Monday, December 26, 2011

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi: The American Catholic's Donald McLarey Shows Us Why The Neo-Catholic Cannot Convert the World

Donald R. McClarey of The American Catholic provides a devastating insight into the logical absurdities which render the neo-Catholic apologetic impotent in the face of the modern atheistic onslaught.

Mr. McClarey has noticed that the Holy Father reinstituted, in His Christmas Eve Mass, the ancient Christmas Eve proclamation from the Roman Martyrology.

This ancient chant presents the Faith of the Church, as it was universally understood, held, and......well, yes... proclaimed right up until the modern conceptions of evolution, of the Big Bang, of "uniformitarianism", rendered it.............inoperative in light of alleged scientific advances, all of which depend for their veracity upon a never-demonstrated, universally assumed, metaphysical presupposition, which underlies the entirety of the recent "climb downs" from the Church's ancient, apostolic, confident and certain proclamation of the revelation from God.

This metaphysical assumption is known as the "Copernican Principle", and it is in very great observational difficulty indeed.

But we already knew that.

In the meantime, back to Mr. McClarey, and the incredible insight his post provides into the twisted, pretzel-like contortions to which he is forced by his neo-Catholic "apologetic".

First, I must congratulate Mr. McClarey for actually posting the ancient chant, traditionally sung at Christmas Eve Mass, in its entirety. His happiness, when hearing it at the Holy Father's Christmas Eve Mass, is proof positive that the sensus fidelium continues to resonate within  Mr. McClarey- he instinctively rejoices to see the Church's ancient and apostolic Faith once again proclaimed, as it was for centuries, to all of his Catholic ancestors:

The twenty-fifth day of December.
In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;
the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;
in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
the whole world being at peace,
in the sixth age of the world,
Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed since his conception,
was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, being made flesh.


Please stop and think very carefully, honestly, and logically for a moment.

If you actually rejoice at the above, and yet can turn around and deny every single one of its assertions.........then you have contracted the same strange logical affliction which Mr. McClarey demonstrates in his unforgettable post.

How could one rejoice at the recovery of a Church proclamation......if everything it says is false?

If everything it says is false, then ought not one instead rejoice at the modern reformulation (it is not, needless to say, a "new translation. It is a complete re-write)?

But the strange reaction of Mr. McLarey renders the terrible internal contradictions of his worldview as transparent as can be.

He does not post, he says,  this ancient chant in order to rejoice at its truthfulness.

He rejoices at its.....lack of feminist gender politics????


There we have it.

Read the comments thread for the rest of the gory details.

One last point:

Mr. McClarey cites Dr. Tom Bridgeman's piece (I provide a link in the comments thread to my response).

Finally, Mr. McClarey has drearily predictable resort to that last miserable refuge of the blogger who cannot answer his interlocutor's legitimate points--- he bans me, and simply Memoryholes my final response:

The Memory Hole is also a very congenial tool for the neo-Catholic, Don.
You shall never be banned from my website, I assure you.
BTW, here is the apology Dr. Tom Bridgeman issued as a direct result of the response I linked above:

The neo-Catholic can never persuade the atheist, if he himself lacks the courage to defend the Church's Tradition.

But then again, the neo-Catholic cannot even persuade himself, if he insists that the Church has been wrong in her ancient Faith and its yearly proclamation during the Christmas Eve Mass, for centuries upon centuries.......

St. Athanasius, pray for us!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Why Has Science Gone Crazy?

Alan P. Lightman's essay in Harper's is highly recommended reading for the Catholic Science Geek, and everyone else interested in grappling with the actual implications of the failure of cosmology to model our Universe in accordance with its foundational ("Copernican") Principle.

Why has modern science gone crazy?

Modern science has gone crazy because it has adopted a false principle.

Modern science rejected the necessary guidance of metaphysics and theology, precisely because of the astonishing (initial) success of the Copernican Principle.

This initial success was so profound that science came to the conclusion that the guidance of metaphysics and theology would no longer be necessary, or even acceptable, since- after all- it had been proven that the Catholic Church was in error in insisting upon the Truth of Faith that the Earth was motionless and at the center of the cosmos.

This Copernican Principle is so important, that it can fairly be said to mark the precise point of historical demarcation between the Catholic world, and the modern world.

The development of a theory of universal gravitation itself is a direct consequence of the adoption of the Copernican Principle.

If all of the Earth's inhabitants were to be asked which was more certain- the existence of gravity or the existence of God- I suspect that gravity would win in a landslide.

Indeed, it would arguably win in a landslide if the poll were to be conducted at the Vatican.

But- see Lightman's essay- the truth is that our theory of gravity is so drastically at odds with observations on the cosmological scale that we must either

(a) add in 96% of the Universe by hand, in the form of unobserved, metaphysical entities (dark matter, dark energy), or

(b) admit that our theory of universal gravitation has been dramatically falsified by direct observation.

The Copernican Principle insists that (a) must be right.

Welcome to the multiverse.

Welcome to the end of science.

I look forward to Catholic Science Geek's promised engagement upon these questions.

It's the moment of Truth for science.

It is also the moment of Truth for the Catholic Church, which has in important ways adopted the Copernican Principle as if it were more reliable than the unanimous consensus of the Fathers concerning Scripture.

The theory of evolution, the Big Bang, the multiverse......... each and all of these depend absolutely upon the philosophical presupposition that the Copernican Principle is true.

It is, instead, false.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Catholic Science Geek Gets It Exactly Backwards......

The Catholic Science Geek has a bone to pick with those who would tell God how He has to do things.

I wanted to point out to the CS Geek, that it is God Who has told the CS Geek how He did things.

Apparently the CS Geek has not considered this.

I respond to the CS Geek's foundational argument at the link above, and invite further dialogue on the issue of Mary's Bones- those pesky 80,000,000 year old dinosaur fossils that have soft tissue, collagen fibres, and hemes inside of them.

UPDATE 1/6/12:

Barb, after simply dismissing and refusing to address even a single one of the points raised, has resorted to the Memory Hole, and it is all perfectly fine and peaceful in the clean, certain, calm and serene scientific world of the Catholic Science Geek.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Crisis Magazine and John Zmirak: Are We Not Pharisees?

There has been a sudden and remarkable increase in attention to the question of usury in the blogosphere of late. Dale Ahlquist posts a concise treatment here, while the truly astounding attempt to retail the heresy that magisterial teaching can be reversed by Catholic Encyclopedia articles, theologians, or Canon Law prescriptions, can be viewed in all of its glorious falsity here.

The Crisis magazine articles are also noteworthy for their comment threads, each of which were preempted by Professor John Zmirak, Interim Editor of Crisis, by means of the following, utterly ridiculous assertion:

"This should end the discussion: Deuteronomy 23 allows the Jews to charge interest of foreigners, but not of Jews. If Jews could demand interest from ANYONE, then it doesn’t violate the Natural Law. It isn’t intrinsically evil. Period. God never gave permission for intrinsic evils, even to His chosen people during emergencies."

Professor Zmirak ought to consult two sources relevant to his misapprehension in this regard.

First, he might consult the Angelic Doctor, who fully answered Zmirak's objection eight hundred years before it was advanced:

"The Jews were forbidden to take usury from their brethren, i.e. from other Jews. By this we are given to understand that to take usury from any man is evil simply, because we ought to treat every man as our neighbor and brother, especially in the state of the Gospel, whereto all are called. Hence it is said without any distinction in Psalm 14:5: "He that hath not put out his money to usury," and (Ezekiel 18:8): "Who hath not taken usury [Vulgate: 'If a man . . . hath not lent upon money, nor taken any increase . . . he is just.']." They were permitted, however, to take usury from foreigners, not as though it were lawful, but in order to avoid a greater evil, lest, to wit, through avarice to which they were prone according to Isaiah 56:11, they should takeusury from the Jews who were worshippers of God." --------Summa Theologicae (from "New Advent" website)

Second, he might profitably consult the authentic acts of the magisterium, which anathematize usury, and condemn as heretics those who pertinaciously argue that it is not evil:

First, from the ecumenical Council of Vienna, Decree #29:

"If indeed someone has fallen into the error of presuming to affirm pertinaciously that the practice of usury is not sinful, we decree that he is to be punished as a heretic; and we strictly enjoin on local ordinaries and inquisitors of heresy to proceed against those they find suspect of such error as they would against those suspected of heresy."

Second, from the encyclical "Vix Pervenit" of Pope Benedict XIV:

"I. The nature of the sin called usury has its proper place and origin in a loan contract. This financial contract between consenting parties demands, by its very nature, that one return to another only as much as he has received. The sin rests on the fact that sometimes the creditor desires more than he has given. Therefore he contends some gain is owed him beyond that which he loaned, but any gain which exceeds the amount he gave is illicit and usurious.
II. One cannot condone the sin of usury by arguing that the gain is not great or excessive, but rather moderate or small; neither can it be condoned by arguing that the borrower is rich; nor even by arguing that the money borrowed is not left idle, but is spent usefully, either to increase one's fortune, to purchase new estates, or to engage in business transactions. The law governing loans consists necessarily in the equality of what is given and returned; once the equality has been established, whoever demands more than that violates the terms of the loan. Therefore if one receives interest, he must make restitution according to the commutative bond of justice; its function in human contracts is to assure equality for each one. This law is to be observed in a holy manner. If not observed exactly, reparation must be made."

Third, and conclusively, Professor Zmirak's argument is completely demolished, by Our Lord Himself, when questioned by the Pharisees on another evil permitted, but never commanded, by God:

"And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.
Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away?  He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery."
This conclusively refutes Crisis Magazine's Interim Editor's remarkable attempt to employ the reasoning of the Pharisees, in order to justify the heresy of usury.
It is truly remarkable that such balderdash could be published on a purportedly Catholic website.
Crisis Magazine ought to do something about this.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Magisterial Fundies: The Soft Opening

My thanks to Mr. Roy Hobson, who has inquired about this blog in the context of an internet exchange here.

While this blog is on the back-burner pending completion of current projects, when time allows I hope to develop it into a forum for the examination of a very simple, yet radical, idea:

The Catholic Church has, by the sovereign decision of God Almighty, been granted a charism to teach the Truth concerning faith and morals infallibly.

Now this idea might not seem so radical to those of us who are Catholic- after all, it is an essential element of our faith to believe this.

The radical element I hope to examine is in the application of this dogma to actual, concrete situations.

It is my hope to examine the possibility that the highest level of authoritative magisterial teaching on a given subject, will be found in every case to be the True teaching.

I expect to examine precisely those anomalous, unusual cases where magisterial teaching has either been abandoned or qualified by subsequent, lower-level teaching.

Critical areas will include:

1. The question of whether the Jews enjoy a separate covenant for salvation (I argue that this notion is damnable heresy).

2. Whether the Church has reversed her condemnation of Galileo (I argue She hasn't, and I further argue that the utterly astounding new observations from SDSS and WMAP suggest that this is an extraordinarily powerful instance where the protection of the Church's teaching on geocentrism is being validated before our eyes by science itself, four hundred years after the fact).

3. Whether the Church has altered or reversed her condemnation of interest-taking (I argue She has not, but that Her abandonment of enforcement of this infallible teaching has, at least, facilitated the metastasization of a global usury scam whose present, late-stage collapse represents another profound evidence for the Truth of the Church's ancient and apostolic magisterial condemnation of interest).

4. Whether the Church's treating on Original Sin and polygenism can legitimately be altered or abandoned in light of recent claims from genetics that the human race cannot have descended from an original pair.

Thanks for the interest, Roy, and I hope to have the blog up and running soon!