Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

An addendum to the immediately preceding post, by Bob Hockett

Alas, I am damned with a much less self-deprecating personality than my new soul--and younger--brother Bob Hockett (though for all I know he may recoil at learning that I think of him that way; the "soul", not the "younger", and certainly not the "brother").  Which means, for those who have been paying close attention to recent posts, that I utterly lack that wonderful--most wonderful?--virtue:   humility.  Please, dear Christians, and other believers, and even those of you who are wavering-,  or even non-, believers, I deeply regret this state of affairs, which I, perhaps mistakenly, and if so, then surely brokenly, attribute to a deep insecurity owing to the circumstances of my biological wiring and, even more, my upbringing.

My addendum to Bob"s immediately preceding post:

When I read about our decent and admirable friend Robby's reliance on, and appropriation of, "the Tradition" (see Rick's post below), I think:  Jean Porter (Notre Dame, Theology) and Cathy Kaveny (Notre Dame, Law and Theology), among others, are the ones who--unlike, IMn-HO, Robby and his magisterial mentors, John Finnis and German Grisez (yes, double entendre)--are accurately relying on, and appropriating, the Tradition.  "The Tradition", as in Aristotle through Aquinas through ...

Just as theology--certainly not least, moral theology--must take seriously what contemporary science (cosmology, evolutionary biology, etc.) has to teach us, if it is to be at all credible (surely that claim is not controversial among us here at MOJ), so too must theology take seriously, if  is to be at all credible--especially moral theology, if *it* is to be at all credible--the yield of modern and contemporary human experience.  Think, here, human sexuality.  I fully understand that for many of us this is hard to do--for some of us, impossibly hard:  those whose socialization and psychology have bequeathed to them a profound aversion--I am inclined to say, an aesthetic aversion (though, of course, they do not experience it that way)--to unfamiliar modes of human sexuality.

(Black bonding sexually with white?  Yuk!  Female bonding sexually with female?  Or male with male?  Yuk squared!  Indeed, more than "Yuk squared!":  God forbid!  Please, dear God, help me, empower me, to articulate an explanation, in support of that "God forbid!" ... indeed, in rational vindication of that *magisterial* "God forbids!")

(Females in male bodies?  Males in female bodies?  Surely this cannot be!  Surely this is illusion born of, what? ... depravity?  Please, please, dear God, turn back [this part of] the clock!)

Again, apologies to the great Robert Zimmerman (here):

... [S]omething is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

We are surely blessed to live in interesting times.

May we also be blessed, this Christmas Eve, to live with loving hearts--and not only with loving hearts, but also with open, truly open, minds.

"Some Catholics concede that the church admits the principle of doctrinal development, but they accuse [John] Noonan, in Richard Neuhaus's words, of too often equating development with 'a change, or even a reversal, of doctrine.'  ... Noonan and theologian Avery Dulles recently has a polite, but sharp, exchange on the subject, with Noonan again insisting that 'the record is replete with mistakes -- the faithful can't just accept everything that comes from Rome as though God has authorized it.'"  -- John T. McGreevy, "A Case of Doctrinal Development:  John T. Noonan -- Jurist, Historian, Author, Sage," Commonweal, Nov. 12, 2000, at 12, 17.  See also Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, Reconciling Faith and Reason (Collegeville, MN:  Liturgical Press, 2000), at 45-46:  "A presentation of the Catholic tradition able to acknowledge not just development, but also change in the doctrinal tradition is a more honest one."  Cf. Robert McClory, Faithful Dissenters:  Stories of Men and Women Who Loved and Changed the Church (Maryknoll, NY:  Orbis Books, 2000).

Merry Christmas!


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