An editorial in the Boston Globe of December 19, puts our beloved founder, Father Leonard Feeney, in a very good light. Naturally, James Carroll, the Globe columnist, did not intend that; but in his piece, entitled “What would Cardinal Cushing do?”, Mr. Carroll let all his liberalism show itself. In so doing, he revealed the supreme folly of liberal Catholicism: Divine Revelation does not matter.
There are two poles, two opposite world views: 1) liberal Catholicism, in which dogma must conform itself to the vicissitudes of man’s cultural evolution, and 2) orthodox Catholicism, in which men must conform themselves to the inflexible truths of Divine Revelation. Father Feeney represents the second of these, while (to James Carroll, anyway) the Cardinal represents the former.
Mr. Carroll’s reflections on what led Cardinal Cushing to advocate religious indifferentism touch upon facts most “conservatives” sympathetic to the Cardinal dare not mention. These would include His Eminence’s relationship with his Jewish brother-in-law, Dick Pearlstein, and his consequent willingness to allow “basic doctrines of one’s own tradition [to] go out the window.” In the Cardinal’s appreciation of the “innate goodness” of his unbelieving brother-in-law, “the long-held doctrine of Catholic exclusivism was overturned.”
A glaring admission on the part of someone who definitely favors the Cardinal’s actions.
The naive reader may ask questions about the implications of these actions of the Cardinal, implications regarding original sin, the necessity of faith, the impossibility of “overturning” defined dogma, the inerrancy of Holy Scripture, and papal infallibility. These questions would be naive because, to the liberal Catholic, dogma must conform itself to man.
Among orthodox Catholics, whatever goodness they observe in a non-Catholic is recognized as a “preparation for the Gospel,” something that God (and we) can use in their conversion to the one faith that saves. It’s nature being prepared for grace. Not so to the liberal. “Innate goodness” having displaced original sin, nobody needs conversion… nobody.
Without any further editorializing, we present the link to the article.
This file originally posted 12/22/2005.