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Interesting development today.
But first, background…
A couple of days ago, a post appeared at the excellent OnePeterFive blog appeared titled Source: Before Dismissal of Cardinal Müller, Pope Asked Five Pointed Questions, written by Maika Hickson. Needless to say, it caused quite a stir.
The reason it caused quite a stir, as best I can tell, is that it used “unnamed sources”. Furthermore, and as best I can tell, the complaints are originating from the Leftist “catholic” circles, circles who have no problem with information appearing in FakeNews Media based on “unnamed sources” with respect to the “Russian collusion conspiracy”, for example.
But it gets better…
It would also appear that the key “crime” perpetrated by Maika Hickson pertained to question 3). Here is the pertinent quote from the followup post titled Getting Perspective: There’s Nothing New in the Five Questions Story and reads as follows:
3.) “Are you in favor of, or against, female priests?”
This is the sole standout question, the one point of discussion that has ruffled the most feathers. And this is understandable, because the pope has made clear — that is to say, as clear as he ever makes things — that he believes the door to this question was closed by John Paul II.
Now the reason that it is understandable is that it implies that Francis, the bishop of Rome is dishonest.
Let’s put this another way, it implies that Francis, the bishop of Rome is a LIAR.
Two things need to be mentioned at this point.
First, it is known that Francis, the bishop of Rome LIES. One good example of just this comes to mind, and it relates to Communion to serial adulterers and the Joy of Sex document that Francis promulgated after the bi-Synod of 2014 and 2015. Furthermore, it encompasses the recently deceased Cardinal Joachim Meisner.
Just as a reminder, in December of 2013 and in another “3rd answer”, when asked a question about the possibility that Francis, the bishop of Rome would agree to change Catholic doctrine and teaching on Natural Moral Law, here is what the good Cardinal stated: (see here – highlighted parts are Fr. Z’s, emphasis is your truly)
“At my last meeting with Pope Francis, I had the opportunity to talk very open to him about a lot of things. And I told him that some questions remain unanswered in his style of spreading the gospel through interviews and short speeches, questions which need some extended explanation for people who are not so involved. The pope looked at me “with big eyes” and asked me to give an example. And my response was : During the flight back from Rio you were asked about people who divorced and remarried. And the pope responded frankly: People who are divorced can receive communion, people who are remarried can’t. In the orthodox church you can marry twice. And then he talked about mercy, which, according to my view, is seen in this country only as a surrogate for all human faults. And the pope responded quite bluntly that he’s a son of the church, and he doesn’t proclaim anything else than the teachings of the church. And mercy has to be identical with truth – if not, she doesn’t deserve that name. Furthermore, when there are open theological questions, it’s up to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to give detailed responses“.
Once again, this post was from 24 of December, 2013, or two months before the notorious Kasper Conclave.
On an aside, is it any wonder that Cardinal Meisner could have died from a “broken heart”. The current occupant of the See of Peter… wait for it…
lied to him.
Moreover, this interview appeared in the German language Deutschlandrundfunk which is a widely disseminated periodical inside the “catholic” circles, so this information is NOT anything that should surprise any of these people.
Which brings us to an even more important issue, namely, what’s behind the feigning indignation that Francis, the bishop of Rome is.. shall we say… liberal (in the bad sense of that word) with the truth?
And as it just so happens, from the COMMUNICATIONS sub-set of the et Invisibilium, we get a post at the Zero Hedge website titled Americans Are Living Under “Intellectual Martial Law”. This post explains the PHENOMENON of what is known as the Overton Window. It uses examples from POLITICS, but analogous examples can be drawn from the ECCLESIASTICAL sub-set.
Here is the modified explanation about the underlying motivation:
Now, the question of motive. Why does the thinking class in
America leftist NUChurch circles embrace ideas that are not necessarily, and surely not self-evidently, truthful, and even self-destructive? Because this class is dangerously insecure and perversely needs to insist on being right about its guiding dogmas and shibboleths at all costs.
And if that means the bishop of Rome LYING, so be it…
But what else does this tell us about that self-interest group? Here is that modified passage:
thinking classes leftist NUChurch circles are also the leaders and foot-soldiers in American post-conciliar institutions. When they are unable or unwilling to think clearly, then you get a breakdown of authority, which leads to a breakdown of legitimacy. That’s exactly where we’re at today in our national politics ecclesiastical affairs— our their (in) ability to manage the NUChurch polity.
Below is the Zero Hedge post that can be seen here.
Americans Are Living Under “Intellectual Martial Law”
The disgrace of America’s putative intellectual class is nearly complete as it shoves the polity further into dysfunction and toward collapse. These are the people Nassim Taleb refers to as “intellectuals-yet-idiots.” Big questions loom over this dynamic: How did the thinking class of America sink into this slough of thoughtlessness? And why – what is motivating them?
One path to understanding it can be found in this sober essay by Neal Devers, The Overton Bubble, published two years ago on TheFuturePrimaeval.net — a friend turned me on to it the other day (dunno how I missed it). The title is a reference to the phenomenon known as the Overton Window. Wikipedia summarizes it:
The Overton Window, also known as the window of discourse, is the range of ideas the public will accept…. The term is derived from its originator, Joseph P. Overton (1960–2003), a former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy….
Devers refines the definition:
The Overton Window is a concept in political sociology referring to the range of acceptable opinions that can be held by respectable people. “Respectable” of course means that the subject can be integrated with polite society. Respectability is a strong precondition on the ability to have open influence in the mainstream.
This raises another question: who exactly is in this corps of “respectable people” who set the parameters of acceptable thought? Primarily, the mainstream media — The New York Times, The WashPo, CNN, etc. — plus the bureaucratic functionaries of the permanent government bureaucracy, a.k.a. the Deep State, who make and execute policy, along with the universities which educate the “respectable people” (the thinking class) into the prevailing dogmas and shibboleths of the day, and finally the think tanks and foundations that pay professional “experts” to retail their ideas.
The Overton Window can be viewed as a mechanism of political control, demonizing anyone who departs from the consensus of respectable thought, and especially if they express their heresies in public speech.
This has consequences.
The trouble with the Overton Window as a mechanism of political control, and with politicization of speech and thought in general, is that it causes significant collateral damage on the ability of your society to think clearly.
If some thoughts are unthinkable and unspeakable, and the truth happens in some case to fall outside of polite consensus, then your ruling elite and their society will run into situations they simply can’t handle….
An unwise political elite is one incapable of thinking clearly about their strategic situation, acting in concert, or sticking to a plan….
An insecure political elite is one which has either no sufficient mechanisms of political power short of the politicization of speech and thought, or is faced by such powerful but somehow never decisively powerful enemies that they need to permanently escalate to a state of vigorous politicization of speech and thought. We can compare this state to “intellectual martial law” for its structural similarity to the physical-security equivalent.
We’re now living under that condition of “intellectual martial law.” The consequent degradation of thinking means that the polity can’t construct a coherent consensus about what is happening to it (or devise a plan for what to do about it). This is exactly the point where the Overton Window turns into an Overton Bubble, as described by Devers. The bubble comprises ideas that are assumed to be self-evident (though they actually aren’t) and notions that are potentially destructive of society, even suicidally so.
Here is a partial list of the current dogmas and shibboleths inside today’s Overton Bubble:
- Russia hacked the election of 2016 (no evidence required).
- Russia (Vladimir Putin in particular) is bent on destroying the USA.
- All immigrants, legal or illegal, have equal status before the law.
- National borders are inconvenient, cruel, and obsolete.
- Western Civilization is a malign force in human history.
- Islam is “the religion of peace,” no matter how many massacres of “infidels” are carried out in its name.
- Men are a negative force in society.
- White men are especially negative.
- Brownie points given for behaviors under the rubric LBGTQ.
- All discussion about race problems and conflicts is necessarily racist.
- The hijab (head covering worn in public by some Muslim women) is a device of liberation for women.
- There should be a law against using the wrong personal pronoun for people who consider themselves neither men nor women (recently passed by the Canadian parliament).
- A unifying common culture is unnecessary in national life (anything goes).
- Colonizing Mars is a great solution to problems on Earth.
That list defines the general preoccupations of the thinking classes today – to the exclusion of other issues.
Here is an alternative list of matters they are not generally concerned about or interested in:
- The energy quandary at the heart of our economic malaise.
- The enormous debt racked up to run society in the absence of affordable energy inputs.
- The dangerous interventions and manipulation in markets by unelected officials of the Federal Reserve.
- The extraordinary dysfunction of manipulated financial markets.
- The fragility of a banking system based on accounting fraud.
- The dysfunction and fragility of the American suburban living arrangement.
- The consequences of a catastrophic breakdown in the economy due to the above.
- The destruction of planetary ecology, threatening the continuation of the human race, and potentially all life.
Now, the question of motive. Why does the thinking class in America embrace ideas that are not necessarily, and surely not self-evidently, truthful, and even self-destructive? Because this class is dangerously insecure and perversely needs to insist on being right about its guiding dogmas and shibboleths at all costs. That is why so much of the behavior emanating from the thinking class amounts to virtue signaling — we are the good people on the side of what’s right, really we are! Of course, virtue signaling is just the new term for self-righteousness. There is also the issue of careerism. So many individuals are making a living at trafficking in, supporting, or executing policy based on these dogmas and shibboleths that they don’t dare depart from the Overton Bubble of permissible, received thought lest they sacrifice their status and incomes.
The thinking classes are also the leaders and foot-soldiers in American institutions. When they are unable or unwilling to think clearly, then you get a breakdown of authority, which leads to a breakdown of legitimacy. That’s exactly where we’re at today in our national politics — our ability to manage the polity.
Read Neal Devers’ excellent article, The Overton Bubble.