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Do Your Job – Part III

Part 3 of a 4-Part Series

An institution is a humanly created means to achieve an end. All the activities within it are designed by human beings to reach that end. An institution is like a hammer. It is a tool devised by humans to do a job. But, the hammer in order to do the job for which it was developed, e.g. put a nail in a piece of wood, must be employed according to its own intrinsic logic. The handle is held and the head of the hammer hits the top of the nail. To use a hammer contrary to its own logic, for example, to hold the head of the hammer and hit the side of the nail with the handle, is to misuse the tool and render it ineffective to achieve the end for which it was created. Once the tool is chosen its intrinsic logic must be obeyed. 

So also is the case with the means or the tool called an institution. Each institution is set up to achieve an end by employing specific means within the institution that are logically ordered to that end. To join an institution, whether as president or janitor, is to agree to use the means that the institution, the tool, requires to achieve its purpose for existing. A person does his or her job by obeying the logic of the institution’s structure. If for example, a person joins the institution of the army, whether as a general or as a buck private, he or she knows the means that an army uses to achieve the end for which it was created, namely, victory in war. It kills people and makes people suffer. That being the case, George Patton is the person you want leading your army into battle, not Jesus Christ. Why? Because Patton can do the job that the institution of the army was built to do, namely, kill enemies—and Jesus cannot.

The choice of Patton is logically necessary because while a tank is a proper means for the institution of the army to have and to use to achieve its ends, a tank cannot kill and maim without a human mind operating it. Therefore the human mind that is needed to do the job of operating a tank as a means for the institution of the army to accomplish its end is a killer-mind, a mind that will kill enemies, indeed kills them en masse, to achieve victory. This is not the mind of the Jesus of the Gospels who rejects violence and taught love of enemies, as He loved His enemies. Thomas Aquinas notes that means that cannot achieve their ends are illusions. The mind of Christ is an illusionary means for accomplishing what the institution of the army is constructed to accomplish. Jesus Christ cannot do the job, which any army would demand of Him. A tank operated by Jesus would have no kill power. Parenthetically, this is why military training is not only about teaching young people how to kill but also is equally about nurturing them into a killer’s mind. Without military training drilling the killer mind into young recruits, most could not do their job in the army. The gun in their hand or the tank under their control would be a waste of military equipment.

The required consistency between the end for which an institution is created and the means the institution uses to accomplish that end, as well as, the job that someone who joins that institution is required to do raises the eternal life and death question as to whether the means adopted by the bishops of the institutional Catholic Church to achieve the purpose for which the Church was created are real or illusionary? This in turn raises the question whether the job the bishops are doing is operationally in the service of the commission Jesus really gave them or in the service of some illusionary idea of what a bishop and a Church should be?

Again, Jesus commissioned His Apostles and their successors to “go and make disciples of all people, Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” This is the purpose or end for which Jesus founded His ecclesia, assembly or church, for this is the Way by which souls are save, by which all humanity enters into Eternal Life, Eternal Communion with God. Therefore, it is a logical, moral and spiritual necessity that the means that the bishops of the institutional Catholic Church adopt to do this job be consistent with and not contradictory to the “teaching” that they have been commanded by Jesus to follow and to teach all the Baptized to obey. People are not taught to obey and live what Jesus taught and commanded by their bishops morally justifying that they do not have obey and live what Jesus taught and commanded. 

What is not being spoken of here is the personal sinfulness of bishops. There are no bishops who are not sinners, as there are no Christians who are not sinners. Jesus forgives any sin of any bishop who repents, just as He forgives any sin of any Christian who repents. He does this so that they can go forward in their lives obeying and living with vigor what He commanded them to obey and live for their welfare and for the welfare and the salvation of all human beings. What is being spoke of in this article is calling the logical opposite of what Jesus taught “good” and then structurally institutionalizing it as the modus operandi, i.e. incarnational teaching, of the institutional Church.

What are the chances that once a person enters, e.g. by infant Baptism, an institutional Church that justifies and requires the use of violence to operate, that he or she is going to proclaim by word and deed Jesus’ teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as the Way, the only Way, to live and to do God’s will. The probabilities of that person, so doing are statistically near zero, and they do not improve much above that if the person enters the Church as an adolescent or adult from a secular society rife with violence and its justification. 

Now, suppose this person, whose consciousness and conscience are now well cemented by the Church and by the state in the moral acceptability of violence and its justification for Christians, were to become a branch manager of a segment of the institutional Church, e.g. a diocese? What are the chances when running his segment of the institutional Church that he would embrace a modus operandi different from the moral acceptability of violence in which he has been thoroughly neurologically hardwired by Church, state and culture? The chances are again statistically near zero. What are the probabilities if God Himself in the flesh made it clear, in writing, that the way in which this bishop had been morally hardwired and the manner in which his episcopal mentors and peers were ruling the institutional Church were incompatible with the Way He taught, would this bishop do other than adhere to the company’s way of doing business? Again, the chances are near zero that he would do other than “go along and get along.”

If he were to change his modus operandi in leading his diocese in order to align it with the teachings that the Church’s Founder said should be obeyed, he would be quickly marginalized and rendered effete by his fellow branch managers within the institution. Why? Because, a humanly constructed institution, whose method of operation depends on the use of coercive violence and whose fallback position is always violence—if it has enough power to get away with it—would be utterly discredited if its own leaders, who were justifying and using violence daily under one cover or another, e.g., euphemisms, Canon Law, serpentine theologies, were exposed by one of their own as doing the opposite of what their Founder, God Incarnate, taught as the Way His Apostles and disciples should live if they wanted to do the job they were assigned in the Church. 

Two decades ago I sent an article to a Catholic journal on St. Edith Stein, the Carmelite nun and philosopher who on August 9, 1942 was killed by Baptized Catholic and Lutheran Germans who operated the human slaughterhouse at Auschwitz. The article focused on Edith Stein being not only a martyr of the Church but also a prophet to the institutional Church regarding the evil consequences that have resulted from its long history of using and justifying violence as a way of following Jesus. The editor of the journal, a member of a religious order, thought the article acceptable except for one section, which I summarized with the sentence, “Mainline and Evangelical Church leaders and their congregations do not want to live without the power of homicidal violence.” The editor objected vigorously saying that he did not know about other Christian denominations but that this certainly was not true of the Catholic Church. After a brief response from me, which amounted to ‘look at the facts of the institutional Catholic Church’s historical record today and since the days of Constantine,’ communication ceased and the article was never published.

All major institutions, political, economic, religious, etc., struggle ferociously to keep the enormity and depth of their dark history of violence and its repulsive consequences under wraps as far as it is within their power to do so. They work diligently to hide, obscure and minimize the spiritual, moral and political, personal and social, atrocities that are the consequences of their justification and employment of violence. This is accomplished not only by withholding information on a massive scale but also by intentional deception.

These major institutions methodically nurture this ignorance among their memberships in order to keep them loyal to a particular political, economic or religious system and its leadership. For, if people knew how the system really operated and how the controllers of the system really operated and what really were the consequences in terms of suffering and death that the particular system has brought about, their loyalty to the system and its ruling personnel would be withdrawn.

Otto von Bismarck, President of Prussia, once remarked, “There are two things that ordinary people should never know: how their sausages are made and how their laws are made.” Why? Because, both processes are so vile that ordinary people would stop buying sausages and would stop buying the lies of their leaders. So noxious are the dark sides of sausage making and law making, as well as of major wealthy political, economic and religious institutions in general, that they must be hidden and the sausages and the laws and the institutions wrapped in attractive packages for public consumption in order to maintain allegiance to the “product,” and indifference to the shrouded means employed to produce it. So intensely do major institutions—political, economic and religious—nurture the ignorance necessary for them to retain their membership’s loyalty that even if their product brings great suffering and death into the lives of their loyalist and the lives of their loved ones, they will continue to swear by its “goodness.” They will even serve the “product,” and by extension the modus operandi that created it, to others as something “good” at the funeral of a dear one who was killed by it and by the deceptions needed to sell it as “good.”

So before one can evaluated whether or not a bishop is doing the job assigned to him by Jesus it must be determined, as previously noted, what the job is that a bishop has been commissioned by Jesus to do. Then, it must be determined whether it is possible to do that job within the logical requirements of the humanly designed aspects of the institutional Church.

Emmanuel Charles McCarthy 

Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here
Read Part 4 here

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