Rorate Caeli

What the enemy is saying


Ultra-"progressive" religious journalist Marco Politi in today's edition of La Repubblica:

Three years after his election, the Pope has accomplished his historic dream: to celebrate Mass while turned towards the altar, showing his back to the faithful, as the shepherd who guides his flock towards the Christ. The place is symbolic: the Sistine Chapel, there where Benedict XVI was elected. It is from there that the German Pope sends the signal for his Counter-Reformation. It is certainly only a gesture, there is nothing compulsory about it, and those who wish to do so will keep celebrating Mass around the world as it has been for forty years.

Yet the centuries-old history of the Church is made of gestures, of signs, of symbols, and when Joseph Ratzinger ... solemnly elevated the host and the chalice in the direction of the crucifix situated on top of the ancient marble altar, not looking at the faithful, but staring at the Christ of the Universal Judgment on the wall, all understood. The pontiff will not deviate from the chosen path: to review the application of Vatican II.

For he does not believe in the "spirit of the Council", as the most coherent reformers do. He said it from the beginning: the Council was not "rupture", but reform within "tradition", and even as a Cardinal he professed that arranging the post-conciliar rite with the celebrant turned towards the faithful is a betrayal. Because everyone - faithful and priests - must face the East, towards the Resurrection.

And therefore the thirteen couples who, on this January Sunday, took their newborns to have them baptized by the Pope witnessed a grandiloquent return to the past. With the post-conciliar altar eliminated, Benedict XVI did not make the turn around the post-conciliar table anymore, but, slowly entering the Sistine, knelt before the marble altar, leaving to the faithful only a view of the back of his vestments.

63 comments:

schoolman said...

Now that is someone who really understands the gravity of the situation. All sides agree...this was huge!

john mastai said...

I think that only Sister Joan Chittister's bitter and hateful rant against the old Mass can rival the vitriol of this article.

Long live Pope Benedict the Great!

Anonymous said...

"Three years after his election, the Pope has accomplished his historic dream: to celebrate Mass while turned towards the altar, showing his back to the faithful, as the shepherd who guides his flock towards the Christ."

This is vitriol? The priest as shepherd leading us to Christ? I thought the article showed a profound understanding of what the Pope is accomplishing.

john mastai said...

"his historic dream" - just the pope's subjective whim

"staring at the Christ of the Universal Judgment on the wall"

"... he does not believe in the "spirit of the Council", as the most coherent reformers do." (coherent?)

"therefore the thirteen couples who, on this January Sunday, took their newborns to have them baptized by the Pope witnessed a grandiloquent return to the past...knelt before the marble altar, leaving to the faithful only a view of the back of his vestments." - appeal to emotion; those poor simple parents and their children only saw the cold rigid back of Pope Ratzinger

If that is not vitriol I don't know what is. But don't get me wrong, it is wonderful that the world is taking note and understands, albeit in a skewed way, something of the Reform of the Reform that the Pope is courageously fighting for by word and example.

Joe B said...

No, eliminating "showing his back to the faithful" would indicate a profound understanding.

Walter said...

Not a terrible article and it is good to see that the writer "gets it" in some way, but the idea that the Holy Father has his "back to the people" is a subtle swipe at him either through malice or ignorance. Thinking that the Pope and the faithful are facing Christ "on the wall" makes me think its the latter.

schoolman said...

"The pontiff will not deviate from the chosen path: to review the application of Vatican II..."
================

I think this could be the single most important point made in the article. Progressives do not fear a Pope who would "reject" Vatican II out rite. Rather, such progressives fear a Pope who would apply Vatican II strictly in accordance with tradition while denouncing the hermeneutic of rupture. Such a program of reform will in time create a new orientation throughout the Church -- an orientation in continutity with Tradition.

Anonymous said...

Hey…Who’s being worshiped here?

The question could reasonably be asked of laity who insist that by facing the crucifix, the tabernacle or the East the priest is turning his back on the faithful. This is the legacy of the post Vatican II disaster which instituted changes in the liturgy which cause those matriculating after Vatican II to make such idiotic claims. Yet we cannot blame the laity for these changes, none of which were called for in Sacrosanctum Concilium, but which were foisted upon the faithful by activist priests and bishops, Bugnini and friends.

So, it behooves the Vatican to set the record straight on the purpose and aims of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Until this happens, Catholics will be confused and the liturgy will remain an assembly of the people of God under the presidency of the priest. The fact is that the priest and the people are there to worship Almighty God in the person of the priest who is acting as another Christ (alter Christi). He is offering to Almighty God the most perfect Sacrifice, the Body and Blood of His Divine Son, once again, in an unbloody manner but identical to the Sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary. The meal part comes later at the Communion when that same Body and Blood under the appearances of bread and wine is received by the faithful.

I know, everyone on this list knows this – it’s just too bad the hierarchy won’t admit to it.

phaley

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

the Council was not "rupture", but reform within "tradition"

And this is still the pope's achilles heel. Until he acknowledges that Vatican II was indeed a RUPTURE from Tradition, then progress will be minor.

schoolman said...

"Until he acknowledges that Vatican II was indeed a RUPTURE from Tradition..."
==============

Why is it that both progressives and extreme traditionalists push for an interpretation of Vatican II that involves rupture and discontinuity with Tradition? It seems misguided in either case.

Anonymous said...

I wish the Pope would follow this up with a binding document that Mass will now be celebrted "ad orientem" at the original altars, and not at the little portable Protestant style tables that have been set up in great Cathedrals and tiny Churches around the world.

It might cause a couple thousand or so radicals, liturgical experimentator, bishops, dissident priests, nuns, religious Orders, etc. to have huge "hissy fits", but the Faithful would get the point.

Anonymous said...

schoolman said...
"Until he acknowledges that Vatican II was indeed a RUPTURE from Tradition..."
==============

Why is it that both progressives and extreme traditionalists push for an interpretation of Vatican II that involves rupture and discontinuity with Tradition? It seems misguided in either case.

14 January, 2008 22:32


Curious, isn't it? Why might it be that what probably constitutes the majority of Catholics, whether right or left, can see that Vatican II and its bloody aftermath was a "rupture" with what went before--the former condemning this and the latter lauding--and YOU can't?

What sort of truth is so prone to misunderstanding the those who can grasp it are practically none? If it is required to believe that VatII is in full continuity with tradition, few indeed will be saved.

by unsquared circle

schoolman said...

The following from Sacramentum Caritatis seems to follow the same logic of the recent decision to celebrate Mass ad orientem in the Sistine Chapel.
==================

"It is therefore necessary to take into account the building's architecture: in churches which do not have a Blessed Sacrament chapel, and where the high altar with its tabernacle is still in place, it is appropriate to continue to use this structure for the reservation and adoration of the Eucharist, taking care not to place the celebrant's chair in front of it."

Long-Skirts said...

" leaving to the faithful only a view of the back of his vestments."

"only"!!!!

Deo Gratias!!

RED

Vestments of red,
Altar cloth too,
Martyrs who bled,
Did this for you.

Gold Tabernacles,
Veiled in red's hue,
Martyrs in shackles,
Hung for this view.

Red mums full bloomed,
In water and brass,
Martyrs consumed,
Burned for this Mass.

Red rays of sun,
Rose-streak the nave,
Their suf'ring done,
Now, red, we must crave!

Ma Tucker said...

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

Trying to make Vatican II fit in continuity with Tradition is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

It ain't gonna happen!!!

Anonymous said...

" ... leaving to the faithful only a view of the back of his vestments ..."

Oh, yea. I'm sure there's nothing else interesting to look at in the SISTINE CHAPEL.

Anonymous said...

Enemy? Where does that come from?

caesar said...

This must be standard in the Mass. This is the proper way to celebrating mass and the Pope must emend the conciliar missal.

Jordan Potter said...

leaving to the faithful only a view of the back of his vestments

Yes, because we faithful are just brainless morons incapable of doing anything but stare at the backs of our priests, bishops, and Popes. We lack the ability to see with the eyes of faith, to look upon the things of the Lord with inner sight. No, all we can do is stare blankly at vestments. Why, if the celebrant didn't turn around and look at us, we'd be unable to participate in the liturgy at all. Worshipping God is impossible unless we get the chance to look at the celebrant's face continuously, without interruption, throughout the entire liturgy.

Idiots.

Jordan Potter said...

Until he acknowledges that Vatican II was indeed a RUPTURE from Tradition

Don't hold your breath waiting for that. It ain't gonna happen. Neither this Pope nor any future Pope will ever renounce a valid oecumenical council, no matter how ineffective or ultimately fruitless the council might prove to be. The only recourse we have is to read Vatican II in the light of Tradition, and let that light of Tradition illuminate the council, driving out the shadows that attach to it.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Vatican II is not the probem, interpretation of Vatican II is the problem.

If the documents are understood in light of Tradition, then, it's all a continuity, which is exactly what Pope Benedict is trying to do.

Vatican II did not call for versus populum, this was a liberal agenda by some disobedient bishops of the Church.

The Pope does need to come out with a mandate that says All Masses must be said Ad Orientem, as well as axing EP's (II, III and IV)..And while at it, a verbatum traslation of the English and Spanish texts. (Those are the ones that I know that have corrupted translation)

Anonymous said...

So much dis-information or self-willed ignorance.

To repeat Catholic dogma:

An oecumenical council is infallible in defining doctrine.

No council or pope is infallible in its prudential judgements.

Vatican 2 gave several prudential directions. In none of them was it infallible.

Vatican 2 repeated a number of previously defined dogmas, in which it might be proven to have infallibly upheld dogmatic definitions.
With regards to the latter, Vatican 2 was certainly in continuity with Tradition.

In its prudential directions and judgements, a number of which represented a break from Tradition, reviewing these in light of Tradition will yield that these were non-binding prudential decisions.

Either way, v2 will be reviewed in continuity with Tradition. That intelligent men cannot distinguish that from the notion that V2 actually taught and preached and directed in line with Tradition is rather baffling. No one is saying that, and I suspect the Holy Father, in neglecting a single reference to Gaudium et Spes in his encyclical Spe Salve feels the same way

Anonymous said...

What a fuss! Versus populum did not start with the Second Vatican Council but was a vulgar fashion of the 1940s and 1950s, particularly strong in Continental Europe. Anyone seriously interested in looking at the history of the subject could do worse than start by looking at the nasty photographs in Gerald Ellard's 'The Mass of the Future' (1948) and 'The Mass in Transition' (1955)and his other works.

The fact that the practice is associated with the Second Vatican Council highlights the paucity of scholarship on both sides of the argument.

The Byzantine Rambler said...

As an Eastern Christian, I found the Mass inspiring. The Pope addressed the people from the Throne (just like Eastern Bishops have done for two millennia), wearing his Pallium (just like Eastern Bishops, for whom it is called an "omophium" have done for two millennia), and then presided by turning towards the Altar offering (Anaphora) in the Eucharistic Prayer the sacrifice of the Crucified Christ to God the Father. After all, the Eucharist is an offering, a sacrifice in which in persona Christi the priest (bishop) leads the people in an act of adoration and thanksgiving to God, making present through the Holy Spirit the Body and Blood of Christ sacrificed for the sin of the world and offered to God the Father. This is an act of worship, an act of Love, not a picnic jamboree.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

Vatican II did not simply make imprudent judgments. It actually taught errors. Therefore, there is no choice for a future pope but to correct these errors.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

Vatican II is the doctrinal basis for the crisis that followed it. Churchmen and the revolution were united. This was admitted by many. For anybody not to see that is either ignorant or just doesn't want to see it.

Anonymous said...

"Trying to make Vatican II fit in continuity with Tradition is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

It ain't gonna happen!!!"

This quote from Brother Anthony is most to the point. There's another old saying that goes something like "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"
The moral of that saying is basically that you can't turn garbage(the Novus Ordo and the Vatican II Church) into gold(The Tridentine Latin Mass and the Council of Trent Church).

One commentator mentioned that they thought that neither Benedict XVI, nor any other Pope after would criticize or condemn Vatican II.
Don't be too sure. There's alot of young priests in Rome today (anywhere from 25-40) who despise the rupture in the traditions of the Catholic Faith which came with Vatican II, and are doing their best to correct it.
A friend of mine was in Rome, and He said that this past year He saw more seminarians and young priests in cassock or habits, and many wearing the Roman "platter hat" or "saturno" than ever before. He was with His Dad, who remarked that he had'nt seen so many priests in cassock or habit since the 1950's when he first visited Rome on business for his pharmaceutical firm.....and He's been back to Rome 30-40 times since. Also many more Orders of nuns in the "old fashioned" habits...or at elast in very conservative habits.
Very many young priests in Rome and elsewhere actually dislike everything that came from Vatican II. These are the men who will be Bishops, Cardinals, and the Pope in 20-30 years.
All the liberals who pushed the rupture of the Church at and after Vatican II are in their 70' and 80's now. Their youngest disciples are in their early 60's. THis doesn't bode well for their movement. The progressive radical Catholic Church epitomised by Vatican II and its "deforms" is dying. Especially in Rome.

The Byzantine Rambler said...

Ooops! 'Scuse!

"omophium" should, of course, be "Omophorium"

Chironomo said...

"Why is it that both progressives and extreme traditionalists push for an interpretation of Vatican II that involves rupture and discontinuity with Tradition? It seems misguided in either case."

The real irony here is that the Traditionalists, who believe that VII was indeed a rupture, wish that it hadn't been accomplished, while the Progressives, who wish that VII had been a rupture, believe that it hasn't been accomplished. I guess it depends on which "hermeneutic" you adopt as a reference point. Either way, the article wasn't all THAT hateful, but was clearly against the Pope's actions. I would say that the "enemy" is beginning to adopt a position of being resigned to what is happening and firing criticisms like squirrels dropping acorns on the men with chainsaws...

Chironomo said...

"I think this could be the single most important point made in the article. Progressives do not fear a Pope who would "reject" Vatican II out rite"

Out-Rite? Was that an unintended pun, or just a typo?

Jordan Potter said...

One commentator mentioned that they thought that neither Benedict XVI, nor any other Pope after would criticize or condemn Vatican II.

No, I didn't say no Pope would ever criticise Vatican II. Pope Benedict has already criticised Vatican II to some extent. But no, it's impossible that any Pope could ever condemn Vatican II. Popes are duty bound, and I would say guided by heaven, to bow to the tradition handed down, and since Vatican II is obviously a valid oecumenical council, all future Popes must accept that council.

That doesn't mean Vatican II in its entirety will always be relevant or applicable, nor always provide the framework of teaching and evangelisation for the Church. To my mind, Vatican II is looking more and more dated and less relevant every year.

Vatican 2 repeated a number of previously defined dogmas, in which it might be proven to have infallibly upheld dogmatic definitions.

No "might" about it. If a council repeated a define dogma, the council teaches infallibly.

Vatican II did not simply make imprudent judgments. It actually taught errors. Therefore, there is no choice for a future pope but to correct these errors.

I've not yet seen a good case made that Vatican II taught errors. Sure, it said a lot of ambiguous and confusing things, and you sometimes have to work hard to see doctrinal continuity (as in Dignitatis Humanae), but in no case have I found it impossible to show continuity and agreement with prior teaching.

Anonymous said...

The reality is of course that both the 'traditionalists' and the 'progressives' need Vatican II to hang on to and respectively condemn or praise. The idea that the liturgical problems in the Roman Church are older and much deeper than Vatican II and certainly not cured by it is anathema to both sides. For either party to start looking at liturgy objectively would mean asking more searching questions the answers to which would not be to either sides' liking.

schoolman said...

There seems to be a confused notion of "rupture" and "discontinuity" in use here and elsewhere. We need to recall the 2005 Curial address of the Holy Father where he distinguished between discontinuities in (t)radition and the essential continuity in unbroken (T)radition. In other words, certain reforms always involve some discontinuity from what was before. But such reforms will only touch on small-t traditions and not undermining faith or morals, per se -- big-T Tradition. Of course any reform (impacting small-t traditions) by its very nature involves practical prudential judgement -- yet is always ultimately grounded on irreformable faith and morals. That is why the Holy Father said that true reform involves both continuity (in Tradition) and discontinuity (in traditions) -- but at different levels.

schoolman said...

"Vatican II did not simply make imprudent judgments. It actually taught errors..."
===================

In other words, we are to understand by this that the magisterium, as such, has defected on matters of faith and morals, per se. Such a position can only lead to a dead-end.

Anonymous said...

The faithful had the view of Christ, not of the "back of the pope". Repubblica must gulp the bitter pill,poor journalists of Largo Fochetti,the address of the newspaper. Viva il Papa!

Richard said...

This person can't make up his mind who should have been worshipped at the celebration. Should it have been worship of the children being baptized, in which case it were offensive for the pope to turn his back on them and their parents and godparents? Or was the pope to be worshipped, in which case it were offensive for the people only to have a view of his back.

hopingforheaven said...

"Trying to make Vatican II fit in continuity with Tradition is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole"

Yet if anyone can do it, it is our present Holy Father. Step by step.
May we please all support him in our prayers.

And one day, even I will be able to attend the extraordinary form of the Mass and I can hardly wait.

Ave Maria!

schoolman said...

Yes, the Holy Father is attempting to give Vatican II its proper interpretation and application. The problem with certain factions it when they tend to interpret Vatican II through the lenses of their own particular ideology. For our part, we can begin to clearly see the continuity with Tradition once we will to cast aside our ruptured lenses.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

In other words, we are to understand by this that the magisterium, as such, has defected on matters of faith and morals, per se.

I said "error" and not necessarily strict "heresy". Nonetheless, a council that is not dogmatically binding can teach heresy as well. And there are many who would argue that Vatican II taught heresy as well.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

I've not yet seen a good case made that Vatican II taught errors.

Here is something to munch on:

The Errors of Vatican II

schoolman said...

"I said "error" and not necessarily strict "heresy". Nonetheless, a council that is not dogmatically binding can teach heresy as well. And there are many who would argue that Vatican II taught heresy as well."
================

I am aware of no magisterial teaching that speaks of its own non-irreformable (reformable) teaching -- authentic ordinary acts of the magisterium -- and indicating that these are potentially subject to material heresy or errors in faith or morals, per se. On the contrary, this would be incompatible with the dogma of indefectibility -- a charism that is perpetually engaged (24 X 7)in the Roman Church until the end of time. The solultion to the apparent contradiction is that magisterial teachings are only "reformable" in their contingent aspects rather than those aspects dealing with faith or morals, per se. Otherwise, as you say, we attempt to put round pegs into square holes.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

Schoolman,

If Vatican I defined the precise conditions which are required for a pope's teaching to be infallible, is it not logical that if those conditions are NOT met, then the teaching could be subject to error?

schoolman said...

"Schoolman,

If Vatican I defined the precise conditions which are required for a pope's teaching to be infallible, is it not logical that if those conditions are NOT met, then the teaching could be subject to error?"
=================

Non-irreformable teachings are only subject to "error" in its contingent aspects and insofar as the teachings themselves remain "reformable" and/or subject to ongoing organic doctrinal development. Such is the case with a vast body of magisterial teaching -- yet this does not imply in the least that such teaching is subject to "error" in faith or morals, per se. (Cf. Donum Veritatis, CDF)

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

Schoolman,

What I am saying is that Vatican II taught things in contradistinction to "theologica certa" pronouncements of the Magisterium (e.g., Syllabus of Errors), that is, those teachings of the Magisterium that were not strictly dogmatic, but are theological conclusions derived from a premise based on Faith and the other premise based on reason.

schoolman said...

"Schoolman,

What I am saying is that Vatican II taught things in contradistinction to "theologica certa" pronouncements of the Magisterium (e.g., Syllabus of Errors), that is, those teachings of the Magisterium that were not strictly dogmatic, but are theological conclusions derived from a premise based on Faith and the other premise based on reason."
===========================

This apparent "contradiction" is at the heart of the Papal message to the Roman Curia (2005). We can reconcile the Syllabus with Vatican II when we account for historical contingencies -- and in carefully distinguishing the variable application of principles from the immutable principles themselves.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

We can reconcile the Syllabus with Vatican II when we account for historical contingencies

The Holy Father himself, prior to becoming pope, admitted that the teaching on religious liberty (I believe this was the one) was an anti-syllabus. You need to further explain your meaning of historical "contingencies".

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

Schoolman,

I will end my argument here. If you are the same Schoolman as on Angelqueen, then I know the argument could go on forever.

You and many others spend so much time defending a council that has bore nothing but bad fruit during the last 40 years. This to me seems to be a refusal to acknowledge that the hierarchy has betrayed the Faith and the faithful.

Let it go......

Anonymous said...

I can only say:


DEO GRATIAS!
DEO GRATIAS!
DEO GRATIAS!
DEO GRATIAS!
DEO GRATIAS!
DEO GRATIAS!
DEO GRATIAS!
DEO GRATIAS!
DEO GRATIAS!

in aeternum

schoolman said...

"The Holy Father himself, prior to becoming pope, admitted that the teaching on religious liberty (I believe this was the one) was an anti-syllabus..."
========================

The term was "counter-syllabus" and it should not be interpreted as a kind of "rupture" with Tradition or immutable principles. I said the following elsewhere:

"Ratzinger gets the credit for coining the term "counter-syllabus". Rather than contradiction, we are talking about a kind of synthesis that brings together multiple aspects -- the positive aspects of doctrine that counter-balance and compliment the negative aspects (i.e., condemned errors)."

schoolman said...

"You need to further explain your meaning of historical "contingencies"."
==================

You can think of that as all of the factors and circumstances of time, place, etc. that contribute to variations in the concrete application of immutable principles.

schoolman said...

"...the hierarchy has betrayed the Faith and the faithful.

Let it go......"
==================

I will let it go, however, I would urge you not to abandon hope. We can trust in Our Lord's promise to be with the Church to the end...

Joe said...

Well done, Brother Anthony. You're right, anyone who thinks "counter" versus "anti" explains it all away is hopeless - there isn't a dime's worth of difference. And his follow-on explanation is even worse.

"Rather than contradiction, we are talking about a kind of synthesis that brings together multiple aspects -- the positive aspects of doctrine that counter-balance and compliment the negative aspects (i.e., condemned errors)."

Now let's get rid of the garbage: "Rather than contradiction, we are bringing together the positive aspects of doctrine that compliment condemned errors."

Oh, the weight of intellectual pride.

Anonymous said...

If the pope didn't have his back turned, how else would Marco Politi have achieved his dream of sticking a knife in it?

When I read that part about the "spirit of Vatican II" belonging to a coherent program of reform, I laughed so hard that I almost did lasting physical damage to my body.

Anonymous said...

Joe- your equivocation of "counter" and "contra" or "anti" shows an ignorance of the Latin language that is utterly unfitting of a traditionalist Catholic. Rather it shows an approach to language that is so wreckless that it would make a southern baptist blush.

Anonymous said...

If this is supposed to be sarcasm it nevertheless conveys the truly profound significance of the Holy Father's action last Sunday. Thank God for it.

schoolman said...

The term "counter-syllabus" is best understood by reflecting on the words of the Holy Father himself... (Cf. Address to the Roman Curia, December 2005).

===================

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2005/december/documents/hf_ben_xvi_spe_20051222_roman-curia_en.html

These are all subjects of great importance - they were the great themes of the second part of the Council - on which it is impossible to reflect more broadly in this context. It is clear that in all these sectors, which all together form a single problem, some kind of discontinuity might emerge. Indeed, a discontinuity had been revealed but in which, after the various distinctions between concrete historical situations and their requirements had been made, the continuity of principles proved not to have been abandoned. It is easy to miss this fact at a first glance.

It is precisely in this combination of continuity and discontinuity at different levels that the very nature of true reform consists. In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church's decisions on contingent matters - for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible - should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. It was necessary to learn to recognize that in these decisions it is only the principles that express the permanent aspect, since they remain as an undercurrent, motivating decisions from within.
On the other hand, not so permanent are the practical forms that depend on the historical situation and are therefore subject to change.

Basic decisions, therefore, continue to be well-grounded, whereas the way they are applied to new contexts can change. Thus, for example, if religious freedom were to be considered an expression of the human inability to discover the truth and thus become a canonization of relativism, then this social and historical necessity is raised inappropriately to the metaphysical level and thus stripped of its true meaning. Consequently, it cannot be accepted by those who believe that the human person is capable of knowing the truth about God and, on the basis of the inner dignity of the truth, is bound to this knowledge...

[...]The Second Vatican Council, with its new definition of the relationship between the faith of the Church and certain essential elements of modern thought, has reviewed or even corrected certain historical decisions, but in this apparent discontinuity it has actually preserved and deepened her inmost nature and true identity.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

[...]The Second Vatican Council, with its new definition of the relationship between the faith of the Church and certain essential elements of modern thought, has reviewed or even corrected certain historical decisions, but in this apparent discontinuity it has actually preserved and deepened her inmost nature and true identity.

Spoken like a true modern theologian. Let's everybody pull out a copy of "Pascendi Dominici Gregis".

Sheesh.

Joe said...

Counter-syllabus, anti-syllabus - both terms side against the syllabus. Not a dime's worth of difference in this case.

I side with the syllabus. You side with the syllabus, too. And against it.

It would be fun to watch what side you would take if the church condemned one document or the other. Of course, you'd probably be for that side, too.

Anonymous said...

I've never agreed with the accusation that then-Cardinal Ratzinger ever actually advocated a rejection of the Syllabus. A big fan of Fr. Gruner's and Fr. Kramer's, this was the solitary point I disagreed with in the latter's book. It sounds like Cardinal Ratzinger was using his theologian-speak to express his viewpoint, however correct or inaccurate it may have been, that whereas the syllabus defined the negative limits of religious "freedom" (that is, the dont's), in his viewpoint, V2 attempted to define the positive limits (the acceptables or do's). This is how I read the term "counter". As an example, the syllabus condemns the notion that an individual has some "right" to espouse any false belief. Whereas, the "positive" version of the syllabus would define what level of tolerance the Catholic state could permit to those who espouse false beliefs. In this understanding, Cardinal Ratzinger is encouraging a broader understanding of the plus and minus limits of a Catholic state and not at all espousing a rejection of the syllabus, which in itself would constitute at least proximate heresy (although I will accept correction on this being no doctor myself). Similarly, the unfortunate or perhaps politically-calculated phrase "tear down the bastions of Catholicism" which sound like something of Marx's manifesto. Upon closer look Cardinal Ratzinger appeared to talking more about a freer evangelism of heretical and schismatic sects, and not of throwing away doctrine and sacraments. At least, his actions now as Pope BXVI seem more in line with these interpretations of his past words as a leading Cardinal.

Joseph John Francis

Anonymous said...

Yes, JJF. The syllabus tells us what to oppose, but not why or what to affirm. It is easily manipulated to affirm any opinion which is not condemned in it.

It is a Syllabus of Errors not a Catechism.

With Peter

Anonymous said...

I side with the syllabus. You side with the syllabus, too. And against it.

I don't side against the Syllabus, I just don't count it as the 28th book of the New Testament.

The Syllabus is perfectly fine for what it is, but "what it is" is limited. It can stand to be further explained or counter-balanced. Gaudium et Spes tried to do this, but didn't do it very well. In fact, it needs four times as much "countering" than the Syllabus.

Spe Salvi strikes a good balance between calling affirming positive progress and denouncing negative aspects of modernity.

JAT

Lawrence said...

Every single person, in every single pew in front of me at Mass, has their back to me.

This issue of "Father has turned his back on the people" is just a smokescreen to distract us from the theft of the Latin Mass, and it's replacement with a cheaper version.