Friday, March 6, 2009

Christopher Pearson, the Holy Roman Church, Theology, Excommunication and Aborting Nine Year Olds

It's easy to overlook Christopher Pearson's scribbles for The Australian. Why the paper bothers to employ a columnist whose patch of church is the ineffable ways of the Holy Roman Church must remain a mystery roughly equivalent to the notion of transubstantiation.

A week or so ago, Pearson joined in the howls about turbulent priest Father Kennedy, in A church collapsing without foundations.

It was the usual rant - two legged papal conservatism and traditional theological good, four legged naughty cafeteria Catholic pick what you like from the menu bad. Kennedy is of course a pervasive threat to the survival of Australian Catholicism, as if it wasn't managing the job of killing itself well enough without him - but there's no doubt one renegade priest can come on like Satan doing down a brave Arnold Schwarzenegger. Is this End of Days for the church in the antipodes?

As well as thrashing Kennedy for his heretical, defective theological ways, Pearson gives Archbishop Bathersby a good thrashing, and confides that it was the intervention of Rome that forced his hand against Kennedy - a sign to Australian Catholics that the cafeteria is finally closed. Which is just as well, because I hate eating bain-marie food from a smorgasbord of foolishness.

So it was of some interest today to see that the hierarchy in Brazil's Catholic church is raging against an abortion carried out on a nine year old girl who became pregnant with twins after allegedly being raped by her stepfather. It seems the archbishop in the area where the termination was carried out is determined excommunicate the adults who approved the operation and the doctors who carried it out. (Church hits out after nine-year-old's abortion)

Pearson is always full of blather - take this from his diatribe against Kennedy as an example:

The sacraments are rites that relate to different stages in people's lives, held to confer particular graces through the mediation of the church, and believed to have cumulative effect. If someone's baptism is deemed invalid it is a grave matter, foundational rather than a mere technicality.

I guess that means excommunication for helping a nine year old survive likely death by aborting twins produced by persistent rape is a foundational matter rather than a mere technicality. A lifetime in hell for helping a nine year old?

What a sanctimonious prat Pearson is, and what a wretched universal church it is that he regularly celebrates in the pages of The Australian. Yet another reason to keep hold of my tithe and send it off to a charity not ruled by inflexible dogmatists. And yet another reason not to buy The Australian.

I'd love to read a convoluted, arcane exegesis from Pearson on the theological rightness, nay the holy roman righteousness, of the Brazilian church's stance. Where some might see a suffering nine year old, would he simply see something held to be ultra vires, something beyond the scope of mere earthly authority when inspecting the sin of abortion? Would he bumble on about liturgical norms, unorthodox views, and particular graces? Who knows, and maybe in the end who cares?

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