FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Big Question, from Father Hunwicke
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
From http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2017...tions.html

Father Hunwicke is a priest of the Anglican Ordinariate, an occasionally interesting read.

Big Questions
Sometimes a question is so big that, for many well-meaning people, it is too big to see. Two examples.

(1) There is much compassionate concern for people who have got themselves trapped in structures of Adultery.

BIG QUESTION: Is this the first human age in which people have felt sexual temptation, and have sometimes fallen victim to it?

If not, why does this age demand novel ways of circumventing the objective sinfulness of adultery?

(2) There is much talk about Discernment, Accompaniment, Gradualism, and Conscience, as applied to those in objectively adulterous relationships.

BIG QUESTION: Does all this stuff apply only to adulterers, or does it also apply to all sinners, including embezzlers, paedophiles, murderers, wife-beaters, human traffickers, torturers, rapists, economic exploiters of the poor, blackmailers, racists, exploiters of prostitutes, perpetrators of genocide, drug-traffickers, etc. etc..

If not, why not?

There is a phrase "Not seeing the Wood for the Trees".

Some people at the moment examine in minute and immensely sophisticated detail the finer points of Discernment, Accompaniment, Gradualism, and Conscience. They seem always to have in mind the more comfortably 'vanilla' sexual sins: Adultery dressed up to look like Marriage; genitally expressed Homosexuality dressed up as Marriage.

In so doing, are they not making the mistake of examining every leaf of one particular tree under a microscope with such single-minded concentration that they fail to notice the Forest?

At least prima facie, such people look to me like folk who have a desperate compulsion to find, by hook or by crook, a by-pass which will enable them to drive right round "Thou shalt not commit Adultery".

Why can't we drive round the other nine Commandments too?

Why is it necessary to talk about Sin at all?

Why don't we just murmur, with the Zeitgeist, "Stuff happens"?

Why should anybody ever go to Confession ... or be baptised?

Why did Christ die?
(02-05-2017, 04:05 PM)dahveed Wrote: [ -> ](snip)

Some people at the moment examine in minute and immensely sophisticated detail the finer points of Discernment, Accompaniment, Gradualism, and Conscience. They seem always to have in mind the more comfortably 'vanilla' sexual sins: Adultery dressed up to look like Marriage; genitally expressed Homosexuality dressed up as Marriage.

In so doing, are they not making the mistake of examining every leaf of one particular tree under a microscope with such single-minded concentration that they fail to notice the Forest?

This nails it. It's more of the modern penchant to focus on abnormalities and irregularities in order to throw out the rules. It's exactly what Francis is doing, as revealed in the thread, posted by In His Love, "Pope accuses Christians of ‘cowardliness’ for overfocus on Commandments." It's all an attempt to normalize the abnormal.

The Church has always -- always! -- taken into consideration such things as habit and other circumstances that can mitigate culpability for sin. But such things had never been treated as making the rules non-sensical. Now they are being treated that way.
The Church in any age cannot help but be influenced by the prevailing zeitgeist at least a little. In other eras the prevailing culture still had room within it for a recognition of basic Christian teaching, be they moral or spiritual. Today that just isn't the case.  Todays men outside the Church do not believe in God or unchanging morals at all, and the Church is made up of them. The Church herself cast aside her rites, rituals and other external guideposts in the name of aggiornamento and now there is nothing left for people to hold onto or look back at. The culture is sick and on life support, and by culture I mean both within and outside the Church.

The only thing people can do is to find a small community of like minded individuals and live and pray as if God still mattered and the Roman Catholic Church still taught what it no longer  seems to teach. Maybe someday all those who held on despite this plunge into a new dark ages within the culture and total disorientation and deconstruction within the Church will be rewarded in the hereafter. It's certainly not easy.

If the culture outside can change to be more Christian I think the Church will do so as well. They go hand in hand. The culture outside profoundly influences the Church and probably always has. We are just living in a banal age. 
I don't pay that much attention to the minutiae of what the pope says, but it appears, based on news stories, that he and his ilk have no thought about eternity. Since their focus is on the here and now, concepts like sin and damnation mean nothing. More important, for them, is a sense of inclusiveness.

That is why they care about the act of people receiving communion, so those people feel included. And they give no time to discussing whether those people are heaven-bound while mired in their current situations.

So, my big question for the pope and his ilk is this: If a person dies in what he calls an "irregular situation," does that person go to hell? Or, really, does anyone at all go to hell? Does hell even exist?
(02-05-2017, 08:49 PM)ermy_law Wrote: [ -> ]I don't pay that much attention to the minutiae of what the pope says, but it appears, based on news stories, that he and his ilk have no thought about eternity. Since their focus is on the here and now, concepts like sin and damnation mean nothing. More important, for them, is a sense of inclusiveness.

That is why they care about the act of people receiving communion, so those people feel included. And they give no time to discussing whether those people are heaven-bound while mired in their current situations.

So, my big question for the pope and his ilk is this: If a person dies in what he calls an "irregular situation," does that person go to hell? Or, really, does anyone at all go to hell? Does hell even exist?

Well, the Pope can't answer that question about what happens to the soul of a person who dies in "an irregular situation"; that's up to Lord Christ alone; it's He -- and He alone --  Who is the One Who'll do the judging. He's the one Who knows that "extenuating circumstances" mitigate culpability in each of our lives, Who knows our hearts, our will, our intellect, our upbringing, what we know, what we don't know, what we've been lied to about, what we do out of habit or mental illness, what we do out of malice or simple ignorance, etc., etc., etc. No one else knows all that, which is why we are not to judge others.

But everything else you said is right on, and a sin is a sin is a sin, no matter what circumstances might mitigate a sinner's guilt. And that is the problem: we're not being told about sin and Hell;  we're only being told about Christ's mercy, which is a beautiful Truth, but which is also accompanied by His Justice. We're only told about, for ex., how a person was raised might make him less culpable for a given sin -- which is true, but which doesn't make the sin any less a "missing of the mark," which is what "sin" means. We're not to judge souls, but we not only can but MUST judge actions (without leaping to conclusions, assuming the worst, going on to engage in detraction or calumny, delighting in alleged "scandal," etc.).

This lack of focus on sin, Judgment, and Hell goes a lot more deeply than just Francis; it goes to the very post-conciliar lectionary. Please see this document, "The Gutting of the Gospels," to see how the Novus Ordo Mass readings have stripped away Scripture that speaks of miracles, sin, Hell, judgment, possession, etc. It's very revealing (it's in Word .doc format):  http://www.fisheaters.com/guttingthegospels.doc