Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pope States Obvious

~from Edmonton Sun by Michael Coren (hat tip to Papa Ratzinger Forum)

Unless we start a nice little revolution I suppose it's pretty much inevitable that the Western world will crash down in flames and failure, splashing around in its own decadence and materialism as it does so. Our opponents have absolute faith and are willing to die. We have the Spice Girls, global warming documentaries and socialized medicine.

And while the fundamentalist foot crunches down on our fleshy necks, we will scream in polished and rehearsed tones, "We're offended, we're offended." The rallying cry of the liberal, modernist world. "I'm offended. Please feel my pain. I'm offended."


Which is precisely what various critics, some of them conservative evangelical Christians, said this week when Pope Benedict XVI merely clarified and emphasized Roman Catholic teaching concerning the truth of Catholicism and the place of non-Catholics.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church had the audacity to say that, wait for it, Roman Catholicism was right.

But in the 21st century it is not nice for anybody to say that truth is truth and therefore lack of truth is lack of truth. Everything has to be tolerated. Apart, of course, from intolerance. Unless the intolerant ones are homosexual activists, pro-abortion students or leftist zealots banning and silencing their critics.

Just in case any of us are foolish enough to believe the headlines, all the Pope said was that the full understanding of Jesus Christ and the road to salvation is to be found within Catholicism. Anyone who is baptized is still a Christian and non-Christians are also loved by God. Neither of these groups are, contrary to what some pundits yelled, condemned to hell.

But the Church, the Pope continued, offers the Eucharist, the body and blood of Jesus. This and Papal supremacy and the Sacraments make it unique.

Not particularly surprising. What, one wonders, did people expect the Pope to say? "Well, Catholicism is quite fun but then so is Islam. I also hear that Hindus have great parties and as for Zoroastrianism, it's really cool, man."

Give us a break here. He's a Catholic. He's the Catholic! Nobody is obliged to be Catholic, but if they say they are they should live as though they are. Which means they have to observe Catholic teaching. Requiring that they know what Catholic teaching is in the first place.

It's precisely because so many Catholics have been confused by decades of dreadful education and poor formation that they need reminding of basic Catholicism. Who better to do that than the Pope?

One of the reasons his latest statement has caused offence is because so many people, Catholic or otherwise, have all too often lost any sense of what constitutes a claim to truth.


Not that it's a difficult concept. If I believe in the exclusive truth of something, I cannot believe in the exclusive truth of something that contradicts it.

If I hated someone for not agreeing with me, that would be another issue.

But the only hatred that seems to be so fashionable these days is hatred for Catholicism, which we witnessed most of last week.

This whole issue also exposed just how ignorant and irresponsible the media has become.

A brief interview with a good priest would have told them all they had to know, but it's far more fun printing another anti-Catholic headline.

And that is, by the way, the absolute truth.

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