Friday, December 27, 2013

Reply To Tom Peters' Objections About Our Concerns

Two days ago Tom Peters posted a blog article in which he attempts to rebut concerns broached against an earlier post of his.  I would suspect that among the "reactions" to which he is, well, reacting is my post about the rose-colored glasses and/or the Vortex embedded therein.  I am somewhat taken aback by what appears to be judgmentalism and condescension regarding heartfelt concerns that motivate us.

His second paragraph begins with, "sure, I get it, it’s fun to be a cynic. It’s cool to be the one always predicting the next bad thing that’s going to happen."  Tom et al, I assure you that we are not having "fun" dealing with the messes that are issuing forth from the Vatican.  We see these "bad things" as causing confusion - the sort of confusion that can destroy faith and damn souls to hell.  We write to obtain clarification of these conundrums, not because we "enjoy the novelty of being papal skeptics".

Peters then lets off with "We must trust that when the cardinals chose Cardinal Brogoglio to be Pope, the Holy Spirit knew what He was doing. So let’s quit with the doom mongering."  Again, we are not "doom mongering" when we point out problems so obvious that one would have to be in active denial not to acknowledge it.  But let's look at the quote again.  Here we have him stating a premise then a conclusion.  However, the conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from that premise.  We trust that the Holy Spirit knows what he was doing; but that doesn't mean we should remain silent when there is cause for alarm.

Case in point.  No one denies that the Holy Spirit guided the Cardinal's actions many centuries ago when Pope Alexander VI ascended to the papacy.  No one can deny that Alexander's papacy was one huge debacle.  Hailing from the Borgia family, he brought with him some "family traditions".  He had people murdered, he fathered whole broods of illegitimate children and yes, he taught his children to be cut-throats as well.  Lucretia Borgia was his daughter via one of his concubines.  From another woman he sired Cesare Borgia - so ruthless was he that Machiavelli based his signature work The Prince on his chequered career.  Would Tom Peters have called it "doom mongering" to point out Alexander's foibles?   Yes, the laundry is indeed a tad spotty.

By the way - in the quote from Peters' piece that appears two paragraphs ago, I copied and pasted it from Peter's blog.  Thus the misspelling "Brogoglio" is Peters', not mine.  It should read "Bergoglio".

My friend at The Tenth Crusade put up an excellent rebuttal of Peters' piece.  I urge you to read it.  I need not rehash what she has said.  Rather, I'll direct your attention to this question that he poses in his second-to-last paragraph.  "If Pope Francis sees dissenting Catholics living more active lives of charity, showing more passion in their desire to fix the problems of the world, and being more vocal in the great debates of our time, what happens then?"   What Peters proposes is an impossibility.  Dissenting Catholics by definition are those who hold in disregard the Teachings of the Church that originate from Our Lord Himself.  In separating themselves from the Church, they cut themselves from the grace of truth and they usually attempt to draw others into their dissent.  Not only do they endanger their own immortal souls, but the souls of those whom they successfully seduce into their sinful patterns of belief and conduct.  Whatever else "charity" may mean, it does NOT mean the facilitation of the damnation of souls.  Charity leads to eternal salvation, not perdition.  Far from "fixing the problems of the world", they greatly exacerbate them owing to their disobedience to the Creator of the World.  For the life of me, I don't understand how Peters could suggest such an outlandish situation.  I might suggest a careful study of Pope Benedict's Caritas In Veritate.  As the title suggests, Pope Benedict made plain that there is no authentic charity without an adherence to truth.  And yes, truth does include (in many cases) "tradition" with a small "t", for those willing to disregard "tradition" are often quite willing to jettison "Tradition".

Peters, in the final paragraph, asks "So which is it going to be?"  I'll answer that.  As we see problems (and yes, Tom, they ARE problems), we will continue to bring them to light in order to bring about their rectification.  That's a part of "living the Gospel".  I for my part ask, "How much longer are you going to engage in denial and play the Three Monkeys?"

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