The *bang* you just heard was my brain exploding. Again.
October 11, 2007
From the Age:
THE Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, has stepped up his criticism of Catholics who support contraception, abortion and stem-cell research on the basis of their own moral conscience as proponents of a “Donald Duck heresy”.
Donald Duck? Immediately I’m thinking this can’t be going anywhere logical…
In a compilation of 10 short essays to be published this week, Cardinal Pell also warns that the pill has created a “contraceptive” mentality with “evil consequences” for the world, including a plummeting fertility rate in which many children will one day know no siblings, aunts, uncles or cousins.
Contraceptive mentality? Contraceptives are generally used by people who don’t want to have children. Presumably if they’re devout catholic they would practice abstinence and still not have children. (Besides, aren’t we dealing with an over population problem?)
And how about Aids? Contraceptives aren’t just for pregnancy prevention (but then I suppose recreational sex isn’t really smiled upon by the church either).
God and Caesar is the first academic title written by Cardinal Pell, and it returns to his regular theme of rampant liberal secularism and warns that anti-life attitudes are infiltrating the church, a traditional champion of pro-life causes.
Oooh! I’m a rampant liberal secularist. That sounds saucy. Rowr!
He disputes that there has ever been a traditional Catholic Church teaching on truth and personal conscience, which gives the ultimate right to Catholics to make moral judgments based on individual conscience, even if it is in error.
This argument lies at the heart of debate in the church over contraception and moral and ethical questions surrounding bioethics, euthanasia and abortion. It was aired recently when Cardinal Pell controversially called on state politicians to follow church teaching and not their conscience on issue of stem-cell research.
And this is what we get when we have no constitutionally mandated separation between church and state. I’ve blogged before about this, when the Pope issued an apostolic exhortation compelling politicians of the Catholic faith to use their political power to defend the church’s repressive stance on issues like abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage. Catholics shouldn’t be surprised – this is exactly the doctrine that they signed up for when they joined the church – but a catholic politician is in a position to effect the lives of a huge number of the non-catholic, and that’s where this stops being an issue of personal belief and becomes a gross imposition of evil, repressive dogma on people who didn’t sign up for it.
Referring to the work of the English historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Cardinal Pell said he was concerned about the consequences of support for a Donald Duck heresy.
“Too many Donald Ducks produce the feel-good society which works to remove personal guilt, anything that would make people feel uncomfortable so that complacent self-satisfaction becomes a virtue; confession is replaced by therapy and self-reproach by self-discovery.”
So he is implying that not having personal guilt is necessarily a bad thing, that catholic confession is somehow better than proven scientific psychological therapy, and that self-discovery should be valued less than self-reproach. It’s as though the people who buy into this pernicious nonsense actually think that a culture of repression, guilt and self flagellation (metaphorically speaking I presume) is inherently more moral than the alternatives.
Well, if that’s what you want then you’re welcome to it, but kindly play your nasty little games with your own folk and leave the rest of us out of it.