Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pope puts Piux XII on sainthood path, angers Jews

Response to National Post Article

I suppose from a realpolitik viewpoint, we should welcome the canonization of Pope Piux XII. Just as much as the elevation of Arafat to the Nobel Peace Prize discredits the value of that award, I cannot imagine that Pope Pius XII's elevation will furnish honour to this Catholic practice.

Regardless of whose history one reads, it is quite evident that Nuncio Eugenio Pacelli, with the blessing of the Vatican, in its Konkordat with the Nazis and with the deafening silence afterward, was quite willing to sacrifice the truth, the right and the welfare of its people in Germany and in Europe for the survival of the institution of the Catholic Church.

There is no mystery to this. For if the Rock by which Christ was to build his church was the Apostolic succession (the Papacy), then safeguarding it at all costs makes sense.

I cannot help but believe that this same motivation (safeguarding the reputation of the institution of the Catholic Church) is behind the worldwide cover up of the Sexual Abuse cases. It seems unfortunate that the Catholic hierarchy did not heed Christ's words that "what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs".

It is quite evident that the Catholic hierarchy had no real trust in the God they profess to honour. If its leaders truly believed, then rolling the dice and pursuing a policy of all-out Christian-type opposition to this monstrous tyranny, even at the sake of the temporary destruction of the institution of the organized Church, if not honoured in the heart of God, would certainly would have been honoured in the hearts of men. The anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa certainly survived the incarceration of Mandela. The Human Rights movement in the Soviet Union survived the latter's persecutions.

However, before picking on the Catholic Church, let's acknowledge that very few hands were clean then. In the German Protestant Church, so infected with liberal theology, doubt in core Christian beliefs was too endemic. Those so inflicted as to be uncertain of their own salvation, would not be bold enough to provide resistance and sacrifice of their welfare and their lives.

However, most Germans, though nominal Christians, were infused with a secular spirit, dating prior to WW1. (No more than 10% were regular attendants of the Churches) Thus, if this secular German was not a true believer in Nazism, he either went along with it, seeing personal advantages to the regime he acknowledged as in the main detrimental. Or he hoped to merely survive it, keeping his head down so that the Nazis wouldn't come after him.

Nevertheless, the canonization of Pope Pius XII would be indecent. He did not distinguish himself as being the salt separate from the earth he was supposed to have salted.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Philosophic Skepticism

Philosophic Skepticism or Doubt is based on the premise that man is incapable of knowing all things (lack of omniscience), necessary to categorically ‘know’ anything absolutely. Man, in his short duration on earth, cannot master the knowledge of the quadrillions plus pieces of datum within that duration. Any conceptual truth man asserts may be found wanting by some unknown piece of datum that he has yet to have digested. For instance, we know not if the laws of physics apply inside a Black Hole or any other physical phenomena, encountered or constructed by scientific speculation. Therefore, we cannot ascertain with certainty that any law of physics, so discovered, is indeed a universal law, true at all places, in all times and under all conditions. Unless every i is dotted and every t crossed, we cannot be sure of anything.

Even the verity ‘man is incapable of knowing all things’ itself needs to be a qualified assertion under Skepticism. According to this thesis, we will not know that even this truth; that of man’s finiteness to knowledge, will hold out before species annihilation; that is, until the last man breathes their last. Even then, we may speculate that perhaps there was such a man with omniscience but who was too modest or for reasons of his own, declined to make that attribute known.

Omniscience itself becomes suspect. How would an omniscient person know that they know everything that is to be known; know that he was indeed omniscient? Would it not be necessary to have evaluated an infinite number of possibilities of untruth as well as that of truth? Ought he not be suspicious that his claim to infinitude was itself suspect? That is, he does not know what he does not know. Even omniscience would have reason to doubt its capacity for certainty of knowledge of the truth.

Thereby does Philosophic Skepticism become the perfect sophistry.