Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dr. Mirus Tries To Defend The Indefensible

A few days ago Pope Francis made plain his intention to permit adulterers to seal their eternal damnation by committing sacrilege against the Holy Eucharist.  I wrote about that two days ago.  I don't know why Dr. Jeff Mirus tries to spin Pope Francis' mess in some sort of "positive" way, but he makes some logical gaffes in so doing.  He tries to set forth a hypothetical case of adultery being a venial sin only.  To wit: (begin quote)

"Very briefly, then, I would argue that the following is the most likely scenario in which the presumption that only venial sin is involved may be reasonably justified:

  • An invalidly married couple has had children together, who are still at home.
  • Either the man or the woman recognizes the sinfulness of the “marriage”, regrets having entered into it, and desires now to do what is right (which in this case would be for the parents to live as brother and sister while still caring for their children as mother and father in the same household).
  • The other party refuses to live as brother and sister.
  • The other party says he (or she) will leave the family if sexual relations are refused.
  • Hence the man or woman in question continues sexual relations, in effect under duress, to ensure that his or her children are not deprived of one parent.
  • Now, even if we argue that the morally correct course is to separate from the unrepentant spouse and trust in God, it is easy to see that—at the very least—this would be hard to discern and, even if discerned, there would be tremendous fear of depriving one’s children of a family setting which includes both their mother and their father."

    (end quote)  I scarcely know where to begin, but here goes.
    • Dr. John Lamont, in his own commentary published on Rorate Caeli, points out that the so-called "repentant" spouse is indeed acting voluntarily.  The difficulties of his/her choice do not compromise their free will.  The so-called "repentant" spouse isn't all that repentant.
    • When evaluating the morality of a given act, the FIRST consideration must be to the nature of the act itself.  If the act is inherently immoral, all other considerations are moot.
    • Those of us who are old enough remember from our catechism that ALL sins against the 6th commandment are mortal.  Temptations to the same are not mortal as they only become sin when consent is given.  If the so-called "innocent spouse" acquiesces to the meanie, he/she still gives consent.
    • As an aside, one might wonder just what the "innocent spouse" would gain in such a scenario.  If the obdurate one threatens to leave the family if he/she is not gratified, what does that say about their own devotion to the children?  What kind of parent would he/she really be?  What kind of "family setting" is it when one spouse is essentially blackmailing the other spouse to commit mortal sin and damn their soul to hell?
    • So far the conversation has been about those "rare, difficult" cases.  Well, remember the 1930 Lambeth Conference?  The Anglicans allowed for contraception only "for special cases".  We know how that turned out, don't we?  That's the plan here: allow sacrilege for those "hard" cases, and the camel's nose will be under the tent, never to be removed.
    There are a number of folks who can't deal with the increasingly obvious fact that we have a pope who is not taking seriously his God-given charge to safeguard the Deposit of Faith.  In fact, many of his words and actions seem designed to undermine it.  Dr. Mirus seems to be of that mindset.  

    By the way - I'd also urge you to read the commentary from Robert Royal.

    Now a word about comments.  Most folks know that I entertain most comments, provided they are respectful and honor the Church.  I will not entertain comments from those who won't entertain comments on their own sites, or who charge fees for the "privilege" of commenting.


    1. The behavior displayed by Dr. Mirus is what some traditionalist Catholics termed "neo-Catholicism" many years ago.

      What has happened is this:

      1. The changes in the Church brought about via Vatican II disoriented everyone, high and low.

      2. As a result, some Catholics lost the Faith entirely, including many nuns and clergy.

      3. Of the group that lost the Faith, many just dropped out of the Church altogether, never more to be seen.

      Other people in that group, even nuns, priests, and bishops, stayed within the official structures of the Church but began practicing a faith completely foreign to the Catholic Faith.

      They are still around and have been damaging the Faith for over half a century.

      4. A great number of Catholics, fairly clueless, just accepted whatever happened in the Church. They perfunctorily showed up for Mass even though they no longer knew, or believed, what the Church actually teaches. But they at least showed up.

      They have reared families who, for the most part, have lost the Faith, but some in this group still go to church, send their children to ostensibly Catholic schools, et cetera.

      5. Other Catholics became "traditionalists" and resisted the changes in whatever manner they were able. They held fast to the old Mass and the moral teachings of the Church, but many of these were ousted from the official structures of the Church, for lack of better terminology.

      6. That leaves the group that Dr. Mirus belongs to. This group of Catholics was disoriented by the changes but wanted to continue to practice the Catholic Faith to the extent they could under the new paradigm.

      What did they do?

      The only thing they could do: Place all their hopes on the popes.

      They know that Christ gave a special promise to Saint Peter and, by extension, to his successors, so even though this group became disoriented like the rest of us, they were clinging tenaciously to everything that came from the pope(s).

      On certain things, up until recently, that worked fine, such as the moral teachings of the Church. Even though the popes were doing some odd things, the Church's teachings on morals seemed okay.

      On the liturgy, it didn't fare so well, but there has been somewhat of a correction in that regard, as the old Mass is now tolerated, at least in theory, if not in practice.

      However, now we are in a different situation because we now have a pope who, it appears, is not upholding the moral teachings of the Church and appears, in fact, to be contradicting them.

      So, what do these "neo-Catholics" do? The only thing they can do: They stick with the pope... and change their beliefs.

      Hence, something that no Catholic ever, ever, ever thought or taught, i.e., that an adulterous union could be a venial sin as opposed to a mortal sin, is invented in order to put the square peg of the reigning pope's ideas into the round hole of the Catholic Faith.

      This is what American psychologist Leonard Festinger termed "cognitive dissonance."

      The rot has been there quite awhile, and Our Lord is now purging His Church. These times had to come, as Sister Lucia has said. Let us go forward, confident in Faith but unwavering. We are going to suffer, no doubt about it.

      Keep up the good work.

    2. So far Fr. Brian Harrison's critique, published a while back, of this supposed "hard" case is the absolute best I've read. The bottom line is that Mirus and others attempting to strain the gnat are confusing an extremely difficult (but morally right) decision with an involuntary act made through fear.


      Here's my own superficial analysis:

      God bless,


    Please be respectful and courteous to others on this blog. We reserve the right to delete comments that violate courtesy and/or those that promote dissent from the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.