Has the Church repealed the Law of Non-Contradiction?

Has the Church repealed the Law of Non-Contradiction?

Now you can be a perfect Catholic without ever having to profess the Catholic faith!

July 19, 2017
Jim Russell

I owe Chicago Cardinal Blaise Cupich a debt of gratitude. He recently was quoted as saying:

We have always wanted to make sure that we start the conversation by saying that all people are of value and their lives should be respected and that we should respect them. That is why I think that the terms gay and lesbian, L.G.B.T., all of those names that people appropriate to themselves, should be respected. People should be called the way that they want to be called rather than us coming up with terms that maybe we’re more comfortable with.

That was the moment I finally knew it was true; I understood that, undoubtedly, the Church has repealed the universal “law of non-contradiction”.

Now, literally everything I have ever experienced as a member of the Catholic Church for the last half-century makes perfect sense.

Most of you will know that the “law of non-contradiction” simply states that a thing cannot “be” and “not be” at the same time. But that was then, and this is now. I finally realize that the Church has reserved for Herself the power to both bind and loose the same thing at the same time.

But don’t ask me for evidence of a decree or declaration from the Magisterium on this—the great thing about the repeal of the law of non-contradiction is that no evidence of a repeal is necessary, because a thing can now both “be” and “not be” at the same time. Get it? The fact that there is no evidence is how we know it has been repealed. Quite amazing, isn’t it?

Let’s take a very simple example: the one Cardinal Cupich mentions above. Now, it’s true that the Church has always taught and continues to teach that there is exactly one “sexuality” (not plural sexualities) and exactly two “sexual identities” (man and woman). It’s also true that a necessary consequence of Church teaching is the conclusion that the ideologies of orientation and gender are based on a false anthropology and yield only false “sexualities” and “identities” that keep multiplying (LGBTQIA and more).

But that’s okay now. Now we don’t have to call things by their right names anymore. Now it can be a sign of respect to refer to people by false terms of identity, as long as the people themselves like those terms. Just say what flavor of sexual orientation is yours at the moment (knowing that “who you are” could actually change next week, so just keep me updated), and I’ll use that term. That’s you, by golly. As for gender, no worries! Were you assigned male at birth, but now identify as female? No problem: you are assuredly a woman with male genitalia, so you can just tell me what new and exciting pronouns I should be using, plus whatever feminine moniker you wish to use. I will respect your choices in this matter. Be a man and a woman at the same time, if you like.

And you are a man married to another man? I respect that term you use: marriage. Hey, you’re married—it’s the word you want to use. And, sir, this is your husband? Of course he is. That’s the name you’ve appropriated, and I respect that.

Once you fully understand that the law of non-contradiction has been repealed, then it becomes easy to see just how sensible it is to happily co-exist with any previously perceived “contradictions” in the life of the Church. Let’s take a look at even more non-contradictory contradictions that I used to see as a bit paradoxical, but now finally understand to be perfectly normal.

The Catholic Church and Other Religions: Of course, no one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ, but feel free to be a Christian Buddhist, or any other combination you’d like. Try self-identifying as a Christian Atheist. Oh, and no need for any non-Christians to convert.

Liturgical Law and Liturgical Practice: It turns out that all those decades of apparent confusion and dissonance between the rubrics of the Mass and what clergy and laity opted to do with the Mass was very much an early hint of the repeal of the law of non-contradiction. How else should we explain having all that great history, and such clear directions about the Mass, upended by years of wacky experimentation? High Mass or Polka Mass? No difference. Now, it’s all just fine—we can still be faithful to the liturgy while disobeying all the rubrics.

Church Teaching and Church Practice: Repeal of this antiquated law of logic can give us some real peace of mind when it comes to apparent discrepancies between doctrine and pastoral practices. Now we don’t even have to argue about whether our church community should offer “communion before conversion”—it can just be communion without conversion altogether! If a Church document says one thing, and a later document says another thing, does it really matter? We can just do both things at the same time, or pick one or the other. No pressure. Obedience just co-exists with disobedience. We don’t have to believe what we do, or do what we believe.

Remarriage Without Annulment: The repeal is particularly helpful regarding divorce and remarriage. Now the marriage bond with your first spouse cannot at all contradict a new marriage bond with a second spouse (or a third)—just call it “the more the marry-er”! It solves so many otherwise major problems.

Worthiness To Receive Communion: Similarly, we needn’t worry our consciences any longer about things like “manifest grave sin” or “scandal” or “intrinsically evil” acts—especially those biggies that everyone gets hung up about. It turns out that all really are welcome when everything is possible at the same time. No barriers, no conditions. No need for Reconciliation before Communion. We’re all good persons, aren’t we? Even when we’re not.

Catholics Who Reject Catholic Teaching: On a very practical level, no longer having to worry about contradiction means that dissenting Catholics everywhere in the world aren’t really dissenting after all. Now you can believe Catholic teaching and not believe it at the same time. Now you can be a perfect Catholic without ever having to profess the Catholic faith!

Parishes and Groups That Reject Catholic Teaching: If you’re like me, you know of a number of different Catholic parishes and organizations that openly flaunt the Church’s teaching while still claiming to be faithful Catholics. From the issues of women priests to same-sex marriage to abortion, now all these formerly radical parishes and groups can blend right into the rest of the Church without any fear of rejection. We can infallibly teach that only men can be priests while simultaneously promoting women’s ordination. We can call contraception intrinsically evil while keeping birth control handy in our homes. We can let gay men and women enjoy same-sex marriage, and, along with transwomen and transmen, they can still be extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass.

Church Leaders Who Refuse to Teach What the Church Teaches: And, of course, we can have clergy and lay leaders withhold whatever Church teachings they may not like personally, instead suppressing official teaching and substituting whatever random gobblety-gook might seem right at any given moment. Catechesis? Evangelization? Why worry about any of that? There is no longer any such thing as “true” and “not true.” In fact, everything is really, really true. But at the same time, everything is really, really not true, too. Catholic education just got easier, and it also just got useless.

Such a relief, right? No more conflicts, tensions, disagreements, or worry about whether a certain doctrine is “true” or a certain practice is “right.” It’s all the same. “To be or not to be” is no longer the question.

Rather, it is now: “to be and not to be—that is the answer.”

Unless….okay, I’ll admit it, now that my little thought experiment is over: I don’t really think the Church has repealed the law of non-contradiction.

I only think that, a lot of the time, it seems that way.

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2 comments on “Has the Church repealed the Law of Non-Contradiction?

  1. Küng Fu: Modernism the Legend Continues

    Master Po: What is troubling you, Grasshopper?

    Kwai Chang: Perhaps by overturning the Law of Non-Contradiction, obsessing on air conditioning, and complaining about his Catholic opponents for being too rigid, the Pope is hiding his joy, Master.

    Master Po: Why would the Pope hide his joy, Grasshopper?

    Kwai Chang: I cannot be certain, Master. Perhaps he was spanked too severely when he was a child or perhaps he is worried about the insurance risks if Carol and Mike Brady allow their daughter Jan to make a fool of herself at a charismaniac hootenanny, suffering permanent damage and serious injury if a hysterical 300-pound charismaniac woman decides to roll around on the floor to speak in tongues and falls on top of Jan…

    Master Po: These are serious questions, Grasshopper.

    Mike Brady: Oh, I hadn’t considered that….

    Carol Brady: Well, Mike, it is a possibility. Some of those charismaniac hootenanny services can get our of control. Hysterical 300-pound charismatic women get rowdy sometimes and what if one of them decides to jump on the floor to roll around and speak in tongues and falls on top of Jan?

    Mike Brady; Well, I guess they’ll need some trampolines and wrestling pads on the floor, huh?

    Captain Kirk: Mister Spock! Pope Francis obsessing on air conditioning and neo-Pelagian triumphalism too much, overturning the Law of Non-Contradiction….is it possible the Pope is hiding his joy?

    Spock: Affirmative, Captain. That is a possibility. It is possible that the Holy Father has not yet felt the full force of the neo-gnostic Pentecostal energy that Vatican II unleashed, falling on the floor to roll around and speak in tongues like a wild monkey. He has, therefore, not yet experienced the full effects of the Holy Spirit which were suppressed from 33 A.D. until 1967 when they were infused into some confused neo-Catholic modernists by Pentecostalist Protestants at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    Captain Kirk: What about all of the Catholic saints before 1967? Didn’t they have access to the full force of the Holy Spirit?

    Hans Küng: I would like to address that…

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Well, that does present some problems for ecclesiology.
    Of course, heretics could always claim that you are being too rigid for asking such a question.

    Captain Kirk: Spock, what would happen if the Aristotelian Principle of Non-Contradiction were completely overturned in all situations?

  2. Captain Kirk: What about the modernist charismaniac lunatics who are constantly scolding fellow Catholics for hiding their joy? Are they also hiding their joy when they are scolding and shaming others?

    Spock: Fascinating, Captain. That presents a paradox which we should consider and one with contradictory implications which should be submitted to logical analysis.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Indeed. Jansenist types will do almost anything to get into a position of authority where they can scold and bully others endlessly with impunity.

    Kwai Chang: That is worrisome, Master.

    Master Po: Ah, Grasshopper, what in particular worries you about this problem?

    Kwai Chang: The modernist Jansenist who scolds others constantly for hiding their joy does not know that he is a Jansenist who also hides his joy while masquerading as the keeper of the Holy Spirit. This fantasy may be blocking spiritual growth.

    Mike Brady: Oh, yes, that could be a problem.

    Carol Brady: In what way, Mike?

    Mike Brady; Well, someone who is constantly scolding others for hiding their joy isn’t all that joyful, right? And some modernist lunatic who thinks the Holy Spirit was suppressed from 33 A.D. until 1967 at some half-assed charismaniac ecumenical hootenanny in Pittsburgh can hardly be considered an authority on theology.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: That would pose considerable problems.

    Carol Brady: We could always let Jan enroll in some New Age primal scream therapy.

    Greg Brady: Peter and I have a real problem with that. Jan’s room is just across from our room. If she starts practicing New Age primal scream therapy in there, we might flip out.

    Peter Brady: Yeah. The last thing we need is Jan screaming and claiming that it’s just therapy.

    Alice: The boys might have a point there, Mrs. Brady.

    Carol Brady: That could be a problem, Mike. Maybe we should just let Jan go to a weekend Enneagram seminar. She could scream at the other New Agers until she finds her joy.

    Mike Brady: Hey, that’s a great idea!

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