Fr. Gerald E. Murray: Substitutes for Thought

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*Image: The Iconoclasts by Domenico Morelli, 1855 [Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples]

By Fr. Gerald E. Murray, The Catholic Thing, August 22, 2020

The Rev. Gerald E. Murray, J.C.D. is a canon lawyer and the pastor of Holy Family Church in New York City.

Fr. Gerald E. Murray“Liberalism reduces Christianity to slogans; slogans are a substitute for thought.” That’s how Dartmouth College English professor and National Review editor the late Jeffrey Hart, my revered teacher and friend, thus categorized the anti-intellectual distortions that we are now being peddled by the cancel culture that plagues our society and the Church.

The promoters of the liberal spirit in religion, which was defined by St. John Henry Newman as the anti-dogmatic principle, will not tolerate any contradiction of their dictatorship of relativism sloganeering. The only dogmas to which they demand assent are the latest never-to-be-questioned slogans used in the ongoing project to dismantle the Church’s doctrines, especially her moral teachings.

Failure to agree with their revolutionary demands is treated as a culpable failure by “haters” who do not “get it.”  Slogan brandishing progressives seek not rational dialogue with presumably honorable opponents but rather a mea maxima culpa submission from those they stigmatize as recalcitrant, self-interested defenders of their own “privilege.”  …

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