zaterdag 12 juni 2010

Uit een interview met een Tilburgse pastoor

In Trouw stond woensdag een interview met de Tilburgse pastoor Harm Schilder. De liberaal-protestantse krant - geen baken van onvooringenomenheid jegens het katholicisme - heeft er duidelijk alles aan gedaan om het beeld te kunnen geven van een enge fundamentalist.
Toch zijn de (weinige) zinnen die van de pastoor zelf geciteerd worden, eenvoudigweg waar en provocerend als het christendom zelf.
We citeren er twee, met, bij wijze van instemmend commentaar, twee citaten van de grote denker en bekeerling John Henry Newman:

Schilder: „Vanaf het moment dat ik geloofde heb ik er nooit meer aan getwijfeld. Nooit.”
From the time that I became a Catholic, of course I have no further history of my religious opinions to narrate. In saying this, I do not mean to say that my mind has been idle, or that I have given up thinking on theological subjects; but that I have had no variations to record, and have had no anxiety of heart whatever. I have been in perfect peace and contentment; I never have had one doubt. I was not conscious to myself, on my conversion, of any change, intellectual or moral, wrought in my mind. I was not conscious of firmer faith in the fundamental truths of Revelation, or of more self-command; I had not more fervour; but it was like coming into port after a rough sea; and my happiness on that score remains to this day without interruption. (J.H. Newman, Apologia pro vita sua, hoofdstuk 5, eerste alinea)
Schilder: „Als je maar lang en logisch nadenkt, dan word je vanzelf katholiek” [...]
De pastoor ontkent dat het een slaafse houding is om precies in de pas van de kerk te lopen. „Nee, het is juist verstandig. Het geeft mij een heel duidelijk kader voor wat ik wel en niet kan geloven, denken en doen. Het lijkt misschien dociel, maar dat is het geenszins. Het is rationeel. Het is voor negentig procent gezond verstand. Door álles van de kerk te accepteren bescherm je jezelf namelijk tegen dwalingen. Anders pluk je maar uit het geloof wat van je gading is. Een willekeurig geloof samenstellen is iets dat sekten doen.”
Right Reason, that is, Reason rightly exercised, leads the mind to the Catholic Faith, and plants it there, and teaches it in all its religious speculations to act under its guidance. But Reason, considered as a real agent in the world, and as an operative principle in man's nature, with an historical course and with definite results, is far from taking so straight and satisfactory a direction. It considers itself from first to last independent and supreme; it requires no external authority; it makes a religion for itself. Even though it accepts Catholicism, it does not go to sleep; it has an action and development of its own, as the passions have, or the moral sentiments, or the principle of self-interest. Divine grace, to use the language of Theology, does not by its presence supersede nature; nor is nature at once brought into simple concurrence and coalition with grace. Nature pursues its course, now coincident with that of grace, now parallel to it, now across, now divergent, now counter, in proportion to its own imperfection and to the attraction and influence which grace exerts over it. And what takes place as regards other principles of our nature and their developments is found also as regards the Reason. There is, we know, a Religion of enthusiasm, of superstitious ignorance, of statecraft; and each has that in it which resembles Catholicism, and that again which contradicts Catholicism. There is the Religion of a warlike people, and of a pastoral people; there is a Religion of rude times, and in like manner there is a Religion of civilized times, of the cultivated intellect, of the philosopher, scholar, and gentleman. This is that Religion of Reason, of which I speak. Viewed in itself, however near it comes to Catholicism, it is of course simply distinct from it; for Catholicism is one whole, and admits of no compromise or modification. (J.H. Newman, The Idea of a University, achtste rede, tweede paragraaf).

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