The Feel-Good Doctrine

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 28, 2004

Read the entire Fox news interview, and-- basing your replies solely on the content of Cardinal McCarrick's statements-- answer the following questions:

  1. Is The DaVinci Code (mentioned twice by interviewer Chris Wallace) a good book?
  2. What is the evidence for a "revival" of Christian faith-- aside from that fact that most people see an upturn in the number of attacks on the faith?
  3. What moral laws does Christianity offer to guide personal morality, especially in the area of family life? Anything beyond the Golden Rule?
  4. What is the significance of Christmas for Christians, aside from the fact that it makes us feel good?
  5. If any sort of religious faith produces hope and affirms morality, why is it important to accept the Christian message? (Chris Wallace asked essentially this question; check out the answer again.)
  6. Does the Christian faith offer anything beyond an affirmation? What is "salvation?"
  7. In an interview about religious faith and the Christmas celebration, who is likely to mention the name of Jesus more than once: a cardinal-archbishop of the Catholic Church, or a secular TV journalist working for Rupert Murdoch? Go ahead: check.
  8. Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

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    • Posted by: Brad - Dec. 30, 2004 7:00 PM ET USA

      With all due respect to the posters here - I'm as critical as they come (sometimes too much) and I am willing to engage dissenters whatever the cost - but I think we have to watch that we may be overly critical or harsh to the man here. Often, he says things in a PC way. Often he does not reprimand or put a stop to activities that probably should be reprimanded or stopped. But he is not an outright dissenter and he may just be growing in his relationship with Christ. Pray.

    • Posted by: Brad - Dec. 30, 2004 6:57 PM ET USA

      To be honest, I haven't always been happy with McCarrick's actions or lack thereof in the past. But, I thought this interview is the strongest I've seen him. Let's continue to pray for him. Perhaps the "revival" is giving him momentum.

    • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 29, 2004 2:05 PM ET USA

      With your permission, Diogenes, I would like to send these questions, adapted as direct questions, to the Cardinal himself in DC. OK? And, I will ask Cardinal McCarrick to read (or re-read) Archbishop Saint Thomas Becket's epistle in the Office of Readings from December 29, pages 1279-1281 in the 4-vol. for a little primer on being in Communion with Rome. Then, I will ask Cardinal McCarrick why he doesn't retire or leave the Church if he insists on actually being out of Communion with Rome.

    • Posted by: - Dec. 28, 2004 8:36 PM ET USA

      The good Cardinal is a product of NYC. He bobs and weaves on every question like a NYC politico. Some day he'll become forceful and truly stand up as a Prince of the Church; but don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen!

    • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Dec. 28, 2004 6:23 PM ET USA

      No DANGER of converting the masses here! or, for that matter, clearing up the confusion sown by such works as The DaVinci Code. but hey, look, there are more important things for a Cardinal to do than have to warn his flock like a shepherd as to the traps and snares that are all about. Give him a break, all he really wanted to do was say "Merry Christmas" and "don't worry, be happy" and then came those trick questions. Sigh, might just as well had McBrien or Greely on instead.

    • Posted by: - Dec. 28, 2004 6:08 PM ET USA

      8. Has Cardinal McCarrick ever issued an unequivocal statement about anything in the past 50 years? If so, please send in contest photo to Christmas with the Cardinal: Live with Ratzinger at Lincoln Center, featuring the Magisterial Jazz Quartet. Cardinal Ratzinger will be playing some standards, McCarrick will be reprising some 1970's free jazz favorites, with no scales.

    • Posted by: - Dec. 28, 2004 5:46 PM ET USA

      Continued: And how can "hard, historical fact" both support AND contradict Sacred Scripture? But hey, I'm just one of those "fundamentalist Catholics" who actually believes that Scripture is inerrant, and that that's been infallibly defined by the Magisterium. It's not like I'm a bishop or anything. I don't even have a degree in theology. I have, however, read Providentissimus Deus.

    • Posted by: - Dec. 28, 2004 5:41 PM ET USA

      Wallace: "The Da Vinci Code" makes up a whole new story about the life of Jesus. These covers of the news magazines, their stories inside look for scholarship that either supported or contradicted in hard, historical fact the story of the Bible and the nativity. Does it bother you when people don't just accept the story of Christ on faith? McCarrick: Well, that's a hard question to answer in that precise way. Um, where's the defense of the historicity of the Gospels?

    • Posted by: - Dec. 28, 2004 2:59 PM ET USA

      The Archbishop Cardinal of Washington D.C. has chosen to avoid denying the body and blood of Christ to "Catholic" public figures who promote or support the act of abortion. So it really doesn't matter what he "says" about Christ because he has already acted as thought Christ, truly present in Holy Eucharist, is not worthy protection from sacrilege. What can we teach this Cardinal after we smile? Well, perhaps it is he who ought to be teaching us; is that not what he is called to do by Christ?

    • Posted by: - Dec. 28, 2004 1:45 PM ET USA

      Most bishops in the U.S. are product of the 60’s culture and they see the world through that warped mentality. They do not see the seriousness of the attacks on Christianity or the decline of the Church. They have the worse of two worlds, they are truly clericalists or “specialists” and on the other hand, they are through modernists. They see things through a distorted prism and walk blinded to the reality around them.

    • Posted by: - Dec. 28, 2004 1:00 PM ET USA

      Good questions, Di. Why don’t you send them to His Eminence and try to elicit real answers? Better yet, add these questions to the list—inquiring minds want to know: 1) Is the Post-VCII Church still “catholic”? 2) If yes, is there salvation outside the Church? 3) Is there eternal damnation (a “hell”)? 4) Do homosexuals belong in the Catholic clergy? 5) Why did you lie about the true intent of Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter re. pro-abort politicians? 6) Pedophilia crisis or homosexual crisis?

    • Posted by: - Dec. 28, 2004 9:49 AM ET USA

      The cardinal's responses weren't awful, but they were incomplete and probably calculatedly so. Still, I'm not sure chastising the cardinal will achieve the desired effect. Instead, let's treat him like I do a student who is having difficulty mastering a subject: First, smile. Then prompt for further explanation by saying, "Very good, and what else?"