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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #181 
But you are conflating two ways of interfering in intra-Catholic disputes. One is as an outsider, giving an opinion that appeals to standards that aren't based in Catholic beliefs. The other is trying to comment accepting Catholic beliefs and assumptions as shared commitment for discussion.

A secular left-liberal's view, qua secular left-liberal, of the dispute between Francis and his critics will mean something quite different to an orthodox Catholic than the view of one who is commenting on what is happening from within the framework of such a Catholic perspective.


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Perhaps the latter might try the thought sometime, if he lives longer yet, that the Pope is not necessarily right only when he says exactly what has always been said.


This isn't quite what was said by Benedict, but what it seems to refer to is the claim that the Pope could be wrong when he upholds settled doctrine (because no one is saying what has always been said is always correct otherwise). That is not a position an orthodox Catholic could take, so you might as well ask if Burke might try thinking that orthodox Catholicism is not necessarily right. And this is what I'm getting at. It is one thing for a secular left-liberal to criticise Burke and support Francis on those lines, but quite another for a Catholic (they couldn't without endangering their orthodoxy). So it is important to separate the perspectives.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #182 
I'm not interfering at all. I couldn't, I am (and want) no part of the Catholic Church, and my voice is not heard in its councils. I'm expressing an opinion from the outside on a matter of general interest and concern, hopeful that the Church's present upsets will lead to betterment. I'm actually quite familiar with the theological niceties, having a taste for these things that is rather odd in an avowed atheist. I don't really care a fig about them, though. I will observe that the Church is a flock that seems only willing to follow if the shepherd is headed where it wanted to go anyway. Wouldn't work well in farming, I would think. Though perhaps the metaphor can only be taken so far.

I've always admired Benedict XVI's intellect, scholarship, and clarity of expression. Even if I often didn't care for what it was he was expressing. Another set of perspectives which can be separated. And the Church can admit having been mistaken. At one time it insisted that the Sun went round the Earth, and the contrary view was forbidden on threat of the fire, both here and now and for ever after. It did eventually and reluctantly concede that perhaps it might have been a teeny bit wrong about that.

At one time it insisted that the Donation of Constantine was genuine and valid, in fact this belief was a proximate cause of the Great Schism, which remains unrepaired. The book which conclusively and brilliantly proved that instead it was a total forgery and fake, inventing the science of diplomatics in the process, was swiftly placed on the Index, where it remained for some considerable length of time. Though eventually it was very discreetly conceded that actually yes, the Donation was a fraud. And so on. Popes have been retrospectively unpoped, saints unsainted. Perhaps these aren't directly applicable examples, but I don't think they're entirely irrelevant either.
royalcello

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Reply with quote  #183 

How is Pope Francis making a good difference? Europe is being invaded by Muslim infidels--which is no better for gays than it is for traditional Christians--and Francis encourages it. He is a dangerous enemy of Western Civilization, whether one's concept of the West is Christian, secular, or a mixture of the two. Meanwhile the music and liturgy in most Catholic parishes continues to be utterly ghastly. Francis says the liturgical "reforms" of Vatican II are "irreversible." I hate him. Cardinal Burke is a good man who cares about traditional liturgy and vestments and wears fabulous capes. I despise all that simple "humble" modernist garbage. I want the Church to be grand and glorious and it's mainly because it refuses to be that I refuse to join it. In a metropolitan area the size of Dallas/Fort Worth I should be able to attend an elaborate high mass in the Cathedral with Latin and Gregorian Chant and a polyphonic or orchestral setting by a great composer every Sunday if I want. It's because of modernist scum like Francis and his admirers and predecessors that I can't. At least in the Episcopal Church one can still have high standards in sacred music. Vatican II and all its works need to be brutally suppressed.

 

At the same time, I don't like the harsh anti-gay talk of some of Francis's critics. I wish there were a happy medium. Everyone who doesn't want Europe to become Islamic needs to unite against the invasion, whatever it takes. Then we can turn on the republicans. I want a SAFE, Christian but relatively tolerant of almost everything except Islam and republicanism, monarchical, Europe. Is that too much to ask?

Peter

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Reply with quote  #184 
'Some there are that to church repair, not for the worship but the music there.' It's as good a reason as any, I feel, and better than most. Your vision would be nice, though maybe republicans could be allowed to emigrate to Switzerland rather than persecuted (San Marino wouldn't have the room -- trust me, I've been there and it really wouldn't). And Muslims allowed on the strict understanding that their religion is not to be imposed on anyone else, nor is it a justification for violating the laws and customs of their host country; same rules as apply to everyone, really.

I agree too that if you're going to have a religion then it might as well be as grand and splendid and ceremonial as possible. 'All form and no substance' is something Evangelicals are wont to say of liturgical worship. What they fail to understand is that the form is the substance. What I like about the Pope is that he is making a difference to how the Church views gay people, which is what directly concerns me. What I don't like about Cardinal Burke is that he is trying to roll that back.
royalcello

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Reply with quote  #185 

My openly gay Australian conservative Catholic (yes, that is a thing) friend Wilson, who had his 15 minutes of fame recently when Tony Abbott shared a video of him speaking out as a gay teen against same-sex marriage, is not a fan of Pope Francis, though he probably wouldn't use as harsh rhetoric as I have. (He's a nicer person than I am. Except perhaps regarding Australian republicans.)

Catholic teaching on the sinfulness of all sexual relationships other than that between a married man and woman isn't going to change. Deep down even Pope Francis knows that. Tone and presentation can change. But frankly I don't see what good it is to adopt a more nuanced tone towards gay people if at the same time you're telling Europeans that they need to welcome unlimited numbers of migrants whose religion would put homosexuals to death if it could.

royalcello

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Reply with quote  #186 
Somehow I doubt the Swiss would be anxious to welcome huge numbers of anti-monarchist malcontents from the rest of Europe. They might fit in better than equally huge numbers of Muslims, but I'm not sure they'd be particularly good Swiss citizens. They'd find something else to complain about.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #187 
The Swiss suggestion was meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. But America then. You can come over here in exchange.
royalcello

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Reply with quote  #188 
Sounds good to me!
royalcello

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Reply with quote  #189 

A perfect illustration of why I despise Pope Francis. Just saw this quote on a blog:

“I am worried still more by the sad awareness that our Catholic communities in Europe are not exempt from these reactions of defensiveness and rejection, justified by an unspecified ‘moral duty’ to conserve one’s original cultural and religious identity.”

In other words, those wishing to conserve the Christian cultural and religious identity of Europe are the problem. Migrants are to be welcomed no matter what. He disgusts me. Whatever his religion is, I want no part of it. Any pre-Vatican II Catholic would have been utterly bewildered by the idea that Christian charity requires Europeans to allow millions of Mohammedan infidels to settle in their lands.

Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #190 
Peter, I meant interfering just in a very general sense of commenting, as I also am doing. My main point is sometimes it isn't clear you are trying to comment from an outside perspective. Accusing Burke of being insolent, for example, seems to imply he is acting very wrongly from a Catholic perspective. It doesn't make a lot of sense to talk in such terms if one is just giving an outside perspective.

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And the Church can admit having been mistaken.


But this is conflating different forms of teaching. The Ptolemaic astronomical and cosmological views you referring to were not settled doctrine and in the relevant sense. The Church hasn't, and can't, change basic moral teaching. Edward Feser has a good overview of what papal infallibility means and doesn't mean:

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/papal-fallibility.html?m=1

This obviously doesn't cover all the issues you mention, but it should be clear it isn't so simple as the Church, or Pope, never being wrong.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #191 
Quote:
What I like about the Pope is that he is making a difference to how the Church views gay people, which is what directly concerns me. What I don't like about Cardinal Burke is that he is trying to roll that back.


So far as this is about tone, I doubt someone like Burke has too many qualms about it (depending on what is meant by tone). So far as it is about actual doctrine, Francis can't change this. To even try would be to undermine the Roman Church's understanding of the magisterium. A secular left-liberal might think that worth it, but an orthodox Catholic could not. It would be the end of the Catholic Church as it has been for a millennia or more, unless there were some way to undone the damage.

Random question, why are you an atheist? Are you a materialist? I don't mean to say you should be a Christian necessarily (my own beliefs are not entirely orthodox or exclusivist), but I think there are good arguments for the existence of the divine, and better for the existence of the non-matetial. Dr. Feser has a new book that may interest you:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1621641333/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506726147&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=edward+feser
Peter

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Reply with quote  #192 
Oh, I think he does have qualms, as his use of the inherently vile 'inherently disordered' catchphrase shows. I'm an atheist because while there's a lot we don't understand yet about the origins and nature of the universe and of life, probably immensely more than we do, what we do know shows no need whatsoever for a guiding force. And if you do posit such a force you haven't answered any questions, just pushed the selfsame questions back a stage. Essentially, I don't believe in God because I see no reason to. Nor do I think religious belief is in any way fundamental to ethical behaviour; one just needs to look at all the evils committed in religion's name to know that.

Of course I see the beauty in religious ritual and observance, and of course I am awed as anyone should be by all the great art in so many forms inspired by religion, albeit in many cases it was a matter of individual genius applying itself to please a wealthy patron rather than the artist being inspired by his (usually) or her own belief. Still, the work exists and I am grateful and appreciative of its richness. But in the moral sphere it is way past time for more rationality and humanity and less arbitrariness and unreason. We've been moving that way since the blessed dawn of the Renaissance, and though there's still far to go and plenty of secular evils to counter it's the right direction.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #193 
Well, it seems to follow from Catholic doctrine that homosexual desires are inherently disordered, so that isn't a matter of tone only, whatever else it is.

I would say that there are important aspects of the material universe that require an explanation beyond it. This is, for example, what the various versions of the cosmological arguments, like the three Feser defends in that work, argue: that what begins to change, has an existence separate from its essence, is contingent, and so on, require a cause that causes the change, whose existence is identical to its essence, is necessary, and so on. The objection of who caused God doesn't seem a good one to such arguments, as Feser notes, precisely because they aim to show that the unmoved mover, being whose existence is identical with its essence, necessary being, etc., requires no cause.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #194 
But why can't the universe's existence be identical with its essence? How are you justifying tacking on an extra stage by this argument when it works just the same without the addition? I did look at the Amazon summary you provided. If I saw the book in the library I would check it out, and if it proved readable I would read it. With no expectation of conviction, though, and I am certainly not going to expend any of my limited cash to gratify mild curiosity. From the summary:

Quote:
It also offers a thorough treatment of each of the key divine attributes—unity, simplicity,  eternity, omnipotence, omniscience, perfect goodness, and so forth—showing that they  must be possessed by the God whose existence is demonstrated by the proofs.  Finally, it answers at length all of the objections that have been leveled against these proofs.

Omnipotence and omniscience can't be combined in the same being. They just can't, to do so produces an irresolvable logical paradox. If you argue that they can, you are attempting to use reason to prove something which cannot be. Therefore either your reasoning process or your original grounds must be faulty. Perhaps both. Further, the main (and, it seems to me, only sensible) grounds for theodicy argue for a limited potency; that God could not produce good without evil also resulting, and judged the outcome worthwhile. If omnipotent, He could have produced exactly the same good with no evil at all. So why not do that? An omnipotent God would seem necessarily to be also a malevolent one, undermining quality #6.

Then there is the Uncertainty Principle, by which it is impossible for anyone, or even Anyone, to know everything. or even most things. Just cannot be done. Yet omnipotence, conditionally impossible, omniscience, both conditionally and absolutely impossible, and perfect goodness, irreconcilable with omnipotence, are all adduced as necessary and demonstrable qualities of God. Doesn't work, which is why I don't need to read the book in order to be unconvinced by it; I can already see that I will be. Then there's the question of attempting to prove God's existence being impious. I draw your attention particularly to verse 29. If there were still an Index, perhaps the book ought to be on it.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #195 
I don't know if the universe itself is a thing, as opposed to a collection of things. But material things have their existence separate from their essence because they don't necessarily exist. The essence of a cat says nothing about whether individual cats exist or not. The act of existence is separate. The argument runs, to put it very crudely, that what has its act of existing separate from its essence must be caused to exist by something outside itself. This process cannot go on infinitely, so there must be something whose essence and act of existence are one. Much of what is in that book, Feser has written about bef, on his blog. Here is his roundup of posts on various versions of the cosmological arguments (included the important philosophical background, such as the Aristotelian distinction of existence and essence):

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/cosmological-argument-roundup.html?m=1

I don't see how there a contradiction between omnipotence and omniscience. There doesn't seem to be an inconsistency. Sometimes it is said there is a contradiction between omniscience and free will, but it is forgotten God, in classical theism, is outside time.

I have never been that troubled by the so called problem of evil. The PoE has an assumption that there is an objective standard of good. The sceptic must concede this to make the argument: if good were held to be subjective, the argument wouldn't even have the semblance of a sting. But in classical theism, God is the perfect and supreme good, so the PoE amounts to the the absurd claim that goodness itself is not good enough. Also, classical theists, following Plato, Plotinus, and Augustine, hold evil to lack positive existence. It is a mere privation of the good. All that exists, they believe, is in some sense good, so it is better creation exists than not (also, depending on what kind of theist you are, you have a different understanding of the world to a modern naturalist - as a Platonist, I believe the corporeal world we ordinarily experience is but a small part of creation. Most creation, so to speak, consists of ideal and angelic realms where there is no suffering). But creation means in a sense something other than God, the perfect good, so there is always the possibility of privation of the good. Not even God can remove that possibility, as that would be tantamount to creating another God. Besides, human free will requires the possibility of moral evil. No sensible theist maintains God can do absolutely everything. God can't make 2+2 = 5 or create another God like him or not be God. But such limitations don't trouble theists, because they are nonsensical - they don't truly take away from his omnipotence, properly understood (also, remember, the PoE is an attempt to draw a contradiction between God's omnipotence or benevolence and the existence of evil. If God can do what is contradictory, then it, again, loses any sting it has). Besides, God's omnipotence flows from his essence, not the other way around.

The Uncertainty Principle cones from physics, I don't see its immediate relevance.

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