Saturday, December 7, 2019

God is still incarnate

"in . . . the glory of the Godhead, the Son of God existing before ages, as God and consubstantial with the Father, sits in His conglorified flesh; for, under one adoration the one hypostasis, together with His flesh, is adored by every creature."

"in . . . gloria deitatis, Dei filius existens ante saecula ut Deus et patri consubstantialis sedet, conglorificata ei carne eius. Adoratur enim una hypostasis una adoratione cum carne eius, ab omni creatura."

     St. John Damascene, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, ST 1.

Non possum conubium sancire

"a couple cannot enter into marriage if they share a firm intention not to have children.  Priests and pastors should not officiate at weddings of couples who express this intention.  This does not mean that infertile individuals or women beyond the age of child-bearing cannot marry.  The inability to have children is not the same as taking active measures to prevent their conception.  The former is a physical condition, the latter is a moral choice."

     "The gift of children:  a statement of Evangelicals and Catholics Together," First things no. 297 (November 2019):  40 (37-42), italics mine.  Cf. 1983 CIC 1101 §1, italics mine:  "If . . . either or both of the parties by a positive act of the will exclude marriage itself, some essential element of marriage, or some essential property of marriage [(matrimonium ipsum vel matrimonii essentiale aliquod elementum, vel essentialem aliquam proprietatem)], the party contracts invalidly."  Latin from AAS 75.2 (1983), 193 (no corrigenda in the appendix).  1917 CIC 1081 §2:  "Matrimonial consent is an act of the will by which each party gives and accepts perpetual and exclusive rights to the body, for those actions that are of themselves suitable for the generation of children" (The 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of canon law in English translation with extensive scholarly apparatus, ed. Edward N. Peters (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2001), 372, italics mine).


Because "'a man without limits is as incapable of satisfaction as a man without hope'", "a culture of permission promises happiness but delivers [only] dissatisfaction.  In such a culture—our culture—the greatest gift we can give our fellow man is the word that limits.  That word is 'No!'"

     [R. R. Reno,] quoting John Waters.  "While we're at it," First things no. 297 (November 2019):  70.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

An Enlightened utilitarianism

"Let one not allow oneself to be moved at all by the air of cruelty that one might think one finds in this.  A man is nothing by comparison with the human species; a criminal is even less than nothing."

"Qu'on ne se laisse point émouvoir par l'air de cruauté qu'on pourroit croire trouver ici.  Un homme n'est rien, comparé à l'espèce humaine; un criminel est encore moins que rien."

     Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, proposing experimentation on the brains of living convicts (for "the good of society" (77), the larger purpose, say, of uncovering the "bonds" that account for the "marvelous union of body and soul"), Lettre sur le progrès des sciences (1752), 83-84 ("Utilités du supplice des criminels").  I was put onto this by William J. Hoye, "Muss man wählen zwischen Frieden oder Wahrheit?  Begründungen der Toleranz bei Ulrich Beck und Thomas von Aquin," Theologie und Philosophie 84 (2009):  376 (374-393).  Moreau de Maupertuis:  one should proceed "sans scrupule", having begun with cadavers and moved up to animals.  Hoye (who thinks Moreau de Maupertuis was serious about this):  "That this, too, was [a] part of the historic Enlightenment is [all too] easily forgotten."