Monday, 17 February 2014

Staying with Father Murphy's God, part 3 - Correspondence with Ken Miller

1) New blog on the kid : Responding to Miller, Staying with Father Murphy's God, part 1, 2) part 2, 3) Correspondence of Hans-Georg Lundahl : Staying with Father Murphy's God, part 3 - Correspondence with Ken Miller, 4) Correspondence with Ken Miller (part 4 of Staying with Father Murphy's God)

Hans-Georg Lundahl to Ken Miller
15/02/14 à 11h22
One AronRa described you as a "Traditional Catholic"
Are you a Trad, or is he just mixing up his terminology?

I have not any direct access to your book "Finding Darwin's God" right now,

Is this a fair epitomé of it?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Ken Miller to Hans-Georg Lundahl
15/02/14 à 16h46
Re: One AronRa described you as a "Traditional Catholic"
Dear Friend,

Yes, I think this review is a fair summary of my book. You may read an excerpt from the book's final chapter here:

As to whether I am a "traditional Catholic," I suppose that depends on what you mean by traditional. I certainly don't agree with the Church on all things, and have publicly spoken against the ban on contraception and in favor of married priests. I prefer to describe myself as a "practicing Catholic." I attend mass regularly, receive the sacraments, and try to practice the faith in my daily life.


Ken Miller
Hans-Georg Lundahl to Ken Miller
15/02/14 à 19h25
Re: One AronRa described you as a "Traditional Catholic"
Ah, in that case you are not what is referred to as a Traddy Trad ... I was wondering because AronRa was describing you as a "traditional Catholic" but then he is not exactly a genius of terminological correctness.

Will read up on your link with extract before responding, thank you very much.

I am not sure you will call me "dear friend" after reading my answer, but thank you for the goodwill!

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Ken Miller to Hans-Georg Lundahl
15/02/14 à 21h11
Re: One AronRa described you as a "Traditional Catholic"
Your "answer?" I didn't know there was a question.

Hans-Georg Lundahl to Ken Miller
17/02/14 à 15h38
Re: One AronRa described you as a "Traditional Catholic"
Answers are - at least appropriately so - given to two things. Questions from people who themselves know they are asking. And wrong answers given by people who think they are answering.

I put your book with the extract in the latter category. I think very firmly Father Murphy was more or less right and you are not./HGL
Ken Miller to Hans-Georg Lundahl
17/02/14 à 15h52
Re: One AronRa described you as a "Traditional Catholic"
Dear Hans-Georg,

You are, of course, welcome to your opinion. The scientific evidence is very clear, as I am sure you know. It would be very much against the Catholic tradition to place faith against that science, and this is something that the leaders of the Church have realized for quite a while.

As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote, when he headed the International Theological Commission,

"According to the widely accepted scientific account, the universe erupted 15 billion years ago in an explosion called the “Big Bang” and has been expanding and cooling ever since. Later there gradually emerged the conditions necessary for the formation of atoms, still later the condensation of galaxies and stars, and about 10 billion years later the formation of planets. In our own solar system and on earth (formed about 4.5 billion years ago), the conditions have been favorable to the emergence of life. While there is little consensus among scientists about how the origin of this first microscopic life is to be explained, there is general agreement among them that the first organism dwelt on this planet about 3.5-4 billion years ago. Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism."

I will stand with Pope Benedict on this point, and by most standards, that makes me a traditional Catholic.

With Best Wishes,

Hans-Georg Lundahl to Ken Miller
17/02/14 à 16h19
Re: One AronRa described you as a "Traditional Catholic"
Father Cekada and Bishop Dolan would very much disagree with your criterium.

And saying "it would be very much against the Catholic tradition to place faith against that science" comes, apart from the answer "from Ratzinger" from where? It is even obvious that the two thousand years of tradition cannot have been dealing with exactly that science before it was around.

I mean - even if you DO accept him as a Pope or Pope Emeritus, that does not mean everything he opines about the content of tradition is automatically right.

As far as scientific evidence being "very clear" I would like people to be clear on the point of question "on what point"?

But will you for the moment leave me an hour or two to write the response (it is a detailed essay, link will be sent), and if later you wish to excommunicate me, I fear the wrath of Father Murphy more than yours, ecclesiastically speaking./HGL

Appendix: What does "Traditional Catholic" mean?

Miller referred in the later reply to "standing with Pope Benedict XVI in this point and by most standards that makes me a traditional Catholic" - well, if the points had been rejection of contraception, preservation of celibate clergy, maintaining the Extraordinary Form of the Mass or possibly a Uniate rite which changed less during the Liturgic Reforms of Vatican II, or also rejecting the Biblical Scholarship of men like Bultmann in favour of staying with or close to traditional ascribed authorships of the four Gospels, in such cases standing with "pope Benedict XVI" would indeed have counted either as marking a Traditional or as marking at least a Conservative Catholic. But if the specific point is the one in which "pope Benedict XVI" clearly stands apart from both Patristic and Scholastic Tradition in favour of what he considers Modern Science, well, it is like saying one is traditional for agreeing with Pius XII in Humani Generis that Adam's body could have been formed "out of previously living material" when one is also disagreeing with his caution that his soul was created directly by God, when one is also ascribing human conscience (language, morality, reason, piety, aesthetics) to strictly evolutionary factors, maybe just pro forma admitting a strictly inverifiable immaterial soul was somehow added to these things rather than these things coming from the directly created and immaterial soul.

There is a movement very often referred to as Traditional Catholics, and Miller obviously does not belong to it, even if polemically he claimed to have a right to the title. If you go along with what Benedict XVI said, plus use the Extraordinary Form (older ritual in its capacity of reauthorised along the new one) you can by various factions of that movement count on being referred to as "Traditional" (by those agreeing with you), "Conservative" (by both Lefebvrians and Modernists), "Half Conservative" (pejorative from Lefebvrians and Sedevacantists).

If you accept Benedict XVI was and Francis I is Pope, but think they are horrid such, really Modernists, more or less openly (and what Miller just said about Ratzinger's theological commission will give these an extra reason for the horror), and therefore conclude they have to be opposed in certain particulars despite being Popes, you can be considered either Traditional or Lefebvrian. Both Half Conservatives and some Sedes will usually grant you the title Traditional Catholic in such a case. And a similar view of these men and the freedom to oppose even Popes in the name of Tradition characterises Robert Sungenis. But less on grounds of Liturgy and Social applications of Catholicism, more on grounds of Creationism and Geocentrism, especially.

And if you agree with Lefebvrians or Sungenis or both that Ratzinger and Bergoglio are horrid, and that Wojtyla was so too, but cannot imagine any circumstance under which this Modernist horridness is compatible with a public confession of the Catholic faith, and conclude that they were no longer Catholic when elected, and hence not eligible even if elected, and hence not valdly elected, hence not Popes you are a Sedevacantist, which can also be referred to as a Trad. But sometimes Sedes refuse the word Trad and use that for Lefebvrians. And some of these insist there is another Pope (in Palmar, in Buenos Aires, or in Kansas, for instance) and that this replacement was theologically necessary and that Sedesvacantism and Lefebvrianism are sins, Eastern Orthodoxy alias Schism in disguise. And some Lefebvrians would state a preference for certain Eastern Orthodox (the Traditional kind) over Protestants and even Modernist Catholics.

None of the above would call Miller a Traditional Catholic. All would call him a Modernist. They might or might not laud his intention of practising (I wonder about practising without believing correctly), but might never in a century laud or even taunt his theological position as Traditional Catholicism.

I left the writing of above to get some food, I found a party, I am going back to it again, when finishing this, but I thought it would be more credible if written before I had had more cider than just one glass.

Here endeth part 3 of Staying with Father Murphy's God, which is so far final, feliciter explicit as the medieval scribe said, and I hope the party is still outside the library when I shall have sent this to Ken.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Faustinus with
Fortyfour Companions, Martyrs

PS, I forgot - day before yesterday - a very obvious and very good Traditional Catholic (though he was explicitly Heliocentric or at least Turning Earth : the late Rev. Philip Lynch C.S.Sp. - Just for that I was reminded of Ireland three times today. Or actually didn't forget it totally, but wanted to give a link when I thought of it, but had no time to search it:

Creation vs. Evolution : St Patrick after the Ancient Narrations, Rev. Philip Lynch C.S.Sp. - Preview

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