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Friday, March 11, 2011



...totally made up in the faculty lounge...

I love that expression.

Fernando Umberto Garcia de Nicaragua, Prefectus Minimus: The Jacksonian Institute

His scrupulous avoidance of the words "heresy" or "heretic" is very interesting.


Fernando, I think Father Barron did a very good job of explaining Crossan's heretical point of view and why it is heresy. In fact, I thought that was the point of the entire video, to call Crossan a heretic in detail.

These days, for myself at least, when I hear the accusation of heresy, I tend to become more curious; about who is making the accusation and their teaching, and then about the one who is being accused.

I always want to know more, simply because that accusation is thrown around quite liberally, particularly by some who would want to call everything from Vatican II onward to be heresy, and it is also often heard on the part of extreme anti-Catholic Protestants.

The accusation in and of itself has lost its power of presumption so I would much rather listen to Father Barron go through an explanation of a particular heresy on the part of a particular heretic. I suppose he could have just made a 30 second video, a one-liner so to speak.

"John Dominic Crossan is a heretic!"

It would be true enough, but would make a lot more work for me if I wanted to know why, because then I would have to plow through Crossan's heretical writing to find out. I would rather save the time and have Father Barron inform me. You might call that lazy, I call it good time management.

But, perhaps, if you mention it to Father Barron, he might include the declaration of heresy in a future video of the same sort. If I were doing that, I would put it right at the end, so that those looking for it would have to go through the entire video, and perhaps become informed as they go. But that's just me.

Mark Brumley

To statements regarding Father Barron's scrupulous avoidance of the word "heresy", I might reply, if I were in a sarcastic mood:

"Ah, Father Barron, although your comments are lucid and persuasive, thoughtful and effective, you didn't say the magic word: heresy. That means only one thing: fail. Maybe even epic fail.

"You have to say the magic word. Didn't you get the memo? Golly. You go to all this trouble to make sense and then you fail to risk shutting down people simply because you didn't use the word "heresy". How on earth do you expect to be immediately ignored by people who might otherwise be inclined to listen to you, unless you use the magic word and use it abundantly?

"Father, I think I have a solution to your magic word problem. Maybe you should just preface everything you say with the word "heresy". That way, you can proceed to say what you will and not have to worry about remembering to use the word."

That's the sort of thing I might say if I were in a sarcastic mood. But since I am not, I won't say it.

Fernando Umberto Garcia de Nicaragua, Prefectus Minimus: The Jacksonian Institute

Cute, both of you!

"The lad[ies] dost protest too much, methinks."

-Shakespeare, Hamlet

Charles E Flynn

Fr. Barron does not need to drop the h-bomb to get his point across.

Mark Brumley

I've been called many things, Jackson. But never a lady.

Sometimes to call someone a "heretic" or his view "heresy" results in people listening to you not taking you seriously--to their not even considering what you have to say. They think you are resorting to name calling and labeling, because you have no argument or case to make.

But you seem to disagree.


I've been called many things, Jackson. But never a lady.

That's a new one for me too, Mark. I don't quite know what to make of it.

Moving ahead in English literature from Shakespeare, I am inclined to quote Jane Austen's character, Mr. Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice;

"For what do we live, but to make sport of our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?"

Mark Brumley

LJ, well said.

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