Just a couple of things this morning, and then I am off to work. I was asked in an email why I thought the students to whom I posed the boat dilemma wanted to throw the baby overboard. I think it has to do with an over-environmentalization of the kids. What happens is they hear over and over again how humans are destroying the earth, in classes from science to English to religion. They also hear that the earth is overpopulated, and that dire and horrible things are going to happen in the future because of human activity. Puppies, on the other hand, don't do anything bad. As one student (a brilliant girl for whom I have high hopes, although she is a non-believer at present) put it, the baby could grow up to be someone terrible, but we know the dog is going to be good. So, using the standard utilitarian calculus, the baby represents a great negative in utility units, whereas the dog is a small positive. Splash!
Over on Michael Dubriel's blog he quotes a seminarian who writes that a large midwestern seminary isn't at all like it is portrayed in the book Goodbye Good Men. I hope he is correct, and if it is the seminary I think it is, I would say that I think it has changed as well. But the seminarian says p.p.s. FWIW, I think there are some men who are too rigid in their embrace of ORTHODOXY to have any sense of mercy in their role as priests. I know some men back home who are immature in their orthodoxy. They are unable to tolerate sinners (and differences of
opinion), and therefore would be ineffective in the work of evangelism and ministry. All of that to say that "kicking someone out" for being "too orthodox" may not always be as bad as Rose seems to think.
I remember when I interviewed at seminaries (I spent two years at St. Charles Borromeo in Philly) that several of the interviewers at the other places would say the magic word "rigid." If I expressed faith in what the Church taught, I would get the answer "well, you don't want to be rigid." I don't know what that means. Rigid in what? Adherence to Christ? Admittedly, there are some people who are just jerks, and who would make lousy priests because they have no charity, but I wonder if "rigid" might not be one of those very fluid words that can mean anything, like "health and life of the mother" or "spirit of Vatican II."
Make sure you watch EWTN tonight. A guy named Daniel Ali is going to be on "The Journey Home," who is an ex-muslim who has founded a group to work with (which I hope means evangelize) Islam.