounts to “What kind of jerk are you that you can’t just appreciate Father writing a nice article about the accomplishments of women scientists?”

  • Urban II says:

    Liberals have purposely distorted and perverted Christian concepts. This includes love, hate, human dignity, social justice and marriage. We see this all the time. In SJWism, love, human dignity and social justice are different words for liberalism and being “full of hate” means being the Low Man. Unfortunately too many Christians unknowingly buy into these perversions.

  • Marissa says:

    “We can’t suppress homosexuality or even homosexual advocacy. Because dignity.”

    From what I understand there are two groups for struggling homosexuals in the church. One is called Courage and assists members in practicing chastity and trying to overcome their fault. The other group agitates for pro-sodomy causes in the church. That group is called Dignity.

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