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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

As Ol’ Robbo threatened suggested in his blogiversary post below, I am taking a try at a regular Sunday post dedicated to matters religious.  Feel free to make of it what you will.

And I’m sorry to have to start this series off on such a negative footing, but just what the hell is going on with the Church?

First another hideous sex-scandal hits, revealing that apparently certain people, including certain very senior people, learned absolutely nothing at all from the last round of abuse and cover-up that came to light in the early aughts.

Curiously, though, I am seeing very little about it in the mainstream media this time around, instead getting most of my information from the more orthodox clergy and some of the rad-trad bloggers and FB’ers.  (My own Padre was livid last Sunday, bless him.)

At first I thought this was because the MSM is still trying to alienate social conservatives from Trump (which see the Stormy Daniels kerfluffle) and reckoned that another round of Church-bashing would harm that effort.  Some friends, however, suggest that because this time, while there is some child-abuse involved, there is also a good bit of adult, ah, action (diddling seminarians as I understand it), the MSM is lying relatively doggo because it doesn’t want to come across as hostile to homosexuality, especially within the priesthood.  Who knows.

Second, is Pope Francis calling down the thunder on these people?  Not so far as I’ve seen.  Instead, he’s fooling about with the Catechism, having apparently decided that there is never a proper justification for imposition of the death penalty.  (I am using “he” very loosely here. I have to read up more on the parliamentarian side of this – a Pope simply can’t wake up one morning and change HMC’s teachings all by himself.)

This puzzles me.  As I understand it, for 2000 years the Church has said that there is nothing inherently wrong with the death penalty per se.  It has to be imposed prudently, of course, and only in the gravest circumstances, but the underlying point that yes, a society can justly call for the forfeiture of a person’s life if that person has done something hideous enough, has remained sound.  Now, apparently, Francis is saying there are no longer any such justifying circumstances.

To me it seems that either he is claiming the Church has had it wrong all this time, which is impossible according to our Faith, or else that some new wrinkle in civilization has now changed the calculus, which is equally impossible because Truth is eternal, at least Spiritual Truth.  Politicks, on the other hand, perpetually chops and changes with the wind. [Ed. – And there you put your finger on it, me boy.]

For all that, I’m not especially het up about the actual change itself, since I’ve become increasingly ambivalent about the death penalty in recent years, but I worry terribly that this is more of a sighting shot, a setting of precedent which will allow for inroads against other long-standing social teachings.

Like, for instance, those regarding human sexuality?  The World wonders.

Sigh.  I know what my Padre would say about this post:  First, the Church will weather this as she will weather everything because Jesus promised it.  Second, you just worry about your own sinful self, Master Robbo. But still…..

By the bye, Father Z has a post up about the language of the new CCC section, as well as another one about how doctrinal development is supposed to work.

 

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