Thursday, 5 January 2017

A Love Letter

From a critic:

Some of your commentators (lewis,deSouza, mclean) think they are better theologians than the atlantic bishops. The same ones think Pope Francis is virtually a heretic, Latin mass is the only "good" mass, middle ages church music the only "good" music, and Catholicism should be a state religion. 


1. I can't even name the Atlantic Bishops, so I wouldn't hazard a guess as to whether or not they are better theologians than I. One would hope so, as they are bishops and I am a lowly M.Div/STB. On the other hand, I haven't been accused of offering the last rites to people about to commit suicide.

2. I am confused by the expression "virtually a heretic." Either you are a heretic, or you are not.  To be considered a heretic, a Christian has to cling with "pertinacious adhesion to a doctrine contradictory to a point of faith clearly defined by the Church." That's a serious charge to make of a Roman pontiff. Let me see if  such a magistral figure as Cardinal Burke has... No, he hasn't.

It is odd that this stranger claims to know my thoughts regarding Pope Francis'  adhesion to doctrine--unless my advice to readers to burn whole sections of Amoris Laetitia disturbed him. While there are passages of Amoris Laetitia that fail the sniff test, I strongly doubt Pope Francis wrote them himself. I prefer to think that Pope Francis is poorly advised.

3. I certainly do not believe that Latin mass is the only "good" mass. The Ukrainians, for example, have a beautiful liturgy. I imagine many other Eastern Rite Catholic communities do, too.

4. Ah, middle ages music. Some people kick up a fuss about polyphony, but I for one think Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) was a genius. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791) also wrote liturgical music worthy of the Latin Rite. Many Germans and Englishmen, among others, wrote wonderful stuff until about 1962. Meanwhile, there's nothing like a 19th century Polish folk hymn, and in my younger days I occasionally turned up at a Praise & Worship service and bounced around in the pew.

I am also fond of Indie Rock and Roll and German Techno, but not at church.

5. Since the only political philosophy I have read in depth has been Polish capitalist anarchism, I'm  wobbly on whether or not there should be a state. Thus I don't know enough to make any pronouncements on state religions, other than that I hope the state ceases to interfere with my religion. Meanwhile, people I trust say I ought to support the Social Kingship of Christ, so I am willing to state that the Social Kingship of Christ is a good thing.

Update: B.A. threatened to sit both me and a Polish capitalist anarchist on the sofa and read to us from the Catechism on the necessity and importance of the state. Then he couldn't wait for a Polish capitalist anarchist to come by, so he got the Catechism and read it to me at once.

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