Just did an Interview with America

Just did an Interview with America September 18, 2014

You can read it here.

It will be refreshing for a change to be read by an audience that will likely regard me as a savage neanderthal instead of a damn librul.

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  • orual’s kindred

    It will be refreshing for a change to be read by an audience that will likely regard me as a savage neanderthal instead of a damn librul.

    Excerpt from the first comment: I will say that Mr. Shea comes across as far “nicer” than most of those on the Catholic right who blog.

    Does this mean you’re a nice neanderthal? And does this confirm that you are a middle-of-the-road cafeteria Catholic, or that your sheep’s clothing is thick enough to fool even your co-libruls?

    Inquiring minds, and all that 😀

    • orual’s kindred

      Bah! I thought I tagged that first line >.<

    • That should be taken as indicative of how the Catholic left see us. And we should take that into account when expressing our opinions.

      • If you can find a way to take the Catholic Left’s point of view into account and still be able to articulate an orthodox position, I’d like to know how you do it. I suspect it requires a level of verbal acrobatics that my vocabulary is unaccustomed to.

        • I suspect it requires a level of verbal acrobatics that my vocabulary is unaccustomed to.

          Maybe. 😉

          It takes a lot of affirmation of whatever there is in common that we can affirm. I think often we’re so worried that someone is going to take our affirmations as permission to sin that we refuse to acknowledge real truths and end up just sounding like jerks.

          As an example, we cannot allow our opposition to gay marriage and homosexual sex blind us to the fact that many gay people share real love, a love that can be – in many ways – chaste, Christlike, and perfectly fine for a Christian to feel, share, and express, and of a color or key that heterosexual people do not necessarily get to experience, especially in our weirdly sexualized culture.

          Is our fear over “the children” or “the culture” blinding us to this? Do we dare offer same-sex couples who “look gay” the benefit of the doubt that they may be perfectly chaste partners in life? Or do we spend so much time worrying about the culture war that we give them the stink-eye or the cold-ish shoulder?

          I think we on the right have to understand that people in general do not understand our language. This culture’s first inclination is to suspect that any moral claim is really a power-play, and therefore we have to work overtime to make sure we’re not misunderstood.

          • I do not see anything unique in homosexuality I can affirm. I have grave doubts over the sudden rush to declare homosexuality to be anything other than a mental disorder worthy of pity. I see no love in it, only selfishness of a type that I would not want to see in a heterosexual couple, let alone people claiming to be friends. Friends do not abuse friendship in that way.

            • And if you look into someone’s eyes and say to him or her that your religion tells you infallibly that they don’t truly love their partner, they will absolutely (and with some justice) dismiss you and your religion completely. Just because the weed of distorted sexuality may grow tangled with the flowers of genuine friendship does not mean that there are no flowers or that the garden needs to be tilled under or condemned. It’s a complicated matter. But we’re going to get nowhere with the people Christ most wants to reach if we focus only on their sin as if that was what defined them in our eyes.

              Exhibit A: that first comment in Mark’s America interview. To that lady, we are people who see women and homosexuals as “others” upon which to impose our petty ideologies. Until she understands that we identify with her and love her and affirm her as good, no matter how sinful or mistaken she is, she’s going to continue to dismiss us and everything we stand for. That’s why people are listening to Francis (who’s never excused a single sin) in a way they haven’t to any other recent pope. They sense that he loves them the way they are. His admonishments will then be the “wounds of a friend” and cherished more than the “kisses of an enemy”. You have to be a friend first.

              • I see Pope Francis Excusing sin. Just like the Jesuits did for their own abusing priests. I am trying to see good in that, but it is not orthodox and never will be anything other than ignoring objective reality.

                • orual’s kindred

                  I find this curious. Why is there an effort made to ‘see good’ in excusing sin, and none (or not as much?) in considering the possibility that a subjective assessment may be inaccurate?

                  • Because he’s the Pope and I have just enough residual clericalism in my makeup that I’m trying to put a charitable interpretation on his charitable interpretation.

                    If it were anybody else, then yes, I would consider the possibility that it is merely a man, using subjective, human, and above all emotional reasoning, to err on the side of “there can be no sin because there wasn’t enough catechesis for this person to have any access to knowledge of right and wrong”.

                    Having said that, I still have enough liberal in me to separate the ideal from the real; the sinner from the sin. Heterodoxy has its place, even if that place is only the darkness that allows us to see the light of truth.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      I’m not sure how someone, pope or not, can be only rely on subjective, emotional reasoning when considering that a person may not have committed a mortal sin when the act does not, in fact, meet the criteria of mortal sin. Could not imperfect knowledge be an objective reality? Or lack of moral instruction? Biological conditions and experiences that have crippled the proper development of conscience?

                      “Having said that, I still have enough liberal in me to separate the ideal from the real; the sinner from the sin. Heterodoxy has its place, even if that place is only the darkness that allows us to see the light of truth.”

                      I’m not sure how this is “liberal” 🙂 I’m not very familiar with what makes something ‘liberal’ and ‘not liberal’. However, I do wonder why separating the ideal from the real, the sinner from sin, should necessarily have to do with heterodoxy.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      It has come to my attention that the lack of editing is strong in this one.


                    • Indeed. But the lack of editing, is important too.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      I don’t know if it’s important, but I would call it glaring (except to the one who should have seen it before posting!)

                      It seems to me that, no matter how much I do, there definitely is a try; which is often followed by another try, and another, and yet another 😀

                    • I thought I had answered this. Orthodoxy requires an adherence to the ideal. Christian orthodoxy gives us the out of Divine Mercy, but we still have to adhere to the ideal the best we are able for true repentance. Separating out the real world, and granting, as Blase Pascal put it, the cheap grace of the Jesuits, requires that we accept a hetrodoxy- the concept that the ideal, good as it is, can never be realized in this fallen world.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      Separating out the real world…requires that we accept a hetrodoxy- the concept that the ideal, good as it is, can never be realized in this fallen world

                      Well, I find this curious, too. To say that the ideal, good as it is, can never be realized in this fallen world is a heterodox concept, is rather more like a tolerant strain of Donatism than orthodox Catholic teaching. “Yes, this is a fallen world of fallen sinners, and no one can meet the ideal, but that is a heterodox concept we only accept out of necessity.”

                      God works with the real world, and through Christ we have been granted the sacraments. And it is in the real world, with all the imperfections, that He chooses to work His miracles. As for the ideal, fallen humans will fail in some way or another, and this part of Catholic tradition. Your statements would suggest that the Sacrament of Confession is Our Lord’s concession to heterodoxy.

                      cheap grace

                      As much as I respect Blaise Pascal, he is not the Magisterium. I don’t know what he means by “the cheap grace of the Jesuits”, but if God sees fit to grant grace, then I would think that that grace came from God. And I certainly don’t know how a grace that God bestows could be called cheap. Even when both the attendant conditions and the instruments of that grace are marred with the falleness of this fallen world, Christ’s passion makes me hesitate to call any God-given grace “cheap.”

                    • That is precisely my problem. Catholicism, by definition, is not and never will be Orthodox. “Cheap grace” refers to the Jesuit habit of offering absolution without requiring repentance. It is entirely a grace of man, not a grace from God, but it may be more Christian than orthodox.

                      The heresy I am being drawn to by my lack of understanding of this Cheap Grace, is Jansenism.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      You say Catholicism is heresy? REALLY? And this suggestion of “Jesuit habit of offering absolution without requiring repentance” is not true, however, it is the Jansenist claim which is strictly false. Catholic teaching, which the Jesuits employ, understand many levels of contrition, and just going to the confessional demonstrates even a tiny level of it, enough to humble oneself and ask for forgiveness. Beyond that, do not confuse penance with repentance; as the Church has said, the penance given at confession is to start us forward, it is not necessarily the end all of the reform we need to engage.

                    • I say that Catholicism is not orthodox, I said Jansenism is a heresy.

                      It is possible to be heterodox without being heretical. It is possible to turn orthodoxy into heresy.

                      There is a suspicion of Jesuits offering absolution without confession even; a case in point is the Jesuit priest in Spokane who has openly supported gay marriage.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      When you say Catholicism is not orthodox, you are saying Catholicism is heresy. That is the meaning of “not orthodox.”

                      And don’t go following Protestant pick and choose, “there is a bad Jesuit, so all are like him” mentality. The theology of the Jesuits is what you have to address, not the actions (which I don’t know of, in the case of the said priest, to comment on him).

                      So again, you are saying Catholicism is heresy. That’s the definition of “unorthodox.”

                    • The theology of the Jesuits is to find the good in sin (Charitable Interpretation, they call it) and emphasize the good while ignoring the sin.

                      That is specifically what I am having a problem with.

                      Arguably, the Jansenists were more orthodox than the Catholics, to them, Catholicism was a heresy. But their heresy was in *being more orthodox*- in seeing the sacraments as a prize to be won for correct behavior instead of as a correction to behavior.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      The theology of the jesuits is the theology of Augustine who says it is always a limited good which is used to direct someone to sin.

                      And Jansenists are more orthodox? You really ARE FAR off from Catholic theology. Again, the Catholic teaching IS orthodoxy. To say otherwise is to say Catholicism is heresy. Jansenists were NOT orthodox. Your problem is you seem NOT to know Catholic thought, when you complain about orthodox Catholic thought on sin. The fact you keep saying Catholicism is heresy says YOU are following some heresy.

                    • I thought I had already admitted to being tempted to heresy. And I certainly admit to being part of the “Catholics who don’t know Catholicism” generation.

                      I am using George Orwell’s definition of the term orthodox. How can seeing good in evil, and in fact encouraging evil, be orthodox? That’s my spiritual quandary that is tempting me to heresy- encouraging evil by saying that sin is good. Sin may appear to be good in the short term, but it is always evil in the long term, always wrong. There is no reason to confess if it is good.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      When you say Catholicism is not orthodox, and you keep saying it, something is wrong. As for how can seeing good in evil be orthodox, it is because evil is not being, it is the loss of some good. Evil does not exist per se, it is not an ontological being. Evil is experienced as the corruption of some good. To understand the evil, you need to know the good which it addresses, and how it abuses it. That is evil. All sin, as Augustine said, is willed because of some lesser, inordinate good is willed at the expense of the proper, ordered good. Existence is good, being is good as far as it exists, the corruption of being, the corruption of the good, is what needs to be healed, not the destruction of the good which remains. It needs to be lifted back up and restored to the integral order of creation.

                    • But what if no good remains? What if there is only corruption willed for the sake of corruption, destroying all the good it touches?

                      That is what I am looking at: a mortal sin of despair so deep that I begin to suspect even the Body of Christ to be infected with the corruption.

                      False good is false hope.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      If there is existence, there is goodness. Existence is good. Satan is not pure evil. There is no pure evil. Pure evil cannot exist.

                    • So because ISIS exists enough to behead Christians, they are good? And you see no problem with that statement?

                    • HornOrSilk

                      They are not pure evil. There is good in their existence, yes. Existence itself is good. Sharing in existence is sharing in a good. Their actions are less than the good, and so do not participate properly in the good which they have been given by existence, but that does not make them pure evil. There are things within their existence as ISIS beyond beheading of Christians, elements which are good; for example, the people involved are people with inherent dignity, while they act contrary to the pure good, their personal dignity, which is made in the image and likeness of God, remains so that there is good in them even if they, like most of us, act contrary to that good and allow evil to corrupt it. They seek self-preservation, which is acting upon a good. They share a love for each other, which demonstrates a good though it is corruption because of how that love is used. There is a lot of good you can find in them, even though they do evil. The same with Satan, who is, again, the one who has embraced the greatest destruction of the good (evil) yet continues to exist and is good. This is Catholic ontology 101 against the heresy of dualism. You can find it in the Summa as well.

                    • Sometimes self-preservation isn’t a good.

                      Right now, you’re pushing me further away. If there is no absolute evil, then there can be no absolute good, and no way to discern between right and wrong.

                      That way yields the same solipsism and nihilism that the atheists preach, so why bother believing in God if there is no good or evil?

                    • HornOrSilk

                      There is absolute Good, which is God. Evil is the privation of the good. Pure evil cannot exist, because existence is itself, good. Self-preservation is a good because it promotes some good (existence), even if it might not be the proper good for someone. Again, you are following dualistic heresy. Here, you should read Aquinas:


                      Take careful attention to 4

                    • Once again, I admit to falling towards heresy on this, and yet still you push.

                      If there is no pure evil, there is no sin. If there is no sin, then Christ died in vain, the entirety of the Church and everything Good God has done, is in vain.

                      Of what use is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in a universe without sin?

                      What do we battle against, and why do we battle, if all appetites are good and there is no evil?

                    • HornOrSilk

                      No, I have explained what evil is, and what sin is. You are ignoring the answers. You are trying to make evil a substance, and so make existence evil. This is pure Satanism which you promote. Sin is missing the mark, not doing the good you should do for the sake of a lesser good.

                    • I’m trying to understand, and that’s why I am asking questions. I’m trying to comprehend the idea of a universe without evil, without sin, the universe that your interpretation of Aquinas describes, a universe in which evil has no existence at all; in which only good exists and everybody is perfect merely because of Imago Dei and there never was a fall (how could there be a fall to evil, if evil has no existence?)

                      If evil has no substance, no existence, then there is no evil, nothing to fight against. There can’t even be a sin of omission, human beings cannot miss the mark, because there is no mark to miss- everything in existence is good, every action is a good action.

                      I completely agree there is something I’m missing, because good without evil is only existence, nothing outside of existence.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      I gave you Aquinas. Clearly you didn’t read him. It’s not merely my “interpretation” that evil does not exist, it’s basic ontology. I did not say there is no sin, I explained what sin is (missing the mark). If you want to know, read Aquinas:

                      Hence it cannot be that evil signifies being, or any form or nature. Therefore it must be that by the name of evil is signified the absence of good. And this is what is meant by saying that “evil is neither a being nor a good.”

                      I answer that, Evil cannot wholly consume good. To prove this we must consider that good is threefold.

                      I answer that, It must be said that every evil in some way has a cause. For evil is the absence of the good, which is natural and due to a thing. But that anything fail from its natural and due disposition can come only from some cause
                      drawing it out of its proper disposition. For a heavy thing is not
                      moved upwards except by some impelling force; nor does an agent fail in
                      its action except from some impediment. But only good can be a cause; because nothing can be a cause except inasmuch as it is a being, and every being, as such, is good.

                      And if we consider the special kinds of causes, we see that the agent, the form, and the end, import some kind of perfection which belongs to the notion of good. Even matter, as a potentiality to good, has the nature of good. Now that good is the cause of evil by way of the material cause was shown above (Question 48, Article 3). For it was shown that good is the subject of evil. But evil has no formal cause, rather is it a privation of form; likewise, neither has it a final cause, but rather is it a privation of order to the proper end; since not only the end has the nature of good, but also the useful, which is ordered to the end. Evil, however, has a cause by way of an agent, not directly, but accidentally.

                      In proof of this, we must know that evil is caused in the action otherwise than in the effect. In the action evil is caused by reason of the defect of some principle of action,
                      either of the principal or the instrumental agent; thus the defect in
                      the movement of an animal may happen by reason of the weakness of the
                      motive power, as in the case of children, or by reason only of the ineptitude of the instrument, as in the lame. On the other hand, evil is caused
                      in a thing, but not in the proper effect of the agent, sometimes by the
                      power of the agent, sometimes by reason of a defect, either of the
                      agent or of the matter. It is caused by reason of the power or perfection of the agent when there necessarily follows on the form intended by the agent the privation of another form; as, for instance, when on the form of fire there follows the privation of the form of air or of water. Therefore, as the more perfect the fire is in strength, so much the more perfectly does it impress its own form, so also the more perfectly does it corrupt the contrary. Hence that evil and corruption befall air and water comes from the perfection of the fire: but this is accidental; because fire does not aim at the privation of the form of water, but at the bringing in of its own form, though by doing this it also accidentally causes
                      the other. But if there is a defect in the proper effect of the
                      fire–as, for instance, that it fails to heat–this comes either by
                      defect of the action, which implies the defect of some principle, as was said above, or by the indisposition of the matter, which does not receive the action of the fire, the agent. But this very fact that it is a deficient being is accidental to good to which of itself it belongs to act. Hence it is true that evil in no way has any but an accidental cause; and thus is good the cause of evil.

                    • I read it, it makes no sense. It seems that both YOU and Aquinas are trying to say that evil does not exist.

                      But if evil does not exist, neither does good. If good is the cause of evil, then neither evil nor good can exist, for all evil is really good in disguise.

                      I’m also confused by the apparent appeal to alchemy and the Four Elements, but that may just be because Aquinas was a man affected by the false science of his time.

                      How can even an accident exist, if evil does not exist in any way?

                      We seem to have drifted off topic. But this discussion is on topic for http://www.patheos.com/blogs/cosmostheinlost/2014/09/24/no-devil-no-god/

                      And I suggest we move the discussion there.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      Catholicism, by definition, is not and never will be Orthodox.

                      I don’t know what definitions of Catholicism and Othrodox will make the above statement true. You say you are following George Orwell’s definition of ‘orthodox,’ and I don’t know if that’s a reliable definition. I certainly would not use it to measure the orthodoxy of Catholicism.

                      “Cheap grace” refers to the Jesuit habit of offering absolution without requiring repentance.

                      I’m afraid this is another claim in need of substantial support (and which you seem to adhere to even while you speak of your “lack of understanding of Cheap Grace.”) And you even entertain a “suspicion of Jesuits offering absolution without confession even” pointing to “the Jesuit priest in Spokane who has openly supported gay marriage,” which , true or not, doesn’t support your statement. A Jesuit advocating gay marriage would be advocating something that goes against Catholic teaching, but that does not translate to Jesuits offering absolution without confession.

                      I’m also not sure about whether you are drawn to Jansenism; at least, I don’t recall you refering to human depravity and predestination. Certainly I get heresies mixed up quite a bit. I also realize that the Jesuits opposed Jansenism, and I wonder how that plays into your identifying with it, given your comments on the Jesuits.

                    • “A Jesuit advocating gay marriage would be advocating something that goes against Catholic teaching, but that does not translate to Jesuits offering absolution without confession.”

                      Ah, another leap I’ve taken that others cannot follow.

                      If a gay married couple is welcome in a Catholic Church or a Catholic School, that gives them a type of public sanctity for their actions. By not requiring them to conform to church teaching (the case in point was a gay vice principal in a Catholic high school who campaigned for gay marriage in Washington State with the support of his pastor, and who “married” his long time boyfriend after gaining state support), I see that as heterodox to the point of denying the existence of sin. You are saying I’m wrong to do so; that such action of absolution for sin without requiring confession and repentance is orthodox. I do not understand why somebody would claim such a thing.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      Ah, another leap I’ve taken that others cannot follow.

                      For myself, I cannot follow it for the reason that it is does not logically follow while also being unnecessary. I would think that absolution would require acknowledging the existence of sin. Denying sin will mean that no confession is needed, and with no confession, what absolution is there to be offered? What would be absolved?

                      Denying sin when sin has been committed is wrong. It is different, however, from absolving sin (with or without repentance–and yes, repentance is required) because it admits that sin in fact has taken place. Confession doesn’t mean what was done was not a sin. What it means is that the sin is forgiven. And yes, repentance is required. I would think that offering absolution without repentance would rather defeat the purpose.

            • orual’s kindred

              Well, Jon W did speak of what can be affirmed in what we have in common with ‘the other’, not what’s unique in homosexuality 🙂 I doubt that he suggested that real love is a unique aspect of homosexual behavior. Unless I am mistaken, I think he means that Christ-like, sacrificial love—which is different from illicit sex, gay or straight—may be shared by gay people as well as practicing Catholics.

              To continue with the illustration he gives below, identifying the weeds of distorted sexuality does not mean ignoring or denying any flowers that might be growing as well. In fact, identifying those weeds is quite crucial preventing them from ruining the whole garden. But if there are flowers in the garden, it must be acknowledged that there are flowers in the garden.

              • “and of a color or key that heterosexual people do not necessarily get to experience”

                I do not believe this part that the unique is good. In fact, all I can see in homosexuality is possessiveness of a type that if I saw it in a heterosexual monogamous marriage, would cause divorce.

                Love is sacrificial, but I don’t see any sacrifice in homosexuality, save maybe those who stay in the closet, or adopt the “love from afar” attitude of an earlier, more romantic age.

                I have often thought that the best thing a homosexual can do for the object of their attraction, is to introduce them to a good member of the opposite physical gender (I have to use such words today precisely because there are far too many false invented genders out there- I once worked on a project for the federal government on diversity that required me to report on nine invented genders).

                • orual’s kindred

                  While it’s quite possible that I’m mistaken, I think that line you quote refers to an experience of love that gay people, if they practice patience, sacrifice and other virtues, can be graced with; an experience that is shaped in part by their orientation, which heterosexual people do not have direct experience of. I do not think it pertains to anything uniquely inherent in homosexuality, but a result of living out real love with a homosexual orientation as a contributing factor (among others).

                  I also think that the experience that gay people have of love in general, while of course influenced by their homosexuality, goes a little beyond their sexual orientation (though partisans of opposing sides might say otherwise). I would think heterosexual people experience love in ways that are not primarily influenced by their sexuality, even while their heterosexual natures remain key factors; and I don’t see why this shouldn’t be the case with homosexual people as well.

                  As I said, I could be mistaken. I do think, however, that there are objective reasons to allow this as a legitimate possibility at least. And even if that were not true, I do think that there are ways to build good friendships with homosexual people without denying that homosexual intercourse is a sin. More often than not, those friendships may be brief, or perhaps become more like civil acquaintances, especially if they insist on lifestyles that Catholics cannot support. However, I do think an affirming relationship with a gay person is quite possible, and can be instrumental in bringing people to Christ.

                  (As for a gay person introducing the person they are attracted to to a good member of the opposite gender, that may be as successful as with a heterosexual person introducing someone to a good member of the opposite gender: the two people being introduced may ‘hit it off’, or not. And the likelihood of that I think becomes less when the person is also homosexual.)

                  • Nobody is actually homosexual. Same sex attraction is a stage of adolescence that should not be forced upon any person for life.

                    Love intends what is best for the other. Homosexuality is not the best for anybody.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      Nobody is actually homosexual.

                      I’m not sure on what basis this claim could be made. It may certainly be true, but I don’t know what facts support it. I would say it is at least unlikely.

                      Same sex attraction is a stage of adolescence

                      I’m not sure what grounds such a statement can be made either. When can this stage be said to end? Can heterosexual lust also be said to be a stage of adolescence? Ill-temper? I don’t know what facts can support this as well.

                      Also, you previously described homosexuality as a mental disorder. Is it actually both, then?

                      Love intends what is best for the other. Homosexuality is not the best for anybody.

                      Yes, but homosexuality (regardless of whether it is a stage of development or not) can be a cross to be borne with courage and humility, like other crosses. A proclivity toward lust isn’t exactly what’s best for anyone either. And it can manifest in the young and the old. But a person can bear it in such a way as to be a witness to Christian fortitude, temperance, grace, and joy, in a way that people who do not have this propensity may not similarly demonstrate. And all this can be acknowledged without affirming lust in any way.

                    • It is a disorder because the person is stuck in a stage of adolescence that they should have outgrown. I have a theory as to why, and I believe it has a lot to do with a combination of bullying and codependency.

                      In other wordd, people get stuck in that stage because it is the place they first find social acceptance for their lust-even if it is only in a society if two.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      Is this disorder a stage that all adolescents undergo? I certainly am not aware of experiencing such a phase. When can it be reasonably expected to disappear? Or does it require conscious effort to be overcome? If so, how can it be said to be a ‘stage to be outgrown’?

                      people get stuck in that stage because it is the place they first find social acceptance for their lust-even if it is only in a society if two.

                      What makes them different from unchaste heterosexuals, then?

                    • There is no difference between an unchaste homosexual and an unchaste heterosexual.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      Does this mean that unchaste heterosexuals are also ‘stuck in a stage’? Again, if this is a stage, then at what point can people be expected to outgrow it? Does this ‘stage’ require a conscious effort to ‘outgrow’?

                      (I ask because I think the answers have significant bearing on the gravity of the sins being committed while in such a ‘stage’, as well as individual culpability. In fact, the theory suggests that unchastity, heterosexual or not, is a form of mental disorder. If so, in what way can it be said that those who engage in illicit sex are committing grave sin? And can this theory be applied to intemperance, envy, and pride as well?)

                      Also, we are called to affirm what’s good in unchaste heterosexuals as well. Love the sinner, hate the sin applies here, too. And as I said, straight people who are tempted to unchastity can be Christian witnesses in ways that people who do not experience that temptation can’t similarly demonstrate. None of this is ‘affirming unchasity’, and this is hardly ever disputed. As such, I don’t know why ‘affirming homosexuality’ becomes such a point of contention when talking about affirming homosexuals, chaste or not.

                    • Interesting thought, but all sin is lack of love. What you describe sounds like relativism to me, it sure fits a culture where sexual sin is celebrated, homo, hetero, pseudo, poly, or anything else.

                    • chezami

                      Lots of sin is disordered love not lack of love.

                    • Love disordered, is obedience to God denied, and thus a lack of love of God.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      Well, from describing homosexuality as a mental disorder, to a stage of adolescence, to a stage that is a mental disorder, you now respond to respond to my questions with ‘all sin is lack of love’. This is certainly a true statement, but one rather conveniently tacked onto the claims you have been making. Perhaps this allows you to ignore the fact that I have never said that illicit sex is not a sin, or that it should be celebrated, and that I have only asked about the gravity of the sins committed by those who are “stuck in a stage.” It may also help to ignore the fact that you propose that unchastity is a mental illness, which may or may not have a cure, and which, by all appearances, is the cause of the sins that people commint, sins which they simultaneously freely choose. And all this you assert with not much support other than your own assertions.

                      Love disordered, is obedience to God denied, and thus a lack of love of God.

                      I wonder if you and Mark Shea mean different things by ‘lack of love.’ Regardless, the above contradicts your statement that admitting human failings is an admittance of heterodoxy.

                      Throughout this discussion, your comments have become less like orthodox Church teaching, and more of personal impressions, informal theorizing, and subjective categories. Furthermore, not only do your comments match the trends of current political thought, and not only do they make for a convoluted system outside of what the Church teaches, they come across as emotional responses informed by subjective preference. All this leads me to wonder how much further this conversation can go.

                    • Who said admitting human failings was heterodoxy? I said allowing human failings without calling them failings was heterodoxy.

                      And yes, I am well aware that my very self is under attack from current political oppression.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      I said allowing human failings without calling them failings was heterodoxy.

                      I’m afraid that not what you mentioned in a comment below: “…I still have enough liberal in me to separate the ideal from the real; the sinner from the sin. Heterodoxy has its place, even if that place is only the darkness that allows us to see the light of truth.” Perhaps you’re conflating ‘separating the sin from the sinner’ with ‘allowing human failings without calling them failings’, but if so then it is in fact a conflation.

                      And yes, I am well aware that my very self is under attack from current political oppression.

                      A lot of us are under attack. However, what I said was that your comments match the current flow of politics, that they fit in the overarching framework.

                    • The current flow of politics is towards freedom- towards elimination of sin as a concept and towards extreme liberty of the type that the government must eliminate religion in the name of freedom.

                      How does my Jansenism and wish to return to a Catholic monarchy fit into that?

                    • orual’s kindred

                      For some reason or another, people at some point do not meet the ideal. One way to deal with this is to say that we’re all doing what we can and we should be free to do so in the best way we see fit. A big problem, of course, is the consequences of not meeting the ideal, which must be diminished, if not completely ignored. Another way is to say that most people cannot meet the ideal because the possibility is just not even an option. And while this underscores the consequences, dividing people into those who do and those who can’t runs into the problem of these two groups resembling each other far more than they should (if such categories reflected the truth).

                      Current politics favors the former, with a strong opposition that favors the latter, and the two feed off of each other, because they share a common difficulty: the view that failures are only failures unless they are the result of the actions committed by people who are bound to do these things, and are therefore beyond hope. Some people would insist that no, there is hope, because everyone’s trying their best, and any limits imposed on a person can only be detrimental to this pursuit. Others would insist that the cost of failing is too real, and it makes sense that people who would do them can only be pitied at best. Both sides antagonize and exacerbate each other, and so far, I’m afraid your comments play well into this conflict.

                    • orual’s kidnred

                      My answer is included in my reply to your comment below.

      • orual’s kindred

        Oh, certainly! Catholic Left, Catholic Right, all those in between and outside 🙂

    • Joseph

      It means that he likes bananas… especially ones peeled by Cameron.

      • orual’s kindred

        …I see. I…kind of wish I didn’t 😀

    • chezami

      I am an extreme all you can eat Catholic. That poor woman will be deeply disappointed when she reads me more thoroughly.

      • orual’s kindred

        That poor woman will be deeply disappointed when she reads me more thoroughly.

        Maybe initially. But perhaps the idea that practicing Catholic =/= soulless bigot may also be presented for her and others with a similar mindset to consider and think about 🙂

  • Andy, Bad Person

    Good interview. Note that the Magic Number (the number of comments before someone brings up the Sex Abuse Crisis) is 1.

    • thisismattwade

      The best part is the “Now that I’ve made that point, I will add that I enjoyed the interview”. I thought good rhetorical skill meant drawing in your audience with pathos, and THEN hacking them to bits with logos.

      Ah well, I’m a CPA so I don’t know what I’m doing anyway.

  • I just want to quibble with one thing. That people on the Right are in “revolt” against Francis simpliciter isn’t a problem. If he’s wrong about something significant, we absolutely ought to “oppose Peter to his face”. (That does not mean, of course, we get to leave and appoint ourselves or anyone else pope.)

    The problem with people on the Right “revolting” against Francis is that it shows they don’t get it. They don’t actually understand the heart and soul of Christianity. They know the words but not the tune. True charity is invisible to them, and all they see is the application of power – just power expressed in intellectual form rather than physical.

    *Edit. Concession: the rest of your interview basically made a similar point.*

    • Joseph

      It vacillates. Under JP2, both the *right* and the *left* viewed the Church as a massive political power machine run like a corporate entity. Then came BVI, the *right* suddenly had this epiphany that everything is handled by the Holy Spirit and the *left* slipped off the deep-end accusing the Church of losing all connection with God and had purely become a massive political power machine run by an evil CEO. Now, with Francis, the *left* has suddenly experienced an epiphany that everything is guided by the Holy Spirit and the *right* has filled the void on the opposite end of the spectrum. This can especially be seen in the cheerleading/mourning in the Cardinal Burke drama over the last decade.
      I don’t know if this is merely an American Catholic phenomenon, but in Ireland at least, no one seems to have this issue. The few Catholics left here don’t bother with the *politics* of the Church.

      • IRVCath

        Not uniquely American, but it feeds into American cultural obsessions and anxieties over asaimilation.

      • Markc

        Joseph – this is a remarkable comment. Thank you!

  • Cas

    Fantastic interview, Mark. You really cleaned up nice for your talk with those damn libruls, you savage Neanderthal. (;-)

    Many of the thoughts you expressed, particularly about the change in your thinking over the past ten years regarding matters of prudential judgment, are similar to things changes that I have experienced during roughly the same time period (and the last four or five years in particular). Your writing has been instrumental in helping me grow and change in this way, and I thank you for that.

  • Dan13

    Good interview. And I think that the readers of America will agree you more than you think.

    Also, Brother(?*) Salai has interviewed lots of American Catholics since he started working at America and many of them are worth checking out.

    *I’m not sure of the proper address for a Jesuit studying to become a priest.

    • IRVCath

      Mr. Salai, I think.

      • Cas

        Yes, “Mr.” — unless the rules for etiquette have changed since my days at a Jesuit high school.

    • UAWildcatx2

      It really depends on where they are in their formation – the biggest issue is that the Jesuits have two tracks: one where men are in formation for the ministerial priesthood, and the other, where they are in formation for the consecrated life (brothers). Biggest difference is that brothers will not become priests. If they’re a transitional deacon, then it’s Rev. Mr.

  • Dave G.

    Who would have read this and thought savage neanderthal?

  • Others have said it, but: nice interview!

  • Doug Sirman

    “Dear Goose-stepping, ratchet-jawed, neo-con, neo-facist, sexist, racist, pre-dead-white-male, running-pig-dog (in Christ)…”

  • anna lisa

    Nicely done.
    I should have stopped before the comment box. For a second there I was starting to commiserate with the Trads about doing some house cleaning.

  • Daniel G. Fink

    Has Cardinal Kasper misunderstood Francis “simpliciter”?