I do not approve of any priest who gives up his priestly ministry; so I certainly do not approve of Bruce Kent. But in view of the Damian Thompson recent piece about Kent's views on Nuclear Deterrence, I have decided to repeat this piece (from the beginning of July). If any defenders of Thompson's have anywhere taken up my challenge in the penultimate paragraph below, I would be glad to be pointed to it.
That nasty excrescence of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, the Times of London, has published a vicious and contemptuous attack on Archbishop Rowan Williams' view that the doctrine and practice of nuclear deterrence are immoral.
Traditionalists easily sneer at Rowan. The Damian Thompson mentality finds it easy to deride him as a soppy liberal. Needless to say, I do not agree with many of Rowan Williams' views. But I urge traditionalist Catholics to think twice before jumping onto this particular bandwagon.
More than two decades ago, Germaine Grisez, John Finnis, and Joseph Boyle wrote their definitive treatment of the ethics of nuclear deterrence. The important thing to remember about this trio is that they are the ethical thinkers who, in our time, most consistently, coherently, and vigorously have defended the tradional Catholic teaching on sexual matters, 'Life' matters, and every aspect of traditional teaching which has been attacked by the modern secular establishment. These writers not only subscribe to the whole gamut of Catholic teaching, but delve deep into philosophy, law, and every kind of moral discourse, to sustain it in the fora of modern discussion. They are not just yet another trio of wet modern lefty liberals mascarading as Catholics. They are firmly on the side of traditional Christian morality in all its aspects and irrespective of whether it is found attractive by 'modern' thought.
These writers concluded that the concept of Nuclear deterrence is indissolubly linked with a real intention, in certain contingencies, actually to use nuclear weapons. And they demonstrated, in my view conclusively, that such a contingent intention stands condemned by the traditional doctrine of the Catholic tradition with regard to the Just War.
I do not suggest that these three writers are infallible; or that the infallible magisterium of the Church has formally uttered such a judgement.
But I do suggest that, before joining the bought, chattering, exponents of the Establishment view (neatly expressed in this contemptuously unargued Times leading article), traditionalists should first have read the Grisez/Finnis/Boyle book, and be able to explain to themselves ... and hoffentlich to others ... exactly where (in their view) its logical faults lie.
Traditional Catholic morality often finds more common cause with political views of the 'Right' than it does with those of the 'Left'. But I hope that we are rather more than just chaplains to the 'Right'.
The first fifteen comments date from the first showing of this piece.