Comments for Inkandescence Reflections and Reviews, Spiritual and Social Thu, 30 Mar 2017 03:34:52 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Short Reminders on Indissolubility by Alura Thu, 30 Mar 2017 03:34:52 +0000 hospitalists, my banner is someone’s rendition of Rakka, the main character of the anime Habane Renmei. The show is pretty lowkey and pleasant. It also has a strong Augustinian vibe on the nature of sin and salvation, so I found it very interesting for that. I think it should still be on Funimation.

pgepps, history is always complicated. Any practicing historian would tell you that. As for the future of this conversation, I am afraid that I will have to cut it short. My translation of Arles is pretty spot on, actually. The fact that you won’t specify as to how it is wrong and offer your own translation of the Latin only reveals that you don’t know the language or its grammar. Which would in any other circumstances be quite fine and we could still debate. But that would require that you be honest about your own language skills. Therefore, I get the vibe that you are arguing from a sentiment that is less than charitable and more focused on branding me as a heretic rather than someone who is genuinely curious. Hence, why you would pose as someone with Latin knowledge, automatically assume I support Putin and Kirill, and use the derogatory term “Caesaropapism” to describe my faith.

Comment on Short Reminders on Indissolubility by pgepps Thu, 30 Mar 2017 02:02:20 +0000 Obviously it matters that regional councils can be unclear or in error. If you find “a tradition” that differs from “the Tradition,” that is, “what the Church teaches,” you have not found an interesting complexity; you’ve just found an error the Church shed along the way.

It is a Protestant, not to say an essentially and predictably heretical, method to sift through the less authoritative statements made by theologians and clergy along the way in search of “counterexamples” that “complicate” an issue that is, well, not actually as complicated as all that. Yes, the process of coming to understand the truth well enough to define it is often complicated; one has to be pretty specific to deal with Eutyches, after all. But there is nothing that remains complicated about the bare facts of orthodox Trinitarian and Christological formulae, and no number of citations from ante-Nicene fathers (heck, even Athanasius!) making what Nicene Christians know are technical theological errors changes the result we get when we look for the “unanimous consent of the fathers.” Jerome has a lot of sentences that we don’t hold; even Aquinas, or Maximos, or Augustine, or Basil, can be mined for tendentious phrases. Only would-be heresiarchs do so, though.

On Arles, the translation is conclusory; it is therefore no more than an argument from silence, as you are saying “my translation is possible, word for word, and therefore I will use the translation that fits my argument.” It does not, however, make a whit of sense to smuggle an entire set of American speculations about what is morally possible–speculations conveniently tailored to your conclusion–into a bare concession to practicality.

The same applies to all of your examples, though one should readily admit that Compiegne and Verbiere are outliers. Verbiere, especially, may well be applying a rule that was tested and later found to be wrong. Compiegne is probably worded oddly in an attempt to fit with civil law–a mistake the West abandoned, but which continued to distort the East’s view of marriage.

The others quite simply do not contain anything that calls into question the indissolubility of an actual marriage of two baptized persons. Only by filling in the silence with speculative details could you draw such a conclusion–but then, we established from the first that your process is conclusory, not reasoned.

And again, if I were wrong about every single piece of evidence you adduce, it would not matter. It would just mean that I was mistaken in my effort to charitably construe rulings & teachings that were wrong, that in the end made only a negative contribution to what is indubitable and irreformable teaching of the Church founded by Jesus Christ, a teaching expressed in a dominical saying, which only heretics resist.

Comment on Short Reminders on Indissolubility by hospitalists Wed, 29 Mar 2017 23:46:49 +0000 Alura, to clear up any confusion, Peter is quoting from his own e-mails to me. He was providing me with rebuttals to your technical points to guide my own studies on this topic because I find it interesting and am totally unfamiliar with your particular argument and this sort of scholarship in general.

In the other thread one of my points (probably completely obfuscated because I can’t type concisely) was that Craig misused your blog post because its contents could not support his assertion that it is disingenuous for RCs to criticize the current EOC handling of remarriage, as regardless of internal veracity, the entry did not demonstrate any sort of dramatic reversal of moral teaching (as you yourself pointed out). This is why I made the previous claim that he was maybe begging the question a little bit because what counts as Tradition was actually partly at issue.

This is getting pretty convoluted. I’ve got to stop here. But I’ll follow the conversation if you two continue a discussion on councils. God bless.

PS. is your banner on the SO blog Priscilla from Claymore?

Comment on Short Reminders on Indissolubility by Alura Wed, 29 Mar 2017 14:46:58 +0000 The quibble about quantum posse doesn’t have grounds as far as I am concerned. The translation is quite acceptable and the phrase is explicitly acknowledged in medieval Latin dictionaries. See DMLBS #6: . However ridiculous the ruling might seem to the emailer, it doesn’t change the fact that the council ruled such.

Furthermore, I never made any claims as to what “the Church” taught “officially” on the matter. I openly acknowledged that these were local synods and that there were other synods that contradicted them. I am not sure why the author of the first email is upset, but I somewhat suspect he or she did not read my entire blog post and thus misunderstood my intentions.

In terms of the second email, well I would appreciate why they think that for Vanne and Soissons. He or she doesn’t give an argument, but only bald assertions. As for Compiegne, that’s a rather interesting take. I don’t necessarily follow it, but interesting nonetheless. I am well aware that arguments over consummation existed in the late 9th century. My question is whether or not they existed in the 8th. I am unaware of such, but it could be simple ignorance on my part. I am also curious what the Catholic Church’s treatment on these councils and penitentials are, which the second emailer mentions.

As for the third email, the author presents no argument. He or she just makes claims with no counter analysis whatsoever. On what basis do they argue that I am making arguments for silence? And on what basis do they argue that the Synod of Rome doesn’t present a case for allowing remarriage after divorce? My understanding of these councils are on pretty sure ground to say the least. It falls in step with how academic historians have interpreted these canons and rulings. For more info on that scholarship, see:

Jo-Ann McNamara and Suzanne F. Wemple, “Marriage and Divorce in the Frankish Kingdom,” in Women in Medieval Society, edited by Susan Mosher Stuard (Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 1976), 95-124.

Comment on Short Reminders on Indissolubility by pgepps Wed, 29 Mar 2017 05:58:59 +0000 From my emails:

Ugh, this author’s writing is a pain.

His treatment of the Council of Arles might make sense if 20th-C
Americans were writing the language in English and then translating it
woodenly into Latin. The idea that the Council of Arles, made up of
celibates, said “quantum possit” and meant “if he can keep it in his
pants”? Hilarious.
Also, regional councils don’t necessarily teach what “the Church”
teaches without error, any more than any given bishop’s attempt to
articulate the faith is necessarily irreformably true.


Vanne and Soissons don’t help him.

Compiegne is interesting, hard to read in modern language, possibly in
error(?), BUT looks like part of the development of the ratum et
consummatum standard for indissolubility. A “legal” wife might well
be ratum but non consummatum.

Verberie is weird, and requires study; murder in East & West is an
unusual reason, and this more so.

…………………….this whole list is a good example of why one
ought *not* anachronistically interpret canons. The Church has
already digested most of this, and the output is what we have received
as the faith.

And another:

…and again, the Synod of Rome does not help him. His conclusion is
risible, given that.

I’m not going to bother to go on and deal with what looks like an
obvious case of not understanding what constitutes genuine tradition
and what “unanimous consent of the fathers” means, among other things.

Arles, Vannes, Soissons, Rome–no help. he argues from silence.
Compiegne–worth further study.
Verberie–outlier, worth further study.

None of these changes what has been taught always, everywhere, and by
all; and none even authoritatively defines, much less outranks, a
dominical saying.

Comment on “liberal” work, “servile” work, and plumbers–Professional Panel notes by pgepps Wed, 29 Mar 2017 05:50:40 +0000 If you haven’t spotted the plumbers, well, stay tuned. They’ll show up in the future.

Comment on Leisure and Labor–notes from the conference at St. Gregory’s University by “liberal” work, “servile” work, and plumbers–Professional Panel notes – Inkandescence Wed, 29 Mar 2017 05:38:07 +0000 […] my last response to the 2017 Conference on Leisure and Labor at St. Gregory’s University, I discussed some questions that arose from the keynote speech, […]

Comment on Short Reminders on Indissolubility by pgepps Wed, 29 Mar 2017 03:04:27 +0000 Well, if I’d thought your post worth detailed interaction, I probably wouldn’t have called it “clumsy” in the first line of mine; and if I’d intended a prolonged discussion, I probably wouldn’t have called it “Short Reminders.”

Metropolitan Kirill will get back to you about the timeliness of Caesaropapism when he’s done running errands for Putin. More to the point, a quick consultation of Joyce for background on the development of Christian marriage and the book I cite in the post for updating will tell you what you need to know about the history of the divergence before you try again.

Comment on Short Reminders on Indissolubility by Alura Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:42:58 +0000 First, I find it remarkably telling that you did not quote a single one of my arguments from my article nor the church canons that I cite. Two, your accusation of Caesaropapism reflects a historical knowledge that is both terribly out-of-date and uncharitable. That is all that I really need to say about this matter.

Comment on Social Construction of Gender: a detente breached by Another “Way In” to Analogy – Inkandescence Sun, 05 Mar 2017 15:20:45 +0000 […] Of course, if we know John and Jim even a little, we probably know they aren’t related; we would interpret “Jim is family” as a response to whatever circumstances prompted the statement–introducing Jim to someone who doesn’t know him well, asking not to be made responsible for firing Jim, etc. ┬áBut our point here wasn’t really to question whether reasonably well-informed people can navigate fairly simple conversations without much confusion; our point wasn’t even to underscore the need to keep basic terms grounded in reality, though that’s very much a reasonable concern. […]

Comment on Don’t Play Catch-22 Against Truth by Non Sum Dignus – Inkandescence Tue, 07 Feb 2017 23:20:36 +0000 […] And have the humility not to budge from that truth, or to negotiate it away. […]

Comment on Humility or “epistemic humility” by Inkandescence Tue, 07 Feb 2017 23:19:37 +0000 […] have the humility not to budge from that truth, or to negotiate it […]

Comment on I Almost Cried With Relief by Ralph Wood Sun, 29 Jan 2017 01:47:14 +0000 Yes, indeed. Fr. Timothy has been a faithful priest to many of us Protestants here at Baylor, and remains so even though he is no longer in Waco. Be sure to read his fine essay on marriagte in today’s THE CATHOLIC THING. RW

Comment on One Quibble with a Great Review by pgepps Thu, 26 Jan 2017 00:13:35 +0000 The “little quibble” I mentioned above is that Sargeant discusses the Picador movie edition of the novel without discussing the fact that Johnston’s translation is the original and most common translation, and that the well-worn Taplinger edition that so many of us have (with the image of a crucifix on the cover) is Johnston’s translation. Any used copy of the Taplinger edition will have exactly the same copy, at a fraction of the price, and won’t have any soon-to-be-regretted movie hype packaging.

As I said, a very petty quibble.

Comment on From the cutting-room floor: taking Endo’s theology seriously by From the cutting-room floor: Why bother retrieving the nourishing from the toxic? – Inkandescence Fri, 20 Jan 2017 18:59:38 +0000 […] (Incidentally, here’s the first “cutting-room floor” post.) […]

Comment on Rodrigues, Kichijiro, Judas–a 2012 conference paper (Part Two) by Rodrigues, Kichijiro, Judas–a 2012 conference paper (Part One) – Inkandescence Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:38:45 +0000 […] [Continue to Part Two] […]

Comment on Don’t Play Catch-22 Against Truth by jem Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:26:47 +0000 Excellent piece. Thank you.

Comment on Rodrigues, Kichijiro, Judas–a 2012 conference paper (Part One) by Rodrigues, Kichijiro, Judas–a 2012 conference paper (Part Two) – Inkandescence Tue, 10 Jan 2017 01:39:54 +0000 […] the final part of that SWCCL paper from […]

Comment on Wait, so…pets in Heaven? (Part One) by Matthew Newell Thu, 17 Nov 2016 06:24:53 +0000 You and I have touched on a matter similar to this in the past, regarding the meaning of ‘death’ in creation. I think it’s hard to make this case strictly on Thomistic grounds. I think a competent and comfortable argument can be made for extending the hope of the general resurrection not just to pets but indeed to every living creature; but on scriptural grounds, not Thomistic. I think such an argument could be made consistent with Thomas in very many respects, but I would expect Thomists to disagree with me.

That said, I would try to begin by doubling-down on Ia IIae, Q6, A2.

I answer that, As stated above, it is essential to the voluntary act that its principle be within the agent, together with some knowledge of the end. Now knowledge of the end is twofold; perfect and imperfect. Perfect knowledge of the end consists in not only apprehending the thing which is the end, but also in knowing it under the aspect of end, and the relationship of the means to that end. And such knowledge belongs to none but the rational nature. But imperfect knowledge of the end consists in mere apprehension of the end, without knowing it under the aspect of end, or the relationship of an act to the end. Such knowledge of the end is exercised by irrational animals, through their senses and their natural estimative power.

Consequently perfect knowledge of the end leads to the perfect voluntary; inasmuch as, having apprehended the end, a man can, from deliberating about the end and the means thereto, be moved, or not, to gain that end. But imperfect knowledge of the end leads to the imperfect voluntary; inasmuch as the agent apprehends the end, but does not deliberate, and is moved to the end at once. Wherefore the voluntary in its perfection belongs to none but the rational nature: whereas the imperfect voluntary is within the competency of even irrational animals.

Reply to Objection 1. The will is the name of the rational appetite; and consequently it cannot be in things devoid of reason. But the word “voluntary” is derived from “voluntas” [will], and can be extended to those things in which there is some participation of will, by way of likeness thereto. It is thus that voluntary action is attributed to irrational animals, in so far as they are moved to an end, through some kind of knowledge.

I suppose I would try to say something like: it’s precisely that “some kind of knowledge” (per cognitionem aliquam) that breaks open the path for analogy. I would want to go from there to make some kind of claim about the intellect and will of animals that–in our experience of particular animals–might suggest a particularity to their form beyond mere expressions of the general form (instinct). And this particularity would be the “what” that is hoped to see again in the resurrection.

The more one’s language emphasizes instinct, the more one risks drifting into mechanism (and we’re left with Descartes). The more one’s language emphasizes cognitionem aliquam, the more one risks drifting into sentimentalism (and we’re left with animals as people).

But I am diverting this. I’m not sure the argument can be made from texts from Thomas.

Comment on Not local, but state issues, at least…. (updated) by pgepps Wed, 02 Nov 2016 16:01:57 +0000 I always regard the opportunity to agree with you as a great boon. :-)

Comment on Not local, but state issues, at least…. (updated) by Jason Reese Mon, 31 Oct 2016 19:57:54 +0000 Excellent. Looks like we will agree on all seven. Not a huge shock, but interesting nonetheless.

Comment on Not local, but state issues, at least…. (updated) by pgepps Mon, 31 Oct 2016 19:56:53 +0000 Oh, good grief. I actually misread the list I was working from off to the edge of my screen. My comment isn’t even *about* the actual 780. Yes, I think–I have reservations?–but I lean toward wanting to be in favor of 780. But I did misread, and misremembered 781 as related to the one I misread, too.

Expect an update. Argh. Working mobile while conferencing students, rather than my usual relaxed Monday at the coffee shop clearing the decks of “to do” items.

Comment on Not local, but state issues, at least…. (updated) by Jason Reese Mon, 31 Oct 2016 19:53:54 +0000 You bet. Here is the pro-side:

Comment on Not local, but state issues, at least…. (updated) by pgepps Mon, 31 Oct 2016 19:49:08 +0000 OK, I will. The summary on the ballot was certainly cryptic. Thanks!

Comment on Not local, but state issues, at least…. (updated) by Jason Reese Mon, 31 Oct 2016 19:48:08 +0000 Take another look at 780; I don’t think it says what you think it says. Other than that, we are in jolly accord.