By Paul Anthony Melanson
Francis I disappointed as he fails to persuade the majority of bishops on “remarried” Catholics – but has likely won over enough to pursue change in future.
Matthew Karmel writes, "Despite the tremendously destructive threat posed by the Synod on the Family, it has accomplished – even before its completion – something of real value: it has given the entire world a front-row seat in the Modernist operating theatre as they attempt to empty a well-established Church teaching of its authentic meaning and replace it with what can only be described as a diabolical lie. Day by day, more faithful Catholics are waking up to the fact that the Church’s hierarchy has become infested with an intellectual and moral corruption of truly biblical proportions.."
Philip Johnson, in his book "Objections Sustained: Subversive Essays on Evolution, Law & and Culture, tells a story which is both amusing and frightening at the same time. He writes: "I am convinced that conscious dishonesty is much less important in intellectual matters than self-deception...The German biologist Bruno Muller-Hill tells a memorable story to illustrate his thesis that 'self-deception plays an astonishing role in science in spite of all the scientists' worship of truth':
When I was a student in a German gymnasium and thirteen years old, I learned a lesson that I have not forgotten...One early morning our physics teacher placed a telescope in the school yard to show us a certain planet and its moons. So we stood in a long line, about forty of us. I was standing at the end of the line, since I was one of the smallest students. The teacher asked the first student whether he could see the planet. No, he had difficulties, because he was nearsighted. The teacher showed him how to adjust the focus, and that student could finally see the planet and the moons. Others had no difficulty; they saw them right away. The students saw, after a while, what they were supposed to see. Then the student standing just before me - his name was Harter - announced that he could not see anything. 'You idiot,' shouted the teacher, 'you have to adjust the lenses.' The student did that and said after a while, 'I do not see anything, it is all black.' The teacher then looked through the telescope himself. After some seconds he looked up with a strange expression on his face. And then my comrades and I also saw that the telescope was non-functioning; it was closed by a cover over the lens. Indeed, no one could see anything through it.'
Muller-Hill reports that one of the docile students became a professor of philosophy and director of a German TV station. 'This might be expected,' he wickedly comments. But another became a professor of physics, and a third a professor of botany. The honest Harter had to leave school and go to work in a factory. If in later life he was ever tempted to question any of the pronouncements of his more illustrious classmates, I am sure he was firmly told not to meddle in matters beyond his understanding.'" (pp. 156-157).
Do we honestly believe that this herd mentality is not to be found throughout our society and even in the Church? If so, we deceive ourselves. Pope Benedict XVI has warned of a liberal notion of conscience which is nothing less than a retreat from truth. In a keynote address of the Tenth Bishops' Workshop of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, on "Catholic Conscience: Foundation and Formation," he says that liberalism's idea of conscience is that: "Conscience does not open the way to the redemptive road to truth - which either does not exist or, if it does, is too demanding. It is the faculty that dispenses with truth. It thereby becomes the justification for subjectivity, which would not like to have itself called into question. Similarly, it becomes the justification for social conformity. As mediating value between the different subjectivities, social conformity is intended to make living together possible. The obligation to seek the truth terminates, as do any doubts about the general inclination of society and what it has become accustomed to. Being convinced of oneself, as well as conforming to others, is sufficient. Man is reduced to his superficial conviction, and the less depth he has, the better for him."
Is there really any difference between Harter's classmates, who insisted that they could see a planet and its moons when such was impossible, and those who succumb to social conformity and insist that an unborn baby is not really a human being when all the scientific evidence suggests otherwise?
Where will radical subjectivism ultimately lead us? It was Romano Guardini [in his classic The Lord, p. 513] who reminded us that: "One day the Antichrist will come: a human being who introduces an order of things in which rebellion against God will attain its ultimate power. He will be filled with enlightenment and strength. The ultimate aim of all aims will be to prove that existence without Christ is possible - nay rather, that Christ is the enemy of existence, which can be fully realized only when all Christian values have been destroyed. His arguments will be so impressive, supported by means of such tremendous power - violent and diplomatic, material and intellectual - that to reject them will result in almost insurmountable scandal, and everyone whose eyes are not opened by grace will be lost. Then it will be clear what the Christian essence really is: that which stems not from the world, but from the heart of God; victory of grace over the world; redemption of the world, for her true essence is not to be found in herself, but in God, from whom she has received it. When God becomes all in all, the world will finally burst into flower."