Put aside the contentious subject matter - whether an institution with very clear, very specific, very easy on which to inform oneself fully, very widely disseminated, very long-held without modification standards of belief and practice is within its rights to demand that its paid members not to violate those standards publicly, (ya know, now that I write it out, it seems unlikely that that would be contentious, but that's the world in which we live,) -- how does the speaker know?
How do we know what we know, or think we know regarding good and evil?
Did someone tell us? (Did SomeThree tell us?)
Did someone write down what SomeOne else told us?
Did we "just know" because of vague inchoate feelings that something is "right"?
Did someone make a definitive list of things someone else had written down that SomeOne else told us?
Did we take a poll?
Did we look around to see what the people we hung with thought they knew and decide we would know the same thing?
Did we decide what most people know at this moment in time, even if it is at odds with what until now 99.9999% of all the people who have ever lived knew is what w should know?
Did we taste the fruit and judge the tree good o evil on that basis?
Did the successors of somone to whom Someone else gave the grace to discern what is bound and what is loosed tell us?
I'm just curious.
How do we know?
(By the way, one note, Dennis Herrera put up a strawman to swat at, as far as I can tell, no one, so far as I can find, ever said he was gravely evil. Like most people who want to argue against the truth, Herrera cannot differentiate between the sin and the sinner.)
Herrera's seeming satisfaction with his own powers came back to me when I opened the Magnificat this morning.
Judas is neither a master of evil nor the figure of a demoniacal power of darkness but rather a sycophant who bows down before the anonymous power of changing moods and current fashion.And alas that this needs to be stipulated, but it does, --it's an analogy, folks, I am not calling the attorney Judas, nor putting anyones sins in a league with Judas's.
-- Benedict XVI [emphasis added]