Saint Thomas Aquinas

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cardinal Schonborn Compares YouCat with Trent Catechism

I ran across this little presentation given by Cardinal Schonborn on the YouCat. Unfortunately Ignatius Press is really promoting this publication, despite its host of problems. What I found stunning was this comment made by Schonborn.

"Why have a catechism in the first place?  Vatican II commissioned no catechism, unlike the Council of Trent.  Twenty years after the end of the Council the World Synod of Bishops determined that the work of handing on the faith had come to a standstill!  Therefore there had to be something like a clearinghouse [Vermittlung] of the major doctrinal teachings of the Council and of the whole Church in a didactic form, which would be oriented once more to the old catechism.  The great model for this catechism was the catechism of Trent from the year 1566, in its structure as well as in its irenic style and tone."
Ok, is this supposed to be a joke? Has Cardinal Schonborn ever cracked open the Catechism of Trent? If he had, there is no possible way he could look anyone in the eye and make this kind of comment. The YouCat does not in any way, shape, or form come close to the Trent Catechism in either style nor tone. In fact, the YouCat has no tone. I have already done two posts on this mess, here and here. Fr. Finigan weighed in on it here. I left a review of it on Amazon here, and ended up getting attacked in the comments section. At least one guy changed his 5 star rating to a 3. At least I am making progress. There are other problems in the YouCat, which I want to address at some point in the near future. But just for fun, I want to contrast the tone of the YouCat with that of Trent, and lets see how hey measure up, shall we?

YouCat
Question 409 (Page 222)
Is Masturbation an offense against love?

Masturbation is an offense against love, because it makes the excitement of sexual pleasure an end in itself and uncouples it from the holistic unfolding of love between a man and a women. That is why “sex with yourself” is a contradiction in terms.

The Church does not demonize masturbation, but she warns against trivializing it. In fact many young people and adults are in danger of becoming isolated in their consumption of lewd pictures, films, and Internet services instead of finding love in a personal relationship. Loneliness can lead to a blind alley in which masturbation becomes an addiction. Living by the motto ‘“For sex I do not need anyone; i will have it myself, however and whenever I need it” makes nobody happy.

Trent Catechism (Sixth Commandment)
 

Other Sins Against Chastity Are Forbidden

But that every species of immodesty and impurity are included in this prohibition of adultery, is proved by the testimonies of St. Augustine and St. Ambrose; and that such is the meaning of the Commandment is borne out by the Old, as well as the New Testament. In the writings of Moses, besides adultery, other sins against chastity are said to have been punished. Thus the book of Genesis records the judgment of Judah against his daughter-in-law. In Deuteronomy is found the excellent law of Moses, that there should be no harlot amongst the daughters of Israel. Take heed to keep thyself, my son, from all fornication, is the exhortation of Tobias to his son; and in Ecclesiasticus we read: Be ashamed of looking upon a harlot.

In the Gospel, too, Christ the Lord says: From the heart come forth adulteries and fornications, which defile a man. The Apostle Paul expresses his detestation of this crime frequently, and in the strongest terms: This is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication; Fly fornication; Keep not company with fornicators; Fornication, and an uncleanness and covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you; " Neither fornicators nor adulterers, nor the effeminate nor sodomites shall possess the kingdom of God.

Impurity Excludes From Heaven

The first kind consists chiefly in our forming a just conception of the filthiness and evil of this sin; for such knowledge will lead one more easily to detest it. Now the evil of this crime we may learn from the fact that, on account of it, man is banished and excluded from the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all evils.

Impurity Is A Filthy Sin

The above mentioned calamity is indeed common to every mortal sin. But what is peculiar to this sin is that fornicators are said to sin against their own bodies, according to the words of the Apostle: Fly fornication. Every sin that a man doth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body. The reason is that such a one does an injury to his own body violating its sanctity. Hence St. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, says: This is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles that know not God.
Furthermore, what is still more criminal, the Christian who shamefully sins with a harlot makes the members of Christ the members of an harlot, according to these words of St. Paul: Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid. Or know you not, that he who is joined to a harlot is made one body? Moreover, a Christian, as St. Paul testifies is the temple of the Holy Ghost ; and to violate this temple is nothing else than to expel the Holy Ghost.

As you can see, the two are nowhere in the same class as far as tone and clarity is concerned. The YouCat is all about happiness, and mentions nothing about the loss of heaven does it?  Does the YouCat say that anything is a filthy sin anywhere in its text? I doubt it. I still do not have a copy of it, because I refuse support this little project financially. I borrowed a copy of the YouCat the last time I wrote an article on it. Perhaps someone who is going to trash theirs can send me it before it hits the bottom of the trash can?

1 comment:

Nancy Danielson said...

Not to mention the YOUCAT's obvious intention of downplaying the grave nature of the sin against Chastity.
For example, this quote on the margin on page 242, "The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins".