Monday, 24 November 2008

Decisions & Destiny

Bawak Bertenang - Where are the PDRM guys????

God-Talk, Fatwas & Inquisition Theology

Irene Fernandez acquitted
S Pathmawathy | Nov 24, 08 12:12pm
* BREAKING NEWS The Kuala Lumpur High Court today acquitted migrant workers' activist Irene Fernandez, bringing an end to a 13-year court battle.
Luther himself was convinced that the separation of the teachings from the customs of the papal Church-to which separation he felt obligated-struck at the very foundation of the
act of faith.
The act of faith as described by Catholic tradition appeared to Luther as centered and encapsulated in the Law while it should have been an expression of the acceptance of the
Gospel. In Luther's opinion, the act of faith was turned into the very opposite of what it was; for faith, to Luther, is tantamount to liberation from the Law, but its Catholic version appeared to him as a subjugation under the Law.

-Luther and the unity ofthe churches...... Cardinal Ratzinger

Of late, there's been plenty of talk about the recent Fatwas released by the religious authorities, prompting many other sectors of society being horrified at the apparent "mindlessness" of it all.
This phenomenon of "religious edicts" being passed by "Godmen" isn't as isolated as it may seem. This has been the rule, rather than the exception in the Abrahamic faiths/sects for ages. More so, when the political establishment is intellectually and ideologically bankrupt, as it was during the time when the "Holy Roman Emperors" were attempting to perpetuate their rule through ignorance. They used religion to reinforce the perception that they were indispensible, in that they were the temporal guardians of "souls" in the hereafter.
After all why wouldn't a "right-thinking" public accept them as rulers on earth, when they care for the people's souls, right??!!
It gives them reason to "soldier on" in "defense" of whatever they seem worthy, so as to divert anger & attention from the corrupt & inefficient politicians, to the taxpayers themselves.

Today, these things would (if ever), rarely happen in a civilised nation.
Thanks to the Mahathirist antidote to earlier PAS-inspired "revivalism"/extremism through "Amanat Hadi" - In Malaysia however, they are enforced through using instruments of state, at the taxpayers' expense -
just as in the Papal politics or "Islamist Republics/Monarchies".
Who knows - Maybe one day, we will have Rela-like uniformed Mat Skodeng "SWAT teams" ....

Anyway, I found some interesting things on the web with regard to this "Inquisition Theology", which speaks of orthodox "Catholicism", but quite comparable to the thinking of the Godmen we have in town.
Here's something from a forum on TheologyOnline:

Well, let's define what an Inquisition is: It is the execution of convincted heretics. What is a heretic? A heretic is a baptised person who denies or obstinately doubts some part of the data of divine revelation. A heresy is a belief which runs contrary to some part of the data of divine revelation.

For this reason, is it proper to call Hindus in India heretics? No. Is it proper to call Hinduism a heresy? Absolutely.

So, is killing those who are guilty of heresy acceptable? This is easy to answer. It is absolutely acceptable, and perhaps even mandated.
Here, we should differentiate between two sorts of crimes. There is the sort of crime which affects noone, and the sort which affects others. I think it is clear that, generally speaking, law is not the sort of thing to regulate crimes which affect only the criminal. For there to be a law, generally speaking, there must be a victim.
Some say that heresy affects only the criminal. Yet, this is not true. Heresy tends to spread, and heresy breeds heresy. You don't believe me? Just think about the Protestant Deformation. Heresy spreads heresy, and leads to worse and worse heresy. First, there was Luther. And then Communism. And then Anabaptism. And then the rejection of the mass and the Eucharist. Etc.

In heresy, there is a victim: Those who might be tempted to convert to that heresy.
Furthermore, there ought to be a distinction in the sort of thing lost in a crime: There is the sort of crime which threatens physical sorts of integrity and privacy, like theft, murder, rape, and the like.
Then, there is the sort of crime which threatens the soul. Our Lord says that this is the worse crime. "Fear not those who kill the body, but the soul (Paraphrase of Matthew 10:28)."

And indeed, heresy brings the death of the soul. Outside of the Church, there is no salvation (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus). To intentionally believe heresy is to excommunicate oneself from the Church. Therefore, to intentionally believe heresy is to close to yourself the gates of Heaven, and open wide for yourself the Jaws of Hell.
We say that murder ought to be met with execution. It is much more fitting, then, that heresy be met with execution, if the heretic is unrepentent.
So, in answer to the first it right that heretics be executed? Not only is it right, but it is demanded by Divine Justice.
However, what about the Inquisition now?
Well, we can't say "It was right then, but not now." Justice is justice...end of story.
The problem lies in this, though: The vast majority of those who believe heresy are only formally heretics. Which is to say, that they believe that which is contrary to the Church, but do so out of ignorance of the truth. Therefore, they are formally heretics, but not subjectively.

In comments from the letter that appeared on Sunday in Corriere della Sera, Italy’s leading daily, the pope said the book “explained with great clarity” that “an inter-religious dialogue in the strict sense of the word is not possible.”
In theological terms, he added, “a true dialogue is not possible without putting one’s faith in parentheses.”
-Pope questions interfaith dialogue ============================================
Summa Theologica > Second Part of the Second Part > Question 11

I answer that, With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death.

On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. For Jerome commenting on Galatians 5:9, "A little leaven," says: "Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot, die. Arius was but one spark in Alexandria, but as that spark was not at once put out, the whole earth was laid waste by its flame."

Reply to Objection 1. This very modesty demands that the heretic should be admonished a first and second time: and if he be unwilling to retract, he must be reckoned as already "subverted," as we may gather from the words of the Apostle quoted above.

Reply to Objection 2. The profit that ensues from heresy is beside the intention of heretics, for it consists in the constancy of the faithful being put to the test, and "makes us shake off our sluggishness, and search the Scriptures more carefully," as Augustine states (De Gen. cont. Manich. i, 1). What they really intend is the corruption of the faith, which is to inflict very great harm indeed. Consequently we should consider what they directly intend, and expel them, rather than what is beside their intention, and so, tolerate them.

Reply to Objection 3. According to Decret. (xxiv, qu. iii, can. Notandum), "to be excommunicated is not to be uprooted." A man is excommunicated, as the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 5:5) that his "spirit may be saved in the day of Our Lord." Yet if heretics be altogether uprooted by death, this is not contrary to Our Lord's command, which is to be understood as referring to the case when the cockle cannot be plucked up without plucking up the wheat, as we explained above (10, 8, ad 1), when treating of unbelievers in general.