I owe Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich a debt of gratitude. He recently was quoted as saying:
We have always wanted to make sure that we start the conversation by saying that all people are of value and their lives should be respected and that we should respect them. That is why I think that the terms gay and lesbian, L.G.B.T., all of those names that people appropriate to themselves, should be respected. People should be called the way that they want to be called rather than us coming up with terms that maybe we’re more comfortable with.
That was the moment I finally knew it was true; I understood that, undoubtedly, the Church has repealed the universal “law of non-contradiction”.
Now, literally everything I have ever experienced as a member of the Catholic Church for the last half-century makes perfect sense.
Most of you will know that the “law of non-contradiction” simply states that a thing cannot “be” and “not be” at the same time. But that was then, and this is now. I finally realize that the Church has reserved for Herself the power to both bind and loose the same thing at the same time.
But don’t ask me for evidence of a decree or declaration from the Magisterium on this—the great thing about the repeal of the law of non-contradiction is that no evidence of a repeal is necessary, because a thing can now both “be” and “not be” at the same time. Get it? The fact that there is no evidence is how we know it has been repealed. Quite amazing, isn’t it?
Let’s take a very simple example: the one Cardinal Cupich mentions above. Now, it’s true that the Church has always taught and continues to teach that there is exactly one “sexuality” (not plural sexualities) and exactly two “sexual identities” (man and woman). It’s also true that a necessary consequence of Church teaching is the conclusion that the ideologies of orientation and gender are based on a false anthropology and yield only false “sexualities” and “identities” that keep multiplying (LGBTQIA and more).
But that’s okay now. Now we don’t have to call things by their right names anymore. Now it can be a sign of respect to refer to people by false terms of identity, as long as the people themselves like those terms. Just say what flavor of sexual orientation is yours at the moment (knowing that “who you are” could actually change next week, so just keep me updated), and I’ll use that term. That’s you, by golly. As for gender, no worries! Were you assigned male at birth, but now identify as female? No problem: you are assuredly a woman with male genitalia, so you can just tell me what new and exciting pronouns I should be using, plus whatever feminine moniker you wish to use. I will respect your choices in this matter. Be a man and a woman at the same time, if you like.
And you are a man married to another man? I respect that term you use: marriage. Hey, you’re married—it’s the word you want to use. And, sir, this is your husband? Of course he is. That’s the name you’ve appropriated, and I respect that.
Once you fully understand that the law of non-contradiction has been repealed, then it becomes easy to see just how sensible it is to happily co-exist with any previously perceived “contradictions” in the life of the Church. Let’s take a look at even more non-contradictory contradictions that I used to see as a bit paradoxical, but now finally understand to be perfectly normal.
The Catholic Church and Other Religions: Of course, no one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ, but feel free to be a Christian Buddhist, or any other combination you’d like. Try self-identifying as a Christian Atheist. Oh, and no need for any non-Christians to convert.
Liturgical Law and Liturgical Practice: It turns out that all those decades of apparent confusion and dissonance between the rubrics of the Mass and what clergy and laity opted to do with the Mass was very much an early hint of the repeal of the law of non-contradiction. How else should we explain having all that great history, and such clear directions about the Mass, upended by years of wacky experimentation? High Mass or Polka Mass? No difference. Now, it’s all just fine—we can still be faithful to the liturgy while disobeying all the rubrics.
Church Teaching and Church Practice: Repeal of this antiquated law of logic can give us some real peace of mind when it comes to apparent discrepancies between doctrine and pastoral practices. Now we don’t even have to argue about whether our church community should offer “communion before conversion”—it can just be communion without conversion altogether! If a Church document says one thing, and a later document says another thing, does it really matter? We can just do both things at the same time, or pick one or the other. No pressure. Obedience just co-exists with disobedience. We don’t have to believe what we do, or do what we believe.
Remarriage Without Annulment: The repeal is particularly helpful regarding divorce and remarriage. Now the marriage bond with your first spouse cannot at all contradict a new marriage bond with a second spouse (or a third)—just call it “the more the marry-er”! It solves so many otherwise major problems.
Worthiness To Receive Communion: Similarly, we needn’t worry our consciences any longer about things like “manifest grave sin” or “scandal” or “intrinsically evil” acts—especially those biggies that everyone gets hung up about. It turns out that all really are welcome when everything is possible at the same time. No barriers, no conditions. No need for Reconciliation before Communion. We’re all good persons, aren’t we? Even when we’re not.
Catholics Who Reject Catholic Teaching: On a very practical level, no longer having to worry about contradiction means that dissenting Catholics everywhere in the world aren’t really dissenting after all. Now you can believe Catholic teaching and not believe it at the same time. Now you can be a perfect Catholic without ever having to profess the Catholic faith!
Parishes and Groups That Reject Catholic Teaching: If you’re like me, you know of a number of different Catholic parishes and organizations that openly flaunt the Church’s teaching while still claiming to be faithful Catholics. From the issues of women priests to same-sex marriage to abortion, now all these formerly radical parishes and groups can blend right into the rest of the Church without any fear of rejection. We can infallibly teach that only men can be priests while simultaneously promoting women’s ordination. We can call contraception intrinsically evil while keeping birth control handy in our homes. We can let gay men and women enjoy same-sex marriage, and, along with transwomen and transmen, they can still be extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass.
Church Leaders Who Refuse to Teach What the Church Teaches: And, of course, we can have clergy and lay leaders withhold whatever Church teachings they may not like personally, instead suppressing official teaching and substituting whatever random gobblety-gook might seem right at any given moment. Catechesis? Evangelization? Why worry about any of that? There is no longer any such thing as “true” and “not true.” In fact, everything is really, really true. But at the same time, everything is really, really not true, too. Catholic education just got easier, and it also just got useless.
Such a relief, right? No more conflicts, tensions, disagreements, or worry about whether a certain doctrine is “true” or a certain practice is “right.” It’s all the same. “To be or not to be” is no longer the question.
Rather, it is now: “to be and not to be—that is the answer.”
Unless….okay, I’ll admit it, now that my little thought experiment is over: I don’t really think the Church has repealed the law of non-contradiction.
I only think that, a lot of the time, it seems that way.
If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!
Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.
The good deacon reveals the elephant in the room. Afraid of “offending”, even orthodox prelates won’t use the proper words, but will follow the hijacked vocabulary of those trekking the wide road.
An interesting despatch from Deacon Jim highlights that the new 2+2=5 church is keen to adopt the Law of Non-Contradiction. A delusion which is flight from reasoning based on objective Truth to adopt instead the pure will of subjectivity. Sadly it overlooks the fact that God does not contradict Himself. And then there is that Law of Unintended Consequences.
Or are certain consequences intended in this zeitgeist church?
the Catholic Church would seem to be following the path blazed by the CoE which also has as much moral clarity as a much bestirred mudbath.
Cdl. Schonborn has announced the gravest since against Jez-Kirk: the sin of “inconvenience.”
What matters is not truth, or witness.
What matters is that we should all clear away the obstacles to Jez-Kirk achieving its project under his Supreme Conveyor Francis: “change the Church in 5 years.”
It is such a brave plan, and time is short, so we can all see now why “inconvenience” is a deadly sin.
Shame on the truth for standing in way of the revolution.
This is the new Creed:
“The God who sits enthroned over the world and history as a changeless being is an offense to man.” (Walter Kasper, God in History, 1967)
This man is inconvenient: “Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James the Apostle: 1-17)
Whew! Thanks for the reassurance at the end. Not to worry Deacon we get the gist. “I finally realize that the Church has reserved for Herself the power to both bind and loose the same thing at the same time”. Somewhere I read I think Aquinas that compliments for one’s holiness is nefarious. Should be rejected. Here I acknowledge quality of thought so I think even the morally exacting Aquinas [actually his theorem of the virtuous mean between excess and defect leaves room for imperfection] would agree. So I’ll say it Deacon. You’re a ‘pocket’ Chesterton. You know like a pocket battleship. Well written. The entire moral collapse centers on practice v doctrine, which the Pontiff took the lead in saying early in his pontificate that the two are not in contradistinction. They don’t defy the law of non contradiction. Someone I believe canon lawyer Msgr Gerald Murray, and or Cardinal R Burke said that if practice defines a doctrine it is a contradiction. For example Adultery. The act of adultery is inherent in what the doctrine says it is. Insofar as LGBT, or better said deviate sexual behavior it contradicts Natural Law. The basis of Catholic moral doctrine. It is as if to say “We know God ordained the nature of things but he never said essential moral natures are not subject to thoughtful change, personal preference, experimentation, trying it out for kicks, being creative, pluralism, idiosyncratic feelings. Cardinal Cupich is somewhere within perhaps all these exceptions to the Rule. But what are rules if they inhibit my inherent freedom to be whatever I want to be. Modern apotheosis is the conviction of godlike freedom. In contradiction to God.
“Binding and loosing” are not exercised at the same time, simultaneously both sin and not a sin.
Surely our God-given powers of observation have taken a hit.
Could Deacon Jim have written such an article on the problem of non contradiction in the Church prior to March of 2013? All of these problems existed at that time but the Church’s position was clear? Why? Because the chief pastor and teacher of the Church was faithful to the Church and the Divine Revelation that is contained in the Holy Scriptures and the Apostolic Tradition. The problem is simple. The problem is Jose Mario Bergoglio.
You got that right. The problem is Bergoglio.
This does help. I have an addition. I love the beauty of the Latin Mass although I only converted to the Church in 1997 but I am rigid at the same time and not wanting to change. That one has really confused me but now makes sense.
Slow on the uptake? I realized this with my scholastic metaphysics proof years, years ago. Said he: “Every argument begins and ends with the Principle of Contradiction.” And I’ve been going nuts about this during the past 30+ years. Only difference is the notes are bigger, more blatent, and much more frequent in today’s topsy-turvy world!
Well, the pope sees the whole world rushing head long into neo-pantheistic new world order socialism, I guess he figures the church ought to join them.
He probably thinks the more the merrier. And practically falling on his face to outdo the pantheists in their pantheism.
Bravo. Well put and pointedly persuasive.
“Motus in fine velocior” (“Motion accelerates when the end is near.”) Quenn of the Holy Rosary pray for us and save us.
Well, we have reached that point. The point where we merely laugh at the Pope and his men. This is a first for the Catholic church.
If only it were amusing. Perhaps “funny” in Screwtape ways.
This is a simply brilliant essay that dismantles all fake catholic colleges, in addition to the Supreme Pontificate of F.
Chris in MD, You may find these interesting:
From Credo Scientific Dogma, Catholic Stand, McClung, 28 May 2016
The primary logical principle of liberals, from Jorge B on down is the principle of nonnon contradiction-a thing can simultaneously be and not be. For example: a person can at one and the same time be an adulterer and not an adulterer; or a person can, at the same time, sin by choosing to engage in homosexual sex actions and do an act of virtuous love by choosing to engage in homosexual sex actions. And get ready for this theological argument: Jorge B declares the Jubilee Year Of Service and that the episcopacy is the summit of service, priesthood a lot of the spectrum of service, service a gradual thing from laity up to Pope, and -drum roll- deaconesses will now be simply wonmen who do not have the fullness of service, but a real part of the ideal of service. Having part of the spectrum, – louder drum roll please-of course just as it has been declared that adulterers can receive Holy Communion, women can – loudest drum roll-be ordained priests. Now that is liberal theology. Guy McClung
From Comment on site THE AMERICAN CATHOLIC, 22 SEPT 2016
“The principle of non-contradiction is a principle at the basis of truth as we know it. It is this: a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. Powerists of many forms, some of which appear diametrically opposed but are all powerist, employ and embody a contradiction principle, i.e., non-noncontradiction. Depending on what can be achieved, they assert “X is true,” and then they assert “Not X is true.” For these powerists, whether or not there is truth means nothing because they use truth or untruth indiscriminately to obtain, maintain, and increase power. So for them any “truth” – be it socialist, conservative, capitalist, progressive, liberal, democratic, communist, etc. – is the same as any other, as useful or useless as any other; and any “truth,” or its opposite, or both, can be used to obtain, maintain, and increase power.”
Go Deacon Go!
But your lucidity and logic will be lost on the PF camp.
Having worked within the gay community for over 25 years for two AIDS organizations I can honestly say that the situation is so confusing and impossible to keep up with, even for those within this community. I couldn’t disrespect nor would I want to any of our clients/members however I refused to buy into each individuals mentally unbalanced view of themselves and the world. I used to say,” I’m waiting for the day a coworker or client comes in and tells me they woke up this morning and discovered they were a goat or some other animal.” It’s all very sad and distracting from much more important world issues.
Deacon Jim, have you studied Thomas Aquinas? His view on Faith and Reason is very quite different than yours and being a doctor of the church may be something to consider especially if your objective is saving souls, don’t you agree?
Hi, Michael–can you elaborate on what makes Aquinas and me “quite different” regarding faith/reason? Not sure that I understand what you have in mind. Thanks. JR
St. Thomas Aquinas was a Philosopher and theologian. He was famous for combining the theological principles of faith with the philosophical principles of reason. The church has recognized that Philosophy is one of the tools for discerning truth as we are warned to “test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Contradictory premises are logical fallacies with leads to a fallacious conclusion. The Bible concept of “bind and loose” appears contradictory because of how it is literally constructed in this article, but this is not how it is written in the Bible. “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt 18:18) as it is written do not present a contradictory message.
You have missed the joke. This article was satire, he wasn’t seriously meaning that contradictions could be embraced.