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In discussions with others regarding the direction of the Church, the culture and our relation to God and to others, I am continually struck by how most people of whom I dialogue reduce teaching and discussions to themselves; now one may suggest that that is what is appropriate, to the individual, but does it allow each of us to neglect our responsibility to others? If the hierarchical Church does not teach, or if its teaching has become insidiously muddled via assimilation of the dominant cultural mores, which is to blame the pedestrian Catholic for espousing much of the same which is uttered by the non-believer? Pope Francis has analogized the church to ‘a field hospital, and reminded Catholics of the importance of triage when assisting a seriously injured person.’ Francis has said: “You don’t start by hectoring him about cholesterol. First things first. “You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else.” Nice analogy, the Pope’s – but if the Church is a “field hospital” it seems that many of the wounded are Church members, and this should be the Church’s initial concern; one does not engage the ‘enemy’ in a long slough if one’s ‘army’ is ill-equipped and ill-prepared; particularly since the officers-corps (Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and Pope Francis) have neglected to arm and drill the troops (lay-Catholics)…

Post-Vatican II – it seems that the Catholic Church – in the United States – has had been more interested in advancing many advocacies of the Democratic Party e.g., women rights, opposition to capital punishment, equal-rights, worker’s rights, advocacy for the disenfranchised, dignity of the human person, all the while the Church – in America – became more and more muted regarding such issues as preventing abortion, euthanasia, human trafficking, pornography, marital fidelity and divorce, the advance of sexual-perversity e.g., sodomy, and muted in the teaching and living lives of virtue i.e., acting on the words of Jesus Christ by ‘denying one’s very self (therein lays virtue) – daily – picking up one’s Cross and following Him…’

The Church (Catholic) – in America – has largely fallen silent in its teaching regarding sin¹; sin may be understood, as: “turning away from God” (Josef Pieper, The Concept of Sin St. Augustine’s Press, 2001)… Sin alternately is defined by many clergy as: “missing the mark,” which implies (i.e., logical necessity) an “ought” regarding one’s actions/choices… When one chooses/acts so as to accord with the “ought” one “hits the mark!” Hitting the mark is accord with Law of God…

¹ Sin may also be understood as, “choosing to act in contradiction to and/or with disregard for the natural law; the natural law may be understood as the complement of what is known as the formal cause (i.e., the essence of a thing), that complement being the final cause (i.e., the purpose which attends a thing e.g., a reproductive organ’s purpose is reproduction; purposes i.e., “ends,” final causes also telos, from the Aristotelian teleology; Saint Thomas Aquinas adopted and completed Aristotle’s metaphysics; the natural law participates in the Divine Law…

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We are conscious of those which disavow God – and thus discussions of “sin” would be labeled absurd, and we offer two comments, viz: 1.) When the Democratic Party nominated Hillary Clinton, the Hillary campaign – as revealed by the Wikileak’s documents – thought it politically expedient to intimate that Bernie Sanders is an atheist; by logical implication, Hillary and the DNC see the political advantage to at least feign a faith in God. But let’s face it; Hillary’s God, like the gods of most Democrats, look back at them in the mirror i.e., if they accept a God, it is a god which never disagrees with their political agenda… 2.) As I argue in a blog post titled: The presupposed (unconscious) theism of atheism, ‘…all arguments for and against God presuppose an intelligently ordered created existence to which the subjective mind must defer; to argue anything at all i.e., atheists in denial of God (i.e., the intelligent objective ordering principle of that which is) reduced their claims to the absurdity of parasites whom deny the host (the correspondence between their minds and the objective intelligible ordered existence) which sustain their claims…’

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Corporate sin i.e., those sins/actions which each of us do – together – consciously and unconsciously; consciously – so as to get along with others; as we set aside our moral obligation to admonish the sinner²; or unconsciously, largely because we are not even conscious of those actions as being sinful, but we are obliged to know the truth regarding moral actions/choices, thus we are guilty of sloth. The sin of “sloth” we have heretofore argued, is “inattentiveness to that which one ought to attend³” irrespective of whether we acknowledge such a thing, as sin…

² Note: admonishment is an act of love; what is the concern? Damnation vs. Salvation of he/she whom one admonishes; to be silent – as another sins – is to form a corporation i.e., a partnership in the sin… One does one’s duty i.e., loves the other when one brings the others attention to their “stepping across the line;” if one’s act of kindness is rejected, one has still acted out of concern for the other’s soul i.e., one has sought heir good…

³ We dealt with “The Sin of Sloth,” in a blog-post archived; Bob Butler shut down the blog in December 2017.

Through the denial, and/or ignorance of sin, we – in the culture of the USA – individually and collectively – have participated in allowing our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, Churches, and our Nation to be ruled by passions (concupiscence) rather than a law-of-reason i.e., the natural law. And we have for years been chastened culturally to ‘judge not’ – and often, we may have chastened others, to be non-judgmental (as often too, we may have been admonished by the Church to refrain from judging…); as if Jesus Christ admonished us to not judge at all. Although, Christ requires us to judge, but to judge justly, viz: “Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly. John 7: 24” Admonishing the sinner (and we are all sinners) – sans malice – is an act-of-charity (love), yet we have allowed ourselves to be confused – individually and corporately – about our obligation to judge sin, and about many other things besides (e.g., what “love” is*).

* We will deal with “love” in a separate post, but note that “love” cannot be separated from truth, from the good, or from the moral law…

The sins which we refer to as “corporate” (also referred to as corporal sin…) requires that as we participate in a denial of the truth of what we do, and what we advocate; becoming tolerant – as individuals, families, groups, communities etcetera – of small transgressions of moral impropriety; gradually we have collectively fashioned a milieu which gradually – and tacitly – has become morally blind and permissive. Those individuals which choose – and have chosen – to stand on moral principle, have become social outcasts. Moral laxity has become common-place and ubiquitous; it is what became our culture through our active – and corporate – participation in neglecting our moral obligations to the Truth! Thus, the culture which was erstwhile known as Christendom has become – as Saint Pope John Paul II so labeled – the culture of death…

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