Friday, February 19, 2010

Fr. James Martin, S.J. Watches EWTN

For a recent example of the Cafeteria Catholic on the right, witness EWTN's offering a very friendly airing of the views of a person who supports torture--or at least the "enhanced" interrogation techniques--that have been thoroughly discredited, as well as roundly condemned by the church.

Link (here) to the full post in context by Fr. James Martin, S.J., entitled, Welcome to the Cafeteria, EWTN.

Fr. Joseph Rickaby, S.J. with an overview of Catholic Just War Theory (here) St. Ignatius of Loyola on war in Africa (here) St. Thomas Aquinas the Angelic Doctor of the Church on war (here) Search engine results of EWTN contained in America magazine (here) , (here) , (here) , (here) , (here) , (here) , (here) , (here) and (here)


Sussex Catholic said...

Fr.Martin is either being deliberately obtuse or disingenuous. He seems to be attempting to make the argument that "Cafeteria Catholicism" equates to focusing more of one's efforts onto certain elements of Catholic social and moral teaching than others according to personal preference/experience etc. This is very definitely NOT what Cafeteria Catholicism means and he must be aware of that. It means not a placing of focus or emphasis but rather it involves the denial or repudiation of some element(s) of the Church's teaching. Thus a "Cafeteria Catholic" is not one who would happen to spend more time protesting outside an abortion clinic than helping in a soup kitchen, but would be one who might advocate universal social justice for all except the unborn and take the position that abortion is a matter of personal preference.

As to the EWTN clip I fail to see how giving a former government official the opportunity to present arguments for how certain highly questionable methods do not conflict with Church teaching equates to EWTN endorsing those views. In other words it is allowing the man to make the case that this treatment does not equate to torture rather than encouraging Catholics to dissent from the Church's teaching on torture. As a matter of fact I think the man is wrong but it is invidious of Fr.Martin to suggest that EWTN is encouraging anyone to dissent from Church teaching.

Anonymous said...

The audience seems to be eating his message up with a spoon. It's hard to square his message with our Catholic faith.

Maria Byrd said...

"Time was when you could look at the cover of a book and read the book with security that you were getting the truth. But in case you have not heard, no more. I am speaking of religious truth and specifically of revealed truth. Too many once trustworthy sources of religious truth have either become dried up or so polluted that sometimes it makes a Catholic feel like the Greek Diogenes who went in search of an honest man with a lamp and he would cry out if he found one, "Eureka!"

Let me suggest three simple norms for discovering religious truth in today's miasma of very sophisticated and very learned confusion. Ask yourself three questions:

Question one: does what I am hearing or reading correspond to what the Church has always held to be true?

Second question: does what I am hearing or reading conform to the present teaching of the Roman Catholic Church as expressed by the Vicar of Christ?

Third question: what kind of a person morally, is the one who is teaching or writing what I hear or read?

We did not used to have to ask these questions. We do now.

A good checklist of the procreative power of truth, and the corresponding power of falsehood to beget evil, is given by St. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians. His study in contrast between the progeny of error and truth is worth quoting in full. What is the offspring of error?

It is "fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility, idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling, jealously, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar things." What is the offspring of truth? It is the very opposite: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, truthfulness, gentleness and self-control." Here we have a divinely revealed, and easily applied rule for discernment of spirits. If the untruth is active, the moral effects of false ideas are invariably bad. If the Spirit of truth is at work, the moral results are correspondingly, and infallibly, good".

John Hardon SJ

Careful the remarks you post at America Magazine. The Truth is an unwelcome guest at America Magazine. NB: Should you defend the Truth, your comments will be banned. Me? I feel better, now ousted.

Anonymous said...

"for how certain highly questionable methods do not conflict with Church teaching"??????

They conflit with church teaching.

Maria Byrd said...

"And the more educated people become, the more academically sophisticated their minds become ,through years of education, the more they had better keep their minds in humble submission to the Mind of Christ".

John Hardon SJ

Seems like prety good advice.

That anonymous said...

Sussex Catholic - Wouldn´t you agree that there are some Catholics who are more right wing than Catholic? I think we have cafeteria Catholics on both sides, and that that was another of Fr. Martin´s points.

Note that I don´t consider myself his fan in any way. Quite the contrary is more often the case.

Maria said...

Said the priest: "I am not a Liberal Catholic. I am not a Conservative Catholic. I am a Roman Catholic". The tension is more properly understood as that between those who are faithful to the Magisteium and those who are not. Period.

Anonymous said...

"Fr.Martin is either being deliberately obtuse or disingenuous"

That's his shtick.

The Vatican has not clarified whether dribbling water on the three post 911 terrorists constituted "torture", therefore, his allegation that EWTN is practicing cafeteria Catholicism does not apply.

I don't what kind of a "man" would drivel on about the use of water to obtain information from terrorists post 911 when they support live decapitations of children in utero, X 50 million - but for sure, I find his constant attempt to affirm sinful behavior using these tactics beneath contempt.

Anonymous said...

Hey--Jesus would waterboard--pass it on!

Viator Catholicus said...

This is the Fr. Martin, SJ who on the Colbert Report said that when Ratzinger stepped out onto the balcony as pope, he wanted to jump off his, right?

The man is a poison. His article is a masterpiece of propoganda for dissent.
What his modernist mind can't seem to understand, however, is that moral theologians do not have an exact definition of torture from the Tradition. Moreover, it seems in the past that the Church allowed some actions that might be considered torture today. To try to sort this out is not cafeteria Catholicism. Such people are not revisionists, but looking for precision whereby they can show continuity in Church teaching.

But, modernists are not at all concerned with the hermeneutic of continuity and consistency. They are enlightened people of the golden age. There is no universal truth or stability for them.

Fr. Martin is clearly a proponent of the hermeuntic of discontinuity. That's why he equates homosexual acts with torture. However, homosexual acts, despite Fr. Martin's apparetnly fondest wishes to be Fr. nice-guy and say they're ok, were never allowed as legitimate by the Church. Thus, those who argue they are, are dissenters and revisionists.

Viator Catholicus said...

To anonymous with his stupid comment about Jesus:

FYI, Jesus is the Son of God who knows all hearts. He is also the just judge who will come to judge the living and the dead. I hope you come believe that before you die. And when you do, you should then have some reverent fear when speaking about the Lord.

If you can show where the Church defines tortures such that it includes waterboarding, that would be a helpful comment.

I am of the opinion that it does seem to be torture. But, can understand others might have a probable opinion otherwise.