Sunday, March 29, 2015

Subway removes Ham and Bacon from Menu

200 Subway stores in Britain have decided No Ham, No Bacon! At the behest, of the Mohammadens, of course. A number of arguments were given in an attempt to help me see that I should take no offense. Nevermind the fact, that bacon on everything is life changing. This little article led me to think, pardon me while I pontificate.

One argument seems to go something like "Catholics demanded fish on Fridays, so they got fish. What's the difference?" Another seems to go something like "let Subway freely choose what they want on their menu."

To the first argument "Catholics demanded fish." I answer, when? When did Catholics demand that fish be served on Friday's or else? I think it may have went something more like the freedom argument. Catholics ate fish on Friday's and a large number of Catholics actually did it. As a result, eateries freely chose to add to their menu something that would appeal to Catholics and other lovers of fish and fish sandwhiches. Nothing, I repeat nothing was taken away upon demand. Fish is now on the menu, and customers are free to either eat fish or meat on Friday's. No one made any demands.

To the second argument, I answer, Subway did not freely choose to add anything to their menu. They were asked to take something off of their menu that most of the free world enjoys eating. In effect, limiting everyone's options. It seems to me that there is no need to eliminate pork from the menu unless, you are thinking terms other than freedom. Removing pork limits everyones options and in the context of the circumstances leaves one with no other reasonable position, than to believe that Subway, is enforcing the beliefs of the mohammadens on their customers. Mohammadens, do not need to choose pork when they go to subway. Just like they do not need to choose fish on Friday. The fish is still there for Catholics or fish lovers, since you do not have to be Catholic to enjoy fish on Friday and the pork should still be there for the rest of subway's customers who enjoy some bacon on their beef. This does not appear to be a move freely made and ordered toward the good of everyone. Rather, a choice that has been influenced by an ideology(not a true religion), which apparently Subway now wishes to impose on all of it's customers in at least 200 stores.

In short, I have yet to see a reasonable explanation, for not being offended by 200 of Subway's stores imposing Islamism on it's customers. What about Vegans? Why not take all meat of the menu?

One more piece of insight these two hundred stores are in what used to be considered the Western world. Make a note, immigration is turning them into Islamic countries. Ask yourself how you feel about that.

A better comparison would be something like Catholic business owners removing meat from the menu entirely on Fridays. Or Catholics demanding that meat be removed from the menu on Friday's. It would at least be more reasonable. Though neither has happened so, I suppose that is why some commentors chose to use a comparison that does not actually work in this particular situation.

Islamism is growing friends and the world is becoming more comfortable with it. Interesting times!

Pray the Rosary Daily!
Be Holy, Not Worldly!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy On Us!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

The article at the link gets to a new an improved translation of the gospel. Check it out..A modern translation...

What is described in the article is a sort of moralistic therapeutic deism.

Moralistic - we want some rules some moral laws. They are most important to us when other people go to the trouble of hurting or offending us. Of course, these moral laws are relative and malleable. They can be bent and stretched, perverted and contorted to help us to live comfortably without ever giving any thought to our own interior life. In fact, when we commit a human act, even if it be bad, we rarely call it sin.

Therapeutic - Religion all religion, ought to make us feel good about ourselves. If I go to mass, the music, the readings, the homily ought to make me feel good about myself. It is about me and my feelings.

Deism - There may be a small god, but there is nothing about him that would make me capitalize the pronoun him or use a capital "g" to spell his name. He is out there somewhere and even if he has created the universe, which I am still unsure of, there is not order, design, or purpose, which would obligate me to act in a manner incongruent with my morally relative and therapeutic beliefs. He makes me feel good about myself and he asks little to nothing of me.

This friends is generally the philosophy of the modern world. Bravo for Mr. Esolen, he has crafted an amazingly accurate essay on the current state of the culture and Christianity. Many of these philosophies have permeated and in many cases are now dominating the theological landscape.

Pray the Rosary daily!
 Be holy, not worldly!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cardinal Burke: "It is not the Truth."

The "relatio post disceptationem" does not convey the truth. Cardinal Burkes says in a recent interview, "It is not the Truth." He says this in regard to attempts by his brother bishops to obfuscate the truth about marriage. This is the trouble with gradualism. Regardless, of how it is used, whether it is to advance a lie or to advance a truth. Gradualism as a method of evangelization fails to accept that some things are true. They are true right here and now. It says, I will tell you later, when I have determined you are ready for it, but, not until then. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the other side is writing the "relatio post disceptationem." And the gradulistas are doing the Texas sidestep to avoid confrontation and the "feeling" of unpopularity and loneliness. Praise God For Cardinal Burke. He is a holy and courageous man of God who puts fidelity to God ahead of the acceptance of men.

"It's clear that there was a manipulation because the actual interventions of the members of the synod were not published, and only the mid-term report, or the “relatio post disceptationem”, was given, which had really nothing to do with what was being presented in the synod. And so it's clear to me that there were individuals who obviously had a very strong influence on the synod process who were pushing an agenda which has nothing to do with the truth about marriage as Our Lord Himself teaches it to us, as it is handed down to us in the Church. That agenda had to do with trying to justify extra-marital sexual relations and sexual acts between persons of the same sex and, in a way, clearly to relativize and even to obscure the beauty of the Church's teaching on marriage as a faithful, indissoluble, procreative union of one man and one woman...Well, it can't be a benefit to anyone, because it's not true: it's not the truth. And so it's only doing harm to everyone. It may be perceived as a benefit, for instance, to people who for whatever reason are caught up in immoral situations. It may be seen by some as in some way to justify them. But it can't justify them, because the acts themselves are not able to be justified."

Pray the Rosary Daily!
Be Holy, Not Worldly!
Sacred Heart of Jesus Have Mercy on us!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thinking Rightly

Jacques Maritain — On the Use of Philosophy


The Power of the Philosopher

A PHILOSOPHER is a man in search of wisdom, Wisdom does not indeed seem to be an exceedingly widespread commodity; there has never been overproduction in this field. The greater the scarcity of what the philosopher is supposed to be concerned with, the more we feel inclined to think that society needs the philosopher badly.

Unfortunately there is no such thing as the philosopher; this dignified abstraction exists only in our minds. There are philosophers; and philosophers, as soon as they philosophize, are, or seem to be, in disagreement on everything, even on the first principles of philosophy. Each one goes his own way. They question every matter of common assent, and their answers are conflicting. What can be expected from them for the good of society.

Moreover the greatness of a philosopher and the truth of his philosophy are independent values. Great philosophers may happen to be in the wrong. Historians bestow the honor of having been the “fathers of the modern world” upon two men, the first of whom was a great dreamer and a poor philosopher, namely Jean Jacques Rousseau; the second a poor dreamer and a great philosopher, namely Hegel. And Hegel has involved the modern world in still more far-reaching and still more deadly errors than Rousseau did.

At least this very fact makes manifest to us the power and importance of philosophers, for good and for evil. (Aesop, if I remember correctly, said as much of that valuable organ—the tongue.) If bad philosophy is a plague for society, what a blessing good philosophy must be for it! Let us not forget, moreover, that if Hegel was the father of the world of today insofar as it denies the superiority of the human person and the transcendence of God, and kneels before history, St. Augustine was the father of Christian Western civilization, in which the world of today, despite all threats and failures, still participates.

To look at things in a more analytical way, let us say that in actual existence society cannot do without philosophers.

Even when they are in the wrong, philosophers are a kind of mirror, on the heights of intelligence, of the deepest trends which are obscurely at play in the human mind at each epoch of history; (the greater they are, the more actively and powerfully radiant the mirror is). Now, since we are thinking beings, such mirrors are indispensable to us. After all, it is better for human society to have Hegelian errors with Hegel than to have Hegelian errors without Hegel—I mean hidden and diffuse errors rampant throughout the social body, which are Hegelian in type but anonymous and unrecognizable. A great philosopher in the wrong is like a beacon on the reefs, which says to seamen: steer clear of me. He enables men (at least those who have not been seduced by him) to identify the errors from which they suffer, and to become clearly aware of them, and to struggle against them. This is an essential need of society, insofar as society is not merely animal society, but made up of persons endowed with intelligence and freedom.

Even if philosophers are hopelessly divided among themselves in their search for a superior and all-pervading truth, at least they seek this truth; and their very controversies, constantly renewed, are a sign of the necessity for such a search. These controversies do not witness to the illusory or unattainable character of the object that these philosophers are looking for. They witness to the fact that this object is so difficult because it is crucial in importance: is not everything which is crucial in importance crucial also in difficulty? Plato told us that beautiful things are difficult, and that we should not avoid beautiful dangers. Mankind would be in jeopardy, and soon in despair, if it shunned the beautiful dangers of intelligence and reason. Moreover many things are questionable and oversimplified in the commonplace insistence on the insuperable disagreements which divide philosophers. These disagreements do indeed exist. But in one sense there is more continuity and stability on philosophy than in science. For a new scientific theory completely changes the very manner in which the former ones posed the question, whereas philosophical problems remain always the same, in one form or another. Nay more, basic philosophical ideas, once they have been discovered, become permanent acquisitions in the philosophical heritage. They are used in various, even opposite ways: they are still there. Finally, philosophers quarrel so violently because each one has seen some truth which, more often than not, has dazzled his eyes, and which he may conceptualize in an insane manner, but of which his fellow-philosophers must also be aware, each in his own perspective.

What is the Use of Philosophy?

At this point we come to the essential consideration: what is the use of philosophy? Philosophy, taken in itself, is above utility. And for this very reason philosophy is of the utmost necessity for men. It reminds them of the supreme utility of those things which do not deal with means, but with ends. For men do not live only by bread, vitamins, and technological discoveries. They live by values and realities which are above time, and are worth being known for their own sake; they feed on that invisible food which sustains the life of the spirit, and which makes them aware, not of such or such means at the service of their life, but of their very reasons for living—and suffering and hoping.

The philosophers in society witnesses to the supreme dignity of thought; he points to what is eternal in man, and stimulates our thirst for pure knowledge and disinterested knowledge, for knowledge of those fundamentals—about the nature of things and the nature of the mind, and man himself, and God—which are superior to, and independent of, anything we can make or produce or create—and to which all our practice is appendent, because we think before acting and nothing can limit the range of thought: our practical decisions depend on the stand we take on the ultimate questions that human thought is able to ask. That is why philosophical systems, which are directed toward no practical use and application have, as I remarked at the beginning, such an impact on human history.

The advocates of dialectical materialism claim that philosophy does not have to contemplate, but to transform the world: because philosophy is essentially praxis, instrument for action, power exercised on things. This is to return to the old magical confusion between knowledge and power, a perfect disregard of the function of thought. Philosophy is essentially a disinterested activity, directed toward truth loved for its own sake, not utilitarian activity for the sake of power over things. That is why we need it. If philosophy is one of the forces which contribute to the movement of history and the changes that occur in the world, it is because philosophy, in its primary task, which is the metaphysical penetration of being, is intent only on discerning and contemplating what is the truth of certain matters which have importance in themselves and for themselves, independently of what happens in the world, and which, precisely for that reason, exert an essential influence on the world.

Two aspects of the function of the philosopher in society have, it seems to me, special significance today. They have to do with Truth and Freedom.

The great danger which threatens modern societies is a weakening of the sense of Truth. On the one hand men become so accustomed to thinking in terms of stimuli and responses, and adjustment to environment; on the other hand they are so bewildered by the manner in which the political techniques of advertising and propaganda use the words of language that they are tempted finally to give up any interest in truth: only practical results, or sheer material verification of facts and figures, matter for them, without internal adherence to any truth really grasped. The philosopher who is pursuing his speculative task pays no attention to the interests of men or of the social groups, or of the state, reminds society of the absolute and unbending character of Truth.

As to Freedom, he reminds society that freedom is the very condition for the exercise of thought. This is a requirement of the common good itself of human society, which disintegrates as soon as fear, superseding inner convictions, imposes any kind of shibboleth upon human minds. The philosopher, even when he is wrong at least freely criticizes many things his fellowmen are attracted to. Socrates bore witness to this function of criticism which is inherent in philosophy. Even though society showed its gratitude to him in a quite peculiar way, he remains the great example of the philosopher in society. It is not without reason that Napoleon loathed idĂ©ologues, and that dictators, as a rule, hate philosophers.

Moral Philosophy

I have spoken above all of speculative or theoretical philosophy, the chief part of which is metaphysics. The name of Socrates calls forth another kind of philosophy, namely moral or practical philosophy.

Here the need of society for philosophy, and for sound philosophy, appears in a more immediate and urgent manner.

It has been often observed that science provides us with means—more and more powerful, more and more wondrous means. These means can be used for good or for evil, depending on the ends to which they are used. The determination on the true and genuine ends of human life is not within the province of science. It is within the province of wisdom. In other words, it is within the province philosophy—and, to tell the truth, not of philosophical wisdom alone, but of God-given wisdom. Society needs philosophers in this connection. It needs saints even more.

On the other hand the human sciences—psychology, sociology, anthropology—afford us with invaluable and ever-growing material dealing with the behavior of individual and collective man and with the basic components of human life and civilization. This is an immense help in our effort to penetrate the world of man. But all this material and this immense treasure of facts would be of no avail if it were not interpreted, so as to enlighten us on what man is. It is up to the philosopher to undertake this task of interpretation.

My point is that society is in special need of this sort of work. For merely materialinformation, or any kind of Kinsey report, on human mores, is rather of a nature to shatter the root beliefs of any given society, as long as it is not accompanied by genuine knowledge of man, which depends, in the last analysis, on wisdom and philosophy. Only the philosophical knowledge of man permits us, for example, to distinguish between what is conformable to the nature and reason of man, and the way in which men do in fact conduct themselves, indeed in the majority of cases; in other words, to distinguish between the modes of behavior which are really normal and modes of comportment which are statistically frequent.

Finally when I comes to moral values and moral standards, the consideration of our present world authorizes us to make the following remark: it is a great misfortune that a civilization should suffer from a cleavage between the ideal which constitutes its reason for living and acting, and for which it continues to fight, and the inner cast of mind which exists in people, and which implies in reality doubt and mental insecurity about this same ideal. As a matter of fact, the common psyche of a society or a civilization, the memory of past experiences, family and community traditions, and the sort of emotional temperament, or vegetative structure of feeling, which have been thus engendered, may maintain in the practical conduct of men a deep-seated devotion to standards and values in which their intellect has ceased to believe. Under such circumstances they are even prepared to die, if necessary, for refusing to commit some unethical action of for defending justice or freedom, but they are at a loss to find any rational justification for the notions of justice, freedom, ethical behavior; these things no longer have for their minds any objective and unconditional value, perhaps any meaning. Such a situation is possible; it cannot last. A time will come when people will give up in practical existence those values about which they no longer have any intellectual conviction. Hence we realize how necessary the function of a sound moral philosophy is in human society. It has to give, or to give back, to society intellectual faith in the value of its ideals.

These remarks apply to democratic society in a particularly cogent way, for the foundations of a society of free men are essentially moral. There are a certain number of moral tenets—about the dignity of the human person, human rights, human equality, freedom, law, mutual respect and tolerance, the unity of mankind and the ideal of peace among men—on which democracy presupposed common consent; without a general, firm, and reasoned-out conviction concerning such tenets, democracy cannot survive. It is not the job of scientists, experts, specialists, and technicians, it is the job of philosophers to look for the rational justification and elucidation of the democratic charter. In this sense, it is not uncalled-for to say that the philosopher plays in society as to principles, as important a part as the statesman as to practical government. Both may be great destroyers if they are mistaken. Both may be genuine servants of the common good, if they are on the right road. Nothing is more immediately necessary for our times than a sound political philosophy.

I would betray my own convictions if I did not add that—given on the one hand the state of confusion and division in which the modern mind finds itself, on the other hand the fact that the deepest incentive if democratic thought is, as Henri Bergson observed, a repercussion of the Gospel’s inspiration in the temporal order—philosophy, especially moral and political philosophy, can perform its normal function in our modern society, especially as regards the need of democratic society for a genuine rational establishment of its common basic tenets, only if it keeps vital continuity with the spirit of the Judaeo-Christian tradition and with the wisdom of the Gospel, in other words, if it is a work and effort of human reason intent on the most exacting requirements of philosophical method and principles, equipped with all the weapons and information of contemporary science, and guided by the light of the supreme truths of which the Christian faith makes us aware.

I know that the notion of Christian philosophy is a controversial notion, and rather complicated. I have no intention of discussing that problem here. I should like only to point out that we cannot help posing it. As for myself, the more I think about the relationship between philosophy and theology in the course of history, the more I am convinced that in the concrete existence this problem is solved in a favorable to the notion of Christian philosophy.

One final point should be touched upon; I will limit myself to a few remarks on it. It has to do with the philosopher’s attitude toward human, social, political affairs.

Needless to say, a philosopher may set aside his philosophical pursuits and become an man of politics. But what of a philosopher who remains simply a philosopher, and acts only as a philosopher?

On the one hand we may suppose, without fear of being wrong, that he lacks the experience, the information, and the competence which are proper to a man of action: it would be a misfortune for him to undertake to legislate in social and political matters in the name of pure logic, as Plato did.

But, on the other hand, the philosopher cannot—especially in our time—shut himself up in an ivory tower; he cannot help being concerned about human affairs, in the name of philosophy itself and by reason of the very values which philosophy has to defend and maintain. He has to bear witness to these values, every time they are attacked, as in the time of Hitler when insane racist theories worked to provoke the mass murder of Jews, or as today before the threat by communist despotism. The philosopher must bear witness by expressing his thoughts and telling the truth as he sees it. This may have repercussions in the domain of politics; it is not, in itself, a political action—it is simply applied philosophy.

It is true that the line of demarcation is difficult to draw. This means no one, not even philosophers, can avoid taking risks, when justice or love are at stake, and when one is face to face with the strict command of the Gospel: haec oportuit facere, et illa non omittere, “these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Mt 23:23).

+ + +
Source: On the Use of Philosophy: Three Essays, by Jacques Maritain. (1961)
("The Philosopher in Society" is the first of three essays.)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Heaping Dose of Conedmnation

First and foremost pray for Archbishop Cordileone! He is a bishop in the mold of the Church Fathers. Pastoral care for his flock takes precedence over popularity. He seems to recognize that the Catholic Church, holiness of life, is never going to be some "mainstream"organism. In fact, going "mainstream" is what has killed the Church. Holiness of life is really not a thing to most Catholics in our post Christian culture.

Holiness of life was the first order of business for the early Christians. They had to worship Christ in secret. If they did not men like Diocletian would have brutally tortured and killed them. Because Christians of the early Church and Christendom, believed that Jesus Christ was truly present in the Eucharist. Which prompted St. Paul a firm believer in Christ's real presence in the Eucharist to say:

"Whoever therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup." 1 Cor. 11: 27-28

This would appear to correspond with Can. 916:

"A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible."

A act of perfect contrition is incredibly difficult to make. It would require perfect sorrow, which would require perfect charity. The important thing to remember is that the Church asks you to police yourself. Just say no! Examine your conscience and sit in the pew if you have not made confession in over a year or you are in a state of mortal sin. The Church asks you to be responsible and to truthfully acknowledge you are not in a state of divine friendship with God. Mortal sin does that to your soul. It destroys the interior life of grace and severs the bond of charity with Christ. To receive the Lord in a state of mortal sin, as St. Paul says, is to bring severe judgment and condemnation upon yourself.

The council of Trent reiterates this constant teaching and makes no room for perfect contrition as it is not the common way in which Christ revealed our mortal sins would be forgiven:

"no one who has a mortal sin on his conscience shall dare to receive the Holy Eucharist before making confession, regardless of how contrite he may think he is. This holy council declares that this custom is to be kept forever." 

Bishop Cordileone is simply echoing the faith of the Church. Would that more bishops and priests had the virtue of fortitude to such a high degree! He is a spiritual father and he has the obligation to the souls in his charge to tell them the truth. If his children refuse to hold themselves accountable and their mortal sins become public knowledge he is then obligated to enforce Can. 915:

"Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion." 

When priests and bishops know that you or I have rejected some article of divine revelation or we are obstinately persisting in manifest grave sin, they are obligated to refuse holy communion to us, for our own good. That is what parents do. A spiritual father, a good spiritual father, tells his children no sometimes. He has to. He knows what is good for them and according to St. Paul receiving the Eucharist in manifest grave sin or a rejection of that what has been divinely revealed is deadly:

"For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died." 1 Cor. 11: 29-30

This is a truly Catholic understanding of the theology of grace. We participate in our salvation, by our actions and our choices. Receiving the Eucharist with the proper disposition increases the divine life in the soul and literally obliterates mortal sin. Christ gives us His life if we simply cooperate by our own free actions. Grace increases! I cannot however accomplish this on my own.  The Lutheran understanding of justification unfortunately obliterates the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through grace as well as the power of the Holy Spirit to heal our soul and cleanse it of mortal sin. As a result, it would not matter how you received the Eucharist if you were Lutheran, or if you believe those things that the Church holds are divinely revealed. Because as Luther says:

"Sin mightily and believe more mightily still; you will be saved." 

This was Fr. Luther's way of saying that charity (good works) are useless for salvation, faith in Christ alone suffices. Luther rejected the notion that mortal sin was obliterated by the infusion of divine charity. Rather, a man's  sins are simply covered  over or veiled by faith in Christ and they cease to be imputed to the sinner in question. There is no interior renewal of the soul, the grave sin remains attached and present. A man is made holy or just by the extrinsic imputation of the justice of Christ. The reality of this position is simple, man remains in his sin, he remains separated from the divine gift of charity offered for our sanctification and our salvation.

All of this has been lost on our post Christian culture which prefers to remain in it's sin. Archbishop Cordileone is a good Father. He seems to see that many of his children do not want what mother Church is offering them. For their good and for the sake of their salvation, he is telling them no. No, please do not call a big heaping dose of condemnation upon yourself, by pridefully receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin or obstinate rejection of divine revelation.
Pray for him. Pray for your own humility and mine.

Be holy, not worldly!
Pray the Rosary Daily!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on us!

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Reality of Things...

In a the modern era of theology and philosophy the formation of thought tends toward Kantian idealism and Protestantism, especially in matters of first principles and our final end. It was not always so, up until approximately 300 years ago, most people lived in the realm of reality. They embraced the epistemological realism of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. Truth, rather than finding it's origin in my small mind, was discovered written into the nature of things. I discovered it with the use of my small mind. It was not something that I created or shape shifted, it was something that I ordered my life to. It demanded that I change. It still does. Dr. Peter Kreeft says of epistemological realism:

"..the object of human reason, when reason is working naturally and rightly, is objective reality as it really is; that human reason can know objective reality, and can sometimes know it with certainty..."

It was precisely this realism that when united to the sacred deposit of faith brought about Christendom. Kant, Hume, and Protestantism led the rebellion against this realism. Hume believed that the object of our knowledge began in the mind, in our ideas rather than in reality. Kant accepted Hume's work and took it a bit further. He believed that those ideas or thoughts that are the object of our knowledge actually construct or form reality. Those thoughts give a thing it's nature, a thing has no form until my small mind gives it one. The one who knows, determines the known object rather than vice versa. In other words, a thing does not have an essence or essential nature, rather it is given one by the knower. In short, this was the end of universals and the rational understanding and belief in an ordered and knowable universe governed by a natural law and ordered to truth, goodness, and beauty.

Kantian idealism is applied to nearly everything today. Marriage for example. The essence of marriage is now denied by most of the modern world. It is whatever I wish it to be in my small mind. Kantian idealism is applied with great fervor to the liturgy. Like marriage, the marriage supper of the lamb is simply a construct of the mind which can be manipulated to suit time, place or person. There is no longer a belief that the thing we call call Catholic liturgy has an essential nature a reality that is to be discovered and accepted as it is. Both of which are the product of a Kantian idealism replacing epistemological reality.

 Most of the modern world, even good Catholics have accepted Kantian idealism and Protestantism is one of the primary signs of this rejection of truth. Protestantism allows us to see the outcome of rejecting objective truth. Division, disunity, discord, they all reasonably follow the acceptance of Kantian idealism. Every individual is the arbiter of truth, it clearly will not take long before, ecclesial community after ecclesial community, like Luther, will reject their "supreme pastor" in favor the truth discovered in their own mind. The Catholic hierarchy is not immune to Kantian idealism. In fact, it seems the hierarchy of the Church is in complete chaos, other than the occasional word from the always rational and faithful Cardinal Burke. The ability of the Church to teach the faith is generally schizophrenic, even at the highest level. Why? The epistemological idealism of Kant has become the philosophy that governs their theology. This is not simply a problem of the council or even some time just prior to the council. Rather, it is the result of a long slow process of Kantian principles causing the deterioration of Catholic Theology and liturgy. After all, Kant was a Protestant who revolted against both true philosophy and true religion. In 1879 Pope Leo XIII wrote dropped a big fat truth hammer, clearly identifying the problem:

"Whoso turns his attention to the bitter strifes of these days and seeks a reason for the troubles that vex public and private life must come to the conclusion that a fruitful cause of the evils which now afflict, as well as those which threaten, us lies in this: that false conclusions concerning divine and human things, which originated in the schools of philosophy, have now crept into all the orders of the State, and have been accepted by the common consent of the masses.   Aeterni Patris

Pope Leo XIII believes that there is an objective reality. One which can be known and up until this point it was generally accepted. Even at the moment that Pope Leo XIII wrote Aterni Patris, the signs of the times were clear. Objective truth as it can be known both philosophically (Natural theology) and Theologically (Supernatural Theology) was becoming the the soothing ointment of the itching ears of humanity.  Too much of this ointment as Dietrich Von Hildebrand witnessed first hand in Germany, leads to the rejection of the dignity of the human person, tyranny, and eventually genocide. Von Hildebrand frequently said that accepting the objective truth was essential to a truly human life. He says that it's "dethronement" leads to a "decomposition of man's very life." He goes on to say in his book the New Tower of Babel:

"Disrespect for truth - when not merely a theoretical thesis, but a lived attitude - patently destroys all morality, even all reasonability and all community life. All objective norms are dissolved by this attitude of indifference toward truth; so also is the possibility of resolving any discussion or controversy objectively . Peace among individuals or nations and all trust in other persons are impossible as well.  The very basis of a really human life is subverted."

The quote from Von Hildebrand was written almost 100 years later. But as you can see we were still fighting the same battle. The denial of objective truth is the first principle of our culture. Most people believe that a thing is true if they simply say that it is. They believe that it is possible for the principle of non-contradiction to be the first principle of truth. If Christendom was marked by a unity of thought and belief in universal truth, the post Christian era is marked by a unity of belief in moral relativism. While we can see the effects of the denial of universals and the natural law in our conversations, the moral law, and the cultural life quite plainly, we are left to ask the question, does reason effect faith? Does it in fact effect what I believe about my origin, my purpose, and my supernatural end? The answer should be obvious. But for many moderns it is not. It is as if faith has retained a restraining order from reason and the two can no longer be within a 1000 ft. of each other. In order to restore the dignity of the human person and ultimately renew the culture we must recover what has been lost. We must recover the epistemological realism of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. A remedy given by Pope Leo XIII:

"philosophy, if rightly made use of by the wise, in a certain way tends to smooth and fortify the road to true faith, and to prepare the souls of its disciples for the fit reception of revelation"

Cajetan said of St. Thomas Aquinas:

(Because) "He most venerated the ancient doctors of the Church, in a certain way seems to have inherited the intellect of all" 

The teaching of Aquinas has been generally rejected within the Church. If the Church intends to recover, to restore her sacred liturgy, and to evangelize successfully, She must as Pope Leo XIII says restore epistemological realism and in the process the teaching of St. Thomas. Even heretics know the danger of a Church formed by the wisdom of St. Thomas's realism:

"For it has come to light that there were not lacking among the leaders of heretical sects some who openly declared that, if the teaching of Thomas Aquinas were only taken away, they could easily battle with all Catholic teachers, gain the victory, and abolish the Church. " Aeterni Patris

Faith and reason belong together. When they are united to each other reality becomes more clear. What we believe becomes more clear and our ability to articulate it becomes more clear. The enemies of the Church have no doubt brought Kantian idealism to bare on Catholic theology. It is time that the restraining order were lifted and the realism of Aquinas was brought to bare on Catholic Theology. As the Heretics well knew then, and will soon discover again, when St. Thomas is in the fight, there is no easy victory.

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