Fides et Ratio

Memory, essential to human civilization.

“This is how epochal shifts occur, as Tacitus notes in the opening to his Annals. It was the longevity of Octavian that cemented Rome’s shift from Republic to Empire. The authentic Republic had been suspended for twenty years — since Julius Caesar’s fording of the Rubicon — when Caesar’s adopted son Octavian assumed absolute power after the Battle of Actium, but the Republic was still within the living memory of much of the population. Forty years later, when Octavian died (as “Caesar Augustus”), there was no one left to remember.

When there is no one left to remember, whom do you consult about a renaissance?”

Interesting. I have not formed an opinion, yet. “It is thus worthwhile to provide in more detail the theological reasons that establish that not all canonisations are infallible, and that Catholics are not required to accept that canonisation is necessarily an infallible act of the magisterium.”

“It is thus the acceptance, rather than the denial, of the infallibility of canonisations that threatens the morals of the faithful. And this threat is being realized right now. If we accept that John Paul II and Paul VI were saints, we must accept that their catastrophic failures in carrying out their duties of state did not interfere with their possession of holiness and exemplification of heroic virtue.

It means that Paul VI’s protection and promotion of heretical clergy and illegal suppression of the traditional Latin rite, and John Paul II’s inaction in the face of clerical pedophilia — to name only a few of their failures — made no difference to their going straight to heaven after death. Current bishops can thus follow these policies with no qualms of conscience and no fears for their salvation. As is well known, many bishops at the present time are doing just that; and the canonisations of Paul VI and John Paul II play a non-negligible role in their doing so. The faithful, in turn, are hamstrung in criticizing these disastrous policies by these canonisations. This whitewashing of moral failure and dereliction of duty in these popes also produces a general moral confusion and demoralization among all the faithful.”

“Peterson said that anyone who is subject to that kind of assessment, “as long as it’s done with care, and not with [the attitude], ‘I’m better than you’” can be helped to be made better.

“‘Man, you’re nothing like you should be,’” Peterson said is more of the approach that needs to be taken by spiritual leaders today.

The professor said later in the conversation with Barron that what’s required to really help people today is a “reemphasis on the potential nobility of the human being and the moral responsibility to make that nobility a reality.”

“We’re built for nobility,” Peterson said. “

My friends, it is not about the death penalty. The prize is much bigger.

“Human Dignity Demands Justice

Part of human dignity is paying for your crimes. We don’t imprison people or execute them first and foremost to keep society safe. That’s a happy side effect. But it’s only right to do that if we’re also enacting justice. If we are proportionately punishing an actual person for his real crimes against his neighbors and the community. Otherwise, if justice isn’t the crucial, essential element? Then we could pre-emptively imprison people who seemed likely to commit crimes later. We could also hold people in prison for life for lesser crimes, just to be on the safe side. That’s what totalitarian states, based on ideologies like socialism, do routinely. They scoff at “justice” as a “bourgeois” prejudice.

If you lack a firm sense of right and wrong, you won’t feel comfortable with the state dispensing justice. But you might still have a squishy, squeamish preference for order over chaos, pleasure over suffering. So you’ll favor actions that seem to keep you safe, diminish the suffering quotient and feed the pleasure principle. That might mean … aborting handicapped infants and euthanizing sick people.  Neither one is a “just” punishment for anything. It’s just a ruthless, unprincipled use of force to promote an outcome you treasure, or snuff out a life that you don’t.”

“A key problem for Darwinism, Gelernter said, is the Cambrian explosion. The fossil record reveals “a striking variety of new organisms — including the first-ever animals — pop up suddenly in the fossil record over a mere 70-odd million years,” which contradicts Darwin’s assumption that “new life forms evolve gradually from old ones in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life.”

Chief among the flaws undermining Darwinism, he wrote, is molecular biology, which in recent decades has demonstrated that random mutation plus natural selection cannot give rise to new, more complex species.”

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