Friday, May 21, 2010

Cardinal O'Malley: False compassion supplies the sinner with the means to remain attached to sin

A further reminder to His Eminence Sean Cardinal O'Malley

At his Blog, Cardinal Sean wrote, "We need to present the Church's teachings courageously and yet in a way that is compassionate and persuasive." This sounds attractive on the surface. Until you dig a little deeper.

As I said in a previous post dealing with the Rainbow Sash Movement, "..while it is true that everything must be done to help sinners, this cannot include helping them to sin or to remain in sin. Because of human frailty, every sinner deserves both pity and compassion. However, vice and sin must be excluded from this compassion. This because sin can never be the proper object of compassion. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 1).

It is a false compassion which supplies the sinner with the means to remain attached to sin. Such 'compassion' provides an assistance (whether material or moral) which actually enables the sinner to remain firmly attached to his evil ways. By contrast, true compassion leads the sinner away from vice and back to virtue. As Thomas Aquinas explains:

"We love sinners out of charity, not so as to will what they will, or to rejoice in what gives them joy, but so as to make them will what we will, and rejoice in what rejoices us. Hence it is written: 'They shall be turned to thee, and thou shalt not be turned to them.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.6, ad 4, citing Jeremiah 15:19).

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that the sentiment of compassion only becomes a virtue when it is guided by reason, since "it is essential to human virtue that the movements of the soul should be regulated by reason." (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, c.3). Without such regulation, compassion is merely a passion. A false compassion is a compassion not regulated and tempered by reason and is, therefore, a potentially dangerous inclination. This because it is subject to favoring not only that which is good but also that which is evil (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 3).

An authentic compassion always stems from charity. True compassion is an effect of charity (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.3, ad 3). But it must be remembered that the object of this virtue is God, whose love extends to His creatures. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.3). Therefore, the virtue of compassion seeks to bring God to the one who suffers so that he may thereby participate in the infinite love of God. As St. Augustine explains:

"'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' Now, you love yourself suitably when you love God better than yourself. What, then, you aim at in yourself you must aim at in your neighbor, namely, that he may love God with a perfect affection." (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, No. 49,

And by the way, His Eminence is implying that Archbishop Chaput failed to be "compassionate" in his response to a similar situation earlier this year.

Your Eminence, is it your contention that Thomas Aquinas is wrong in his teaching regarding authentic compassion? Is it your contention that Archbishop Chaput was failing to be "compassionate and persuasive" when he wrote, "Our schools are meant to be 'partners in faith' with parents. If parents don't respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible. It also places unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church"?

Your Eminence, when Pope John Paul II taught (inVeritatis Splendor, No. 113) that the faithful have a "right to receive Catholic teaching in its purity and integrity," was he joking?

Your Eminence?


Ellen Wironken said...

This isn't the first time Cardinal O'Malley has advanced false compassion. Remember the public funeral for Senator Edward Kennedy? Not only did he advance a false compassion, the Cardinal issued an ad hominem attack against those who stand with the Magisterium against abortion, homosexuality and same-sex "marriage." Read this article from Les Femmes:

Note how a Catholic woman named Jane attempted - along with others - to leave a omment at the Cardinal's blog but these comments were censored. Likewise, the Cardinal won't publish a comment including a link to your blog post dealing with the subject of false compassion. I guess the Cardinal's notion of "tolerance" doesn't include tolerance for Catholics who adhere to Magisterial truth.

Derek said...

Cardinal O'Malley says, "We need to present the Church’s teachings courageously and yet in a way that is compassionate and persuasive." And yet, he hasn't spoken one word against the illicit homosexual relationship at the enter of this controversy. Just as he said nothing about Senator Kennedy's promotion of the culture of death during his televised funeral Mass.

Where is the courage? I see only a troubled "shepherd" who continues to capitulate to the forces of child-killing and militant sodomy.

Wendy said...

Raymond Arroyo wrote the following after Senator Kennedy's funeral Mass: "The prayer intercessions at the funeral mass, the endless eulogies, the image of the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston reading prayers, and finally Cardinal McCarrick interring the remains sent an uncontested message: One may defy Church teaching, publicly lead others astray, deprive innocent lives of their rights, and still be seen a good Catholic, even an exemplary one."

Isn't that exactly what's happening in this case. The Cardinal is saying that people can live in an illicit homosexual lifestyle, defy Church teaching, and that their children can still attend Catholic schools.

Honestly, if this is what passes as Catholicism in Boston, God help that confused and troubled Archdiocese. Because it lacks a true shepherd.

Site Meter