Monday, May 13, 2013

Go to Joe

Joe Grabowski, one of the leading young lights of the Catholic Church in America, posts a rebuke to a shameful post by the only clergyman ever to have been banned from at least six blogs that I know of, a man who continues to comment and blog on the internet in open defiance to his ordinary ...

Deacon Jim's sloppy and irresponsible pretension to scholarship on this issue is a scandal to this worthy outlet and it's a shame they published it. This matter was debated publicly and openly in many fora in which the Deacon himself took part back in 2011 when the first news of Live Action's tactics came to light, and then - as now - Deacon Jim responded to well-researched and carefully-reasoned positions (such as my own) with haphazard sophistries and empty rhetoric. Rather than taking the Catechism's teaching at face value on this matter and dealing with the harder question of what we *ought* to do - instead, in order to achieve Live Action's results without violating Christian moral standards, consequentialist proponents of the goods wrought by this work (themselves questionable and yet to *really* bear fruit) decide to do a strained reading of moral doctrine on the matter and repose upon the easy solution of lying for a good cause. As such, they become nothing more than newcomers to the already too-long queue of cafeteria Catholics waiting to pick-and-choose any of the Catechism's many utterances (a practice which is an easy logical extension of the Deacon's reasoning), and assemble them in their own pre-determined and too-neat proportions. 

Live Action lies to the very people who most need to hear the TRUTH of the Gospel, and this is reprehensible and heart-breaking in spite of their many good intentions (of which I have no doubt). If the Deacon wants to settle division he should join with the many responsible critical theologians and others (who have already covered this ground of debate extensively and thoroughly) in trying to figure out a better way forward, instead of doubling-down on the side of a tactic which, in addition to being morally questionable *at best*, has yet to yield a single, demonstrable, pragmatic result.

But this isn't about results, Joe; it isn't about the Catechism; it isn't about Church teaching; and it isn't about Christ.


Anonymous said...

You guys are playing way too much inside baseball. There are people in the world who don't know who deaconJR is and, if you want to be taken seriously, need at least some backstory on him. You could take just a minute or two and do this, ya know?


Kevin O'Brien said...

Sorry, BB. The backstory is sad. I refrain from telling it out of deference to the man. But if he continues to flaunt his obsession publicly, I feel it's at least worthwhile to let people know that there are folks like Joe Grabowski who are on the right side of this issue. Deacon JR could use your prayers.

Anonymous said...

Well, I've been looking around, and I see him flaunting all over the internet for years...I particularly see him saying really stupid things to Dr. Ed Peters, trying to argue Canon Law from the teaching of West. I really wish someone would just set the record straight. I hope I can convince you to, it would help. Thx. BTW, great blog. I never would have found you if DJR hadn't gone off yesterday, but in searching for him, I saw "Waiting for Godot to leave" on Google, laughed out loud, and came over. Awesome.

Kevin O'Brien said... -

That link the best answer I can give you, BB - not about Deacon Jim personally (for he was once a friend of mine, and I know him to be a man passionate about Christ and His Church), but about the overall tendency that disunity and arguing in Bad Faith represents.

Joey Higgins said...

Justifying something (lying) because of a likable outcome reminds me of the reading where the lay body reads the part of the crowd:

"Crucify him, crucify him!"

I get the sense that it's really the same spirit. Crucify the abortionists! Crucify person x - they did terrible things and therefore should have x done to them! Crucify, crucify.

But at the end of the day, we just become what we hate and haven't learned the lesson of the gospel.

(not trying to defend Gosnell or abortionists behavior, just commenting on the similarities between people who practice proxy revenge and allow evil because they want a good outcome).

Anonymous said...

The deacon did raise a point in his article that has not been adequately responded to, namely; IF undercover, or "sting" operations, such as the one conducted by Live Action are clearly against the teaching of Our Faith, why have not Bishops, among others, condemned police agency operations which also depend on deception, every bit as blatant as that done by Live Action? If something is intrinsically wrong, it matters not that a governmental agency did it rather than a private citizen. The police after all have no immunity from moral teaching. Is all deception of the enemy in time of war forbidden as well? CC

Kevin O'Brien said...

If a police officer says, "I want to buy some drugs from you" but refrains from saying, "I am an undercover cop" that is not a lie. Information not divulged is simply that - truth with-held. That is morally permissible, in fact sometimes necessary. If the poiceman wants to buy drugs from you so as to arrest you, he is simply telling the truth, but not the whole truth.

As to the other cases of undercover work where lying is actually involved, it would not seem to be right, by virtue of Catholic teaching. But even if a case can be made that undercover work is permissible, the L.A. sing videos are hardly state sanctioned uncercover work, nor are they deception in time of war.

As to the question, "If something is wrong, why don't the bishops condemn it?" I have several answers: Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy, etc. etc. etc.

For example, I am very tempted to enter into intimate online realtionships with attractive women in their 20's - non-sexual but emotionally intimate. I have never seen a bishop condemn this. There is nothing in the Catechism about it. Scripture does not mention the internet once. Am I therefore to assume that I may, as a good married Catholic, do such things with impunity?

If we are moral only to the extent that we do things not expressly forbidden by the Extraordinary Magisterium, or things we can rationalize away, we are hardly living a Christian life.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, thanks for your response. It would seem accordingly that some of the more dramatic undercover ops; inflitration of gangs, mafia, drug ops, pedophilia ring etc, whereby the assumption of a fake identity so as to obtain the confidence of wrongdoers and induce them to incriminate themselves and facilitate their downfall, would be condemned. Agree LA is not the police, but a moral wrong is a moral wrong regardless of who does it. There is no governmental immunity for the doing of evil. CC

Doug said...

"...whereby the assumption of a fake identity so as to obtain the confidence of wrongdoers and induce them to incriminate themselves and facilitate their downfall, would be condemned."

I would actually assume that the goal is to bring them to justice which is an objective good and an expression of God's mercy for the wrongdoers.