Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dissenting against the dissenters

One thing about dissenting Catholic theologians is that they want you to freely promote dissent as long as it is not dissent against their personal teachings. Of course, if the Church ever made the changes dissenting theologians wanted, the Church would implode from the many conflicts.

The secular media likes to seek out dissenting theologians and priests because their dissent is often promoting something worldly. The secular media also enjoys controversy and why seek commentary from those who have the mind of the Church when they could get it from those who are against it? However, I'm still perplexed as to why the media doesn't get expert opinion on liberty from the Chinese government. I mean, that is what they do when they seek out dissenting Catholics for "expert" opinion on Catholic matters is it not? Then again, why seek objective facts when you could get subjective opinions from disgruntled Catholics?

Dissenters seek what little understanding they need to try to generate change, usually to permit something immoral. Truth has to be absolute, otherwise it is imperfect. Christ is Truth and since Jesus is God and God is perfect, Truth can't be imperfect, without our calling into question the divinity of Jesus Christ (which often goes hand in hand with dissent of other kinds). He is the way, the truth and the life.

This whole discussion brings to mind Hebrews 13:7-9a

7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. 9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings;

The NY Times put together a panel of bloggers for the Papal Visit. Included, surprisingly, were some solid Catholic bloggers like Amy Welborn and Colleen Carroll Cambpell and who are not disoriented in their understanding of Catholicism. I say it is surprising because usually sources like the NY Times limit their "experts" to the worst of dissenters.

With the emergence of the Catholic blogosphere, uncontrolled by the sensorship of mainstream media (now that was fun to write), many of the networks and papers have begun to include a few truly Catholic experts and commentators. I guess they are trying to get fair and balanced. Things won't be right until they limit their expert opinion from true subject matter experts. That is, those who speak with the mind of the Church.

Then there are those Catholic theologians who have written some pretty counter-Catholic posts at the NY Times blog (read that, anti-papist commentaries), and it leads uncatechized Catholics and other Christians down a distorted path of confusion - the very kind that Pope Benedict warns about repeatedly.

I was delighted to read the many responses in the form of testimonies to dissenting Catholic theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether in her latest post this evening, entitled Silence on Contraception. Do read some of those comments and add to the list for the benefit of others. It's interesting to note that Ms. Radford Ruether teaches at Claremont School of Theology which is described as:

" ecumenical graduate theological school of the United Methodist Church. With a global purview and a catholic spirit, we passionately pursue intellectual rigor, vocational discernment and responsible social engagement. Nurtured by the Christian tradition, we prepare effective leaders for service to God, the church, the academy, and the world".

Hmmmmmm..... it's rather interesting that the Times would solicit expert opinion from a dissenting Catholic theologian who is teaching at a United Methodist University that claims to have a catholic (small 'c') spirit. Let me requote that scripture passage again:

9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; (Hebrews 13:9a)

Moving right along...

There have been some other unfortunate blogposts at the NY Times blog, as well. One that drew a response from me (see comment #11) was by Rev. James Martin, SJ of the ultra-lefty, America Magazine in his post: The Jewish People, Joseph Ratzinger and Me .

Solid, well catechized Catholics should be participating in discussions on blogs like these set up by the secular media. It not only challenges those who are posting, but also challenges readers. Hopefully, it will challenge the NY Times to render to the Smithsonian the hippy-era dissenters the next time a Catholic event is worthy of secular media attention. Always respond with complete charity, and where possible provide references so others may learn more.

Consider that dissent is cloaked in a fog and there is nothing better than a big fan to blow away all the smoke. That fan comes in the form of numerous comments in which truth is is explained - charitably. It is an act of dissenting against the dissenters. Pope Benedict XVI asked us to be co-workers of Truth. This could be one way to participate one small comment at a time.

NY Times Papal Visit Blog

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