Catholicism Lite vs. Taliban Catholicism?


In Georges Bernanos' Diary of a Country Priest, the elderly Curé de Torcy gives his young priest friend a bit of advice about proclaiming the Gospel: "The Word of God is a red-hot iron," he says. "Truth is meant to save you first, and the comfort comes later."

One could probably craft a meditation on the state of the Catholic soul today in terms of the tension between those two values -- truth and comfort. We want the church to offer comfort, which among other things implies that Catholics shouldn't brutalize one another in internal tribal warfare. Yet we also want the church to be bold in proclaiming the truth that saves, which inevitably means that sometimes lines have to be drawn and feelings may be bruised.

The $64,000 question is, can we do both? Can the Catholic church be both the "sacrament of the unity of the human race" and a fearless evangelical force?

One place to watch these tensions play out is the University of Dallas, where I took part in a panel discussion Monday night devoted to "the identity of a Catholic university." The point of departure was Bishop Kevin Farrell's commencement address last May, in which he warned against "dogmatism, closed mindedness, judgmentalism, [and] suspicion of another's motives" in the life of a Catholic university.

Here's what makes the situation especially interesting.

A strong current in Catholic life these days is what I've called "evangelical Catholicism," meaning a drive for clarity and courage about Catholic identity. It's both top-down, the most important policy-setting instinct in Catholicism, and also bottom-up, especially palpable among a cohort of younger Catholics usually tagged the "John Paul II generation."

Dallas has just such an evangelical ethos. Given its recent history and the kind of person it tends to attract, the university is popularly regarded as a "conservative" alternative to Catholic institutions sometimes seen as more secular and liberal. (I chatted with one young man Monday night, for example, who told me there's a cluster of students at UD from California who came here because they didn't feel they could find a "serious" Catholic university back home.)

In other words, if you're looking for an experiment as to whether it's possible to be both unapologetically Catholic and yet civil in engaging disagreement, the University of Dallas represents a mighty interesting laboratory.

Moreover, the powers that be seem to understand that. Back in 2001, the staff of what was then called the "Institute for Religious and Pastoral Studies" defected to the new Ave Maria College, and then-Bishop Charles Grahmann called their exodus a "blessing." (The bishop of Dallas is also the chancellor of the university.)

Grahmann said the leaders of the institute had become "advocates of an ideal orthodoxy and built walls that no one could penetrate." When the dust settled, the result was a new School of Ministry self-consciously designed to be more mainstream.

Farrell's commencement address last May forms part of the same picture.

"We need to be self-critical and realize that no one of us has the only approach to Catholicism," Farrell said. (His address was published in Origins in August). "Honest debate, not confrontation -- true dialogue where we seek to understand the other, not facile condemnation -- should be the overarching way we move forward."

"The word 'heretic' has been reserved for precious few people in our Catholic tradition," Farrell said, rejecting what he called "verbal fratricide" and a tendency to become "smug, dismissive and righteous" about the Catholic intellectual tradition.

"No theologian, or professor or pope, has ever had or ever will have all the answers to what it means to be authentically and fully Catholic," Farrell said.

Obviously, Farrell didn't craft these remarks in a vacuum. He challenged "verbal fratricide" because, at least in the eyes of some, that occasionally describes the climate at the University of Dallas. As one insider put it to me, the official motto is "The Catholic University for Independent Thinkers," but in practice it can feel like a university for people who think only one way about being Catholic.

To be sure, Farrell is no milquetoast on Catholic identity. Recall that he and Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth issued a joint pastoral letter on Catholics and politics in October 2008, calling abortion "the defining moral issue, not just of today but of the last 35 years." It was widely seen as a warning to Catholics about supporting Obama (or, at least, doing so uncritically), and led to protests outside the chancery.

Yet Farrell's commencement address amounted to a plea to blend orthodoxy with openness, clarity with generosity of spirit. That's a beguiling vision, but just because somebody decrees it doesn't automatically make it so.

I spoke with a few students and faculty on Monday night who embody the evangelical outlook, and who told me they feel stigmatized by some elements in the university's leadership. They worry that what's precious to them about the university, meaning its robust Catholicity, may be at risk. Meanwhile, others told me they're weary of feeling that their orthodoxy is constantly under a microscope, and that someone always seems ready to question their Catholic credentials over any disagreement, however trivial.

In other words, things are still messy. Yet the reality is that there are precious few places where what we might call the "evangelicals" and the "moderates" in the Catholic world actually live cheek by jowl in significant numbers, and the tensions at UD are therefore also an index of possibility -- the possibility that the university could offer an object lesson in how truth and comfort, clarity and dialogue, can coexist.

Especially with a new university president taking over on March 1, the "Dallas experiment" bears watching.

* * *

As a footnote, I may have inadvertently added fuel to the fire by introducing something new to fight over: My phrase "Taliban Catholicism" to capture a certain trajectory within the church. (At least I think I coined the term, though for all I know somebody else got there first.)

In my brief remarks Monday night, I applauded Farrell's vision, underscoring it with a bit of rhetoric that's become part of my standard stump speech. A defining challenge for the church these days, I said, is to craft a synthesis between entirely legitimate hunger for identity on the one hand, and engagement with the great social movements of the time on the other.

That synthesis, I said, has to involve striking a balance between two extremes. Here's how I described them:

"On the one extreme lies what my friend and colleague George Weigel correctly terms 'Catholicism Lite,' meaning a watered-down, sold-out form of secularized religiosity, Catholic in name only. On the other is what I call 'Taliban Catholicism,' meaning a distorted, angry form of the faith that knows only how to excoriate, condemn, and smash the TV sets of the modern world."

Some in the audience chuckled, but others weren't so amused. One younger faculty member rose during the Q&A period to offer a thoughtful, and heartfelt, challenge:

"To say things with clarity is not to be the Catholic Taliban," she said, adding that she found the phrase "profoundly offensive."

"There are no suicide bombers in the Catholic church," she said, "but we have had an epidemic of Catholicism Lite for the last 30 years." Younger Catholics, she insisted, should not be dismissed as fanatics simply because they seek "fidelity and clarity."

Her remarks were met with applause, suggesting she had struck a chord, though others later pulled me aside to say they found them strident. (By the way, it turns out the questioner is a relative of a friend of mine in Rome ... small world.)

For the record, she's not the first person who's objected to the term "Taliban Catholicism," just as others protested when Weigel first started talking about "Catholicism Lite." Of course, when pundits employ such sound-bites, part of the point is to provoke a reaction, so it would be disingenuous to proclaim shock that anyone could take offense.

That said, let me offer two clarifications that may help.

First, at least when I use them, the phrases "Catholicism Lite" and "Taliban Catholicism" are not intended to describe real people. Instead, I understand them as states of mind, instincts, and psychological tendencies -- potential distortions in Catholic life that can flare up anywhere if we're not careful.

To be honest, there's probably a little Catholic Lite and a little Taliban in all of us.

Second, I suspect many people assume that by "Catholicism Lite" I mean the Catholic left, and by "Taliban Catholicism" the church's conservatives. Not so.

In fact, there's a right-wing form of Catholicism Lite that's just as watered-down and sold out to secularism as its kissing cousin on the left. In the States, it can take the form of a country club Republican Catholicism -- untroubled by the inequities of global free-market capitalism, quite at home with anti-immigrant rhetoric, the death penalty, and the use of armed force.

At least in my mind, the defining feature of "Catholicism Lite" is not a liberal or conservative outlook, but rather taking one's cues from secular culture rather than the faith. No ideological camp has a monopoly on that.

Similarly, there's a Taliban instinct on the Catholic left that can be just as noxious as its right-wing version. It generally includes paranoia about almost any exercise of authority in the church, coupled with derision of any attempt to defend traditional Catholic thought, speech or practice -- a liberal "hermeneutic of suspicion" that can easily shade off into rage. Try telling a certain kind of Catholic liberal that Benedict XVI isn't actually "rolling back the clock" on Vatican II, for example, and you'll want to duck and cover before the shooting starts.

Bottom line: When I talk about "Taliban Catholicism," I know I'm playing with fire -- but the point is to invite an examination of conscience across the board, myself very much included, not to slur one side or the other in Catholic debates.

[John Allen is NCR senior correspondent. His e-mail address is jallen@ncronline.org.]

22 comments:

Mr. Piccolo,  Friday, February 12, 2010 at 9:23:00 PM CST  

Interesting article. I wonder if Catholics in other countries have similar problems. To me, these battles seem to have a distinctly American air about them.

The rifts within American Catholicism always strike me as being similar to something you would see in a Protestant denomination (not trying to bad mouth Protestants at all, just saying that the Protestant denominations had a historical tendency to split up a lot).

This is probably not surprising since the dominant culture of America is Protestant. The assimilation of American Catholics into the general American-Protestant milieu is perhaps the catalyst for these battles.

Most American Catholics no longer live in (usually ethnic) enclaves anymore, so I think American Catholicism is less "organic" than it used to be. It is not part of your neighborhood, you don’t “smell it in the air” from the cradle. Now, people search for different "versions" of Catholicism like they do political ideologies. I don't think that is a good thing, although I am certainly not a great Catholic by any standards either.

But on the hand, I probably don't know what I am talking about.

Cheers.

Louise Friday, February 12, 2010 at 11:23:00 PM CST  

Well, at this point in history I think it's pretty stupid to speak of a Cathlic Taliban. As the young lady said, it's not us who are bombing people.

Sarsfield,  Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 9:40:00 AM CST  

As a parent of two UD students (one former, one current) I find this post rather disheartening. We've spent a whole lot of money on UD precisely because of what we perceived as the school's commitment to an orthodox Catholicism that's not hampered by the fortress mentality we've observed at other, usually much smaller and newer, Catholic institutions. And this is a problem?

I'm really disappointed if, as appears from this article, that Bishop Farrell thinks one of his big concerns is that there might be too many people at UD who actually believe what the Church teaches. His remarks, as quoted by John Allen, reek of that same simpering Catholicism Wimpy that emerged during the Great Unraveling of the late '60s and which, I had hoped, we were starting to leave behind. I would hope that the Bishop's full remarks would give more balance to the bad impression these quotes give me.

On the other hand, I fully appreciate, John, your observations about the danger of Catholics who consider themselves orthodox having not the slightest problem signing on to the ideological program of the Neocons -- Acton Institute Catholicism, if you will. Is that what's going on at UD? If so, I say "ecrasez l'infame." But if we're just talking about aging hippie Catholics whining because, despite all their hard work, young Catholic kids are showing up who actually believe this stuff, don't hate the Pope, like Gregorian chant, etc., then the Bishop and whoever in the administration is "stigmatizing" Catholic kids whose parents have sacrificed a hell of a lot to send them to UD need to find some other "problem" to focus on.

John Médaille Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 9:47:00 AM CST  

Sars, I don't read it that way at all, and as a teacher there, I find it a very Catholic environment. Diverse to be sure, but isn't that what "catholic" means? I would hardly call Bishop Farrell "wimpy," and I can't imagine that the epithet applies to very many of my colleagues, none in fact, that I can think of.

Piccolo, I think you are on to something. These arguments are European and North American. A few generations ago, that was 2/3rds the Church. Now it is 1/3rd of the Church. Other Catholics ("third world") have other concerns and real struggles on their hands. They don't have time for these amusements. See Phillip Jenkins, The Next Christiandom.

Mr. Piccolo,  Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 1:40:00 PM CST  

Prof. Medaille,

Thank you. I will have to check out "The Next Christendom." Where I live, almost all of the new priests are either from Africa or Asia (mostly India and the Philippines). I wonder, though, what impact this trend will have on the Vatican itself?

I once had a professor who was a Nigerian Catholic, and he felt we were still a long ways off from seeing more influence for African, Asian, or Latin American clerics since he argued the hierarchy is still dominated by Europeans and to a lesser extent, North Americans.

observer,  Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 4:17:00 PM CST  

It seems that one effect of the "orthodox Catholic" movement has been to make Catholicism the leading voice of American Protestant Fundamentalists.

The result of this mutual embrace is the creation of your "Taliban Catholicism."

Doug C,  Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 9:13:00 PM CST  

Your points about "Taliban Catholicism" and "Catholicism Lite" are well taken. In the political arena, the extreme left can breeds both anarchists and tyrannts (the PC police, for instance), while the right gives birth to libertarians (who differ from anarchists only in wanting to vote on the abolishment of government) and those the left tends to label Neocons.

In "Othodoxy", Chesterton wrote how he was struck be Christianity's ability to embrace both the crusader and the pacifist, sanctify the martyr yet condemn the suicide, view man as a miserable sinner just shy of being an angel. He also said we must love our world enough to save it and hate it enough to want to change it.

One group wants the church to engage the world in order to save the world, but goes too far and becomes of the world. The other wants to save the church from the world and shields it so much it is no longer in the world. Perhaps we need both a sword to cut down the evil of the world and a shield to defend ourselves from the evil. Both are essential.

Chris Campbell Monday, February 15, 2010 at 9:07:00 AM CST  

Observer-something too to consider, most Catholics in USA are Americanists....that is why most think like Protestants..

Besorge Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 12:24:00 AM CST  

God Bless you.

Interesting approach, though to my opinion the reality is that Catholic Mysticism is dead, and that is the problem. So to a Rahnerian sense, "The Christian of today is a mystic, or he does not exist." So to me I see this instead, a Christian community is a mystic, or it does not exist.

Neo-thomist make a louder fuss than anyone else. Though most of them seem to follow on the lines of Hans Urs von Balthasar, meaning they are Kantians more than Thomist. The reality is they are not Thomist such as your friend Weigel, whom I have read, who has completely misunderstand Karl Rahner in their own rationalization of the faith. They create a Rahnerian hatred because they are not mystics and do not understand what he is saying, they are just parrots and rationalizers who follow Thomist traditional thinking, but are ill-reflected to come up with some ideas themselves.

This generation is calling out to mysticism, we just have a bunch of pseudo-intellectual-ill-reflecting scholars preaching fundamentalism. Instead of learning Eckhart, for example, we read modern trash like Christopher West. And our churches promote this misinformer. Over here in Miami, we have EWTN, which is what I call vomit television, which fails at every corner to communicate to my generation. All it does it put 2 hour rosaries and outdated videos and Father Corapi. What a Pharisaic channel. Christ would call it a Brown sepulcher, because of the robes the nuns wear, instead of the whites robes the Pharisees wore. Do not get me wrong, I love tradition, but I despise masks and lack of authenticity. How can one be authentic and not "in the world?"

The John Paul II generation, like myself, are mystics, they are just not awakened to it. The angry generations and heavy neo-scholastic/neo-thomist tradition of before scares them off, I used to lean heavily this way. A crowd that screams catechisis over pastoral theology, and makes the faith an intellectual debate. They almost appear gnostic as their scholarly obsession makes you question if they believe their faith is a purely intellectual pursuit. Even Spider-man has a better awareness of reality. von Balthasar would be disgusted by the lack of "awe" in their theology.

They drive away the brightest fruits of Catholicism, and bring in Pentecostals and rationalistic Catholics. I call them, the atheist factory, because they help produce them. They fulfill every criteria atheists expect.

When we awaken to the fact that Aquinas attempted to burn the Summa, and took a vow of silence after, we can better become Thomist. Greek blood still pours in our minds, and gnostic ideas of how we should be Catholics. How many Catholics today believe a mental acceptance of Christ is the key to what is Faith?

Besorge Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 12:24:00 AM CST  

(continuation)
Sure we do not at large believe faith is without works, but at large we are not authentic to this response. We create labels like Conservative Catholic and Liberal Catholic, when in reality if we knew anything of Our Church, we are brothers and sisters before we are Conservatives and Liberals. Yet I have to listen to ass-backwards speeches from Corapi, West and Scott Hahn, which are rationalistic interpretations of the faith, and they claim themselves to be Conservatives. They are not conservatives, they are crowd pleasers, who scandalize our brothers and sisters stuck on the left (like liberation theologians or activists).

I am a conservative in almost all my views and I am rather sickened by the crowd-pleasers, they do not challenge my faith, in fact they keep me comfortable. Catholic Mysticism is the tradition that needs to be upheld, it needs to be irrigated all over the fields.

I find myself at peace with only a few American priests like Father Baron, who is an example of someone who knows how to speak to my generation. Pastoral Theology is the what dominates my generation, and its authentic example is what challenges my mind and my lifestyle. This is what has me cling naturally to my catechesis.

The world lack the courage to be righteous before they are wrong, and this is their mistake. All subjects answer to God, and God answers to us through all subjects. This is sacrament
what it means to understand sacramentum mundi.

Richard Aleman,  Monday, February 22, 2010 at 4:40:00 PM CST  

Rahner? Do you mean the Karl Rahner, a theologian under suspicion of heresy under Pius XII, who embraced the 'religion of uncertainty' and pan-religion? The peritus at Vatican II who rejected transubstantiation in lieu of "transfinalization," supported sola scriptura, implicity denied original sin, and the immaculate conception?

Thank you, but no thank you.

If that makes me ultramontane, so be it. But the truth never changes, and Rahner's mental gymnastics don't make it so.

John Médaille,  Monday, February 22, 2010 at 9:11:00 PM CST  

I've read a good deal of Rahner, and I've never read anything like that. I don't always agree with his approach, but the editor of the Sacramentum Mundi has never taken the stands you attribute to him, as far as I know. Perhaps I have missed something, but I never saw anything in "The Foundations of Christian Faith" that could in the least be construed as unorthodox.

blog nerd Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 8:28:00 PM CST  

"In fact, there's a right-wing form of Catholicism Lite that's just as watered-down and sold out to secularism as its kissing cousin on the left. In the States, it can take the form of a country club Republican Catholicism -- untroubled by the inequities of global free-market capitalism, quite at home with anti-immigrant rhetoric, the death penalty, and the use of armed force."

Oh this is so spot on. There is a reflexive quality to ideology today that has been enhanced by New Media and blog punditry. It has been said that the human mind cannot function with out prejudice, and this is likely so. But then the act of "thinking" becomes even more crucial, in order to squeeze out these prejudices and find out how they can hide the truth.

There are reflexive "conservative" positions that many Catholics take, and have inverted the importance of the teachings of Rome and conservative ideology. They are far more likely to turn to right-wing or left-wing blogs and their favorite cable news network in order to determine what the "correct" position is and to see how to "spin" the proliferating information that threatens to overwhelm us.

The teachings of the faith are only upheld in so far as they stand in line with reflexive conservative or progressive ideology. Take your pick. This is the point at which "Lite" and "Taliban" are really the same thing.

This is how we get a misunderstanding of capitalist critique, the death penalty, just war, and torture. This is how we get infuriated Catholics railing against even the merest suggestion that conservative (or progressive) ideology is at some points deeply immoral.

This is how we have a bunch of both "liberal" and "conservative" demagogues who use "Catholic" as a means of generating what was once a popular vote in this country. Neither of them are particularly faithful to Catholic teaching. Buchanan or Pelosi. Again: take your pick.

If it sounds distinctly American it is because it is. I would even say it stands outside of European dialogues in this regard. This is the polarized political landscape of a country who forgets that it was born out of resistance--that it was born out of BOTH a revolutionary spirit and a "conservative" one.

Only in America. "American Catholic" has some deep inner conflicts; our American-ness gives us deeper political allegiances than theological ones.

Catholic Taliban is inflammatory, I'll give you that. But it is just that type of inflammation that garners attention and can attract the sort of passionate resistance that may inspire actual "thinking"--which is to say, the rigorous scrutiny of our prejudices, and the examination of our unconscious participation in ideologies that may serve darker forces.

Not thinking is what allowed Totalitarian regimes in the first half of the 20th century to come to the fullness of power. Were it not for the challenges against BOTH conservative and progressive ideology the Church presents, we could easily have a totalitarian state again, in the United States. Simply because we are brainwashed into reflexive reactions grounded in prejudiced schemata of Right and Left.

"Thinking" is exactly what Catholic theology proscribes. It is just this type of Thinking that can cure the ideological disease that threatens to overtake the American mind.

Whether Catholic or no, it is the "Thinking" of medieval philosophy that is sorely missing. It is what draws non-Catholics and Catholics toward it (I've got Hannah Arendt on the brain lately--and I'm thinking precisely of her as I read this). It just works.

John Médaille Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 9:47:00 PM CST  

Dear Nerd, An excellent comment. Thank you. I think Church teaching has become a toolkit, from which everybody assembles their own private orthodoxy, taking the bits they like, the bits that actually serve some political end, and discard the rest.

I was speaking today to someone high up in the Pro-life movement. He told me things like "all we have to do is eliminate corporate taxes and we can have instant full employment and just wages all around." In other words, just free the corporations, and Church teaching is more or less obsolete.

He is also a person who boasted about getting briefed on the war before we went to Iraq (he was trying to show how well connected the "pro-life" movement is.) So, we should fight wars, but the corporations should not be taxed to pay for them.

This passes for thinking. Worse, this passes for Catholicism. It makes me more sad than I can say.

blog nerd Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 5:14:00 AM CST  

Thanks, John. We have a tradition in Catholicism of teaching "detatchment" from worldly things, but this includes even our own intellect and our own will. Our intellect and will demand of us that we become ideologues rather than faithful.

Our faith can never reside in political ideologies because they will always be imperfect, partial, and they will always fail. No salvation lies within them.

And when you mention your pro-life associate, it reminds me as well: people will always borrow the moral authority of the Church to become empowered individuals in a political landscape. If we seek to see "Catholic" ideas empowered politically we will always engage in compromise on one issue or another.

Marshall McLuhan--a Thomist Catholic--wrote with a deep suspicion of "activism" by which he meant not simply Leftist activism but activism of any sort. He saw it as a particularly Protestant fixation, one that seeks to empower itself, which will always hide the truth that is within it.

It is not only possible but likely that even an ideology that holds some adherence to Catholic moral teaching will be corrupted because it will seek to empower itself and the people who advance it.

Your associate wants to feel and to know the power his pro-life position lends to him in our political landscape and that is what makes him lean toward reactive and extreme positions.

People often criticize Distributism for lacking efficacy and it is decidedly unclear by what means Distributism would come about. As Chesterton wrote it would be "like" a Socialist revolution but what he means that it is like it but that is not, at the end of the day, what it is.

To me to systematize it and envision a decided course of political action on how to bring it about betrays the value of a Distributist voice which should be a corrective voice and stand outside of the activism of both extremes. This is how it remains a Third Way and doesn't get subsumed by the ideology of both sides.

I really enjoy the depth of discussion on this blog. Thanks for the work that goes into it.

Jennifer aka "Blog Nerd"

blog nerd Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 7:12:00 AM CST  

Want to qualify what I wrote when I called "activism" "Protestant" via McLuhan. What I meant was that "activism" was an ideology that was essentially created through the Reformation. Not that Protestants today are any more or less likely to be activist in philosophy than Catholics.

On the contrary. Catholics seem to becoming more activist the more they are marginalized.

Besorge Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 1:34:00 PM CST  

All I said about Rahner was a quote in light of his beliefs and a defense against a misconceptions among Conservatives to think Von Balthasar more orthodox than Rahner in his Theology. Which I said that Rahner was a Thomist to tradition, though a Heideggerian also, to a degree, and Von Balthasar comes from a Kantian tradition. The Church has heavily adhered to a Thomist tradition in its Theology. Of course this does not make Von Balthasar worthless, nor Aquinas infallible. The Awe by Von Balthasar will roar throughout history, as he pin points the problem of a life without awe.

The actual quote is "The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all.”
In light of his belief of communion and as of ours I quoted. We believe in a communal response to the world. Are we not communal?

Also, that same letter of suspicion has the name Ratzinger in it also. Many theologians have been misunderstood with their new ideas, and they are carefully examined, and yes under suspicion sometimes to protect others and the Church. This does not mean they are heretics.

Also, his idea of transfinalization is a wanting of changing of terms. He was afraid people would not understand the Eucharist properly with this word and believe it actually to be Jesus himself in the flesh. This belief is a heretical one, though common. Transfinalization points to the Eucharist as the fulfillment of the Liturgy, which is True. It is a beautiful terminology, and was not meant in disrespect, but under the most careful orthodoxy. Also, to understand it, you must understand his view of the Transhistorical Presence of Christ.

Here read this to understand Rahner position on the Eucharist. He is constantly being quoted by Pope Benedict on his definitions of the Eucharist.

http://www.ewtn.net/library/DOCTRINE/MODMISC.TXT

The mystical tradition is a beautiful one, one that has existed before all the other ones, and will continue to exist. We see it in our early Fathers, and the reality is, we all have a bit of mysticism in us, even atheists, they just radically reject it (well some).

Besorge Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 1:37:00 PM CST  

Just in case you don't believe what I said about the letter of suspicion of Heresy:

http://www.traditioninaction.org/ProgressivistDoc/A_001_CondemnationRatizinger.htm

Becareful, when we go out accusing others of heretical ideas, the Church takes precautions, remember, she is a woman in many things she does. No offense to women, it is meant as a theological expression.

Anonymous,  Friday, March 5, 2010 at 8:28:00 PM CST  

Did someone here say that Balthasar was a Neo-Thomist and a Kantian?

That is quite shocking to me. I thought he was precisely the opposite....a Thomist looking for a resourcement in Patristic theology, a critic of the Neo-Thomist/Kantian tendency to autonomize the spheres of nature and of grace...

no?

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