Category: language

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On the Need For Dialogue

On the Need For Dialogue Therefore, let us not be provoked with these men, let us not use anger as an excuse, but let us talk with them gently and with kindness. Nothing is more forceful and effective than treatment which is gentle and kind. This is why Paul told us to hold fast to such conduct with all the earnestness of our hearts when he said: “The servant of the Lord must not be...

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The Terminological Inexactitudes of Cardinal Burke and Bp Schneider

On Tuesday, September 24, Edward Pentin’s blog at the National Catholic Register published a joint statement written by Cardinal Raymond Burke and his close ally in the episcopate, Athanasius Schneider, the Auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan. The statement insisted on the two men’s fidelity to the Petrine office and love for the person of Pope Francis. (Mike Lewis touched on the document last week in WPI.) Their statement also makes a number of false claims–or...

Catholics and the Either-Or Fallacy

People have a habit of thinking in a binary manner: Either X or Y. If one doesn’t support X, they must therefore support Y. The problem is, that’s only sometimes true. It’s only true if there are only two possible choices and you must pick one. But, if choosing Z is an option, if rejecting both X and Y is an option, or if choosing elements of X and Y are options, then the either-or...

Revisiting Orwell in the Era of Intra-Catholic Culture Wars

In 1945, George Orwell, who was born on this day in 1903, wrote a long essay called Politics and the English Language in which he warned of a growing modern tendency to use English vocabulary to specifically political ends—avoiding evocative language to disguise defenses of immoral practices, using long-winded and needlessly abstract words and phrases to lend poorly-considered ideas an air of being well-considered, and using jargon that can only be understood within the context...