Rorate Caeli

Moving slowly

The first public confirmation of the document which should clarify "Summorum Pontificum" was made nearly a year ago, on October 12, 2007. Its publication has been delayed several times, and today Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", confirmed "that his office had completed its work and passed the draft on to the pope, who would make the final decision about its publication."

Regarding the rest of the article: while there may certainly be room for criticism of a few lay faithful who behave less prudently, we wonder if there has been any true action against bishops who still persecute Traditional Catholic priests and lay faithful around the world or who ignore their requests. Is "Ecclesia Dei" ready and willing to provide the oversight and to exercise the authority it has already been granted by Summorum, regardless of new general clarifications?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

You raise a very good question, indeed. We have rights under MP, but will anyone enforce them? We're still waiting in Alaska....How long, Oh Lord, how long? http://summorumpontificumak.blogspot.com/

Iosephus said...

I agree entirely: does Cardinal Castrillon really feel threatened by folks demanding that St. Mary Major's be turned into a full-time traddie parish? I mean, come on, who has ever heard of such a thing? And who could spread the denial of such a request, or requests like it, on the internet, in such a way as to damage anyone, let alone, the prestige of the Holy See??!

But what we do know is that there are plenty of recalcitrant bishops out there and plenty of dioceses where the old Mass is very rarely celebrated, or celebrated poorly, or celebrated only in one corner of the diocese.

It sounds like Cardinal Castrillon looked up a bad discussion at angelqueen and took that for the barometer of reaction to Summorum pontificum among the relevant laity - but why should he be concerned about what people like that are saying anyway??

I don't get it.

David A. Werling said...

This, coupled with the Holy Father's remarks to the media on the way to France, may indicate that the Vatican is taking a step back.

Anonymous said...

Another statement in the article caught my attention as well, "...when Bishop Bernard Fellay...failed to meet four conditions posed by Cardinal Castrillon for moving the process forward." I had not heard that this is the definitive interpretation of these events. I wonder if that was the writer's spin, or if it has a reliable source.

Brian Kopp said...

According to Rocco Palmo, Cardinal Hoyos repeated this rebuke towards traditional Catholics today in an interview with an Italian media outlet.

This is very disappointing, given the legitimate concerns of priests and laity alike.

Rocco also reports Archbishop Burke is likely to follow Cardinal Hoyos at PCED. I think Archbishop Burke, given his experience with bishops who also flout Canon 915, may give a bit more credence to and be more charitable towards the legitimate concerns of the laity.

Anonymous said...

Clarification! The alleged document will serve only to tone down the weight of the motu proprio. I expect it to reecho the recent blurb by Benedict XVI that the new Mass is a "natural development" of the old, a line which can fool no one but a madman.

John McFarland said...

Is "Ecclesia Dei" ready and willing to provide the oversight and to exercise the authority it has already been granted by Summorum, regardless of new general clarifications? Of course not. In the eyes of the episcopate, the Pope has a shade more power than the Ecumenical Patriarch has among the Orthodox. In the eyes of the Pope, the Pope has a shade more power than the Ecumenical Patriarch. In practice, he has about as much power as the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Cardinal Castrillon is a diplomat. Can you remember his ever saying anything with any significant amount of supernatural outlook? Do you remember his kinda sorta ultimatum to the SSPX? Do you remember the press conference in which he totally misreprented the position of the SSPX on Vatican II? This is not a man to be taken seriously. My guess is that he's had the Ecclesia Dei job this long because no one else wants it. Maybe Bishop Burke will represent an improvement; but as an old former religious and political conservative, my advice is to be ready to have your heart broken yet another time -- perhaps beginning with his name's being a trial balloon that will be shot down.

The Vatican is not taking a step back. It's just not taking a step forward, and is obviously somewhat annoyed at its being called upon to do so. The Pope has freed the old Mass for any priest who wants it, and is prepared to take the consequences of embracing it. He is not going to do much more. He doesn't want to do much more. As a practical matter, the collegial episcopacy won't allow him to do much more. He's a liberal and a modernist, and so is the current hierarchy. The road forward for the motuists is not to burrow from within; a gross of motuists on their best day couldn't out-intrigue Cardinal Vingt-Trois on his worst day. The road forward is to go out into the wilderness with the SSPX, and watch and pray until such time as the Vatican shows itself part of the solution and not part of the problem.

A reliable source? The Catholic News Service? Nobody at the CNS knows anything about anything, and their ignorance is 100% liberal ignorance. For the definitive interpretation of the "ultimatum," ask yourself this: just what was Bishop Fellay supposed to do about it, inasmuch as it accused him and the SSPX of things that by its lights weren't true. It's more evidence that he's not to be taken seriously. Either he believes it's all a matter of manners, in which case he's not very smart; or he's deliberately misrepresenting the SSPX in order to keep the motuists away from the Society, in which case he's not very virtuous.

Barring the conversion of the Pope to a complete and unadulterated understanding of the Faith, we've got about all we're getting from the Pope. Get used to it, and pray for help in deciding what to do next. You have my suggestion, as well as my prayers.

Anonymous said...

The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales reported, on their website, Cardinal Castrillon's remarks:

On Saturday morning (14 June), Cardinal Castrillón gave a press conference for journalists representing The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Reuters, The Catholic Herald and The Tablet. The conference was moderated by John Medlin, LMS General Manager. During the conference, the Cardinal stated that all parishes should offer the Extraordinary Form, preferably on a weekly Sunday basis, and that the Ecclesia Dei Commission proposed to write to all seminaries asking them to provide training in the theology, rubrics and Latin of the Extraordinary Form. He also confirmed that a ‘stable group’ could consist of as little as three to four persons gathered from across parish boundaries

Perhaps he was misreported? If not, how can one blame those who ask?

Campiana

Anonymous said...

The "God who becomes Bread?????" Cardinal??

Do we have the same faith or is someone between the Cardinal and us dislexic?

Someone on AQ picked up the error here.

Back to the beads guys.

Confiteor said...

The road forward is to go out into the wilderness with the SSPX, and watch and pray until such time as the Vatican shows itself part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Are you willing to stay out in "the wilderness" until Judgment Day? What if it turns out that you were wrong? All that you have to rely upon is the SSPX interpretation (or your own interpretation) of pre-Vatican II papal teachings, which does not have a shred of binding authority.

If being in "the wilderness" means making formal statements in the public forum that the here-and-now and living Magisterium of the Catholic Church is guilty of heresy and apostasy, and you are proven to be wrong, then "the wilderness" will be no place to be when you approach the Judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ.

However, if being "in the wilderness" simply means "watching and praying" and declining to give your assent to non-infallible papal statements that seem to contradict past teaching, electing instead to bind your conscience according to the decrees and canons of Trent, then you should be ok.

Neal said...

Am I reading this right? Did the Cardinal just lump those who desire a weekday EF Mass with the extremists and dismiss them as "insatiable, incredible"?

It's been a tough week for trads.

schoolman said...

Folks, the Cardinal does want to see the Mass in every Parish as he said. On the other hand, he seems to be referring to those who demand EXCLUSIVITY (insatiable) for the EF and that it IMMEDIATELY (incredible and unreasonable) be available everywhere.

This all relates to Fr. Z's 5th point on the rules of engagement.

Joe B said...

Satan has counterattacked. Persevere in prayer and penance, as the battle is neither lost nor won yet.

We need a saint to lead us, though. Perhaps we should appeal to Archbishop Lefebvre, both SSPXers and their critics, and see where he is. The sign could be the lifting of the excommunication decree. If that happens, we will know that a great victory is coming.

David said...

Lets not be reactionaries; we may be frustrated by the uneven pace that summorum pontificum has been implemented across the Church (and also frustrated every day when in the search for guidance, we are left to parse interviews and statements from Church leaders on pressing matters of faith.) but lets keep this all in perspective and not say anthing uncharitable in haste. Be thankful, the Church (in general) is moving towards greater orthodoxy, thanks in part to Summorum Pontificum (amongst other reasons). Lets pray that this change continues and increases both in speed and scope for the sake of God's glory and for the sake of the salvation of souls.
Cardinal Hoyos is an indult era man now living in a post-Summorum Pontificum world. He will soon be leaving Eclesia Dei in a year. Lets pray his replacement will have the vision, grace and leadership to guide the Church's embrace of the EF.

Long-Skirts said...

Anon said:

"I expect it to reecho the recent blurb by Benedict XVI that the new Mass is a "natural development" of the old, a line which can fool no one but a madman."

SHIP OF FOOLS

Mine enemy is
My family.
Mine enemy is
Mine own.

Mine enemy
Does not talk with me.
Mine enemy
Changed their tone.

What once was
Sacred through and through,
They now won't
Speculate

They take what
They can get with who...
Has lured them
With some bait.

So took the bait
To be approved
The hook, the line,
The sinker.

Together in the net
All grooved
Not one of them
A thinker.

But in the net
All tightly caught
They lye
They do not swim.

For net won't let
Them have a thought,
To sail the sea
For Him.

"The sea is calm."
The net it mocks,
"All's well,
No need convert.

The Ship is built
On many rocks,
So lay
You won't get hurt."

But out at sea
Typhoons they stormed
A tempest
Furored force.

Where schools of fish
Swim well informed
To help Ship
Stay the course.

And back on shore
In nets approved
The fish bask in
Sun, hot.

For they have theirs
All net behooved,
With bells and smells...
Of rot.

John McFarland said...

Confiteor,

If all I have to worry about on Judgment Day is the accuracy of my conviction that the conciliar magisterium is a gospel different from the gospel of our Lord and Savior, I'll be in very good shape indeed. Among those smart enough to see the point, there are only (1) those who see the point and reject the conciliar magisterium, (2)those who refuse to see the point because its implications scare them, and (3) those who see the point but embrace the novelties.

One who sees the conciliar errors has no choice but to warn the others. In this fearful crisis, all the traditional maxims of obedience and deference become traps.

The "living magisterium" is the true doctrine of the Faith, living in the hearts of the faithful. The fact that those in authority are currently teaching X is not of the living magisterium if X is not of the Faith. The essence of the crisis is that those in authority are not teaching the true Faith. Recall the traditional witness's oath to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Is the conciliar Church teaching the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

We must bind our consciences by every jot and tittle of the Faith, the doctrines of Trent of course included.

Confiteor said...

The "living magisterium" is the true doctrine of the Faith, living in the hearts of the faithful.

This is pure protestantism.

Watch and pray, do not give your assent to non-infallible teachings that seem novel, and keep quiet when you are tempted to suggest that the visible Magisterium is in apostasy. This is the more sure way to salvation.

John McFarland said...

Confiteor,

In order to understand my point, I'd suggest that you read the discourse of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais of the SSPX that was reprinted in the January 1997 English issue of SiSiNoNo, which can be found on www.sspxasia.com.

I haven't the faintest idea what you mean in calling what I said "protestantism"; but maybe the issue will be mooted after you read Bishop Tissier's piece.

Apostasy is your word, not mine. No one on earth can the judge the Pope, or the state of any man's soul.

What I am saying is that the conciliar Church, very much including the Pope, fails to give an unequivocal and complete teaching of the Faith. If the result of that failure is (as it is) the endangerment of the eternal salvation of millions, why should I care that the conciliar magisterium is not infallible except on the (rare) occasions when it just repeats pre-conciliar doctrine?

There is infallibility when the Pope is doing his job. His charism of infallibility does us no good when the Pope is not doing his job. It's the fact that the Pope is not doing his job that you need to get your head around.

Consider, for example, the Pope's being in the middle of writing a big, fat, German-academic, two volume book on Christ -- as a private doctor. He is the vicar of Christ on earth, the Church is in an unspeakable state, and he's spending a fair amount of his time pursuing his hobby. Do I have to write you a book? Do I have to draw you a picture?

Jordanes said...

He is the vicar of Christ on earth, the Church is in an unspeakable state, and he's spending a fair amount of his time pursuing his hobby.

That's one of the dumbest things I've come across in a while. The Pope writing a book designed to introduce people to Jesus and counter secular reimaginings of Him is "pursuing a hobby"?? Evangelism and theology are not a Pope's "hobbies," they're part of his job description.

The Church is in an unspeakable state, yes, (though it's been in worse states in the past), but the world outside the Church is in even worse shape than the Church is, and the Pope's authority and mission encompass all the nations, not just to the baptised. Even when writing as a private doctor, the Pope’s calling is to evangelise and to serve those who do not know Jesus, or who need to know Him better.

Confiteor said...

Mr. McFarland,

There is much with which to agree in Bp Tissier de Mallerais' fine description of the immutability of Tradition. However, he imputes to the Second Vatican Council and our recent Popes an understanding of "living Tradition" that the Council and the Popes in fact do not hold. In other words, he sets up a strawman in order to easily knock it down and thus impress his naive readers.

The Council does not intend to change Tradition by assimilating to it the values of modernity. On the contrary, the Council intends to judge the values of modernity in the light of Faith, i.e., immutable Tradition. Notice how the good Bishop changes the accent of the statement quoted from Gaudium et Spes, thus creating a false impression of the Council's intention.

The Bishop also proposes a false, or at least incomplete, notion of "living Tradition" when he reduces it to the experience of Tradition in the lives of the individual faithful -- a notion that in its subjectivism is dangerously close to one of the principle tenets of MODERNISM and PROTESTANTISM. Quite ironic.

In truth, "living Tradition" is the here-and-now Magisterium that passes on immutable Tradition and interprets it authoritatively. Do you want to see "living Tradition"? Look no further than the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Was it not Pio Nono who said "I am Tradition"? He is much castigated for that statement, yet insofar as the Pope has the authority to pass on and interpret immutable Tradition, Pio Nono was right.

The SSPX leadership make themselves the authoritative interpreters of immutable Tradition, in opposition to the Pope. It is in this usurpation of authority and in this opposition that their implicit schism consists.

Kevin said...

When Confiteor describes the notion that "The 'living magisterium' is the true doctrine of the Faith, living in the hearts of the faithful." as "pure protestantism" he is pointing out that this coincides perfectly with protestantism's establishment of authority and liberty of interpretation in the individual self of each person. It's John Calvin looking at the Roman Catholic Church of his time and judging it as deviating radically from past Christianity. All of this was based on his own personal reading of past texts, mind you.

Humani Generis 21 says that "This deposit of faith our Divine Redeemer has given for authentic interpretation not to each of the faithful, not even to theologians, but only to the Teaching Authority of the Church.". Notice how the Teaching Authority of the Church is located outside of the individual heart and mind of the faithful, and in an external authority that we are to submit to. This is the difference between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

John McFarland said...

Confiteor and Kevin,

Where to begin?

What I really have to do is to raise up a healthy hermeneutic of suspicion.

Let's try this.

Why doesn't the Pope just preach the gospel? Is it because Modern Man is resistant to the gospel? More resistant than man in 33 A.D.? And if Modern Man is more resistant, do you really think that a big fat book written as a private doctor for a very narrow audience is a better means of the start of the process of evangelization? The Pope's whole approach is entirely inconsistent with the Church's spirit and practice prior to 1962, and totally misconceived even from a purely pragmatic perspective. The reaction to volume 1 of the Pope's book has been a collective yawn, and it's safe to say that the reaction to the second won't be any greater.

The Pope doesn't want to evangelize; he wants to do other stuff. That's what The New Evangelization is: doing other stuff. Sometimes it's called evangelization; but it's not evangelization. Line up traditional evangelization against the work of the concilar Popes, look me in the eye, and tell me just how they're of a piece.

Even in the Pope's own words, the conciliar spirit is one of reaching some sort of combination of accommodation and synethesis between the Church and the world; and his practice has been more accommodating still. Go read what the gospels and the Fathers and the Doctors and the Popes have said about the world; and then come back, look me straight in the eye, and explain to me how the Pope is saying basically the same thing as they say.

Or let me make it easier. Buy a copy of St. Alphonsus Liquori's Attaining Salvation from TAN Books, and find passages in the Pope's voluminous writings that line up with what St. Alphonsus says; or what most of what he says; or with some of what he says; or with anything that he says.

You're like the defenders of evolution. What they do is to describe things as if evolution were true, and treat their descriptions as evidence that evolution IS true. You assume that the Pope is sound, and describe everything as if that were the case.

What Bishop Tissier is saying is that the Faith is something objective; it is what it is, A deposit (in the sense of a deposit in a trust) with the Church, whether there are a billion men or seven thousand who believe it. So the only sense in which it is living is in the sense that particular men believe it, and with the help of the Holy Ghost live their lives in accordance with it. It lives in them. It is living and active in its effect on the faithful. But it does not live and grow itself. When it gets articulated by the Fathers and the Doctors and the Popes and the Councils, that articulation is not the "growth" of a "living" faith.

You've successfully managed to read Bishop Tissier to mean the exact opposite of what he means. You take his account of the subjective assimilation of the objective reality of the content of Faith as a species of subjectivism!

On the other hand, you shut your eyes tightly against the voluminous evidence of the subjectivism of the conciliar Church in general and of Pope Benedict in particular.

In his memoirs, the Pope says that as a young man, neo-scholasticism had no charms for him because he couldn't just take the teachings ready-made; he had to work them out for himself. Can you explain to me how this spirit squares with the traditional definition of faith as the acceptance of what God reveals because he has revealed it, who can neither deceive nor be deceived?

I would also note that the Pope is constantly saying, in one way or another, that things have changed, but they really haven't changed, without offering so much as a subordinate clause in support of the assertion. I'd suggest that the reason is that there is not support.

As I said before: the Pope is not teaching the Faith. He's doing other stuff. Now what he THINKS he's doing, and what motivates his actions, I can't say. But it's perfectly obvious what he IS doing. Day by day, speech by speech, document by document, he teaches a deficient and adulterated version of the Faith of our fsthers, oriented to man and not to God, and to a world in which the Church aspires to be at best the head cheerleader for the liberal-Masonic-UN dreams of a universal democracy.

Them's the facts; the question is whether you're going to accept them, or continue to fend off the truth.

The way in which you fend off the truth is primarily be refusing to admit what everyone in the world but a tiny handful of "right" conservatives and "left" traditionalists recognizes -- that the Council and the conciliar Church is shot through with theory and practice that amounts to a gospel different from that handed down to us. In the case of the "right" traditionalists, I think that this is because they generally come at the whole situation from the point of view of the Mass, rather than the point of view of the Faith that is the context of the Mass.

Confiteor said...

John McFarland,

There is a lot of content to chew on and digest here. Too much to do justice in a comment box. I'll respond in my blog and post a link back here. Watch this space ...

Jordanes said...

Mr. McFarland said: Why doesn't the Pope just preach the gospel?

Because there is much more to the Catholic faith than just the Gospel.

The Pope's whole approach is entirely inconsistent with the Church's spirit and practice prior to 1962, and totally misconceived even from a purely pragmatic perspective.

Um no, not entirely -- and the Church's "spirit and practice" (well, practice anyway) varied quite a lot from A.D. 33 to 1962, and in different parts of the world.

The reaction to volume 1 of the Pope's book has been a collective yawn

No, that's a wholly inaccurate characterisation of how the book has been received.

The Pope doesn't want to evangelize; he wants to do other stuff.

Well, for someone who allegedly would rather not evangelise, he sure has been doing an awful lot of it since his election.

That's what The New Evangelization is: doing other stuff. Sometimes it's called evangelization; but it's not evangelization. Line up traditional evangelization against the work of the concilar Popes, look me in the eye, and tell me just how they're of a piece.

Is the assumption correct that "traditional evangelisation" is just one thing that varied little or not at all? And were all approaches to evangelisation taken in the past correct approaches?

Even in the Pope's own words, the conciliar spirit is one of reaching some sort of combination of accommodation and synthesis between the Church and the world

It would help to have the Pope's own words so we can see if you have correctly represented him.

Go read what the gospels and the Fathers and the Doctors and the Popes have said about the world; and then come back, look me straight in the eye, and explain to me how the Pope is saying basically the same thing as they say.

You are asserting plain and direct contradiction. Such as?

Or let me make it easier. Buy a copy of St. Alphonsus Liquori's Attaining Salvation from TAN Books, and find passages in the Pope's voluminous writings that line up with what St. Alphonsus says; or with most of what he says; or with some of what he says; or with anything that he says.

That's hyperbole, hardly a serious challenge. You know full well that it will be easy to find at least some points in common between St. Alphonsus and the Holy Father. You can't seriously be contending that the Pope is not a Christian. At least I hope you aren't suggesting that.

You're like the defenders of evolution. What they do is to describe things as if evolution were true, and treat their descriptions as evidence that evolution IS true. You assume that the Pope is sound, and describe everything as if that were the case.

Kind of like your own comments: assertions, not evidence. But Catholics accept their Pope as orthodox unless shown mighty good evidence to the contrary.

So the only sense in which [the Catholic faith] is living is in the sense that particular men believe it, and with the help of the Holy Ghost live their lives in accordance with it.

The only sense? Really?

When it gets articulated by the Fathers and the Doctors and the Popes and the Councils, that articulation is not the "growth" of a "living" faith.

I dunno, I can see how one could describe that process as the growth of a living faith. Even by your principles, it would qualify as the growth of a living faith -- unless you believe Fathers, Doctors, Popes, and Council Fathers are not "particular men [who] believe it, and with the help of the Holy Ghost live their lives in accordance with it."

You've successfully managed to read Bishop Tissier to mean the exact opposite of what he means. You take his account of the subjective assimilation of the objective reality of the content of Faith as a species of subjectivism!

I'm sure they were responding to what you said, not whatever Bishop Tissier may have said. You asserted that The "living magisterium" is the true doctrine of the Faith, living in the hearts of the faithful. The fact that those in authority are currently teaching X is not of the living magisterium if X is not of the Faith.

Now if you really believe that the living Magisterium of the Church is that which the Church teaches rather than those whom God has ordained to teach, then I would have to agree with Confiteor and Kevin that you're skirting awfully close to the abyss of Protestant-style "private judgment" if you haven't already fallen in.

On the other hand, you shut your eyes tightly against the voluminous evidence of the subjectivism of the conciliar Church in general and of Pope Benedict in particular.

I would suggest that you might want to take a look in the mirror, if you're concerned about subjectivism.

In his memoirs, the Pope says that as a young man, neo-scholasticism had no charms for him because he couldn't just take the teachings ready-made; he had to work them out for himself. Can you explain to me how this spirit squares with the traditional definition of faith as the acceptance of what God reveals because he has revealed it, who can neither deceive nor be deceived?

So Neo-Scholasticism is the divinely-revealed One True Catholic Theology? Because the Neo-Scholastic approach was ineffective in his case, and his desire to know and understand the faith led him to study other Catholic theologies, that means he lacked true faith and docility and had no desire to know and understand the faith?

As I said before: the Pope is not teaching the Faith.

I would have to say, then, that you aren't listening; or you don't know what the Faith is; or you don't really understand either the Faith or Pope's teaching or both.

Day by day, speech by speech, document by document, he teaches a deficient and adulterated version of the Faith of our fathers, oriented to man and not to God

And not to God??

How can anyone take your contentions seriously when you say foolish things like that?

Kevin said...

"The living magisterium' is the true doctrine of the Faith, living in the hearts of the faithful"

The Reformation happened, right? Or was it all a dream?

Anyone who stands by that quote above has utterly discredited themself--it's equivalent, if not more absurd, than the Dimond Brothers denying Baptism of Desire.

If you can't distinguish between the hierarchical, teaching magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church and, well, yourself--then why should we trust that you know when you're talking about when it comes to deep theological works? Similarly, if you can't do long division yet, then you should stay away from trigonometry.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

It's all very well to say yea when I say nay, and vice versa; but we must get beyond that.

The gospel means the faith, or at least those parts of the faith one teaches to adult converts. But however you define the gospel, how can you teach the faith without teaching the gospel? Now surely part of the gospel is that if you don't repent, believe the gospel and be baptized, you'll be damned. Can the conciliar church be fairly said to teach that, given the conciliar doctrine of ecumenism and its at best silence about the prospects of salvation for those who believe a mangled fragment of the whole faith? And as regards damnation in general, isn't it fair to say that in his encyclical on hope, the Pope seems to be saying that it takes some real exertion to get yourself damned? Is that what the Church taught before 1962?

Of course there are differences across 1930 years. But these differences don't amount to much in the big picture. The changes of the last forty-odd years amount to a great deal. To take just the big pieces: ecumenism, religious freedom and collegiality are entirely at odds with the theory and practice of the pre-conciliar Church. They were made up out of the whole cloth; there are no citations to support them in the conciliar documents because there is nothing to cite to. They are liberalism and modernism with holy water sprinkled on them. Of course, you can find orthodox statements in them, mostly courtesy of Archbishop Lefebvre and his cohorts; but what has been taught after the Council broke up pays precious little attention to those orthodox statements.

A good symbol of this is the fate of the preface that Pope Paul VI ordered put on Lumen Gentium in order to put an orthodox spin on collegiality. That preface ended up at the back rather than the front; and disappeared entirely in Pope John Paul the Great's incorporation of collegiality into the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of Vatican II. It had served its purpose of getting the traditionalists to vote for Lumen Gentium, and so it could be round filed.

Can you find me a preconciliar approach to evangelization that involved not evangelizing -- that is, not teaching the faith, but some vague sort of spiritual talk. In his address to the Areopagus, it took Paul about two minutes to get to serious evangelization. At the pace that the Pope is adopting in his big fat book on Christ, it will take him about two centuries to get to the stuff that saves souls.

Or consider the Pope's remonstrances to the EU regarding its constitution. What does he beg and plead for? I'll tell you. He wants the EU, pretty please, to admit that Europe used to be Christian, and that that has something positive to do with what Europe is today. Can you explain the evangelical dimension of this line of argument. The EU hasn't bothered to dignify it with a response, but a fair reponse would be something like this.

"Yes, Europe used to be Christian, just as we leaders of the EU used to be squalling, unhousebroken babies. But we've grown up, and Europe has grown up; and we see no more reason to talk about how Europe used to be than how we used to be. Go away, silly old man in the white dress."

And what is the Pope's answer? The answer is that his fan is in his hand, and he will purge his floor and gather up the wheat; but the chaff he will burn in unquenchable fire?

And do you expect the Pope to give that answer?

What Cardinal Ratzinger objected to about neoscholasticism was that it provided a ready made account faith, and he didn't want a ready made account of faith.

But the faith is ready made; God reveals it, and you take it or leave it alone. What would be your reaction to someone who told you that he rejected arithmetic because it was ready made, and that he instead wanted to develop his own arithmetic for himself?

I don't know if Cardinal Ratzinger realized that that is what he was saying; but that's what he was saying -- and what he does. His encyclicals are at some pains to avoid talking about things in the way that the Church has always talked about things. But the result is not new ways of talking about old truths. It is new ways of talking about new things -- that is, ideas of little if any relation to the faith of our fathers.

Let me be undiplomatic, Jordanes: you don't really know what you're talking about. You don't know very much at all about the theory and practice of the Church before 1962, and so it's easy for you to assume that the Pope must be on the right track, and those who second-guess him a bunch of schismatics or cranks.

This doesn't scandalize me. I went to Catholic schools through college and received my first communion in 1951 (a year early because I knew all the answers in the catechism), and so learned the rudiments of the faith well before Vatican II. But I was north of 55 before I shook off the influence of Vatican II and recovered what I'd been taught, and was able to learn from the SSPX the things that the American church didn't have the guts and/or the conviction to teach in those idyllic pre-Vatican II years.

You're no doubt much younger, and so really don't know spit.

So you'd better get to it. My suggestion is to go to www.sspx.org, and start reading.

***

As regards your last remark: yes, and not to God. Get a copy of St. Augustine's Confessions, open it at random in half a dozen places, and see how he talks about God. Then go do the same with the works of Josef Ratzinger both before and after he became Pope. St. Augustine never stops talking about God. The Pope often stops talking about God; and when he does talk about him, he talks about him in rather a different way. The same was true of Pope John Paul the Great, of whom the current Pope is a great admirer. The former said that our thinking must become anthropocentric. He also said that by so doing, it would also become theocentric. But how do you square this with the injunction to love the Lord your God, and your neighbor as yourself, with the second injunction being like the first? And why didn't Pope John Paul the Great not turn his greatness to giving us at least a bit of an explanation?

Confiteor said...

I have decided that Mr. McFarland's rant is not worth the trouble of responding in a separate blog post, especially now that Jordanes has ably refuted its main points. I would only add that the theory of "living Tradition" advanced by Mr. McFarland and Bp Tissier de Mallerais does not square with the authoritative teaching of the Catholic Church:

Now what was handed on by the Apostles includes everything which contributes toward the holiness of life and increase in faith of the people of God; and so the Church, in her teaching, life and worship, perpetuates and hands on to all generations all that she herself is, all that she believes.

This tradition which comes from the Apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts (see Luke, 2:19, 51) through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through Episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her ... But the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.


DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON DIVINE REVELATION DEI VERBUM, SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON 18 NOVEMBER, 1965, emphasis added.

No one on this earth -- no one -- has the authority to offer their own interpretation of Tradition in opposition to the Pope. Humbly ask for clarification of vague and confusing teachings, yes. Firmly and fraternally rebuke the Pope (as St. Paul did) when he does things that create scandal, e.g., kissing the Koran, praying in a Mosque, etc., yes. Raising up a "hermeneutic of suspicion" regarding the Pope's fundamental orthodoxy, absolutely not. Such a hermeneutic is far from healthy.

In closing, I would like to address the first and perhaps most ludicrous of Mr. McFarland's assertions: "Why doesn't the Pope just preach the gospel?"

The gospel is our Lord Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XVI has preached Jesus Christ unceasingly since his election to the Chair of Peter. I'll leave the Holy Father the last word:

Beloved brothers and sisters, day pilgrims and inhabitants of these valleys, brother Bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, all of you who see before you the infinite abasement of the Son of God and the infinite glory of the Resurrection, remain in silent adoration of your Lord, our Master and Lord Jesus Christ. Remain silent, then speak and tell the world: we cannot be silent about what we know.

BLESSED SACRAMENT PROCESSION
MEDITATION BY HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
Prairie, Lourdes
Sunday, 14 September 2008

Confiteor said...

Does Pope Benedict XVI preach another gospel than the one handed down to us? That is the question. In this connection, Mr. McFarland invites us to examine the encyclical Spe salvi in light of the gospel of our Lord concerning salvation and damnation. I would like to take up that invitation. This will take some time and perhaps a separate blog post after all. More later ...

Anonymous said...

Mr.McFlarland, Confetior et al,

Raling against the Church is a grave and mortal sin. Being mean about the Pope is also a grave and mortal sin.

If the SSPX are obedient to the Pope why do they (via Mr. McFarland) denigrate him so? Can't you disagree in a more generous fashion?

I have actually read most of the SSPX arguments and appreciate what they say. The SSPX say they want a true debate on doctrinal issues.

So here we all waiting for a healthy debate re: Bishop Tissier and Confetior views on a subject and the debate has turned to personal attack.

Show me the beef, please, my soul depends on it. If you can't then I submit you are believing a pet theory that doesn't hold water.

Lets speak to this specific document and each point so as to have a proper debate.

My question, why can not V2 be interpreted in the light of tradition? Songenis seems to be able to reconcile the two, albeit he admits to difficulty.

How is it that protestants have no problem with the NO mass?

Very, very sincerely,
Jerry

Jordanes said...

Mr. McFarland said: It's all very well to say yea when I say nay, and vice versa; but we must get beyond that.

It would be welcome if you would get beyond saying nay when the Pope says yea. In this discussion, I have seen you make assertions, usually painting with a broad brush, but I don’t see much in the way of supporting evidence and argument.

The gospel means the faith, or at least those parts of the faith one teaches to adult converts.

I agree. To be more specific, we can say that the Gospel essentially is that God freely and of His infinite love and goodness sent His Son into the world to redeem man from sin and death by Jesus Christ’s Incarnation, Passion, Crucifixion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension into glory, to make man holy and just in His sight so that we may have fullness of joy with God in heaven forever. It is that saving message which the Church is commanded to announce and teach to all nations, making disciples through Baptism in the Name of the Holy Trinity and teaching them to observe all the things that Jesus taught and commanded the Apostles.

But however you define the gospel, how can you teach the faith without teaching the gospel?

You can't.

Now surely part of the gospel is that if you don't repent, believe the gospel and be baptized, you'll be damned. Can the conciliar church be fairly said to teach that, given the conciliar doctrine of ecumenism and its at best silence about the prospects of salvation for those who believe a mangled fragment of the whole faith?

Yes, the Catholic Church that accepts Vatican II -- the only Catholic Church that exists on earth at this time -- does believe and teach that those who for whatever reason are not in a state of grace at the time of their death will go to hell. We know that there are many Catholics, even bishops and priests, who do not believe or teach that, but the Church does believe and teach it (and so was I taught when I entered into her communion), and we know that the Pope believes and teaches it too.

And as regards damnation in general, isn't it fair to say that in his encyclical on hope, the Pope seems to be saying that it takes some real exertion to get yourself damned?

No, that isn't fair to say at all. But then his encyclical is about hope, not despair.

Is that what the Church taught before 1962?

Essentially, sure. I’m not aware of anything in his encyclical that conflicts with or that contradicts what the Church taught before 1962.

Of course there are differences across 1930 years. But these differences don't amount to much in the big picture. The changes of the last forty-odd years amount to a great deal.

If the changes across those 1,930 years don't amount to much in the big picture, then the changes of the last forty-odd years can't amount to a great deal either. To cite just one example, there is a difference in approach between St. Paul's dialogues and debates with Jews in their synagogues and the former law of the States of the Church in Italy, under which Jews living there were commanded to listen to the preaching of the Gospel. Now, I'm not questioning the Church's right to do that, but I do suggest that such an approach may not have been an especially effective way of evangelising Jews.

To take just the big pieces: ecumenism, religious freedom and collegiality are entirely at odds with the theory and practice of the pre-conciliar Church.

No, we can't say "entirely at odds." We all should be aware of the faulty, erroneous conceptions of those things popular in certain quarters, even including members of the Roman Curia, but what the Council said about them is not contrary to the faith.

They were made up out of the whole cloth; there are no citations to support them in the conciliar documents because there is nothing to cite to.

Why do you do say things like that, Mr. McFarland? Surely I'm not the only person to notice the citations in, for example, Lumen Gentium and Dignitatis Humanae.

They are liberalism and modernism with holy water sprinkled on them.

Know what happens when you "sprinkle holy water" on error? The error is completely washed out, leaving nothing but truth. So you are saying that the Church at Vatican II took whatever may have been true in liberalism and modernism and threw the rest in the trash where it belongs. I don’t see why any orthodox Catholic would have a problem with that, if that is what happened.

Of course, you can find orthodox statements in them, mostly courtesy of Archbishop Lefebvre and his cohorts; but what has been taught after the Council broke up pays precious little attention to those orthodox statements.

Yes, there has been a great deal of misteaching since the Council, by those who ignore, misunderstand, or disregard what the Council actually taught.

Now, I've found a good deal of ambiguity in various Council statements, but nothing heterodox. Could you cite an example of a statement from the Council that is not an orthodox statement?

A good symbol of this is the fate of the preface that Pope Paul VI ordered put on Lumen Gentium in order to put an orthodox spin on collegiality. That preface ended up at the back rather than the front;

It couldn’t have ended up as an appendix unless Paul VI had agreed that’s where it should be. The appendix, of course, doesn’t read anything like a preface, and would have been an entirely inappropriate way to commence a dogmatic constitution.

and disappeared entirely in Pope John Paul the Great's incorporation of collegiality into the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of Vatican II. It had served its purpose of getting the traditionalists to vote for Lumen Gentium, and so it could be round filed.

It is unreasonable to expect that a doctrinal clarification would be incorporated into a juridical code or a catechism, nor does it mean anything at all that LG’s appendix is not quoted or cited in the CCL or the Catechism. LG is amply quoted and cited throughout the Catechism, and it is well known that it is forbidden to interpret a doctrinal statement of the Church contrary to the way that she herself has ordered it to be understood. There has never been a single action taken by the Church that could be taken to mean that LG’s appendix has been “round filed.”

Can you find me a preconciliar approach to evangelization that involved not evangelizing -- that is, not teaching the faith, but some vague sort of spiritual talk.

I can find examples of pre-Vatican II “evangelisation” that involved not evangelizing, but various forms of coercion, but no, I don’t believe it was usual back then to offer “some vague sort of spiritual talk.”

As for the Holy Father, of course, he has never offered “some vague sort of spiritual talk.” The Roman Pontiffs have always referred their “spiritual talk” directly to Jesus, and Paul VI, John Paul I & II, and Benedict XVI are no exceptions.

In his address to the Areopagus, it took Paul about two minutes to get to serious evangelization. At the pace that the Pope is adopting in his big fat book on Christ, it will take him about two centuries to get to the stuff that saves souls.

Balderdash. You can’t even open the front cover of his book without getting to the stuff that saves souls. (Hint: the title of the book is “Jesus of Nazareth,” and as St. Peter said, quoted at the opening header of the Prologue of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “‘There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’” than the name of JESUS.”)

I’m guessing you haven’t actually read his book, but if you have, you should try it again with an open mind instead of your hermeneutic of suspicion.

Or consider the Pope's remonstrances to the EU regarding its constitution. What does he beg and plead for? I'll tell you. He wants the EU, pretty please, to admit that Europe used to be Christian, and that that has something positive to do with what Europe is today. Can you explain the evangelical dimension of this line of argument.

Sure. Evangelism is about teaching man the truth about himself. Europe today owes its best self to Christianity, and Europe will only harm itself and its people if it hides from the truth.

The EU hasn't bothered to dignify it with a response, but a fair response would be something like this.

"Yes, Europe used to be Christian, just as we leaders of the EU used to be squalling, unhousebroken babies. But we've grown up, and Europe has grown up; and we see no more reason to talk about how Europe used to be than how we used to be. Go away, silly old man in the white dress."


No, there’s nothing fair about such a crass, childish, and downright cruel response.

And what is the Pope's answer? The answer is that his fan is in his hand, and he will purge his floor and gather up the wheat; but the chaff he will burn in unquenchable fire?

And do you expect the Pope to give that answer?


You seriously think that kind of approach will bring about the conversion of the so-called European Union? Do you know what their response would likely be? The kindest thing they’d say or do is declare, “Go away, silly old man in the white dress.” Granted, there would be some satisfaction to have things laid on the line in blunt terms, but I can’t fault the Pope for taking a more irenic approach.

What Cardinal Ratzinger objected to about neoscholasticism was that it provided a ready made account faith, and he didn't want a ready made account of faith.

And the problem with that is?

But the faith is ready made; God reveals it, and you take it or leave it alone.

You continue to operate under the unproven premise that Neo-Scholasticism is the One True Catholic Theology.

What would be your reaction to someone who told you that he rejected arithmetic because it was ready made, and that he instead wanted to develop his own arithmetic for himself?

Again you are conflating theology with the faith. The Church has many acceptable theologies, with Thomism holding pride of place. Neo-Scholasticism has been helpful to many, and was favored by past Popes, but neither Thomism nor Neo-Scholasticism are de fide teachings of the Catholic faith. One can be a faithful Catholic without being a student or adherent of Thomism or a Neo-Scholasticism. In finding weaknesses in Neo-Scholasticism and exploring other Catholic theologies, the Pope wasn’t trying to come up with a different faith, but to come to a full and proper understanding and appreciation of it.

I don't know if Cardinal Ratzinger realized that that is what he was saying; but that's what he was saying -- and what he does.

I suspect he realised what he was saying. You, however, apparently do not realise that there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with what he said.

His encyclicals are at some pains to avoid talking about things in the way that the Church has always talked about things.

There is not just one “way that that the Church has always talked about things.”

But the result is not new ways of talking about old truths. It is new ways of talking about new things -- that is, ideas of little if any relation to the faith of our fathers.

Little if any. More of your characteristic hyperbole.

Let me be undiplomatic, Jordanes: you don't really know what you're talking about.

That’s not simply undiplomatic, Mr. McFarland, it’s also dead wrong.

You don't know very much at all about the theory and practice of the Church before 1962, and so it's easy for you to assume that the Pope must be on the right track, and those who second-guess him a bunch of schismatics or cranks.

Well, it’s true that many of the Pope’s “second-guessers” are schismatics or cranks, but that’s by no means true of anywhere close to all of them. Still, you cannot possibly know how much I know about the theory and practice of the Church before 1962, but if you seriously believe I don’t know very much at all about it, you are dreadfully mistaken. If you knew anything about me, then you would have known that I could never have come to conversion and sought the Church’s communion unless I had first found out quite a lot about the theory and practice of the Church before 1962, both the good and the bad.

By the way, Exsurge Domine is probably my all-time favorite magisterial document, and personally I wouldn’t mind it too much if Church documents started sounding a bit more like that one.

But I was north of 55 before I shook off the influence of Vatican II and recovered what I'd been taught, and was able to learn from the SSPX the things that the American church didn't have the guts and/or the conviction to teach in those idyllic pre-Vatican II years.

I’m glad that you are aware of the many ways that catechesis in the American Catholic Church left much to be desired in those days. I’ve long been of the suspicion that “Americanism” materially if not formally has been a perennial problem or temptation of the Church in this country.

You're no doubt much younger, and so really don't know spit.

Sure, I’m a generation younger than you, but I won’t accept you despising my statements and arguments on that account.

As regards your last remark: yes, and not to God.

Again, such an assertion can hardly be taken seriously by anyone who has read even a little of Ratzinger/Benedict with an open mind.

Get a copy of St. Augustine's Confessions, open it at random in half a dozen places, and see how he talks about God. Then go do the same with the works of Josef Ratzinger both before and after he became Pope. St. Augustine never stops talking about God. The Pope often stops talking about God; and when he does talk about him, he talks about him in rather a different way.

Yes, the Pope is a deep admirer of St. Augustine, but he is not St. Augustine.

The same was true of Pope John Paul the Great, of whom the current Pope is a great admirer. The former said that our thinking must become anthropocentric. He also said that by so doing, it would also become theocentric.

Sounds rather like Catholic Humanism.

But how do you square this with the injunction to love the Lord your God, and your neighbor as yourself, with the second injunction being like the first? And why didn't Pope John Paul the Great not turn his greatness to giving us at least a bit of an explanation?

Two words: Redemptor Hominis ;-)