Today at The Catholic Thing (btw… did you know that was the title of a book by Rosemary Haughton?) there is a perspicacious offering called
Pascal and the Jesuits [which could be the name of a discordant band]
It seems to me (I’m hardly alone) that many clerical leaders (priests and bishops) are relatively “soft” on matters related to sexual sin – fornication, unmarried cohabitation, abortion, and homosexuality. It’s not that they approve of these things; they just don’t go out of their way to condemn them.
Qui tacet consentire videtur?
He goes on to distinguish three types of Christians, “serious… ordinary…bad”. The second, because they are rather tepid, are dangerous for the faith and the Church in the present milieu.
And so, to make sure these folks, the great majority of Catholics, don’t leave the Church, thereby not only damaging the religion but endangering their own salvation, the Church loosens the reins on these people. If they don’t believe everything the Church believes, oh well, let’s not make a fuss about it. And if they have incorrigible habits of sin, well, let’s not make them feel uncomfortable by publicly condemning the sins they’re prone to; and let’s tell them that God is forgiving and tolerant; and let’s remind them that all sins can be instantaneously wiped away in the confessional or on a good deathbed. Above all, let’s tell them that, practically speaking, the goal of this life (except for a rare few) is not Heaven but Purgatory; in other words, you don’t have to get an A-plus in sanctity, a C-minus will do just fine. [A horrid thing to tell people!]
In his Provincial Letters, Blaise Pascal (a Class 1 Catholic if ever there was one) finds fault with the Jesuits of his day for bending Catholicism so that it will accommodate the un-Christian code of honor that was then typical of upper-class gentlemen. In one of the more hilarious letters, Pascal tells of a Jesuit casuist (some things never change) who figured out a way for a gentleman to participate in a duel while not, technically speaking, violating the Catholic rule that dueling is a mortal sin.
And then there are the James Martins of the world, whose influence is at least enervating if not downright pernicious….
When the Jesuits tolerated, say, the morality of 17th century French gentlemen – a morality that included dueling and “gallantry” (as upper-class adultery was euphemistically called) – they were not tolerating a non- or anti-Catholic religion. They were tolerating – however much we may laugh about it – an un-Catholic code of manners and morals, quite a different thing.
But when today’s Jesuits (and other Catholic clerics) are “soft” on sex-related sins, including homosexuality, they are doing much more than making a calculated accommodation to an un-Christian code of manners. They are tolerating a sexual ethic that is part and parcel of an increasingly militant anti-Catholic religion.
What religion is that? Secular humanism, a comprehensive worldview that is tantamount to a (God-less) religion. Dueling in 17th century upper-class Paris was bad, but it was not an affirmation of an anti-Catholic religion. By contrast, abortion and homosexuality in 21st century America truly are affirmations of a growing and decidedly anti-Catholic quasi-religion.
Catholic leaders from the pope on down need to wake up to the nature of that new mortal threat.
I often remark to myself that some clerics today “belong to another religion”. They sure don’t seem to be Catholic in a lot of important ways.
Be sure to read the whole piece over at The Catholic Thing. There’s quite a bit more and it’s good.
Sometimes I think that the good Jesuits who suffered, back when the Order was suppressed, were actually offering it up for the bad Jesuits of today.
“But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” (Douay Rheims)
” they are rather tepid, are dangerous for the faith and the Church in the present milieu.
“some clerics today “belong to another religion”.”
God will be vomiting someone out of His mouth!
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Ahh the Jesuits. Here’s a Pope Clement XIV meme in honor of their suppression. (There’s a pop culture reference there that trads may or may not get.) https://www.facebook.com/serversbenchservings/photos/a.1508202572843913.1073741828.1504523883211782/1862809030716597/
Pascal was certainly not a “class 1 Catholic if there ever was one”. I don’t make any moral judgment on him, of course; there are all sorts of ignorance and of “this opinion is, if you press the issue, still tolerable”-s and the like. But in point of fact, Pascal in any case leaned heavily over to the Jansenist party – and they weren’t good Catholics.
That it was less fun to be a Jansenist than to be an orthodox Catholic, which is undoubted, does not change that. That fun is bad is a Jansenist notion; at least, sort of.
I don’t think there’s doubting that the Jesuits he decried so much did go into the one or the other excess (and were duly corrected by the Pope afterwards), but all in all, they were by a great deal nearer to Catholic truth than Pascal’s side.
And of course, if you have a student who despairs of ever getting an A plus, then you do tell him that C minus suffices for passing. You don’t tell him that he shouldn’t do more; but you do tell him “let’s get so far at first, and then we’ll see what we can further do”.
The article quite rightly says, though, that the efforts of the 17th century Jesuits, however excessive and, in point of detail, wrong they were, were something entirely different and, let’s face it, much more harmless than all the denials-of-morality we see around today.
(And which typically pose not as casuistry but as anti-casuistry.)
It isn’t even that they believe in deathbed confessions. They simply don’t believe in any confession at all. They don’t believe in purgatory. They believe in some sort of evolution of faith that places man before the Godhead. Why do they sing about bringing “a new church into being” or “not in some heaven light years away”? It’s because they are under the delusion that heaven can be here on Earth. This consequently makes a good bedfellow with the thinking of the Atheists, the Freemasons, the politically liberal ideologues, the Communists, and more liberal Protestant Ideologies. They think of the sacraments as a step in this evolution (minus confession, because communal absolution is just fine, and not even necessary). Thus, you go to a Mass, the prayers are the same as any other Mass in that form, the sacraments are there, but the understanding of what is happening is entirely different from true Catholicism. This was originated under the philosophy of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin SJ. Pope Pius XII called his work a “cesspool of errors.” Yet, he has been quoted by at least the last three Pontificates. One Peter Five had a really good article on him: https://onepeterfive.com/teilhard-chardin-vii-architect/
This is in direct opposition to Scholasticism, which Pope Leo XIII stated was the official philosophy of the Church, so, in answer to the heading of the post, yes. Some Jesuits aid and abet a militant anti-Catholic counter religion, whether they believe they do or not. They would simply consider people like me “unevolved”.
Aiding and abetting secular humanism sounds about right. The whilom Jesuits’ religion seems to have becom Teilhardism, aka the Spirit of Vatican II, which as nearly as I can figure posits an ever-more-immanent eschaton at its center without overly troubling its votaries about mortal sin and its consequences.
Aiding and abetting secular humanism sounds about right. The whilom Jesuits’ religion seems to have become Teilhardism, aka the Spirit of Vatican II, which as nearly as I can figure posits an ever-more-immanent eschaton at its center without overly troubling its votaries about mortal sin and its consequences.
Rosemary Haughton. Is she still around? I remember reading some of her stuff while I was a student in Wales in the 1960s. Can’t remember anything about it, though. But I do remember reading a lot of duff stuff at that time.
“And of course, if you have a student who despairs of ever getting an A plus, then you do tell him that C minus suffices for passing. You don’t tell him that he shouldn’t do more; but you do tell him “let’s get so far at first, and then we’ll see what we can further do”.
Are there really many Christians who despair of getting into heaven anymore? Really? The other day I went to Confession, and you know what? There was not one other soul there. Not one person so concerned about his or her salvation that they bothered to come to the church and make a good confession. I was it, for the whole half hour. I don’t think people despair of heaven, I think they are all completely sure that if they are just nice people and welcome illegal immigrants and don’t judge gay people, they’re in like Flynn. But after all, this is what they’ve been told.