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Pope Francis’ adviser is a science pantheist?

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Odd that:

Strange, then, that a self-professed atheist and scientific advisor to the Vatican named Hans Schellnhuber appears to believe in a Mother Earth.

In the Gaia Principle, Mother Earth is alive, and even, some think, aware in some ill-defined, mystical way. The Earth knows man and his activities and, frankly, isn’t too happy with him.

This is what we might call “scientific pantheism,” a kind that appeals to atheistic scientists. It is an updated version of the pagan belief that the universe itself is God, that the Earth is at least semi-divine — a real Brother Sun and Sister Water! Mother Earth is immanent in creation and not transcendent, like the Christian God.

What’s this have to do with Schellnhuber? In the 1999 Nature paper “‘Earth system’ analysis and the second Copernican revolution,” he said:

Ecosphere science is therefore coming of age, lending respectability to its romantic companion, Gaia theory, as pioneered by Lovelock and Margulis. This hotly debated ‘geophysiological’ approach to Earth-system analysis argues that the biosphere contributes in an almost cognizant way to self-regulating feedback mechanisms that have kept the Earth’s surface environment stable and habitable for life.

Geo-physiological, in case you missed it. Cognizant, in black and white. So dedicated is Schellnhuber to this belief that he says “the Gaia approach may even include the influence of biospheric activities on the Earth’s plate-tectonic processes.” Not the other way around, mind you, where continental drift and earthquakes effects life, but where life effects earthquakes.

And this in an age when the human mind is widely regarded among the intelligentsia as an illusion, shaped for fitness, not for truth.

One would think that, given the sheer size of the Catholic Church, someone could be found who was both orthodox and well-informed.

Indeed, such people are out there, but they can only contribute to the science, not to the pop science media feeding frenzy. Catering to which was probably the point of the climate change encyclical.

On the other hand, apart from the fact that it empties churches*, bad judgement is nothing new.

* Because, after a while, the faithful Catholic becomes afraid of the Church, not for the Church.

It is one thing if the Church’s enemies are afraid of her. But when devout people who spend much of their lives and income in good works commanded in Christ’s name perceive that the Church is principally interested in repairing relations with those who hate her by pretending to adopt progressive causes, the temptation becomes strong to just go on alone.

And leave the Vatican, for now anyway, with its horde of legacy media rats sniffing out sound bites.

See also: Vince Torley’s Evaluating the Pope’s encyclical, Part Three: Four internal contradictions in the Pope’s thinking.

And Barry Arrington’s Frank, the hippie Pope

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36 Replies to “Pope Francis’ adviser is a science pantheist?

  1. 1
    asauber says:

    Persecution of the Catholic Church is coming from people on the inside now. I guess this is one of the things we are going to have to suffer through. Its not going to be fun but we can look forward to joining the ranks of Catholics who suffered for the church throughout its history, which is something we can rejoice in.

    Andrew

  2. 2
    vjtorley says:

    Hi News,

    Thanks for the plug. For readers’ interest, here’s Christian economist Doug Bandow’s response to Laudato Si:

    In Calling on Government, Laudato Si Underestimates Power of the Market

    See also this:

    Estimates of climate sensitivity falling by Dr. E. Calvin Beisner.

    Does Pope Francis have a master’s degree in chemistry? by Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J.

  3. 3
    bFast says:

    My concern about Schellnhuber, greater than all so far mentioned is that it is unclear what methods he would use to reduce the earth’s population: (http://www.churchmilitant.com/.....many-of-us)

  4. 4
    News says:

    bFast at 3: He would use methods that Francis can conveniently disown.

    If those methods were really unacceptable, he would never have been asked in the first place.

  5. 5
    velikovskys says:

    asauber:
    Persecution of the Catholic Church is coming from people on the inside now. I guess this is one of the things we are going to have to suffer through. Its not going to be fun but we can look forward to joining the ranks of Catholics who suffered for the church throughout its history, which is something we can rejoice in.

    I am sure those Christians burned alive will be sympathetic to those persecuted by having to bake a cake or have affordable health care for their children. Oh the humanity!!

  6. 6
    asauber says:

    velikovskys,

    “Christians burned alive”

    I’m glad you are helping me draw attention to the persecution problem. Are you going to do something to help?

    Andrew

  7. 7
    StephenB says:

    asauber:

    Persecution of the Catholic Church is coming from people on the inside now.

    Yes, this is the most serious crisis in the Church’s 2000-year history because it involves high ranking and treasonous clerics who wage war on doctrinal truths. Bad behavior is one thing, but the loss of faith is far worse. John Paul II knew this was coming, which is why he brought us the Universal Catechism.

    Meanwhile, its going to be a rough ride. The core truths and sacramental saving power of the Church remains, but only for those who are wise enough to recognize the difference between a true shepherd and a wolf posing as a shepherd. —“By their fruits you will know them.”

  8. 8
    harry says:

    It is one thing if the Church’s enemies are afraid of her. But when devout people who spend much of their lives and income in good works commanded in Christ’s name perceive that the Church is principally interested in repairing relations with those who hate her by pretending to adopt progressive causes, the temptation becomes strong to just go on alone.

    Devout, well catechized Catholics will make the distinction between the sinful, mere mortals of which the members of the Catholic Church consist, all of whom are still battling a fallen nature, including the members of its hierarchy, and the Spirit of God Who dwells within it. Christ said He came for sinners, not the righteous (Mt. 9:13), and that is just what He got. If we actually found a church without sinfulness, we wouldn’t be allowed to join it, sinners that we are.

    There have always been sinners within the Church causing disasters within it, the first of which was the betrayal of Christ by one of the twelve He had hand picked Himself: Judas Iscariot. And the rest of the twelve abandoned Him except for a kid named John who the “powers that be” considered so insignificant that they paid no attention to him, which enabled him to join the Mother of Christ at the foot of the cross.

    The mighty Roman Empire decided multiple times to eradicate the Church. Rome eventually crumbled and when the dust settled there was the Church, continuing its march down through the centuries. Far more dangerous to the Church than Roman persecution ever was, was a majority of the Catholic bishops embracing the Arian heresy. One would think that would have done it in. It didn’t. The belief of the faithful in the divinity of Christ simply could not be shattered. The Spirit, Whom Christ promised would remain with the Church and lead it into “all truth” (Jn 16:13), wasn’t about to let that happen.

    There is a story told about Napoleon meeting with a Parisian Cardinal. Napoleon announced to the cardinal, “I will destroy the Vatican.” The cardinal replied, “You won’t be able to — we priests have been trying to destroy it for the last 1,800 years and we haven’t been able to do it.”

    It seems the Church, due to forces exterior to itself and/or due to Judas Iscariots within itself, has looked like it was on the verge of collapse more often than not throughout its history. Why hasn’t it collapsed due to the plotting of its enemies from without and within, or due to the sinfulness of its members? Why does it often seem to be on the verge of collapse but never collapses? Why?

    The Church remains because the Spirit within it is indestructible. He remains within it when its members are corrupt and scandalously sinful, and when they are saintly martyrs – when they are faithful and when they are not. The reason why the Catholic Church is an anvil that has worn out so many hammers is because we have it on the Word of Christ that the Spirit will be with the Church forever (Jn 14:16-17), and Christ keeps His promises.

    The main reason contemporary Christianity, consisting of well over a billion Christians, hasn’t been able to accomplish what that small band of sinners hand-picked by Christ accomplished — which was nothing less than the conversion of the known world to Christianity — is that the Body of Christ on Earth has been dismembered. (Yes, the Apostles didn’t live to see the conversion of the known world, but the movement they launched in obedience to Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit as it was, eventually accomplished that.)

    And whose fault is it than it has been dismembered? It is simply facile to blame it entirely on the Protestants or entirely on the Catholic Church. There is plenty of blame to go around. Yes, Luther had some legitimate complaints. Yes, there had been scandalous corruption at the highest levels of the Church. Yet Christ Himself had one out of twelve go bad in an irreformable way among those He had hand-picked. What makes anyone think the Church would do any better than Christ Himself did? In any event, the solution was certainly not to dismember the Body of Christ on Earth.

    The issue is not who is to blame, the issue is that contemporary Christianity has refused to allow the fervent prayer of Christ to be answered:

    And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; That they all may be one, as thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
    — John 17:20-21

    That sounds a lot like our disunity is the very reason the world does not yet believe that God Himself sent His Son Jesus into the world.

    To me, it is obvious that the Catholic Church is in desperate need of the Bible-believing Christians who left it, to come back home. We need you. Modern Scripture scholarship (among many Protestant and Catholic exegetes alike) no longer believes in the historicity of many miraculous events recorded in the Scriptures that were unanimously believed to be genuinely historical by the Church Fathers. You would think it would be a clue for Catholic Scripture scholars anyway, that the new “scholarship” is not to be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or in any papal encyclicals, or in any of the documents of the Church’s official ecumenical councils. This is because the Holy Spirit is still protecting the official teaching of the Church. That doesn’t mean He takes away the free will of the faculties of Catholic (or Protestant) seminaries, who “err, knowing neither the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Mt 22:29)

    Not only is the new “scholarship” not to be found in any of the sources just mentioned, it is blatantly contrary to the dogmatic statements of the councils of Trent and Vatican I, as Leo XII pointed out in his 1893 encyclical, Providentissimus Deus:

    Wherefore it must be recognized that the sacred writings are wrapt in a certain religious obscurity, and that no one can enter into their interior without a guide; God so disposing, as the Holy Fathers commonly teach, in order that men may investigate them with greater ardour and earnestness, and that what is attained with difficulty may sink more deeply into the mind and heart; and, most of all, that they may understand that God has delivered the Holy Scriptures to the Church, and that in reading and making use of His Word, they must follow the Church as their guide and their teacher. St. Irenaeus long since laid down, that where the charismata of God were, there the truth was to be learnt, and that Holy Scripture was safely interpreted by those who had the Apostolic succession. His teaching, and that of other Holy Fathers, is taken up by the Council of the Vatican, which, in renewing the decree of Trent declares its “mind” to be this – that “in things of faith and morals, belonging to the building up of Christian doctrine, that is to be considered the true sense of Holy Scripture which has been held and is held by our Holy Mother the Church, whose place it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures; and therefore that it is permitted to no one to interpret Holy Scripture against such sense or also against the unanimous agreement of the Fathers.” By this most wise decree the Church by no means prevents or restrains the pursuit of Biblical science, but rather protects it from error, and largely assists its real progress. A wide field is still left open to the private student, in which his hermeneutical skill may display itself with signal effect and to the advantage of the Church.

    Yeah, I know. Some of that sounds arrogant to those who are not Catholic, and even to some Catholics. But it only sounds that way. Think about it: If, as Scripture attests, there is such a thing as “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Tim 3:15) then that Church, in proclaiming the truth about itself, if it is to be honest about itself, and knows its official teachings, as the Apostles knew, are a matter of that which “seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15:28), then it is going to sound arrogant. Every church that sincerely believes it is passing on the faith as Christ imparted it to the Apostles, and believes its official teaching has the unfailing protection of the Holy Spirit – if it really believes that of itself – should sound just that way. And if it doesn’t, it needs to ask itself why that is the case.

    Only poorly catechized Catholics — Catholics who do not understand the nature of the Church — will be tempted “to just go on alone.” Others, knowing that Christ keeps His promises, will go on with full confidence in the Holy Spirit’s presence in the Church. As for myself, in addition to that, I will continue to pray along with Christ for our unity — and will remain hopeful that the prayer of Christ will be answered by contemporary Christianity, so that the whole world may finally know that it was God Himself Who sent Him into the world.

  9. 9
    velikovskys says:

    asauber:
    I’m glad you are helping me draw attention to the persecution problem. Are you going to do something to help?

    No problem, what do suggest, keeping lesbians from getting married?

  10. 10
    velikovskys says:

    Stephen B.:
    Yes, this is the most serious crisis in the Church’s 2000-year history because it involves high ranking and treasonous clerics who wage war on doctrinal truths

    Three examples, please.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    harry says:

    harry @8

    Oops. That should have been “Leo XIII,” not “Leo XII”

  13. 13
    asauber says:

    “No problem, what do suggest, keeping lesbians from getting married?”

    velikovskys,

    Lesbians can’t get married to each other. They can only pretend to get married to each other.

    Perhaps you could start by praying for the protection of persecuted Christians.

    God even listens to those who pretend to not believe in Him.

    Andrew

  14. 14
    Axel says:

    Surely, if you homogenize something as fundamental as sex, it doesn’t sit at all well with diversity, rainbows and what have you, does it, Vel?

  15. 15
    velikovskys says:

    Asauber:

    Lesbians can’t get married to each other. They can only pretend to get married to each other.

    Only in the eyes of some religions, in the United States of America they are just as married as anyone else. Personally, divorce seems more of a threat to marriage than lesbians yet no one is refusing to bake a cake for Trump.

    Perhaps you could start by praying for the protection of persecuted Christians.

    Because God needs encouragement to act? Never understood that, do prayers cause God to do something He might not do otherwise, that seems contrary to the essence of a non contingent being.

    God even listens to those who pretend to not believe in Him.

    Perhaps He can listen to those who pretend not to pray,too. What next after prayers?

  16. 16
    asauber says:

    “Only in the eyes of some religions, in the United States of America they are just as married as anyone else.”

    Geography doesn’t change the nature of marriage.

    “Because God needs encouragement to act?”

    No, because He instructed us to pray for things.

    “Perhaps He can listen to those who pretend not to pray,too. What next after prayers?”

    I think some simple prayers for Christians is enough of a challenge for you. I know your culture is based on pretense and it’s hard for you to overcome that. But I think you can start to try to pray. It’s really not as diffcult as you are pretending to make it.

    Andrew

  17. 17
    velikovskys says:

    Axel:
    Surely, if you homogenize something as fundamental as sex,

    Not sure what you mean, could you be much more specific?

    it doesn’t sit at all well with diversity,

    Know many lesbians?

    rainbows and what have you, does it, Vel?

    Only if most people secretly want to marry same sex, otherwise to makes it more diverse. You realize heterosexual marriage and what have you is still allowed?

  18. 18
    Axel says:

    I think your first question is disingenuous, as your command of English and ability to think conceptually, even metaphorically, would be more than adequate for interpeting it, I’m sure.

    Just one lesbian girl by email correspondence a few years ago. But I find lesbianism sad rather than repulsive, and frankly, not that hard to understand!! Though why they’d want to bring sex into their friendship is not that clear to me.

    Don’t really understand your last sentence, but, yes part of the fierceness of our revulsion is probably associated with the propensity for indiscriminate copulation of a male’s raging libido; hence the estimate I read that there are more sodomites in the US (prison gulag) than the rest of the world put together.

    We’re virtually all made in the same way, however. Defective parental imprinting and incontinent lust would be two separate but major factors I would attribute homosexuality to.

  19. 19
    StephenB says:

    velikovskys

    Three examples, please. [Treasonous clerics waging war against Catholic teaching]

    According to the Catholic Church, gay behavior is mortally sinful. If not repented of, it leads to eternal damnation. Nevertheless, an American cardinal recently flouted that doctrine by leading the recent gay parade in New York, throwing faithful Catholics under the bus.

    According to the Catholic Church, those who commit adultery are guilty of sacrilege when they receive the body and blood of Christ. Nevertheless, a gaggle of German bishops suggested that divorced and remarried Catholics should be allowed to participate in that sacrament.

    According to the Catholic Church, homosexuals should be treated with respect, but homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. Nevertheless, some bishops are claiming, without evidence, that homosexuality is a “gift” to the Church and should be accepted as a permanent condition.

    Are you Catholic?

  20. 20
    Mapou says:

    What pisses me off about Christian churches, especially the Catholic Church, is that they view themselves as an essential cog in the mechanism of salvation. This is so presumptuous and evil, I want to puke every time I think about it.

    Personally, I spit on your confessions, your baptisms, your communions, your extreme unctions, and your many other worthless sacraments. And I say this as a Christian.

  21. 21
    ronvanwegen says:

    Way to go Harry!

  22. 22
    Silver Asiatic says:

    vel

    Because God needs encouragement to act? Never understood that, do prayers cause God to do something He might not do otherwise, that seems contrary to the essence of a non contingent being.

    Prayers are not a mechanistic cause. They’re an expression of desire. The perfect desire for God is the highest achievement a human being can accomplish. Prayer is the pathway to that.

  23. 23
    REC says:

    “American cardinal recently flouted that doctrine by leading the recent gay parade in New York, throwing faithful Catholics under the bus.”

    Cardinal Dolan led a Gay Pride parade? How was this not national news?

  24. 24
    anthropic says:

    harry 8

    I’m not Catholic, but Bill O’Reilly claims to be. Imagine my shock that his book Killing Jesus does not mention the resurrection whatsoever!

    When asked about the lacunae, he responded that his book is “historical”, not theological.

    O’Reilly crusades for the right of people to say “Merry Christmas” at their place of employment. According to him, there is a war on Christmas that he is helping to fight. He is a big friend of traditional believers, you see.

    I emailed him a question: What is more damaging to the Christian faith, “Happy Holidays”, or the denial of the historicity of the resurrection?

    Crickets…

  25. 25
    StephenB says:

    REC

    Cardinal Dolan led a Gay Pride parade? How was this not national news?

    It wasn’t a Gay Pride parade as such. It was the inclusion of gays and lesbians at the St. Patricks Day parade marching under their own banner.

  26. 26
    Stephen Sparrow says:

    Well, 60 years ago American fiction writer Flannery O’Connor predicted all this nonsense in a letter to Erik Langkjaer May 23, 1955.

    “The merit of the Church doesn’t lie in what she does but what she is. The day is going to come when the Church is so hemmed in & nailed down that she won’t be doing anything but being, which will be enough.”

  27. 27
    Andre says:

    If materialism is true then homosexuality is an evolutionary mistake and gay people are defects, because the following can’t happen……

    Evolution by means of natural selection is the process by which traits that enhance survival and reproduction become more common in successive generations of a population. It has often been called a “self-evident” mechanism because it necessarily follows from three simple facts:

    1. Variation exists within populations of organisms with respect to morphology, physiology, and behaviour (phenotypic variation).
    2. Different traits confer different rates of survival and reproduction (differential fitness).
    3. These traits can be passed from generation to generation (heritability of fitness).

    But if there is a God then all you are, like everyone else alive on the planet is just a sinner, in need of a saviour……

    Defect Vs. Sinner?

    I’d rather be a sinner in God’s eyes than be a defect in nature…..

  28. 28
    Axel says:

    Also, StephenB and REC, I don’t believe Dolan eventually took part in that St Patrick’s Day parade.

  29. 29
    velikovskys says:

    Asauber:

    Geography doesn’t change the nature of marriage.

    It certainly changes the legality of marriage.

    No, because He instructed us to pray for things.

    To what purpose, just because He instructed you? Then my praying or not will not help the persecution of Christians.

    I think some simple prayers for Christians is enough of a challenge for you.

    Mea culpa, mega culpa, mea maxima culpa?

    I know your culture is based on pretense and it’s hard for you to overcome that.

    Which culture is that?

    But I think you can start to try to pray. It’s really not as diffcult as you are pretending to make it.

    Again,to what end? How does that end the persecution of Christians? If God knows what is in your heart and mind, what is the point? Ritual?

  30. 30
    velikovskys says:

    Axel:
    I think your first question is disingenuous, as your command of English and ability to think conceptually, even metaphorically, would be more than adequate for interpeting it, I’m sure.

    I know what I think you meant, I just wanted to be sure, now I am. Thanks for clarifying.

    Just one lesbian girl by email correspondence a few years ago. But I find lesbianism sad rather than repulsive,

    They are a diverse group. Some happy , some not, some scary ,some not. Some conservative,some not. Basically just like everyone else. Diverse. Do you feel the same way about gay men, sad but not repulsive?

    and frankly, not that hard to understand!!

    Except for men married to them.

    Though why they’d want to bring sex into their friendship is not that clear to me.

    While no expert, I would guess for the same reason anyone brings sex into their relationship, sexual attraction,intimacy, children, etc.

    Don’t really understand your last sentence, but, yes part of the fierceness of our revulsion is probably associated with the propensity for indiscriminate copulation of a male’s raging libido;

    Then you should welcome gay men who seek to get married, their copulation is not indiscriminate.

    hence the estimate I read that there are more sodomites in the US (prison gulag) than the rest of the world put together.

    My guess is most of those sodomites consider themselves as straight. Flesh is flesh and sex as dominance.

    We’re virtually all made in the same way, however. Defective parental imprinting and incontinent lust would be two separate but major factors I would attribute homosexuality to.

    Not all gays have incontinent lust and most ,I bet ,have straight siblings.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    VS, Marriage is an institution shaped in the end by the biology of reproduction and children’s need for stability. Including, training men to stand by honour, wives and children. Playing ill-advised games with it as is now afoot (and as has been for decades starting with divorce games and the so-called sexual revolution) in our civilisation on various fashionable notions only means we are looking at inducing chaos and collapse. Courts and parliaments cannot change the iron law that job no one for a society is to harness its rising generation of young men to build rather than destroy the future. And with the games that have been going on, our civilisation is failing, indeed the numbers on avg children per woman — trending well below replacement — are symptomatic. Not coincidentally, inordinate prestige has been given to a lab coat clad ideology that is irretrievably incoherent and amoral, evolutionary materialism. Civilisational suicide, in two words. KF

    PS: Some useful reading

  32. 32
    StephenB says:

    Axel:

    Also, StephenB and REC, I don’t believe Dolan eventually took part in that St Patrick’s Day parade.

    Alas, my friend, I wish that was the case.

    NEW YORK, March 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan led Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Day parade on Tuesday as grand marshal, despite backlash from faithful Catholics unhappy with the organizers’ decision to allow an openly homosexual activist group to march in the event.

    “I’m as radiant as the sun, so thanks be to God for the honor and the joy,” said Cardinal Dolan on Tuesday morning, as he led 250,000 marchers down Fifth Avenue – including a delegation from “Out @ NBC Universal,” a group of gay activists who work for NBC, the network that televises the parade.

    Catholic commentator Michael Voris and his team from ChurchMilitant.TV were present at the parade and were able to question Dolan on his decision during a press scrum. “Your Eminence, do you have anything to say to the loyal Catholics who find what you’re doing here a great scandal to the faith?” Voris asked.

    “No, come on in. We’d love to have you,” Dolan replied.

    Voris reports that he and his cameraman were then removed from the press scrum, providing video of an official telling them to leave, and then calling police over to escort them out of the area.” (That same video can be found at Voris’ website)

    As a Catholic, I strongly recommend this site (churchmilitnat.com) for anyone who wants to know what is really going on in the Church today. These people deserve your prayerful and financial support.

  33. 33
    Axel says:

    ‘Then you should welcome gay men who seek to get married, their copulation is not indiscriminate.’

    I should have mentioned, and actually intended to, today, that the primordial harm to the soul of homosexual relations is that it is an unusually extreme offence against moral beauty. So, yes, in the sense of ‘undiscriminating’.

    The play-acting by adults involved, whereby one plays the role of the male and the other, the female, is itself morally ugly, merely in their day-to-day living relations. Equating homosexuality with having a different ethnic appearance is another shamelessly transparent misrepresentation by the homosexual lobby.

    Do you see that the wrongness, the dishonesty, about behaving in that way about something as fundamental as human nature can only lead to nihilism, indeed is an expression of it? The nihilism implicit in making up your own rules of morality – perfectly logical in terms of atheism, though it is.

    It has already led to the madness of the homosexual lobby’s claiming to be the champions of rainbows (in a ‘straight’ demi-monde(!), blind to their beauty…!) and diversity (heterogeneity), as if it were the heterosexual people who had fought tooth and nail and finally succeeded in firstly homogenizing sex/copulation and then homogenizing ‘marriage’ – literally a charade.

    There is a commandment of Yahweh in the Old Testament relayed by Moses that forbids seething a kind in its mother’s milk. On the face of it, it might seem footling, especially in the context of the actual animal sacrifices prescribed by the Law. But a mother’s milk is so deeply symbolic of divine love and compassion, it would be an ugly act, as if animal life, a mammal’s love for its young, counted for nothing at all – as if it were a stone.

    Allowing their sense of moral beauty and ugliness to be coarsened in that way was evidently seen by God as a dangerous path for them to tread. Even though their nature was not yet sufficiently sublimated for them to dispense with animal sacrifices. Not that even in the O.T., compassion was not the aim to which everything was to tend. I assume you are familiar with Augustine’s precept of grace building upon nature? That is, requiring time.

    Do I feel the same way about gay men, sad but not repulsive? No. Not quite. Some, certainly sad. The revulsion is visceral, but I believe providentially inspired. It would be rather akin to the revulsion I am sometimes afflicted by, despite making every effort to suppress it, at first seeing someone’s substantial physical deformity.

    It is there for a purpose, imo, even though it must be resisted with every fibre of one’s being, since personal responsibility is at worst largely absent in physical deformity, and often entirely absent.

  34. 34
    Axel says:

    Thank you for that website, Stephen. I’ve bookmarked it, to look at it at greater length when I have more time, i.e. tomorrow.

    Well, I’m not surprised by Dolan, Stephen, as he struck me as far too glib, voluble and kind of narcissistic. Oddly enough the Pope apparently warned against priests who talked to much either today or yesterday. I must try and find it.

    If he is averagely pious in priestly terms, he’d make a goodish p.p. for a large parish, I think, but he doesn’t give me the impression of having the interior life of a devout prelate or p.p. ‘Hail fellow, well met’, always with something to say, he must be a gift to the press.

    In his book, Holy Wisdom, Dom Augustine Baker remarked that growth in holiness entails a growing introversion, and I love it when I see it in a bishop. Well, it is called the ‘interior life’, isn’t it? I think popes should be guided by such considerations among others.

  35. 35
    StephenB says:

    Axel, yes you have narrowed it down to the crux of the matter. It’s all about the interior life (and, of course, the exterior manifestation of what is gained from it). Contemplation is supposed to precede and inform action, which, in turn, provides the substance for deeper contemplation, which, in turn, produces increasingly virtuous results. Only saints who allow God to work through them can transform a culture into something beautiful. The popularized (and perverse) expression of modernistic Catholicism, on the other hand, gets it backwards, plunging prematurely into self-centered activism and producing chaotic results. Show me a social justice Catholic who has displaced piety and chastity with consciousness raising, and I will show you someone who does not pray.

  36. 36
    News says:

    Somehow or other this thread ended up being about same-sex marriage, which isn’t really one of our topics. But those interested can doubtless take it somewhere else quite easily.

    They’ll have to, as I am shutting off comments. – O’Leary for News

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