Sunday, March 23, 2008

There Is No Right to the Truth Under Freedom of Religion

THE CATHOLIC UMMA insists to this day, in catechisms and official teachings, that it is God's absolute and holy truth that they can literally, physically and miraculously convert bread and wine into divine Flesh and Blood by uttering a few magic words, genuflecting and rolling their eyes up to Heaven. And though they call crucifixions "unhealthy," I suspect they secretly abet such practices as a poke in the eye of modernity and common sense. Now, as I would defend with my very life, the Catholic Church's RIGHT to believe such plain and utter nonsense, I am in extremis over what to make of the Catholic Bishop's recent pronouncements about their dedication to the Truth and the search for it. They are after all, the most expert liars on the largest issues of reality. What is politics to them, or democracy, but some obstacle to their superior Truth?

I suppose some would say that the see-through skirts and funny hats they wear are supposed to signal Tongue-in-Cheek only faith, but such an interpretation is contrary to the Church's own dogmatic dicta about its miraculous powers exercised daily, which would be deemed heretical if not apostatic to regard as merely symbolic. No! Any Bishop worth his mitre would insist to you that transubstantiation is a physical power granted by Holy Orders! Ask any of 'em.

From my experience with little children making up profound excuses for their dereliction of duty in the loss of a favorite toy or article of clothing (and perfervid vows to look for it) the Catholic Bishops newfound dedication to searching for "the Truth" sounds more like an evasion of the Truth even if they already know exactly what it is.

Yet, they are surely mostly good men, if a touch deluded about certain things. It is to me impossible that they are acting out of pure evil or clerico-fascism (though that has always been a fatal attraction), impossible that they do not see the President's crimes and dishonesty, impossible they do not believe the testimony and the evidence piling up in the Senate about ZTE, Spratly and a dozen other major crimes of the president and her men. Many other impossibilities about them have been eliminated by logic and reason, therefore as Sherlock Holmes said, after you have eliminated the impossible in some mystery, what is left, no matter how improbable has got to be the Truth!

What is left, and it is not that improbable, is that like Romulo Neri himself, the Catholic Bishops have something about themselves that is so terrible and disgusting that they must hide behind a "continuing search for the Truth" even as they are being BLACKMAILED into complicity with a massive coverup.

So what is it? Sexual indiscretions and the fathering of children in confessionals? Homosexual orgies? Acceptance of gambling-stained Pagcor funds, rationalized into sanctity by the needs of charity? Paedophilia? What? Sherlock Holmes wants to know...
Former Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, now a pundit at the Philippine Daily Innuendo, today writes "All I stand for is a determined and relentless pursuit of the Truth." What a laugh! As Cardinal Sin in Pope Davide's Church of Constitutional Dereliction of Duty, let me send him a funny hat and costume like Mike Velarde's, since they play the same role of hiding the Truth for the Catholic Umma. He proves himself the real Clerico-fascist when he abets "another People Power revolution" as long as it is done "peacefully."
Jack Nicholson was right: we can't handle the Truth! Perhaps, that is why even the Front Page must run to the mental oblivion of Marian apparitions to give propaganda aid to the Men in Funny Hats.

Democracy must tolerate these forces, even if they are among the greatest dangers to it. For only with such toleration can the Catholic and Christian and Muslim peoples themselves come to the conclusion, ultimately, that they do not need these imperial hierarchies full of hypocrites and pharisees in order to love and serve their fellow man.


blackshama said...


You can blame all of that on the pre and post Protestant heretics (oooops, separated brethren!)(Starting with Berengarius, Wyclif, Calvin, Cranmer etc). The scientists like me can be left out. As far as Science goes, the bread and wine remain as bread and wine after consecration. This was noted by our patron "saint" of Science, Galileo Galilei. But Blessed Galileo realized that Science has its limitations. Unfortunately the priests and bishops (and by extension, Rabbis, Pastors, "Brothers", "sisters", "apostles" Imams, Mga Sugo ng Dios, the Seventh Angel of Revelation, Richard Dawkins etc) haven't realized that Religion has its limitations.

The 16th century Protestants are one reason why the Church had to define "transubstantiation". Recall that the Eastern Churches (which believes in the same teaching as the Latin Church does) felt no need to define that until they faced the heretics on their territory. They believed that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist.

To this day, Eastern Christians are uncomfortable using a Latin definition for theological truth.

But you and I have to agree, transubstantiation is really a logical explanation, philosophically and theologically. After all science can only detect the accidents, while the substance can be argued not detectable since that is distinct from its properties. I need not go into ontological hairplitting here.

Science may be concerned how transubstantiation comes about but Theology is concerned what is changed. If science can detect that a substance has changed but has no way to explain how that happened, the theologians will call it a "miracle".

Transubstantiation is more than your usual miracle. Science has no way to detect or explain it but for many believers (Orthodox,Catholic and some Protestants) it is true.

To me it is true and I need not explain but just use the memorable line of Jodie Foster's Dr Arroway character in Carl Sagan's "Contact"

"Yes I admit I may have hallucinated but everything that I am as a human being knows it is true".

But we can blame the Tridentine theologians and apologists for using words like "confect" to defend the Mass. This has been construed that the priest can "magically" make the Eucharist. This an old Protestant libel still rehashed to this day.

There are a lot of half truths we can muck around some Catholics and their bishops but the Real Presence isn't one of them. Catholics, Protestants, Aglipayans and Born Agains can profit by finding what really Jesus meant in the Gospels. As what Garry Wills points out none of what we think Jesus means is really what He meant.

One truth is certain. Jesus is against Religion. That's why see Bishops, Priests, and their like (and so all of us) so far from Christ.

A Blessed Easter to you DJB. There can be transubstatiation without the Resurrection.

blackshama said...

PS I left the "no" the last sentence of my comment. sorry

"There can be no transubstantiation without the Resurrection"

Or else the Inquisition can call be a "heretic" and burn me at the stake Catholic opinion.

Happy Easter to you again!

Amadeo said...

Reading the few italicized words in the leading paragraph of this entry, I was ready to jump in and pounce on the dogma of transubstantiation, in my own puny ways. But Blackshama beat me to it and I find his own treatise of it most admirable and cogent.

But I must confess that while in my youth my reverence and respect of it was most commendable for a practicing Catholic, I find that this late in life the underlying theological explanation and justification of it has become for me less important and material in my practice of my faith.

But am I still a believer of it? Teaching catechism classes to adolescents preparing for Confirmation in our parish here, I continued to doggedly teach it as the Church would counsel its devotees to so teach this profoundly difficult dogma. Remember in the Gospel account when Christ first mentioned this, many of his disciples immediately left him. The quitters said, it is a hard pill (or flesh?) to swallow.