lördag 15 april 2017

Is this Playing the Devil's Advocate?

The word "devil's advocate" has two meanings. In Catholic parlance, it means a person in whom is confided the task to oppose the canonisation of a Saint. He is supposed to bring up all that can be said so as to conclude "we cannot canonise X as a saint". In some cases, some of these men may have even considered someone who was after that canonised as having probably gone to Hell, i e to the Devil, hence the nickname "devil's advocate". His real name is "promotor fidei", because he is there to see to it faith is not diluted due to a canonisation which is false.

In more recent parlance, it means defending a man who is very impopular - a man who is about as impopular (at least among the relevant set) as the devil is among Christians. A man who says "Stalin was more orderly and more cherishing of Orthodox Christianity than Lenin" would thus be playing "the devil's advocate" among people of Anarchist, Trotskist, Leninist-but-Antistalinist convictions.

Among some, defending even a phrase of Amoris Laetitia is similarily playing the devil's advocate.

The Old Evangelisation : Pope Francis vs. Trent
Mar 11, 2017

A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding “its inherent values”, or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin.

Amoris Laetitiae, §301

If anyone says that the commandments of God are impossible to observe even for a man who is justified and established in grace, let him be anathema.

Council of Trent, session 6, canon 18

There is no contradiction. Trent qualifies the condemned proposition with "even for a man who is justified and established in grace". AL does not pretend that the concrete situation involves a man being justified and established in grace.

In fact, the final words of §301 are not totally synonym to "in order to avoid sin", but rather synonym to "without further sin", that is "to avoid graver mortal sins than the ones one is already caught in".

If I were to towse a girl without being married, then get the shrinks who pretend I am homosexual to realise I am heterosexual, then get an allowance from Churchmen listening to them to marry, specifically her, I would not be avoiding mortal sin, but I might be avoiding to get into worse mortal sins than I am already in. I might even, after that, get back to grace.

Of course, it would have been preferrable to have get married first, but perhaps some Church men have not allowed me to get on with marriage, have blocked me, due to them taking, superstitiously, the words of shrinks as Gospel truth about me, as if being "shrink of H G Lundahl" were the equivalent of being a cobbler and deserving of believing each artisan in his own art, like I believe cobblers when they say what has to be done about my shoes.

On the other hand, if I had been so righteous that I would have been able to stay both charitable and chaste without being allowed marriage, this might have been a better thing per se.

I am not sure it would have been a better thing for me in the end. God may have a plan for getting me back to justified and getting me established in grace, firmly.

But Trent does not say that I can stay chaste and charitable even if unmarried even if I am not in a state of grace. Trent in fact says, elsewhere, that as long as I am not in a state of grace, I cannot in the long term avoid all mortal sin. Nor does Trent state I will stay unmarried.

Having defended a paragraph, however, I must say that Bergoglio seems to have been at least tolerant of bishops and monasteries and fraternities waylaying me so as to force me to stay celibate, or even testing me in military traditional ways if I am homo before allowing me to marry. Those traditional tests are not quite out of place when allowing a man a place in a regiment, since even a shade of homosexual feelings may be a shade too much for that regiment, since there is bound to be someone with a shade of homophobic sentiment, such as God has given most men, including me, to preserve us if tempted to homosexuality. But even more so, because a man denied a place in a regiment because unjustly considered homosexual will usually not be tempted to sin for the sole reason of being denied a military carreer.

But such tests are out of place when deciding if a man has a right to marry or not. Since some wives do not take certain shades of homosexual mentality as an affront, and even more so since being denied marriage can for some people actually be damnation. Since one of the goods of marriage is precisely "in remedium concupiscentiae". Since a heterosexual man being denied, not a carreer presupposing for the sake of other men hetereosexuality, as much as a bliss proper to heterosexuality, may be tempted to hatred - and may not rise above it. It is not for nothing that St Paul said I Tim 4:1-3:

1 Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared, 3 Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth.

If these times are last, vegetarianism seems to recur without Gnosticism, and it could well be that he was by "forbidding to marry" not referring to a total and general ban (though some feminists and some redefinitions of marriage seen to go that way), but about forbidding particular men totally to do so.

There is similarily an individually tailored ban on alcohol around, a ban available for those who have been stamped as "alcoholics". I suspect I have been caught in that kind of social trap too, which is not likely to make me more charitable.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Holy Saturday

2 kommentarer:

  1. It is expected that a technical term in Theology, like , for example, "Devil's Advocate", will shift and be dulled in precision when taken into common parlance. All classical languages like Latin or Sanskrit go through this. An example in Sanskrit is "dharma", which starts out in Liturgical Sanskrit, like Sanskrit used in the Rig Veda, and from there, on into Puranic Sanskrit, and in both cases " dharma" indicates the essence of something. The dharma of sugar is sweetness, sweetness is sine qua none. An unsweet sugar has something wrong. We now press on to the Buddhists and their use of dharma. They asked, what is essential in all the Universe--what is the finest most wondrous substance, and concluded that was the teachings of Gautama Rishi, the prophet Buddha. So what is Buddhist dharma? Is it the essence of Buddha? No, it is what Buddha taught, a big shift. Yet a considerate and meditative approach reveals a transformation (I will not comment on whether it is good). Latin shifts into French the same way. There are laws governing this, like physical laws, like gravity, and some important ones were developed in Grimm's law: "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm%27s_law".

  2. Grimm's law is not a physical law.

    It is a description of an event which involved bad attention. As do all language changes. The language before the changes was not Latin and is unknown, therefore it is uncertain if changes were really in that direction. The language after that is not French, but the Germanic language group, which also involves Verner's law.