Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Runaway plane

For those who find Catholicism appealing, a major source of appeal is the notion of a living oracle. It's a nice idea. No doubt most Bible commentators wish they could interview the Bible writer they strive to interpret.

There are some familiar challenges for Protestants. A few books of the canon are less securely attested than others. The text of the NT is very secure. The text of some OT books less so–although that's more problematic if you're an Orthodox Jew.

The OT contains some passages that make Christian readers queasy. Mind you, we could say the same thing about what happens in the world around us. And it's not as if atheism is in a position to moralize. 

But despite the difficulties of the Protestant faith, which are easy to exaggerate, the Bible doesn't change. There are no surprises. It is what it is. We know exactly what we signed up for. 

By contrast, Catholicism is a runaway plane. The pilot is locked in the cockpit, behind an impenetrable door. The passengers are trapped. They must go wherever the pilot takes them. Francis is like a pilot tripping out on acid.

Just in the last few weeks, there's the ever-enveloping Cardinal McCarrick scandal. Like vampires, queer bishops propagate their own. 

You have the death penalty bombshell dropped by Francis. And now there's the grand jury report in Pennsylvania:

Extrapolate from that to other states and other countries, then just imagine the scale of the contagion.

That's one of the problems with a living oracle. It's destination unknown, and you're along for the ride whether you like it or not. Can't open the door and walk away at 40,000 altitude.  

Over at Called to Communion, they live under a glass dome. A climate-controlled utopia with fawns and flowers, songbirds and butterflies.  


  1. Remember when they were saying it was only 1% of all priests? And that “there’s sex abuse in Protestant churches and also public schools as well”? That was the hand-wave that was supposed to dismiss all of this.

  2. Newman didn't believe in papal infallibility. But then it became papist dogma. He found that hard to reconcile.