At least the rationalization hamsters are fecund

September 12, 2018 § 76 Comments

Natural, un-mutilated heterosexual intercourse has – qua kind of behaviour – an intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.  This is easily demonstrated by the fact that if all natural, un-mutilated heterosexual intercourse (as a kind of behaviour) ceased then human life would cease to procreate.  There is an intrinsic relationship between this specific kind of behaviour[1] and procreation of human life.

Mutilated sexual acts (including but not limited to masturbation, sodomy, condomistic sex, and masturbation into a deliberately poisoned womb) do not have – qua kind of behaviour – this intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.  If all instances of this kind of behaviour ceased it would have no effect on the procreation of human life (except to the extent that people would substitute natural sex for unnatural sex: the cessation of unnatural sexual behaviours would certainly not impair procreation).

The Catholic Church teaches that all sexual acts must of necessity – in order to be morally licit – retain their intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life, in just this sense.

Whatever one may think of the moral implications of this particular distinction in kinds of behavior, it is certainly both intelligible and entirely consistent with scientific facts.  Substituting a different meaning into the words “intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life” does not actually alter the consistency of the original and actual meaning; let alone does such substitution falsify Catholic moral doctrine as a “empirically observable fact.”

In other words, in an “average” 28 day cycle, there is no potential for procreation in roughly 22 of the 28 days present. Sexual activity during this period has no “intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.” This is not my opinion, it is an empirically observable fact, like the Earth’s rotation around the Sun.

This kind of nonsense on stilts might make one wonder where the rationalization is coming from.


[1] Knowledge about human fertility, or its lack, obviously does not alter the nature of the kind of behaviour itself. If all instances of (e.g.) sodomy (both by people who know lots about human fertility and those who know nothing about it) ceased, that would not impair procreation of human life.  If all instances of natural heterosexual intercourse (both by people who know lots about human fertility and those who know nothing about it) ceased, human procreation would cease.

§ 76 Responses to At least the rationalization hamsters are fecund

  • Rhetocrates says:

    Even granting the quoted point, which I’m far from doing, given the premises of the Catholic position that’s an argument for greater abstinence rather than mutilated sex. The natural conclusion would be that you should do your best to figure out when your wife is pregnable and only have sex with her then.

    Fortunately, this is in fact not what the Church teaches, because in this case the portion of the purpose of marriage which is to avoid the occasion of temptation would not function very well.

  • Professor Q says:

    @Rhetocrates:

    A rigorist reading of the Church Fathers would support such a conclusion (i.e., that marital intercourse is not merely ordered to procreation but meant solely for it and not for pleasure – or “the unitive aspect” to Theology of the Body fanatics) and provoked a medium-sized explosion on a Traditional Catholic forum I sometimes frequent as a lurker.

    Fortunately or otherwise, the Church has never endorsed this interpretation, stopping short at the seminal works of Pius XI and Paul VI.

  • Marissa says:

    The Church doesn’t forbid naturally infertile couples from sex, right? Why would it matter if such fertility were temporary or permanent?

    Is Slumlord still at it after all these years?

  • Orthros says:

    “Fertile” is in the eye of the beholder. Quite often, God has a different view than man.

    Joakim and Anna were “infertile”. So were Abraham and Sarah.

    Sex for such couples was (and is) acceptable precisely because we think we know what can happen, but it is God alone who opens and closes the womb. Assuming of course that they are open to the blessing of any children God chooses to send their way, an assumption in which we are societally becoming less and less confident in over time.

    I’m amazed that folks can see how damaging degeneracy and ABC is (and boy, is it), but then fail to grasp that – to use Zippy’s analogy – if people only had sex when they couldn’t naturally conceive, then you’d have equal elimination of procreation as you do with sodomy, The Pill, etc.

    It really reads like Protestants I’ve debated who argue quite strenuously that sins of omission aren’t sins because “you can’t sin by failure to do something”.

  • Zippy says:

    As in the case of usury, the actual traditional doctrine – as opposed to its pervasive caricature – is eminently reasonable.

    But quasi-Mohammedan caricatures serve the purposes of two kinds of folks, who become otherwise unlikely allies: certain kinds of trad-oriented cranks (Michael Hoffman comes to mind on usury) , and progressives who try to assert the brittle crank opinion as a kind of reductio ad absurdam of the Church’s doctrine.

  • LarryDickson says:

    Hooray, Zippy! I don’t know who you are quoting from, but that kind of “God likes to torture us” opinion is alien even to the Old Testament. Spend some time reading the Law and see that God is always giving people a break – just not to the point of self-destruction. Your source could equally say that it is evil to drink Coke Zero because it tastes sweet while not providing calories. A general openness, as of one spouse with procreative powers to the other spouse with procreative powers, is how the Church wisely interprets the natural law.

    The great clue that NFP ls licit and good is the very low divorce rate of couples who practice it. “For I hate divorce” says the Lord, the God of Israel (Malachi 2:16).

  • Mike T says:

    because in this case the portion of the purpose of marriage which is to avoid the occasion of temptation would not function very well.

    Extend it further. Then men couldn’t have sex with their pregnant wives either. At some point the normal, non-degenerate male sex drive would be simply fundamentally out of tune with the proper “natural use of a woman” and it would reduce to the point of being ridiculous.

  • Mike T says:

    It really reads like Protestants I’ve debated who argue quite strenuously that sins of omission aren’t sins because “you can’t sin by failure to do something”.

    We certainly have our share of idiots. I am a Protestant and I could falsify that by simply pointing to the people in the Good Samaritan who failed to do anything and juxtaposing that with the 2nd commandment.

  • Robert Brockman says:

    “This is easily demonstrated by the fact that if all natural, un-mutilated heterosexual intercourse (as a kind of behaviour) ceased then human life would cease to procreate.”

    With IVF this is manifestly no longer true. It is now quite practical to sustain human procreation with no natural un-mutilated heterosexual intercourse whatsoever. Whether this is a good idea or not is another matter.

  • Zippy says:

    Robert Brockman:

    Whatever frankenstein future or present may obtain, the essential connection can be demonstrated by an historical claim: the human race would not exist without natural heterosexual intercourse; and whether the human race can continue to exist entirely absent natural heterosexual intercourse is not a settled question.

  • The human race seems to be procreating just fine. Perhaps you are referring to a more specific subset of the human race?

  • Zippy says:

    Is the human race procreating in the complete absence of natural heterosexual intercourse?

  • Zippy says:

    The (manifest) connection restated:

    The human race has and does propagate as a species through natural heterosexual intercourse. Whether the human race can or cannot continue as a species in the complete absence of natural heterosexual intercourse, using only frankenstein methods, is at best a speculative question of science fiction. That the human race in fact has and does in fact procreate through natural heterosexual intercourse is an indisputable empirical fact.

  • Zippy says:

    Therefore, for anyone having a hard time following along, natural heterosexual intercourse has an intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life — as distinguished from (e.g.) masturbation, sodomy, etc. which lack this intrinsic relationship.

    Finally, to restate the OP, it makes no sense to criticize Church teaching on the intrinsic relationship between procreation and natural heterosexual intercourse – a relationship absent when it comes to sodomy etc – by ascribing some entirely different meaning to the phrase “intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.” To anyone paying attention this is not an actual criticism of the actual moral claim: it is a change of subject, an equivocation: a straw man.

  • Mike T says:

    With IVF this is manifestly no longer true. It is now quite practical to sustain human procreation with no natural un-mutilated heterosexual intercourse whatsoever.

    You want to make MGTOW the default behavior? That would do it. We wouldn’t be able to keep the IVF clinics running because the “ladies” wouldn’t replace the men who gave up on the dirty jobs that keep the lights on.

  • Robert Brockman says:

    “Whether the human race can or cannot continue as a species in the complete absence of natural heterosexual intercourse, using only frankenstein methods, is at best a speculative question of science fiction.”

    My friend’s two teenage daughters are not a speculative question of science fiction — they exist, the technology works. If natural heterosexual intercourse became impossible tomorrow, the species would continue.

    By allowing the efficient murder of “defective” offspring, IVF plus genetic screening may actually decrease the overall cost of raising children. (Another example that optimization is wickedness.)

    None of this tells us anything about whether the use of this technology is *good*.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    If natural heterosexual intercourse became impossible tomorrow, the species would continue.

    That WHOOSH you hear is the point flying by somewhere over your head.

    Wheelchairs exist, therefore legs are not intrinsically related to locomotion.

    Facebook exists, therefore talking to people is not intrinsically related to human relationships.

    Hydroponic factories exist, therefore farming is not intrinsically related to food.

    All these statements are absurd in the exact same way as the one you’re stuck on.

  • William Luse says:

    Mr. Brockman, the man Zippy quotes in the OP is making the claim that sex between husband and wife during the infertile period bears no “intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.” That, in other words, sex during the infertile period is a different kind of act than during the fertile period. (To which I’d ask: then why do couples contracept during the infertile period – unless they’re afraid of something.)

    But for the life of me I can’t figure out what that has to do with IVF, since IVF is not a kind of mutilated sexual act. It is an attempt to manufacture a human being by eliminating the need for sex altogether. If your purpose was to catch Zippy in factual falsehood, well congratulations, maybe you did but…who cares?

  • Is the human race procreating in the complete absence of natural heterosexual intercourse?

    Well yes. As Mike T pointed out.

  • Zippy says:

    Note that “some individual human beings in individual cases” and “the human race” are not the same referent.

    Again, the contention that the human race would or could survive in the complete absence of natural sexual intercourse is science fiction, and not especially plausible science fiction.

  • Zippy says:

    Natural sexual intercourse has an (manifest) intrinsic connection to procreation of the species which unnatural sexual behaviours – sodomy etc – do not have. To deny this is simply ludicrous.

    It is one thing to concede the point, and go on to claim that unnatural (in this specific sense) sexual behaviours are nevertheless morally OK. But to obstinately refuse to acknowledge the intellectual coherence and manifest factuality of the distinction – between kinds of sexual behaviour which have an intrinsic relation to procreation and kinds which do not, in just this sense – doesn’t demonstrate anything other than the intellectual deficiencies of the person making the claim.

  • If your point is to explain the logic behind the church’s teaching then we are on the same page.

  • Scott W. says:

    A little catechism on the IVF thing fyi (my emphasis):

    2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.”166

    2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. the act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children.”167 “Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses’ union …. Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person.”168

  • Bruce says:

    Professor Q
    “A rigorist reading of the Church Fathers would support such a conclusion (i.e., that marital intercourse is not merely ordered to procreation but meant solely for it and not for pleasure …………….
    Fortunately or otherwise, the Church has never endorsed this interpretation, stopping short at the seminal works of Pius XI and Paul VI.”

    This comment was helpful to me. I have a tendency to see the Church Fathers as especially “pure” in their theology (because of their proximity to the source). However, the Church Fathers are not the Church.

  • Bruce says:

    It’s about the acts we choose being open to creation of life – however improbable we think that may be.

  • Bruce says:

    The quoted author says:

    “Suppose a couple are too poor to afford contraception and already have six children and don’t want anymore. A U.S. government sponsored program is offering free sterilizations. I know it’s wrong but I don’t know if it’s mortal given the new evaluative context. I don’t have a firm position on this.”

    I know this is besides his point (and Zippy’s) but this line always bugs me. We contracept and abort our children at precisely the time in history when virtually all of us can afford them.

  • Mike T says:

    The idea that anyone living in the US cannot afford contraception is almost a litmus test for whether you’re a bonehead or not. Right now, I could buy a month’s supply of premium condoms from any grocery store with a $20 bill and have ample change left over. If you honestly cannot afford that as a grown man or woman, you probably deserve to be punished if you procreate anyway because you’re a social parasite.

  • Mike T says:

    Also, back in the real world one also notices that it’s precisely the families that have 6+ kids that never seem to worry about affording such things, while it is families with 1-2 kids or singles who seem perpetually worried about affording rubbers and cheap pills.

  • Bruce says:

    And McMansions. All of our kids have to share a room with at least one other – three of them share one room, our daughter shares a room with her younger brother, etc. – the horror!!!

  • TomD says:

    “Afford” is code for “afford with no additional requirements on me” – which means nobody can afford children, as children are needy and demanding.

    And Aquinas said, many years ago:

    “I answer that, Since no act proceeding from a deliberate will is indifferent, as stated in the Second Book (Sent. ii, D, 40, 1, 3; I-II, 18, 9), the marriage act is always either sinful or meritorious in one who is in a state of grace. For if the motive for the marriage act be a virtue, whether of justice that they may render the debt, or of religion, that they may beget children for the worship of God, it is meritorious. But if the motive be lust, yet not excluding the marriage blessings, namely that he would by no means be willing to go to another woman, it is a venial sin; while if he exclude the marriage blessings, so as to be disposed to act in like manner with any woman, it is a mortal sin. And nature cannot move without being either directed by reason, and thus it will be an act of virtue, or not so directed, and then it will be an act of lust.”

    which seems pretty clear.

    And I suspect much of the problems we face come from denying venial sins, which lead to denial of mortal sins, too.

  • GM says:

    What I would like to hear The Social Pathologist comment on is this: if the final end of coitus is the depositing of live sperm, then what is the final end of the live sperm? Can that final end be frustrated?

    It is ironic that he fails to see that he is taking substantially the same position as did the Aristotelian biologists: he thinks that the telos of sex is exhausted by the male contribution to the procreative act.

    But at least the old biology was logically consistent: if you believe that the female body’s contribution to procreation is entirely passive, then it is only in modulating the male contribution that the sexual act is morally accessible.

    The Social Pathologist’s improvement on this view is to see that the female body is not entirely passive, and to conclude from this lack of perfect passivity that the female body is morally irrelevant. Now that he sees that the female contribution to procreation is in some sense only available 6 out of 28 days, he concludes that it is therefore morally licit to make that contribution available 0 out of 28 days.

  • Zippy says:

    GM:

    Now that he sees that the female contribution to procreation is in some sense only available 6 out of 28 days, he concludes that it is therefore morally licit to make that contribution available 0 out of 28 days.

    Another way to put it is that he notices (as if this extra special noticing is some new achievement of Science[TM] rather than something known to pretty much all of humanity throughout all of recorded history) that female fertitlity is only receptive to natural sexual intercourse – in the sense of actually producing a child – some of the time.

    He then concludes that certain unnatural sexual behaviours which render female fertility unavailable all of the time – e.g. masturbating into a deliberately poisoned womb – are morally licit.

  • Paul J Cella says:

    A friend sent along a certain vividly-written tweetstorm by a Mormon lady excoriating men for “irresponsible ejaculations.” It struck me that while altogether too colorful for the eminently tactful formulations of Humanae Vitae, the phrase does capture some of the great encyclical’s philosophical rigor. The only type of “responsible” (read: licit) ejaculation is one with the natural biological end in sight, so to speak: the begetting of children.

    But some of these arguments, in my view, have a tendency to obscure the essential and astounding mystery of the whole matter. Despite our learning and our researches, we have not, in truth, demystified procreation. Except for a few, very rare cases, no one can say with final confidence, how or why a given instance of conception was accomplished. Parents might have a notion of which weekend or even which evening resulted in which child, but these are just, at best, educated guesses; and the count of children now living, who were conceived despite their parents’ best contraceptive efforts, cannot even be estimated.

    A proper view of human sexuality keeps this mystery ever in the minds of men and women. All sexual congress between healthy males and females may result in a child. It was the genius of Humanae Vitae‘s tactful elucidations, to brilliantly predict the ruin that would ensue upon the attempt to drive the mystery from view and pretend that human efforts have conquered it. They have not, will not and cannot conquer it; for the generation of new immortal souls is always the business of God alone. We can only, by His extraordinary gift, participate, ever without perfect knowledge, in the mystery.

  • Mike T says:

    That Tweetstorm for anyone interested. If you’ve ever seen a “Christian feminist” blame men for why da womynz must abort, you can guess most of it and none of it will surprise you.

    Simple tweet response she deserved: “Bitch, his irresponsible ejaculation wouldn’t have gotten you pregnant if you kept your legs closed. #TakesTwo.”

  • Mike T says:

    People like to say “1984 is not an instruction manual,” but I think our society is using Don Quixote as its manual given how our chief sin seems to be declaring war on reality.

  • GM says:

    Zippy:

    Another way to put it is that he notices (as if this extra special noticing is some new achievement of Science[TM] rather than something known to pretty much all of humanity throughout all of recorded history) that female fertitlity is only receptive to natural sexual intercourse – in the sense of actually producing a child – some of the time.

    Yup. It’s like when philosophers of mind act as if no one before Phineas Gage’s doctor understood that the body impacts the mind (that a bonk on the head could influence your personality, or that you need functioning eyes and brain in order to see).

  • wdydfae says:

    Folks, a colleague just forwarded me this terrible news:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2018/09/some-bad-news.html

    If true, this is a profound loss for me and I think for Catholicism and Christianity. Though mostly a lurker, I cannot overstate how much Zippy’s blog had begun to shape my thinking.

  • wdydfae says:

    I hope it remains, thoroughly archived.

    RIP Zippy.

  • Wood says:

    Is this real? I am unspeakably heartbroken. I don’t honestly know what to say to this.

  • wdydfae says:

    It shouldn’t have been me putting that up. I know some of you knew Zippy very well and quite personally. Respect to you all.

    I am like a sheep without a shepherd on this.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Hello all.

    Though I have no way to offer any proof at the moment, I am Zippy’s son. My real name, which he gave to me, is Gabriel.

    My father, whose real name is Matthew, was indeed killed in an accident on the road two days ago. My family and I are still reeling at the loss.

    I am currently in the midst of trying to make funeral arrangements while also caring for my family. While I don’t have the time or energy to give him a proper send off now, I plan on writing something of an obituary for him and posting it to this blog later. For now, all I will say is that no one who knew him could possibly doubt his powerful love for God and his family. To have that man as my father is the greatest blessing God has ever given me.

    I would ask you all to pray for the repose of his soul and the peace of his widow, my mother.

    Thank you all.

    Pax Christi.

  • William Luse says:

    You don’t need to offer proof, Gabe. Several of us can vouch for you. Love to your mom and sis.

    This is an immeasurable loss, but I don’t think God will be slow to embrace one so zealous of the Truth.

  • Kristor says:

    Dear Gabriel, and all your family: know that I am devastated at this news. Despite our never having met in person, your father was a good friend to me, and a great teacher. His is among the most brilliant, coherent, careful, *good* minds I have ever encountered, and that is saying something. I shall eagerly await our reunion with Matt, and look forward to many defeats at his hands.

    And, I look forward to meeting you there, too, strong man of God.

    God bless you, Matthew. See you soon.

    When we’ve been there 10,000 years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ll no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.

    Kristor

  • Cane Caldo says:

    I feel cheated, and I never knew him.

    Gabriel, I can’t imagine your thoughts.

  • Matthew did more to influence the way I think right now than any human being since Dr. Feser. He is a man whose writing shined with truth and conviction.

    I am praying for you and your father, Gabriel.

  • pukeko60 says:

    Very sad to hear of this

  • slumlord says:

    This tragic news genuinely grieves me.
    My condolences to you and your family.
    May he rest in God’s eternal peace.

  • Alex says:

    Are you guys serious?

    I first came to this blog a few years ago, slightly after my conversion to the Church, the religion I had been born into but rejected. Zippy’s articles helped me see and understand a lot about the faith, especially about authority, usury and how today’s world came to be.

    I am a bit shocked by this news. I never interacted much in this blog; I always thought there would be enough time for that later. I always hoped I would some day understand these things better myself and maybe even become Zippy’s friend. Maybe meet him in person and thank him for all he had done for me.

    I… still have that hope. I hope to someday meet him yet, and thank him for everything. And to be his friend.

    Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine
    Et lux perpetua luceat ei:
    Requiescat in pace.
    Amen.

    Thank you for everything, Zippy. I mean, Matthew. And thank you, Gabriel.

  • Advenedizo says:

    I do not know what to write.

    RIP Zippy. I will pray for you and your family.

  • vetdoctor says:

    God Bless.

    Matt, I’m going to miss you.

  • Professor Q says:

    Dear God, this is terrible news.

    Zippy was someone I have considered a voice of reason in the wilderness for a long while.

    May his soul rest in peace and may the God he served so well grant his his reward and comfort his family.

    Lux aeterna, Zippy. You were loved and respected more than you ever knew.

    Q.

  • Gabriel,

    I’m profoundly sorry for you loss. I had told your father that I was starting on some philosophy articles, one of which I will present next year, on the traditional usury doctrine which he seemed excited to hear. I know it is not much but I will dedicated all of my work to his memory.

    God bless your family.

    Eternal rest grant unto Matthew, O Lord and may the perpetual light of your face shine upon him.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    My father, whose real name is Matthew, was indeed killed in an accident on the road two days ago. My family and I are still reeling at the loss.

    I would ask you all to pray for the repose of his soul and the peace of his widow, my mother.

    Two questions. First, would you be willing to handle a subscription to have a Mass said for his repose? Such things aren’t much done in the US to my knowledge, with priests preferring instead to simply take intentions and hold them during a regularly scheduled Mass, but it’s a way for us laity to participate more fully in the Requiem, methinks.

    Second, and of much less importance: would you like help creating an off-line archive of this blog?

    I’m certainly a relative newcomer ’round these parts, but Zippy (Matthew) was instrumental in bringing me closer to the Magisterium of the Church, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I hope to one day meet him face to face in the hereafter.

    I will say a rosary tonight for him, and every night this week. May the Mother of Mercy have mercy upon him.

  • Novaseeker says:

    Incredibly sorry to hear of this, Gabriel. Your father was indeed someone very special.

    Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Your servant, Matthew, who has fallen asleep, in Your Kingdom, where there is no pain, sorrow or suffering. In Your goodness and love for all men, pardon all the sins he committed in thought, word or deed, for there is no person who lives and is without sin, You alone are without sin. For You are the Resurrection, the Life, and Repose of your servant, Matthew, departed this life, O Christ our God, and to You do we send up glory with Your eternal Father and your all-Holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages, Amen.

    + Memory eternal!

  • Ian says:

    Very sad. I will offer my prayers.

    By the way, Gabriel, I always thought that in your comments you sounded uncommonly like Matt. Now I know why.

  • djz242013 says:

    By far the most upsetting news I’ve recently received. Love this blog, wish I’d known the man better. I was influenced to join the Catholic church by his clear thinking. Praying for his soul.

  • King Richard says:

    A blow. All condolences to the family; we will have a Mass said for him ASAP.

  • Andrew E. says:

    Shocking. A big loss. I too will offer my prayers.

  • Dalrock says:

    I am so sorry for your loss Gabriel. Your father inspired me with his enormous faith and taught me more than I can measure. I know that I am but one of many in that regard.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Thank you, Gabriel. Thank you for coming into this thread and announcing this and paving the way for other announcements. Thank you for all that you are doing now with your mother and family. Thank you for being strong in this painful time. My prayers are with you and your family and, if a Protestant may pray for a soul, with Matt as well.

    We who knew Matt at What’s Wrong With the World are grieving this loss. We will be posting a remembrance of him soon, after we have processed this and have been able to write something.

  • c matt says:

    I have been a long time admirer of your father, one of the most brilliant minds I have ever come across. So far above my own, but always willing to explain and explain well. He and your family are in my prayers.

  • T. Morris says:

    Thoughts and prayers, and mine and my family’s deepest condolences and sympathies, dear Gabriel. This unexpected news hit me like a punch to the gut when I first read it up thread late yesterday evening. Your father was a great mind and defender of the faith, and please believe me when I say that I, too, am grieving Matthew’s loss. I only wish I had gotten to know him better.

  • buckyinky says:

    I send my condolences to you and your family Gabriel. May our Lord comfort you in your loss.

    Your father helped me a great deal in understanding the Faith, not least in the patience he showed in suffering ignorant, yet honest, questions from the likes of me.

    Eternal rest grant unto Matthew, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.

  • Boxer says:

    Much love to you and your family, Gabriel. I met your father, in the online sense, over ten years ago. He was something of a father to me also. Peace!

  • GK Chesterton says:

    Prayers with you Gabriel. I posted here almost not at all, but I engaged frequently with him elsewhere and enjoyed reading him. He was a great and inspirational thinker.

  • Gabriel,

    I, like Wood, am also heartbroken. You, your family, and your father will be in my prayers.

    Pax Christi to you as well.

  • Bonald says:

    This is grievous news indeed. Like most people here, I never actually met Zippy (although I seem to remember him letting us know that his real name, like mine, is Matt), but it feels like I have lost a friend and role model, and I will very much miss his wit and rigor.

  • Patrick says:

    Well, like others here, I have to say Zippy’s incisive observations and critiques, especially in taking the time to respond to me personally, definitely shifted my worldview in a profound and fundamental way. I’ll be grateful forever for that.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/where-to-find-me-until-the-orcs-come/amp/

    RIP Zippy

  • MMPeregrine says:

    For the first time in a long time I cried today after reading this news. I wish so much that I had been given the chance to meet him in person and I hope so much to meet him one day in heaven. RIP Zippy Catholic, you will be sorely missed.

    V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
    R. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

    Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

  • Gabriel,

    Your father’s writings were instrumental in my turn from heresy to the true Church of Christ. I cannot imagine the kind of man he must have been in real life. I grieve for your family, and will pray and offer Mass for his soul’s repose. I will remember you in my intentions as well.

    “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, though he die, yet he shall live: and whoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

  • mickvet says:

    Gabriel,

    My sympathies to you, your mother, your sister and the rest of your family. May The Lord have mercy on his soul.

    I am an occasional visitor here and your father and I had some inter-personal correspondence about the usury issue a year or two ago. He was gifted with a fine, forensic mind and was an inspiration to all who had the good fortune to come across him.

  • imnobody00 says:

    Shocked and devastated. For me, he has been a teacher, one of the human beings with more influence over my thought. He opened my eyes about liberalism. I checked his blog every two or three days and planned to learn from him many years more.

    Good Lord, have mercy on your servant, Matthew, and don’t take into account his sins but his faith, his faithfulness to you and to the Church and his using the talents you gave me to fight for the Truth.

    Good bye, Zippy and thank you. We will see each other again.

  • Scott says:

    To get from standard, American right-liberal-libertarian to whatever it is am now required a fairly large does of Zippy Catholic.

    Condolences to his family and memory eternal.

  • Kurt says:

    I’ve been reading Zippy’s blog for about ten years. I’ve learned a lot from him. Although I probably commented a total of five times in those ten years, his was one of the few blogs I checked every day. I remember how sad I was years ago when he went on a blogging hiatus and how excited I was when he came back. It became an everyday force of habit to check this blog and it truly saddens me that he is gone. None of the commentators know me, but I know many of you as I’ve been reading your discussions with Zippy for many years. Condolences to the family and those of you that knew him personally. He will be missed.

  • RichardP says:

    A light has gone out.

    Long live the light.

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