Once again Kelly Wilson has declined to post a comment of mine on his blog. I posted the comment in response to Kelly’s post titled “Ratzinger’s Neglected Child“. As usual, I don’t consider it irrelevant or uncivil, so I think he was wrong to reject it. Kelly didn’t provide any explanation for bouncing it.
As a matter of fact, shortly after I posted the comment (within about four hours), I got a notice from Kelly saying he is deleting his blog entirely within a week! This is, oh, the third or fourth blog that he has deleted since I first encountered him and began commenting on his blog posts. (I’m not saying he deletes his blogs because of me. Only he knows why he does it.)
Anyway, here is the comment of mine that Kelly rejected. Again, I’m posting it because I’m opposed to comment censorship except for reasons of incivility or obscenity (and of course spam). After all, I put a fair bit of thought and effort into composing it:
“I have continued reflecting on this topic, trying to verbalize an idea
that was rattling around in my head. I finally came across a CDF
document which I find expresses the idea that had been eluding me:
It is of course true that through the faith that leads to salvation men are converted to God,(32) who reveals Himself in His Son Jesus Christ; but it would be wrong to deduce from this that the Church’s dogmas can be belittled or even denied. Indeed the conversion to God which we should realize through faith is a form of obedience (cf. Rom. 16:26), which should correspond to the nature of divine Revelation and its demands.
‘Now this Revelation, in the whole plan of salvation, reveals the mystery of God who sent His Son into the world (cf. 1 Jn.4:14) and teaches its application to Christian conduct. Moreover it demands that, in full obedience of the intellect and will to God who reveals,(33) we accept the proclamation of the good news of salvation as it is infallibly taught by the pastors of the Church. The faithful, therefore, through faith are converted as they should to God, who reveals Himself in Christ, when they adhere to Him in the integral doctrine of the Catholic faith.’
[Mysterium Ecclesiae, section 4.]
“Applying this to the instant discussion, I admit that charity may be the
primary condition for attaining salvation. But I submit that it’s not
the only one. The reason the tenets of the faith must be adhered to is
because they are given by God so that we might know the truth. In
rejecting them we are rejecting truth — God is Love, but he is also
Truth. Just as in rejecting the love that he manifests in Christ, we
are rejecting God; by the same token, in rejecting revealed truth we are
also rejecting God.
“Now of course there remains the question of each individual’s
culpability in rejecting the revealed Gospel. But as an objective
matter, to reject revelation is to reject Truth.
“Of course, as stated in the quote, there is also the matter of
obedience. Christ submitted himself to humiliation, torture and death,
neither protesting his innocence nor defending his physical well-being,
for the simple reason that it was his Father’s will that he do so; in
other words, he did it out of obedience. Taking up our cross and
following in his steps, means obeying the demands of, yes, charity, but
also those of humility and obedience, even (or especially) when those
demands conflict with our wishes or even our physical well-being.
“As professed Catholics, believing the tenets of the Faith is a matter of
obedience to the shepherds whom God has appointed over us. Refusal to do so would seem to be an act not of obedience and humility but of
rebellion and pride. Hardly compatible with Jesus’ injunction to those
who would be his disciples, to take up our cross and follow in his
“As to non-Catholics, they would not be bound to obey the bishops as
obviously as a Catholic is, who has professed to believe explicitly all
that the Church believes and teaches. Nevertheless, the Gospels and
other parts of the New Testament do indicate that there is condemnation for rejecting the Gospel. Again, the degree of culpability varies in individual cases, nevertheless the scriptures do imply that there is virtue in believing and vice in rejecting the Gospel (e.g., Jesus said that his sheep recognize his voice and follow him (John 10:26-27), and that those who reject him do so because their deeds are evil (John 3:18-21)) — since again, to reject the Gospel is to reject God’s own evealed truth.
“So in sum, while I agree that charity might be the highest consideration, I would argue that whether or not one assents to specific propositions of the Faith does have a bearing on salvation; not in the sense of getting the wrong answers on a test, but as a question of whether one is inclined to accept and submit to the revealed truths that God wished to reveal to us and which we are called upon to obey, and if not, why not.”