It's OK To Speak Harshly Sometimes

One of the more striking things I’ve come across reading Pascendi Dominici Gregis is the tone. Pope St. Pius X writes many words, and he minces not a one of them.

But we have not yet come to the end of their philosophy, or, to speak more accurately, their folly. (par. 8)

By most measures, that is a sick burn!

Blind that they are, and leaders of the blind, inflated with a boastful science, they have reached that pitch of folly where they pervert the eternal concept of truth and the true nature of the religious sentiment; (par. 13)


For some reason, this style of rebuke seems to have fallen out of favor starting in the second half of the 20th Century. I cannot remember reading such harsh language from the pens of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, or Pope Francis.

The Thing Is, You Can Catch More Flies With Vinegar Than Honey

No really, you can.

Did St. Benedict speak sweetly when he trashed the temple of Apollo? From the given accounts, I expect not. Yet he won converts!

What all this boils down to is: Catholicism is true. Period. Sometimes, speaking a plain truth seems harsh, but isn’t. It offends modern sensibilities to say that modernistic philosophy is more folly than philosophy; but it is true. Saying a modernist perverts the very concept of truth hurts modernist ears; but it is true. And with the grace of God, being challenged by such a hard truth may just be the jolt needed to bring one back to the truth.

You DO NOT Have License To Be A Jerk

Now just because Jesus flipped the tables of the moneychangers that one time does not give every Catholic a license to be a jerk. Harsh words are not called for in every situation. I as a blogger cannot in good conscience admonish in quite the way that the Pope can. But if we refuse to speak the truth plainly out of a concern for the sensibilities of others, we do violence to the truth, hiding it under a bushel basket. And I’d rather not hide the truth, seeing that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Truth.