" In light of Ignatius' 'Two Standards' and 'The Mystries Done From The Garden To The House Of Annas', at any moment we can be Judas or Peter, a Christian life can be a fine line."
Saturday, December 18, 2010
A party of dissent emerged, and in recent decades strong voices, most tenured in theology departments at Catholic universities,
have waged a campaign against what they perceive to be magisterial intransigence on a whole range of moral issues.
But the story of moral theology has not been only a tale of dissent. Over the past three decades an unwavering rejection of abortion has unified American Catholics across a wide spectrum of theological positions. Moreover, in debates about American foreign policy, Catholics have done a great deal to revitalize rigorous moral analysis. Various Catholic writers have also laid out economic and social visions that range from liberationist critiques of capitalism to neoconservative endorsements.
Angry dissent, striking consensus, vigorous interventions into public debates - the history of modern Catholic moral theology needs to be part of any effort to understand the modern Catholic experience. Unfortunately, A History of Catholic Moral Theology in the Twentieth Centuryoffers little help in understanding that history.
The main body of the book is made up of half-digested seminar notes and long bibliographical digressions that suggest wide reading but no sophisticated analysis. The book lacks historical context and fails to make connections to the larger theological trends of the twentieth century, and the author,
Fr. James F. Keenan, S.J., remains so thoroughly invested in the party of dissent that what little analysis he provides suffers from tendentious simplification and sometimes petty, petulant observations.
The end result is a book that serves as an almost perfect illustration of the sad intellectual dead end to which the post-Vatican II liberal Catholic project has come.
I am not a Jesuit, nor am I a cleric. I spent about 5 years under the spiritual direction of a Jesuit, 3 of those years in a weekly directed retreat in everyday life. The profound impact that the Society and the Excercises had upon my life, resulted in me, trying to deal with that impact in some way by sharing my view of Jesus Christ with others. My intention is to pull together Jesuitical and Catholic subjects that interest me. I was born on the feast day of St. Paul Miki, S.J.. I am the father of three small children and an infant, I am married to a great wife.