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Today we will delve into the topic of „ideology” and “ideologues” since some neo-modernist clerics, especially those at the Avvenire, a daily newspaper owned by the Italian Bishops Conference and the President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Reinhard “Bling” Marx are having a rather difficult time understanding these two rather quite simple terms. As to the former, I re-blogged an excellent commentary on just this topic in the previous post from the Dallas Area Catholics Blog and as for the original Avvenire text, please see the always excellent blog of Rorate Caeli. (see here)
Before we start, I would also like to mention that we need to be very precise when we attribute “actions” to particular entities or parties. A good example is the situation with the article that appeared in the Avvenire newspaper. This newspaper is owned by the Italian Bishops’ Conference, but it does not represent the position of the majority Italian Bishops nor the Bishops’ Conference itself. We have confirmation that the Italian Bishops’ Conference is firmly in the CATHOLIC camp.
And now to the issue of Cardinal Reinhard “Bling” Marx.
Data Mining with Marx
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of Ideology and an Ideologue is as follows: (see here)
Ideology: the set of ideas and beliefs of a group or political party.
1 : visionary theorizing
2 a : a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture
b : a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture
c : the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program
Ideologue: someone who very strongly supports and is guided by the ideology of a particular group.
1 : an impractical idealist : theorist
2 : an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology
Given the above definitions, the following quote would definitely fall into both of the above categories:
In the lecture, titled “The Contribution of Christian Values to the Common Good,” Cardinal Marx referred to his early formation into the “left position” of social justice—“how to work with those who are poor,” he said—through conversations with his father.
The above statement made by card. “Bling” Marx, identifies him as a person who supports a “left position” i.e. a leftist ideology. Second, we see that he has a leftist position that he obtained through “conversations with his father”. This last phrase suggests that the basis for this left position is not rational but rather emotional. This would also put the speaker in the “ideologue” camp since it would fit the definition of a person who is an impractical idealist (his father could have been a raving lunatic for all we know – logical fallacies include: “Appeal to Pity”, Existential Fallacy, Undistributed Middle) or one who is very strongly supports and is guided by the ideology of a particular group.
To support the above hypothesis, that card. Marx is an ideologue who is promoting a “left position” ideology, we read further in the Jesuit magazine America (see here):
Christianity must be more active in the political scene in the West, he said, and be part of the development that “gives the poor a chance.”
Comment: Given that Marx possesses a “left position” and professes it openly, the above would imply that “Christianity” i.e. the Catholic Church should become more active in politics. The reason that “Christianity” should be read as nothing more than an euphemism for the Catholic Church is that card. Marx has no authority over “Christianity” per se, however he definitely does have decision making powers within the highest echelons of the Catholic Church. Therefore, it is only logical that if card. Marx thinks “something” should be done by “Christianity”, it follows that what he means is that this same “something” should be done by the Catholic Church. And that “something” card. Marx identifies as becoming more active in the “leftist political scene”.
Cardinal Marx, 61, the archbishop of Munich and Freising, coordinates the Vatican Council for the Economy, leads a commission of Catholic bishops in Europe that examines E.U. policy from a Catholic perspective.
Comment: From the above statement, Card. Marx is already involved directly in advising a governmental body with respect to economic policy, i.e. card. Marx is already “active in the political scene where he supports a left position”. How else can one understand leading “a commission […] that examines E.U. policy”? If a commission examines, it surely advises on what it examined. Furthermore, since he is the “leader of the examiners”, he holds responsibility for the results of that policy which he advises on. If he didn’t agree with the policy, he should resign. If he hasn’t resigned, he at least accepts that policy. In other words, there is a causal relationship between the advise that card. Marx provides and the results that those particular policies attain to date. Please keep this in mind.
Later in the lecture he gave several examples of problems that affect the whole world, like climate change and the financial crisis. “Perhaps the most important discussion of the 21st century is how to organize the common good on a global level, to protect human rights for all people,” he said.
Comment: In the above paragraph, card. Marx provides evidence that the policies that he “leads the examination of” and by a logical extension provides political advice on, were not adequate to stop the governmental body, in this case the E.U., from getting caught up in a financial crisis. This in no way means that the advise that card. Marx provided was a direct cause of the financial crisis, but he definitely has a shared responsibility for it. Furthermore, we observe a common areas of overlap between the positions of “left wing political parties” and the positions that Marx’s “left position” supports. These are; “problems that affect whole world” (globalization), “common good” (redistribution of wealth), “climate change” (more government regulations on a global scale) and “human rights” (international legal structures). We therefore can conclude that the issues that card. Marx defined above comprise his “political party platform”, i.e his ideology.
Cardinal Marx said that students ask him about how to bring the people back to the church and how to fill our churches. “But the question might be,” he said, “How can we bring the Gospel—the most important enlightenment in the history of mankind—into the future of society? It is not only for us, it is not our Gospel, but to bring into society.”
Comment: What card. Marx is saying in the above passage is that “Church structures” that would see a “re-population of church pews” are not important to his ideology. What he is more interested in is “ bringing the Gospel […] into the future of society”. On the face of this statement, we see a classical example of gibberish. However, if we drill down and analyze what card. Marx is saying, it is that his ideology needs a new “distribution platform”, one with a much wider reach than the present or even future Church can provide. Furthermore, this goal of bringing the “Gospel to society” can only be done through a delivery platform that has a very wide reach, but the pulpits of churches are totally absent here. The organizations that do have this wide reach, i.e. governmental, non-governmental and super-national organizations such as the UN, meet this “wide reach” criteria. Therefore what card. Marx is implying is that the structures that he has management power over, i.e. German Bishops’ Conference and the Council of Cardinals (C9) should use these governmental structures to distribute “the Gospel into society in future”. No other logical way exits that can put these words of card. Marx into an alternative and coherent explanation.
The church has a special responsibility to “say yes” to our modern societies, he said, “not to be a church complaining about all the bad things.”
Comment: The above statement confirms our analysis from the previous point since it quite clearly suggests that “the church” needs to be involved in “modern society”. And to carry this thought forward, the mechanism by which “the church” will “say yes” to a “modern society” is through a “left position ideological” political operation and the inter-governmental distribution platforms. And this “left position ideological” political operation will use those wide distribution capabilities instead of the pulpits of the churches and the organizations that those Pew Sitter can reasonably fund.
In the past, he explained, when the Vatican confronted economic questions the cardinals would sit on one side of the room, and the lay experts on the other. Now for the first time, he explained, we arrange ourselves around the table, “cardinal, lay, cardinal, lay,” and so on. We are on “the same level,” he said.
Comment: In the above paragraph, aside from the “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” connotations, what Marx is signaling is that the Catholic hierarchy has come down to the world, and is engaged in the world. This anecdote symbolizes that card. Marx intends to be “of this world”, and he uses the classical Verrecchian pseudo-sacral homo-poetic prose to convey this message to the intergovernmental power structures and leftist political establishment.
Concluding thoughts are as follows. From a careful reading and analysis of the interview in the Jesuit magazine America, the text would appear to be a classical example of gibberish. Here is the definition:
Gibberish or gobbledygook refer to speech or other use of language that is nonsense, or that appears to be nonsense. It may include speech sounds that are not actual words, or forms such as language games or highly specialized jargon that seems non-sensical to outsiders. Gibberish should not be confused with literary nonsense such as that used in the poem “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll.
The word gibberish is more commonly applied to speech, while gobbledygook (sometimes gobbledegook, gobbledigook or gobbledegoo) is more often applied to writing. “Officialese”, “legalese”, or “bureaucratese” are forms of gobbledygook. The related word jibber-jabber refers to rapid talk that is difficult to understand.
In the case of a clown like Leonardo Boff (see here), we can throw whatever he has to say into the trash heap of history, after one has a good laugh of course. However, in the case of a Cardinal Reinhard “Bling” Marx, the gibberish that he produces needs to be read carefully and analyzed. This is because card. Marx has authority, and what he says will affect the lives, both earthly and eternal of those who come into contact with him. Therefore, his gibberish needs not only be taken seriously but also needs to be “mined for data”.
And from the data that we can discern from the above text, it would appear that card. Marx intends to remake the Catholic Church from the manner in which Our Lord created it, i.e. the Barque of St. Peter and a religious institution into a non-governmental organization (NGO). A non-governmental organization which has a “left position”, uses intergovernmental distribution platforms to “bring Gospel into modern and future society”. Bringing the Gospel into the future” entails promoting, wealth distribution, global warming, international law and more governmental regulation. It is these issues on which card. Marx wants to create a “political platform” thorough which the Church will “become active in political scene”.
And these words are coming from the horses mouth.
Tomorrow will analyze more of the above article, but from a religious perspective.