"Literally Unconscionable"

Cardinal-elect Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York
Beware, readers, this post contains strong language which some reader may find offensive.

The US Cardinal-elect Timothy Dolan has condemned as "literally unconsionable" President Barack Obama's plan to force religious institutions to comply with the Government's birth control bill by 2013. Obama, eh. He's not the Antichrist, he's just a very naughty boy!

In other news, Fr Ray Blake of St Mary Magdalen Church, Brighton, has condemned the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) who are, in his words, 'to allow abortionists to advertise tearing a child limb from limb in its mother's womb on television and radio.'

Strong language, indeed - uncompromising, hard-hitting, Catholic, truth. But if you think that is hard-hitting, wait until our Bishops fight back against the news that abortion ads on TV are going to be as acceptable to the viewing public as Persil ads or the news that the Wellcome Trust are pouring £600 million pounds into 3-way biological parenting out of human existence mitochondria DNA disordered embryos. Tom Chivers clearly thinks that when Dr Josef Mengele tried this kind of experimentation on children he was insanely evil, but when modern day scientists do this on embryos, well, they're not human so it doesn't matter. Mr Chivers may not think so, but to our Bishops this is moral evil and they are most certainly not afraid to speak out!

Oh yes! Watch out BCAP! Watch out! Our Bishops are onto you and any minute now either they or the Catholic Voices team are going to be so angry that they're going to say something very, very obliquely nuanced that is going to leave both you and the Catholic faithful feeling both a little deflated and more than a little confused! For the Bishops not to speak out against such evil is surely "literally unconscionable".

In other news, the 'Magic Circle' is said to be in disarray after Paul Daniels cut his finger off with a circular saw when a recent trick went awry. Catholic commentators suggest that now could be the time for the Holy Father to seize the moment while the circle is impaired.

Comments

The Bones said…
Of course when the Church spoke in Latin, Sts Francis, Dominic, Gregory the Great, Augustine, Jerome, Aquinas and the whole army of pre-1960 Saints were just 'flattering their pride'.

Maybe its more humble to do what the Saints did because, you know, they were Saints and Doctors and Fathers of the Church and we are not.
Jason said…
That is absurd (and in the wrong comm box). No one is denying the sanctity of Augustine, Jerome etc, but they plainly wrote in Latin because they were living in the Roman Empire (N.B., Augustine & Jerome wrote in what is known as 'Classical Latin', the form of Latin most public schoolboys learn/most universities teach. It's the ancient Roman language. The liturgy you are referring to is in medieval Latin, generally considered to be an inferior variant and an artificial language. No one really spoke medieval Latin, it was a language learned in medieval universities and based on the Romance languages (then contemporary French and Italian) that had developed out of Classical Latin. Jerome would not have been able to read (due to different formation of letters and different punctuation) the Latin of the sacred liturgy, and a 12th century churchman who learned Latin as part of his degree would struggle to understand a word of what he said.

Why did St Paul not write in Latin? Why did Christ himself not write in or speak Latin? Were they arrogant? No, they just didn't live in that culture. Surely we should use Alexandrian Greek if we want to be authentic to the bible and our Lord?

So maybe it's more humble to do what Christ did. Because, you know, he is the son of God and you are not
The Bones said…
Vatican II documents cited that the preferred liturgical language of the Church is...

Latin.
Jason said…
ha, good argument. Why don't you just say 'someone else said so' in the first place every argument you have rather than trying to construct a rational defence then reverting to saying 'someone else said so' when you can't.
Anonymous said…
but Vatican II also allowed liturgy in the vernacular. And it's vatican II that you always criticise for de-gaying the very gay coloured robe ceremony. So now your argument is the very document that permitted vernacular liturgy is the document that supports your argument against it?
The Bones said…
VII allowed it, but the documents still state clearly that the 'preferred' language of the Church is Latin.

So...that seems pretty clear.
Jason said…
Sigh... There is no point in continuing this much longer. Look, if that was their intent, it would be difficult to explain why the vernacularisation of the liturgy was an immediate post-VII consequence, while the anti-vernacular mass brigade have only come out of the woodwork in the new age of close-knit churches with very few members. If the initial intent was to keep Latin as the preferred language, why were the instant consequences a move away from Latin? Also, are you going on record as saying that VII was a positive development and a document we should follow?
Anonymous

If you are looking for strange coloured vestments, large puppets, and a whole celebration centred around our own selfish desires. You need look no further than the spirit of Vatican II (as they call it).
epsilon said…
A.N. Other brilliant post! :)

Boys: Vatican II and "The Spirit of Vatican II" are poles apart!!
Council Father said…
Sacrosanctum Concillium (VC2) did not use the word 'preferential' regarding the use of latin in the liturgy.
The Bones said…
Sacrosanctum Concilium (Funny how all the Church's documents are in Latin isn't it?)...



'36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.

2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the Liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended.'



I don't think that means:

'Gloria (clap clap) Gloria (clap clap) in excelsis Deo.'
Council Father said…
The qoute you provide does not say that latin is the prefential language of the liturgy, just that its use is to be preserved.

...and the liturgy constitution gave the local bishops conference the right to determine the extent of the venacular within their teritories. A legitimate right that cannot be revoked or limited by any curial department or pope (acting without the support of a subsequent council).

If you read on from your original qoute within SC you will also see that the use of the venacular is commended.
Nicolas Bellord said…
Jason: I am not sure I agree with you. Classical latin as in say Cicero is one thing. However it developed over the centuries and by the time of St Augustine was already developing from a morphological language (depending entirely upon word endings) to a syntactical language (depending upon word order like English). Somewhere St Augustine laments the bad grammar of his contemporaries. Gradually Provencal emerged as a written language covering most of the former Western Roman Empire (Provincia Romana). Provencal separated into separate dialects from Portuguese at one end, through Genoan right over to Roumanian. It was the language of the troubadours in particular.

However written latin continued and was spoken by the educated. It did not emerge from the romance languages. There were obviously arguments at that time as to whether the new romance languages should be used or whether one should use latin. An example was the sequence to St Eulalia which was in old french but then translated back in latin as it was thought that things had gone too far. Latin was still a living language!
Jason said…
(Funny how all the Church's documents are in Latin isn't it?)...

Except of course the only really important document, the Bible, which does not contain a word of Latin in it! But yeah, it is funny that an institution that came to power in the Middle Ages based on its judicial system which required mastery of an artificial language taught only to acolytes is still going, and still teaching this secret masonic language of satan
Jason said…
Nicolas, true but my point wasn't about Jerome's Latin (which, as you say, was used at a time when people complained of 'pig Latin' - or French!). My point was that the language of scholasticism - the 12th and 13th century Latin of the schoolmen and the language in which the laws of the medieval church were written - was de facto an artificial language. You would read in it, chant in it, and write official letters in it, but no one would go around speaking it. It was a secret language if you will, a masonic language maintained by a small elite to preserve their powers. A bit like the use of hieroglyphs by the priestly caste in Egypt. By using a difficult language known only to those who were permitted to enter the secret cult, a few men could preserve their mastery and power. It's hardly an argument to continue to use it though, particularly if this argument is based on the heretical and misguided belief that adopting masonic belief will lead a person to God. Far from it, it is the surest way to end up in eternal damnation
leutgeb said…
Latin was a handy pan-European lingua franca too.

PS We are Latin rite Catholics, so we use Latin, apart from that Greek bit.

Solves so many problems and avoids a whole pile of other ones.
Nicolas Bellord said…
Jason: Latin was anything but a secret language. After Descartes wrote the words "Je pense donc je suis" in French it was translated into latin "Cogito ergo sum" so that his ideas could be widely distributed throughout Europe. Any educated literate person at that time could usually read Latin which still remains a fairly easy language to learn for those who speak Romance languages. Scientists, botanists, doctors, lawyers still use latin to describe things to-day because it is still an international lingua franca. As for masonic ideas these were only invented in the 18th century by some nuts in this country.
Jason said…
Nicholas: that's not entirely true. He wrote Discourse on the Method in French in a bid to reach the new class of educated reader who had not undergone a church education in Latin. A lot of his 'scientific' works were written in vernacular languages, felt to be less corrupted by the dead metaphysics of the Church. N.B. he was writing at a time when Galileo was in a spot of bother, not only for his theories, but for publishing in the vernacular. He was advised by a priest (and trusted confidant) to stay away from France (he lived in the netherlands) and to suppress his treatise on the heavens, which made the truly shocking claim that not everything (planet) depends on (orbits) mankind and that the idea we are somehow central to the cosmos is a piece of false science based on the inflated ego of the typical believer who imagines God put on the whole show for his benefit.

The Latin 'cogito ergo sum' comes from the Principles of Philosophy, which, as a metaphysical treatise implicitly attacking scholasticism, was of course addressed to the reader of Latin.
Nicolas Bellord said…
Jason: The "Discours de la Methode" was published in French in 1637. Elzevier published a latin translation in 1644. On the other hand the Principles of Philosophy was first published in Latin in 1644 and then translated into French and published in Paris 1647. In both cases Descartes was being made available to the widest possible audience - those who read French and those who did not but could read Latin. My point is that there was no intention of secrecy in writing in Latin.

Yes he had concerns about what had happened to Galileo but allowing publication in Latin was hardly going to hide his writings from readers in Rome!
Jason said…
No, it wouldn't conceal his ideas from readers in Rome, but it was a politically astute move and clearly intended as such. He was addressing the (still largely Church dominated) university graduates in their own terms, i.e. reducing his somewhat heretical materialistic science (although of course he was a rationalist as well) to the language of metaphysics. Thus, where in the first text he writes to a French audience and outlines how it is possible to build a new system for explaining the world without invoking the traditional categories of Aristotelian philosophy, in the second work he explains the 'first principles' (a thoroughly Aristotelian notion) of this project to an audience of metaphysicians. The use of Latin here is essential, particularly as Galileo had been publicly rebuked for writing in Italian rather than Latin (i.e., the church questioned why a text dealing with the heavens was not only addressed to those who had learned the secret systems of metaphysics and theology. Similar patterns of sanction are common to all repressive regimes clinging to their power)
Nicolas Bellord said…
Jason: You write about " secret systems of metaphysics and theology" and a repressive regime. I do not differ from what you say until I get to the words "secret" and "repressive". What was secret about the science inherited from Aristotle? There is a good article in last week's Catholic Herald about this. There was nothing secret about Aristotle's science; it was just plain wrong. In a way one can regard the medieval Church as being the scientific establishment of the day. The best way to get an education was through the Church which is why so much scientific thought has emerged from the Church. This scientific establishment did not like the idea of its system being undermined by new ideas. New ideas are resisted in every age.