by J. H. Hernández
Originally Published in Spanish for the Diplomatic Corps of Madrid, Spain on August 22, 1994
There is a related key topic that calls for reflection - The lack of distinction that exists worldwide, even within the Roman Catholic Church, between the meaning of religious fundamentalism and religious fanaticism.
Before embarking on the analysis of the differences between fundamentalism and fanaticism, we must underscore the fact that we are not seeking the justification of anything said in the enclosed documents. We are not even trying to justify the writer of such documents since what really matters is to meditate on the text itself and not on the personality of its author.
The perceived need to modernize the principles and dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church is the subject of continuous debates. Whoever opposes this view is labeled as a reactionary as the flames of the memories of the Inquisition, the Crusades against the Infidels, the intolerance of our neighbor who may have a different opinion, etc. are fanned into an all consuming fire.
The confusion arises when no distinction is made between fundamentalism and fanaticism. This lack of distinction has been fueled by a multitude of events over the centuries.
Primarily, while acknowledging the exceptions, the Roman Catholic Church has used violence as means of Evangelization, the fear of God to consolidate and retain its temporal power and its clergy has been derelict in its missionary responsibilities. However, this perverted deviations from the Revealed Truth do not justify the modification of said Truth by man. What needs to be modified is the aberrant implementation by man of the Revealed Truth.
The results and consequences of such confusion may be found precisely in the words of the archenemy of religion, Friedrich Nietzche.
"I know well these self appointed homologues of God. They seek that people believe what they say and label doubts as sins. I am quite aware of what they really believe."
"Truly, they do not believe in an Eternal Life nor in drops of Redemptive Blood; what they believe is in their own bodies. Their bodies is, amongst themselves, what really matters."
These two paragraphs penned by Nietzsche [F. Nietzsche, "Zarathustra Speaks", 1883-1891] reflect the behavior and characteristics of the clergy at the time. He assumed them as universal characteristics upon which he based his incomplete and erroneous theo-human philosophies.
How much venom has been introduced in humanity's blood stream as the result of the work of Nietzche! All based on an erroneous sample of what he considered the "typical clergy".
This writer resolutely reject intolerance, however, the principles that a Christian defends are not truths that are subject to change throughout history. Invoking the principle of coherence, Christians believe that these are principles given by God through men and not by them. This may or may not be generally believed but, a Christian, to live up to such affiliation, must accept it.
Otherwise, such principles have to be viewed as humanly inspired and not Divinely inspired, making man Judge and Lord of the Truth as Nietzsche erroneously proposed.
It is our opinion that those who hold such view have not understood the freeing essence of Christianity and tries to lighten yokes which do not exist while eliminating the real essence of all religions: The submission to the principles and laws given by God for the benefit of mankind.
The modernization of the application of the Revealed Truth, so that new generations may find it easier to relate to them, is indeed part of the Divine Plan. Modifying the Revealed Truth, is not.
Modernizing its application is not the same as modernizing the essence of the Revealed Truth. If we acknowledge God to be the source of Revealed Truth, then, as its source, it is Eternal; if it is indeed Eternal, it has to be Unchanging since in the Eternal Domain only the Present State exists. If it is Unchanging, it does not require to be modernized.