"Abstract Moral Principles"
|People understood the moral principles at work in the abuse crisis in Ireland|
So said Archbishop Diamuid Martin today in the Synod Hall. His Grace also said other things that can be read his intervention here.
Taking up further the post by Fr Ray Blake today, there are a couple of things worth unpacking here.
For instance, do we really believe that people "struggle to understand" the Church's teaching on, for example, the sinfulness of homosexual acts?
I ask this because I think that ultimately, people are not morally illiterate. They may not share your morality - they might reject it, but not 'understanding'?
Oh no, they understand alright.
The Irish people didn't "struggle to understand" the immorality of the abuse and cover up of abuse within the Irish Church, nor did they consider it to be an 'abstract moral principle'. The Irish were angry, very angry, indignant at the betrayal (and sensed some hypocrisy) that the Irish Church had committed.
Like all peoples, and every person, the Irish are interested in morality. It is knitted into everyday existence for all people, from our selfishness to our pride, to our neglect of others, to our habitual vices. The Irish may have succumbed to the spirit of our age on homosexuality - the acceptance of which, as a lifestyle, has cruised the Western world over. Yet, even then, in Ireland, a majority have accepted it but I think 40% have not, at least, accepted 'same-sex marriage'. Reading the Archbishop's intervention, however, you could be forgiven for thinking those who voted against it were backward types who held intolerant views.
|This poor individual does not 'understand' our 'abstract moral principles'...|
Some of the comments made in the Synod Hall today from various prelates on the Church's language which were, basically saying, 'Let's rewrite/burn/bury the Catechism' are infuriating and do a serious disservice to the Church and the World. For me, personally, they are infuriating because the Catechism of the Catholic Church was an inestimable guide in leading me to accept the Church's position on sexual morality and all the Teachings that the Catholic Church upholds, at least, when you open a book.
"People struggle to understand abstract moral principles."
The more I read that statement, the more crass it becomes, to me. Perhaps they do but that is not what the Church teaches. The Church teaches the commandments of God and repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Does His Grace think the Irish are stupid people, so stupid that they could never "understand" that sodomy is wrong, a sin against God and nature or that fornication, sorry, sex outside of marriage, or that masturbation, or pornography use, is wrong? Does a single militant homosexualist ever say, "I hate the Catholic position on what it deems to be my "sin" because I simply cannot understand it?" It is precisely because the teaching is understood that it is widely despised. Do we really have to be a Catholic intellectual to understand the Penny Catechism which, I think, fell out of favour among the Irish and English Hierarchy moons ago?
Can the Catholic Church really teach right and wrong and the difference between the two without using the words 'sin', 'wrong', 'morally wrong', morally disordered, intrinsically disordered or even 'grave depravity' because, I see that the world gets on just fine and dandy using these terms, for example, when a priest rapes a child or a nun beats up an orphan, a masked gunman holds up a post office, or a banker defrauds his investment company to the tune of a million pounds, or when a judge sentences someone who goes around getting his kicks from killing prostitutes and storing their bodies in deep freeze, or when a man gets it on with a goat.
"People struggle to understand abstract moral principles."
No. That is an insult to Our Lord and His Church and also to mankind. The Church's teachings are not abstract moral principles. Not now, not ever. Not everyone is going to accept the Church's message of Salvation. Christ told us that many, in fact, will not. That's a deeply unfortunate and sad fact of this life, but here's the thing: In order to convince people of the message of Salvation, Bishops have to first be convinced that it is the Truth. They have to accept that they, we, all people, are sinners in need of repentance. Christ can save us, Jesus wants to save us, but we have to want His Salvation, on His terms, not on ours. If Bishops and Cardinals, Archbishops and Popes are not for teaching unpopular truths that - far from being 'abstract' moral principles - are in fact the "lived reality" of habitually sinning against God, then they are depriving people of the Salvation that Christ wishes to give mankind. The Devil need not work so very hard against Christ, indeed, if Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals and Popes are doing it all for him. The Archbishop goes on:
"But simply repeating doctrinal formulations alone will not bring the Gospel and the Good News of the Family into an antagonistic society."
Readers, you can finish off this blogpost for me. As for my opinion...
"Doctrinal formulations??????"Is that all they are?!
...ditto all the above. Just repeat.
Ann Barnhardt explains rather well how by the way they speak about the Commandments of God, you can tell what they really think of them.
This Synod is showing us, really quite embarrassingly, for the whole Church to see, which prelates are for Christ and which prelates are against Him. Even the most saccharine of interventions cannot hide their real opinions.
The most shameful thing about this blogpost is that I shouldn't focus on the Irish Archbishop, really, because could have chosen any number of prelates speaking today.
Can the great irony really be lost on these Bishops that the very method of teaching about family - about God today that they think 'alienates' people is the very method that they never try or, even, never tried?