July 10, 2011

Catholic Word Note...

From Fr. Z's Blog, Card. Levada opines about the upcoming Assisi meeting. (Cardinal Levada is attempting to defuse some of the worries that the upcoming "inter-faith gathering for peace" will give off the same mushy symbolism as the last two.)

...The meeting, to be held in October, follows upon two similar events hosted by Blessed John Paul II. All three of the meetings have caused a stir among certain ecclesial circles, with some people accusing the Popes of syncretism, or giving the impression that all religions are equal....

The word Syncretism actually means the blending of religions. That was the way things were in the Classical World, where you could offer incense at various temples, and join a mystery cult, and maybe attend a Jewish synagogue now and then. The same blending is also seen in today's "New Age" concoctions, in which Jesus is but one of many religious sages. Syncretism was not what the Assisi meetings were criticized for. What is the word for the idea that all or various religions are equal?

Cardinal Newman wrote:

Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. Devotion is not necessarily founded on faith. Men may go to Protestant Churches and to Catholic, may get good from both and belong to neither. They may fraternise together in spiritual thoughts and feelings, without having any views at all of doctrine in common, or seeing the need of them. Since, then, religion is so personal a peculiarity and so private a possession, we must of necessity ignore it in the intercourse of man with man. If a man puts on a new religion every morning, what is that to you?...

The word Cardinal Levada should probably have used was "liberalism," but I'm sure he would have found that word to be more of a hot potato than the issue he is dealing with.

Word Note logo


Posted by John Weidner at July 10, 2011 8:39 AM
Weblog by John Weidner