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« Why the (catechetical) rubber must meet the (orthodox) road | Main | Be “high” Church. Be Catholic. »

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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Kevin Davis

I say I have a Catholic origin or background. I say I'm a nondenominational Christian, and I'm comfortable with born-again.

That seems pretty clear to me. He is no longer Catholic, just "Catholic" in the same way that an agnostic Jew is a "Jew." Moreover, he positively identifies with "nondenominational" and "born again" Christianity.

David K. Monroe

I'm not a Catholic but I find both Dinesh's ascendency to this post and his "I don't consider myself a Catholic" to be disturbing, simply because both seem to indicate a man without commitment or without direction. I'm sure that many people may find a lack of commitment to be evidence of an "open mind" or some such palavar, but to me it only screams, "lack of character and maturity." People without full-hearted commitment may be free spirits or may be simple opportunists. Neither seems to be an ideal choice for an academic institution in my opinion.

LJ

Perplexing indeed.

...both seem to indicate a man without commitment or without direction. David K. Monroe

That sums it up well.

Interesting times we live in. Perhaps we've taken Anne Rice's exodus from the Church a little too seriously as well and it is really just a squabble.

Actually I'm beginning to think that the effects of the steadfast teaching of JPII and Benedict XVI are becoming evident, as well as the prayers and witness of many. There has been a steady stream of Protestants, many of whom are Evangelicals, into the Church in recent years as well as a growing number of returning Catholics. The orthodoxy on faith and morals of our Popes has been a magnet for Protestants set adrift by the corruption of the culture invading their churches, as well as anyone else seeking something other than shifting sand to stand on.

At the same time, like vinegar in milk, that same orthodoxy has been separating out some of the relativists, new agers, syncretists, indifferentists and doctrinal dissenters in the Catholic Church, forcing them to make a decision.

It all takes time but preaching the truth has that effect.

Jackson

At least he's very, very comfortable. Wonderful!

Julie

"I do not describe myself as a Catholic today," Dinesh D'Souza said. This is perplexing. I saw D'Souza on World Over with Raymond Arroyo a while back. A caller said he heard that D'Souza is no longer a Catholic. D'Souza denied this profusely, saying that his uncle is a Cardinal, so, "Catholic here," etc. He didn't say anything at all about the fact that he does not attend Mass and is not a practicing Catholic and regularly attends a Protestant church. He gave the impression that he is a Catholic. Why would he be deceptive like that I wonder.

s masty

last time i checked the salary scale it was thirty pieces of silver.

Jackson

And here's a bit of what he's comfortable with:

"I declare that all brothels, murders, thefts, adulteries, are less evil than this abominable Mass."

-Martin Luther

"I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist."

-Martin Luther

But his great comfort isn't very puzzling at all when Vatican II's concessions to Luther are considered, such as describing the Church as the "people of God," its accent on the priesthood of all baptized, the right of individuals to freedom of religion, the possibility of Communion under two species, "renewal" of the theology and celebration of the Eucharist, the subsequent use of the vernacular in the liturgy....

Pat Buchanan:

"Through the papacy of Pius XII, the church resisted the clamor to accommodate itself to the world and remained a moral beacon to mankind. Since Vatican II, the church has sought to meet the world halfway."

D'Souza is simply following Vatican II's lead. Yet:

"Adulterers, know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God."

James 4:4

The Council of Trent:

CANON 9: "If any one says, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema."

CANON 12: "If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified ... let him be accursed."

Canon 14: "If any one says, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema."

Canon 23: "If any one says, that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he that falls and sins was never truly justified; or, on the other hand, that he is able, during his whole life, to avoid all sins, even those that are venial,- except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds in regard of the Blessed Virgin; let him be anathema."

Canon 24: "If any one says, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema."

Canon 30: "If any one says, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema."

Mack Hall

I am sorry to hear of this; I suppose Mr. D will next be fiddling around with crystals and enneagrams and smoke lodges. Further, he is intellectually dishonest in blaming his spiritual flaccidity on C. S. Lewis. Mr. Lewis was a devout member of the Church of England who was generous in all things but who also never lost touch with what he perceived to be core truths.

Mark Brumley

Frank Beckwith nails it.

Some additional observations: I think it would be an interesting thing to try to put a Catholic in charge of a broadly evangelical college. By "broadly evangelical" I mean the type of Christianity discussed by Lewis in Mere Christianity. The trouble is, The King's College does not appear by its identity statements to be "broadly evangelical" in the Lewisian sense and Dinesh D'Souza does not appear to be Catholic (anymore). What, then, to make of what has happened--a former Catholic-turned-vaguely-Protestant-"non-denominational" Christian appointed head of a small, independent, but noteworthy Protestant college?

That The King's College has appointed someone who is neither overtly and strongly committed to the Reformed tradition, nor especially hostile to Catholicism, means the school is moving toward a position in which the distinctives of Reformed theology are not central to the school's identity. This may be the result of the institution wanting this particular person to lead it, rather than the result of a well-conceived plan to move in the aforementioned direction. But be that as it may, the result is that The King's College will be led by someone who does not evince a deep commitment to Reformed theology.

If the openness to having such a leader is the result of the realization that common beliefs between Catholics and Protestants are in many respects more important than points of disagreement, and that the common Christian witness today is in some ways more important than emphasis on distinctive witness, then it is, on balance, a good thing--although it would be better if the institution's identity statements were changed to reflect it. If it reflects the muddleheaded assertion that doctrine is not important or that the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism are mere "squabbles", then, on balance, it is a bad thing.

Of course it is not good that Dinesh D'Souza no longer considers himself a Catholic. Or, maybe it is better to say, if he no longer believes what the Church believes, it is good that he does not identify himself as a Catholic, but it is bad that he no longer believes what the Church believes. Even so, his statement that he is not renouncing his Catholicism because it is part of his background is hard to make sense of.

Catholicism is not--contrary to what some bumperstickers may lead some people to think--just like being Irish or Italian or Latino. It is not an ethnicity into which one is born and which, whether one respects it or not, one cannot cease to belong to. While a Catholic can't do anything to remove the seal of baptism upon his soul, and in that narrowly sacramental sense, he remains a Catholic forever no matter what, he can renounce Catholicism through heresy or apostasy. Catholicism is, after all, a faith-in an adult it involves a commitment of faith to the God who reveals. A grace-enabled, God-originated faith, to be sure. An often implicit faith, yes. But a commitment of faith, no less.

That commitment can be abandoned. And, with all due respect to the possibilities of grace and the "indellible mark" of baptism, the person who abandons the Catholic faith has ceased being a Catholic. How culpable he is for abandoning Catholicism, we'll leave to God and the man's conscience to decide. But he certainly has given up Catholicism if he knows what the Church believes, knows that the Church presents it as something Catholics should believe, and yet he does not believe it, and instead joins another church and affirms its beliefs, even if those beliefs are only indirectly contrary to Catholicism.

We can be more ecumenical about things and say that so-and-so has "left the Catholic Church" when he joins the miscellaneous Word of Abundant Life and Triumphant Faith Christian World Outreach Center. The one who leaves can be more ecumenical by talking about how much he values certain things in his Catholic background. But whether or not the word "renounced" is used, the man has renounced Catholicism by rejecting certain of its distinctive "faith claims" and affirming things contrary to those claims.

David Deavel

I confess I've never been all that impressed by D'Souza. This coyness about his religious identity and the description of his views as having to do with "comfort" has only solidified that view.

brain-in-a-vat

Looks like D'Souza thinks of himself as a practicing Christian and an "ethnic" Catholic. Or perhaps he's being uxorious. What puzzles me more than his shifting religious identity is why King's College would choose someone with no administrative experience as their new President, especially someone as pugnacious as he's been since the poor reception of his _Enemies at Home_.

Julie

Well, I know one thing. I no longer have the desire to listen to him. I think it's real possible he is playing all of us and his motivations are questionable.

Rob

Here is the statement of faith of The King's College:
http://www.tkc.edu/abouttkc/Statement_of_Faith.pdf

Mark Brumley

The opening doctrinal point is one that a Catholic cannot affirm:

The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, God’s infallible written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that it was uniquely, verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that it was written without error (inerrant) in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks.

This understanding of sola scriptura is incompatible with Catholicism. (It is also incoherent, since the Bible nowhere affirms that it is to be the sole basis for Christian beliefs--but that is another matter.)

Also, the canon of Scripture is incorrectly identified as consisting of 66 books, which is the Protestant canon. How those who profess the above proposition know, on the basis of the Bible alone, that the Bible consists of 66 books, is not explained and indeed cannot be explained because such a thing cannot be known.

To affirm sola scriptura, in the form stated above, and to affirm the 66-book canon of the Bible is to repudiate Catholicism. Implicitly, of course. But truly.

joe

D'Souza affirms orthodox Christianity and morality even if he repudiates Catholic distinctives. He is, like a jillion others, a former Catholic, lost to the Church thru the Vatican II madness. He may be muddled in his identifications, but his writings and theology are, overall, helpful. As he does not attend Catholic church, nor is he being apointed to a Catholic College, the intense reaction her is a bit weird. Also, he is far more orthodox than KC's PATOL magazine, for whatever that is worth.

Julie

No. I question his credibility now. Because he lied.

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