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Mr. Nirmal Savio Paul carrying his heavy Cross (i.e. dealing with Jetchick's deficient English).
1) N. S. Paul (2017-March-26-1)
2) N. S. Paul (2017-March-26-2)
3) S. Jetchick (2017-March-26)
-------- Forwarded Message -------- Subject: The P-2865 Test Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2017 15:38:03 +0530 From: Nirmal Savio Paul To: Stefan Jetchick Dear Stefan, Ref: The "P-2865" Test I have lately wondered if the P-2865 Test that you have previously proposed is not perhaps so watertight as we might have thought it to be back in the old days when things did not appear to be so dark as they are now. 1. We know that the CCC was edited by HE Christoph Cardinal Schönborn. This same Cardinal (like some others like Timothy Cardinal Dolan) while he previously gave the appearance (to me, at least) of being an orthodox Catholic Prince of the Church, has lately shown indications that he might be okay with a few compromises with regard to orthodoxy & orthopraxis, after all: here, here, and here. Thus, since we are now at a time where several high-ranking prelates are admitting that the documents of the Vatican Council 2 had several linguistic ambiguities in them, perhaps a later generation might discover similar ambiguities in the CCC, too. 2. While I would not go so far as to accuse the CCC of being written in what you describe as "Catholish," it seems to me to come pretty close to it. I was confronted with this state of affairs recently when I had to explain something about Purgatory to some relatives after my Dad's death. They wanted to know how much assurance we could have that a particular soul that was in Purgatory, if the person had apparently died in the good graces of the Church. Browsing through the relevant section of the CCC (CCC 1030 - 1032), I could not find a statement that was crisp enough to offer them. Then I had the idea to look up the relevant section of the Baltimore Catechism (Qs 1384 & 1385) and found exactly what I needed: _______________________________________________ Q. 1384. Do we know what souls are in Purgatory, and how long they have to remain there? A. We do not know what souls are in Purgatory nor how long they have to remain there; hence we continue to pray for all persons who have died apparently in the true faith and free from mortal sin. They are called the faithful departed. Q. 1385. Can the faithful on earth help the souls in Purgatory? A. The faithful on earth can help the souls in Purgatory by their prayers, fasts, alms, deeds; by indulgences, and by having Masses said for them. _______________________________________________ I think this annoying reduction in clarity would in itself make the fingers of many readers itch for a yellow highlighter. One would expect successive Catechisms to improve in clarity! 3. In the book written to serve as the Introduction to the CCC by Pope B16 (while he was still Card. Ratzinter) and Card. Schönborn state "this does not mean that the Catechism is a sort of super- dogma..." as well as "The individual doctrines which the Catechism presents receive no other weight than which they already possess." Read this section of the book online at Google Books here. With this in mind, if we move into particular examples, Cardinal Ratzinger has previously said, "Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion." SOURCES: here, here Now, to narrow it down to one example, the CCC allows for the death penalty "if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor." (CCC 2267) An individual reader of the CCC might be tempted to colour this line yellow, since he could state that the inclusion of this clause _seems_ to suggest that death penalty is not okay if the motive were a simple act of retributive justice by the state, but only if it is done a safety measure to protect citizens, when all other measures fail. In fact, I notice that the following two-part article on the death penalty had to resort to quoting the Baltimore Catechism in order to present a clear and succint summary of the Catholic teaching on Death Penalty: here, here. In fact, a theologian (a Jesuit, to boot!) seems to have taken a yellow highlighter to the CCC, complaining that the wording of the CCC does not present with perfect clarity the Catholic Tradition on this matter: "However, Flannery points out, «Aquinas does not resolve the issue of public self-defense by appeal to a double-effect.» That argument he reserves for private self-defense. His justification for the exercise of lethal force by the sovereign (state) is otherwise, and directly contrary to what the Catechism suggests (and follows directly, in Aquinas' writings, upon the two sentences quoted therein): «But as it is illicit to take a man's life, except for the public authority acting for the common good... it is illicit for a man to intend killing a man in self- defense, except for such as have public authority...» Flannery thus concludes, and it is hard to see how he could be mistaken: «Aquinas says as clearly as one could want that a public authority can legitimately intend to kill a person who threatens the well- being of society.» " SOURCE To be perfectly fair, there are of course several writers who state that this section of the CCC poses no confusion at all if understood in the light of tradition, but explaining this requires large articles (like this one) and even this article states in the opening paragraph that Pope JP2's words from Evangelium Vitae that are reproduced in the CCC "have left many people confused." Perhaps this could be thought of as a disagreement with style and not of content, and so this would, strictly speaking not affect the validity of the P-2865 Test, but it does seem to make it a lot less watertight than it appeared to be years ago. Yours in Christ, Savio P.S. It might be no surprise to you that the SSPX has already had a go at the CCC with their yellow highlighters: :P "The Catechism... Is it Catholic?" Part one, two, three, four
Not everybody is partying when discussing the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
-------- Forwarded Message -------- Subject: Re: The P-2865 Test Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2017 23:37:44 +0530 From: Nirmal Savio Paul To: Stefan Jetchick P.S. On a related note, today's blog post by Fr. Hunwicke reminded me of when reading CCC 121 after the first time I bought the Catechism from a bookshop around 8 years ago and how the wording of the concluding section of that particular point puzzled me a bit as to its exact meaning and the practical implications therof for Jews today, which it had left unexplained. On this matter, Dr. Sungenis has this to say: "One other anomaly is that the 1994 *Catechism of the Catholic Church* says these words in para. 121: «The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value, *for the Old Covenant has never been revoked*.» The addition of this clause is somewhat odd, as if the author just tacked it onto the sentence without a sufficient reason. It carries even more ambiguity than when John Paul II used the clause in his Mainz speech. What «Old Covenant» is the Catechism referring to? It gives no direct indication. If it has the Mosaic covenant in view, it is heresy. If it has the Abraham covenant in view, it is superfluous, because the Old Testament Scriptures retain their «permanent value» with or without the Abrahamic covenant as a confirmation of that value. The other possibility is that «Old Covenant» is a synonym for the Old Testament Scripture since it is obvious that the Church has never revoked Scripture. Perhaps the sentence in para. 123 could help in this regard since it specifies that «The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void.» Perhaps the catechism feels justified in using «Old covenant» to represent the Hebrew Scriptures because in various contexts the word «covenant» is identical to the word «testament.» Both are allowable translations of the Greek word *diatheke* or the Hebrew word *berith*. (See, for example, how the *Douay- Rheims* uses the word «testament» whereas the *New American Bible* uses the word «covenant» in the following verses: Heb 7:22; 8:6-10; 9:4-20; 10:16, 29). The other curious feature of the catechism's «for the Old Covenant has never been revoked» clause is that it has no footnote attached to it, which is not the case with the sentence before it or after it. This means that the catechism's author could not find any reference to this clause in authoritative Catholic sources, including Vatican II. No wonder there has been so much confusion created by this clause. The clause needs to be excised from para. 121 because it serves no useful purpose." SOURCE I sometimes think that in addition to the three pens you've mentioned, there is need of another colour which a reader can use to mark sections of the text to indicate the thought, "The wording of this line/passage confuses me. I need to read up additional Church documents & solid Catholic writers on this matter to get some clarity." This essay by Cardinal Dulles on the topic of the Old Covenant (though it does not touch upon the Catechism) also is an interesting read. Finally, before leaving this topic, I draw your attention in passing to this Wikipedia entry. This would seem to indicate that, even if there has not been an actual change in the teachings of the Church, an impression that a change has happened seems to have been created in public perception. This article, of course, is not about the text of the Catechism, but the wording of Pope JP2's address is very much similar to the passage in question.
-------- Forwarded Message -------- Subject: Re: The P-2865 Test Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2017 17:18:10 -0400 From: Stefan Jetchick To: Nirmal Savio Paul Hi Savio, >> I have lately wondered if the P-2865 Test that you have previously >> proposed is not perhaps so watertight as we might have thought it >> to be back in the old days when things did not appear to be so >> dark as they are now. I think it's just my dumb mistake (even though I'm the one who "invented" this stuff about three colored pens). Strictly speaking, a "yellow" can mean a simple doubt about how a word is defined in that sentence. So it's impossible to tell if that person is Catholic or not, just because they have a doubt on how to interpret a sentence! I removed "or yellow". Thanks for pointing that out to me! Huge mistake! >> 2. While I would not go so far as to accuse the CCC of being >> written in what you describe as "Catholish," it seems to me to >> come pretty close to it. I too would "tighten up" several passages of the CCC. Basically all the politically incorrect topics are not as clearly-worded as they deserve to be: the existence and population of Hell, Islam, sodomy, the necessity of Jews to believe in Christ, the death penalty, atheism, the social kingship of Christ, etc. >> One would expect successive Catechisms to improve in clarity! If I ever become Pope Elvis 1, I'll take care of that! >> «Aquinas says as clearly as one could want that a public authority >> can legitimately intend to kill a person who threatens the well- >> being of society.» " Waiting for Feser's book. I doubt I'll disagree with him. >> Perhaps this could be thought of as a disagreement with style and >> not of content, and so this would, strictly speaking not affect >> the validity of the P-2865 Test I'll bet my eternal life on that! In Christ, SJJ
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