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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Apologia

I've noticed a lot of discussion using theological terms of late, and the implication are that violations of charity, among others, have been made. Some accusations have been reduced to allegations that various things said and done are not Christian or against Christian charity. In my own defense and that of others implicated by comments about strong language:

The Catechism Explained: An Exhaustive Exposition of the Catholic Religion (Spirago, Clarke SJ. Benzinger, NY, 1921 2d ed)
Prudence is the capacity of the intellect to apprehend the good things of eternity and the means of attaining them. The prudent man always looks to his final end. Prudence is said to be the eye of the soul. Without light for the eye, we cannot find our way, nor without prudence can we discern the path to Heaven. The contrary of prudence is wordly wisdom, which consists of discerning what will bring a man temporal advantage.

It is, however, impossible always to avoid scandal, for evil-minded persons take offence at what is well meant. Our Lord bade the apostles not to heed such people: "Let them alone; they are blind and leaders of the blind." (Matt. xv. 14).
The standard then is not necessarily in that someone, somewhere got offended. Rather, the standard of behavior comes from charity. Charity however is defined in whether you offend God.
All perfect virtues spring from the love of God and are inseparably united by that same love. The greatest and noblest of all virtues is charity, which causes us to find satisfaction in God, and to seek to please Him by keeping His commandments.
Thus, all this concern over whether someone got offended is a little misguided, and can be likened in some respects to false charity, which includes a disordered attention to human respect.
Yet we ought not strive too anxiously to obtain the esteem of men, or else we shall lose the friendship of God as well as the esteem of men; moreover in some cases it is impossible to enjoy at the same time the favor of God and the favor of men.
The best attacks on form or (hopefully) moral criticisms of mine and other's statements are that the words are unnecessarily harsh, or that the words are cause for detraction. I measure my words to avoid each, and have not written in wrath so as to be blinded, but rather any detected anger may be properly labeled as just anger, for among the sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance are "oppression of the poor" and "defrauding laborers of their wages".
To keep back the wages of the needy (Duet. xxiv. 14), is a sin that cries to heaven, also on some pretext or other to defraud them of the whole amount (James. v. 4).
Sorry, but for me, and in seeing the actual performance in the AMC move, as well as the developing AMSOL move in similar fashion -- there is manifold cause under these precepts to have just anger. 1. The effects on professors, who have invested their lives on promises of a Michigan school, is a reality not justly addressed in any plan. 2. The pretenses (many) surrounding the move are suspect, and in some cases appear to have inadequate means as well as further unjust results. 3. The effects on students and alumni of the scandal caused by duplicity, omissions, and pretenses designed to mask the actualities result in similar offenses to justice.

Calling upon me, or others, to be meek is misguided. Meekness is the suffering of an injustice done to one's self. No one can be meek on behalf of another -- such inaction may be an omission of charity, or worse a sinful omission. I can express empathy for that person's suffering and do what is in my power to attempt to alleviate the injustice. Such action is readily the motive for Jesus driving the money changers out, or for His masterful and colorful tirade on the pharisees (blind guide, whited sepulcher, etc). Thus explains why He was always meek, but did such brutal things at times. So much for meekness.

If you don't agree, fine. But don't keep resorting to Catholic theology, when I can't see that I don't have adequate necessity to speak, and furthermore, adequate means and motive to state clearly the things comprising the pretenses actuating this injustice. The object of my actions are simple: admonish the erroneous and bring attention to the unjust means that they may be corrected and averted. If it is two schools, one in Michigan and the new one, fine. If it is removing the foundation, fine, so long as promises are fulfilled while necessary. But as time drags along damage is occurring, and it became (note the past tense) that congenial means of communicating were being ignored. Furthermore, the message was often distorted. The worst is that the man with the keys to the mess will receive no alternatives. That left this option -- communicate openly, that all may see what happens.

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