Sunday, August 03, 2008

"..are you trying to teach us?"

For years I have been explaining to my readers why Fr. Leonard Feeney's rigid interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus is wrong and what the Church actually teaches regarding that defined dogma. Recently I asked Mr. Philip Lawler (who has posted a comment here) if he accepts the Church's interpretation of the dogma since he presents Fr. Leonard Feeney [in his book The Faithful Departed] as a priest who was "discouraged" by Archbishop Cushing for simply "energetically" defending a defined dogma. That post may be found here.

George Weigel, in his column this week entitled "And the summer reading list is...," recommends Mr. Lawler's book, describing it as "right on the mark" (I would agree) but adds a caveat (in the same way Fr. Neuhaus did in his review): "I can't agree with Phil's assessment of Father Leonard Feeney's draconian interpretation of the ancient theological maxim, 'No salvation outside the Church.."

Now, this is precisely what I've been saying. However, I have received hateful comments at this Blog which attempt to defend Mr. Lawler's revisionist spin on Fr. Feeney as well as his attendance at the 2008 Saint Benedict Center Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire, which is conducted by an organization which has no affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church and has been listed as an anti-Semitic hate group. This group promotes Fr. Feeney's rigid interpretation of the dogma. At the Holy Cross Cardinal Newman Society website, I was criticized. Several anonymous individuals explained to me how sinful and ignorant I am and asked me who I think I am to question Mr. Lawler or to teach him anything. I'm not exactly sure who I have to be to do so.

I am reminded of the account of Jesus' healing of a blind man in the Gospel of John, Chapter 9 verses 24-40:

"So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, "Give God the praise! We know that this man is a sinner." He replied, "If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see." So they said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" He answered them, "I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?" They ridiculed him and said, "You are that man's disciple; we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from." The man answered and said to them, "This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him. It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything." They answered and said to him, "You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?" Then they threw him out. When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered and said, "Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he." He said, "I do believe, Lord," and he worshiped him. Then Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind." Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, "Surely we are not also blind, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, 'We see,' so your sin remains*."



* "Therefore, let them who in grave peril are ranged against the Church seriously bear in mind that after 'Rome has spoken' they cannot be excused even by reasons of good faith. Certainly, their bond and duty of obedience toward the Church is much graver than that of those who as yet are related to the Church 'only by an unconscious desire.' Let them realize that they are children of the Church, lovingly nourished by her with the milk of doctrine and the sacraments, and hence, having heard the clear voice of their Mother, they cannot be excused from culpable ignorance, and therefore to them apply without any restriction that principle: submission to the Catholic Church and to the Sovereign Pontiff is required as necessary for salvation." - From a Letter of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office to Archbishop Cushing given on August 8, 1949 regarding Fr. Leonard Feeney and his followers and their refusal to listen to Rome.


Anonymous said...

Some people cannot see the truth because of spiritual pride. A good rule of thumb is that if you find yourself in opposition to the teaching of the Catechism, you're on the wrong track.

That shoud be common sense. It isn't. Kudos to you Mr. Melanson for your excellent presentation of the Church's teaching and your tireless efforts at exposing the SBC in New Hampshire.

I am praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Lawler's appearance at the SBC conference is just plain bizarre. It is well-known by now that the SBC is rabidly anti-semitic and that Holocaust denial is part of the SBC ideology. In the same way that SBC leader Louis Villarrubia and hs followers fell strangely silent when difficult questions were put to them, Lawler has suddenly gone mute.

I wonder if Stormfront will now defend Lawler as it did the SBC?

Michael Cole said...

Our Lord said that one who caused scandal would be better off dropped into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck (Mark 9:42). It is very scandalous that Philip Lawler spoke at the SBC conference after the SBC was named a hate group.

St. Paul says in Romans 14:21 that he would refrain from doing even legitimate things if those actions would cause people confusion or cause them to stumble.

By speaking at the SBC conference, Philip Lawler gave some people the impression that this anti-semitic organization is somehow legitimate and caused scandal.

Site Meter