Thursday, June 23, 2016

Stonewalling Benedict and Stoning Francis

"A person who thinks only about building walls...and not of building bridges, is not Christian".

I have never really bought the different styles argument in discriminating the pontificates of Benedict and Francis; that one is the introverted professor while the other is the extroverted parish pastor. And I don't think they are true in any ultimate sense. Have an actual relationship with any person and you will always have your impressions left merely as that - impressions. Francis is a deep thinker who spends time alone and Benedict likes to be around people and party. Both true. Moreover, the different styles argument is reductive. It reduces their pontificates to personality.

All what the different styles argument/discrimination says about anything is about the people making the argument/discrimination. Much more evident by now is not any difference in styles, or anything objectively in their pontificates, but something completely residing in people's reading of them.

I wonder how deep the subjectivity runs. I wonder if 'conservatives' have simply been stonewalling Benedict, right from day one of his election as Pope, but gussied up in a hypocritical "he's our man" affirmation of themselves, all too easily receiving his words, leading to a subtle politicization of their thought processes and now their sickness is starting to show. Perhaps, just perhaps, many conservative circles were a little presumptuous, casual and complacent in receiving Benedict's words and actions. A little presumption goes a long way.

Which son did the will of his father? What a simple but striking parable. The fans of Benedict (one of which I have always been) perhaps in their understanding, in their clear "yes" to his words, have failed to actually receive them, to receive them where it counts, and have merely sequestered them in their own untested world of words (hence their snobbish spirit of criticism).

That is the main fault, the root fault of the conservative establishment: living exclusively in a world of words. There is an error of thinking that in order to call something by its true name means that one has to live exclusively in a world of words. At the heart of fundamentalism is a secret and hidden relativism. By absolutizing words (which words don't require) we relativize the place of our being in the hierarchy of being: we become dehumanized wielders of the truth without actually being conformed to it and in fact wield it like we were its owners in place of being conformed to it.

"You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are." --Matthew 23:15

One thing about exclusively reading, is that you end up not being able to read. When you live exclusively in a world of words you paradoxically cannot read words properly. Just look at their inability - one out of many instances - to correctly read Benedict's using the word "publication" (which can only be taken in both noun and verb sense if the entire statement is to make any sense, thus leaving no room for "broad mental reservation") in his statement condemning the effeminate entertaining of there being any fourth secret. They simply stonewalled him, when he was being completely clear. But I thought they desperately miss his clarity?

So maybe for a decade they have been misreading Benedict - stonewalling him in a hypocritical "yes man" fashion - and with every day Francis is making their misreading of Benedict all the more evident; and in order to continue their hypocritical stonewalling of the pontificate of Benedict they need to outright stone Francis. And if one or two stones miss his head while he bends down to kiss the feet of a Muslim woman and the stones bash the head of Benedict instead - well then, I guess Emeritus just needs to take one or two for the Holy Catholic Remnant. After all, maybe he deserves it for having caved under pressure and abandoning the sheep to the wolves and all that, right?

Anyways, what's interesting is how impossible it is to throw a stone at Francis without stonewalling Benedict, and vice versa.

Stonewalling the pontificate of Benedict, brick by brick, with every stone brick thrown at Francis.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Euthanasia is an intrinsic evil

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:


2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.

2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.
Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded. 
2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected. 
2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged. 

2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law. Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Panhandling is legal and safe
since the meridian walker blocked
with a black permanent marker
the il and the un, ushering in
new law: officialdom's clown
comes in signs proclaiming codes
warning of infringements along roads,
but vandalized, or outright knocked down;
or else tarnished by the wear of weather,
humiliated with the shit of birds;
taken down in sundry manners
like passing vehicles and too close turns:
this is where all codes meet end-term
of living experience, that has gone before,
goes now and will go on, as rotating earth.
One can hope that man is getting on well,
like the stranger who kicked aside
the board in the fence in the book Manalive.
Or maybe he'll be a future leader,
like Sam on his return to the Shire:
I'll add some more, if you desire,
to your confounded list of charges:
"Calling your Chief Names, Wishing
to punch his Pimply Face,
and Thinking you Shirriffs look a lot of Tom-fools."
One can imagine that simple, funny picture
by the artist Cor Blok of Bill Ferny
getting Sam's apple smack in the face;
and Bill the pony was not aware
of a no-kicking rule. Even in the face
of herbicidal rule, weeds continue
to cultivate the asphalt, where
the meridian walker blocked
with a black permanent marker
the il and the un, now legal and safe.

Sunday, June 12, 2016


Like their subjects were the barest eyes
that should never be let to dry, or turned
to stare in the sun of this world -
the desiccating zeitgeist - in every
instance they put forth a dewfall
to their custody, and think a thousand score
ahead of anyone, all the seed-fall
considered, mind-sustained, every thorn encroach
and approach of crows; they ever unfurl
like wind to the neck and ear, an appeal
to their creator's ever speaking, silent word.

Canadian Classic

Turn up that volume, why dontcha?

The drawing out of "wheat" across three notes while compressing "kings and pretty things" - oh, that's classic Downie. I'm not a prairie boy, but man, that one word "wheat" gets me every time.