Good and Bad Intentions

On the note of good intentions, I have finished a third reflection on ‘the Letter’ of the theologians to the Holy Father, which will be published, Deo volente, soon. Just to offer this for now, that I agree with the letter in its concerns, with respect for its authors and signatories, and agreement with their cogent arguments and historical precedents. It is just the explicit charge of heresy, along with how we are to proceed in the present crisis, even if one accept that charge as true, must be carefully discerned, and I hope that what I write adds in some way to that ongoing process.

And on bad intentions, another attack by Boko Haram, this time in Burkina Faso, shooting up and burning down a church, with ‘only’ six dead. Militant Islam is more than slightly tautological, and one should ponder William Fitzpatrick’s piece on the re-primitivization of humanity, as we return – in the words of Pope Saint John Paul II in reference to abortion and infanticide – to a ‘state of barbarism we thought had been left behind forever’. Do we even call it ironic that ‘Boko Haram’ translates roughly as ‘books are forbidden’, which means, as a necessary corollary, that thought, reason, logic are forbidden also. Act upon your gut instinct – or whatever you ‘think’ is right – regardless of whether it makes senses, in accord with the capricious, voluntaristic view of God in Islam.

Allow me to say it again, Pope Benedict’s 2006 Regensburg Address gets more and more prophetic with each passing day, and not just in the sense of predicting the future, but the primary meaning of prophecy, in reading the signs of the times.

And while on those signs, Alyssa Milano, who was a child star in the 80’s as Tony Danza’s fictional daughter on Who’s the Boss, and has gained some adult fame in various sordid of which I know nothing, has called for a ‘sex strike’ by women, in response to pro-life (she would say, anti-abortion) laws being passed in various States. Oh, well. The only women – and men – who should be having conjugal relations are those who don’t intend to murder any of their offspring which may result. And I don’t think such women – generally the married type, the only situation in which sex is lawful – will heed Ms. Milan’s exhortation.

The trade war between the United States and China may well bring to the fore the ephemeral and deeply unjust nature of the economy, built not on the rock of real wealth, properly distributed according to talent and hard work – to adapt a divine parable to the secular realm – but on the shifting sand of injustice, and the transient, unproductive value of too many cheap goods, wealth over-concentrated in the wrong hands, and slave-like labour. There may be some hard knocks on our drop back to reality. The truth can be a hard taskmaster, but is worth it in the end, for illusions and lies lead only to dead ends.

Listen to Our Lady of Fatima, who speaks her Son’s words of everlasting life.