Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Pope Francis interview

Pope Francis gave a lengthy interview a few weeks ago which provoked much discussion. I've only just gotten around to reading it. I don't claim to have fully understood every nuance of it, but I thought I'd share what I found interesting.

First, I thought this was of interest:
Belonging to a people has a strong theological value. In the history of salvation, God has saved a people. There is no full identity without belonging to a people. No one is saved alone, as an isolated individual, but God attracts us looking at the complex web of relationships that take place in the human community. God enters into this dynamic, this participation in the web of human relationships.

It's worth thinking about what Pope Francis means by this. Obviously, a traditionalist would agree that "There is no full identity without belonging to a people" - so it's a nice quote to have to hand. I'm not sure though that Francis means it in the same way we would. I suspect he means that we can't show our complete moral nature unless we are in a relationship with others. For us, though, it is more literally a matter of identity: we are so constituted that our sense of ourselves, of who we are, derives in part from the ethnic or national tradition (the people) we belong to.

Second, Pope Francis does seem to reveal himself to be a "progressive" in the interview. I have to be careful to explain what I mean here. I think there is a progressive attitude to life, one which emphasises the "creative spirit," not just in terms of art, but more generally of the way in which individuals and societies "creatively unfold" themselves over time.

Those who hold to this mindset tend to see change as a good thing, as a moving forward of the individual or society. They tend to emphasise open-ended and fluid movement in society, rather than hierarchy, order or convention. They are committed to the process of self-making and the re-making of society.

There is a positive side to this, as a progressive politics will often attract those who are committed to social change rather than passively observing from the sidelines. But the great weakness is that progressives, so committed to what is creatively open-ended, don't have as strong a sense of how we (and the reality we inhabit) are constituted in ways that provide us with our purposes - our intended paths of development that best fulfil who we are. Progressives, therefore, can seem more interested in the process of change rather than having an adequate measure of what the quality of that change really is.

Pope Francis is not radically a progressive, but he does err on the side of progressivism. For instance, he emphasises the idea of history as a movement of progress:

human self-understanding changes with time and so also human consciousness deepens. Let us think of when slavery was accepted or the death penalty was allowed without any problem. So we grow in the understanding of the truth

Here is another example of Pope Francis rejecting the "static":
Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­—they have a static and inward-directed view of things.

I do have to say that we traditionalists could learn something from Pope Francis when he is in this "progressive" mode. He stresses the need to be dynamic, to be fruitful, to be searching, to be creative, to have audacity and courage. Here is an example of Pope Francis showing a commitment to shaping society:
We must not focus on occupying the spaces where power is exercised, but rather on starting long-run historical processes. We must initiate processes rather than occupy spaces. God manifests himself in time and is present in the processes of history. This gives priority to actions that give birth to new historical dynamics.

Somehow we have to take the best of the progressive mindset and meld it with the best of the traditionalist one. We have to take the strength of traditionalism, which is to have a close sense of what is good within created reality, and of an order within which these goods can be harmonised, which then gives direction and meaning (a telos) to human actions, and combine it with the strength of progressivism, which harnesses the creative spirit within human nature to shape individual life and to motivate a strong commitment to the shaping of society.

27 comments:

  1. "To be sure, I have never been like Blessed Imelda [a goody-goody], but I have never been a right-winger. It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems."

    So: being right wing creates problems (and not in a good way), while being non-right-wing is unproblematic. If one is non-right-wing, if there are problems it has to be because of an authoritarian decision-making style, making quick decisions on one's own authority or something like that. One knows in advance that the problem is never: on this occasion it would have been wise to be a right-winger.

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  2. "And what about the role of women in the church? The pope has made reference to this issue on several occasions. In an interview he had affirmed that the feminine presence in the church has not been able to sufficiently emerge: the temptation of male chauvinism has not left room to give visibility to the role that women deserve in the community."

    Objections to a newly empowered status for women are from the temptation (which implies: from the sin) of male chauvinism. Genuine differences of opinion apparently have nothing to do with it.

    I think this is how the Church serves the left best: it takes in unreflectively leftist labels, accusations and hostile assumptions about the right, and validates these with simple statements on sin.

    That leaves the right, particularly the Catholic right, no room to wriggle: God through His Church has effectively declared the defamations of the left to be correct, and pointed the finger of blame at right-wingers.

    The American Supreme court struck a tremendous blow of this kind for the left when it discovered as a matter of constitutional law that there are no genuine arguments against homosexual marriage and that those who argue against it are motivated only by a base desire to humiliate a politically weak minority and deprive it of its just rights.

    During the Civil Rights revolution in America, Catholic clergy did a similar job on Polish and Irish (this means of course white) Catholic neighborhoods being integrated by force with great numbers of imported blacks. The Polish and Irish regarded those neighborhoods as their turf, and passionately and sometimes violently resisted their dispossession. The Church response was simple, unworldly and damning: those resisting integration were in sin and needed to learn that the Negro too was a child of God. Nobody had said that he or she wasn't - but it was like the Supreme Court on the motives of opponents of gay marriage. The court had spoken; the matter was settled. Those neighborhoods as Polish and Irish / ethnic white Catholic communities were destroyed. The land became black, white flight set in as never before, and those who fled, having lost their communities and culture, knew that God was on the side of non-Catholics who had dispossessed them, and that they were under moral condemnation for (allegedly) having believed that Negroes were not human beings with souls.

    People with great moral, supernatural and symbolic weight in a community and the right to speak for it can very easily produce amazingly powerful effects by throwing away the moral standing of those who fight for those communities in times of crisis.

    If you're rather unworldly, and thoughtlessly leftist, you then pat yourself on the back for being so effective in bringing about great change - it must have been the LORD using you for His purposes! You move on to the next issue. And you never look back to see what happened to the old neighborhood, or some rule that people used to defend.

    I do not think any amount of talk about holy "fruitfulness" will defend actual, culturally, ethnically, racially and geographically rooted communities with religious leadership like this from continued withering.

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    1. Titus,

      You are right to criticise Pope Francis for using the term "male chauvinism". And I have noticed the same thing you write about in your comment. I left one parish because the priest would talk about the importance of multiculturalism before then turning to the congregation sternly and warning of the "sin" of discrimination (not that the few elderly remnants of the parish were likely to commit this "sin" anyway).

      I should point out though that Pope Francis's progressivism is constrained by inherited church teachings on various issues - it's unlikely to be as radical as you would find, say, amongst secular liberal progressives.

      For instance, Pope Francis does accept that men and women are constituted differently and that they therefore have different roles in society. He wants, in particular, the maternal nature of women to be valued and embodied in the life of the church. That has brought him much criticism from American Catholic liberals who want to push the idea that men and women have no essential differences and are interchangeable in their roles in society.

      So his underlying position is OK. The problem is that he is meeting criticisms from liberals that women aren't in positions of authority by trying to meet them half-way and saying "well, we aren't shifting from the idea that women are different and have something different to give, and we're not going to make them priests, but what we can give you is agreement that women are hard done by and victims of male chauvinism and that we need to bump them up more in the church and in church theology and give them a greater role" etc.

      I wouldn't mind this so much if it were true that the balance within the church between masculine and feminine was too far tilted toward the masculine. But it seems to me that the Church today is, if anything, too feminine in its theology and culture. Strong evidence for this is that there are so few young men attending mass these days. If you walk into a mass here in Melbourne, there is often not a single male between the ages of about 20 to 50.

      And ceding ground to liberal progressives who are aiming at the idea of "equality as sameness" (i.e. who want men and women to be interchangeable) is hardly worthwhile anyway. They won't be content with a half-way position. Either the liberal position of equality as sameness triumphs or else the more traditional position of equality as complementarity does. The better option for the Pope would be to explain sexual complementarity as clearly and persuasively as possible, as the two previous Popes did.

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    2. "I should point out though that Pope Francis's progressivism is constrained by inherited church teachings on various issues - it's unlikely to be as radical as you would find, say, amongst secular liberal progressives."

      Absolutely.

      "So his underlying position is OK. The problem is that he is meeting criticisms from liberals that women aren't in positions of authority by trying to meet them half-way..."

      And what they want is not "give us half so we can call it good" but "give us half now so we can take the rest later".

      "If you walk into a mass here in Melbourne, there is often not a single male between the ages of about 20 to 50."

      "Unfruitful bachelors"? By the way, what is Pope Francis' label for women? It seems he doesn't feel a need for one.

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    3. "And what they want is not "give us half so we can call it good" but "give us half now so we can take the rest later"."

      Yes. You wouldn't have to wait long, if he did give half, before complaints about the missing half kicked in.

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    4. Next up: "...and why is this so-called 'liberation' limited to genetically female cis-gendered women, when we all know now that 'gender' is merely an arbitrary social construct?"

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  3. Pope Francis prefers mess, and soft or unemphatic edges. He used the word "absolute" only once, in this context:

    "Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture," says the pope. "Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible."

    I think that's the root of serious trouble.

    "Contemporary culture" is mostly defined by a mass media that is antiwhite, anti-Christian, anti-masculine, and anti-traditional values. It's not people in the modern world who stick to traditional sex roles, loyalties, values and customs that get to say what "contemporary culture" is dominant, but, essentially a big money media machine centered on Hollywood.

    Re-reading anything in the light of Hollywood values and making it "absolutely irreversible" and your one "hard line" position is a terrible idea.

    Among other bad things, this implies a sellout, subtle at first but devastating in its cumulative effects, of everyone Hollywood hates. And boy does Hollywood hate.

    How, in the face of a hostile dominant culture, do white people with a Christian culture get by? It seems to me that Christianity has chosen a "Fancy Strategy": "Just be nice to the gentleman, Fancy, and they'll be nice to you."

    It doesn't work. And if the solution was more surrender, then the mainstream Protestant churches should be showing Catholics the way to thrive.

    A "Fancy Strategy" isn't work for men. It offers nothing to men: not the chance to fight for status and turf, not women (who don't want a "Fancy" with a beard), and not what young men need even more than a flag to rally around and a trumpet to hearken to, that is a wise view "from outside of time" of what one is fighting for (not just what one is fighting back against) and the need to use the proper rhetoric and legitimate means, so that in fighting monsters you don't become one.

    I say this often, but it's vital and true: mass immigration and forced integration is white genocide.

    What we are seeing, roughly half a century after Vatican II, is that there is no backing off on this project of white genocide. It's obvious in many countries that whites are coming into grave trouble and going into a minority. In America, in the youngest age cohorts, this is already a fact. The antiwhites aren't shocked at what they've done and acting quickly to stop the damage; they're stimulated to finish the job and gloating about "the browning of America".

    That means, for white people, there is no option to survive with a "Fancy Strategy". You can be nice to the gentleman, Fancy, but they won't be nice to you. In fact they will end you.

    That means for me, all applications of a "Fancy Strategy", including Vatican II, are broken. They're strategically invalid. Time has passed them by. They're relics of a time when people tacitly assumed that nobody would push for white genocide, and if they did it certainly wouldn't be with the support of the mass media definers of hegemonic "contemporary culture". In the 21st century, that tacit assumption is as dead as Tamerlane.

    But for Pope Francis, the re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture is "absolutely irreversible".

    Whatever happens to white people, or the Church itself, for that matter, happens.

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  4. Is Pope Francis suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's? I have encountered this conjecture offered by a faithful Catholic, with a completely straight face, on the evidence of the recent pontifical stream-of-consciousness ravings to the secular media.

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    1. Robert, I don't think so. The popes all arrive bringing with them an intellectual history. Pope Benedict was influenced amongst other things by personalism, Francis was formed within the Jesuit tradition. I struggle myself to get the significance of the references because I don't have an adequate knowledge of each of these intellectual traditions. There will be a meaning to what he is saying - even if we don't like what he is arguing.

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    2. Well, it could be both. In other words, Pope Francis could be both marinated in an undesirable intellectual tradition of liberation theology, and going gaga. The more I think about this hypothesis, the more plausible it appears to me.

      I know very little about the brain's functions. Yet there's a whole literature by now on the topic of speech patterns in Alzheimer's victims. And the extremely little of this literature I am conversant with (at least in the form of summaries), does cause me to wonder.

      There is the sheer pathological garrulity of the man, to start with. Some Alzheimer's sufferers fall largely silent, but a far more common spectacle (as any nursing home visitor or staffer perceives) is the Alzheimer's sufferer who never shuts up.

      Then there is the well attested phenomenon of Alzheimer's victims, in their condition's early stages, mixing up words. We all remember, some months ago, the spectacle whereby those Catholics who'd presented Pope Francis with a rosary bouquet were dismissed by him as "Pelagian".

      He presumably meant to say "Jansenist" (on the - perhaps over-charitable - assumption that he meant anything whatsoever). To accuse persons devoted to the rosary of being Jansenist would have been offensive and cruel; but it would have made some sort of logical sense, since, after all, Jansenism is unduly rigorous and rule-bound.

      On the other hand, to accuse them of being "Pelagian" is a display of either innate stupidity or mental derangement. Pelagian has a specific theological definition involving the existence, or rather the de facto denial, of original sin. A Pelagian would be more inclined to junk the rosary than to be excessively devoted to it. No-one can seriously tell me that seminarians in young Bergoglio's generation (when Argentina was among the strictest Catholic countries in the world) weren't being taught this simple fact.

      I rule out the notion of innate stupidity in Pope Francis's case, since although I have no doubt that many priests in all parts of the globe are as dumb as a box of rocks, this particular priest was once intelligent enough to have acquired a diploma in the hard sciences (chemistry, as it happens). My guess would be that a Buenos Aires technical college in the mid-1950s did not simply hand out diplomas to anyone who needed his "self-esteem" enhanced - it might, for all I know to the contrary, do so now - and that the future pontiff, to obtain his sheepskin, needed to make some serious cognitive effort.

      So I, at any rate, am forced back on the conjecture of subsequent Alzheimer's acquisition.

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    3. Whether he is mental or not, he is clearly a disaster. He can't go away soon enough.

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  5. We have to take the strength of traditionalism, which is to have a close sense of what is good within created reality, and of an order within which these goods can be harmonised, which then gives direction and meaning (a telos) to human actions, and combine it with the strength of progressivism, which harnesses the creative spirit within human nature to shape individual life and to motivate a strong commitment to the shaping of society.

    This is a good example of the confusion I have seen from Novus Ordites who see the contradiction between the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church and that of the post Vatican II new religion, and wish to reconcile the two.

    "Traditionalism" is not a political movement. "Traditionalism" is not a current of thought within the Roman Catholic Church. Traditionalism is the term given to those Catholics who remain true to the Roman Catholic Church. The indefectible Roman Catholic Church:

    The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1917 gives the following definition of the Church's indefectibility:

    "By this term is signified, not merely that the Church will persist to the end of time, but further, that it will be preserved unimpaired in its essential characteristics. The Church can never undergo any constitutional change, which will make it, as a social organism, something different from what it was originally. It can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy, or the Sacraments through which Christ communicates grace to men."


    Bergoglio says with regard our indefectible Church:

    Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­—they have a static and inward-directed view of things.

    Can the Church contradict itself? No it cannot. Yet here Bergoglio is stating that the Church *has* contradicted itself: "...those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists...". Bergoglio is admitting that the Church that was, is no more, and, further, that even though there are a remnant who do, in point of fact, maintain that Church (contrary even to what he just said), those people are to be judged as morally defective: "they have a static and inward-directed view of things."

    In summary: Bergoglio 1) admits that the church he presides over contradicts the Roman Catholic Church, 2) that the pre-Vatican II Church "no longer exists", and 3) that even though it does exist, according to the magisterium, Bergoglio damns those who maintain the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church as morally defective.

    Contrast this judgement of Catholics who remain true to the Roman Catholic Church as defective with his no judgement of those who remain steadfast in sodomy: "Who am I to judge?"

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    1. Reg Spico, I just want to clarify one thing. What I want traditionalists (by which I mean traditionalism as a political philosophy) to take from progressives is an openness to a significant aspect of human nature, namely a creative spirit that wishes to engage with self and society. One of the reasons we traditionalists are less effective than we might be is that we are too often content to be morally or spiritually correct, but without the same drive as progressives to see this realised in society or in an ideal of the human self. So I agree with you that it would be better to return to the traditional church rather than the Vatican II one, but we need to make clear to ourselves and to our audience that in doing so we are allowing individuals to best "unfold themselves" - that we are creating the conditions in which people can live a life in which they can truly and generously express who they are, rather than simply applying conventions that limit the expression of human personality. I think this is an argument that we can persuasively make. After all, dumbed down TV, Miley Cyrus and shopping malls are dispiriting things to experience - it makes people conscious of the fact that something has been lost and that the individual has to struggle against culture and society to hold onto the higher goods in life

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  6. "Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture," says the pope. "Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible."

    With respect, Titus, you have missed Bergoglio's point. He is stating that the Vatican II church is a new religion. Further, even though this new religion has the appearance of, and resides in the temples of the True Church, the True Church will not be returned. The process of Vatican II, the new religion, is "absolutely irreversible".

    Of course no man, not even one claiming to be Pope, can state with 100% certainty what the future holds therefore what Bergoglio is stating is his *defiance* of those remaining true to the Roman Catholic Church. In other words, he is defying the true Roman Catholic Church.

    The revolution has already occurred. The revolution was Vatican II.

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    1. Reg Sipco: "With respect, Titus, you have missed Bergoglio's point."

      Maybe. It does seem to be the case that Vatican II is a sort of new Creed: you show yourself an acceptable Catholic by assenting to that. Time will tell, but if that holds up it's as big a change as Judaism's shift to being essentially about the Talmud and the Rabbis rather than about the Tanakh and the Temple.

      One thing's for sure: whether the post-Vatican II Catholic Church is a new church or an old Church altered, it still has and will keep all the enemies of the old Catholic Church.

      Regardless of Pope John Paul II's Jubilee apology, grievances are still felt full force. Nothing is forgiven and the apology was reciprocated by nobody.

      A Pope such as John Paul II who strongly favors Jewish interests is remembered with some affection as good for the Jews. This is not transferred to the Church as a whole. From Muslims, as far as I can tell, you don't even get that. From secular liberals: nothing of course.

      Yet Pope Francis chatters freely and unguardedly with the mass media, apparently on the assumption that the Church's very good friends in the mass media would never abuse his words.

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  7. Robert, you conclude "So I, at any rate, am forced back on the conjecture of subsequent Alzheimer's acquisition." given that you "rule out the notion of innate stupidity in Pope Francis's case ... this particular priest [Bergoglio] was once intelligent enough to have acquired a diploma in the hard sciences (chemistry, as it happens)."

    Rather than conclude Alzheimer's you could take Bergoglio at his word. His accusations of Pelagianism with denunciations of those who say the Rosary are his judgement on those Catholics who remain true to the Roman Catholic Church. It is the only time you will see Bergoglio get fired up and judgemental.

    Bergoglio said in his address to CLAR (the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women - Confederación Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Religiosos y Religiosas):

    I share with you two concerns. One is the Pelagian current that there is in the Church at this moment. There are some restorationist groups. I know some, it fell upon me to receive them in Buenos Aires. And one feels as if one goes back 60 years! Before the Council... One feels in 1940... An anecdote, just to illustrate this, it is not to laugh at it, I took it with respect, but it concerns me; when I was elected, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they said: "Your Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries." Why don't they say, 'we pray for you, we ask...', but this thing of counting... And these groups return to practices and to disciplines that I lived through - not you, because you are not old - to disciplines, to things that in that moment took place, but not now, they do not exist today...


    As above in other comments, I again point out that Bergoglio is telling you that the indefectible Church *has* defected: "And one feels as if one goes back 60 years! Before the Council... One feels in 1940..."

    How can this be that if a true Catholic were to go back 60 years in the Catholic Church, prior to Vatican II, that one can be aghast at the heresy--for heresy is what Bergoglio is accusing here--on display? Bergoglio is accusing "restorationist groups" of heresy. That is, those who remain true to the Catholic Church are heretics from the new Novus Ordo church. Bergoglio is telling you to your face that his church is not the old Church. But, any Catholic knows there is no such thing as a new and old Church; we have the one Church, for *all* times, that does not deviate nor contradict itself.

    And these groups return to practices and to disciplines that I lived through - not you, because you are not old - to disciplines, to things that in that moment took place, but not now, they do not exist today...

    In Bergoglio's new church their is no conitinuity, no chain of Truth. But one thing must be maintained: the Catholic Church, as it was, is dead, and must remain dead, even though it still lives. It lives on, as prophesied: Matthew 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." And Bergoglio is here to tell you that he damns as heretics those who stand with the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

    Bergoglio is a blessing from God in disguise. Bergoglio is here to reveal the truth: that the Vatican II church is manifest heresy, led by apostates.

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  8. Mr. Richardson, I think you are exactly right that the way forward lies in taking the best from tradition and from reason to find the truth, which is the only justification for tradition or reason in the first place.

    I'm not sure what you mean by this:
    " Pope Francis is not radically a progressive, but he does err on the side of progressivism. For instance, he emphasises the idea of history as a movement of progress..."

    History is a movement of progress. Progressives didn't invent that; they got it straight from the Bible and Jesus Himself. Reading the Bible from beginning to end, it's difficult not to come away with idea that God has chosen to reveal more and more of Himself as time has gone on.

    Jesus implicitly acknowledges this when He explains why Moses allowed divorce and He is forbidding it. Today we forbid polygamy even though just about every one of the patriarchs practiced it. Over and over, the Bible, a book written over time, shows itself to be a book of revelation. God is dynamic, not static. He delights in upending human wisdom and convention, not to contradict Himself but to keep us dependant upon Him.

    I think that's what the Pope is getting at, and he's right as far as I can tell.

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    1. Bartholomew, that's thought provoking. However, the Pope specifically said this:

      "human self-understanding changes with time and so also human consciousness deepens."

      That's different to the idea that God reveals more and more of himself to Man over time. It's a claim that we humans understand ourselves better over time and that we ourselves push forward a deepening of our consciousness.

      Now, if you were to look at this claim over thousands of years you might be able to mount a defence of it. But it sure doesn't seem to be true over the past 150 years. Human consciousness seems to have clearly regressed over that time.

      Bartholomew, you wrote "Today we forbid polygamy". As I understand it, the evidence is that monogamy was the norm in Germanic Europe around the time of Christ (except perhaps for some of the noble elite). What is happening today is an attack on the meaning of marriage itself. So where then does the progress come into it?

      I don't write this to deny what you write about God being dynamic, or to deny the possibility of progress in history. I just don't agree with the idea that progress is written into way things are, that it can be assumed as a product of the purpose of human existence.

      I think progress has to be fought for and that regress is just as much a possibility.

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  9. Thanks for the reply.

    I don't know that the idea of humans' understanding themselves better over time is different to the idea that humans' understanding God better over time. Aren't we made in the image of God? Therefore, the more clearly we see and know God, the more clearly we see and know his images, namely ourselves, and know how to align ourselves to the truth of who we are. As God reveals more of Himself to us, He also ends up revealing to us more of the kind of person we're supposed to be.

    I know progressives don't mean this when they talk about "discovering" themselves. It doesn't matter. The principle is true; it's their application that is false. All we have to do is apply it correctly, not deny the principle.

    As for the past 150 years, yes we've lost a lot of order, coherence and, as a race and the two sexes, the loss has been nearly fatal.

    That we've lost a lot doesn't mean we haven't gained anything. Has the individual ever been freer to have a go at figuring out the meaning and purpose of his desires and his heart? It's been a messy, painful, often catastrophic experiment. I'm not sure that means God isn't working it to the good.

    One good that could come of this is a rapprochement between the misfits and the squares. If we can point people back to God both to ground their identity and find satisfaction for their desires, we can break that old jacobin fissure which has caused our civilization and our race so much pain, and is now currently seeping into the other civilizations and races of the world too.

    In short, what if the excesses of liberalism were God's way of getting our attention, making us desperate enough to want to hear what He has to show us next?

    And what if it's no accident that God has dealt with mankind in progressively more intimate and individual units (species, then nations in the OT, and households in the NT, individuals in the Reformation, etc.) ?

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    1. Bartholomew, your first paragraph is very well expressed and I'm sympathetic to the idea that it's possible for us to deepen our knowledge of God, and therefore of ourselves and our purposes, in a dynamic way over time.

      However, I'm further away from the idea than you are that things are ultimately working toward the good. I know there's an idea of God having a plan that works out over time, but humans also have a free will, including a free will to turn away from God.

      You ask: "Has the individual ever been freer to have a go at figuring out the meaning and purpose of his desires and his heart?" I think the answer is no, for the reason that the individual has never been more alienated from the spiritual goods in life. It's no use saying to an individual "you are free to choose" if the range of what there is to choose from has been made significantly smaller and more superficial.

      Culture matters. The more significant goods atrophy unless they are supported within a culture. That's why I don't think it works to say that God is dealing with mankind in progressively more intimate and individual units. It works best, and will always work best, in the Old Testament way, in which God deals at both the intimate individual and also the culture and people levels. You can't in practice neglect either.

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  10. At Mangan's, Philip Larkin's Church Going as a comment on the story Birmingham archdiocese sells church to Muslim community. Some of the comments are good.

    Is selling the church off to Muslims (while refusing to sell buildings to the SSPX etc.) in line with Pope Francis' thinking? Yes it is. He welcomes Muslims and Muslim mass immigration. He has drawn the hard line for Vatican II against those that show discomfort with it.

    And mainly, as someone who un-reflectively uses the insulting labels of modern leftism, he would condemn as "racist" white people who said, no this is our sacred church, in our own land, we won't let you have it. It's not theirs, because white people are nothing according to the antiwhite mass media, and the post-Vatican II Catholic Church re-reads the Gospel in the light of a modernity defined by that mass media, which is very heavily secular-Jewish influenced and in no way a stronghold of Christian values. Jews, including Jews of no religion, continue to identify white people as an out-group, not their in-group, and Christianity as a historically antisemitic religion against which they have strong grievances, and which needs to be taken down a peg, or a lot of pegs, or all the pegs; and Pope Francis shows no wariness about any of that.

    Birmingham has gained a new dominant religion, which practically speaking is hostile to whites and represents the war-banner of a historic enemy, and they are losing an old religion which is now also hostile to whites.

    It's a choice between enemies who chant Allah hu Akhbar! and suave betrayers who rabbit on about recondite intellectual influences while undermining those entrusted to their care and "selling out" in the most literal sense.

    The neck-cutters or the back-stabbers, which would you rather?

    White people are in a lot of trouble.

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  11. From Gates of Vienna, things could be worse...

    As a Christian, it is wise to leave the increasingly secularized Swedish church, says Eva Hamberg, a former priest and well-known theologian.

    Last week the priest and professor Eva Hamberg left the Swedish church, which she believes has been secularized and politicized to an extent that she can not endorse.

    The Straw that broke the camel’s back for Hamberg was the hearing before the archbishop election, when only one of the candidates clearly answered yes to the question if Jesus gives a truer picture of God than Muhammad.

    -

    As feared, the politically correct and religion-relativistic bishop of Lund, Antje Jackelén, was elected new archbishop of the Swedish Church.

    ...

    This does not seem to worry Jackelén, who on Tuesday tossed out PC phrases like “religious diversity is an asset” and “interfaith dialogue”.

    Jackelén has also for a long time embraced Multiculturalism in Malmö, where she actively worked to adapt the Christian church so as not to annoy the ever-increasing Muslim population in the region.

    The fact that the Swedish Church, as a result of this as well as the demographic change with increasing number of Muslim immigrants, is steadily losing members, Jackelén does not find problematic but “something that the Church has to accept”.

    -

    This is the remarkable thing. Completely contrary to leftist critiques of religion, its essential features are not self-interested and exploitative. Contrary to leftist claims that religion is about bribing people with Heaven and threatening them with Hell to obey a ruling class including the clergy, ancient religions (such as practiced by the Greeks and Romans) said no such things, because they did not think that was true. Whatever disadvantages that gave them in competition with Christians, they had to live with. And here are the 21st Century Christians, again acting without regard to their institutional interests, destroying their white communities and their Christian institutions, because they think multiculturalism is true.

    The enemies of politically correct Christians like this are whites, effectively, and nationalists in countries that are historically white.

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    1. "And here are the 21st Century Christians, again acting without regard to their institutional interests, destroying their white communities and their Christian institutions, because they think multiculturalism is true."

      Yes. The world view of people matters. It's not just a mask for self-interest - it matters what people think is just and right.

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  12. "Diversity" is code for getting rid of whites. On some level, everyone knows this even though they deny it to themselves or refuse to see what's obvious. I read of a school where the pupils were 80% + black, where they didn't want more white pupils because it would endanger the school's "diversity". Homogeneity is "diverse" as long as it's non-white.

    OK, with that established...

    What is "religious diversity" code for?

    Is there really any honest doubt in your mind that it means "getting rid of Christians"? (Of course with a preference for getting rid of white Christians, as that's the point of "diversity" over-all.)

    If Sweden is all Christian and it becomes less Christian, is that more "religious diversity"? I think it is.

    And if Sweden becomes 80% Muslim, would pushing to make it only 75% Muslim endanger Sweden's "religious diversity"?

    Why wouldn't it? That's how "diversity" works. It means more of everybody and everything other than the target group, which must diminish.

    On what level is a Christian committed to "religious diversity" not a traitor to their religion?

    Pope Francis isn't there yet, or anywhere near there. He just thinks the current that is pulling him and his whole religion inexorably in that direction is a friendly one and not to be resisted.

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    1. "He just thinks the current that is pulling him and his whole religion inexorably in that direction is a friendly one and not to be resisted."

      Yes I expect you're right. There are some clergy in the Catholic Church who are a bit more clear-eyed, but they're apparently a minority, e.g. Cardinal Meisner:

      http://ozconservative.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/german-cardinal-we-are-dying-people.html

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    2. Christianity will be in good shape when people who think and talk like Cardinal Meisner are young, numerous and hard to discourage, not old and being pushed aside.

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  13. The New York Times on Pope Francis: "In the eight months since he became pope, Francis has won affection worldwide for his humble mien and common touch. His approval numbers are skyrocketing. Even atheists are applauding."

    Should they be?

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