Well, it’s been quite an interesting week. Response to the posts here at Coming Home have ranged from polite discourse to me being a heretic, promoting heresy, covering and promoting mortal sin, the sinking of the Bismarck and the Titanic, and the explosion of the Challenger.
Those caught up in this have been unrepentant heretics such as your humble host (if we are to believe some who have suggested as much), sincere philosophers and theologians who have weighed in on both sides (Meaning this will only be resolved in Heaven), as well as garden variety victims of the psychological affliction of scrupulosity.
I’d first like to address the scrupulous. Scrupulosity is a psychological/emotional affliction that dresses itself up in vestments and passes itself off as moral theology (on steroids). It’s a serious matter that is quite debilitating. But it’s the individual’s affliction, and not my sin.
As for those great thinkers such as Chris Tollefsen and Mark Shea, per usual, their writing keeps me up at nights when the house is quiet. These are giants at whose intellectual table I have been well-fed. Perhaps they are correct, and perhaps it is my life experiences that have colored my vision, cracked the prism through which I perceive and respond to the world, but on this one, we’ll have to agree to disagree for now. Make no mistake; these men are priceless gifts from God to the Church, and one issue does not an adversary make (not even a hundred with them!)
I simply see no mortal sin here, as so many have suggested. I see no venial sin here as many have suggested. I do not think that murderous, brutal people are entitled to the truth and ought to be exposed through covert operations. Perhaps this makes me a consequentialist, perhaps not. But I can’t forget so very many experiences that I wish I could forget, so many children who were pimped and pumped full of drugs, many who have since died of AIDS.
I wonder how many who take issue with Lila Rose would argue that her videos are poison fruit and ought never be used against Planned Parenthood?
I wonder how many would, after the Lila debates, now call for the immediate dismantling of the CIA, the national Security Agency (NSA), the abolition of undercover and plainclothes operations by the police, covert ops by the military, etc.
I find the entire magnitude of this eruption, along with its timing, quite disturbing, coming as they do after four years of undercover work and when LA has yielded its greatest fruit, when Planned Parenthood is critically wounded. Individual motives, though they be good, this has had the effect of straining gnats while babies and teens are butchered wholesale by this organization.
Certainly there is a time and place for such discussions, as that is how ethics and moral theology are done. But given the consequences in real blood, I believe this discussion to have been woefully ill-timed. And there is another aspect of this that has not been discussed, and that is the mortal sin of detraction.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
“Detraction is the unjust damaging of another’s good name by the revelation of some fault or crime of which that other is really guilty or at any rate is seriously believed to be guilty by the defamer.”
That’s something to think about, and my last word on this debate.
I’m moving on.