Comparing King David to Maciel


I would have assumed that the author of this recent comment proclaiming Maciel's innocence was either a troll or someone being sarcastic. However, in the last couple days I have come across a former-LC-brother-turned-RC-organizer with an Anglophone name who actually expressed similar thoughts.

Regardless of whether the individual is trolling, being sarcastic or expressing sincere thoughts, his/her following words hit me: "Finally, it is Catholic teaching that good comes out of evil. Jesus was from the lineage of David, and David had an adulterous relationship with Uriah's wife and then had him killed."

Okay, we've all heard LC/RC apologists use the King David analogy before. And we've all responded: "King David repented publicly. Maciel claimed innocence until death." Fair enough.

But what about King David before he repented? Before Nathan confronted him with the story of the two shepherds? Let's take a good look at 2 Samuel 12.

First, God deprived King David of his first child with Uriah's wife. In short, God permitted the death of the fruit conceived from David's and Bathsheba's adultery. Moreover, God did so on the seventh day, which is the day a baby boy would normally have been circumcised under the Old Covenant - signifying his covenant with God. Since David was asleep when the child died during the night, I'm guessing the child died before receiving circumcision. But I will leave the Biblical experts to figure this out.

Second, God forgave David, but David's adultery and murder continue to curse his descendants long after David had repented. As the prophet Nathan tells David in confronting him: "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised God, and have taken the wife of Uri'ah the Hittite to be your wife," and "Thus says the LORD, `Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.
For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.'"

Forgiveness is possible. God will forgive a repentant heart as He forgave King David. But forgiveness does not remove the temporal consequences of sin. Nor does God's forgiveness insure the survival of the fruit of one's sin.


"Finally, it is Catholic teaching that good comes out of evil. Jesus was from the lineage of David . . ."

Works only if you leave out the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother . . .

One interesting point about poor King David that many seems to get wrong is , if he should even have gone /sent persons into the war,'like all the other kings ' around him !
How about if he had instead chosen to start planning the temple , look out for the welfare of his people and who knows if the whole salvation event would have been speeded up , with enough persons aready in heaven , to take up the #s of the fallen angels and The Kingdom thus coming in , in full measure already !
That was not to be !And so could be the effects of our own wrong choices too that are based on what those around are doing ! is Catholic teaching that good comes out of evil.

Is it? Or is it rather that good can come out of evil?

Peony--I don't think it is Catholic teaching that "good can come out of evil."

Evil can and will be defeated--it will have a definitive end; but good doesn't come out of it.

Sin is a separation from God and evil is the privation or the perversion of good.

Good has a substance; evil does not. Evil is not a thing but an act. Good is both a thing and an act--even to the extent that as thing and act it is joined mysteriously as body and soul.

But evil is merely the misuse of a good--an attempt to co-opt it toward an end for which it was not made. Evil is a twisting and manipulation of that which ever precedes it. Evil cannot create--it can only pervert and misdirect. Indeed, evil has not even the power to destroy.

The point is--evil cannot triumph in the end. But the incarnation, the life and death, the resurrection and ascension of Christ is the evidence par excellance that good does not come out of evil--Good (great good) comes out of good--and defeats and heals the consequences of evil and of sin thereby.

God brings good out of evil, but that says nothing about evil and everything about God: rather if you say therefore forget that evil is evil and good is not, then you are talking amoralism and blaspheming the most holy God who is Good. It's not really all that complicated. Christ didn't say, "Father, don't worry about them, they're just bringing about their salvation." He said, "Father, forgive them..." Watch out: He implied they were commiting evil and it would only be in that forgiveness that good would be made of it.

I like Thomas's explanation myself (am a big fan of the St.), but let's face it, there are times when his levels of philosophy are superfluous. The existence of evil has so very little to do with evil's being non-substantial and so very much to do with free will, for another example.

logician--I agreee--the existence of evil in the world is proof itself of free will. I'm okay with that--as well as all the layers of St. Thomas' explanation of the relationship between good and "evil." St. Augustine's "you really can do evil just to be evil," on the other hand, I never really wanted to believe . . .

"Woe to the world because of the things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come" (Mt 18:7)

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This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on March 20, 2010 11:23 AM.

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