Rorate Caeli

EXCLUSIVE
Williamson: "...modern minds are very sick ...
and Benedict XVI has a modern mind..."

First part of our Interview Week.

From the October edition of The Angelus, an excerpt of Stephen Heiner's astonishing interview with Richard Williamson, one of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and co-consecrated by Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer in 1988 for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX), exactly one year after the visit of the Superior General of the FSSPX (Bishop Bernard Fellay) to the Holy Father at Castelgandolfo.

... Your Excellency, going back to the interview I did with Bishop [Bernard] Tissier [de Mallerais, one of the other three bishops consecrated in 1988] for the Remnant in April, Fr. Anthony Cekada [a Sedevacantist cleric somewhat well-known in America] wrote an article in response that said that for Bishop Tissier, there are no consequences for professing heresy. Is that a fair assessment?

Bishop Tissier would certainly say that what he calls the heresy of Benedict XVI has the very gravest consequences, namely the destruction of the Catholic Church!

Then what do you think Fr. Cekada had in mind?

From today´s destruction of the Church, Fr. Cekada concludes that Benedict XVI cannot possibly be a true Pope. Fr. Cekada surely wishes that Bishop Tissier would draw the same conclusion.

Is Fr. Cekada right or is Bishop Tissier right?

Myself, I believe that Benedict XVI is the true Pope, so I think Bishop Tissier is right.

But what about Benedict XVI´s heresy?

To be such a heretic as to so put oneself out of the Catholic Church that one cannot possibly any longer be its head, i.e. Pope, one must know that one is denying what one knows to be a defined dogma of the Catholic Faith, because such a denial amounts to deliberate apostasy. To become, or to continue being, a Catholic, is a choice. If I know what a Catholic must believe in order to be Catholic, and if I refuse to believe it, then I am choosing to be a heretic instead of a Catholic, and I put myself outside the Church.

So Fr. Cekada would believe that this is the case of Benedict XVI, and you believe it is not?

Correct.

Why?

Because modern minds are very sick, as minds, and Benedict XVI has a modern mind, like millions and millions of modern people, including churchmen, around him.

Firstly, in what does the sickness consist, and secondly, how can Benedict XVI not be aware of it?

The sickness consists in believing that there is no fixed, objective truth which absolutely excludes error. For example, I may believe that 2 and 2 are 4, but I will believe that they can also be 5 or 6 or 600,000 or whatever. The “truth” is what my mind makes it. But the mind is made for objective truth like lungs are made for oxygen, so just as lungs without external oxygen are sick to death, so a mind with no external truth is sick to death.

And how do we see this in someone like Benedict XVI?

Benedict XVI believes that Catholic “truth” can evolve. For instance, very serious statements of Catholic truth that cannot change, like the Syllabus or Pascendi, he calls merely “substantial anchorages” in Church doctrine, meaning that the Church could anchor there, and usefully anchored there for a while, but in modern times the Church needs new “substantial anchorages” in doctrine. He cannot see that this anti-modern Catholic doctrine of his predecessors is of such a nature that it cannot change, and not even as Pope can he change it. His poor mind, however gifted, is sick with that modern – especially German – philosophy which unhooks the mind from its object, like cutting off lungs from oxygen.

But – and that was my follow-up question – how can Benedict XVI not be aware of his condition? He is an educated man, a high churchman, learned in philosophy and theology!

Yes, but like so many high churchmen, even before Vatican II, he is learned in the wrong philosophy! And since in our sick age the wrong philosophy (2 and 2 are 4 but can be, or become, 5) has become “normal”, then he cannot imagine he may be wrong. When John Paul II promoted “conservative” conciliarism, 2000 bishops praised him for being “conservative” and the other 2000 blasted him for being so. Only two bishops dared to protest to his face that he was not truly conservative at all, because he was conciliar. Humanly speaking, repeat, humanly speaking, how could he believe that the two were normal and the four thousand were abnormal? How could he not think he was being “normal”?

Well, how could he?

In the good old days, a Catholic Pope put very intelligent and orthodox theologians in the Holy Office, formerly known as the Inquisition, and these would interrogate a neo-modernist thus: “You have written that Pascendi is only a ´substantial anchorage´. This amounts to heresy. Either you retract, or the Pope has authority to excommunicate you. Kindly choose.” And the neo-modernist would have had to choose, having been made aware, by Church authority, of his heresy.

In other words, a heretic might have blinded himself, but Mother Church used to use her God-given authority to force him to be aware of his heresy.

Correct. But this last resort is unavailable to today´s churchmen, because they are the authority! As Archbishop Lefebvre said in the 70s to the Conciliar Holy Office when they interrogated him on his anti-Conciliarism, “I should be sitting in your place, and you should be sitting in mine”. God bless him, the Archbishop never lost his grip on objective Catholic truth!

Then churchmen such as Benedict XVI are completely innocent of what they are doing?

I did not say that. If they are the authorities of God’s Church, then logically the Lord God is offering them all the graces they need to lead the Church rightly. If then they are misleading the Church, they are refusing those graces, which means that they cannot, inside themselves, be innocent. But we are entering into inner depths upon which God alone can judge.

...
______________
Stephen Heiner is the editor of TrueRestoration.com and conducted the interview in person in Argentina. The full interview will be available in the October issue of The Angelus.

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50 comments:

Lex Orandi said...

The problem that I have with Bishop Williamsom's evaluation is that Ratzinger's sickness is spreading out upon the entire Catholic Church and has been for 40+ years !!!

I do think in the past that Ratzinger / Modernists would have likely not only been tossed out but may have been killed.

You do not just sit around and let cancer (modernism) eat up the entire faithful.

A Pope with a "sick mind" is allowed to continue to rule? What if Ratzinger was a stark raving mad sick mind would he still be allowed to run the Church? I am sorry but from my viewpoint this argument for inaction seems to lack common sense.

Just how many Popes with "sick minds" are we supposed to endure?

New Catholic said...

Let us make quite clear that we do NOT believe that the Holy Father has a "sick mind" (as the syllogism would imply), which is why the whole interview seems so ... astonishing...

Moderation restrictions have been lifted for the moment, so we beg those who wish to comment to write charitably and with self-moderation.

dcs said...

A Pope with a "sick mind" is allowed to continue to rule? What if Ratzinger was a stark raving mad sick mind would he still be allowed to run the Church? I am sorry but from my viewpoint this argument for inaction seems to lack common sense.

So what would you suggest the Church do? Depose the Pope?

csi said...

How true. I know several very intelligent people who adhere to the 'principle' of liberalism. They are intelligent but certainly not wise.

2 against 2 thouand? Why not? Many believed that the world was flat once, or that the earth was the center of the universe.

Indeed the Lord has made them 'blind'!

Lex Orandi said...

New Catholic ... if I am being uncharitable then I am truly sorry, but in the Crusades when the Catholic Faith was under assualt they had a Rosary in one hand and a sword in the other hand. This modernist enemy is far more dangerous and has succeeded in damaging the Church Militant far more then the enemies of the past.

We need to look at the TRUTH and Bishop Williamsom is stating what is likely true. But the FRUITS of the last 40+ years speak for themselves! What did Bishop Sheen write about a "false church"?

DCS you asked - "So what would you suggest the Church do? Depose the Pope?"

I would suggest that people determine the TRUTH and pray upon what action to take. It may already be too late --- excepting for some form of Divine Interaction.

How many minds has this modernist "sickness" spread into?

How many souls may have been lost?

I remind everyone the highest law is the salvation of souls --- this was mentioned at Fatima.

Alex B. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alex B. said...

Well there are only three positions that one can hold at any given time in my opinion (forgive me for a highly simplistic view):

1. The Pope is adhering to Tradition inviolate.

2. The Pope cannot see that he is deviating from Tradition because of his philosophical/theological foundation.

3. The Pope is a manifest heretic and does not have the Faith.

The SSPX holds the second position which I think is the most prudent.

02:39

Juan Manuel Soria said...

Poor Bishop Williamson.

He would be aware he is not a catholic mind.

MacK said...

Cardinal Ratzinger once said in relation to the magesterium & its relations with theologians "for the first time with clarity" that "decisions of the Magisterium may not be the last word on the matter in hand as such," but "a sort of provisional disposition.... The kernel remains stable, but particular aspects on which the circumstances of time have an influence may be in need of further rectifications. In this respect, we may highlight the declarations of the popes of the last century. The anti-modernist decisions rendered a great service..., but they are now out of date."

Now it is clear some of you here like to impugn quotes from reliable sources when it suits you but I do not do this with others. So, to answer directly what is said here by Cardinal Ratzinger must surely apply to his own views on magesterial infallibility which do not accord with ones given on this blogsite and elsewhere.

Contained within such a view openly expressed and several others, it is clear that modernist hierarchs are certainly unsure of what constitutes proper Catholic doctrine. It has all been phenomenologised by undisciplined liberal thought. Hence Holy Communion given by the same cardinal to a protestant, whomever, betrays an astounding lack of clarity of thinking and understanding with regard to the Roman Catholic position on The Holy Eucharist. It also ignores the devastating effect it has on others of weak and unsure faith.

Another area of astonishing oblivion concerns the necessity of conversion for all who do not believe in and hold fast to The Faith in Christ Jesus Our Blessed Lord. This includes the jews and those belonging to false religions but he has inherited his predecessors convenient blind spot there too and effectively revised the Sacred Scriptures and what it infallibly teaches us (as The Roman Catholic Church has always done in pre-conciliar times) the jews and their non-believing contemporaries need conversion or face the prospect of eternal damnation.

Naturally, since the modernist magesterium is flexible and evolves, according to the Ratzingerian model then , of course any doctrine or papal statement may be altered or freely disposed of as "out of date". So, "Universal Salvation" has made traditional church teaching and that of Sacred Scripture similarly outmoded. St Paul's clear teaching on decorum in public worship is, therefore, very old-fashioned and no longer worthy of admission, particularly where women are concerned. The fact that the traditional catechism describes muslims as pagan and JP II's catechism calls them brothers in the faith as sons and daughters of Abraham is yet another "rectification" although "the kernal remains stable". Who is trying to mislead who?

While The Holy Father is not mad - which in any case is not what Bishop Williamson is saying as a literal fact - he does have the customary post-conciliar penchant for straining at gnats and intellectual twists and turns enabling anything to mean anything, as Professor Amerio intimated as characteristic of the thinking of this period in the modern church. The proper sense of things and events is lost. Mediatisation amplifies this tendancy: one which was harnessed by JP II, himself.

If this is the "sickness" alluded to by the bishop, then he is not too far from the point.

If the now Pope Benedict XVI is having a revision of his former Rahnerite modernist perspectives, so much the better. I prefer to think that he has the full use of his faculties. How much more impressive would it be then if we see more from him of that clear-minded sensus fidelium shown by those anti-modernist popes of the nineteenth century, he has often tended to cast aside as "out of date".

AmemusAthanasium said...

Bp. Williamson fails to admit, that to be a Roman Catholic, one only has to hold to the DOgmas of the Faith, proclaimed ex-cathedra by Councils, to be a Roman Catholic.

One can think religious liberty within just boundaries (Dignitatis Humanae) is necessary and good, and teach so, and not be an heretic.

To be an heretic is to say, that everyone can attain heaven BY their own "religions" and that no one is obliged, who after seeing that Catholicism is the Truth, rejects the Church, to confess and abjure and join the Catholic Church.

I somewhat agree with the bishop, that the Pontiff does not see his failures, and does not see how liberalism can be harmful. He thinks a minimum of giving mouth-piece assent to the dogmas of the Catholic Church, is enough to want to do what you want, including breaking of "Roman centralism" to facilitate the Eastern schismatics once again.

The same Benedict XVI as a Cardinal and Pope spoke such contradictory things:
1. He said Jews who rejected Christ were in a deficient situation as to their salvation.
2. He said that the Jews are still "the people of God" (well, they may be still loved by God and eventually in the End times will be converted, but they are not His children right now).

3. He said in his sermon in Warsaw of this year, that it was a heresy to think that the "full Christian truth" was subject to evolution, change because of the changing time and circumstances, thereby condemning Modernism in itself.

4. He said, that Quanta Cura and Pascendi were "not infallible" (which is true) and "could be reformed".

It is not an explicit heresy to say the latter things, but it opens up to heresy. I do not agree with Bp. Tissier, that Ratzinger's theology of the Cross and Redemption is heretical. It's a difference of theology, but not a heresy, as Benedict XVI does not deny, that the death of Jesus on the Cross redeemed us, he merely rejected the theological theory of the Western Church, that it was the sacrifice of a God only to be reconciled by the death of His Son and by blood as by the blood of bulls, but that He was reconciled by obedience and the total self-giving. That might sound novel, but it is not heretical. Mr Jacob Michael, LumenGentleman, wrote nicely about it.

I sadly think, that some of the SSPX BIshops are a bit too simplistically educated to understand other terms than their own. They are often intellectuals and universitary level thinkers, but not that much into modern terminology of philosophy as to understand their opponents

But may God bless Bp. Williamson, he provides the true Sacraments, without sacrileges to faithful Roman Catholics. He preaches simple Catholic Truth from the pulpit. Nothing else. God bless him.

dcs said...

I would suggest that people determine the TRUTH and pray upon what action to take. It may already be too late --- excepting for some form of Divine Interaction.

OK, if we determine that the Pope has a "sick mind" (a notion to which, by the way, I do not prescribe), then what? You raised the question in your original post of whether such a Pope should be "allowed to continue to rule"? What does this mean? Does it mean that if we determine that he has a "sick mind" or that he is "stark raving mad" that we should be able to take some "action" against him? What "action" might that be, if we cannot "endure" such a Pope?

Mike said...

New Catholic - I found the red italicized text very difficult to read.

Legion of Mary said...

New Catholic,

Why are you so surprised? Good grief, Williamson has been saying stuff like this for years.

Lex Orandi said...

dcs you asked several questions that are difficult. What does this mean? Does it mean that if we determine that he has a "sick mind" or that he is "stark raving mad" that we should be able to take some "action" against him? What "action" might that be, if we cannot "endure" such a Pope?

Yes in that past if a pope declared heresy then it is still the duty of Catholics to point it out to him. The question is what types of actions are warranted. I do not have a good answer for that.

According to Father Gregory Hesse there was a Pope in the past that added some words to the Mass and the citizens of Rome almost killed him for doing that. Look to the history of pope and anti-popes to see what has happened.

Bishop Williamsom mentions Modernism and Modernism promotes MAN and look what Jesus called Peter (first pope) he did not just call Peter a "sick mind" he called Peter "Satan". (See
Matthew 16:2, Mark 8:33,Luke 4:8)

Mark 8:33 Who turning about and seeing his disciples, threatened Peter, saying: Go behind me, Satan, because thou savourest not the things that are of God but that are of men.(Douay-Rheims Bible)

Modernism appears to be doing exactly what Jesus Christ is reprimanding Peter about. However, it appears that Peter did learn his lesson whereas Ratzinger and current day Modernists have not recanted.

Pray for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Legion of Mary said...

I wonder if Bishop Williamson would think of Cardinal Newman as a modernist or heretic based on his take on the Syllabus:

"But to return:—the Syllabus then has no dogmatic force; it addresses us, not in its separate portions, but as a whole, and is to be received from the Pope by an act of obedience, not of faith, that obedience being shown by having recourse to the original and authoritative documents, (Allocutions and the like,) to which it pointedly refers. Moreover, when we turn to those documents, which are authoritative, we find the Syllabus cannot even be called an echo of the Apostolic Voice; for, in matters in which wording is so important, it is not an exact transcript of the words of the Pope, in its account of the errors condemned,—just as is natural in what is professedly an index for reference."

Letter to the Duke of Norfolk

Athanasius said...

Isn't it great how one out of context quote is held as the trump card for all arguments?

Even if the rendering of Newman is accurate, what of Pascendi? What of other documents that most definitely are authoritative that the conciliar Popes have ignored, or suggested are out of date?

Secondly Newman is only saying that the Syllabus doesn't have dogmatic force because of what it is, rather it's contents contain both juridical and dogmatic propositions which are referred to in other documents. It is totally fallacious to suggest Newman doesn't consider the Syllabus authoritative. He's just pointing out the nature of the document, much like the catechism. It has no dogmatic force as a document, (both old and new) but it contains dogmatic propositions requiring assent by all Catholics.

Janice said...

Lex orand & Mack,

Pope Benedict has NEVER said that Truth is relative. He has only said that, in order to catechize effectively, one must be able to explain the Truth to people of different times and places in terms they can understand. He has also very reasonably said that certain statements made in certain situations were never designed to stand for all time. These are contingent historical situations. This is true of many pastoral decisions. They speak to the moment, not for all time, even those issued by popes.

The statements of Gregory XVI and Pius IX (Mirari Vos; Syllabus of Errors) on religious liberty spoke to the impending and completed loss of the Papal States. These statements involved STATE CONTROL AND COERCION OF ONE'S RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION. The notion of religious liberty is freedom from such coercion. It is only common sense that one cannot be coerced into belief. No one can be forced to accept Jesus Christ against his or her will. It goes against the dignity of the human person to force them to accept something they do not believe, even something for their own good. The age of the "confessionally Catholic state" is gone. And it was not a characteristic of early Christianity, but only came about itself through contingent circumstances, i.e., the adoption of Christianity by the house of Constantine, and later, by the adoption of Christianity by the German Gothic tribes, which then became nations.

Moreover, Gregory XVI and Pius IX were also speaking politically, as temporal lords. There is no way that that was ever a valid dimension of the Petrine office. Where does Jesus say in Scripture that the Petrine office is connected with temporal lordship or ownership of vast tracts of land? If you wish to talk about "modernist thinking," then this is it and Bishop Williamson is an exponent of it. He would do well to reconsider his adherence to the false notion of a [forced] "assent to faith," which is simply the recrudescence of the old totalitarian vision of cuius regio, eius religio, whether it appears in communist regimes with a state religion or in the Papal States, with forced conversions to Catholicism.

Cardinal Ratzinger's remarks are a perfect summation of these ad hoc magisterial statements : . . . "that there are decisions of the Magisterium that cannot be a last word on the matter as such, but are, in a substantial fixation of the problem, above all an expression of pastoral prudence, a kind of provisional disposition. Its nucleus remains valid, but the particulars, which the circumstances of the times have influenced, may need further ramifications."

Cardinal Ratzinger actually verified the central insight of these magisterial documents regarding Modernism and Religious Liberty in their defiance of hasty, non-thought-out adaptations. He also did this in his December 2006 address to the Roman Curia, when he remarked that, initially, the age of revolutions, as exemplified by the French Revolution, was regarded as one of darkness. But with the American Revolution it was discovered that religious observance could be protected by an impartial state (and has been if you know your US history).

Bishop Williamson's tenet that a confessionally-Catholic state is a desideratum is disingenous at best. The Church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be spiritual, not temporal. We are in the world, not of it. Surely, the historical circumstances of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the early Modern period have taught us something.

Benedict XVI is far wiser, and far more orthodox than his SSPX critics. Bishop Williamson is the one with a modern mind and a sick mind.

Jordan Potter said...

"Moreover, Gregory XVI and Pius IX were also speaking politically, as temporal lords."

No, they were speaking as Popes. The fact that the Bishop of Rome, like all bishops have always been, is also a temporal lord, does not in any way give one a loophole from their doctrine on the inadmissibility of separation of Church and State.

"There is no way that that was ever a valid dimension of the Petrine office."

Well, in that case we'll just have to ditch the dogmas of Ecclesial and Papal Infallibility, since the validity of the right of the Church to exercise authority both temporally and spiritually is unquestionably a doctrine of the faith maintained by Pope after Pope after Pope.

"Where does Jesus say in Scripture that the Petrine office is connected with temporal lordship or ownership of vast tracts of land?"

"Where does it say in Scripture. . .?" Careful, Janice, you're talking like a Sola Scriptura Protestant.

But if you want Scripture, look at Matt. 16:18, where Jesus gives St. Peter the keys to His Kingdom, appointing him "Prime Minister" of the Kingdom of God. Jesus, of course, is the Lord over all the earth. That means St. Peter's Successor exercises Christ's lordship over all nations and territories by proxy.

How St. Peter's Successor exercises that lordship changes from time to time and from place to place. It can, but need not always, include things like the Papal States.

I think Bishop Williamson has fallen into one ditch, while you have fallen into the opposite ditch.

dcs said...

According to Father Gregory Hesse there was a Pope in the past that added some words to the Mass and the citizens of Rome almost killed him for doing that. Look to the history of pope and anti-popes to see what has happened.

The Pope in question was St. Gregory the Great. He added words to the Canon (to the Hanc Igitur if I remember rightly) and was severely criticized for it (though I don't know if the people in Rome actually rioted as some have said).

Janice said...

Jordan Potter,

You do not understand speaking on temporal matters versus temporal lordship. Landholdings are not specified in the Scriptures, and no, I'm not speaking as a sola scriptura Protestant (unless you want to count Benedict XVI in that category as well).

Jesus was not appointing a "Prime Minister," as you so quaintly put it, but someone to preach the coming of His kingdom.

The doctrine of Papal Infallibility does not depend, OBVIOUSLY, on temporal landholdings, or it would never have been promulgated at all, coming as it did, right on the heels of the Risorgimento.

This statement of yours was particularly artistic in its ignorance:

"No, they were speaking as Popes. The fact that the Bishop of Rome, like all bishops have always been, is also a temporal lord, does not in any way give one a loophole from their doctrine on the inadmissibility of separation of Church and State."

Mr. Potter, Gregory XVI and Pius IX were speaking in their understanding of the Papal office, which, because they were men of their time, and had not the requisite understanding of the message of Scripture and the earlier Fathers, was contorted to require the inadmissibility of the separation of Church and state.

This is bad theology and bad pastoral practice. It is not justified by any knowledge of Scripture or the Fathers or the history of prayer. It contorts the image of God in man to one of a slave to an overlord.

You should study some Scripture and some patristics before you go on about what the early modern papacy was all about. It was a time of very limited understanding and very defensive reactions to the world around it. The spiritual message of the papacy was diluted, if not abrogated, by its deal with the Devil, which was what the Papal States were. It took the great Pius XI to break free of this burden and set the Papacy on a more spiritual course. Of course, he was a scholar and knew a little history; that probably helped.

With Peter said...

To acknowledge someone as Pope--God's directly willed vicar--and to deliberately disobey him is about the most ANTI-traditional thing I have ever heard of.

I know Fr. Cekada personally and although his "church" is a headless horseman--each disciple following tradition "as best he can" (kind of like the protestants and Scripture)--his position is far more consistent, logical and traditional than Msgr. Williamson's. You can bet that Fr. Cekada is going to have a response to this interview before you can say sedevacantism.

For the record, Ratzinger has always distinguished between "reformable" and "irreformable" teaching. The latter category being absolute, dogmatic and unchangeable. Therefore Williamson's description is entirely false and probably dishonest (although stupidity or sickness of mind are also less likely possibilities). At any rate I don't claim to judge the man's character.

With Peter said...

Dear "Manichaean" Bishop WIlliamson,

"By this authority, although it is given to man and is exercised by man, is not human, but rather divine, and has been given by the divine Word to Peter himself and to his successors in him, whom the Lord acknowedged as an established rock, when he said to Peter himself: Whatsoever you bind, etc. Therefore, whosoever resists this power ordained by God, resists the order of God, unless as a Manichaean he imagines that there are two beings, which we judge false and heretical, because, as Moses testifies, not in the beginnings, but in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Furthermore, we declare, say, define and proclaim to every human creature [presumably Bp. Williamson is included in this category] that they by necessity for salvation are ENTIRELY SUBJECT to the Roman Pontiff."

And,

"We teach and declare also that the Roman Pontiff is the supreme judge of all the faithful [do you wish to be counted in this category, Msgr. Williamson?], and that in all cases pertaining to ecclesiastical examination recourse can be had to his judgment; moreover, that the judgment of the Apostolic See, whose authority is not surpassed, is to be disclaimed by no one, nor is anyone permitted to pass judgment on its judgment."

This means you.

Sincerely,

Pope Boniface VIII and the fathers of Vatican I.

With Peter said...

"Gregory XVI and Pius IX were also speaking politically, as temporal lords. There is no way that that was ever a valid dimension of the Petrine office. Where does Jesus say in Scripture that the Petrine office is connected with temporal lordship or ownership of vast tracts of land?"

Jordan is right, Janice. Christ conferred heavenly/eternal AND earthly/temporal authority to Peter when he said, "What you bind on earth is bound in heaven," etc. Again, he gives them temporal authority when he says to Peter and the ten: “As the Father has sent me (i.e. with total authority), even so I send you” (Jn 20:21). And again, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth has been given to me, go therefore…” (Mt 28:18-19). This is in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy: “And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him…And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high…and all dominions shall serve and obey them” (Dn 7:14, 27). This applies is a special way to Peter since he is the visible head of “the people of the saints of the most high” (i.e. the Church).

Being a temporal lord is DEFINITELY a valid dimension of the Petrine office from the very first moment of its institution up to the present time and until the Master once again takes visible possession of his keys. The pope is in fact a “prime minister” as was prophesied in the book of Isaiah 22:15-25. A father is not less than a lord, but more. This is why we owe him all our obedience AND all our love.

Peter, of course, has the right to speak in different capacities and to require different sorts of responses from the faithful. Moreover, Peter’s successors have absolute and exclusive authority to change non-dogmatic teachings and practices however they deem fit. This is the key to understanding changes in political, disciplinary and even doctrinal approaches of different pontiffs.

Jordan Potter said...

“Landholdings are not specified in the Scriptures”

Well then, I guess the Church had better sell off every piece of real estate and every building it owns, stop paying its employees and switch entirely to a volunteer staff, since according to Popess Janice I it is apparently contrary to Scripture for the Church to exercise temporal lordship over anything or anyone.

“I’m not speaking as a sola scriptura Protestant (unless you want to count Benedict XVI in that category as well).”

Hey, you were the one who demanded scriptural proof but didn’t seek to interact with the teachings of the ordinary and extraordinary Magisterium on the rights of the Church. And I’m not aware of any proof that Pope Benedict XVI agrees with you that papal temporal lordship is contrary to the Catholic faith. If he really thought as you do, why does he not dissolve the Vatican City State, give Cardinal Bertone a pink slip, and recall all the Holy See’s ambassadors?

“Jesus was not appointing a ‘Prime Minister,’ as you so quaintly put it, but someone to preach the coming of His kingdom.”

Scripture disagrees with you. Matt. 16:18-19 shows Jesus giving St. Peter the keys to the kingdom. As Isa. 22 shows, in the Davidic kingdom of Israel and Judah, it was the Royal Steward, that is, the king’s “prime minister,” who held the keys to the kingdom and therefore served as a royal proxy throughout the kingdom. Jesus’ kingdom is the entire universe, so His steward or prime minister, the Pope, holds universal authority from his lord and sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Universal authority must necessarily include temporal authority, not just spiritual authority.

“The doctrine of Papal Infallibility does not depend, OBVIOUSLY, on temporal landholdings, or it would never have been promulgated at all, coming as it did, right on the heels of the Risorgimento.”

Wrong again. The doctrine of papal infallibility preceded the Risorgimento. It was the dogmatic definition of papal infallibility that came after the Risorgimento. Anyway, I didn’t say the doctrine does not depend on temporal landholdings. What I said, although not very clearly, is that the doctrine of the Church’s right to exercise temporal lordship is infallible in the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium.

Now, this statement of yours was particularly artistic in its arrogance:

“Mr. Potter, Gregory XVI and Pius IX were speaking in their understanding of the Papal office, which, because they were men of their time, and had not the requisite understanding of the message of Scripture and the earlier Fathers, was contorted to require the inadmissibility of the separation of Church and state.”

Well, I’m so very grateful that the Holy Spirit has finally seen fit to bestow upon you the requisite understanding of the message of Scripture and the earlier Fathers, so that the false doctrines taught by so many hundreds of earlier Popes can be corrected by your new and better understanding that states must never acknowledge the truth of Catholicism and the supreme lordship of Jesus.

“You should study some Scripture and some patristics before you go on about what the early modern papacy was all about.”

What a great idea. Since I’m a Catholic, I never study the Bible and read the early Fathers. It had never occurred to me that I could do that. I’d always figured I'd leave that to the priests and bishops, since I checked my brain at the door and burned my Bible when I converted to the Catholic faith.

“The spiritual message of the papacy was diluted, if not abrogated, by its deal with the Devil, which was what the Papal States were.”

Wow, you sound just like me during my fundamentalist anti-Catholic days. That is exactly, word-for-word, what I believed the Papal States were too. Of course, I was sure the spiritual message had been entirely abrogated by that “deal with the Devil.”

“It took the great Pius XI to break free of this burden and set the Papacy on a more spiritual course. Of course, he was a scholar and knew a little history”

Unlike Popes Gregory XVI and Pius IX – they were uneducated buffoons.

Well Janice, after seeing you make this sad attempt at pontificating on what the Catholic faith is and isn’t, I can only conclude that you don’t seem to have much if anything constructive or helpful to bring to this subject.

Jordan Potter said...
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Matt said...

"He preaches simple Catholic Truth from the pulpit. Nothing else. God bless him. "

AmemusAthanasium:
I don't know about that, have you ever heard him expound his theories on the US Government's involvement in 9/11?




"The spiritual message of the papacy was diluted, if not abrogated, by its deal with the Devil, which was what the Papal States were
...
Mr. Potter, Gregory XVI and Pius IX were speaking in their understanding of the Papal office, which, because they were men of their time, and had not the requisite understanding of the message of Scripture and the earlier Fathers, was contorted to require the inadmissibility of the separation of Church and state.

This is bad theology and bad pastoral practice. It is not justified by any knowledge of Scripture or the Fathers or the history of prayer"

Janice:
I think it's presumptuous of you to accuse those great popes of not understanding scripture and the fathers, who they were much closer to than YOU or I. Perhaps you might concede that, while their methods may not be prudent for our time, they at least might seem to be prudent in their own. If your going to insist on holding your position, perhaps you should make specific accusations rather than vague generalisations. In what way exactly were the papal states a deal with the devil?

monkey said...

Bp. Williamson's arguments of a sick mind simply begs the question of culpability--this is like saying a normal sinner (not someone with a mental disease as I think Bp. Williamson would agree that Joseph Ratzinger is not in this category) has a sick mind and therefore does not really break God's laws. It is quite simple: the Pope has an obligation to know that truth and should submit to it. If he doesn't, then he is a heretic. Would someone keep going to a "sick" surgeon who doesn't know how to perform heart transplants? I think this interview makes murky the waters in order to disguise the painful truth: Rome has become the seat of the anti-christ...God help us!

With Peter said...

Janice and Jordan Potter,

To say that "landholdings" is not specified in Scripture is not true.

"All creation" (Mk 16:15) is entrusted to Peter's apostolic care, which clearly has an earthly, visible and temporal character. Being Christ's vicar and visible representative, all things belong to him by moral, metaphysical and theological right (regardless of whether human law wishes to recognize or accede to this right). Read Daniel 7 carefully.

In any case, it is Bishop Williamson, not the pope, who has put himself in the position of denying that 2 + 2 = 4 by denying the truth of the Peter's ordinary, universal, supreme authority.

By caving to what amounts to the principle of private interpretation, Williamson (1) subjects all truth to the most arbitrary human whims, (2) shows that his ghastly and pretentious claim to truth is completely false and (3) proves that, in substance, he's never stopped being an Anglican. He's simply become an Anglican with putrid political views and exquisite liturgical tastes.

Legion of Mary said...

Where's the infallible magisterium of Brother Bugnolo when you need him?

New Catholic said...

"Lies" (erased comment) goes a little too far, dear friends. Please, keep the self-moderating tone.

R. Thornton said...

Do you people think that capitalizing what you believe are the important words in your arguments gives these arguments greater force? It seems so puerile, rather like stamping your foot or pounding the table.

J. Lawrence Case said...

Three major things wrong with Bp. Williamson's answers.

1. "denying what one knows to be a defined dogma of the Catholic Faith, because such a denial amounts to deliberate apostasy."

Here Bp. Williamson mistakes the definition of apostasy for heresy. Apostasy is rather the rejection of Christ entirely, such as becoming a Buddhist or an atheist.

This appears to indicate that Bp. Williamson is not following the concern of Abp. Lefebvre, who said 5 years before he died:

"Now some priests (even some priests in the Society) say that we Catholics need not worry about what is happening in the Vatican; we have the true sacraments, the true Mass, the true doctrine, so why worry about whether the Pope is a heretic or an impostor or whatever; it is of no importance to us. But I think that is not true."

Had Bp. Williamson maintained this same vigilant concern of his consecrator, he could not mistake the notion of heresy for apostasy. The Archbishop's concern is now a major problem of the SSPX. I don't think there is one priest in it that maintains this vigilant concern about the man obstructing the See of St. Peter.

2. He confuses the doctrinal CAUSE of becoming a heretic internally with HOW others can tell it has occurred internally. Aside from the willful acknowledgment, the only way for the Church to tell if a member of the Church is pertinacious is if higher AUTHORITY faces and corrects him, and the man does not "hear the Church". However, the only exception to this is a pope, because he has no Church authority over him to judge him. What replaces the authority is the dogmatic fact that the Holy Ghost will prevent a true pope from accidentally promoting anything harmful to faith or morals, in customs, liturgy, disciplines or laws of the Church. If we see the Holy Ghost allowed it, it is a dogmatic fact that the man who is acting as head is not a true pope. It is a conclusion based on a dogma - a dogmatic fact. The Holy See has directly approved of the idea of ordinary clerics in the Church judging that such a thing occurred and that they could proceed to a declaration of that fact.

Bp. Williamson starts to talks of an Inquisition in the old days, but bringing this up in regarding to an erring pope is contrary to Catholic teaching because there is no authority in the Church that is above a pope. That is Catholic doctrine.

3. Lastly, speaking of the "sick" mind of modern man, Bp. Williamson has become imbued with some of that sickness himself by relegating modernism to a "sickness". It is a modern, liberal notion in which things like, homosexuality, alcoholism, diabolical possession, etc. are all explained away naturally so as to remove the notion of guilt. The modern mind wishes to smother conscience, guilt and sin, and replace it with maladies that one is either born with, or becomes infected by, as a disease.

St. Pius X, in his famous encyclical Pascendi, dissected the causes of modernism, and there is no such explanation for it that terms it a sickness, disease or malady. The Saint said it was based on curiosity and pride, and that modernism was a heresy. Now Bp. Williamson is pleasing the contemporary Jews and Liberals by calling modernism a "sickness of the mind". No guilt; always pope!

Ratzinger was about 27 years old and 3 years a priest when St. Pius X was canonized in 1954. Can we say he didn't notice that this occasion gave the divine stamp of approval to the Pope-Saint's famous encyclical condemning modernism and exposing its causes?

St. Pius X wrote in part:

"...their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy."

"That the proximate and immediate cause consists in an error of the mind cannot be open to doubt. We recognize that the remote causes may be reduced to two: curiosity and pride."

Bp. Williamson is solely focusing on the proximate and immediate cause, to the exclusion of the root cause. Such a mistaken, exclusive focus would exonerate a drunk from speeding at 120 miles per hour and demolishing a bus load of school children - because the man didn't know what he was doing because his mind was so impaired! The Church teaches, however, that the root and remote cause is his will to get drunk in the first place.

What interesting things this interview has revealed, and the SSPX didn't discern them. Not surprising in the least considering the theological insanity they follow in the attempt to keep their lips mouthing the words, "we have a pope". You know, the one they claim is head of the Catholic Church and head of a false Church simultaneously?

MacK said...

It is abundantly clear that many modern catholics, and here as well, are so infatuated by the modernist phenomenologised philosophies of contemporary high placed churchmen that even when a modernist cardinal or pope make statements which are patently and unmistakeably un-Catholic and un-Scriptural they, in like fashion, strain at gnats and linguistically weave and wind their precarious intellectual pathway toward some sort of revisionistic resolution of the problem. The outcome, however, remains far from satisfactory. Either that or they ignore the objective evidence confronting them that such liberalised perspectives have corroded the proper sense of The Roman Catholic Faith and its current condition.

Indeed, not only that but the same is done also with the public behaviour of the same hierarchical figures when it falls far short of orthodox Catholic norms and values. This is victimhood to postmodernist relativism and religious pluralism. One can hear Pope Leo XIII and Pope St Pius X sensible admonitions, at this point.

A simple general comparison between writings of Pope St Pius X with Pope John Paul II (RIP) makes abundantly clear the former thinks, acts and behaves like a Roman Catholic while the other appears almost embarrassed, in toto, by his Roman Catholicism in the face of his interreligious and ecumenical objectives. Witness also how the latter praised Pope Paul VI as the pope he admired most, yes, the one who undid all the wonderful work of St Pius X which had protected the church from the subsequent disaster which has befallen it in the post-conciliar era.

Cardinal Ratzinger loves Mozart and likes a little Gregorian Chant but his writings, and I have a wealth of them here with me as I do other churchmen traditional and otherwise, have not the clarity or conviction of The Roman Catholic Faith as did his nineteenth century papal colleagues or those from earlier eras in the church. Ambiguity and relativised pluralism have become the norm. At times there are glimmers but the sequel mostly puts tradition in the supposed sombre shadows of the so-called "dark ages".

How was it then that Catholicism was so vibrant and so strong on the eve of VCII, as Pope John XXIII intimated before he opened that symbolic window to the world? Yet, since then, we live amidst the wreckage of "autodemolition" and an era where Satan has entered the sanctuary. These are a pope's expressions and not mine - but, of course, they are of only temporary meaning as each passing decade brings new insights and new understandings, according to modern-speak. The new makes what went before "out of date".

Jordan Potter said...

"Do you people think that capitalizing what you believe are the important words in your arguments gives these arguments greater force?"

NO, WE DON'T!

;-)

Janice said...

"With Peter,"

I respect your posts, so this is not criticism of you, but just a response.

Of course, Our Lord gave the right to speaking on temporal affairs. But to go back to the Old Testament and from that equate Our Lord's Kingdom, which he said was not of this world, with the sovereign nation of Israel, is to carry prooftexting too far. Moreover, it misunderstands the message of Jesus, I think. He was not about establishing a kingdom on earth.

Jesus, as he said, was the fulfillment of the Covenant that Israel had with God. So, it is not a question of supersessionism, but fulfillment. Moreover, Israel's covenants with God were formed, not after the manner of vassals with their lord (the Medieval construct), but that of a voluntary grant of God to humanity. The Covenant of God, when confirmed and fulfilled in Jesus is taken out of the realm of transitory kingdoms, which rise and fall, and put into the hearts of ALL people.

The great Pius XI realized this when he said: "Spiritually, we are Semites." He then removed the Catholic Church from the field of temporal lordship by accepting the conclusions of the Risorgimento. Obviously, the Catholic Church had to have a place from which to evangelize, so, as a man of his time, and given historical exigency, he adopted the concordat (it was the age of concordats, after all), as a means to guarantee that the Holy See had a place from which to operate. He did not intend to establish a temporal locus from which to exercise a temporal lordship; that day was past.

Over the next decades, the Holy See did adopt an increasingly "state-like" apparatus, which increased multifold with the papacy of Paul VI and the elevation of the Secretariat of State. It is obvious that Benedict XVI is returning the Holy See to a more spiritual direction, in which the true measure of the Papacy will be found, as it was practiced before the age of the Carolingians, when the forged Donation of Constantine was made the basis of Papal sovereignty over the lands of Italy and the West.

By the way, Mr. Potter, you are still a fundamentalist Christian if you are reading Isaiah and apply it literally to the New Testament. If you wish to read the Christian Scriptures as they were meant to be, read some Origen or Augustine.

Jordan Potter said...

"By the way, Mr. Potter, you are still a fundamentalist Christian if you are reading Isaiah and apply it literally to the New Testament."

Hate to break the news to you, Janice, but I'm not the only Catholic who has noticed the way Matt. 16:18-19 builds on and fulfills Isa. 22, which provides us with an allegory of Christ's Davidic Kingdom and the Papacy.

"If you wish to read the Christian Scriptures as they were meant to be, read some Origen or Augustine."

I think you meant to say, "Read some MORE Origen or Augustine."

I just have to smile at your desperate attempts to explain away the fact that the Pope is still a temporal head of state. If you would just give up your un-Catholic opposition to the Church's right to own and govern temporal goods, your eyes wouldn't go cross-eyed when you look at the Vatican City State.

As it happens, I agree that the House of Savoy's and Garibaldi's rape of the States of the Church has been a liberating blessing for the Papacy in particular and the Church in general. However, you go beyond that with your claim that it was a "deal with the Devil" when the Pope's temporal authority took on a concrete form in the donation of lands.

The Kingdom of God is not of this world, but it is IN the world, and it redeems the world. Your position just seems so, I don't know, Manichaean or something.

With Peter said...

“Thy kingdom come…on earth as it is in heaven.”

Dear Janice, Jesus’ confession that his kingdom is “not of this world” is a lament for the sad state of the current order, which is under the power of the prince of darkness. But it is for the Church to cooperate with God’s grace to bring about a growth in the kingdom of Christ in preparation of the time when Christ will be all in all. I will not trouble you with proof texts—which you will no doubt recognize with or without citation—at this point, we are really speaking of a theme that runs through the whole New Testament. Here’s a relevant quote from Vatican II: “The Church—that is the kingdom of Christ—already present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world” (LG 3). This means, among other things, that the temporal, social, political, and even economic dominion of God is supposed to grow in the course of history before the final upheaval secures it forever. This task is primarily set apart for the laity, but their endeavors are to be directed and corrected by the hierarchy (see Lumen Gentium, Apostolicam Actuositatem and Christifidelis Laici). It goes without saying that liberationist priests definitely and frequently have crossed this line, basically abandoning their hierarchical vocation to become social revolutionaries. In any case, establishing an earthly kingdom is EXACTLY what Jesus was about: This is why he put it right smack in the middle of the Our Father.

Pius XI’s compromise with Mussolini was designed and duly succeeded in securing the recognition of one aspect of the Church’s universal temporal domain. Although I think Jordan is being more polemical and ostentatious than he needs to be, perhaps to have a little fun at your expense, he is correct. Because the pope is the visible head of the Church, Ephesians 1:22 applies directly to him: “The Father of glory has put all things under his feet and made him the head over all things for the sake of the Church.” This possession was secured by the Lord’s ascension (vs. 20)—which is the precise moment when Peter became the Church’s visible head—but its universal recognition will only be secured by the second coming at which time Peter’s visible headship will come to an end.

Peter’s governance extends from Alaska to Zimbabwe because as Paul VI said in the first sentence of his first encyclical, “The Church was founded by Christ to be the loving mother of the whole human family” or as Cardinal Schonborn said in the spiritual exercises he preached to Pope John Paul II, “If all things were created for Christ, then it is also true that all things were created for the Church, his body.”

With Peter said...

Janice- I invite you to read Henri de Lubac’s book called “Scripture in the Tradition.” He shows beyond all doubt that the Fathers knew that the New Testament not only fulfills (viz. Mt 5:17) but also supersedes the Old (viz. Hb 8:13). To be even more precise, the New fulfills the Old because it supersedes it (viz. 2 Cor 3:14).

Remember that Jeremiah’s prophecy explicitly says, “I will make a new covenant…NOT LIKE the covenant I made with their fathers” (Jer 31:31-32). The New Testament is at once the newest moment in the unfolding development of God’s revelation, and yet it is something entirely and definitively new and unprecedented. There is paradoxically both a flawless continuity and a violent punctuation between the two testaments: “At the very moment that the gift of the New Testament creates the contrast, it suppresses it . . . Sometimes it is the contrast which is emphasized, and sometimes harmony . . . The Christian meditating on Scripture, enjoys it as he enjoys a piece of music” (de Lubac).

With Peter said...

I found a Jordan Potter post somewhere else and thought it fit in here. The first paragraph is his, the second is mine.

"Prooftexting" is not the same thing as quoting passages of the Bible to support or to illustrate a doctrine of the Faith. "Prooftexting" involves latching onto any text that sounds like it would support one's beliefs or opinions, even if it means ripping the text out of context and twisting it all out of shape. It's a shallow way of reading a text. The Fathers and medieval exegetes were not shallow, and they did not as a rule ignore context and the plain sense of the Scriptures texts that they interpreted.

With regard to the temporal lordship, there is overwhelming evidence in the Scriptures, Tradition and current Magisterial teaching. Is 22 and Daniel 7 just show how deep this theme runs. Daniel 7 especially shows the full temporal and spiritual domain of the kingdom that was handed from the Ancient of Days (the Father) to the Son of Man (the Son), and from the Son of Man to the Saints of the Most High (the Church), of whom Peter is the visible head. This is NOT "prooftexting."

Sixtus V said...

Willaimson is a bishop in much the same way Talleyrand was a bishop, I don't doubt his orders - but that is as far as I'd go. Only the devil himself could be behind the type of chopped logic dressed up in orthodoxy that the neo-protestant Williamson pours forth. I hope the other three SSPXers have more faith and sense, and that Williamson is invincible in his ignorance.

Roy F. Moore said...

Getting back to the matter under original discussion, I think for matters of accuracy that the "sickness" of the current Holy Father is not a claim of mental sickness.

If I am discerning correcly, it would be more accurate to call it a "philosophical illness". Said illness being the philosophy of Hegel, Husserl, Rahner and the promoters of "Nouvelle Theologie", rather than St. Thomas Aquinas and his successors.

In other words, our current Holy Father is not mentally ill.

But he is "philosophically ill". And we can only pray the Holy Ghost, through Mary Immaculate, will cure him of such an illness.

Thank you all for your time, attention and patience.

ClemensMaria said...

AmemusAthanasium wrote:

4. He said, that Quanta Cura and Pascendi were "not infallible" (which is true) and "could be reformed".


I quote from Quanta Cura (Denzinger 1699): "And so all and each evil opinion and doctrine individually mentioned in this letter, by Our Apostolic authority We reject, proscribe, and condemn; [emphasis in original] and We wish and command that they be considered as absolutely rejected, proscribed, and condemned by all the sons of the Catholic Church."

How is this encyclical not ex cathedra? Isn't he defining doctrine to be held by the universal church? It appears so to me. In which case, it would be wrong to call Quanta cura "not infallible".

With Peter said...

The difference between “universal teaching” and “infallible teaching” is that the former are not binding upon the pope himself or future pontiffs, whereas the latter are binding. In other words, “universal teaching” is what Peter has authority to bind and loose (Mt 16:19), but “infallible teaching” he must simply guard until the day which has been entrusted to him (2 Tm 1:12).

Truth does not change, but the manner in which it is expressed or emphasized can, except in the case of dogma. Dogmas can be articulated in new ways, of course, but the original articulation must be strictly observed and preserved in a way that the ordinary and universal articulations of doctrine do not. Dogmas cannot be “reformed.”

This is precisely where Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI departs from Alfred Loisy, George Tyrell and the modernists. And this is also where Msgr. Williamson’s criticisms of him are shown to be erroneous. The pope does not believe that “truth can evolve,” he believes that its expression in human language can evolve as long as the truth remains the same. Certainly the way in which the truth of the Eucharist was expressed evolved in the Middle Ages, when the proliferation of the language of substance, accidents and transubstantiation enabled people to better understand what happened at the Last Supper and during each and every Mass down through history. All this was already proven in that good and holy Catholic book by J.H. Newman: “An essay on the development of Christian doctrine.”

freecyprus said...

You know SPX actually now has a huge problem with Ratzinger because there was a lot of ambiguity on what the proper course of action if a pope promotes doctrinal errors so they were able to kind of take the middle course, accept JPII as pope and sift the "error" from the good teaching. But there is a pretty solid canonical and theological consensus that a heretic cannot be legitimately elected pope. Unlike JPII and Paul VI, Ratzinger has a lot of published work. There is no way one can come away from reading it and and think that he believes in orthodox catholic doctrine. A lot of the beliefs that he presents in his works as his own are lifted from condemned protestant and modernist heresies. I'll just refer to one incriminating work. In the Joint Declaration on Justification with Lutherans that he promulgated, the Trentian teaching on justification is explicitly rejected, with most of the Trentian anathemas junked in favor of the very Luther's formulations that were condemned at the council. The reason given is historicism, the definitions were relevant then, but not now. But in no understanding of catholic doctrine prior to Vatican II, were definitions made at the major ecunemical councils and promulgated by the Pope ever considered to be only temporarily binding and contingent on prevailing historical conditions. Sure, there have been legitimate innovative theoligians controversial in their day - St.Thomas Aquinas was one. But no orthodox catholic thinker ever believed that major councils such as Trent could be junked (even by a pope).

With Peter said...
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With Peter said...

What you said is inaccurate. The Joint Declaration explicitly acknowledged the doctrinal validity of the Tridentine condemnations (no. 1) and took care to affirm that the teaching of “this Declaration does not fall under the condemnations from the Council of Trent (no. 41). These are the only two times in the document that Trent is explicitly mentioned, in the Appendix there is a concerted effort to back up the truth of this consonance.

Now whether or not you think the Declaration implicitly junks Trent, it clearly cannot be maintained that “the Trentian teaching on justification is explicitly rejected, with most of the Trentian anathemas junked in favor of the very Luther's formulations that were condemned at the council.”

I would be very interested in engaging the question of whether ANY proposition from the Declaration contradicts ANY proposition from Trent. I have not yet found any such contradiction.

You should also bear in mind that the 1917 and 1983 Codes of Canon Law list “obstinacy” in their definition of a heretic (CIC/17 c. 1325) and heresy (CIC/83 c. 751) respectively. This does not mean that one must judge the subjective disposition of soul, but it does require that he has been presented with his error and he has refused to submit to the judgment of the Church. In other words, a person who maintains true submission to the Church cannot be judged guilty of heresy no matter how indefensible a position he may take. Thus in no sense whatever can Joseph Ratzinger be deemed a heretic.

With Peter said...

This point about "obstinacy" is very important because according to CIC/17 c. 188, a guilty cleric is "ipso facto" removed from office without need of further declaration. The substance of this canon is preserved in CIC/83 c. 194.

But "obstinacy" must be established in order for this excommunication and romoval from office to be incurred. In other words, the cleric must be presented with his error and concretely refuse to submit to the judgment of the Church.

This is where sedevacantists always fail. They present heresy as so-and-so said X (and here their accusations are often careless and without substance), therefore he loses office. But they do not establish obstinacy, which in the case of a Pope, because he is the Church's supreme legislator, would be impossible.

Jordan Potter said...
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Jordan Potter said...

"There is no way one can come away from reading it and and think that he believes in orthodox catholic doctrine."

As I understand it and as some have told me, Joseph Ratzinger in his younger days said or wrote some things that were more of a heterodox nature (sorry, don't have any specifics), but he changed his mind on some things. You can't dredge up something from 50 years ago and claim that it represents his current views if his subsequent statements contradict those views. As for most of his writing, the only way to read it and come away thinking that he does not believe orthodox Catholic doctrine is to misread it, take it out of context, or else be ignorant of orthodox Catholic doctrine. So far all of Ratzinger's statements that ultratraditionalists claim to be heretical haven't even been proximate to heresy, as far as I can tell. But then they're not reading him to understand, they're reading him to find justifications for their preconceived notions that he just has to be a heretic. In their minds he's already guilty -- all that is needed now is to find incriminating evidence, even if the evidence has to be manufactured or planted on him.

With Peter said...

Ratzinger gave a series of lectures on reconciling evolution and faith that were later collected and printed in book format. It is one of the worst books I have ever read by anyone. It is poorly written, poorly articulated, it glosses over huge problems and explores little problems. It contains numberous propositions which seem incompatible with the Church's teaching (dogmatic and ordinary, take your pick).

I would rather get hit in the face with a major league fastball than read that book again. It was that painful. I am quite certain that Ratzinger-Benedict would chuckle at this paragraph and perhaps even agree. He is a man of profound humility and lively humor.

But this is what theologians do. They make all sorts of explorations and take all sorts of approaches to answering difficult questions. Sometimes they stumble into heretical propositions. What is important is their steadfast willingness to submit to the Church's authority and make retractions when called upon.

Cardinal Ratzinger's--not to mention Fr. Ratzinger's--sometimes wayward theological inquiries are of no consequence because he always remained completely docile to the Church's authority.

Lacking the least bit of obstinacy he cannot in the least be called a heretic. That's all there really is to say.