Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It would seem that...

Tom at Disputations has a post Three syllables, sounds like... where he ends with the statement:

To answer such a question is to endorse division in the Church, to claim not only the mantle of True Catholic, but the right to judge whether others are under that same mantle.
the question under question is "Is he sound?" and Tom does a good job disecting it in his usual fashion (apparently the post was a response to something Mark Shea posted about Fr. Timothy Radcliff O.P.).

In reading Tom's post, what stands out to me is that it has focused on the individual (in terms of calumny and detraction), to the exclusion of the necessary charity of protecting the unwary from the wolves and hired hands which dilute and poison the faith of the easily missled. Now by that statement I am not impugning Fr. Radcliff, but there is something I wanted to say in a more general sense.

Tom apparently is saying that it is not up to us to determine what is and is not within the domain of the "one true faith," and then oddly enough, boldly states a conclusion as though that conclusion were consonant with the "one true faith." Tom, I hope you appreciate my seeing this as somewhat of an irony. I would argue not against that, for VERITAS, being the motto of the Order, inclines the Dominican to do just that. That is why there are two quotes about judgement at the top of this blog; judge not the man (is he sound? Nolite iudicare [Luke 6:37]) but judge his message (is his message sound? Nolite iudicare secundum faciem, sed iustum iudicium iudicate [John 7:24]). The first is forbidden, the second called for.

The one thing which seems so often lacking is the search for the truth which is outside ourselves, residing in the deposit of the faith, rather than our own opinions and understanding. Unfortunately, that seach is compromised by our fallen nature and clouded reason, which tends to turn in, where it is dark, instead of to the light.

Case in Point: An example of what I would consider a charitable article (charity directed at the uninformed first, and the dissident) would be Carl Olsen's article at Ignatius Insight, Luke Timothy Johnson "sometimes questions church authority"?

hat tip to Wikipedia for the pictures


  1. Yeah, not my finest post. I use too many words to say about a quarter of what there is to say about a point so narrow it's probably not worth saying anything.

  2. now now...
    You are on to something to be sure, even if it is sure that we don't have GKC's facility with words by which to shine a light of clarity into dark places.