It’s just war, dude

There’s an article today about Pope Francis that leads with, “Pope Francis gives every indication of wanting to go down as one of the great reformers in the history of the Roman Catholic Church” and questions the likelihood of Francis dropping the just war theory and replacing it with a more pacifist approach, you know, one that is more in tune with Jesus Christ.

The problem with the just war theory is that it is the dogmatic equivalent of the constitution, or say, a baseball hall of fame ballot; it’s painfully subjective. It’s a theory that is easily manipulated to accommodate a narrative.

St. Augustine, the Christian father of the just war theory was more so a pacifist than a  man looking to create a loophole for hungry conquerors for centuries to come, but remember; no good deed goes unpunished, and so it goes; all conflicts are just, and both sides are just in their efforts, which, of course, cannot be possible.

Some 900 years after Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas picked up the ball and outlined requirements for what qualifies a war to be ‘just’. One of the central tenets is;

“Peace must be a central motive even in the midst of violence.[15] (Right Intention: an authority must fight for the just reasons it has expressly claimed for declaring war in the first place. Soldiers must also fight for this intention.)”

While I understand this point, it seems that the fabled author who came some 600 years after Aquinas and wrote, ‘War is Peace, Freedom is slavery etc.’ was showing how much a mockery time had made of Augustine’s and Aquinas’ just war theory. We go to war these days on the presumption of a threat, not an actual threat. The Gulf of Tonkin, which set off the disastrous human sacrifice in Vietnam, was predicated upon a lie yet served up at ‘just’.  We even entered Iraq on the presumption of illegals weapons, but failed to withdraw when none were found. Russia invaded the Ukraine and did so ‘justly’ according to Putin. Aquinas, let’s not forget, lived in a time of crusades and crusading pope’s wanted some cover, at least for their legacies and what would later become entries on their Wikipedia page.

Should Francis walk the Catholic Church away from the ‘just war theory’? Would that solidify him as one the great reformers? Maybe. Is it somewhat disingenuous? Yes. Francis has in front of him, the greatest responsibility that would label him one of the greatest reformers in papal history but he continues to swing in miss. Every day Francis remains silent on Cardinal Pell is another day that the Catholic Church is ignoring its responsibility to its greatest commodity; its children. Cardinal Pell’s testimony of shielding pedophiles for decades is abhorrent, only to be eclipsed by Francis’ decision to say absolutely nothing. He did, however, join Instagram in the time since the Pell testimony.

What Augustine didn’t realize at the time, is that narcissists. Wait, scratch that; nihilists would be waging wars under the cover of them being ‘just’. I’m not as entirely sold on the fact that Aquinas didn’t know this, but that’s merely speculation.

Two points in closing;

1. Barry Bonds should be in Cooperstown without having paid, and;

2.You’re either on the bus, or you’re not.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

 

 

 

 

 

It’s just war, dude

Trump insults pope, Sanders

sander

Donald Trump, champion of the knuckle dragger and mouthpiece for the moronic hit the presses to insult the meeting Bernie Sanders had with Pope Francis. Why, you ask? Well, because it sits comfortably in the narrative he has so artfully crafted, after all. Trump mocked the meeting Saturday;

“You know, he went to see the pope. Five minutes. Then he came out. He said, ‘We talked about the environment, we talked about global warming, we talked about all these different things.'”And I said, wait a minute, he was only there five minutes,” Trump added. “So the pope gave him five minutes. I wonder why the pope gave him five — he shouldn’t have given him that much time really.”

Don’t forget that Trump and co. heralded the Kim Davis meeting with the pope as the most important discussion since Elvis Presley charmed his way into Richard Nixon’s oval office.

You know, it’s not that Trump is a xenophobe or absent of policy , or present of bad ideas that turns me away from him, it’s simply that he’s an asshole. He’s the guy who drives a hummer and blares the latest Nickelback album and cat calls the high school girls despite being in his 30’s. He the guy who wears his white hat from the University of South Carolina that reads, ‘cocks’. He’s that guy – you know that guy, and he’s a total asshole.

This is an important understanding, because without it, you might scratch your head at why someone would have a problem with someone taking a meeting with the pope and being excited about it. Without this knowledge, you might also wonder how someone could insult the pope directly. But with this information, everything is in perfect alignment; it all makes sense.

Trump was in my home state of Connecticut on Friday to deliver his message to legions of local morons. He did so at the peril to the city of Hartford. Hartford, the poorest state capital in the country, in the throes of a severe budget crisis, had to dole out $50,000 to accommodate his visit. Trump and his campaign absorbed an expected $0 while espousing his insistence to make America great for everyone, not just some. Go Cocks!

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

 

Trump insults pope, Sanders

Let’s return to earth on the exhortation, shall we?

Here’s another ring indictment of the no-news – news cycle. This is a story that would have died below the fold on the first day if it even found its way to the ink in the first place. Unfortunately, instead of the flying cars the Jetsons promised me in my childhood of the future, we got a 24 news cycle and social media where petulance can thrive. I was gipped.

Yesterday a story appeared entitled, ‘The cowardice and hubris of Pope Francis’ which the author, Michael Brendan Dougherty, suggested that conservative and traditional Catholic’s were mere sheep being led to the slaughter:

“Many conservatives are revealing themselves as cowards, too. They hope that because the pope’s document seems so confused and self-contradictory, because it hides its innovations under a ton of verbiage, and buried within footnotes, and because it is merely an exhortation and not a more lofty encyclical, that they can embrace what is good in the document, and pass over the rest. “It could have been worse,” they are telling themselves. “It cites the Church’s teaching against contraception, at least.” I would remind them that their forebears said the same thing about the Vatican II’s document on the liturgy”.

Today there’s a piece entitled, “The Beginning of the End for Pope Francis”. Tomorrow, we’re likely to see one that reads, “Catholic Church dissolves as Francis unable to steady the ship”.

The problem is, as I said yesterday, we’re missing the forest amongst the trees. Some are cocooned into this story as pedophile concealer Pell escapes any Vatican denouncement. I guess it’s the story du jour, but if you’re accessing what may fracture the church, I concede the communion of divorcees, because in the end, who really cares? If we cannot protect our children, what are we doing here? We are taught to marry and start a family. Francis told us to raise children, not pets. Either we hold them to be our greatest asset, or we don’t.

If that’s not enough, the very suggestion that this exhortation is the straw for the camel of doctrinal departure, is, well, silly. Paul Simon said, ‘I seem to lean on
old familiar ways’, which seems to explain away why such a lazy conclusion is made, because an exhortation is little more than a book report. If a papal bull or apostolic constitution is the Ferrari of church documents, an exhortation is the Yugo, or Chevette.  If you think that we are on the cusp of Vatican III, it seems like you’ll have company, but let’s be honest, there’s some clubs where it’s actually disadvantageous to be a member of.

It’s worth noting that the Paul Simon song referenced is, ‘Still crazy after all these years’.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

 

Let’s return to earth on the exhortation, shall we?

Pope Francis can’t see the forest through the trees

tree

Pope Francis has issued his papal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, or The Joy of Love. He has done so on the heels of two years of exploration on familial matters and the role the Church should have. Francis took the stance of leading a church that is more inclusive and this is evident from his words, and  suppose, in some of his actions. However, none of these actions would come close to be classified as the force majeure. Sure, taking selfies with millennials is cute and joining Instagram is also cute, but millenials, for one, are really taking shape to be the next Lost Generation, and two, it is entirely disingenuous to have muddled through an entire Synod on the family without executing the protection of its greatest commodity its children.

Yes, I am still talking about Cardinal Pell.

What’s worse, the press has glazed entirely beyond this point. They are sticking to the question of divorcees receiving communion. I can’t stress enough how that is not the shark in front of the boat. In an opinion piece, the author suggests that conservatives are revealing themselves as cowards as this exhortation make be the second coming of Vatican II (it’s not). “Many conservatives are revealing themselves as cowards, too. They hope that because the pope’s document seems so confused and self-contradictory, because it hides its innovations under a ton of verbiage, and buried within footnotes, and because it is merely an exhortation and not a more lofty encyclical, that they can embrace what is good in the document, and pass over the rest. “It could have been worse,” they are telling themselves. “It cites the Church’s teaching against contraception, at least.” I would remind them that their forebears said the same thing about the Vatican II’s document on the liturgy” (http://theweek.com/articles/617324/cowardice-hubris-pope-francis).

You know, it’s not that I don’t understand the importance of growing the flock and how allowing divorcees to receive communion is a contentious argument, I do, but good lord, in the arena of problems, this does not move the scale against the protection of children and the continued absence of action against those that shield pedophiles, is an absence of conscience.

Peace be with you

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

 

 

Pope Francis can’t see the forest through the trees

Pope Francis meets with the SSPX

SSPX

I don’t want to continue to be the broken record here, so I won’t. Ok, the fact that George Pell has not been fired or publicly shamed by Pope Francis will be the greatest pontifical misstep of his papacy. Alright, I feel better.

Pope Francis did, however, meet with the SSPX, which seems to be more important than, say, removing child abusers from power, but I digress. Francis met with Bishop Bernard Fellay at the Vatican over the weekend, extending an olive branch to continue the warming of what was once a, to say the least, a strained relationship.

The SSPX are, for those that don’t know, just like your older brother or sister – you know, the one that wouldn’t buy you booze when they were, but you weren’t, old enough. They’re the professor who locks his doors 3 minutes early because 5 minutes early is on time. They’re the Coney Island Killjoys, per se.

The SSPX are the guys who want nothing to do with the Second Vatican Council. They believe only in a traditional Latin Mass. This is the lynchpin of their argument with The Vatican. Well, there was also that thing about being excommunicated – that put the Catholic Church and the SSPX at odds. As the SSPX set off to start their brand of rigid Catholicism, Bishop Marcel Lefebvre sought to consecrate an eventual successor to his throne. He consecrated 4 bishops without the approval of JPII, and JPII turned and treated him in kind, slapping them with excommunication. Fast forward to Uncle Benny, who has taken a more merciful approach towards them, by lifting excommunication in 2009 and now, Francis continues a conciliatory approach to dealing with them.

I guess this is the news of the day. Maybe Pell gets what is due to him later today.

Until then, peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

Pope Francis meets with the SSPX