FAITH Magazine September – October 2011
This writer distinctly remembers back in the '90s being told by a good and respected professor that he would be worried if the theology of Faith movement grew in influence in the Church, but not nearly so worried concerning its philosophy. He had, one thought at the time, unwittingly enunciated the heart of the crisis in the Church, namely, not the lack of influence of our humble apostolate, but the lack of harmony of faith and reason at all ecclesial levels.
The heart of Faith's apostolate is to promote a development of such harmony through showing the harmony of the identity of the Word made Flesh with the pattern of the creation. In this issue, among other things, we make the link with the contemporary crisis of culture in and out of the Church.
Our editorial attempts to sketch anew the harmony between natural knowledge and that supernatural knowledge which is our end and final blessedness. It also depicts how that harmony is intellectually undermined today, undermining the Christian use of language about God, which dynamic is clearly at the root of the recent impoverishment of liturgical language which Fr Tim Finigan overviews in his piece.
Fr Dylan James powerfully presents Edward Holloway's Christocentric attempt to challenge the "sex is for loving" philosophy which is so clearly at the heart of the incoherence of much Catholic catechesis in this area, and of the modern breakdown of the family. William Oddie convincingly draws out some of the social effects of this breakdown. The relegation in our Catholic schools of formation in faithfulness and other duties beneath "equal rights" and exam results is one of the most heart-breaking drivers of this process. John Foley's description of one unseemly skirmish over one of our many schools seems to indicate that this relegation, for the most part, is set to continue.
One of the more subtle forms, yet for all that resilient and influential, of the Catholic disjunction concerning faith and reason is present in otherwise fecund thinkers. See the diffidence concerning the ability of modern knowledge of nature to be convincing evidence for God referred to in our review of Paul Haffner's quality book and our Cutting Edge column, as well its presence on our Letters' page. Again our editorial argues that a developed natural philosophy and theology, which are open to mutual synthesis and to real contact with the transcendent, as envisaged for instance by Vatican One in Dei Filius, can help to free our intellectual vision from the smothering effects of a too Platonic conception of the absoluteand infinite.
As we argue there, and in effect throughout this issue, the resultant "theology of nescience scandalises and shakes the faith of many in the Church." Surely, with or without our little movement and magazine, we can do much better than that.