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He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

I was just thinking today that I should drop the editor at Library Journal a line to inquire about the status of my reviewing application, but they beat me to it. I got an email saying I'd been accepted as a religion reviewer! I'll get my first assignment in a few weeks.

On a highly tangential note, if the church is granted infallibility, what point is there in her spending time and effort debating theological issues before settling them? As far as I know, it is not a part of the Roman Catholic doctrine that the pope is infallible only when he has undertaken some minimum amount of study. He could define dogmas much more easily by some randomizing device, like the Urim and Thummim of the Old Testament, or perhaps by flipping a coin: heads, Mary is coredemptrix; tails, not. Sounds irresponsible? Exactly my point: perhaps the reason God did not grant the church infallibility was to give her the dignity of freedom. The moral significance of responsibility depends on the real possibility of being irresponsible.

I also don't understand the belief of some Catholics that it is often "inopportune" to define a true doctrine as dogma at a particular time. Supposedly Newman's resistance to the doctrine of papal infallibility was along these lines. Usually the concern is ecumenical: if such-and-such is made de fide, then such-and-such church (usually the Orthodox) will be less likely to submit to Rome. Such reasoning strikes me as sinister, as if to say "We'll put up a front of similarity until the heretics join us, and then spring the new doctrine on them." If a doctrine is part and parcel of the apostolic faith, then the members of the church deserve to be told so immediately.

Lubbock has a new Indian restaurant! Happy, happy, joy, joy!


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