Even My Book Reviews Worry Protestants, & Other Quick Takes: 7QT XVIII Seriatim

Even My Book Reviews Worry Protestants, & Other Quick Takes: 7QT XVIII Seriatim March 21, 2014

G.K. Chesterton in 1909 (public domain)
G.K. Chesterton in 1909 (public domain)

Some people think that comboxes are their blog. You know, like this guy. (I’m guessing it’s a guy; who knows; I could be wrong.) He was so out of sorts at my review of Devin Rose’s The Protestant’s Dilemma that he couldn’t wait long enough to start his own blog to respond, so he wrote a blog article in the combox at Free Republic. (He posted a link to it in my comments, which is the only reason I know of it.)

Have you ever seen anyone attempt to refute a review, rather than the actual book? I’m not sure whether to write a review of the review of the review. What do you think? Mind you, it’s full of sentences like this one:

In addition, adherents of SS cannot claim to be little pope, having assured infallibility, which is the height of “sola individuala,” but making the church to be the supreme authority over Scripture simply takes the problem of individual interpretations being supreme to a institutional level. For rather than one person leading others astray based on elitist claim of assured veracity, an entire church overall can be led into error based upon such. And thus Rome has become as the gates of Hell for multitudes.

Before I could refute the argument here, I would need to refute the poor man’s syntax.

 

II.

Fred Phelps has gone to his reward, whatever that might be. The man’s heart was a cesspool of hatred of Catholics, homosexuals, and soldiers. I hope he repented. I hope he found mercy. I hope no idiot pickets his funeral, or wants to.

I have no more to say about it than that, because I need mercy too. And if Fred Phelps did find the mercy he so needed, I hope that he will pray for me.

 

III.

Dale Ahlquist asks what the actual Chesterton quotation was that Francis was thinking of when he said, “A heresy is a truth gone mad.”

Mr. Ahlquist proposes some possibilities, but I would suggest this one from Orthodoxy: “The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad.”

What Chesterton meant by that was that sin is nothing more than virtue gone wrong. Only God is original: Satan cannot create evil; he can only pervert the good that God has already created.

I think this helps us to understand Fred Phelps. He took hatred of war and hatred of sin and perverted it into hatred of people.

Which is why, particularly in his death, we must not hate Fred Phelps.

 

IV.

Recently it was reported that the real reason photos of bin Laden’s body have not been released is because Navy Seals pummelled him with over one hundred bullets.

At some point, well before that, the man was dead.

Whatever the argument in favor of killing bin Laden—I agree we needed to kill him—the need was only to kill him, not to engage in excessive savagery upon his body. Revenge is not justice and it is not national security. Revelling in bin Laden’s death is evil.

The same Christ who died for me and for you died for Osama bin Laden.

 

V.

I do not understand the gnashing of teeth some engage in over the prospect of canonization for John Paul II, or John XXIII, or Paul VI.

What canonization means is that these popes are in heaven. To be so adamant that it is wrong to say they are saints, is to say that you are certain—against the judgment of the Church—that they are in Hell.

Really? Has it come to that among the über traditionalists? They permit themselves to stand in judgment, not only against the living pope, but against dead popes?

If John Paul II is not in heaven, God help all the rest of us.

 

VI.

I am going to dare and make a prediction on what is going to happen with the question of communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. I am not a prophet, so take this for what it is worth.

My guess is there may be some adjustments made to the criteria by which an annulment can be granted. That is where it will begin and end.

The pope is not going to change the Church’s teaching on divorce and remarriage, because the pope can not do any such thing, and the Holy Spirit protects the Church from error. To be divorced and remarried without an annulment is to be in a state of mortal sin. To receive communion in the state of mortal sin is another mortal sin.

Therefore, the only changes, if any, will be to the annulment process itself.

 

VII.

Here is how I approach these kinds of questions when they come up: If Pope Francis were to wake up tomorrow morning and say to himself, “Today I am going to undo all of Church teaching,” it wouldn’t happen.

 


Read more of this week’s quick takes at Conversion Diary. H/T to Nicole DeMille for reminding me of the Styx song.

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