Wednesday, May 19, 2010


A good point:

When David Kaczynski realized that his brother Ted was the Unabomber, he made the hard choice and called the FBI. Thanks to David's moral courage, the man responsible for murdering and maiming dozens of people with homemade bombs sent through the mail was stopped before he could carry out his grander schemes of putting bombs on airliners and detonating them over cities. When Kaczynski received a million-dollar reward from the FBI, he donated most of the money to his brother's victims.

Kaczynski had no special moral training to prepare him to turn in his brother or make other wrenching decisions. Until then, his life's work had been helping his father run a foam rubber business. It is therefore instructive to contrast his actions with those of the Pope, a man supposedly chosen by God to lead the world in the path of righteousness, and of his ring of cardinals and bishops.

And yet they're always extolling the virtues of seminary training and the utter necessity of "human formation" (read: brainwashing) for future priests.

And yet...I know plenty of decent, good people who never underwent any special training. And I know plenty of priests who don't seem all that particularly more holy than anyone else. And if it were so necessary for holiness to go through such a process, they'd make all Catholics do it, or else it would imply a holier-than-thou attitude about clergy.

Methinks the resocialization they put seminarians through is designed to make them pliable and institutionalize them into the clerical system, but has proven itself worthless when it comes to forming any sort of "holiness" or actual virtue. "Discipline," maybe, but not for good. I think we're seeing the fruits of that whole rotten system now. You can't train people to be good.

I think that's the point of the David Kaczynski example: the "moral" training and discipline of "human formation" all these clerics went through, allegedly to make them holy or better people...didn't succeed in that at all. Nor do I think it was ever really intended to. What it did succeed at accomplishing is what it was designed to accomplish: to make these men loyal to the institutional Church above all else, to inculturate them into a clericalist power structure, to make them good little bureaucrats.

And when that is all elevated with the term "holy obedience" and obedience is thus equated with holiness...well, it's no wonder we are in this mess. The "military" model of training through "discipline" is great if you want to create drones who are willing to kill and die without asking questions as cogs in an efficient machine. But to create actually moral, virtuous individuals...such tactics of reprogramming are simply useless.

But in some ways I fear it's all about appearances, as the poster I once quoted way back at the beginning of this blog said, in a description I am finding more and more relevant, "Everyone wants to see rows of clean cut asexual kids, learning their Greek verbs and saying the rosary during Holy Hour, then coming to have cups of tea with Nanna and playing games with the kiddies (though not too enthusiastically). This is a recipe for a clergy with no self-knowledge and little of anything else."

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