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Ice Age: the Evolution & Extinction of Thought

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 22, 2005

Curran said the personal action the Vatican took against him "had a tremendous chilling effect on theologians. Look at what the chilling effect has done in moral theology for example. Very few people were willing to write on sexuality for a long time because, even if you were, quote, a lay person, you were still teaching in a Catholic institution, and you didn't want to get into it. Now I think it's changing a bit, but certainly for a good 10 to 15 years after my case, the chill factor was very, very present."

Boy and girls, let's do a little progressive paleontology, so as to track the spectacular development of Catholic intellectual life from its tender beginnings to its zenith, the better to see the lethal consequences of the Ratzinger Effect at the dawn of the doctrinal Ice Age (warning: have at least two hankies at the ready):

1965: First Donovan LPs appear. Proto-feminist "Lucy" in Peanuts comic.

Pre-Cambrian Curran: "To survive, the Church must OK contraception."
Pre-Cambrian McBrien: "To survive, the Church must dispense with celibacy."
Pre-Cambrian Chittister: "To survive, the Church must ordain women."

1975: First "s/he" pronoun in print. Hetero liturgists extinct.

Devonian Curran: "To survive, the Church must OK contraception."
Devonian McBrien: "To survive, the Church must dispense with celibacy."
Devonian Chittister: "To survive, the Church must ordain women."

1985: Corita dies. Neo-con mags appear.

Jurassic Curran: "To survive, the Church must OK contraception."
Jurassic McBrien: "To survive, the Church must dispense with celibacy."
Jurassic Chittister: "To survive, the Church must ordain women."

1995: Whitewater-gate: emergence of Catholic Clinton apologists.

Pleistocene Curran: "To survive, the Church must OK contraception."
Pleistocene McBrien: "To survive, the Church must dispense with celibacy."
Pleistocene Chittister: "To survive, the Church must ordain women."

2005: Ratzinger elected Benedict XVI. Thinking, reading outlawed.

Post-Reese Curran: "To survive, the Church must OK contraception."
Post-Reese McBrien: "To survive, the Church must dispense with celibacy."
Post-Reese Chittister: "To survive, the Church must ordain women."

Notice the changes?

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Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Sterling - May. 23, 2005 8:57 PM ET USA

    Thanks, this is good advice!

  • Posted by: Coco - May. 23, 2005 4:36 PM ET USA

    Sterling: If your son is still young you have hope. Otherwise, maybe he should wait a few years until the Fr. Crankys (and Fr. Cranks) die off..

  • Posted by: - May. 23, 2005 7:49 AM ET USA

    "Otherwise, as I’ve often said, I agreed with everything [John Paul] said except when he talked about church, women or sex." Yuck, yuck. I'm sure Curran's Call to Action adherents never tire of hearing this line. As Uncle D has himself often said, enjoy the applause while you can, amigo.

  • Posted by: Sterling - May. 23, 2005 12:39 AM ET USA

    Somebody help me with this, and don't bite off my head. As far as I know, we are still allowed to talk about celibacy. So. Here I am, for a million years, a staunch defender of celibacy for priests. But lately I think, is this not unhealthy? NOT BECAUSE OF THE SEX BIT. But because so many priests are so odd, so anti-social. I'd love my son to be a priest, but the thought of him having to live for years with Father Cranky in a rectory seems so unhealthy. Help me with this, don't scold.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - May. 22, 2005 10:46 PM ET USA

    Great blog, Diogenes. Indeed, as Jesus & His Church keep moving forward, we see that Frs. Curran & McBrien, although still striving to do damage to Holy Mother Church, are truly wallowing in a dinghy (threaded tenuously to the Ship, the Church), drunk in their self-centered agenda that has nothing to do with Jesus and His Church. As for Sister Joan, well, her convent is dying while the traditional/loyal-to-the-Church/humble Benedictine sisters are flourishing. The Holy Spirit is hard at work.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - May. 22, 2005 8:42 PM ET USA

    "Ratzinger elected Benedict XVI. Thinking, reading outlawed." ----- nope, don't notice the difference...and, true to form, they'll make themselves (who are the perps of various heresy's) look like the victims of some grave injustice. Pre-Conceived Curran (circa 95 a.d.): "To survive, the Church must OK contraception." Pre-Conceived McBrien (circa 95 a.d.): "To survive..." ***Momma was right, some things never change.

  • Posted by: - May. 22, 2005 8:52 AM ET USA

    Classic! The phrase, as best I can tell, comes from a 1st amendment jurisprudence that presupposes a relativistic view of the world, at least to an extent. The court often strikes down legislation regulating unsavory speech because, if it did not, a 'chilling effect' would be felt by all speakers. Underlying this is a notion that we need a robust marketplace of ideas where good ideas and bad ideas are bandied about equally. Fortunately the Church is not the same. Dress warm, Curran!

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