Saturday, January 23, 2016

I WONDER IF THE CDW READS MY BLOG BECAUSE THEIR SPLENDID APOPLOGETIC FOR POPE FRANCIS FEET SOUNDS LIKE MINE BUT WITH MORE HISTORY!

What do you think?
Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments commented on the Congregation’s new decree concerning the rite of the washing of the feet, which was issued at Pope Francis’s request. Archbishop Arthur Roche traced the history of the foot-washing rite from the seventh century, when a liturgical ordo called upon a bishop to wash the feet of the clerics who lived in his home. In the 12th  century, the Roman Pontifical assigned the rite of foot washing to after Vespers on Holy Thursday, with the feet of 12 subdeacons being washed from the thirteenth century in Rome.

The Roman Missal of 1570, Archbishop Roche continued, mentioned that clerics’ feet should be washed but did not specify the number 12; it directed that the hymn Ubi Caritas be chanted during the rite, which concluded with the Lord’s Prayer.

The Ceremonial of Bishops of 1600 stated that after Vespers or at lunch, the bishop was to wash and kiss the feet of 13 poor persons after feeding them. Later, only clerics’ feet were washed, apart from local customs in which the feet of the poor-- or in Paris, of children-- were washed.

With Pope Pius XII’s reform of 1955, the Holy Thursday Mass was celebrated during the evening, and for pastoral reasons, it was permitted for a priest publicly to wash and dry the feet of 12 men (kissing their feet was not mentioned). This was “an imitative sign, like a sacred representation” of Jesus’ actions at Holy Thursday, Archbishop Roche commented.

The Roman Missal of 1970 further changed the rite: the number 12 was omitted, the Ubi Caritas was moved to the procession of the gifts, and the Lord’s Prayer no longer concluded the rite, as its use originated in the days when the rite was celebrated outside Mass. The rubric that viri (men) were to be selected, said Archbishop Roche, had “mimetic (imitative) value.”

The “current change” to the foot-washing rite, which allows for the washing of the feet of selected members from the entire People of God, has changed the significance of the rite, Archbishop Roche continued. “The value now relates not so much to the exterior imitation of what Jesus has done,” and more to as his “gift of self ‘to the end’ for the salvation of mankind, his charity which embraces all” and offers an example.

142 comments:

Vox Cantoris said...

Great, I agree.

Let's take it out of the Mass as it was not part of the Mass until 1955 and wash whatever part of the body you want.

Enough of the "spin!"

Vox Cantoris said...

P.S. Pius XII condemned antiquarianism.

Gene said...

The bit about the emphasis moving from an "imitation" of what Jesus did to his "gift of self" to the end for the salvation of mankind" and his "charity for all as an example" is loaded. Liberal theology abounds in such phrases as Jesus" "gift of self," His "authentic selfhood as a model for our own self-realization," and a major emphasis upon Jesus' "charity." No, let's don't talk at all about the sign...the signification of Christ's foot washing...the lowly servant, the Suffering Servant, the humbled Messiah...no, no...let's stay away from Isaiah and the prophecies of the Christ and the acts of Jesus that tie Him unmistakably to the foretold Savior of the world. Now, the old foot washing is just an "imitation" of Jesus' action with no real meaning..let's impart some REAL meaning and talk about the selfhood of Jesus a la 70's growth groups...oh, yes, and "charity", a favorite term of the demythologizers, reducing the Incarnation (in which none of them believe) and power of Christ's will and His breaking through all human concepts of love and Sacrifice with His two edged sword of mercy and judgement...reducing all this to "charity," like taking a bum to MacDonald's or dumping some old clothes in a Salvation Army box. Let's feminize foot washing and make it "inclusive," according to the current political fads of the day. Is anybody paying attention? Did everyone sleep through their New Testament theology courses...or were you all at one of those 70's seminaries where it was actually possible to graduate without taking a single Biblical theology course? God help us! This stuff should have ben incorporated into preaching so that the flock, without the benefit of advanced Bible study, would understand these things and reject out of hand the feel-good, humanistic, Jesus-was-a-nice-guy-but-only-the-bastard-son-of-Mary crap (that is a theological term) that has been spewed from pulpits for decades.

Gene said...

BTW, Christianity is patriarchal...that's PATRIARCHAL...from Genesis to Revelation, from its founding and through the ages. Live with it! We have a bunch of inadequate males (including Priests), so hen-pecked that they roost up on the foot of the bed at night, willing to take a PC wrecking ball to he edifice of the Faith all because a few petulant women puffed out their cheeks and stomped their little feet. Throw 'em some Midol (or Valium for the really hysterical ones) and get back to the business of the Church.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Patriarchy isn't all it is cracked up to be. Patriarchy, like clerocracy, was useful for a time, but that time is largely gone. The developments of the liturgy are a response to this.

That the foot washing is limited to once a year makes it "important," and that importance can't be overstated. I don't think, though, that I have ever experienced the foot washing absorbing "all the attention of the Mass," so Archbishop Roche's concern is a bit overstated.

Vox Cantoris said...

Every priest should abolish the silly side show it has become and concentrate on the Eucharist and Priesthood aspects of the Holy Thursday liturgy and get the people out 15 minutes early.

Gene said...

K, there are aspects of our culture, our very being, and our history that do not change. Some are based on biology and some on the structures that have built and supported the strengths and values of our civilization. According to Holy Scripture (you remember that don't you, you probably read it once upon a time) and biology, there are roles and functions that are natural to men and women, some of which may interchange to a degree, but which to a large extent are necessary and good. You and your modernist ilk don't believe that but one day, as Robert Louis Stevenson said, "you will sit down to a banquet of consequences."

Anonymous said...

Nobody is questioning the pope's authority to change a rubric. At is issue is the fact that as archbisop Bergoglio disrgarded the rubric that only males can take part, which he had no authority to do. As pope he could have changed the rubric but he didn't he violated it for all the world to see. He caused confusion, chaos and scandal when he didn't have to. By their fruits you will know them. And please don't rapond with the usual pope worship response calling everyone a protestant or a heretic...Blah blah blah.

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... Patriarchy isn't all it is cracked up to be. Patriarchy, like clerocracy, was useful for a time, but that time is largely gone.

"Fr." Michael states that "patriarchy... was useful for a time, but that time is largely gone."

With all due respect, Father, the irony could not be more apparent.

Victor W said...

I agree with Anonymous. The Church of Vatican II wants a free for all in following the rules of the liturgy. The best example is the Holy Father himself who disregarded the liturgical legislation both before and after becoming pope.
And as for the new interpretation of the washing of the feet, it seems to be based on his fluffy-sentimentalist view of mercy prevalent in the 1970's, not particularly in accord with traditional Catholic teaching over the ages; but that is another matter.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

G - Patriarchy doesn't come from our biology. Patriarchy is not a strength nor a value of our civilization. Male leadership is not a Biblical teaching. Eve was an "ay'-zer," a co-worker of equal status to Adam. Miriam was a prophet. Deborah a prophet-judge and leader of armies. Esther, brave and wise, defied her husband and saved Israel. Susannah did not give in to patriarchy

Phoebe, Priscilla, Junia were New Testament leaders.

Yes. I remember Scripture. Unlike you, I don't read it with the jaundiced eye of patriarchy.

Shall we next discuss the leadership of numerous female Saints?

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... G - Patriarchy doesn't come from our biology. Patriarchy is not a strength nor a value of our civilization.

Does patriarchy have value in the Holy Trinity?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... Male leadership is not a Biblical teaching.

???

Isaias 9:6. For a child is born to us and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.


Colossians 3:18. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as it behoveth in the Lord.

Ephesians 5:24. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things.

1 Peter 3:1. In like manner also let wives be subject to their husbands, that if any believe not the word, they may be won without the word by the conversation of the wives.

Ephesians 5:22. Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord.


2 Timothy 1:2. To Timothy my dearly beloved son, grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Corinthians 4:17. For this cause have I sent to you Timothy, who is my dearest son and faithful in the Lord; who will put you in mind of my ways, which are in Christ Jesus; as I teach everywhere in every church.

1 Timothy 1:2. To Timothy, his beloved son in faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Timothy 1:18. This precept I commend to thee, O son Timothy; according to the prophecies going before on thee, that thou war in them a good warfare,


I don't know. Sounds fairly "patriarchal" to me.

If patriarchy has no value, why do we use the word "pope"? Why do we use the words "Holy Father"?

Makes no sense.

Mary Ann Parks said...

Nobody seems to notice that Christ disrobing, washing, and robing is an imitation of what the High Priest was to do before sacrifice, and His inclusion of the Apostles not only makes them sharers in His priesthood, but models for them what a bishop and priest are supposed to be, servants, rather than the way they act now, as clericalist lords. To miss this ONE teaching moment for priests and to transfer it to all take something valuable away from what is/was supposed to be a celebration of the institution of the priesthood and of the Eucharist.

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... Shall we next discuss the leadership of numerous female Saints?

Father, (pardon the antiquated patriarchal title), can you name even one female Catholic saint who held authority in the Catholic Church as a priest, bishop, or pope?

If not, the insinuation that women have "leadership" in the Church is disingenuous at best.

Certain nuns have "leadership" over certain things restricted to their competence, but those nuns are subject to male authorities.

You would have a difficult time convincing a sane person, regardless of his/her persuasions, that that is not "patriarchal."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

MAP, I agree and excellent point, especially the robing/disrobing . However these truths were not properly communicated and now Pope Francis has officially obscured it and shifted it to a baptismal ministry disconnected from the liturgical/sacramental significance of Holy Thursday.

Dialogue said...

Surely we can all agree that there have always been women leaders among Christians and the Israelites. I've never heard any serious person suggest otherwise. There's no need to defend a point upon which we all agree.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh does not know Scripture or care about Biblical theology. True to the words of the prophet, "he knows not, neither does he understand, but walks on in darkness." And, there is nothing wrong with patriarchy...it built the civilized world and brought the Church and this nation through many wars and difficulties. Also, most matriarchal societies have been primitive.

Dialogue said...

Father McDonald,

While MAP makes a reasonable point, it must also be noted that Jesus was not a Temple priest. There is no evidence to suggest that He prepared Himself in the ritual manner of the "kohen gadol". He did, however, perfect the Temple sacrifice in His own eternal Sacrifice, and so He opened up participation in Divine Worship to all the nations. At any rate, if He intended a more restricted interpretation and imitation of what He was doing, He does not seem to have made that clear, since there has been no consistent practice in this regard through the ages.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - Women have exercised leadership without having the authority of priest, bishop, or pope. Ordination is not a requirement for being a leader.

Any sane person would acknowledge this.

DJR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dialogue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - You don't get to determine what the "options" are regarding my assertions. These are YOUR conclusions, but they have no impact on my assertions whatsoever.

It is a fact - it is true - that women have exercised leadership without benefit of ordination. This fact is indisputable. Their leadership has nothing whatsoever to do with patriarchy. Leadership is leadership, whether the leader is male or female.

Patriarchy certainly existed. Although it has diminished significantly, and, in my opinion, rightly, it's still around.

My position is not incoherent.

Gene said...

DJR, once in a while, Kavanaugh stumbles over the truth, but he always manages to pick himself up and keep right on going.

DJR said...

I repost this to correct some wording.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... DJR - Women have exercised leadership without having the authority of priest, bishop, or pope. Ordination is not a requirement for being a leader. Any sane person would acknowledge this.

Father, with all due respect, your understanding of what is sane is not tenable. Your position is completely illogical.

Please read below.

On one hand, you stated, "Patriarchy doesn't come from our biology; patriarchy is not a strength nor a value of our civilization; male leadership is not a Biblical teaching."

Again, "Patriarchy, like clerocracy, was useful for a time, but that time is largely gone. The developments of the liturgy are a response to this."

But then you stated that "women have exercised leadership without having the authority of priest, bishop, or pope," and you listed several of these alleged leaders from the very earliest period of the Church.

Well, if women have always exercised "leadership" in the Church, then there are only two conclusions that are possible:

Option 1. "Women in leadership" IS part and parcel of a patriarchal system, which means that the patriarchal system is still in place because we still have "women in leadership."

That would contradict your statement above that "patriarchy" was useful and that the time for it is now largely gone.

It would also contradict the obvious implication that "women in leadership" is a value to our civilization, because, if it is a component part of the patriarchal system, and, to use your words, "patriarchy is not a strength nor a value of our civilization," then "women in leadership" is not a value to our civilization either.

Option 2. "Women in leadership" IS NOT part and parcel of a patriarchal system, in which case, because we have always had "women in leadership," that means the Church was NOT a patriarchal system to begin with, never was, and still is not to this day. Neither was the Jewish nation, which had women "leaders."

That, too, contradicts your statement about the time of the patriarchal system being "largely gone."

If we never had a patriarchal system to begin with, then the time for it can't now be "largely gone." The alleged "patriarchy" never existed.

Those are the only two options possible.

To sum up, "Women in leadership" is either part of a patriarchal system or it is not.

If it is, then we are still operating under a patriarchal system. If it is not, then we never had one to begin with.

In either of those two scenarios, which logic dictates are the only two choices available, your statement that the time for the patriarchal system is "largely gone" cannot possibly be correct.

You don't see the blatant, inherent contradiction in your position?

JustMe said...

I always hate the whole foot-washing thing; as someone else more or less said, it's pointless spectacle and terribly AWKWARD. I would hate to be the priest doing it, and even more hate to be up there having my feet washed.

Jan said...

DJR sets out the case as I understand it. Arguing with a liberal is a waste of time as they have a completely skewed interpretation of Church history. I would like to know at what times and when in Church history women have been given leadership roles in the Church. Most of these mannish women decry the Church for being patriachial and claim that women have no leadership roles, so that is answer enough that there never has been. I have heard that there is some obscure mention that a woman may have been a deacon at some time but, in reality, deacons were not in leadership roles but provided for bodily needs and care - which would normally be a woman's role.

There is absolutely no evidence of women being involved in leadership roles that I know of up until after Vatican II to the point where women virtually now run the Church and lead many priests around by the nose. Very few men now attend Mass and I am not surprised with many of the harridans in charge.

And no doubt Fr K is one of those poor priests, so much so that he is willing to wash and kiss their tootsies probably in fear of his life if he doesn't. That's the truth of the matter.

George said...


What evidence can be presented that there were truely matriarchal societies that existed in history, at least of any significance? Did there exist any that one can point to other than some small, rather obscure (in some cases rather apocrophal) examples? At least the myth of the Amazons got one thing right-it would have to have been a warrior ruling class, given that history is replete with examples of one part of humanity conquering and subjugating another. As far as the Church goes, yes, the feminists will continue to attack us as being patriarchal as long as we have the male only priesthood. And they will continue to do so "ad vitam aeternum".

As far as the feet washing, the optics of it conveys that the analog of Jesus washing the 12 male apostles, and the originally understood, or at least implied meaning that derives from that (the example given to and observed by those in attendance, of the priest being a servant to others), no longer applies.

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... My position is not incoherent.

If your position is not incoherent, then your ability to express your position certainly is.

You believe that the Church always had "women in leadership," and you believe that the Church was/is a patriarchal system.

If both those things are actually true, and it is certainly your contention that they are, then "women in leadership" is completely consistent with a patriarchal system, because the Church, as you admit, has always had both, patriarchy and "women in leadership."

Therefore, "women in leadership" is part and parcel of patriarchy, because it is the patriarchal system that allows for the "women in leadership" to begin with.

Hence, your statement, "Patriarchy, like clerocracy, was useful for a time, but that time is largely gone," cannot be true unless you want to do either one of two things:

1. Take every man out of a leadership position in the Church (to keep even one man in leadership makes the Church "patriarchal," as that is the definition of the term).

2. Do away with the Church entirely, in which case your statement would be correct.

Assuming that neither one of those things is what you want to do, then you're stuck with the fact that the Church has not changed one iota: It still has "women in leadership," and it is still patriarchal in nature.

But that also makes your statement untrue: "Patriarchy, like clerocracy, was useful for a time, but that time is largely gone."

"Patriarchy" cannot possibly ever be gone from the Church unless you do either of the two things mentioned above: get rid of all male leadership or get rid of the Church, period.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... "male leadership is not a Biblical teaching."

Because there are only two sexes, if your statement were true, it would leave us with only one of three choices:

1. The Bible teaches that women should be "leaders."

2. The Bible teaches that no one should be a "leader."

3. The Bible has no teaching on leadership one way or the other.

No Orthodox priest would ever give his assent to the idea that male leadership is not a biblical teaching, and historically most Protestants and Jews would not do so either (excluding some modern groups of both).

It's a certainty that your views are not taught by the Catholic Church, and never were.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan - The only thing I fear is that too many people engage in the mushy, unhistorical incoherence you so ably demonstrate.

St. Catherine of Sienna, Doctor of the Church, is but one example of women who, in spite of the patriarchy that held sway, acted as a powerful leader in the Church.

"Born in 1347 to a humble wool-dyer, Catherine became one the most influential persons of fourteenth-century Christendom. After she became a Dominican tertiary at the age of nineteen she embarked on a life of intense spiritual practices. Her reputation for great holiness spread quickly, and she found herself answering letters from some of Europe's most powerful people, seeking her advice on matters spiritual as well as political and even military (she was a supporter of the Crusading movement)."

DJR - Yes, patriarchy has held sway in the Church and in wider culture. Yes, the power of patriarchy is diminishing, and that is a good thing.

Women in leadership is not a product of, is not preferred by, is not accepted by a patriarchal system. It has arisen, not because of, but in spite of, patriarchy.

That women have taken leadership roles despite the dominant patriarchy in the Church and the wider culture does not signify that patriarchy wants or approves of that feminine leadership.

I am reminded of the story of the first woman who ran in the Boston marathon, Katherine Switzer, who was physically assaulted by race official Jock Semple. The irony of his name is delicious. In the midst of marathon patriarchy, and in spite of it, Ms. Switzer applied for and was granted entry in the race.

It is not necessary to take all males out of leadership positions in the Church and in wider culture to end patriarchy. Male leaders have been and can be leaders without leading in a patriarchal manner. Patriarchy is not simply a matter of the gender of the person in charge. Having a male in the top leadership position is not, as you suggest, the definition of patriarchy.

There are numerous "leading women" named in the Bible. Exclusively male leadership is not taught in the Bible.

Anonymous said...

How much longer can this go on? People please until this nightmare is over I beg you to take shelter in the nearest F.S.S.P. Institute of Christ the King or S.S.P.X. Church or chapel. Our souls are in mortal danger, until Rome recovers the Holy Faith and the return of the TLM, hang in there and this soon shall pass. Burke, Ranjith, Sarah, save us!!!!

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

Clearly, patriarchy is not logically inconsistent with some women having some leadership roles. Logically, there can always be exceptions that prove the rule. The British, for example, have had some very strong female rulers throughout their history—Queen Mary Tudor, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, for example. Similarly, there have been several female Heads of State in Muslim countries in recent decades. Are you suggesting Muslim societies are not patriarchal?

Miriam-Webster defines patriarchy as “social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly: control by men of a disproportionately large share of power.” This seems to fit Father Kavanaugh’s account very nicely.

For more detail one could consult the following informative Wikipedia entry on patriarchy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchy

For me, perhaps the clearest evidence of the existence of patriarchy are the millions upon millions of dead bodies that litter human history because of male aggression (strong female rulers operating within a patriarchal system notwithstanding).

God is not patriarchal, and He is not matriarchal. And therefore neither was Jesus. We make this sort of stuff up. He doesn’t. As the Catechism teaches (CCC 279), even though we conventionally use the male pronoun to refer to God, he is neither male nor female:

“We ought therefore to recall that God transcends the human distinction between the sexes. He is neither man nor woman: he is God. He also transcends human fatherhood and motherhood, although he is their origin and standard.”

Jesus took human form as a man but then proceeded to challenge the patriarchal norms of his society to show us that the men had got it wrong. Did women lead Him around by the nose? I don’t think so. This is not necessarily inconsistent with an all-male priesthood properly understood.

Gene said...

Hey, Anon 2, you were born with a you-know-what. Get over it and quit apologizing for being male. The best thing for people like you would be to go out and get into a bar fight...maybe the surge of adrenalin and testosterone would clear your thinking.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

No apologies for being male here. We just have a somewhat different idea of what being male means. In my view Jesus Christ was the model male. Funny, but I don’t recall Him getting into a bar fight, or maybe the Gospel writers just left that bit out. Hey, that gives me an idea. Why don’t you write a Gospel According to Gene?

DJR said...

Anonymous 2 said... Gene: No apologies for being male here. We just have a somewhat different idea of what being male means. In my view Jesus Christ was the model male. Funny, but I don’t recall Him getting into a bar fight, or maybe the Gospel writers just left that bit out.


John 2:15. And when he had made, as it were, a scourge of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen, and the money of the changers he poured out, and the tables he overthrew.

Matthew 21:12. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves.

Casting others (note the plural) out of an area using a whip, overturning their tables and chairs, and throwing their money around, sounds like the very essence of a bar fight to me.

The only thing that's missing is the bar.

Perhaps you read a different version of the Bible?

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... Women in leadership is not a product of, is not preferred by, is not accepted by a patriarchal system.

According to you, "women in leadership" is supposedly not accepted by a patriarchal system.

Yet, also according to you, there have been women "leaders" in the Church for 2000 years, and the Church is a patriarchal system.


And you said your position was not incoherent.

Gene said...

Yes, Anon 2, we have very different ideas about what it means to be male. LOL!

Gene said...

We don't know if Jesus had any fights in his youth, but He may have and if He did, I am sure they were justified, for a righteous cause, and that He fought fair and won without using any miracles.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

No, I read the same Bible you do. However, my experience of bars does seem to be rather different from yours. I must not have been paying attention whenever I visited Whiskey River (or whatever it is called now) many years ago. Otherwise I would surely have noticed the strong resemblance to the House of God.

Have you got anything else? It seems that this episode of righteous anger by the Son of God at the desecration of His Father’s sacred Temple by Mammon worshipers is always trotted out to justify all manner of human violence, apparently now including fights in bars like Whiskey River. Sheesh!

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

But then He grew up.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

I suspect that the central problem of human violence (and it is_the_central problem in the Biblical account) is carried by our Genes. And although we cannot help being influenced by our Genes we are challenged to try to overcome and transcend them.


DJR said...

Anonymous 2 said..."Funny, but I don’t recall Him getting into a bar fight, or maybe the Gospel writers just left that bit out."

You obviously forgot about that portion of the Bible when you made your prior statement.

Anonymous 2 said... DJR: Have you got anything else?

Numbers 31:1: And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Revenge first the children of Israel on the Madianites, and so thou shalt be gathered to thy people.

1 Kings 15: And Samuel said to Saul: The Lord sent me to anoint thee king over his People Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the Lord: [2] Thus saith the Lord of hosts: I have reckoned up all that Amalec hath done to Israel: I how he opposed them in the way when they came up out of Egypt. [3] Now therefore go, and smite Amalec, and utterly destroy all that he hath: spare him not, nor covet any thing that is his: but slay both man and woman, child and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

Deuteronomy 20:16: If at any time thou come to fight against a city, thou shalt first offer it peace.

[11] If they receive it, and open the gates to thee, all the people that are therein, shall be saved, and shall serve thee paying tribute. [12] But if they will not make peace, and shall begin war against thee, thou shalt besiege it. [13] And when the Lord thy God shall deliver it into thy bands, thou shalt slay all that are therein of the male sex, with the edge of the sword,[14] Excepting women and children, cattle and other things, that are in the city. And thou shalt divide all the prey to the army, and thou shalt eat the spoils of thy enemies, which the Lord thy God shall give thee. [15] So shalt thou do to all cities that are at a great distance from thee, and are not of these cities which thou shalt receive in possession.

The examples could be multiplied.

According to Sacred Scripture, there are numerous instances when God commanded that violence be used and people be put to death.

To deny that, is to deny what is contained in the Bible.

Therefore, we are left with the following syllogisms:

1. The God of the OT commanded violence.
2. The God of the OT is the Holy Trinity.
3. The Holy Trinity commanded violence.

4. The Holy Trinity commanded violence.
5. The Second Person of the Holy Trinity is Jesus.
6. Jesus commanded violence.

Joe Potillor said...

Back to the topic at hand....effectively, what he's saying is Our Lord's example wasn't good enough, I find the change to be rather arrogant after 2 years of breaking Liturgical law as Pope, and God knows how many times prior to his election...(Again, it would have been no big deal if he changed this the first year of his election, he certainly knows how to use power)

It'd be less of a deal outside the context of the Liturgy (I'm of the mind that this action should be moved outside the Liturgy (completely, that includes vespers), if this is the interpretation that he (Pope Francis) wishes to give. (While it's a valid interpretation and certainly not heterodox, one could argue that this would be more a secondary interpretation, rather than the main one)

At the end of the day, yes it's one day a year, but we all know what they say and we've all see what happens when actions are stripped of their meaning. You would have thought we learned our lesson by now, but of course not right?

The ends do not justify the means, is that not a very basic thing. People disobeying the law is not a good reason for changing the laws that are at hand. And yes, it most certainly goes both ways....

The scary thing about this pontificate is how power is being used...God help us.

Jan said...

Fr Kavanaugh you are indeed scratching when all you can come up with is to say that "St. Catherine of Sienna, Doctor of the Church, is but one example of women who, in spite of the patriarchy that held sway, acted as a powerful leader in the Church". St Catherine held no formal leadership role in the Church - and you know that. As St Catherine did, any woman or man can raise their voice about errors occurring in the Church at any time - as many do on this blog - but that does not equate to a leadership role in the Church. You know that. It is obvious that only since Vatican II have women pushed themselves into leadership roles to the detriment of many parishes and to the Church as a whole.

Jan said...

Fr K, Our Lord went against the norms of His time. He would have appointed his Mother, Mary, in some form of leadership role in the Church if that is what he desired but, no, he didn't. In former times in the Church women religious were nurses, teachers and assisted with pastoral care in parishes. We have a problem in the Church and in society because of dominant, feminist women and many weak men willing to be dominated by them. And it is well known that woman, by nature, will scorn a weak man and will become even more strident, so Fr K man up before it's too late ... tell the the feminists in your parish to put their tootsies back into their jackboots where they belong.

Gene said...

It is carried by Original Sin. Read about it.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan - One need not hold a "formal leadership role" in the Church in order to exercise leadership. You said, "There is absolutely no evidence of women being involved in leadership roles that I know of up until after Vatican II..." While none were priests, bishops, or popes, many women did exercise leadership long before Vatican II.

DJR - Citing the violence of the OT to justify violence today comes from a misunderstanding of the proper interpretation of Sacred Scripture.

In the POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION VERBUM DOMINI of Pope Benedict, 30 September 2010, His Holiness wrote:

"Here it must be remembered first and foremost that biblical revelation is deeply rooted in history. God’s plan is manifested progressively and it is accomplished slowly, in successive stages and despite human resistance. God chose a people and patiently worked to guide and educate them. Revelation is suited to the cultural and moral level of distant times and thus describes facts and customs, such as cheating and trickery, and acts of violence and massacre, without explicitly denouncing the immorality of such things. This can be explained by the historical context, yet it can cause the modern reader to be taken aback, especially if he or she fails to take account of the many “dark” deeds carried out down the centuries, and also in our own day. In the Old Testament, the preaching of the prophets vigorously challenged every kind of injustice and violence, whether collective or individual, and thus became God’s way of training his people in preparation for the Gospel. So it would be a mistake to neglect those passages of Scripture that strike us as problematic. Rather, we should be aware that the correct interpretation of these passages requires a degree of expertise, acquired through a training that interprets the texts in their historical-literary context and within the Christian perspective which has as its ultimate hermeneutical key “the Gospel and the new commandment of Jesus Christ brought about in the paschal mystery”. (no 42)

Fr. Richard Clifford, SJ, has written: "Four things soften this seemingly harsh portrayal. First, the war imagery is not the main purpose, which is to show God “judging” (i.e., ruling) justly. Second, when the psalmists cry for “vengeance” (a divine righting of wrongs), they place entirely in God’s hands both timetable and implementation. Third, the Old Testament reveals a God who is merciful as well as just. When the two are in conflict, it is mercy and compassion that usually win out (see Exodus 32-34 and Hos 11:9). Fourth, the Old Testament concern for justice inspires Jesus’ program of God’s rule, which means the elimination of unjust structures and the building of a righteous and obedient community."

Regarding his first point, the depictions of violence in the OT are not properly understood as being Divine Revelation that teaches us to continue doing violence, any more than the depictions of lies and deception carried out by various OT figures are intended to teach us that lies and deception are approved by God.

Anonymous said...

Joe - If our Lord's example is "good enough" for us to follow, why are we not choosing married men as Bishops/Apostles? That's what the lord did.

Is it arrogant that we do not follow his explicit lead?

Anonymous said...

From yesterday's Responsorial Psalm--Psalm 19:15:

Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before You,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

"Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life."

Don't know why Father had to delete comments in this post, but all of us should work on verbal ethics here...

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... DJR - Citing the violence of the OT to justify violence today comes from a misunderstanding of the proper interpretation of Sacred Scripture.

I wasn't citing the violence of the OT to justify violence today.

I was merely responding to Anonymous 2's request regarding whether there were any more instances of violence involving the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

He asked: DJR: Have you got anything else?

I then provided it, followed by true syllogisms.

The Second Person of the Holy Trinity commanded violence. That's a factual statement.

JustMe said...

AMEN!

JustMe said...

....and charity

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...DJR - Citing the violence of the OT to justify violence today comes from a misunderstanding of the proper interpretation of Sacred Scripture.



Fr. Richard Clifford, SJ, has written: "Four things soften this seemingly harsh portrayal. First, the war imagery is not the main purpose, which is to show God “judging” (i.e., ruling) justly. Second, when the psalmists cry for “vengeance” (a divine righting of wrongs), they place entirely in God’s hands both timetable and implementation. Third, the Old Testament reveals a God who is merciful as well as just. When the two are in conflict, it is mercy and compassion that usually win out (see Exodus 32-34 and Hos 11:9). Fourth, the Old Testament concern for justice inspires Jesus’ program of God’s rule, which means the elimination of unjust structures and the building of a righteous and obedient community."

Regarding his first point, the depictions of violence in the OT are not properly understood as being Divine Revelation that teaches us to continue doing violence, any more than the depictions of lies and deception carried out by various OT figures are intended to teach us that lies and deception are approved by God.


Although I was merely citing Sacred Scripture in response to Anon 2's request, I will respond to this by stating that the Church certainly teaches that "violence" is justifiable.

The quote by Pope Benedict XVI doesn't negate that fact, and the opinion of Fr. Richard Clifford, SJ, carries no authority.

Saint Dominic preached a crusade against the Albigensians, Pope Saint Pius V called for a crusade against the Turks, the Church has canonized Cristeros who took up arms in defense of the Catholic Faith.

Examples could be multiplied many times over.

I'll stick with the perennial understanding of the Church.

Anonymous said...

Pray against the spirit of Jezabel in the Church. She surrounds herself with emasculated men, manipulates the leaders and strikes fear into the Prophets of God. It is time for those who are on the Lords side to say "throw her down!". St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle...

Gene said...

Psalms 18: 34 ff: "He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze...
I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back until they were consumed.
I thrust them through , so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.
For thou didst gird me with strength for battle, thou disgust make my assailants sink under me.
Thou didst make my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me, I destroyed.
They cried for help, but there was none to save, they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
I beat them fine as dust before the wind, I cast them out like the mire of the streets."

Psalm 144:1: "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle,
my rock and my fortress."

We cannot play the theological game (as Pope Benedict tries to do) of relegating God's expressions of His will and His actions in history to "literary forms" or the cultural mores of the times. This implies that God is not the same God today as He was in ancient times. Today's "literary forms and cultural mores" seek to play down God's wrath and judgement and are all about His love and Christ's mercy. But, He is still the sovreign and mighty God whose wrath is a terrible thing, and Christ is still the Righteous Judge as well as the loving Savior. We are now getting a front row seat to God's judgement upon the Church and a new lesson in the Freedom of the Holy Spirit, something Catholic theology has not paid much attention to, having become complacent regarding the Real Presence and dwelling in a cloud of presumption. The Holy Spirit is not in hock to any church or human expression of will. Historical events like Vatican II and our new Pope are very strong warnings regarding these things. In light of this, how ironic that the Pope is courting Martin Luther.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

“It is carried by Original Sin, Read about it.”

I have read about it and it raises some important questions in my mind to which perhaps you know the answer: How is Original Sin transmitted? And how does that transmission relate to our biological human natures?

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

“Saint Dominic preached a crusade against the Albigensians, Pope Saint Pius V called for a crusade against the Turks, the Church has canonized Cristeros who took up arms in defense of the Catholic Faith.

Examples could be multiplied many times over.

I'll stick with the perennial understanding of the Church.”

I do not deny that sometimes violence may very regrettably prove necessary in a fallen world due to our fallen human nature. However, I do not agree that the historical instances in which the Church has inflicted violence upon others are justified just because the perpetrators (including members of the hierarchy from the Pope on down) are members of the Church and have acted in her name. No, I will stick with the more enlightened understanding of the many sins committed by the Church over its long history as presented by Saint Pope John Paul II in his several apologies for these sins:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apologies_made_by_Pope_John_Paul_II





Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

“We cannot play the theological game (as Pope Benedict tries to do) of relegating God's expressions of His will and His actions in history to "literary forms" or the cultural mores of the times.”

So, where do you draw the line (or do you)? For example, please tell us what we are to do with the following passages from Leviticus chapter 20:

1. The LORD said to Moses: . . .

8. Be careful, therefore, to observe my statutes. I, the LORD, make you holy.

9. Anyone who curses father or mother shall be put to death and having cursed father or mother, such a one will bear the bloodguilt.

10. If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.

11. If a man disgraces his father by lying with his father’s wife, the two of them shall be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them.

12. If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; they have done what is perverse; their bloodguilt is upon them.

13. If a man lies with a male as with a woman, they have committed an abomination; the two of them shall be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them.

14. If a man marries a woman and her mother also, that is shameful conduct; the man and the two women as well shall be burned to death, so that shamefulness may not be found among you.

15. If a man has sexual relations with an animal, the man shall be put to death, and you shall kill the animal.

16. If a woman goes up to any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall both be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them, etc., etc.

22. Be careful to observe all my statutes and all my decrees; otherwise the land where I am bringing you to dwell will vomit you out.”

It is one thing to prohibit the sin, but must we also endorse the penalty because it is the same God today as then? We all know what Jesus said about the penalty for adultery and how He in effect abrogated it. Why should it be different regarding other violent acts such as the ones you cite from Psalms or the ones cited by DJR?

Oh, and just in case you may not realize it, you are making an excellent case for how the Bible is just as violent as the Qur‘an, and unless you are willing to leave these violent biblical passages behind in the New Dispensation how can you possibly condemn even Muslim extremists as “barbaric” if they justify their use of violence by their own ancient holy scripture? Or is violence somehow okay when_our_God commands it but not okay when_their_God commands it? Personally, I strongly suspect God is pretty sick of being used like this by one side or the other (I know I am sick of His being so used). And He is probably quite angry as well (I know I am).

The truth of the matter, I believe, is that we (especially males) suffer from a terrible sickness of soul that leads us to succumb to our genetic and cultural inheritance and to be willing to injure or kill our fellow human beings, for example in war, and we cannot see how utterly appalling this is to the God we claim to worship. It is not our fault necessarily; we have been conditioned to worship Caesar after all. One result today: Iraq and all the evils that have followed in its wake.



Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

One further thought: More generally, if we cannot “relativize” much of the Old Testament according to historical circumstances, and say that earlier understandings were superseded or abrogated, how do we explain that so much of Jesus’s teaching was such a radical departure from previous understandings? For example: no longer proportional retaliation (an “eye for an eye,” itself a mark of progress over disproportionate responses, i.e., no more than an eye) but “don’t retaliate at all” and “love your enemies.”

Isn’t it rather the case that God could only reveal what the ancient Israelites were able to handle given their stage of spiritual development and particular circumstances and that only when they (or some of them at least) were ready to receive the full Truth, as radical and revolutionary as this Truth was, and still is, did God enter history as Jesus Christ to correct previous limited understandings?



Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - Referring back to your syllogisms, you seem to have concluded that the Trinity and Jesus "commanded violence." (Jan 24, 11:40 p.m.) You certainly seem to be quoting Scripture in order to justify continued violence today.

This is an incorrect understanding of Scripture, and your error is based on what Pope Benedict said about the necessity of coming to a proper understanding of Sacred Scripture.

We have not been "commanded" to do violence. Neither are we taught that violence is "justified." Even in the "Just War Theory," the Church clearly teaches that violence, if used, must be as limited a possible. And attacking non-combatant populations can never be morally correct.

You might use the same line of argument to arrive, by syllogisms, at the conclusion that divorce is "commanded" by God. (This is the thinking, it seems, of the Pharisees on Matt 19, Mark 10, and Luke 16.) However, Jesus' response turns their thinking on its head. "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so."

Violence is the result of our fallen human nature, the hardness of our hearts. "From the beginning," however, this was not the case. Violence is not commanded, but it can be argued that it was allowed. There is a huge difference here. Violence might be justified, but only because we live with the burden of sin. Set free from that burden by the Blood of Christ, we are called to a higher, holier way of life, one that does not include violence.

As the quote from Pope Benedict states, the hermeneutical key (the key to proper interpretation/understanding) of the "problematic: passages of Scripture. (These are the ones that, on first reading, seem to command violence, deceit, murder, genocide, etc.)

That "ultimate hermeneutical key" is "the Gospel and the new commandment of Jesus Christ brought about in the paschal mystery." John 13: "Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.'"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

To love others as God has loved us does not, it seems to me, admit of continued violence against those who might be thought of as our enemies. "If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6)

Gene said...

Anon 2, There is no case to be made that the Bible is as violent as the Koran...period. That effort is just another ploy by relativists and cultural equivalence freaks. Yes, penalties may change while the sin remains just as much an abomination as ever. A change in penalty does not imply a change in the estimation of the seriousness of the sin. People that commit incest or lie with animals are pretty worthless and pretty much deserve whatever they get. I don't believe our penalties for capital crimes are nearly as severe as they should be.
And, how do you know that our modern, rationalistic, Enlightenment interpretation of Scripture and Christ's teachings is not wrong...a badly flawed use of reason by a darkened and prideful human intellect? How do you know that Vatican II, the laxness of Church discipline, the failure of our legal system, the decadence and evil of our cultural fads and mores, our endless foreign intrigues and wars are not God's judgement for the fact that we are not stricter, more zealous, more righteous in our dealings with sin and crime and more intolerant of homosexuality, abortion, idolatry, and false teaching. How do you know that God is not judging the Church at this very moment in history for her lukewarmness and apostasy? How do you know that Augustine is not a truer representation of Catholicism than Aquinas, in spite of Church preference? The Pope is courting Luther...dare he get really serious and open Calvin's Institutes if he wants a dialogue with protestants. By every theological and Church history standard, Calvin is the classic voice of protestant belief, not Luther...a mere lightweight in the shadow of Calvin.

DJR said...

Anonymous 2 said... No, I will stick with the more enlightened understanding..."

There's no evidence other than a prejudice that your understanding is any more "enlightened" than in times past.

The history of the Church, at a time when people were able to think more clearly, demonstrates that today's society is not "enlightened" in the least.

Anonymous 2 said... The truth of the matter, I believe, is that we (especially males) suffer from a terrible sickness of soul that leads us to succumb to our genetic and cultural inheritance and to be willing to injure or kill our fellow human beings, for example in war, and we cannot see how utterly appalling this is to the God we claim to worship.

The largest cause of death in our "enlightened" era is not war; it is abortion. By a factor many, many times over.

In the U.S. alone, people have killed over 50 million of our citizens, and not one second of war was waged to do it.

Every single abortion involves a female. Our females are murdering their own babies in the tens of millions.

So much for being "enlightened."

If anything, Catholics in the future will condemn Catholics of today because we allow tens of millions -- I repeat, tens of millions -- of our own citizens to be wantonly slaughtered while many of our priests and bishops preach "luv" and "tolerance" (when they're not busy with their boyfriends) to the point that we do absolutely nothing about the genocide taking place just a few miles from where most of us watch TV.

We can't use force to stop genocide, as that would not be "enlightened." So, instead, we just have a beer and change the channel.

Catholics of the future will rise up and condemn the complacent, complicit Catholics of today, and we deserve every word of condemnation that they will utter.

We are enshrouded in darkness, which is deepening. We are NOT "enlightened."

Gene said...

PS Did I mention that Augustine was a Calvinist?

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... We have not been "commanded" to do violence. Neither are we taught that violence is "justified."

Even in the "Just War Theory," the Church clearly teaches that violence, if used, must be as limited a possible. And attacking non-combatant populations can never be morally correct.


Father, in your opinion, if, all of a sudden, several thousand people took up arms and started slaughtering Jewish people everywhere in our country, and it was on such a basis that government authorities could not control it, would Catholics be "justified" in taking up arms and using "violence" to protect their Jewish neighbors?

If your answer is no, can you explain?

If your answer is yes, can you explain why we sit back and permit that very scenario to happen daily in our country, where tens of millions of babies are slaughtered while we drink our coffee and read our online news?

Gene said...

DJR, Kavanaugh has his own hermeneutic, totally unrelated to NT theology or Scriptural exegesis. It is hard not to respond to him...it is sort of like a train wreck you cannot stop watching in spite of the horror. But, we are only reinforcing his need for an antagonist and his mindless perseveration of points on which he has been shown to be wrong. But, it is fun...sort of like poking a possum and watching him hiss. LOL!

Anonymous said...

anyone care to comment on St Paul's teaching " we battle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers of spiritual darkness in the heavens." " the weapons of our warfare are not material but spiritual and powerful for pulling down and destroying strongholds." "The things that happened to them(old testament wars, battles, captivities etc.) are examples for us" I take this to mean not examples that we should slaughter men women and children of the heathen but rather true examples that there is a war to be waged by the followers of Christ that is even more real and costly than those of old testament fame. Our faith must be equal to those mighty men of old. St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - Are we commanded to do violence?

Anonymous said...

from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force.( Matt 11:12) St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle ...

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, answer DJR's question.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Why we are not commanded to do violence, but to be peacemakers:

First, violence is a violation of natural law. "Contemplating this melancholy state of humanity, the council wishes, above all things else, to recall the permanent binding force of universal natural law and its all-embracing principles." (Lumen Gentium 79)

Natural Law is authored by God.
Natural law is opposed to violence.
Therefore, violence is opposed to God's will.

Second, war is the result of our broken sinfulness. "Insofar as men are sinful, the threat of war hangs over them, and hang over them it will until the return of Christ." (Lumen Gentium 78) What we do as a result of our sinfulness is not done for the glorification of God, but for some lesser motives. (Note that LG does not say that WAR will hang over us until the return of Church, but the THREAT of war.)

Third, war is an invitation to ever greater depravity and suffering, an occasion of great sin. "Indeed, now that every kind of weapon produced by modern science is used in war, the fierce character of warfare threatens to lead the combatants to a savagery far surpassing that of the past." (Lumen Gentium 79)

Fourth, no one can be ordered to take up arms if his/her conscience forbids it. "Moreover, it seems right that laws make humane provisions for the case of those who for reasons of conscience refuse to bear arms, provided however, that they agree to serve the human community in some other way." (Lumen Gentium 79) [If we are commanded by God to do violence, then conscientious objection cannot be approved. God cannot be incoherent.]

Fifth, we no longer see war in the same way as did those who developed the Just War Doctrine. "All these considerations compel us to undertake an evaluation of war with an entirely new attitude.(Lumen Gentium 80)

Lastly: CCC 2306 Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, provided they do so without harming the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death.

No, we are not commanded to do violence. We are commanded to be peacemakers; that is, if we want to be counted among the Blessed....



DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... DJR - Are we commanded to do violence?

Well, this made me chuckle.

I asked you a question regarding Jewish people, and then you answered with a question, which is the stereotypical way a Jewish person responds to a question. LOL.

In any event, I will answer your question in the same way you answered mine: with a question.

Have you ever heard of Jeanne d'Arc, Saint Dominic, Pope Saint Pius V, Pope Francis?

Crux By John L. Allen Jr. Associate editor | March 13, 2015

In an unusually blunt endorsement of military action, the Vatican’s top diplomat at the United Nations in Geneva has called for a coordinated international force to stop the “so-called Islamic State” in Syria and Iraq from further assaults on Christians and other minority groups.

“We have to stop this kind of genocide,” said Italian Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative in Geneva. “Otherwise we’ll be crying out in the future about why we didn’t so something, why we allowed such a terrible tragedy to happen.”

Tomasi said that any anti-ISIS coalition has to include the Muslim states of the Middle East, and can’t simply be a “Western approach.” He also said it should unfold under the aegis of the United Nations.

The call for force is striking, given that the Vatican traditionally has opposed military interventions in the Middle East, including the two US-led Gulf Wars. It builds, however, on comments from Pope Francis that the use of force is “legitimate … to stop an unjust aggressor.”



Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said:
Natural Law is authored by God.
Natural law is opposed to violence.
Therefore, violence is opposed to God's will.


Oops, won't work. Number two is FALSE. The syllogism fails.


I repost my question

Father, in your opinion, if, all of a sudden, several thousand people took up arms and started slaughtering Jewish people everywhere in our country, and it was on such a basis that government authorities could not control it, would Catholics be "justified" in taking up arms and using "violence" to protect their Jewish neighbors?

If your answer is no, can you explain?

If your answer is yes, can you explain why we sit back and permit that very scenario to happen daily in our country, where tens of millions of babies are slaughtered while we drink our coffee and read our online news?

On the Jewish question, please assume one of the victims is this man, and then answer the question as to whether I would be justified in taking up arms and using violence to protect him:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU9d73O3_us

He is familiar to you, no?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church 496. Violence is never a proper response. With the conviction of her faith in Christ and with the awareness of her mission, the Church proclaims “that violence is evil, that violence is unacceptable as a solution to problems, that violence is unworthy of man. Violence is a lie, for it goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity. Violence destroys what it claims to defend: the dignity, the life, the freedom of human beings”.[ John Paul II, Address at Drogheda, Ireland (29 September 1979), 9: AAS 71 (1979), 1081; cf. Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 37: AAS 68 (1976), 29.]

And I repeat my question - Are we commanded by God to do violence? It seems to me that you think we are, so I need clarification.

And I ask another: how do you know that violence is not opposed to Natural law?

Gene said...

Violence may not be a proper response but, often, it is a necessary one.

Lumen Gentium is not an infallible document, rather a Vat II thingy.

CCC allows for violence in just war.

Natural Law refers to humans, but a quick trip to Nat Geo or out in your back yard will teach you much about "nature, red in tooth and claw."

Violence is an unavoidable consequence of the Fall. Understand it, avoid it, but be good at it for when it is necessary.

Anonymous said...

But is it ever necessary? Beneficial, yes. Helpful, yes. But it violence ever truly necessary?

DJR said...

Anonymous Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... And I repeat my question - Are we commanded by God to do violence? It seems to me that you think we are, so I need clarification.

I'm not sure I understand.

Is the answer to my question regarding protecting Rabbi Haas, "No, we're not 'justified' in using 'violence' to protect him"?

George said...

Anonymous2
"I have read about it[Original sin] and it raises some important questions in my mind to which perhaps you know the answer: How is Original Sin transmitted? And how does that transmission relate to our biological human natures?"

Man has both a human nature and a spiritual nature. As in the natural order of things, through the seed of man, biological traits and physical characteristics are transmitted to his progeny, likewise in the supernatural and spiritual order, Original sin, with its effects is transmitted to his offspring. Baptism, a gift from God made possible by the Suffering and Death of Christ, washes us of the Sin, but the spiritual effect which resides in our fallen nature, or concupiscence -the inclination and propensity toward, and affection for,those actions that are sinful- remains. This unfortunate effect which remains within us is what man with the help of God's grace must continually struggle against and to control and rise above.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene at 8:38 a.m.:

How do I know? Well, fortunately, I don’t need to figure it out by myself. I have the teaching of the Church, as articulated in the CCC, to help me. That’s how I know. You can choose to sit in judgment on the CCC if you want (although you once answered a question I asked on the blog by saying that you accepted the teachings of the CCC if I recall), but I choose not to do so.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR at 9:27 a.m.:

C’mon now. I was not asserting my own understanding but that of Saint Pope John Paul II. And, yes, I am prepared to accept that the understanding of that sainted pope is superior to that of some of his forebears. You may choose to reject this. I do not.

Your point about abortion runs the risk of distracting from and blunting the central point under discussion. Let us agree that abortion is a terrible thing. But let us also agree (I hope) that there are at least three very clear differences between the situation of abortion and the situation of war. Thus, abortion involves killing a developing embryo (barely recognizable as human in the early weeks of pregnancy), invisible to the naked eye, and carried within the body of the mother whereas war involves killing a fully formed human being, in principle visible to the naked eye, and living independently of the mother.

You and I may well say that these are irrelevant differences and that the developing embryo is also a human life worthy of protection from the moment of conception, but not everyone can accept the irrelevance of these differences. Call it the darkening of our reason if you want but you cannot deny that they are real differences or that is perhaps understandable why others may disagree with the Catholic Church’s evaluation of the status of the embryo. And, because of this, you cannot equate the violence done (mostly) by males upon fully formed human beings with the violence done by women (often with the aid of men) upon developing embryos in their wombs. The destructiveness and wrongfulness of the former are so much more obvious than the destructiveness and wrongfulness of the latter. And if we cannot concede these things, then I suggest we have little hope of persuading others who disagree with us over the issue of abortion for we would prove ourselves incapable of the necessary empathy with their position.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR at 6:10 p.m. and Gene at 6:48 p.m.:

“Violence is an unavoidable consequence of the Fall. Understand it, avoid it, but be good at it for when it is necessary.” The CCC would not seem to disagree. See CCC 2302-2317. But this is at a very high level of generality and the devil, as they say, is in the details.

Consequently, while the Holy See may have acknowledged the very regrettable necessity of violence in the extreme case presented by ISIS as (one assumes) satisfying the strict criteria for just war set out in CCC 2309, I have the distinct sense that you would both accept the use of violence in situations in which the Catholic Church would not. Please correct me if I am wrong about this. Perhaps we could test this by considering the 2003 invasion of Iraq as an example or, Gene, your suggestion that the proper response to the atrocity of 9/11 was to nuke every major Muslim city in the Middle East (you did say that, didn’t you?).


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - I have given no answer to your question.

You have asserted that the Holy Trinity and Jesus have commanded us to do violence. (see above) I believe this assertion is based on an incorrect interpretation/understanding of the Scriptures. Taking passages out of context, literary and cultural, leads to your error.

I refer again to Pope Benedict's words. "Revelation is suited to the cultural and moral level of distant times and thus describes facts and customs, such as cheating and trickery, and acts of violence and massacre, without explicitly denouncing the immorality of such things."

What was suited to "the cultural and moral level of distant times" is not necessarily suited to contemporary culture and times. Although the scriptures speak of cheating, trickery, acts of violence and massacre without denouncing them, it is incorrect to read these as "commands" to do violence.

What popes, bishops, and scripture scholars do is help us to understand what God wanted to affirm through the human authors. CCC 109 "In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words."

God did not want to affirm that cheating, trickery, acts of violence and massacre are his commands for our behavior today. How do we know this?

CCC 111-114: But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. "Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written."

The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.

More...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

112 1. Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture". Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God's plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.

The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.

113 2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church". According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church").

114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith. By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.

It is especially the "analogy of faith" that is missing from your interpretation of Sacred Scripture. The idea that God commands violence is contrary to the "coherence of the truths of faith...within the whole plan of Revelation."

Also, you overlook Pope Benedict's crucial passage: "Rather, we should be aware that the correct interpretation of these passages requires a degree of expertise, acquired through a training that interprets the texts in their historical-literary context and within the Christian perspective which has as its ultimate hermeneutical key “the Gospel and the new commandment of Jesus Christ brought about in the paschal mystery”.

You look at cheating and trickery and acts of violence and massacre outside their historical-literary context and you fail to use the ultimate hermeneutical key, "the Gospel and the new commandment of Jesus Christ brought about in the paschal mystery”. The behaviors you attempt to justify are in opposition to the new commandment of Jesus and the paschal mystery, through which we are set free from sinful behaviors.

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... DJR - I have given no answer to your question.

So, then the answer to the question whether a person is morally permitted to use violence to repel, even to the point of death, a murderer who attempts to take the life of Rabbi Haas is no.

Have you ever discussed that with him?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...And I ask another: how do you know that violence is not opposed to Natural law?

Answer: It is a requirement of natural law for the strong to protect the weak. Our Lord commanded it.

If it takes violence to accomplish that, e.g., against an unjust aggressor, then it is not only morally permitted, it is a necessity and a requirement of natural law.

Our Lord knows that we have a fallen nature and that some people will do evil. Thus, if an unjust aggressor attacks someone, he/it may be repelled by force, i.e., violence.

If that were not the case, then the idea of having policemen is ludicrous. Last time I was in Macon, I saw members of the police force.


The New Testament is clear: "Violence" is permissible in situations where it is morally necessary.

Romans 13:4: [3] For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. [4] For he is God' s minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God' s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. [5] Wherefore be subject of necessity, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.

DJR said...

Anonymous Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... DJR - I have given no answer to your question.

The question was whether it is permissible to use violence to protect Jewish people from being slaughtered.

Is that permissible?

That question can be answered with either two letters or three letters.

You have not answered.

DJR said...

Anonymous 2 said...
Consequently, while the Holy See may have acknowledged the very regrettable necessity of violence in the extreme case presented by ISIS as (one assumes) satisfying the strict criteria for just war set out in CCC 2309, I have the distinct sense that you would both accept the use of violence in situations in which the Catholic Church would not. Please correct me if I am wrong about this. Perhaps we could test this by considering the 2003 invasion of Iraq as an example or, Gene, your suggestion that the proper response to the atrocity of 9/11 was to nuke every major Muslim city in the Middle East (you did say that, didn’t you?).


What you're talking about is application of the Church's teaching on force, and I agree with you.

But Father Kavanaugh is implying (I guess, because he doesn't answer questions directly) that there is no justification for the use of force and that the Church does not teach that there is. At least that's what I'm getting out of his posts.

There is an inherent difficulty in asserting whether "the Catholic Church" would accept the use of force in any particular situation because the Catholic Church is not in the business of policing the world.

Those are prudential decisions left to governing authorities. A pope can have an opinion about a particular circumstance, but that doesn't mean that the pope's opinion equals "the Catholic Church."

Many -- as in MANY -- of our popes have been involved in political intrigue, alliances, wars, et cetera. In fact, there are centuries and centuries where such things were a defining feature of the papacy.

Whether any particular pope was right in any particular circumstance, is, at times, impossible for us to know.

That said, you are incorrect, at least with regard to me, that I would accept the use of force in situations in which "the Catholic Church" would not.

I was opposed to both invasions of Iraq.

The second invasion was opposed by nearly the entire hierarchy. In that case, I believe that fact qualifies for the assertion that it was "the teaching of the Catholic Church" that the invasion of Iraq was contrary to God's law.

But personally I didn't need the bishops to tell me that.

Catholic "Traditionalists" who are older understand that Catholic teaching does not equal "U.S. foreign policy" or "the Republican Party platform."

There are some places where those things intersect with Church teaching, but in the case of the former, there is a huge divergence in many areas.

I also would not support the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nor would I support the bombing of Dresden.

Gene said...

Anon 2, I am sure I would accept violence in situations where the Church might not. That would be my sin. After 9/11, if we had used a tactical nuke on Mecca and Medina, or at least bombed them into rubble conventionally, we would not be where we are now. It would have put Muslims on notice that we can always up the ante. If there were more attacks in this country, then go to nukes, deport all the Muslims, drill for our own oil, destroy their oil fields, and let the middle east dry up and blow away. That is how you fight a war. Enough of this being in hoc to liberal anti-drilling, anti-capitalists. Let 'em whine and stomp their feet. With the country on a true war footing, they might be more mindful about taking to the streets. And, you know, Anon 2, it is just a pity that the Church can't handle this...they once could. We are the ones who fight for the Church and who will ultimately save her unless we totally lose our resolve.

Gene said...

I am neither a globalist nor a cultural relativist. I believe the Western Judaeo-Christian tradition is superior to all others, Christianity is the one true religion that worships the one true God, the fire bombing of Germany and the atomic bombing of Japan were necessary and just, and the devastation of cities in the Islamic world post 9/11would have also been justified. Look, when an entire culture, its leaders, its people, its religion tell you they want to kill you, it is best to listen.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR and Gene:

Thank you for your responses clarifying your positions. It will be no surprise to you that I am much closer to your position, DJR, than I am to your position, Gene.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR: I am genuinely happy that you do not approve of the actions you list. I also agree that one cannot easily sit in moral judgment regarding sins perpetrated by the Church hierarchy in past centuries when the times and the circumstances were very different from what they are today. But for me this means mainly that we cannot easily judge the moral culpability of the actors involved, given that there needs to be more than just an objectively sinful act but also the subjective knowledge of wrongfulness and full consent of the will. This does not necessarily mean, however, that we cannot judge the sinfulness of the objective act. Thus we now understand that some things are sinful that perhaps we did not know were sinful in earlier times. And this is what I take to be the main point that Father Kavanaugh is making. And this too is reflected in the CCC.

While conceding the regrettable necessity of a defensive just war as an exception (the application of which is however made subject to “rigorous conditions”), the Church now expresses forcefully its opposition to war as a matter of principle. The CCC states:

2307 The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war.

2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.
However, “as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.

2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:
—the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
—all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
—there must be serious prospects of success;
—the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the ‘just war’ doctrine.
The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.”

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

You say that “We are the ones who fight for the Church and who will ultimately save her unless we totally lose our resolve.” There are also non-violent ways to fight for the Church. Indeed, given the moral framework provided by the passages of the CCC quoted in my previous post, it seems clear that these non-violent ways are to be preferred. This would seem to be all the more so if the case for violence is based on the patently false premise that “an entire culture, its leaders, its people, its religion tell you they want to kill you” (you really should expand your sources of information about Islam).

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR said, "But Father Kavanaugh is implying (I guess, because he doesn't answer questions directly) that there is no justification for the use of force and that the Church does not teach that there is."

No, I am not implying that at all. I know the Church's teaching on "Just War" and on self-defense. You and I have not discussed those - at all.

The issue we have discussed is your erroneous interpretation of the violence of the Old Testament as a justification/basis for violence today. You see these, it seems, as Divine approbation for the use of violence today.

There is also the issue of the difference between what is commanded and what is permitted. What is commanded is necessary for salvation - that's the purpose of Revelation. CCC 52 "By revealing himself God wishes to make them capable of responding to him, and of knowing him and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity." I think "beyond their own natural capacity" is what we have to think about. In our natural capacity we are inclined to do violence to others (concupiscence). We steal, we cheat, we deceive, we attack verbally or physically. But grace can lift us above our natural capacity to treat others in a way that is transformed by grace - that is elevated beyond our natural capacity to a supernatural level.

Revelation makes known to us the meaning and purpose of our lives. (see CCC 68) Revelation does not make known that we are to waste our time and energy engaging in violent behavior, producing weapons, attacking those we consider enemies. We were created for better than this, for more than this.

We are not commanded to do violence. It may be allowed at present, but I suspect we are, by grace, moving away from this temporal reality. A Catholic may choose to reject violence in all its forms and do so morally. A non-violent response to violent attack has and will continue to bring about the defeat of evil. The example of the martyrs who, in rejecting violence, accepted death for the Faith have become "the seed of the Church."

I don't know of any battle between Christian and Non-Christian armies or of any armed gangs protecting Jews from murder who have ever been given that title.

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... A Catholic may choose to reject violence in all its forms and do so morally. A non-violent response to violent attack has and will continue to bring about the defeat of evil. The example of the martyrs who, in rejecting violence, accepted death for the Faith have become "the seed of the Church."

A martyr can choose martyrdom, but only for himself. He cannot choose it for others.

We are commanded to protect the widow and the orphan. If it takes violence to do that, we are commanded to do it. That's the teaching of the Church and the teaching of Sacred Scripture.

Just yesterday I was stuck in traffic because there was a shootout on I-75 in Cobb. Police have a moral imperative, imposed on them by God, to use violence under such circumstances to protect innocent bystanders.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/all-lanes-of-i-75-sb-in-cobb-county-blocked-by-pol/nqDSB


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... The example of the martyrs who, in rejecting violence, accepted death for the Faith have become "the seed of the Church." I don't know of any battle between Christian and Non-Christian armies or of any armed gangs protecting Jews from murder who have ever been given that title.

You will find a photo of at least one such person at the link. Notice the weaponry.

http://abbey-roads.blogspot.com/2011/07/little-cristero-blessed-jose-luis.html

Jusadbellum said...

Fr. K,

I appreciate your erudition and patience on this forum. And I agree that the ideal ought to be non-violence, that Just War theory is about last resorts, not first options. That our go-to attitude ought to be the conversion of sinners, not their annihilation.

But as far as I understand the other posters, while our ideal state is to be fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, good neighbors.... there is a part about being a man that does call for the judicious and prudent use of force.

We use force (judiciously, prudently) to discipline our children (spare the rod, spoil the child - or the shepherd hobbling a wayward sheep (dislocating its leg so as to bring in back to the fold). The point of force (or credible threat thereof) is not to do violence but to heal or dissuade someone from a ruinous path.

We use force (again, prudently, without wrath, without crying havoc) against unjust aggressors in the relatively rare situations where there is immediate threat by an unjust aggressor to our person or that of innocents in our charge. This means we don't go monster hunting, but are prepared to deal with monsters should they come to us.

Applying this right of self-defense to the group, we the people grant professionals (police) to act on our behalf. They would have no right (legal or moral) to use force against criminals, or as soldiers, no right to use force against enemies if individual human beings didn't enjoy the intrinsic right to self-defense first.

I can't imagine there being any theological rebuttal to the above. It's self evident. We don't go looking for trouble (else, we'd become the unjust aggressor!) but if trouble comes to us, in this valley of tears, what else can we do if words and warnings are insufficient to dissuade someone from a ruinous course of action against innocents?

On the other hand, I agree that martyrdom - as a heroic witness of non-violent surrender does provoke (in SOME cases) the conversion of hearts. But in our own lifetimes we know of the case of the USSR that endured for 70 years before collapsing...so martyrdom is no guarantee that the unjust polity will fall. In Cuba, China, and Korea, their dictatorships are alive and well. We might hope that eventually the witness of the martyrs will effect enough people to change things but in the meanwhile how many tens of millions of innocents must suffer the unchecked depravity of the unjust aggressors?

It's a fact that the 100 day Hutu genocide would not have stopped without outside intervention. Nor would Yugoslavian genocides have stopped had the world not intervened with force. Cambodia's genocide only ceased when Vietnam invaded. So while Jus ad bellum is rare, it's not so rare that we haven't lived through dozens of cases of it being properly applied.

Jusadbellum said...

The kicker is, Christian gentlemen, heirs of the codes of Jus ad bellum and Jus in bello that was once part of the code of chivalry, intuitively grasp the distinctions between force and violence, between aggression and unjust aggression.

Between police and criminals, between soldiers and terrorists, and between a husband and father protecting the innocent and a criminal using force to rape, pillage and kill in a wanton fashion.,

Patriarchy is baked into the warp and woof of reality inasmuch as Adam was created first. Adam was the one called on to name all of creation including Woman. Adam was the one whose sin doomed the human race. It was on account of Adam's refusal to fight to serpent to protect his bride that the Word had to become flesh as a 'new Adam' so as to fight the serpent and shed his blood as a new Isaac as price to pay for saving his bride, the new Eve, the Church.

It's why the same Word through the Holy Spirit gave us the revelation that God is to be called "Father" from whom all fatherhood on earth takes its meaning.

Thus we are faced with a righteous patriarchy and a perverted patriarchy. Men are either fathers in the image of the Father or they are fathers in the image of the father of lies....

It is inescapably the case that humanity, as fallen, will have wars and rumors of war. That conflict will endure until the end of time. That the forces of the anti-Christ will feel it necessary to muster an army of immense size with which to assault the camp of the saints - so it stands to reason that the saints won't be helpless, unarmed pacifists else there would be no point in "200 million" horsemen.

But it's also the case - and we, Christian gentlemen also grasp this - that the victory over evil men is not ultimately a matter of our own strength and firepower but is in fact the miracle of Divine intervention. So we most certainly don't live by the sword. We don't worship the sword. It's not the be all of our manhood but merely a useful if not essential tool for our primary vocation of protecting and watching over our 'flock'.




Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - The link you gave states, "Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río (March 28, 1913 –February 10, 1928) was a young Mexican Cristero who was put to death by government officials because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith."

Because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith, not because he was a child soldier who engaged in violence.

You stated, "We are commanded to protect the widow and the orphan. If it takes violence to do that, we are commanded to do it. That's the teaching of the Church and the teaching of Sacred Scripture."

I am not aware of any Scripture or Doctrine that requires anyone to engage in violence.

Is the protection of the powerless more effectively achieved if those doing the protecting engage in the same violence as those doing the persecuting? Would the behavior of the martyrs have been more saintly if, when commanded to renounce the faith, they grabbed the nearest weapon and lopped off the heads of their persecutors?

CCC 2306: "Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, provided they do so without harming the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death." (Cf. GS 78 § 5.)

If we are commanded to use violence to protect the weak, then the Catechism must be wrong. I don't accept that judgment.

Jus - If we see the world through the brokenness of sin, then, yes, the validity of using violence is self-evident. But seeing the world through that filter gives a distorted view.

And Jus, Adam wasn't created first and the sin that condemned us was the sin of Adam and Eve.

War will continue only as long as we choose to go to war.

Jusadbellum said...

Sorry Fr. K but Genesis and the Old Testament and Paul's letters all beg to differ with your claim that Adam wasn't created first.

The human race only fell after Adam ate the fruit. That's when "their eyes were opened" and they realized they were naked.

It's why men were called to priesthood in expiation. It's why the Word had to become flesh as Vir, man, as the 'new Adam' - explicitly pointed out in the New Testament.

I also need to quibble with your equivocal use of the word "violence". There is a huge difference between force and violence. The police officer who arrests a criminal uses force. The criminal who seizes an innocent employs violence.

A person who shoots an unjust aggressor uses force, not violence. Homicide and murder are morally distinguishable PRECISELY based on the distinction between force and violence.

Thus we are not commanded to sin (i.e. to be violent) but we are commanded to use force to protect the innocent in our care, which is why we have such a thing as Just war theory to begin with.

The Hutu genocide Rwanda lasted about 100 days during which time the government led pogrom killed over 600,000 Tutsis and Hutus with machetes and grenades (as the civilian population had previously been disarmed). It wasn't the martyrdom of the hundreds of thousands that stopped the genocide. It wasn't the feckless UN peacekeepers or the US Marines (Bill Clinton being President). No. It was an "illegal" guerilla army of Tutsis invading from neighboring Burundi that overthrew the Hutu government and stopped the genocide. Their main weapons were machine guns, rifles and mortars.

Similarly, it wasn't pacifists who stopped the genocide in Yugoslavia but militias and trench warfare that kept the Serbian army from overrunning towns and cities. The massacres that took place all happened in UN zones where disarmed civilians were abandoned by the peacekeepers to a hopeless fate.

In Cambodia, the genocide happened on an unarmed population and did not stop until the Communist Vietnamese invaded.

In Iraq and Syria the only thing keeping the ISIS savages at bay are men with guns.

In the USA the only thing keeping our homegrown savages at bay are men with guns.

Merely having a gun does not make you a criminal. Merely using it does not make you violent.

A cop shooting an armed bank robber is not engaging in 'violence' but force. Now, if the robber is disarmed and then shot, that would indeed be violence. If an unjust aggressor is detained, handcuffed, and then physically abused or killed - the moral reality switches from justified force to murder.

It's really not that complicated.

Jusadbellum said...

Catechism of the Catholic Church (reflecting the Bible!) clearly teaches that God created Adam first:

359 “In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear.”224 (1701, 388, 411)


St. Paul tells us that the human race takes its origin from two men: Adam and Christ.... The first man, Adam, he says, became a living soul, the last Adam a life-giving spirit. The first Adam was made by the last Adam, from whom he also received his soul, to give him life.... The second Adam stamped his image on the first Adam when he created him. That is why he took on himself the role and the name of the first Adam, in order that he might not lose what he had made in his own image. The first Adam, the last Adam: the first had a beginning, the last knows no end. The last Adam is indeed the first; as he himself says: “I am the first and the last.”225

It's really so blasé and common, it's so obvious - the Genesis account is absolutely clear and the whole point of "the New Adam" so obvious.... the clue of the Word made flesh instructing us to call God "abba, Father" when he could have just as easily told us to call God "oh my mother, oh my father" but DIDN'T....

Seriously you can't possibly raise a Catholic argument against the obvious point that the human race began with Adam and consequently humanity was, before the Fall, a Patriarchy and after the fall remains a broken patriarchy and will be restored in the end to a Patriarchy....

As for war.... we have it on divine authority that war is not purely a question of human decisions inasmuch as our real enemy are principalities and powers.... and that thus where will be conflict and warfare until the very last day.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Jusadbellum said...

....and here's the CCC on our obligation with respect to the use of force for the protection of the innocent:

Legitimate defense

2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor.... The one is intended, the other is not.”65 (1737)

2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow: (2196)


If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.... Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.66

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility. (2240)"

Now, where would the state get the authority to authorize the use of deadly force if individuals did not first have the right to defend their own lives and those of innocent loved ones with the use of deadly force?

It thus follows that natural law and divine law both form the moral basis for the prudential and judicious use of force including deadly force in defense of innocent people.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jus - Seriously I can raise an argument that Adam was not created first. The Genesis creation accounts, which include the creation of Adam "first," aren't history. Adam was not created "before" Eve. This preternatural scene uses symbolic, "figurative" language to express divine Truth.

CCC 390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.

Having "the right to use arms to repel aggressors" is not a command to do so.

DJR said...

Anonymous Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...
DJR - The link you gave states, "Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río (March 28, 1913 –February 10, 1928) was a young Mexican Cristero who was put to death by government officials because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith."

Because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith, not because he was a child soldier who engaged in violence.


Well, of course the reason he is a martyr is because he died for the Faith, not because he was a child soldier, but that's beside the point.

The point is that this martyr did not reject violence. He took up arms in defense of the Faith and died as a martyr.

You stated previously:

The example of the martyrs who, in rejecting violence, accepted death for the Faith have become "the seed of the Church." I don't know of any battle between Christian and Non-Christian armies or of any armed gangs protecting Jews from murder who have ever been given that title.

You said you didn't know of any who had taken up arms and also earned the title of martyr.

Now you know.

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... Having "the right to use arms to repel aggressors" is not a command to do so.

It most certainly is a command if a person has an affirmative duty to protect another person.

If you break into my house, I'm not going to let you harm my family. You will be met by violence.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - He wasn't named a martyr because he took up arms. He was named a martyr because he would not reject the faith.

There are many Saints and Martyrs who, at some point in their lives, may have taken up arms. None of them were named martyrs or canonized because they took up arms. Even Joan of Arc, maybe the most famous warrior-saints.

Again, no, having a right to use arms to protect someone is not a command to do so. You're reading into the text what is simply not there.

If it is the case that we are commanded to do violence to protect the innocent, and if that duty extends to the unborn, then you have stated that we are commanded to shoot abortionists and blow up abortion clinics. This cannot be so.

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...
DJR - He wasn't named a martyr because he took up arms. He was named a martyr because he would not reject the faith.


Again, one said he was. That wasn't the reason I posted it. You said you knew of no one who used violence and is also a martyr.

He is.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...If it is the case that we are commanded to do violence to protect the innocent, and if that duty extends to the unborn, then you have stated that we are commanded to shoot abortionists and blow up abortion clinics. This cannot be so.

Who says "this cannot be so"?

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, CCC 390 provides no basis for your weird and un-Biblical views on Adam and Eve.

You might also argue since, theologically, there is no such thing as an innocent human, we should not defend anyone, including the unborn. Makes about as much sense as other stuff you spew.

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... There are many Saints and Martyrs who, at some point in their lives, may have taken up arms. None of them were named martyrs or canonized because they took up arms. Even Joan of Arc, maybe the most famous warrior-saints.

And Sainte Jeanne d'Arc claimed that she was told by Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and Saint Margaret of France that God willed her to go into battle and use violence against the English.

The words were: "Deus Vult!"

What God positively wills, He commands.

It was a command.

Although she did not personally kill anyone, she certainly accepted the violence.

First Letter of Saint Joan of Arc to King of England (in pertinent part): "And all of you, archers, companions of war, nobles and others who are before you; and if this is not done, expect news of the Maid, who will go to see your shortly, to your very great damage. King of England, if you do not do this, I am Chef de Guerre, and in whatever place I shall find your people in France, I will make them go whether they will or not; and if they will not obey I will have them all killed. I am sent here by God, the King of Heaven, each and all, to put you out of all France.

I have told you often enough that I did nothing but by God's commandment.


Letter Joan of Arc wrote that was shot into the Tourelles on May 5, 1429:

"You, men of England, who have no right in the Kingdom of France, the King of Heaven orders and notifies you through me, Jehanne the Maid, to leave your fortresses and go back to your own country; or I will produce a clash of arms to be eternally remembered. And this is the third and last time I have written to you; I shall not write anything further.

First day at Jargeau when some of her army was apprehensive Joan of Arc said:

"Fear no multitude whatsoever. Do not hesitate to assault the English. God conducts our work. If I had not this assurance, I would rather guard sheep than expose myself to so great perils."

First night a Jargeau Joan spoke to those inside the walled city:

"Surrender the place to the King of Heaven, and to the noble King Charles VII, and go away! Otherwise he will destroy you."

Joan of Arc speaking to the Duke of Alencon:

"Forward, noble duke, to the assault. Doubt not. The hour is good when God pleases. One must work when God wills. Work and God will work also."

I believe Saint Joan of Arc. Sometimes God commands "violence."

DJR said...

Bull of Blessed Urban II calling for a crusade (in pertinent part):

On this account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ's heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends. I say this to those who are present, it meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it.

DJR said...

Father Kavanaugh: I don't know of any battle between Christian and Non-Christian armies or of any armed gangs protecting Jews from murder who have ever been given that title.

Pope Blessed Urban II: All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I grant them through the power of God with which I am invested.

O what a disgrace if such a despised and base race, which worships demons, should conquer a people which has the faith of omnipotent God and is made glorious with the name of Christ! With what reproaches will the Lord overwhelm us if you do not aid those who, with us, profess the Christian religion!

Gene said...

General Patton's Soldier's Prayer (carried by many in Viet Nam, as well):

God of our Fathers, who by land and sea has ever

Led us on to victory, please continue your inspiring

Guidance in this greatest of our conflicts.

Strengthen my soul so that the weakening instinct of

Self preservation, which besets all of us in battle,

Shall not blind me to my duty to my own manhood, to the

Glory of my calling, and to my responsibility to my

Fellow soldiers.

Grant to our Armed Forces that disciplined valor and

Mutual confidence which insures success in war.

Let me not mourn for the men who have died fighting,

But rather let me be glad that such heroes have lived.

If it be my lot to die, let me do so with courage and honor

In a manner which will bring the greatest harm to the

Enemy, and please, oh Lord, protect and guide those I

Shall leave behind.

Give us victory, Lord.
General George S Patton Jnr

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - First, I did not say that I "didn't know of any who had taken up arms and also earned the title of martyr." Some did take up arms, but that was not why they, or anyone, is declared a martyr. The difference is not, as you say, "beside the point." It is central to our discussion.

Although I thought my comment about commando martyrs was clear, I was wrong. Here's the clearer version: "I don't know of any battle between Christian and Non-Christian armies or of any armed gangs protecting Jews from murder who have ever been given that title FOR THE VIOLENCE THEY CARRIED OUT."

Having a right does not entail being commanded to act on that right. For example, a person has a natural, inborn right to marry. However, having that right is not rightly understood as a command to marry. Anyone who chooses to remain single is not, in any way, disobeying a command.

Also, you have a natural, inborn right to enter into an agreement with another person. For example, you and your neighbor enter into an agreement to share the pecans that fall from a tree that stands on the border between the properties each owns. Having the right to enter into an agreement is not a command to enter into an agreement. You and your neighbor can battle every year over who gets the pecans.

Americans have a civil right to freedom of assembly. Having this right is not a command, and anyone who chooses not to exercise this right is not being disobedient to any command, since no command exists.

Having the right to defend oneself or others by the use of violence is not a command to use violence.

Having a right does not equate to being given a command.

Gene - Along with CCC 390 which speaks of "figurative language" - in this case the MYTHOLOGY of the Creation Accounts and the Account of the Fall - we also have CCC 110 "In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression."

Mythology is one of the literary genres that must be taken into account in order to discover the sacred authors' intention.

Also, I would not argue that that there is no such thing as an innocent human. Newborns, while tainted by Original Sin, are innocent of personal sin. But whether they are innocent or not does not determine whether or not they should be defended.




Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - We cannot be commanded to shoot abortionists and to bomb abortion clinics because those acts are evil and, therefore, cannot be commanded by God since God does not - cannot - command us to do what is morally evil.

If you believe that we are commanded to do violence by God in order to protect innocents, and if you believe that children being aborted are innocents, you are defending, even encouraging, the shooting of abortionists and the bombing of abortion clinics. This, for the reasons above, cannot be.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

Saint Joan of Arc is a very interesting case. There are two main questions: (1) Why was she canonized? (2) Did God command her to do violence or to approve of it in His name?

Regarding the first question, it seems St. Joan was canonized as a Christian martyr, an innocent and virtuous victim of a false trial for heresy the verdict in which was reversed in her posthumous retrial several years later):

http://www.maidofheaven.com/joanofarc_canonization.asp

http://www.stjoan-center.com/topics/canonization.htm

Regarding the second question, we would want to understand precisely what it was that God “commanded” Joan to do and, moreover, whether her belief (if it was indeed the case) that God commanded her approval of violence may have been a mistaken belief. Whether or not God “commanded” or instead merely permitted the violence, however, wouldn’t the defense of France against the invading English and their Burgundian allies satisfy the conditions for the recognized and limited exception of a just war? All in all, perhaps we should be very cautious in reaching conclusions about whether or not God commanded the violence committed in this phase or indeed any other phase of the Hundred Years War or indeed any war. Personally, whatever else He was doing, I suspect He was weeping as well.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision’s face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
“Strange friend,” I said, “Here is no cause to mourn.”
“None,” said the other, “Save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also. . . . .
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in the dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now. . .”

[from Wilfred Owen, Strange Meeting, 1918]

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

“such a despised and base race, which worships demons”



Is this what the Church today teaches about the religion of Islam and how we as Catholics are asked to view Muslims?

Anonymous 2 said...

This discussion has been a very informative one, and I appreciate being able to learn new things from all participants.

It has also been, for me at least, a very revealing one. I know that some may resist this conclusion but I see it as inescapable: Islam is not especially prone to violence compared with Christianity. Both have authoritative texts or other sources (including, in Christianity, we now learn, various papal statements or visions such as those of Saint Joan and her later canonization) that can be interpreted (but do not necessarily have to be interpreted) as God commanding or approving of or at least permitting violence and war.

We cannot have it both ways. We cannot, on the one hand, claim that Islam is especially violent and Christianity is more peaceful and, on the other hand, also claim that God commands violence, as for example the French fighting the English in the Hundred Years War. Father Kavanaugh is right: we have to make a choice about war. And this means we have to make a choice about interpretation. Isn’t it well past time for all of us (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) to make a choice to interpret their authoritative texts more favorably to peace than to war?



Gene said...

Anon2, "Dulce et Decorum est, Pro Patri Mori" Wilfred owen

Oh, and they are a despised and base race...savages.

John Nolan said...

Why was Joan of Arc canonized? Because the Holy See wanted to appease the virulently anti-clerical French Third Republic and Joan's cause transcended political boundaries. The timing was opportune - the decade that separated her beatification and canonization saw France having to unite to repel another invader, at enormous cost in blood and treasure.

The 500th anniversary of her execution in 1931 saw Church and State united in venerating her; and the ceremony in Rouen was attended by the Archbishop of Westminster, to show there were no hard feelings!

In Winchester Cathedral (now Anglican, of course) there is a statue of St Joan which was a gift from a French diocese. She is placed directly opposite the tomb of Henry, Cardinal Beaufort, who was present at her trial and execution and although he was not one of her judges, might have worked behind the scenes to secure a conviction.

George said...

Joan of Arc: Warrior saint and martyr.

Joan of Arc was a French peasant girl who know nothing of the art of war. French officers marveled at how well she could ride a horse. She was very aggressive in her strategy of attacking the enemy. She displayed uncanny expertise in directing the artillery fire of the seige cannon in use at the time. The siege cannon had a cast iron barrel and its overall weight was 1,350 lbs. The cannonballs were made from granite and weighed between 10 and 12 lbs. The range was measured at 2,200 yards. There are several testimonies from those who fought with her about her ability to place and aim cannons, as well as predict the target of enemy artillery

How could Joan have the skills she had to do what she did without help? She knew nothing about horses and weapons. She did have help and that help was from was from God.

Her motto: "Let God be first served".

St. Joan was canonized a martyr because she was put to death because of her faith. As with all saints though, everything about who she was, and what she did came into came into play.

An added note: Mark Twain considered the book he wrote on her his greatest work.

Anonymous 2 said...

George:

When I was a young lawyer in Germany participating in a special post-graduate program, the multinational group of which I was a part was invited by a German Studentenverein to a day of fellowship and conviviality at their forest clubhouse. There was a shooting competition, which I won, although I had never shot a rifle before, beating about 30 other people including even my roommate who had served in the French military (and no, they weren’t all more inebriated than I was). My roommate’s good-natured comment was along the lines of “No wonder you won the bloody war.” I did not ascribe my performance to divine assistance but to a certain innate ability, a gift from God to be sure as all our gifts are but no more than that. Why couldn’t the same have been true of St. Joan?

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

Yes, “Dulce et Decorum Est” is an excellent war (aka anti-war) poem too and perhaps the best known of all. I was thinking of it also this afternoon but selected Strange Meeting because of what it says about the social construction of “the enemy.”

Perhaps the most absurd aspect of invoking God’s name in Western warfare is that typically both sides did it. So clearly, God was on “our” side (whichever one that happened to be). Whereas the truth, of course, is that He was on neither side and yet on all sides as, being crucified yet again, He spread His loving arms above the cannon fodder whose leaders had cast them, once again, into Hell.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

And just what were these “savages” doing and just what were we “civilized” people doing, say, in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries?

Anonymous 2 said...

John:

I know it well. Having lived in Chandler’s Ford until I went off to university, Winchester Cathedral (including St Joan’s statue) will always have a special place in my heart and even now remains a place of pilgrimage for me whenever I return to the U.K.

George said...


John, I don't have anything to present to dispute what you say about Joan of Arc's canonization. One can certainly wonder why after almost 500 years had passed since her death, that it was decided the time had finally arrived to canonize her. One thing that is not emphasized enough is that by all accounts she was a person of strong spiritual conviction, as well as being courageous on the battlefield. She drove away the "camp followers" -the prostitutes who tagged along with the army- and she was not above using physical force to do so. She upbraided some of her troops for cursing and not attending Mass. God and the Catholic faith were not placed on the back shelf of her life.

Gene said...

Anon 2, RE: 9th-11th centuries: Europe was growing and expanding, Western art and philosophy were moving slowly forward, and agriculture was developing new methods. The savages, as always, had their eyes on conquering the West and spreading their savage, heretical religion.

Gene said...

Anon 2, Oh, and FYI, the 11th century is considered the beginning of the High Middle Ages (although, granted, not so high in every respect).

Jan said...

As regards it taking almost 500 years to canonise St Joan of Arc, it has been pointed out:

A delay of several hundred years is not uncommon among Catholic saints, even those who were never subject to much controversy. It took some 500 years to consider Pope Silverius a saint;

400 years to canonize St. Thomas More;

707 years for St. Agnes of Prague,

364 years for St. Nicholas Owen;

409 years for St. Agnes of Montepulciano,

448 years for St. Norbert,

500 years for St. Agnes of Assisi,

316 years for St. John Southworth;

717 years for St. Hermann Joseph,

364 years for St. Thomas Garnet; etc.

St. Hildegard still has not been officially canonized after some 830 years, although she is considered a saint and in fact was considered as such during her own lifetime.

St John Paul II The Great has had the title "saint maker" leveled him for canonising too many saints. But a look at the list of saints he canonised many of them had languished as blesseds for centuries. There is something to be said about not waiting too long to canonise because the relevance of holiness of what these saints may be lost on future generations.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if one can rightly say one who is already declared "Blessed" can be said to be "languishing"...

George said...


Anon2

"There was a shooting competition, which I won, although I had never shot a rifle before, beating about 30 other people ... " I did not ascribe my performance to divine assistance but to a certain innate ability, a gift from God to be sure as all our gifts are but no more than that. Why couldn’t the same have been true of St. Joan? "

Really now Anon2. You can't seriously compare your one -off performance against amateurs to what St Joan of Arc accomplished. She demonstrated proficiency which impressed trained military officers and she did this time after time across many battlefields.

You missed the mark on that comment.

George said...

Jan

Right. These things can take a long time to our way of seeing things, but what is a 1000 years to God?


St Joan of Arc was a favorite of Therese of Lisieux. So she was honored by the faithful before she was even beatified. Interestingly enough, they were both beatified and canonized within a few years of each other. Both are Co-patrons of France.

John Nolan said...

George

St Joan is commemorated as a Virgin, not as a Martyr, and white vestments are used at her Mass. She was declared Venerable by Leo XIII in 1894, beatified by Pius X in 1909 and canonized by Benedict XV in 1920 - fast progress indeed.

Ironically she was condemned and canonized alike for political rather than religious reasons.

I don't believe God took sides in the Hundred Years' War, a dynastic contest between two Catholic nations. Joan's portrayal in Shakespeare's Henry VI Part One isn't exactly flattering. In the end, it proved impossible for the Kings of England, whether Angevin or Lancastrian, to hold on to their lands in France.

Later popes, confronted with the aggressive France of Richelieu (who entered the Thirty Years' War on the Protestant side), Louis XIV and Napoleon Bonaparte, might have wished the English had been successful.

George said...

John:
St.Joan of Arc certainly presents a different case in being considered a martyr.

An inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined her trial, debunked the charges against her, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. The purpose of the trial was to investigate whether the trial of condemnation and its verdict had been handled justly and according to canon law. Investigations started with an inquest by Guillaume Bouillé, a theologian and former rector of the University of Paris (Sorbonne). A formal appeal followed in November 1455. The appellate process involved clergy from throughout Europe and observed standard court procedure. A panel of theologians analyzed testimony from 115 witnesses.
A final summary was drawn up in June 1456, which describes Joan as a martyr. She was declared innocent on July 7, 1456. The Inquisitor's summary of evidence for the case describes her as a martyr who had been executed by a court which was itself in violation of the Church's rules.

In rotating off Joan of Arc's own feast day from the liturgical calendar under Pope Paul VI, the Vatican itself explicitly confirmed the decision by explaining that Joan is still considered a, quote, "heroic" saint and martyr listed in what then became newest edition of the Martyrologium Romanum itself, but as a European and a French woman in a calendar previously glutted with French saints, her feast day had to be rotated off to make way for others.

She is among other things a patron saint of martyrs.

Anonymous 2 said...

George:

“You missed the mark on that comment.”

I like the pun. =). However, I don’ think I did miss the mark. First, who said it was one-off? Second, several of the other competitors had years of experience in shooting, and at least one, my roommate, had served two years in the French army (so, not an amateur).

Third, you cited “her ability to place and aim cannons, as well as predict the target of enemy artillery,” explaining that “the siege cannon had a cast iron barrel and its overall weight was 1,350 lbs. The cannonballs were made from granite and weighed between 10 and 12 lbs. The range was measured at 2,200 yards.”

I mentioned my own performance, not to suggest my brilliant military expertise, or indeed even my expertise in shooting—and in any event, as readers of this blog know, I am not good at much that is “practical” requiring the use of hands, as in woodworking or metalworking, for example—but because my personal experience suggests that even a “klutz” (aka “peasant”) like me can have certain natural abilities that impress even experienced experts. That is the point. And I strongly suspect that one can have a natural ability to place and “sight” a piece of artillery. The size and weight of the cannon are beside the point. What is needed is a certain “feel” or “sense” for angle, distance, and perhaps weather conditions. And, for all we know, she had experiences as a peasant that may have helped to develop these abilities, not with cannon perhaps but through observation of analogous phenomena. I express no opinion about the horse. =)

Anyway, consider the alternative explanation: that God intervened to guide her placing and sighting of the cannon that then mangled the English soldiers. I am with John on this—I don’t believe God took sides in the Hundred Years War, even if (and it might be a big “if”) the French participation satisfied the criteria for a “just war.”



Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

As I think you know (unless you skipped that part in your reading), while (for example) the Franks under Charles Martel, Pepin, and Charlemagne were running around invading the territories of neighboring tribal nations to get more land and “spread the faith” (chopping the heads of captured prisoners and committing other “barbarisms” along the way for good measure), the “savages” as you call them were experiencing a “Golden Age” of high civilization, with advances (and often great advances) in mathematics, biology, medicine and healthcare, anatomy, optics, astronomy, trade and commerce, navigation, education, philosophy, art, architecture, etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age

Even the “Carolingian renaissance” does not even come close by comparison:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolingian_Renaissance



Anonymous said...

How much of St Joan's battlefield prowess is "pious legend" and how much is factual? Can we know?

George said...


Anon2

"First, who said it was one-off? Second, several of the other competitors had years of experience in shooting, and at least one, my roommate, had served two years in the French army (so, not an amateur). "

Well. You didn't mention the proficiency of the other competitors in your comment. However, do you claim that you can consistantly duplicate what you did ala Joan, according to the testimony of those who fought along side her? If so, I am sure there is someone, somewhere in the Macon area equal to the task of taking you on at the firung range.

"I am with John on this—I don’t believe God took sides in the Hundred Years War."

God was not against the English as such, I agree. If it had been the Germans, and not the English, one could also have said the same. What it says to me is that the French needed Divine intervention to drive the English out. Joan's main objective was the insatllation of Charles VII as King of France. This was the task given to her by her heavenly advisors which she understood to be the command of God.Within 78 years of her death, Henry VIII ascended to the Throne of England. Could it be that what transpired under Joan and the eventual outcome after her death prevented Anglican Protestantism from becoming the dominant religion of northern France?

John Nolan said...

George

'Her [Joan's] feast day had to be rotated off to make way for others'. In fact it was only ever a local feast, the general calendar for 30 May giving St Felix, Pope and Martyr. This survived the 1960 revision (albeit as an option) but the Novus Ordo calendar, devised by what Bouyer called a 'trio of maniacs' has nothing at all on this day.

If I find myself in Paris at the end of May I shall certainly repair to the church of St-Eugène et Ste-Cécile in the 9e arrondissement where they use the 1962 Propre de Paris and are sure to give the Maid her due; and yes, I'll sing Domine salvam fac Galliam and pray to St Joan for the restoration of the monarchy and for the canonization of Marcel Lefebvre.

Chaque homme civilisé a deux patries: la sienne et la France.

George said...


Anonymous"

"How much of St Joan's battlefield prowess is "pious legend" and how much is factual? Can we know?"

We know from the testimony of those who fought along side her.

Dialogue said...

Father McDonald,

Is this a record number of comments?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It has to be up there!😉

Gene said...

Anon 2, so what happened to all this wonderful Muslim civilization? I read about it, too. It seems it deteriorated into a savage religion lived out in a sand pit among a wretched race. Western civilization went on to dominate the world and do great things. Yeah, Richard the First killed a lot of Muslims...about 2700 in one day were beheaded while he sat and watched. Where is he when we need him...

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

“Anon 2, so what happened to all this wonderful Muslim civilization? I read about it, too.”

This is a great question and a fascinating one. I cannot give you an authoritative answer to it (can anyone?). I suspect, however, that the reasons for the decline are multiple, both external and internal, and also intertwined with the reasons for the rise of the West. In preparing this response I did a little bit of research and found the following book that seems to offer a balanced introduction to this complex issue:

http://www.mohammedamin.com/Reviews/Muslim-civilisation-the-causes-of-decline-and-the-need-for-reform.html

I would also note that it is an over-generalization to say that Islam is “lived out in a sand pit” given that only a minority of Muslims lives in the “sand pit” (by which I assume you mean the Middle East and North Africa).


Jan said...

To add to the record number of posts here, Bishop Schneider's makes some very pertinent comments on the washing of women's feet.


"Rorate Caeli: Speaking of typical Catholics, what will the typical parish priest face now that he didn’t face before the Synod began? What pressures, such as the washing of women’s feet on Maundy Thursday after the example of Francis, will burden the parish priest even more than he is burdened today?

H.E. Schneider: A typical Catholic parish priest should know well the perennial sense of the Catholic faith, the perennial sense as well of the laws of the Catholic liturgy and, knowing this, he should have an interior sureness and firmness. He should always remember the Catholic principle of discernment: “Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus”, i.e. “What has been always, everywhere and from all” believed and practiced.

The categories “always, everywhere, all” are not to be understood in an arithmetical, but in a moral sense. A concrete criterion for discernment is this: “Does this change in a doctrinal affirmation, in a pastoral or in a liturgical practice constitute a rupture with the centuries-old, or even with the millennial past? And does this innovation really make the faith shine clearer and brighter? Does this liturgical innovation bring to us closer the sanctity of God, or manifest deeper and more beautiful the Divine mysteries? Does this disciplinary innovation really increase a greater zeal for the holiness of life?”

As concretely to the innovation of washing the feet of women during the Holy Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday: This Holy Mass celebrates the commemoration of the institution of the sacraments of the Eucharist and the Priesthood. Therefore, the foot washing of women along with the men not only distracts from the main focus on Eucharist and on Priesthood, but generates confusion regarding the historical symbolism of the “twelve” and of the apostles being of male sex. The universal tradition of the Church never allowed the foot washing during the Holy Mass, but instead outside of Mass, in a special ceremony.

By the way: the public washing and usually also kissing of the feet of women on the part of a man, in our case, of a priest or a bishop, is considered by every person of common sense in all cultures as being improper and even indecent. Thanks be to God no priest or bishop is obliged to wash publicly the feet of women on Holy Thursday, for there is no binding norm for it, and the foot washing itself is only facultative"

So I, at least, am in good company with the good bishop when I said too earlier on this blog that the washing and kissing of women's feet is indecent and could be an occasion of sin for some priests for obvious reasons. I think good priests would do well to consider well the words of the good bishop on this subject.

Anonymous said...

Maybe in Tokmok or Celerina it is considered "by every person of common sense" that the public washing of women's feet is improper or indecent. But this is hardly the case "in all cultures."

This is a gross exaggeration.

Jan said...

Well, anonymous, I don't agree. Except for liberals in the Church, I don't know of any society who would agree with a man washing and kissing women's feet in public or vice versa. To publicly lay hands on a member of the opposite sex in all societies is normally restricted to a marital or close familial relationship. Otherwise it is frowned upon. Of course there are lax morals everywhere, and those who engage in loose moral activities show no common sense. The good bishop after all is tying his remarks to common sense, and even in the liberal society that we live in there are some still who exhibit common sense and observe common decency.

Anonymous said...

"To publicly lay hands on a member of the opposite sex in all societies is normally restricted to a marital or close familial relationship."

No it's not.

Unrelated men and women greet each other with a handshake, or with a totally chaste and socially acceptable cheek kiss. "Cheek kissing is a ritual or social kissing gesture to indicate friendship, perform a greeting, to confer congratulations, to comfort someone, to show respect, or to indicate sexual or romantic interest." Italians, for example, and many Mediterranean cultures are far more demonstrative. Such "laying hands" on others is not the least bit offensive.

Just because you and Bishop Schneider find it offensive and a sign of "lax morals" doesn't mean that anyone else does.