Discouraged by Cardinal Cupich’s relativistic “new paradigm” speech? Read Archbishop Charles Chaput’s muscular protection of Pope John Paul II’s 1998 encylical Fides et Ratio, which is, clearly, in regards to the connection between religion and fact. Excerpts:
Finally, with out vigorous philosophy, theology and the very lifetime of the Church danger slipping into emotivism. In the title of being pastoral, the Church threatens to turn out to be merely indulgent, malleable, affective, and sensible; in impact, anti-mental. This is strictly the unsuitable second for that sort of mistake.
We reside in a time when Christian fact is more and more misunderstood, disdained, or just unknown, even amongst baptized Catholics. Michael Polanyi would have acknowledged our tradition’s contradictions, and its rising form. It’s a mixture of “fierce moral scepticism [paradoxically] fired by moral indignation. Its structure is exactly the same as that of the moral inversion underlying modern totalitarianism”—a contempt for conventional morality, fused with and fueled by ferocious moralizing for social change. Rational consistency is irrelevant. Passion turns into its personal justification.
At a extra quick stage, the pastor of an area church should meet his individuals of their hearts and actual lives, but additionally of their minds. We’re beings made for the reality. Thus a transparent, interesting presentation of the religion performs an important position in forming Christians. As a bishop, I typically hear from parishioners that one among their issues with some clergymen has to do with the content material of the homilies they hear every week. They’re pleased with requires kindness or generosity, however additionally they starvation for homilies that current the substance of the religion, its mysteries and doctrines, in methods which can be accessible and enticing. That sort of homily isn’t straightforward to do. But it’s unattainable to do if we don’t have a reputable theology, one knowledgeable by the sturdy philosophical traditions of studying which can be on the coronary heart of the Church and her patrimony.
Writing within the wake of Vatican II, the Italian Catholic thinker Augusto Del Noce made three easy observations. First, our period is a “peculiar combination of the greatest perfection of means with the greatest confusion about goals.” Second, within the face of contemporary atheism—usually much less a hatred of God than a expertise-pushed indifference to him—“for a large part of today’s religious thought, the quest for aggiornamento simply means surrendering to the adversary.” And third, a lot of what kinds itself as Christian progressivism, regardless of how good its intentions, serves because the instrument of that give up.
For Del Noce, the Church’s mission in each period is to deliver the world into line with everlasting rules whereas respecting the nice in these issues that are new. Much of progressive thought does the “exact inverse, since [it seeks] to bring Catholicism into line with the modern world.” By stressing motion over contemplation and politics over metaphysics, progressivism reduces the supernatural core of Christian religion to a system of social ethics—a sort of baptized, humanitarian chaplaincy to a world that doesn’t want or need it. The result’s apparent. The proof, for Del Noce, could be the hollowed-out nationwide church buildings that now mark a lot of northern Europe.
A really nice Catholic mind, in distinction, speaks from the guts of the Church as a result of she or he is each a rigorous thinker and deeply attuned to the Word made flesh, knowledge incarnate. The confusion that dogged the Catholic world within the years instantly after Vatican II emerged partly from the absence of that sort of rigorous mind fused with a deep and honest religion. John Paul did a lot to heal the confusion. But it has by no means totally disappeared, and it’s alive in our personal day with new pressure. This is why the substance of Fides et Ratio is so necessary—not only for students, but additionally for on a regular basis Christians who flip to the Church for steerage and a path to everlasting life.
Read the entire thing. And learn it along with the Cupich tackle. There is a titanic mental and non secular battle occurring within the Catholic Church in the present day. Whether or not you’re a Catholic, and particularly in case you reside within the West, this issues. Rather a lot.