Intellectual debate is a staple of our household, as I am sure you will appreciate. So it is perhaps no surprise that my wife and I often discuss the deepest and most intractable problems. Yesterday, we touched (yet again) on the questions: Why are all orthodox Catholics nutters?
Those who read my ravings on a regular basis will know that I am wary of splashing absolutes about too freely, so I will quickly qualify that to 'almost all.' The exceptions, of course, gentle reader, include you and me.
But it remains the fact that many of our best, and most orthodox, friends are (how shall I put this?) well off the centre of any standard distribution of normality. The same seems to be true of many of those orthodox Catholics whom I don't know personally, but who contribute to the public debate.
Why should that be? I suppose one reason is that in order to be an orthodox Catholic in our society (and even, alas, in most of our Catholic parishes) demands that one be well-differentiated (as a psychologist friend of mine once remarked of me). That may have other aspects that strike the average observer as somewhat reminiscent of a candidate for an asylum.
But in reality, I suspect what really goes on is that we judge, at least in part (and probably wholly out of our conscious awareness) by the standards of the world, and that nuttiness in largely in the eye of the beholder.
The Church's Cold War - I was reading today about Raymond Aron's post-war work *Le Grand Schisme*. Aron was a leading French intellectual who stood not for any extreme but rather...
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