Friday, October 28, 2011

Controversial Historical Characters

A recent post for the Catholic Writers Guild.
How do we write about controversial Catholic historical characters? I think that the key to dealing with controversial characters and situations in Catholic historical fiction is to be faithful to the facts. The more research you do, the more information you will have, and the clearer your picture of the past will be. Stay away from caricatures of good and evil. Remember that everyone has potential for redemption and very few situations are black and white. And many Catholic characters, such as Marie-Antoinette, Mary Queen of Scots, Isabella of Castile and Catherine de Medici are only “controversial” because they have been misrepresented in the Whig version of history. (Read entire post.)


Catholic Mission said...

Thursday, October 27, 2011
The Church teaches after Vatican Council II that all the non Catholic participants at Assisi today are oriented to Hell and there are no exceptions.

Daphne McLeod is not playing the Lumen Gentium 16 game and the bishops should have noticed it. Her comments are on the internet and English bloggers could be picking it up by now.

She has united the Catholic traditionalist movement and pointed to a major cause of dissent and confusion in the Catholic Church.

She has brought the explicitly-implicit baptism of desire non-sense out in the open and to the attention of Catholics. She has not repeated the meaningless mantra ‘except for those in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire’. She has not fallen for the LG 16 ruse of the liberals.

We cannot meet anyone on the street saved with the baptism of desire, in invincible ignorance, a good conscience, ‘who has not had the Gospel preached to him through no fault of his own’, saved in partial as compared to full communion with the Church. It is only God who can judge who ‘knows’ about the Church and yet does not enter and who is in invincible ignorance. The dogma outside the Church there is no salvation and Vatican Council II (LG 14,AG 7) tell us that everyone needs to convert into the Catholic Church; to enter with Catholic Faith and the Baptism of water. The exceptions do not make the rule. The exceptions are not the ordinary means of salvation. The ordinary means of salvation is Catholic Faith and the baptism of water (Redemptoris Missio 55, Lumen Gentium 14, Ad Gentes 7).Most important, the exceptions are only hypothetical, they are not de facto exceptions to the dogma.

It’s true that all who are saved are saved through Jesus and the Church and this teaching does not contradict the dogma i.e. it is necessary that everyone enter the Church with no exceptions.

False reasoning assumes we are God and can judge. We reason that billions are oriented to Hell because this is the teaching of the Church. It is only the Catholic Church that has the ‘fullness of the truth’ and is the only moral authority. It is this Church which has been guided by the Holy Spirit to proclaim consistent teachings since the time of Jesus and the Apostles until today. The ‘great religions’ are false paths to salvation.

Jesus called this Church “my church” and said the ‘gates of Hell shall not prevail against it’. Other religions have ‘deficiencies, errors and superstition’ (Dominus Iesus) and the gates of Hell are open for all their members. This includes, those who believe in Jesus and do not do His will by entering in the Catholic Church and remaining in it. -Lionel Andrades


Julygirl said...

Many people, historical or otherwise, approach life via their personality traits first and as Catholics second, rather than the other way around.....or use The Church as a means to their own personal ends.

We have to sift through all that to find the truth.

Anonymous said...

Can't recall which online source I found this article linked at (so I'm unable to grant credit a la H/T sorry)

yet hope you find it interesting in connection to this post's theme, unsavory characters! Elizabeth Lev (daughter of law Prof Mary Ann Glendon) has a new fiction book out.

Browsing the Amazon page linked at the close left me a little bewildered as to whether I'd need to pray the Stations to even read the book (let alone your sensible piety in authoring your own).

Her character's connection to Savonarola in intriguing, indeed all those fractious religious figures intrigue me, for they point to the abject 'neediness' we all suffer from, how does integrity form a human life (some mysteriously gifted with it; some not, equally mysteriously: as circumstances of birth or life dictate) under development?

Hubby and I inherited a large handsomely-framed 19th C color lithograph of to-us-unknown motif that featured Domininicans amidst vaulted tombstones. After a pleasant Sunday afternoon googling the artist's name I eventually found an illustration in a contemporanous book on Dante's Florence.
The scene? The Church of Santa Maria Novella's chiostrino del morte, established during those turbulent times when Savonarola tended to the pastoral needs of the flock in Florence.

It is comforting to know the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered up the stairs to the Left in the picture (recall all classicall arranged Christian art are illuminated by top-left light, not so in this scene for it would have been a practical impossibility, the cloister gardens are at right (due West, corridor due South) sunlit only enters that space at dusk. And yet, consolingly, the image's message is more profound - the cloister garden symbolizes hoped-for-light of the Resurrection on a day-yet-to-come (painted when it was, as night falls) the only actual "light" in such a quiet realist depiction of the religious community's life is the Liturgy, the Eucharist, continued at all times by praying the Hours (as the consecrated men and women in habits appear to be doing (the frescoes on the heavenly vaults are really blue and gold, not black and white as the text shows). Even the wrought iron gates are imagined in faith - they take the form of the tree of life motif: the Jesse tree (the cross, of course)

Unfortunately the epic floods of '66 did irreparable damage at this location - the site of the painting isn't open to the public for it is still being restored. I've never visited this place (and we have no clue who in our distant extended family may have and acquired this as a souvenir, but thanks to the wonders of the internet I can share a happy jaunt on behalf of the holy souls in purgatory, including hopefully all those unsavory Christian characters immortalized in Historic Fiction!