15 March 2019

Is PF "A Subtle Jesuit"?

Newman's Oxford undergraduate (Loss and Gain) "Charles Reding", about to be rusticated for  ... allegedly ... having a mind "perverted, debauched by sophistries and jesuitries", goes to say farewell to the Principal of his College. To whom he says "'I cannot conceive, sir, why I should be unfit company for the gentlemen of the College'. Dr Bluett's jaw dropped, and his eyes asumed a hollow aspect. 'You will corrupt their minds.' Then he added in a sepulchral tone, which seemed to come from the very depth of his inside, 'You will introduce them, sir, to some subtle Jesuit -- to some subtle Jesuit, Mr Reding'".

What a lovely reputation the Jesuits once had. What a shame we have no subtle Jesuits around today. But Stay!! Perhaps, after all, we do. Perhaps PF is a Subtle Jesuit!!! Had that occurred to you?

Here, again, is what PF said in his joint statement with his Islamic chum:
"The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race, and language are willed by God in his wisdom, through which he created human beings."

The inattentive might misread this as a typical piece of modern liberal 'affirmation', in which everybody is praised for and in their diversity. It is, surely, the dogma expressed by the 'diversity flag', in which all the colours of the rainbow are gloriously combined in one composition. All affirm all.

Well ... we have no way of knowing how PF's Islamic co-signatory glossed these words, But to many, this statement will seem nothing but a statement of the modern liberal blindingly obvious.

But PF introduced a new element into the rich mix when he gave Bishop Schneider permission to report a quite different interpretation: the idea that Diversity of Religion relates to the permissive will of God ... not to what he positively wills, but only to what he is willing to permit even though it is evil in itself.

Lovely Stuff. But PF goes on to bracket diversity of sex with the diversity of religion. And anybody who knows the least about the Judaeo-Christian tradition could have explained to PF that the division of Humanity into two sexes is given in Genesis, a section of the Pentateuch near the beginning of the Bible just after all the stuff about King James I, as part of the positive will of God for unfallen Humanity ... not just as something God tolerates because it is an unfortunate consequence of creating Man with the free will to choose the Good and the Bad. Creation of Mankind in two complementary sexes is not something that God permits; it is what he has himself freely done.

But ... hang on ... perhaps PF is not, as you were foolishly assuming, impetuous, judgmental readers that you are, a poor ignorant old man who has never read Genesis. Perhaps he is ... after all ... a Subtle Jesuit ... like all those Subtle Jesuits who lurked behind every lamp-post and hedgerow of the Victorian Protestant imagination!

So, on the one hand, to Moslems and Liberals, PF wishes to come across as praising religious diversity; it is a Good positively willed by God.  

But, on the other hand, to Bishop Schneider and his associates, PF tips the wink: "Don't be too noisy about this, old man, but of course I agree wholeheartedly with you that the existence of all false religions is one of the terrible evils resulting from the wilfulness and waywardness of Man, once he has been led by Satan into Sin, Disobedience, and Error. If you think it will help, do tell your troops that what I meant was: false religions are not positively but only permissively willed. And do anything else you can to get them to just Shut Up and stop analysing what I say. Analysis is just so ***********ly Rigid. As S Thomas Aquinas so rightly said, Logic is the Devil's Whore."

Amazingly Subtle. Devastatingly Jesuitical. What a man!!!!!


Tom said...

I thought it was Luther who said that 'logic was the devil's whore'. It has been argued by some that the Imam would hardly have signed the statement if it meant that diversity of religions and sexes are willed by God. Liberal Imams of that ilk are found in Western universities not in the Cairo's Al Azhar. If the Holy Father meant it in the literal sense and the Imam did not then the former is guilty of (Jesuitical?) duplicity. Not a good way to build peace and brotherhood. Surely someone in the CDF got to review the text before hand! I am begining to think that the Holy Father not only does not think before he speaks but he doesn't read either and some individuals are using that to their advantage. Perhaps that suits the Holy Father too.

PseudonymousposterJohn said...

Off topic I'm afraid:
I expect to be travelling through Oxford next week, fr, probably Wednesday, almost certainly not especially early. Can you possibly recommend a weekday mass and place to park? After that I shall need lunch, hopefully, or else tea, possibly. I presume the Randolph is still good for tea, but can you also recommend a place for lunch? Thanks.
I don't have a current email for you. The gmail attached to this account will only open on the office desktop where I originally set it up which is inconvenient but is JN [x12], but a recommendation on the comment section would be very welcome. I think the last time I was in the town I saw you in S. Thomas's so have decided more or less to take the afternoon off...

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. You've got a good sense of humor.

On the other hand, Bishop Schneider acted like a good Bishop in asking for a clarification and he reported it dutifully without opining that is what we all must conclude that is what The Pope meant and, of course, the residents of Tradistan denounced the good Bishop without even stoping to consider that his criticism of The Pope masqueraded as questions.

Anonymous said...

see magister's comments on his blog seventh heaven on spadaro's mistake written by a good jesuit. he is not very subtle

Unknown said...

Actually, there is still a small number of subtle Jesuits left in the West, but they have to expend most of their subtlety on ways of keeping below the radar of their utterly unsubtle superiors. The great and hugely subtle Campion Hall Jesuit Father Martin D'Arcy, who died in 1976 keenly aware of the "foolery" (Maritain's term) percolating on the fringes of the Church, exhibited a quality of mind and wit still alive in the Jesuit Order, if largely underground in its exercise. I doubt that PF has ever heard of D'Arcy, considering that he couldn't sustain an interest in Romano Guardini for more than six or seven months in a Ph.D. program he abandoned.

Tony V said...

The trouble with the British is they just don't understand irony, Argentinian style.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear John
Not easy. Best to Parkandride. The Randolph still does a Grand Hotel Tea, but the last time I was dined there it was dire. The only Midday Mass I know is 12.15 at the Catholic Chaplaincy. The Oratory has one at 6.00, which would be decently done Novus Ordo.

The Quod opposite the University Church in the High Street does good lunches.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Sandro Magister has an interesting post on the Jesuits at: