Rorate Caeli

NOTIFICATION ON THE WORKS OF FR. JON SOBRINO

As reported here on March 9 (and then on March 11), the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released today a:

NOTIFICATION ON THE WORKS OF FR. JON SOBRINO, S.I.: "JESUCRISTO LIBERADOR. LECTURA HISTÓRICO-TEOLÓGICA DE JESÚS DE NAZARET" (MADRID, 1991) AND "LA FE EN JESUCRISTO. ENSAYO DESDE LAS VÍCTIMAS" (SAN SALVADOR, 1999)

Introduction

1. After a preliminary examination of the books Jesucristo liberador. Lectura histórico-teológica de Jesús de Nazaret (Jesus the Liberator) and La fe en Jesucristo. Ensayo desde las víctimas (Christ the Liberator) by Father Jon Sobrino, SJ, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, because of certain imprecisions and errors found in them, decided to proceed to a more thorough study of these works in October 2001. Given the wide distribution of these writings and their use in seminaries and other centers of study, particularly in Latin America, it was decided to employ the "urgent examination" as regulated by articles 23-27 of Agendi Ratio in Doctrinarum Examine.

As a result of this examination, in July 2004 a list of erroneous or dangerous propositions found in the abovementioned books was sent to the Author through the Reverend Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

In March of 2005, Father Jon Sobrino sent a Response to the text of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the Congregation. This Response was studied in the Ordinary Session of the Congregation on 23 November 2005. It was determined that, although the author had modified his thought somewhat on several points, the Response did not prove satisfactory since, in substance, the errors already cited in the list of erroneous propositions still remained in this text. Although the preoccupation of the Author for the plight of the poor is admirable, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has the obligation to indicate that the aforementioned works of Father Sobrino contain notable discrepancies with the faith of the Church.

For this reason, it was decided to publish this Notification, in order to offer the faithful a secure criterion, founded upon the doctrine of the Church, by which to judge the affirmations contained in these books or in other publications of the Author. One must note that on some occasions the erroneous propositions are situated within the context of other expressions which would seem to contradict them3, but this is not sufficient to justify these propositions. The Congregation does not intend to judge the subjective intentions of the Author, but rather has the duty to call to attention to certain propositions which are not in conformity with the doctrine of the Church. These propositions regard: 1) the methodological presuppositions on which the Author bases his theological reflection, 2) the Divinity of Jesus Christ, 3) the Incarnation of the Son of God, 4) the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, 5) the Self-consciousness of Jesus, and 6) the salvific value of his Death.

Read full text here. (Español; Italiano; Português)

Read Explanatory Note here. (Español; Italiano; Português)

40 comments:

whosebob said...

It seems Sobrino advanced serious errors regarding the "consciousness of Christ." May I suggest the following resources which are helpful in developing a fully Catholic appreciation of this aspect of the mystery of the Incarnation:

The Consciousness of Christ by the late Fr. William Most

Kenosis and Knowledge of Christ, articles in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.

In the Notification I was happy to see a relevant quote, concerning Christ's consciousness, taken from Pope Pius XII's Mystici Corporis Christi. However, it seems that the paragraph being quoted from is rarely quoted in full in Church documents of the past few decades, for whatever reason. I'd like to provide the full quote, because I think it is such an beautiful and potent teaching:

Now the only-begotten Son of God embraced us in His infinite knowledge and undying love even before the world began. And that He might give a visible and exceedingly beautiful expression to this love, He assumed our nature in hypostatic union: hence - as Maximus of Turin with a certain unaffected simplicity remarks - "in Christ our own flesh loves us." (Serm. XXIX: Migne, P.L., LVII, 594.) But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the Beatific Vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love. O marvelous condescension of divine love for us! O inestimable dispensation of boundless charity! In the crib, on the Cross, in the unending glory of the Father, Christ has all the members of the Church present before Him and united to Him in a much clearer and more loving manner than that of a mother who clasps her child to her breast, or than that with which a man knows and loves himself. (MCC 75)
[emphasis mine]

Brideshead said...

What a beautiful passage from MCC. To deny that Christ was conscious of his divinity from his conception is indeed a serious heresy. It is to essentially deny the hypostatic union, as well as to undermine the foundation of a personal relationship between Jesus Christ and the individual believer.

Anonymous said...

OK. I´m glad that the notification was finally published pointing out the errors of Sorbino.

I´m however curious as to why the word heresy was never used in the text.

Furthermore, it seems from the Introduction of the notification that the heretic only partially reviewed his position, reaffirming however other errors. This begs the questions:

What punishments will the heretic face? Can he still act as a pastor of souls in a parish? Was he barred from publishing or teaching? Will his books be withdrawn from Seminaries?

Was he suspended from the celebration of the Sacraments? (I ask this because clearly he believes in serious heresies regarding Christ and the Sacrifice of the Cross to the extent that his sacramental intent when he mentions the Son perhaps is compromised). Shouldn´t he be deposed from the clerical state (laicized) and/or excommunicated, given that he still holds to part of his heretic opinions?

sacerdo said...

Only now being condemned? When the damage has been done? When I was in the seminary in the 1990s Sobrino's books were standard texts. A generation of seminarians has imbibed this poison. Why does the Vatican have to move SO slow? I suppose the motu proprio will appear when we are all already saying the old Mass anyway!

John said...

Intersting to see what looks like an actual theological note; 'erroneous proposition'. That means (according to Van Noort) 'directly opposed to a truth which is absolutely certain, and at least inextricably bound up with revealed doctrine'. Given the imprecision and slipperiness of Sobrino's texts, it might be hard to pin a more severe note on him; this note is in any case a fairly severe one. The document as a whole is a somewhat encouraging one.

Anonymous said...

I noticed on the comments from this blog that there is a strong negative opinion of the Jesuits. I am considering applying to the Jesuits, but some of the things I have been reading about them gives me doubts. Where do the people who have this strong feeling getting their data from?

My experiences so far, after meeting with one Jesuit vocation director is that there is indeed a homosexual element in the order and that I should be aware of that. In addition, the director didn't seem too happy with our current pope - but I admire Pope Benedict very much for his profound application of Christian teaching towards a meaningful understanding of life.

In short - do the commenters on this blog have real data to justify their opinion of the Jesuits? I would rather join an order who accurately reflect Catholic teaching.

Thanks.
Michael

Anonymous said...

It's a curious thing that traditionalists would think this notification is important, since they of all people would be the last to read an author like Sobrino. So why do traditionalists care about what happens to the likes of people like Sobrino?

-Wilton M

Anonymous said...

Easy - the notification affirms the traditionalist view and demonstrates the Church's vigilance in protecting doctrine and the deposit of faith.

Michael

ellen said...

I am interested in this because my children may have been exposed to Fr. Sobrino's teaching's from our local parish. Did our priest read Fr. Sobrino's books, or did his teachers in seminary? Is this why he told us in a sermon that Our Lord went to the desert to try to discern what God the Father wanted Him to do? I gave our priest books on the human consciousness of Christ which gave Church teaching, but I'm not sure it helped.

Pascendi said...

In 1981 "Christian Order" had an excellent article reviewing the errors of Sobrino. It is sad that it took so long for any action to take place.

Rich said...

Dear prospective Jesuit,

I am not a Jesuit nor have I ever been in formation as one. I speak only as a graduate student in catholic theology and as a reasonably knowledgable layman.

There are real issues in the Scoiety today and have been for the last four decades, as you undoubtedly know. There is not space here to treat the subject in any depth. Suffice it to say that much of the Society began to self-understand its mission and nature in fundamentally new ways beginning in the 1960's under the generalship of Pedro Arrupe, culminating the radical affirmations (such as Decree 4) at the 1975 congregation. This included not only a radical diminution of the distinction between lay and religious orders, but attachment to many problematic theological strains and popular enthusiasms. This is evident in much of the theological work done by Jesuits in the last few decades, the number of Jesuit theologians who have been disciplined (such as Sobrino), the number who have taken part in armed revolutionary movements in Latin America, and the general state of most Jesuit universities.

For these reasons, Pope Paul VI issued his warning to the Society in 1975 and Pope John Paul II staged his dramatic intervention in imposing a successor to Arrupe in 1981-82.

And yes, there is a real issue with active homosexuals in several provinces of the Society.

But we should also be clear that there are still good, holy and orthodox Jesuits active in the order today - i.e., Joseph Koterski, Joseph Fessio, Paul Mancowski, Avery Dulles, etc. The ones I know give me to understand their belief that it is still possible to enter the Jesuits and remain orthodox. But one must go in with both eyes open, and be careful in identifying a province, a locale and mentors through whom one will receive support for an orthodox and faithful formation.
So look carefully. And God bless.

roydosan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
roydosan said...

"why do traditionalists care about what happens to the likes of people like Sobrino?"

I am not going to defend Sobrino's obvious errors in this case for which he has rightly been censured.

I will however defend much of his other work which rightly focuses upon a correct Christian attitude towards the poor and needy of this world.

Some of us traditionalists are interested in living their lives as faithful witnesses to Christ and not just in a pharisaic obsession with other matters.

For me tradition is about recovering the Church from the disaster of Vatican II but it doesn't stop me as a Catholic from trying to live my life correctly and to benefit my fellow man rather than meekly accepting the status quo of this self indulgent and self obsessed world.

I will join in the condemnation of Sobrino's obvious errors but I wall also heartily recommend him where he does not err.

Simon-Peter said...

-Wilton M

a. I am not a traditionalist, I am a catholic, and b, because people like you ask such bloody stupid questions.

Are you Catholic, or do you just play one on the internet?

Simon-Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
milanta said...

See this link:

http://www.adital.com.br/site/noticia.asp?lang=ES&cod=26726

Anonymous said...

Los seguidores de Sobrino.....¿Están haciendo el "primo"?

Anonymous said...

I went to a Jesuit university in the early-to-mid-1970s, and these errors were being taught even then.

With Peter said...

To the question above, as to why the text doesn't use the word heresy. When the Church uses this language, the person turns himself into a false martyr, suffering at the hands of the cruel and heartless inquisition. The media eats it up and the guy's popularity shoots through the roof. He gets book deals, tenure, and an iconic reputation. Such is the puerile sickness of our civilization.

The Notification declares that the work contains principles and propositions that are incompatible with the Catholic faith. This is good enough.

Wilton M- when the disciples of Christ hear the truth proclaimed, they rejoice because they love the truth. One doesn't have to be flirting with rejecting Christ in order to appreciate him. Likewise, when an erroneous book is exposed, God is glorified.

Anonymous said...

To Michael (possible Jesuit):

I have been active in promoting vocations for years, and would caution you very strongly about the Jesuits.
Although there were many fine Jesuits in the past, and the Order has a magnificent record of service in the Church up until 1965, there are in fact today too many negative influences in the Order for a solidly orthodox and faithful Catholic to consider joining.
The homosexual element in the Jesuit Order is very pronounced and very strong...compared to other Orders which although having the same problems since Vatican II, is less apparent or as serious.
Very, very many of the Jesuits, and indeed their leadership are very openly pro-gay in their agenda, and open dissenters on Catholic tradition regarding this subject.
With regards to ecumenism, dialog, and the liturgy it has been well know that the Jesuits from the very beginning were in the forefront pushing radical progressive change in the Mass, in ecumenical dialog, and in inculturation. Some of the most bizarre elements of many contemporary Masses (cookies, baked breads, pizza) used in place of Sacred Hosts, country Masses, gay Masses, clown Masses, Dance Masses, have in many cases been fostered by Jesuits and their supporters in parishes and especially on college campuses.
Jesuits especially in the USA, and Europe have suffered catastrophic collapses in seminary enrollments and numbers of professed members. From a high of 36,101 total Jesuits in 1965, with over 7,000 Jesuit seminarians in the USA and 8,800 priests in the USA the total membership of the Jesuit Order today(2007) stands at about 19,000 (-17,000 since 1964-65). The number of Jesuit seminarians in the USA has declined from about 7,000 in 1964-65 to 150 (2006). In all of Europe, there are (2006) only 55 Jesuit novices. For all intents and purposes, the Order is dead in England, Ireland, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Austria and Germany, also in the USA and Canada. Several European (called assistancies) have been merged, and due to the monumental declines in the USA, there is talk of supressing or merging several of the present 10 Jesuit districts in the USA. Only in Poland do the Jesuits still have some signigicant vocations, and even here it is declining.
The Jesuit Order had been growing in India, but over the last 20 years the Indian provinces have been among the most dissenting and liberal in the entire Order.
The average age of the Jesuits total is about 60 (including priests,brothers, scholastics and novices). With just priests, the average age approaches 66.
As in many Orders, the category of religious brothers (once called "lay brothers") is dying out...with less than 2,000 Jesuit brothers world wide and barely 100 in the USA.
I didn't mean to discourage you about the Jesuits....just to very seriously consider this Order in light of it's history over the last 40 years. If you are a traditionalist/traditional or even just a strongly faithful Catholic who appreciates our new Pope and the traditions of the Church, I would re-consider such a move very strongly.

John said...

I second the remarks about the Jesuits, and discourage you from entering the order with the idea of helping to reform it; that would be like joining Hitler's SS in order to convert it to humanitarianism. It won't happen and you will just waste your life.

Anonymous said...

Hello to those posting information about the Jesuits,

Thanks for your input. There are a number of options I have considered and am looking into, so the Jesuits are but one option. I have also considered the Redemptorists, the Dominicans and becoming a diocesan priest. I fear something along the lines of John's comment about fighting the tide within the order - it would be a difficult fight - we already have to swim against the current to maintain our faith and to help others to find their faith that this additional obstacle may be a little too much.

I have encountered in my life a few priests who have made a big difference, not only in my life, but also to those communities they serve. And it is these men that I want to emulate in providing an example of Christian life and helping them to understand and live better their own faith. Hopefully I can find an order faithful to the faith and where I can fulfill the call to holiness and help others to do the same.

Thanks,
Michael / prospective Jesuit

cursed_jaguar said...

"I suppose the motu proprio will appear when we are all already saying the old Mass anyway!"

Sacerdo, that's very insightful! That's how communion in the hand, altar girls, Mass completely in the vernacular and the turned-around altar happened. Why not!?

Anonymous said...

Cardinal Hoyos "I must be honest. The Novus Ordo Missae was a novelty in the Seventies, the Mass of Saint Pius V has returned [as] a novelty in the Two Thousands. Young people like new things: but this would not be a deep analysis".

Yes Cardinal Hoyos, your analysis is superficial, because it lacks to consider what has been happening in the Church for the past 42 years. People are drawn by the novelties of rite, but by their fruits. Novus Ordo = bad fruist, Tridentine Mass = good fruits.

humboldt said...

I think that the Roman Catholic Church is the only Christian religious society that leads some of its members to become either atheist or to doubt even the divinity of Jesus Christ. Does anybody know the reason for this? Is this a characteristics of the real Chrurch of Jesus Christ?

salmanticense said...

Carta abierta del sabio teólogo abulense Prof. Olegario González de Cardedal a Juan Sobrino.......

Brideshead said...

Humboldt, your comment is perplexing. I was raised a Methodist and can assure you that Protestantism leads some of its members to atheism. What you are implying about the Catholic Church is heterodox.

humboldt said...

Brideshead, I was raised a catholic, and I don't know much about the protestant world, I mean the academic protestant world. Still, I have meet many protestant who have a stronger faith in Jesus Christ than many priests and bishops, and cardinals I know of. I was reading a collection of articles on scripture and interpretation, in which there was an article written in 1988 by Joseph Ratzinger on the problem in exegisis, and it is appalling the way in which these theologians discuss about the faith. One can easily come to think that to these people, including the then Joseph Ratzinger, faith is not a grace but a matter of pure intellectual excercise.

What good does it do to the Catholilc Church having such kind of theologians, except for selling books?

Don't you think that the current system in oficial catholic theology is wrong and dysfunctional?

And the problem is that these theologian discussions do have an impact in the Catholic Church, it is not just an intellectual excercise, but they do have an effect on the life of the Church.

Brideshead said...

Humboldt, I agree with you. I would only say that it is not the Catholic Church ("Eternal Rome", to coin a phrase) that leads the faithful astray, but rather the wolves that have slipped into the sheepfold.

Anonymous said...

All of these discussions of theologians are later transplanted to the seminaries and novitiates, in developing countries, where they serve as customers to the novelties in the church, of course providing lucrative incomes to these "new" theologians, including the former Joseph Ratzinger. Is this not worst than the selling of the indulgencies, but to put the faith up to the market, and let the market decide, disregarding who is trampled on the way? Is this not pure liberalism? Who is compensating the victims of this liberal ideology in the Church? Yes, there were victims, the victims of Liberation Theology (the purest form of cultural imperialist ever devised by Europe) all of those who suffered the civil wars, where Europeans like Jon Sobrino served as foundation for the development of totalitarianism. Had it not been for Ronald Reagan, Central America would be Communist, and John Paul II, without Ronald Reagan, would have accepted communism in Central America and in Europe. It was Ronald Reagan, who served as the foundation for the anti-communist policy of JPII. Not everybody in the Vatican Curia agreed that this was the way. Was JPII, and the whole conciliar church, really that big, or just a very intelligent opportunist?

In the conference that Cardinal Ratzinger gave on the 100 years of the pontifical biblical commission, he tells the story of a catholic priest, a prof. Kuss, a German, who began his study in a seminary to become a priest and before receiving the sub-diaconate he left the seminary and went to the Berlin to study classic philosophy and protestant theology. After again changing his mind he returned to catholic seminary and was ordained a priest. But after the II Vatican Council he lost the faith (Cardinal Ratzinger does not say if he lost the catholic faith or the Christian faith), and the reason that Cardinal Ratzinger gave was that Kuss was confronted with the problem of exegetic liberty inside the Catholic Church, after the II Vatican Council. I think this episode portrays very well who does the church serve: European or should I say German theologians, they are the ones dictating what is happening to the Church, and the Church is no longer free from the swings of the happenings of individual theologians (the purest form of oligarchy).

humboldt said...

Brideshead, then if not the Catholic Church as a society, the guilty is the olygarchy (modernist theologians) who is ruling the Catholic Church.

humboldt said...

According to the left wing Spaniard newspaper "El País", Jon Sobrino has spoken on the recent criticism of the CDF to his work. According to the Spaniard newspaper, Sobrino disavows the CDF to judge his works. Sobrino says the Vatican curia does not distinguish itself for being honest and too evangelical. He puts the late Pedro Arrupe (the previous chief of the Jesuits), as witness of this. He says that he doesn’t feel represented by the judgment of the CDF and that he will not subscribe, as it seems is his duty to do, the notification from the CDF.

It is clear that this people like Sobrino, do not place any value on the judgments of the Holy See, even though he wasn’t punished, which he should have. I don’t understand why the Holy See should be taking so much consideration with this man that does not care about them. The only thing that the CDF accomplished with this notification, which did not carry a just penalty, is to continue to feed the “Don Quijote Syndrome” of Jon Sobrino and the likes.

Until when will the Church continue to condone the insulting behavior of this cleric who is a barefaced cajoler? This man will continue in its “martyr” position and will continue to ignore the Church, to which he belongs, and will continue to spit on her. He should be honest and leave the Church, since he does not care for her. But I doubt it that this man will do this, because he does not have the integrity to do it.

See the following link for the news in Spanish:

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/Jon/Sobrino/niega/rectificar/acusa/Vaticano/falta/honradez/elpepusoc/20070320elpepisoc_3/Tes

With Peter said...

Humboldt- I don't think it is fair to include Ratzinger with the likes of Raymond Brown or Joseph Fitzmyer. Ratzinger has played a positive role in defining and addressing the crisis in Catholic biblical studies, which actually traces back to the promulgation of Divino Afflante Spiritu. At any rate, English and French speaking biblical scholars have been far more devastating than German.

German theology is and has always been all over the map. Joseph Ratzinger, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Walter Kaspar and Hans Kung have very little in common (even though some traditionalists insist on lumping them together). They do not form a modernist oligarchy.

The modernists were an international motley of Europeans. Loisy, Duchesne and Bremond were French. Tyrell and Ward were English. Minocchi and Buonaiuti were Italian. Who were the Germans? Victor von Hugel comes to mind and, of course, it was the protestant von Harnack who sparked the whole controversy in the first place.

At any rate, so many of the categorical statements above seem extremely tenuous to me. The notion of an oligarchy of German modernists ruling the Church is patently absurd.

With Peter said...

I need to correct myself. The modernist von Hugel was an Austrian who spent most of his life in England, where he became a naturalized citizen after the outbreak of WWI

With Peter said...

And his name is not Victor but Freidrich.

humboldt said...

with peter - I definitely do not posses the breadth of knowledge that you seem to have. It seems to me that the Germans have had the most impact in the Church, I may be wrong because I do not posses that knowlege, but it is my impression. By the way you forgot to mention His Royal Highness Karl Rahner (another German). Still I would say that many of the most nefarious movements in the Catholic Church during the second half of the XXth century, have had Germany as a pivotal center. Liberation Theology comes to mind. As for an olygarchy ruling the Church, Joseph Ratzinger himself acknowledges, in his speech, that in the last half of the XXth century theologians became the masters of the bishops. However, what it is most disturbing is that decisions in the Catholic Church that pertain to all the faithful are being taken by a handlful of people. Please don't think that I am a believer in People's Church, God forbids. But it is clear to me that many fundamental decisions, that are changing the nature of the Church, are being taken by a clique with a very defined agenda. All the faithful then are confronted with fiat acts which are changing the nature of the Church and its liturgy. In this sense I think that it would be most healthy for the Church to advance in the teaching of JPII given in his audience of 24.IV.1985 where he reminded us that "Ma nello stesso tempo il Concilio Vaticano II ricorda che “la totalità dei fedeli . . . non può sbagliarsi nel credere, e manifesta questa proprietà che gli è particolare mediante il senso soprannaturale della fede in tutto il popolo, quando dai vescovi fino agli ultimi fedeli laici esprime l’universale suo consenso in materia di fede e di costumi."
Customes are also included.
The changes being introduced in the Church in the last 40 years have been of such a nature that all the faithful should have been consulted, not just the clerics and the theologians. Again I do not advocate for a People's Church, because this is a heressy, but the hierarchy has to be more sensitive to the faith of the whole Church, that cannot be wrong, not just of some very privileged groups. I think that German, and European experiences of before the II Vatican Council are determining the kind of the Church that the universal church has. There are european cultural aspects that belong to the universal church, but there are other, negative european ones, that do not belong to the Universal church, and the latter are the ones being imposed on the universal church. The birth place of Liberation Theology is in the post-war Europe.

With Peter said...

Humboldt, I have a slightly different take on the 'oligarchy.' Sometimes I think the desire for something to happen obscures one's understanding of what will actually happen.

I think the reformers were caught up in an ecstasy to produce full and active participation - and they wanted it so badly - that they turned a blind eye to the sure and certain consequences of their reforms.

How can you increase the participation of the faithful without decreasing their sense of the sacred? How can you put the Mass into the vernacular without giving the sense that Mass is more ordinary and commonplace? Is there a certain tradeoff? I don't know, but I do know that the implementation of the 1970 missal was ambitious, idealistic and hair-brained.

What was their hurry to do everything all at once? Why couldn't they have just introduced a more expansive, vernacular lectionary and guaged it for five or ten years? No. They were going mach 4 and they didn't want to realistically consider or evaluate the consequences. The desire for it took the place of better judgment.

It happens all the time in any organization. Thankfully, the Catholic Church is in the hands of the Holy Spirit and I'm certain that it'll all be for the best in the end.

"For the best," however, may mean a massive, nearly universal Catholic exile that whets the Church's appetite for the traditional liturgy.

Anonymous said...

'Sometimes I think the desire for something to happen obscures one's understanding of what will actually happen.'

Interesting point. Might this also apply to the desire for the liberation of the Traditional Mass, commendable as that desire might be? In suggesting this, I don't mean to imply any equivalence between the liturgical wreckovators and the champions of the Traditional Mass.

humboldt said...

As for participation of the faithful, I believe it would be better if all the faithful participated in the life, including running the Church, of the Church not just the liturgy, which has come to be just a banal ceremony more focused in the exterior than in the interior. As for the tridentine liturgy I honestly do not believe that the so called motu propio "liberalizing" the tridentine mass will come to change much in itself. Today's clergy is staunchy liberal, and the tridentine liturgy is staunchy traditional, so I believe that to many clerics this will be a call to arms, deepening the church's selfdestruction. I honestly do not believe that much will change now, perhaps in some years down the road there will be a change in some leves of the clergy (those honest enough) as they get in touch with a different kind of spiritualy, more in substance than today's showmanship. One thing is certain, the publicity that the SSPX has received is invaluable. The problem of the tridentine liturgy is not a problem of obedience but of ideology: liberalism vs. conservatism.

As for governance, I believe that indeed what happened 40 years ago in the II Vatican Council was a power battle, where true faith lost to the wolves of libertirism, reflecting the situation of the "marriage" between church and state in Europe.

One of the strongest points of today's church is the apeall is has on those who are searching for a faith in politics. To those who are seeking for a real faith of values, US protestant churches are the answer.

humboldt said...

I think that it would be interesting to know who does the Church consider to be its "customers". I think that the vast majority of "customers" of the Catholic Church are "passive" customers; they only consume the product that the Church produces, whithout considering the "consequences" of this consumption: e.g. much like smoking a cigarrette. And then there are the "active" consumers, that is the consumers that not only consume the product of the Catholic Church, but that also "determine" what the Church produces. If all of those "passive" consumers would make their voice heard, then everything will be different in the Church. I think this is always the "tragedy" of the silent majorities. Perhaps in today's world of Internet, things will be changing, little by little. Do you understand what I mean? ;-)