Ban, baby, ban

Taking a break from the Synod and lo scandalo della lettera, we note that Gabriel Sanchez has a piece at Ethika Politika arguing in favor of, at least, suppressing spiritually harmful works. We found this bit especially interesting:

None of this is to say that there is no room for reasonable disagreement among faithful Catholics concerning not only socio-economic matters, but headier theological affairs as well. For over half-a-century Thomists and thinkers associated with the nouvelle théologie have engaged in a vigorous (albeit at times unedifying) debate over the doctrine of natura pura (“pure nature”) in Aquinas and his Scholastic interpreters. And with respect to the Church’s social magisterium, there is ample room for discussion on how its principles ought to be operationalized.

When it comes to Catholics—or faithful Christians in general—engaging works produced by secular thinkers, greater caution is required. Only an individual who, following the first part of Mills’s aforementioned advice, is truly steeped in the Catholic tradition and the Church’s magisterium should venture into foreign lands in pursuit of alien wisdom, and then only sparingly. The ultimate goal of any critical engagement with non-Catholic thought should be to uncover a common grammar which can be used to explain, defend, and promote the Catholic Faith. And if that non-Catholic thought is aimed directly at undermining faith and morals, then every reasonable effort should be made to limit its exposure.

We are reminded of Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World—a book that ought to be exhibit one in Hugh Benson’s cause for canonization, so far-sighted and so essentially right was he—and the minor, minor character who never read a book without an imprimatur. Perhaps we needn’t go that far. However, we have a hard time disagreeing with Sanchez. One really ought to familiarize oneself with the Church’s doctrine before wading into topics where conflicting voices may be heard. And our bishops and priests really ought to be more vigilant about warning their flocks about noxious influences.

We doubt whether the First Amendment may be pleaded before the ultimate tribunal.