instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Today's buzzword

Msgr. Pope writes about the risk that the law gradualism will become a gradualism of law, particularly in an environment of pervasive universalism.

I do agree that universalism destroys the sense of urgency of conversion. (And I see Msgr. Pope has written about Ralph Martin's book Will Many Be Saved?)

I'll add, though, that urgency requires more than rejecting universalism. I have to think, not only that people can be damned, but that they can be damned for specific, known, identifiable behavior. And I have to care.

I can identify damnable behavior with a catechism, but to care I have to love them -- which, in these polarized days, often means I have to love THEM, that group of the categorically unlovable that are categorically opposed to US.

As fraught with risk as gradualism is, I suspect it's being entertained at they synod at least in part because the status quo ante already includes a failed gradualism, on the part of those Catholics who teach that what the Church teaches is sinful isn't. Too often, this is matched with a failed... um, abruptism?, which amounts to saying, "Here's God's law. Call me when you're ready to follow it." The sinners themselves provide the pretext for an argument over doctrine, and in the battle they go uncared for.