Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mafia Discourse and the Church Militant

This post is going to ramble. Once again, I've seen a number of things online that just seem to tie together.

This article was on the front page of Catholic Exchange today; in it, Dr. Stanley Williams takes Sean Hannity to task for his use of what Eric Scheske once called "mafia discourse tactics" (and on Fr. Thomas Eutener, at that)! It seems to me that all too often, such tactics are used to avoid the truth.

Then I found a link to this post by Adoro te Devote. She goes on at length about what it means to be a confirmed Catholic -- it means we've volunteered to be part of the Church Militant, to go into spiritual and rhetorical battle to defend and promote the Faith. But she also expounds on the way we are to do this: with caritas. St Paul tells us that without caritas, all other gifts of the Spirit are nothing.

I don't mean to suggest that there is no place for all-out warfare. There are cases where our opponents clearly intend nothing less than our complete destruction, and doing whatever it takes to stop them is called for by the Church. (The Caveman makes the case for executions here, and provides an example of when warfare is so justified.) But such cases are rare. I think the Church is better served by initially giving others the benefit of the doubt, and not presuming hostility before it has been demonstrated.

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