Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Disingenuous ...

... The Vatican’s Relative Truth. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In each case, Benedict was actually trying to make a deeper point worth hearing. In Auschwitz, his contention was that objective truth grounded in God is the only bulwark against the blind will to power; his Regensburg address was devoted to reason and faith, arguing that reason shorn of faith becomes nihilism, while faith without reason ends in fanaticism and violence; and in Brazil, he argued that since Christ embraces all humanity, he cannot be foreign to anyone’s spiritual experience.
Those ideas, however, were overshadowed by a few throwaway phrases that betray a worrying insensitivity to how unfamiliar audiences are likely to hear what he says.
But serious reading means not basing your understanding of a piece on throwaway phrases.


  1. Anonymous2:44 PM

    But the Pope is infallibe, as the Catholic Church declared themselves in the person of their their head, or is it that he is only infallible when he sits on a certain seat and talks about certain things? Surely an infallible being like the Pope should never be guilty of throwaway phrases, as that might mean he mighnt't be infallibe.
    Is there any possible greater declaration of pride than to put oneself on a par with God & declare oneself perfect, as presumably only God is perfect. Though of course us lesser mortals should bow down before this self-declared perfection. Us little beings always need a middle-man to tell us what God wants us to do and think, and how fortunate we are that the head of the middlemen is infallible.
    What were the kinds of people Jesus seemed most aligned against again?

  2. The doctrine of infallibility means that the Pope is protected against error when pronouncing formally on matters of faith and morals. It is a precise and carefully circumscribed infallibility, not the loose and imprecise formulation that you have served up. It is possible to look these things up, you know.

  3. Anonymous7:19 PM

    See "or is it that he is only infallible when he sits on a certain seat and talks about certain things?"

    for an exact approximation of your post which I well knew. So he is only occasionally inafllible. What a modest body this group of people are- the Pope is only sometimes an exact equivalent to God. Now how might we describe the defining characteristics of Satan as an hypothetical enity. Pride would generally seem to be the root cause of his own apparent existential nature as a being lacking the humility integral to holiness. And what better declaration of pride than declaring one's infallibility at moments of one's choosing, ie when it suits to be infallible, and so by definition, beyond criticism. An absolute dictatorship of the mind.
    "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the dwellers on earth have become drunk."
    One might mention the temptation in the wilderness where Satan offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. The Holy Roman Empire & all that.

  4. Anonymous7:27 PM

    One might also mention the extremely sinister society, Skull and Bones, that the current President is a member of, initiated into lying naked in a coffin, with attendant rituals involving a parody of Christian mass, screaming about the Devil, etc. But even though we even have footage proving this, still the sheep are misled by the ravenous wolves, and the sheep's minds are protected against error, ie truth, by resorting to herd mentality mechanisms like "That's all conspiracy theory." Despite the proof of its truth.
    Religion being about a time long ago and the privacy of solitude or some such, and schizophrenic divisions of life into "the religious" and "the political" as opposed to life in its oneness.

  5. I really don't think you're getting the point about infallibility, which has to do with protecting the church from human frailty, not conferring magical powers on a certain individual. As for the reference to Skull & Bones, I'm no fan of fraternities but the incumbent president is hardly the only person of note - and not the only president - to have been a member. And who are the "we" and what is the "footage" and who cares? Or should we now have a fraternity test for candidates? I guess for those who like to feel the way you do, Charles, well that's the way they like to feel.

  6. Anonymous9:41 AM

    For the point of Skull & Boines & the like, theidea that anyone is part of a secret body about which they have sworn to say absolutely nothing to the outside world, should be very clearly be considered a severe coflict of interests in relation to notions of democracy, particularly in relation to the highest offices in the land, and rule out any such people from office. From GWB's 2 terms, we've had a S & B President 3 out of the last 5 terms, with the "opponent" being a Bonesman also in hte last election. As to why on earth what may be termed the ruling elites are involving themselves in such societies is a huge issue in itself.
    As for footage, Here is some audio footage & photos caught from a S & B ritual meeting. We're talking very strange stuff here. The Nazis were deeply into the occult, in the forms of societies like Thule, from which sprung their essentially satanic ideology. I think the German people might have been very well served if the occult activities of these people were known.
    I can't find the short piece I'm looking for specifically of video fooage, but there is some included in this piece.
    In a speech called The President and the Press that John F Kennedy made April 27th, 1961 to the American Newspaper Publishers Association, he said

    “The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings."

    As for papal infallibility, this was instigated in 1870. It is an exercise in tautoligcal nonsense; that what one is protected from error by the infallibility one has conferred upon oneself. "What I say is perfect, and therefore cannot be imperfect."

  7. The juxtaposition of Kennedy's statement and the Skull & Bones Society is risible. Kennedy himself was hardly talking about fraternities - nor was he suggesting that the Free Order of Masons (a secret society) be outlawed. The right to have secrets is also something one expects of an open society, don't you think? And by the way, if we shouldn't have voted for President Bush because of his membership in S &B, I guess we would not have been able to vote for his fellow member John Kerry, either. What a joke - a fraternity test for public office!
    And the dogma of infallibility was not "instigated" in 1870. It was defined, meaning something already believed was given official formulation. I did study Catholic theology for four years. One of the great things one learns from Thomas Aquinas is how important it is to understand an opposing viewpoint - which means studying how those who hold that viewpoint understand it themselves.