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The Pope as conqueror of prejudice

On the face of it, these pro-homosexualists who don’t like “prejudice” have a point: Mixed message, and Two speeches, two days apart. If it’s true, as the Pope supposedly said, that we should all strive to “overcome preconceived ideas and prejudices, tear down barriers and eliminate contrasts that divide … so as to build together a world of justice and peace,” then it’s not clear why we should accept sexual distinctions rather than struggle against them, with gays heroically leading the way. To be more specific, here’s the way people today understand such statements:

  • Getting rid of “preconceived ideas and prejudices” sounds a lot like emptying our minds of traditional understandings and accepting whatever accredited experts tell us.
  • “Tear[ing] down barriers and eliminat[ing] contrasts that divide” sounds like abolishing social order of any kind, since social order involves differentiated relationships. It can’t literally mean that though, so presumably it means abolition of all distinctions except the minimum clearly needed for rational social functioning—money, bureaucratic position, contract, and certified expertise.
  • “A world of justice and peace” sounds like a world in which the foregoing has been perfectly carried into effect. Such a world would be just because it’s rational and equal, and peaceful because everybody accepts the established order. It would also be a world with no place or function for marriage as traditionally conceived. Marriage can’t work without preconceived ideas and prejudices as well as contrasts that distinguish men from women and thus divide them.

I haven’t found the original talk. I’m convinced though that the Pope, if he was awake, can’t possibly have meant what his words seem to suggest. His way of speaking though presents a mystery. Why do high churchmen maintain the habit of speaking as if they accept the radical secular utopianism that has become the primary enemy of religion and indeed humanity? I would think that if you want to speak to the present world you have to show what you have in common with it, but also how you differ. I often get the impression that the bizarre optimism of the postwar period that culminated in Vatican II and the other events of the ’60s lingers on, so it’s still not clear even to the most intelligent how radical the established order has become.

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