Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's McBrien, So That Should Tell You Something

Usually that he's completely lost his mind.

It's from the Distorter, so that should tell you something as well. Usually that the author is utterly devoid of good sense.

The intro tells it all:

Many years ago, when the National Catholic Reporter was a young newspaper, it ran a feature in the left-hand column of Page 1 that highlighted embarrassingly dumb items that had recently appeared in parish bulletins and other ecclesiastical documents.

If that feature were still active, I would have an entry to submit.

What is it that is supposed to be so incredibly dumb as to merit this attention?

In a letter dated May 18 of this year and addressed to "Eminences" and "Excellencies" of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, self-described as "Bishop Designate of Springfield in Illinois," announced that the bishops' Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, of which Paprocki is chairman, is sponsoring a special Conference on the Liturgical and Pastoral Practice of Exorcism, to be held in Baltimore in early November, just before the bishops' semiannual meeting.

And why is it dumb?

Those with a deep interest in Catholic issues will recognize immediately how pertinent and even urgent this conference will be, given the present state of the church and the world, what with the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the tragic oil spill and loss of 11 lives in the Gulf of Mexico.

I'm not going to bother with the rest, as it's really just a bunch of smug sarcasm, without any reason or attempt at argument. It's the standard Fr. McBrien of demonstrating his rightness by the act of his saying so.

This is a good demonstration, though, of what modernism has done to Catholics (or ex-Catholics). All the things that Fr. McBrien mentioned are indeed tragedies. I'm a bit at a loss as to what bishops will do about the oil spill or the 11 workers who are already dead. There are wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What does that have to do with Canonical Affairs and Church Governance?

On another note, which of these items features the direct danger of someone's soul being lost? None. Possession does. Which is the greater tragedy: a soul lost to the demonic or an oil spill (regardless of how bad the effects)? I actually have doubts as to what McBrien would answer. It's clear he either doubts the possibility of damnation, the reality of possession and exorcism, or the value of a human soul.

What should we say about an ostensibly Catholic person who demonstrates the obstinate post-baptismal denial of such truths?

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