Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stuart Reid gets it wrong...

Stuart Reid over at The Catholic Herald, one of England's leading Catholic newspapers, isn't very happy with the new website founded by Deacon Nick Donnelly entitled Protect the Pope. Mr. Reid writes, "What troubles me especially is that they seem to encourage a ghetto mentality among the faithful....On their website they encourage frightened and intimidated Catholics - when was the last time you met a Catholic who was genuinely frightened and intimidated? - to register complaints about hate crimes with their local police force.." (See full article here).

I don't actually have to look very far Mr. Reid. I was personally threatened by a homosexual activist who promised to execute me with his high-powered rifle simply because I promote and defend the Church's authentic teaching regarding homosexuality which includes respect for the homosexual person. Does that work for you? One could just as easily ask how many homosexual persons have been genuinely frightened and intimidated. And yet the homosexual community continues to claim victim status as part of its propaganda campaign to advance the homosexual lifestyle. There is more than ample evidence of a mounting Christianophobia throughout the world. See here for some specific cases.

Mr. Reid would appear to defend a freedom of expression which is divorced from Catholic teaching. He writes, "The Protect the Pope website declares: 'Of course people in this country have freedom of expression, but this does not mean they have the right to create a climate of hostility and fear.' But that, of course, is precisely what it does mean, in practice..." This might indeed be the accepted notion of freedom of expression 'in practice," but Mr. Donnelly is correct, such a notion of freedom of speech is distorted. Reid continues, "It is by creating a climate of fear and hostility that press barons sell newspapers, political parties win votes and Boots the chemist sells deodorants."

But are we not called to something better Mr. Reid? Or have you bought into the secularistic-materialistic mindset to such an extent that you see no problem whatsoever with such manipulation carried out by the media? Inter Mirifica, the Decree on the Media of Social Communications of Vatican II, had this to say, "Since public opinion exercises the greatest power and authority today in every sphere of life, both private and public, every member of society must fulfill the demands of justice and charity in this area. As a result, all must strive, through these media as well, to form and spread sound public opinion." (No. 8).

The Decree continues, "The principle moral responsibility for the proper use of the media of social communication falls on newsmen, writers, actors, designers, producers, displayers, distributors, operators and sellers, as well as critic and all others who play any part in the production and transmission of mass presentations. It is quite evident what gravely important responsibilities they have in the present day when they are in a position to lead the human race to good or evil by informing or arousing mankind. Thus, they must adjust their economic, political or artistic and technical aspects so as never to oppose the common good." (No. 11).

In short, freedom implies responsibility Mr. Reid. There is an intimate relationship between freedom and truth. Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, "The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to 'the slavery of sin." (CCC, 1733).

The choice to do evil is an abuse of freedom. Which is why Deacon Donnelly said that people have a right to freedom of expression but not a right to create a climate of hostility and fear. There can never be a right to do evil. Such a notion is an abuse of freedom.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn so eloquently warned that: "Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. This is considered to be part of freedom, and theoretically counterbalanced by the young peoples' right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil." ("A World Split Apart," Commencement Address at Harvard University, June 8, 1978, reprinted in National Review, July 7, 1978).

Which is why we are now facing what Pope Benedict XVI has rightly termed a "Dictatorship of Relativism." It is this dictatorship of relativism which is gradually placing Catholics in a ghetto. Not the actions of devout Catholics like Deacon Donnelly who love the Vicar of Christ and the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Catholic Church.


Watchman said...

Hi Paul. Thanks for your support of Protect the Pope. I particularly like your use of Church documents to explore the Catholic understanding of freedom of expression. I also love the quote from solzhenitsyn. Why don't you post a link from your site to my site as a comment under the Catholic Herald post?

Cleghornboy said...

Thank you Watchman. I will add it now. God bless you for defending Christ's Vicar. I am remembering you good folks every day when I pray the Rosary and will pray for your intentions at Holy Mass.

Anonymous said...

I'm not impressed by some of the events, publicity, and persons involved with the Pope's upcoming trip to Britain, reported in The Wanderer for July 29th (Trouble Looms For Papal Visit To Britain by John Burke )
and Damian Thompson's column in the July 22nd Telegraph (Papal visit: the 1970s tat-fest continues ). They seem to make it into a fiasco par excellence.

Cleghornboy said...

Mr. Reid asserts in his article that, "Catholics may one day be persecuted as Jews once were, in which case they will have two choices: either to be brave and die as martyrs or to deny their religion and join their persecutors.

The Jews of the Holocaust had no such choice."

This says much about his level of faith. For the authentic Christian, there is no choice. We cannot abandon Christ.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that, Paul. What is evident to me is that there are more of us now "waking up" to the reality of these times and are ready to be martyred (me, happily) for Christ. Thank you for your perserverence.

ShrewsburyCatholic said...

Reid is a disappointment. How is it that people like him who are poorly instructed in their faith get all of the jobs writing for Catholic newspapers and working in chanceries and more knowledgeable Catholics do not. I think the answer is obvious. There is a planned deconstruction of the Church currently underway. The true faith isn't being taught in many dioceses because it's not welcome. The apostasy is spreading everywhere now.

Peter S. said...

Over at Protect the Pope, Mr. Reid wrote the following comment:

"Sometimes it is hard not to despair. Mr Paul Anthony Melanson doubts my faith because I say that if we Catholics were persecuted as Jews once were at least we’d have a choice: either to be brave and die as martyrs or to deny our religion and join our persecutors. Mr Melanson says that I am wrong. Why? 'For the authentic Christian,' he writes, 'there is no such choice.'

Mr Melanson should sit down in a darkened room and have a little think. One of the key beliefs of Christianity is that we have free will. No free will, no Christianity. For the authentic Christian therefore there is indeed the choice I outline. We hope that the authentic Christian would have the courage to to choose what is right, to stick to his beliefs, but the Jews of the Holocaust had no such choice. In their case it was not a matter of belief. They could not stop being Jews. They were killed not for what they believed but for what they were. Edith Stein (now Saint Teresia Benedicta of the Cross) perished even though she was a Catholic.

For the record, I am not at all against protecting the Pope — on the contrary — and I congratulate Protect the Pope for exposing the lies being spread about Pope Benedict and encouraging Catholics to pray for the safety of the Holy Father. I am not at all keen, however, on using hate crime laws to protect ourselves. We ought to be above that sort of whiny victim conduct."

I wrote:

"No serious Catholic would consider that a real choice Mr. Reid. Our Catholic identity is deeper than you would acknowledge. Just as Jews cannot 'stop being Jews,' the authentic Christian cannot 'stop being Christian.' We don’t put on our faith and take it off as a coat. Baptism imparts a sacred character. If we use our free will to reject Christ, then we place our salvation in peril.

Maybe that’s a choice for you. For those of us who are Catholic in more than name, it is not."

When Christians in the early Church were given a choice: worship false "gods" or die, they didn't see this as a choice and went to their deaths. It would seem that Mr. Reid has been in a darkened room for too long. His vision has become impaired.

Site Meter