168 Chapter 13
WHY IT WAS WORTHWHILE
is trying to instruct the goose as to the proper manner of its laying,
when it instructs the New Class regarding its moral duties. After all,
according to the New Class, it would have gotten nowhere, if it had
waited for the Church to tell it how to proceed -- as the New Class is
ever ready to tell the Church, beginning with the New Class version of
the encounter between Galileo and the Church.
Thus, the lack of any apparent intellectual or theological
connection to the positive activities of the New Class is politically and
psychologically detrimental to the Church's efforts to preach the Good
News to it. The kids are apt to treat the 'wisdom' of doddering old
grandmother with little seriousness, or even with derision, especially
when ignoring grandmother has in the past been a productive, even a
It should be emphasized, therefore, that, however evil the kids are,
or how rude they have been to grandmother, there is still an intellectual
and theological defect on grandmother's side, that will not be remedied
no matter how nice or 'loyal' the kids decide to be.
Thus this homely image is meant to make two serious points. First,
the lack of an intellectually and theologically serious relation to the
positive activities of the New Class leaves the Church in the political
and psychological position of appearing to 'intrude' whenever it speaks
to the New Class. Second, the political and psychological perception is
correct, in intellectual terms. The built-in 'critical distance' of all
present day Catholic theology is decidedly unhelpful to the Church
when it preaches the Good News to the New Class. The Church's
moral teaching to the New Class appears to be wholly negative in
character, and always debatable, even then.
The lack of theological or intellectual
(as distinct from liturgical)
vocabulary regarding the positive
activities of the New Class impedes
its evangelization to some extent.
New Class Catholicism's
subservience to the New Class is
even worse, since this must
eviscerate the fundamental mode of
evangelization, which is liturgical.
Thus, for example, if we take the 'natural law' regarding economic
matters to mean what traditional Catholic theology has taught us to
think that it means, a social or economic theory grounded in 'natural'
'right reason' and reinforced by divine authority, then for 'modern
scientific' men the Church's moral teachings appear to remain
grounded (for example) in concepts of 'justice' and 'fairness' that at root
assume that Man is still arguing over how a fixed economic pie ought
to be divided.
This underlying economic assumption -- which is almost certainly
incorrect -- could not possibly make the Church's moral 'argument'
stronger. However, the problem is really much more serious, because it
is deeper. The discussion of 'morality' is still implicitly set up, not as
the re-presentation of the New Covenant, but as an 'argument' -- as the
intellectual determination of the proper moral life, a determination that
is 'naturally' available to Man if he would simply stand within the
correct 'critical distance,' the position of 'right reason.'
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.