Rorate Caeli

CONFIRMED

As we had mentioned earlier today, the Holy See Press Office has confirmed that the doctrinal talks between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) will begin in mid-October.

"The first meeting, which will mark the beginning of the dialogue with the Lefebvrists, will take place in the second half of October," Father Federico Lombardi, spokesman of Pope Benedict XVI, said [today].

(La Croix)

102 comments:

Anonymous said...

keep the talks away from the archbishop of VIENNA

Luiz said...

Let us pray and fast!

Rezemos e jejuemos!

Dan Hunter said...

That is sooner than I thought.

As per the previous posting: why is Cardinal Schoenborn taking such an active verbal role in speaking negatively about healing the rift with the FSSPX?

Will His Eminence be involved in the discussion process?
I have not heard that he will, but perchance this has changed.

Yikes!

Anonymous said...

The 2nd half of OCtober would coincide with what milestone in particular?

October 16th, the Feast of St Edith Stein, the famous convert from Judaism?

October 21st, the octave of the famous miracle of the Sun at Fatima?

October 24th, the 92nd anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, just a novena past the miracle of the Sun that kickstarted the errors of Russia being spread throughout the world?

October 31st, the 492nd anniversary of Luther's rebellion against Holy Mother Church?

Can someone shed any light, if there is any significance at all in a "second half of October" start date?

Anonymous said...

"Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition..."

Jordanes said...

The miracle of the Sun kickstarted the errors of Russia being spread throughout the world???

gabrielle said...

Rosararies please everyone and lots of them - we need the SSPX on board and so does the Holy Father.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Gabrielle.

The SSPX is needed fully operational INSIDE of the Church. Quickly.

Let us hope that enough good-will will be present at the discussions and decisions.

Holy Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.

Saint Peter, pray for the Pope.

Knight of Malta said...

What is so worth preserving about Vatican II?

http://www.newoxfordreview.org/article.jsp?did=0107-conlee

There have been failed Councils in history, just as a Pope has excommunicated a future Saint (St. Athanasius).

All roads lead to Rome, but some are crooked.

Just as St. Peter, the Church's first Pope, was a failure in ways (thrice denying Christ--but also a heroic martyr), so, too, councils and such work in mysterious ways in the Church.

We have come full-circle from Lateran Council which declared that Jews and Muslims must wear distinctive dress.

Not every statement of councils--particularly merely "pastoral" councils such as Vatican II--necessarily imply the will of God, at least long-term. Certainly, we must give them due respect, especially when they are called to combat error. But Vatican II was called to embrace error--the world's error. Thus, it should be given the littlest due respect given all of the VALID councils; of which, admittedly, it is one.

Now, forty years on, it is time to move away from the dire winter which it caused (which, it seems, the Church is doing in baby-steps).

Now here is something interesting: the council's document on the liturgy did not call to abrogate the Traditional Latin Mass, but actually gave permission to change it. This begs the question: if Bugnini, in his preternatural fury, didn't totally abrogate it, and create a frankenstinian version of it, might it have been watered-down and harmed? Could the Holy Spirit have protected it all these years, preserved by the likes of SSPX, to once again be brought-forth, unmolested and untampered with, after all these years; preserved, as in a cocoon? Preserved in amber, as it were, by the errors of modernism? Only God can bring good out of evil. :)

M.A. said...

I'm on board for fasting and sacrifices. I Will fast on Thursdays.

As for prayers, I will publicly announce this intention when we have our one-mile rosary procession in October. If anyone is in the area (south of Chicago) please join us for the procession and the Tridentine Mass to follow.

If it pleases the moderators, I offer an e-mail for further info: doctorvici AT hotmail.com

beng said...

I want a dedicated TV channel broadcasting live, with translators translating every Italian and Latin to English, of every meeting they will be having!


Yes, it is asking too much. Yes, it ain't gonna happen.

Jordanes said...

Vatican II was called to embrace error--the world's error. Thus, it should be given the littlest due respect given all of the VALID councils; of which, admittedly, it is one.

A valid council that Blessed John XXIII convened with the intention of having the Church renounce the Catholic verity and embrace error? Apart from the fact that Vatican II was not called to embrace error, one wonders how a council whose purpose allegedly was to abandon Catholicism could be a valid Catholic council.

Anonymous said...

It does seem this particular councils' fruits hit pretty close to the bottom of the list. Maybe well intentioned but so is the road to hell.

John McFarland said...

It seems to me that His Eminence is just doing His Holiness's work, pointing out the position of the Vatican as thes process starts. After all, it surely is the position of the Vatican. Compare Bishop Tissier's making the tougher statements for the SSPX, leaving Bishop Fellay to make the more diplomatic ones.

Or consider Fr. Lombardi. Do you think he keeps calling the SSPX "Lefebvrists" as an act of defiance of his master?

To offer a little toughness of my own: the naivety of some of you guys seems bottomless.

Paul Haley said...

I'm confused. I know, what else is new, eh? But weren't we led to believe these "discussions" would be by exchange of "papers" or dubia rather than formal talks? If it is to be formal talks, I'd sure like to be a fly on the wall in whatever Vatican room they are to be held.

Malta said...

jordones: "A valid council that Blessed John XXIII convened with the intention of having the Church renounce the Catholic verity and embrace error? Apart from the fact that Vatican II was not called to embrace error, one wonders how a council whose purpose allegedly was to abandon Catholicism could be a valid Catholic council."

But Blessed John XXII died before it got underway, and might have been horrified by its unnatural germination.

The truth is, Paul VI is the general behind VII, he was confused by Blessed Pauls call for renewal. He saw it in different ways.

Bl. Pope John XXIII was actually a very traditional Pope, and would have been horrified by the liberalizations recently imposed....

He even wrote about the virtue of latin in the Church and the Liturgy, but such things are cast aside, and liberals want to make him a liberal, when his original intention, misguided as it was, was merely to give a bridge to the Church, not a vice-versa two-way bridge between the Church and the fallible world....

Malta said...

jornanes, very true, it was not convened to embrace error, but it ended up doing so by its own nature. Really, it is undeniable by VIIs praise for, say, muslims, that it is, in a sense, embracing error? Really, imagine our crusader forbearers fighting the muslims, and, then, contrast that with Vatican IIs document that says Muslims are first-most in God's salvation plan? Really, its a slap in the face of all those crusaders who gave their life to Christ.

Yeah, I know, we are in the "modern age," but why cant we give due regard to those who died hundreds of years ago?

For goodness sake, Christ died 2,000 years ago; so, too, His defenders need a bit of recognition....

Anonymous said...

I can't stand the SSPX being referred to as the Lefebvrists! When will people stop using that term?

Jordanes said...

But Blessed John XXII died before it got underway, and might have been horrified by its unnatural germination. The truth is, Paul VI is the general behind VII, he was confused by Blessed Pauls call for renewal. He saw it in different ways.

Paul VI did not call the council.

jornanes, very true, it was not convened to embrace error, but it ended up doing so by its own nature.

By its own nature? What nature is that?

Really, it is undeniable by VIIs praise for, say, muslims, that it is, in a sense, embracing error?

Vatican II does not praise Muslims, but only notes the few things that Islam has in common with Catholicism, i.e., the few things Islam has right. The council brief statements on the Muslim religion are not erroneous, though even if they were, errors of fact do not suffice to show that the council embraced doctrinal error.

Really, imagine our crusader forbearers fighting the muslims, and, then, contrast that with Vatican IIs document that says Muslims are first-most in God's salvation plan?

You must be referring to Lumen Gentium 16, which doesn't say anything at all about Muslims being "first-most in God's salvation plan." LG explicitly says is it the Catholic Church, not any other religion or people, that is first-most in God's plan of salvation. However, LG 16 discusses "those who have not yet received the Gospel" and says they "are related in various ways to the people of God." First among them, according to LG 16, are not the Muslims, but the Jews. After a couple of sentences about the Jews, LG 16 says, "But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans . . . ."

Thus, LG 16 doesn't say the Mohammedans are "first-most in God's salvation plan," but instead lists them first among those non-Christians "who acknowledge the Creator." They are not excluded from God's plan of salvation, LG 16 says -- that is to say, God's will is that they too, like the Jews and everyone else, receive and accept the Gospel and become Christians.

nazareth priest said...

Pray God, there can be a complete reunion. The Church needs Catholics who can "say the Creed and mean it" (Wm Marra, God rest his soul). If you want to see the insanity going on in the USA just check out htt://ncronline.org. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, save souls!

Anonymous said...

A few questions...

The SSPX bishops and priests are suspended a divinis. The excommunications were lifted.

1. Does that mean that despite the canonical penalty (a divinis suspensions), SSPX bishops and priests are in communion with the Church?

2. Are they, if in a state of grace, free to receive Holy Communion?

3. Does suspension a divinis constitute a grave sin that requires repudiation and Confession prior to the reception of Holy Communion?

Thank you.

Tim

Jordanes said...

Tim,

1. Yes

2. Yes

3. No -- suspension is a canonical penalty, not a sin to be confessed, and in any event is not a bar to receiving Communion, only to celebrating the Sacraments unless for emergencies. A suspended priest would have to confess if he celebrated a sacrament without justification, but it's unintelligible to say in the Confessional, "I confess that I am a suspended priest."

Anonymous said...

"I can't stand the SSPX being referred to as the Lefebvrists! When will people stop using that term?"

I agree, I prefer the term "Marcelians" after the founder just like the Franciscians, Dominicans etc.

Oliver said...

All these neat legalisms to stifle logical thought and reality! People still consider the Society as something apart from the Church and they are so willing to grant the reformed entity in Rome complete authority in the Church. The truth and the passage of time though has shown us that this entity has lost this authority and it takes a traditional group like the Society under the protection of a state of necessity to remind the current Roman regime where it went wrong. No agreement is possible between opposing religions and ecumenical fudge is the worst outcome. Far better to accept the fact that the true faith is going to be in exile for the rest of this century and more Roman horrors are on the horizon.

Anonymous said...

The SSPX should abandon its schismatic tendencies and ACCEPT all DECREES OF THE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS INCLUDING VATICAN II AS BINDING.

Jordanes said...

Your opinion is not Catholic, Oliver. The "entity in Rome," the Holy See, is incapable of losing its authority, regardless of how it uses, misuses, or fails to use its divine authority. The Church is indefectible.

Until the SSPX receives canonical recognition, it is not a Catholic fraternity as thus is "something apart from the Church."

Paul Haley said...

Anonymous (6 September, 2009 10:27) said...

The SSPX should abandon its schismatic tendencies and ACCEPT all DECREES OF THE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS INCLUDING VATICAN II AS BINDING.

What decrees? As far as I know, Vatican II avoided any dogmatic pronouncements and, as Pope Paul VI himself said, was primarily pastoral in nature. If you're talking about the ambiguous documents produced by the Council on ecumenism and religious liberty, that's the basis for the doctrinal discussions between Rome and the SSPX scheduled for mid-October. Also, your use of the words "schismatic tendencies" is a dog that won't hunt, I suspect, in this forum.

Joe B said...

Jordanes,

SSPX is more Catholic than the Vatican. They are meticulously Catholic, and the Mother of God has weighed in twice on their side to show Heaven's position concerning SSPX.

Your legal decrees declaring otherwise are not binding because they are unjust and because the Vatican has caused or allowed the faith to degenerate to near zero, which is the state of necessity. The decrees are based on punishing traditional Catholicism. Invalid.
Evil, even.

SSPX is on the side of the saints and popes past. The Vatican is on the side of liberalism, although it appears this pope is pulling back somewhat from that error. We will soon see how much. In the meantime, I'll stand with SSPX because they embrace and defend the faith as it was passed down to us, not the manmade frankenstein mass that lives (valid), but is obviously new, opposed to tradition, and UGLY.

John McFarland said...

Oliver,

Jordanes is quite right about authority. The Pope and the rest of the Church authorities have been derelict in their duties to an unprecedented degree, but that doesn't mean they have lost their authority. There is no one on earth who can take their authority away from them.

Jordanes is also quite wrong in saying that the SSPX is "not of the Church," because the dereliction of the authorities has created the state of emergency that justifies the Society's defiance of the derelict authorities when and as necessary to preserve the Faith. If you are ten years old, your father has authority over you; but if he tells you to lie or steal, you not only can but MUST disobey him. Most of Jordanes' thinking, and that of many others who post here, is flawed by the inability to apply this basic truth to the current state of the Church. A Catholic cannot accept the authorities' deficient and adulterated magisterium, or many of the exercises of authority that follow from that magisterium.

John McFarland said...

The point of "Lefebvrist" is to treat the SSPX as a (schismatic)sect. (By contrast, the SSPX's term for itself is "Catholic.") On conciliar lips, "Marcellian" would just be a classier version of "Lefebvrist." -- like "Arian," not like "Franciscan."

Furthermore, there is an ancient heresy called "Marcellianism," which seems to be either the same as or a variant of Sabellianism. So "Marcellian" would add confusion to insult.

John McFarland said...

Mr. Haley,

Perhaps this is just an organizational meeting to settle the particulars of the document exchange.

But to be sure, we'll probably have to wait to see how the SSPX describes how it's all going to work. I suppose it's possible that the Vatican might make itself clear; but it's not the way to bet.

Jordanes said...

Joe B said: SSPX is more Catholic than the Vatican.

But the SSPX isn't the Vatican.

the Mother of God has weighed in twice on their side to show Heaven's position concerning SSPX.

We'll know for sure what Heaven's position is when the SSPX is regularised and integrated fully into the Church's life and mission, which hopefully we will see in the (please God) not so distant future.

Your legal decrees declaring otherwise are not binding because they are unjust and because the Vatican has caused or allowed the faith to degenerate to near zero, which is the state of necessity.

The Holy See evidently does not agree . . . and after all, it's not like religious institutes or priestly fraternities have a right to be recognised by the Holy See, or as if the Holy See is obligated to extend or maintain canonical recognition for every religious community or fraternity that has petitioned for recognition.

The decrees are based on punishing traditional Catholicism. Invalid.

That may be so. The problem is that the Holy See hasn't (yet?) indicated its agreement with that position.

Mr McFarland said: If you are ten years old, your father has authority over you; but if he tells you to lie or steal, you not only can but MUST disobey him. Most of Jordanes' thinking, and that of many others who post here, is flawed by the inability to apply this basic truth to the current state of the Church.

My "inability" to apply it stems from my being unconvinced that it applies to the SSPX's situation. When the Holy See tells a priestly fraternity to disband, that is, withdraws its recognition and suppresss it, that may or may not be a justified action, and it could be an injustice, but it's nothing at all like telling the fraternity to violate God's commandments. It's not a sin or a moral evil for the SSPX not to exist.

Brian said...

Jordanes wrote:

LG 16 doesn't say the Mohammedans are "first-most in God's salvation plan," but instead lists them first among those non-Christians "who acknowledge the Creator." They are not excluded from God's plan of salvation, LG 16 says -- that is to say, God's will is that they too, like the Jews and everyone else, receive and accept the Gospel and become Christians."

Your interpretation provides an orthodox way to read LG16's statement that "plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans."

A potential problem, however, is that there are other less orthodox ways to interpret what that text says. Indeed, the statement could easily be read to say that Mohamedans are in the plan of salvation, so one can be saved as a Mohamedan. This reading is only reinforced when our Holy Father kisses the Koran and oecumenical "dialogue" avoids "polemics" in favor of highlighting truths held in common. The document, as well as that above mentioned actions, are ambiguous and easily mistaken to suggest, at least, a less orthodox interpretation.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jordanes,

I am the Anon Sept 15, 2009 19:27, the 4th to post on this blog.

Allow me to clarify since you seemed confused by one of my questions:
"October 24th, the 92nd anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, just a novena past the miracle of the Sun that kickstarted the errors of Russia being spread throughout the world?"

I missed a comma after "Sun", that would have qualified "the Bolshevik Revolution" as the object that kickstarted the errors of Russia (rather than "The Miracle of the Sun" which came from God).

My question still stands.

Can anyone including NC or CAP comment on any significance with regards to the selection of the last half of October as the kickstart for these discussions?

Personally, I believe a start date of October 16th coinciding with St Edith Stein's feast day would be a great hand to play by the Holy Father to silence anti-SSPX crowds playing the antisemite cards.

Teresa Maria said...

May the Holy Spirit guide these talks and enlighten all parties involved.

May Our Lady of Fatima intercede for the successul outcome of these exchange and the full canonical recognition of the FSSPX.

Let us pray!

Dan Hunter said...

Jordanes:

Is it true, as Aquinas said, or not, that, "An unjust law is no law at all"?


"Let he who has eyes see.
Let he who has ears hear."
That is how we can logically tell if something is unjust in many cases.
We do not have to run to the Holy See to percieve the Truth every time.
We make desicions every day that are correct and of a Catholic reality that are of our own God given common sense.

Just curious.

I am asking you since you seem to have so many of the answers.

No sarcasm or offense intended.

Paul Haley said...

Jordanes said:

My "inability" to apply it stems from my being unconvinced that it applies to the SSPX's situation. When the Holy See tells a priestly fraternity to disband, that is, withdraws its recognition and suppresss it, that may or may not be a justified action, and it could be an injustice, but it's nothing at all like telling the fraternity to violate God's commandments. It's not a sin or a moral evil for the SSPX not to exist.

With all due respect, Jordanes, your comment appears to me to be a disputation that there is a state of necessity justifying the SSPX actions to practice the Faith as it has always been practiced in the 2,000 plus years before Vatican II.

Is it a sin to go against the training one has received in the years prior to Vatican II, particularly in the liturgy, and to accept what is blasphemous and sacrilegious according to the way one's conscience has been formed? Many on this forum would agree that it is, indeed, sinful in the subjective sense to accept the modernist practices which have been inserted in the liturgy.

The SSPX have avoided this subjectively sinful behavior, as have, by the way, many independent priests and not only those who were formed prior to Vatican II but many younger priests who want no part of these modernist incursions.

No, my friend, the state of necessity exists, even if in a subjective sense, and that is all that is necessary in canon 1323 to exculpate one from any pennalty. But, many of us will agree that the state of necessity exists in an objective sense when Justice for the SSPX and independents is withheld by the Roman authorities.

Is this upcoming meeting between Rome and the SSPX a canonical trial to adjudicate the claims of the SSPX on the state of necessity? No, it is not and that is a wound that just won't heal. "Come talk to us you SSPX members who are under a continuing state of suspension a divinis and we will see what you have to say in your defense." That appears to be the attitude taken by the Roman side (like Cardinal Schoenborn & company) but we shall see if Justice for the SSPX is even in their lexicon.

Anonymous said...

In answer to my questions, Jordanes replied:

1. Yes 2. Yes 3. No

Thank you. The despite their collective suspension, SSPX bishops and priests are Catholic men in communion with Holy Mother Church.

Is that correct?

If that is the case, then why do various Churchmen insist that SSPX bishops and priests must accept "X, Y and Z" if they (the SSPX) wish to enter "into full communion" with Rome?

If SSPX bishops and priests are "in full communion with Rome"...if they are free to receive Holy Communion...if suspension a divinis does not separate an SSPX priest from the Church...and as the Holy Father lifted the SSPX excommunications...

...then the Holy Father has determined that SSPX bishops and priests are, if you will, "100 percent Catholic."

Correct?

Then SSPX positions regarding Vatican II, ecumenism, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam...and so forth...do not place SSPX bishops and priests outside the Church. Correct?

Therefore, what is the purpose of Rome-SSPX discussions?

SSPX bishops and priests are "100 percent" in communion with the Church.

Therefore, Rome and the SSPX are at peace with each other as they are in communion with each other.

Tim

Luiz said...

But it is a grave sin to let thousands of people without the true faith and sacraments.

The question is not THE Fraternity itself, but the Catholic Church. It is not a matter of recognition! We are talking about the True Faith!

The problem arises with Rome supressing the FSSPX because (sic) of their faith and mass, that's to say, the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Mass, which were almost prohibited after Vatican II and the subsequent reforms.

And we must be realistic: it can't be solved just with a "reform of the reform". They've built a house and its walls are cracking. It won't be solved with fancy furniture. The very foundations are the cause of the problems.

What is in the root of this unprecedented crisis? What has caused and it's still causing it? THIS is the point.

Souls are being lost! The Reign of Christ is being attacked and destroyed!

Why did D. Lefebvre consecrate the four bishops of the FSSPX? Because he wanted to be in schism? Excommunicated?

The FSSPX itself is just the visible part of a greater combat: Catholic Truth versus liberalism and heresy, The City of God against the City of Men.

Oliver said...

Jordanes, John McFarland,

There comes a point when folk realise that assigning the authority of the Church to a body of incumbents in Rome that no longer wants it or would not know how to use it becomes a dead end. Those including some in the SSPX (but not all) who will not allow themselves to conceive of this reality are on a hiding to nothing. The restoration of the Church will be complete only when the wrong people are removed and the right people installed. Until then you will be wasting your allegiance on the purveyors of a brand new and developing religion just because they hold some real estate of the old religion and conveniently claim rights to which they are not now entitled. Being Catholic does not oblige us to be useful idiots. The Church has not defected but her trusted guardians certainly have.

Paul Fletcher said...

Given that the SSPX consider Vatican II to be a poison cake, what hope is there of a good outcome?

Jordanes said...

Your interpretation provides an orthodox way to read LG16's statement that "plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans."

It's not only an orthodox way to read it, but the intended meaning, given the context of the statement -- and it's also a reading that makes grammatical sense, quite unlike Malta's misreading.

Indeed, the statement could easily be read to say that Mohamedans are in the plan of salvation, so one can be saved as a Mohamedan.

But according to LG, one could only be saved as a Mohammedan if one were or remained a Mohammedan through no fault of one's own (what the Tradition calls "invincible ignorance") -- and even that is hardly a guarantee one would want to stake one's eternal soul on.

This reading is only reinforced when our Holy Father kisses the Koran and oecumenical "dialogue" avoids "polemics" in favor of highlighting truths held in common. The document, as well as that above mentioned actions, are ambiguous and easily mistaken to suggest, at least, a less orthodox interpretation.

However, those things do not establish that Vatican II was called to embrace error, or that it embraced error even though it wasn't called for that purpose.

Jordanes said...

Personally, I believe a start date of October 16th coinciding with St Edith Stein's feast day would be a great hand to play by the Holy Father to silence anti-SSPX crowds playing the antisemite cards.

I think that would be a great idea. It would be good if that's what they had in mind.

Is it true, as Aquinas said, or not, that, "An unjust law is no law at all"? . . . We do not have to run to the Holy See to percieve the Truth every time.

Well, it's one thing to see (or to believe) that a decision of the Holy See is unjust, and another thing for the Holy See to agree that the decision was mistaken.

With all due respect, Jordanes, your comment appears to me to be a disputation that there is a state of necessity justifying the SSPX actions to practice the Faith as it has always been practiced in the 2,000 plus years before Vatican II.

Yes, I am not convinced by the "state of necessity" argument. It seems entirely too subjective to me. More importantly, the Roman Church has not (yet?) accepted the "state of necessity" argument. I would think that the Pope is bound to be, and rightly should be, wary about anything that would practically reduce his divine mandate of authority to something that could be justifiably ignored every time the Church gets in a really bad way -- especially considering how often the Church gets in a really bad way.

The question is not THE Fraternity itself, but the Catholic Church. It is not a matter of recognition! We are talking about the True Faith!

III Kings 19:14, 18

There comes a point when folk realise that assigning the authority of the Church to a body of incumbents in Rome that no longer wants it or would not know how to use it becomes a dead end.

That's not a Catholic approach. It's not up to us to decide where the authority of the Church is assigned. That's up to God. If a scoundrel, ne'er-do-well, scumbag, or nincompoop has the authority of the Church, that is where the authority of the Church is assigned. Thankfully popes and prelates do not reign forever here on earth, but each must answer the Judge's summons in their turn for how they executed or failed to execute their obligations. (This doesn't mean we can or should do nothing about unworthy shepherds or wolves in sheep's clothing -- this is only to say that even when Popes fail in their duties, they do not lose their divine authority.)

Knight of Malta said...

Lumen Gentium 16: "But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind."

As the meaning of praise is "approval" and "admiration" of something, the above seems praise to me.

Since Christians adore a Trinitarian God, which is not Allah, how can we adore the same God?

Just because God's Trinitarian nature was unknown to Abraham, does not mean God was not in Trinitarian form at the time of Abraham.

Can you bifurcate God and still adore Him?

If I adore the frog-god, am I adoring God?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/5472658/Colour-changing-frog-worshipped-as-god-in-India.html

The Koran speaks of Allah, who has a different nature than the God Jews and Christians worship in the Bible.

John McFarland said...

Oliver,

You're not making yourself clear.

Are you just noting(though with some heat) the quality of the current leadership, and how often a good Catholic must disobey or ignore its commands, and your skepticism that the current Pope and his associates will ever mend their ways?

Or are you also saying that by their behavior they have forfeited their authority?

The latter is indeed not Catholic. It is God's doing that they have their authority, and only God can take it away. Perhaps they can forfeit it by heresy, although that was very much a minority opinion in pre-Vatican II theology. But nowadays there is no one with the authority to convict of heresy who's going to do it; and in the case of the Pope, no one can judge him but God.

Jordanes' determined rationalization of servile obedience is pretty distressing; but a claim that there is no longer anyone in charge of the Church here on earth is far more distressing; since under the traditional doctrine of the Church's visibility, it would seem that we don't have a Church anymoere.

Dan Hunter said...

" -- this is only to say that even when Popes fail in their duties, they do not lose their divine authority.)

Jordanes:

That is actually true.

Even Judas never lost his divine authority, until he imitated a tangled up marionette.

Jordanes said...

Mr. McFarland said: Jordanes' determined rationalization of servile obedience is pretty distressing

Or at any rate it would be if I'd offered any rationalisation (determined or otherwise) of servile obedience.

Knight of Malta said: As the meaning of praise is "approval" and "admiration" of something, the above seems praise to me.

It's not praise or admiration, it's a brief description of some of the things Islam has right. It thus could be said to be a form of approval, as the Church can't help but approve of truth.

Since Christians adore a Trinitarian God, which is not Allah, how can we adore the same God?

LG16 doesn't actually say the Muslim Allah is the same as the Trinitarian God, but that just as we adore "the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind," so too do Muslims profess faith in "the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind." That is, what we believe about God has some pretty important points in common. But neither LG16 nor Nostra Aetate breathe a word of approval of the Muslim denial of the Trinity. This is all wholly apart from the fact that there is in fact no other God who can receive our adoration but the Blessed Trinity.

Mar said...

Anonymous 16 September, 2009 15:45 said: "Personally, I believe a start date of October 16th coinciding with St Edith Stein's feast day would be a great hand to
play by the Holy Father to silence anti-SSPX crowds playing the antisemite cards."

Interesting. October 15 is the feast day of St Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church, whom St Edith Stein would have revered as "Our holy Mother". She is also
reputed to have Jewish ancestry.

Crouchback said...

Ocober 15th 533 – Byzantine general Belisarius makes his formal entry into Carthage, having conquered it from the Vandals.

Carthage-Hanibal

Rome-Annibale Bugninni....!!!

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

My point is that in virtually all you defensive remarks, you are trying to explain away the equivocation and error of the conciliar magisterium, so that you don't have to face the consequences of that equivocation and error: when and as necessary, resistance to the face of the authorities.

Your remarks on V2 on Islam is a particularly noisome example. It is quite obvious that the text in question is equivocating so that it can treat Allah as equivalent to the Lord God, while still having an escape hatch when called on the issue. You yourself all but say as much.

Your implicit argument is: because they're too slippery to pin down, we must excuse them, and obey them.

Let me remind you of an injunction of our Lord: let your speech be yes, yes, no, no, and whatever is beyond these is from the Evil One. The Lord hates equivocation, but it is the stock in trade of those in authority in the Church.

As Kent says to King Lear: see better. If you don't, you are in danger or reaping far more bitter fruits than Lear did. Be not deceived, God is not mocked -- including by word games.

Jordanes said...

My point is that in virtually all you defensive remarks, you are trying to explain away the equivocation and error of the conciliar magisterium, so that you don't have to face the consequences of that equivocation and error: when and as necessary, resistance to the face of the authorities.

On the contrary, this "error of the conciliar magisterium" you keep talking about has yet to be demonstrated. As for alleged equivocation, well, the Church has often had to clear up doctrinal and theological questions raised by earlier magisterial declarations. Your speculation is quite unfounded that I am correcting the false statements about Vatican II that have been made here in order to avoid the need to resist the Catholic Church's equivocaton and error. I'm only correcting those false statements because I think it's a bad thing when people say things that aren't true about the Church's teaching documents and the Church's councils.

Your remarks on V2 on Islam is a particularly noisome example. It is quite obvious that the text in question is equivocating so that it can treat Allah as equivalent to the Lord God, while still having an escape hatch when called on the issue. You yourself all but say as much.

I don't think it's "quite obvious" at all. Vatican II said certain things about Islam, and didn't say certain things about Islam. What Vatican II said and didn't say, and why it said what it said and didn't say what it didn't say, can readily be discerned from the reading the document without prejudice or jaundice.

Your implicit argument is: because they're too slippery to pin down, we must excuse them, and obey them.

No, that's not my argument, implicit or explicit. It is true, however, that Catholics are morally obliged to read all teaching documents of the Church charitably, with docility, construing them in the most favorable sense possible -- even if their meaning is not immediately apparent or they are worded ambiguously.

Let me remind you of an injunction of our Lord: let your speech be yes, yes, no, no, and whatever is beyond these is from the Evil One.

He also told us to cut off our offending hands, to pluck out our offending eyes, to offer the other cheek to those who strike us on the one cheek; spoke in parables to make it difficult for the crowds to understand Him; and spoke favorably of those who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Will you accuse Our Lord of violating His "Si Si No No" teaching?

The Lord hates equivocation, but it is the stock in trade of those in authority in the Church.

That's a pretty serious charge that you are bringing against the Church's magisterii. But what then is your opinion of St. Peter's description of St. Paul's epistles as containing "certain things difficult to understand, which the unlearned and the unstable distort, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures also, to their own destruction"? Why couldn't the Holy Spirit have inspired St. Paul to be more clear, less ambiguous, not so hard to understand -- to just explicate the Gospel plainly and simply in his epistles, so that the Church wouldn't have to interpret and explain and clarify his words, correcting the pernicious, spurious interpretations of the unlearned and unstable?

Brian said...

On Sept. 16, I commented about your orthodox interpretation of LG 16's statement that the "plan of salvation also includes . . . Mohamedans."

To which you responded:

It's not only an orthodox way to read it, but the intended meaning, given the context of the statement -- and it's also a reading that makes grammatical sense, quite unlike Malta's misreading.

First, I am not Malta. I will not try not to hold you responsible for the position of other people who post here, please extend that same courtesy to me.

Second, as for your interpretation being "the intended meaning," it is clear that yours is ONE intended meaning, but I was referring to the ambiguity, which may also have been intentional and is certainly problematic.

My original post also stated that LG 16 could easily be read to say that Mohamedans are in the plan of salvation, so one can be saved as a Mohamedan.

To which you responded:

But according to LG, one could only be saved as a Mohammedan if one were or remained a Mohammedan through no fault of one's own (what the Tradition calls "invincible ignorance")

You bring up "invincible ignorance." The unprecidented theological emphasis on "invincible ignorance," plus sincerity, plus faithful adherence religions such as Islam as leading to salvation only serves to heighten the ambiguity of LG 16's statement that "plan of salvation also includes . . . Mohamedans." It also, on a practical level, seems to reduce Traditional magisterial teachings on salvation to theological semantics wherein prior teachings are de-emphasized, left unspoken, and "reinterpreted" in light of this "development" in theological thinking.

My original post also stated, "This reading is only reinforced when our Holy Father kisses the Koran and oecumenical "dialogue" avoids "polemics" in favor of highlighting truths held in common. The document, as well as that above mentioned actions, are ambiguous and easily mistaken to suggest, at least, a less orthodox interpretation."

To which you responded (?):

However, those things do not establish that Vatican II was called to embrace error, or that it embraced error even though it wasn't called for that purpose.

Again, I am not sure what that response has to do with anything that I wrote. Please do not attribute other people's comments to me. I was trying to discuss the problem of ambiguity in the documents of Vatican II and subsequent Church interpretation and practice.

Knight of Malta said...

Jordanes,

What you say re: LG 16 is correct, but I believe my interpretation is too.

In law, you have a set of fact, a petitioner and a respondent, and often two divergent arguments can be constructed around those facts which both hold water.

In wording which compares Muslims to us in following Abraham, I see admiration (thus praise), you do not--fine.

But, you must admit that the ambiguity in wording allows for the latter reading--maybe not for you, but for some.

LG speak of Muslims worshipping "the one" God, as we do. Not "one" God, as other monotheists do, but "the one," implying the "same" God. Again, Allah is not the Trinitarian God--regardless if some Bishops in Europe believe we should call God "Allah."

Really, LG 16 is a douse of water of the candle-flame of missionary activity (which countless of our forebears died to bring to heathens).

It is a slap in the face of the martyr-Crusaders and such as St. Francis of Assisi who sought to bring salvation to the Sultan.

A liberal reading of LG 16 makes it sound as if God wills the heretical Muslim faith, and uses it "in first place" among such heathen faiths in His Salvation plan. Such ambiguity is the death-knell of missionary activity, and fans the flames of such notions as universal salvation.

Reading it, the liberal could come to the conclusion that baptism by fire or invincible ignorance is preferable to conversion of heretics, because conversion is tiresome, and letting people lie in their ignorant bliss will get them to heaven anyway.

Such ideas are Not Catholic.

St. Bernard de Clairvoix pray for us!

Jordanes said...

First, I am not Malta.

True, but irrelevant to the point that I made to which you responded.

I will not try not to hold you responsible for the position of other people who post here, please extend that same courtesy to me.

I wasn't holding you responsible for Malta's misstatements. I was reiterating the point of my corrective remarks. Someone has tried to argue that Vatican II embraced error, and as evidence he pointed to LG 16 . . . and then misremembered what LG 16 says. You seem to be arguing that while Vatican II didn't embrace error in LG 16, it was ambiguous in the true things it said?

Second, as for your interpretation being "the intended meaning," it is clear that yours is ONE intended meaning

Whereas it's not clear that there is another intended meaning.

You bring up "invincible ignorance."

So does the Church. In fact I wouldn't bring it up at all if the Church hadn't done so first.

The unprecidented theological emphasis on "invincible ignorance," plus sincerity, plus faithful adherence [to] religions such as Islam as leading to salvation only serves to heighten the ambiguity of LG 16's statement that "plan of salvation also includes . . . Mohamedans."

What is the nature of your objection to LG 16? That it says or implies something false, or that it says or implies something true that you wish weren't true, or what? After all, the statement that God's plan of saving the human race includes Muslims is undeniably true. Under the traditional theological understanding of invincible ignorance, it follows that Muslims can be saved even without formal conversion to the Catholic faith, under certain specific conditions that appear to be very difficult to meet.

Again, I am not sure what that response has to do with anything that I wrote.

Even as your response didn't really have anything to do with what I wrote.

Jordanes said...

But, you must admit that the ambiguity in wording allows for the latter reading--maybe not for you, but for some.

I'm not overly troubled by the "ambiguity" you refer to in LG 16 regarding whether or not Muslims worship "the one God." Although Vatican II wasn't saying Catholics and Muslims worship the "same" God, there is nevertheless a sense in which it is true, whereas in another sense it is false. Anyway the Council said the Muslims worship "one God" or "the one God," not "the same God."

Again, Allah is not the Trinitarian God--regardless if some Bishops in Europe believe we should call God "Allah."

Correction: the Muslim Allah, that is the erroneous non-Trinitarian, unitarian concept of the one God, is not the Trinitarian God, is not the true God. But Allah ("God") IS the Trinitarian God, as Arabic-speaking Christians have said for centuries and centuries.

A liberal reading of LG 16 makes it sound as if God wills the heretical Muslim faith, and uses it "in first place" among such heathen faiths in His Salvation plan.

But that is a glaring misreading of the text and doesn't make any grammatical sense.

Reading it, the liberal could come to the conclusion that baptism by fire or invincible ignorance is preferable to conversion of heretics, because conversion is tiresome, and letting people lie in their ignorant bliss will get them to heaven anyway. Such ideas are Not Catholic.

Yes, such ideas are not Catholic . . . and they do not originate in LG 16, but are brought to it by the liberal and the modernist, who read into the text what simply is not there.

Luiz said...

"Sed propositum salutis et eos amplectitur, qui Creatorem agnoscunt, inter quos imprimis Musulmanos, qui fidem Abrahae se tenere profitentes, nobiscum Deum adorant unicum, misericordem, homines die novissimo iudicaturum." (from Lumen Gentium §16).

...nobiscum Deum adorant unicum...
...with us adore the one [and merciful] God...

LeonG said...

SSPX are not schismatic nor have they ever been. Their Holy Masses are valid and so are their Holy Orders. When a priest from the confraternity grants absolution for sin in Confession you are forgiven. Statements from The Vatican have made this clear except to those who dislike SSPX and do not fully comprehend what has transpired over the years. Always treated as an internal matter, the SSPX are and always have been Catholic and very much inside The Church where this is concerned. Only ignorance, sheer antipathy or wilful malice would suggest otherwise. To call the confraternity "Lefebvrist" and non-catholic reflects one or other of these positions. Usually, it emanates from those who are afraid of a Roman Catholic movement of which they understand relatively little. It has to be stated also that the excommunications of the four bishops were implemented by the papal predecessor against the advice of canon lawyers and, thus, represented for Cardinal Ratzinger a blight on his own position in regard to negotiations with Archbishop Lefebvre and an issue of critical failure by the supreme pontiff at the time to be true to his own position which was to make significant concessions to SSPX However, there was a threat of open schism by German, French and other bishops were he to have done so.

Thanks to SSPX the traditional movement has enough spine to it to have brought the issues of continuing legality of The Holy Mass of All Times and the ambiguiities of the modernist councils to the discussion table for revision. All this and the end to nonsensical excommunications has occurred. The SSPX have also produced adequate evidence to demonstrtate the destructive nature of the Bugnini NO service to the proper Roman Catholic formation of The Faith.

Archbishop Lefebvre set out to conserve The Faith as it had been and was taught to us, at the time. He did not try to establish a new religion since this is what the liberal modernists were doing in Rome during The Councils. All anyone has to do is spend some serious time reading about what actually took place and not what they prefer to imagine and they will perceive if they are open-minded and observant enough.

The subsequent exponential decline of the church militant on Earth following the Councils illustrates evreything we need to know about their nefarious effects. Thank God such organisations as the SSPX were established and have stood up to the two generations of countless deceits and illusions.

Jordanes said...

When a priest from the confraternity grants absolution for sin in Confession you are forgiven. Statements from The Vatican have made this clear except to those who dislike SSPX and do not fully comprehend what has transpired over the years.

Prescinding from the remainder of your comment, the only statements from "the Vatican" on the subject of SSPX confessions tell us that because SSPX priests are suspended, their absolutions are only valid in cases of genuine emergency.

Knight of Malta said...

Jordanes,

You have done an admirable job of fending-off the attacks you have endured from multiple fronts, but in this, I believe, you may be mistaken:

"Anyway the Council said the Muslims worship "one God" or "the one God," not "the same God.""

How can you say that "the one God," is substantially different from the same God?

Words have enormous meaning. The drafters of these constitutions knew exactly what they were saying. If you put "the one God" in context with the rest of LG 16 (esp. re Abraham) it is disingenuous to say that the drafters of this document were referring to two different gods.

If they weren't referring to two different gods, then the drafters, and the signers of this pastoral constitution, were thinking Allah and the Trinitarian God were one and the same.

If that is so, then Vatican II is a severe break from Traditional Catholicism.

Luiz said...

Again:

...nobiscum Deum adorant unicum...
...with us adore the one [and merciful] God...
(LG §16)

According to this, we adore the same one God.

---

"their absolutions are only valid in cases of genuine emergency"

It depends whether you see or not the crisis in the Church in its whole dimensions.

Brian said...

Jordanes,

You observed, You seem to be arguing that while Vatican II didn't embrace error in LG 16, it was ambiguous in the true things it said?

Yes, that is what I am arguing. the Council states the tradition theology, but reframes it in terms of a theology of interreligious dialogue and salvation for those outside the Church, which is more novel. The result is confusing and open to various interpretations.

You wrote, Under the traditional theological understanding of invincible ignorance, it follows that Muslims can be saved even without formal conversion to the Catholic faith, under certain specific conditions that appear to be very difficult to meet.

Should it not be the case that traditional theological understanding would be present throughout the entire history of the Church. While it is true that invincible ignorance can mitigate the severity of sin, would you be able to cite a single Pope or Council who expressed a "tradtional theological understanding" that "Muslims can be saved even without formal conversion to the Catholic faith" prior to say 1500 or 1800. Or that invincible ignorance would suffice for salvation without some miracle that enabled conversion to the Church?

Jordanes said...

Luiz said: According to this, we adore the same one God.

Yes, that is one possible interpretation -- and it is possible to truthfully say that Muslims worship the same God as Catholics, even as it is possible to truthfully say that Muslims and Catholics don't worship the same God. The point of LG 16 is to acknowledge some of the things Islam has right: it doesn't intend to affirm or to deny that Muslims and Catholics worship the same God. It is not an article of the Catholic faith that Muslims do not worship or believe in God, nor that only Catholics are capable of directing adoration toward God.

"their absolutions are only valid in cases of genuine emergency" It depends whether you see or not the crisis in the Church in its whole dimensions.

No, it depends on whether or not a priest has faculties. The Vatican has never said or suggested otherwise, but has said that when it comes to priests lacking faculties, their absolutions are only valid in cases of genuine emergency, on a case by case basis.

Jordanes said...

Should it not be the case that traditional theological understanding would be present throughout the entire history of the Church.

No, of course it shouldn't be the case. Catholic doctrine develops over time.

While it is true that invincible ignorance can mitigate the severity of sin, would you be able to cite a single Pope or Council who expressed a "tradtional theological understanding" that "Muslims can be saved even without formal conversion to the Catholic faith" prior to say 1500 or 1800.

No, there are no such papal or conciliar declarations . . . just as there were no conciliar declarations that Christ is consubstantial with the Father until A.D. 325, or that Our Lady is Theotokos until A.D. 431, or that Christ is one Divine Person with two natures, divine and human, until A.D. 451.

Or that invincible ignorance would suffice for salvation without some miracle that enabled conversion to the Church?

http://benedictus.mantoanpages.net/?p=30

I think it is a very difficult task to try and argue that Vatican II's doctrine on this question is not an authentic and authoritative development of the Church's traditional doctrine, in continuity with it and not in contradiction to it.

The above URL includes a passage from chapter 7 of Vatican I's draft of the proposed dogmatic constitution of the Church. I think it will be good to see the entirety of chapter 7, not just the passage quoted at the benedictus website:

"Furthermore, it is a dogma of the faith that no one can be saved outside the Church. Nevertheless, those who are invincibly ignorant of Christ and his Church are not to be judged worthy of eternal punishment because of this ignorance. For they are innocent in the eyes of the Lord of any fault in this matter. God wishes all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth; and if one does what he can, God does not withhold the grace for him to obtain justification and eternal life. But no one obtains eternal life if he dies separated from the unity of faith or from communion with the Church through his own fault. If anyone is not in this ark when the flood rages, he will perish. Therefore, We reject and detest that irreverent and irrational doctrine of religious indifferentism by which the children of this world, failing to distinguish between truth and error, say that the gate of eternal life is open to anyone, no matter what his religion. Or else they say that, with regard to religious truth, only opinion in varying degrees of probability is possible and certainty cannot be had. Likewise, We condemn the ungodliness of those who shut the door of the kingdom of heaven to their fellow men with the false pretense that to desert the religion in which one was born, or educated and brought up, even if that religion is false, is unbecoming; or that it is not at all necessary for salvation. They blame the Church for professing itself to be the only true religion and for condemning and proscribing all religions and sects separated from communion with it, as if justice could ever have anything in common with iniquity, or light associate with darkness, or Christ meet with Belial."

Although the Church never got a chance to formally approve the above statements at Vatican I, the popes of that time and afterwards said identical things, and the Church taught that same doctrine formally and authentically at Vatican II. There can be no question that Muslims, like all men, can under certain circumstances be saved even without formal conversion to the Catholic faith. ("Can," not "will," be saved)

Brian said...

Jordanes,
Thank you for your response. I am relatively new to this and your reference to a draft from Vatican I is helpful and interesting; and I will give that reference and your response some study.

In the mean time, I was not trying to dispute that there is development of doctrine. I am sorry if my question was not clear. What I was trying to say was: Should it not be the case that traditional theological understanding, though not specifically defined, would be present throughout the entire history of the Church.

You wrote,

No, there are no such papal or conciliar declarations . . . just as there were no conciliar declarations that Christ is consubstantial with the Father until A.D. 325, or that Our Lady is Theotokos until A.D. 431, or that Christ is one Divine Person with two natures, divine and human, until A.D. 451.

In each of these cases, was it not important to demonstrate that the the, respective, defined teaching was already present in an undefined form from the beginning of the Church, in Scripture and in the Fathers? Perhaps I am mistaken, it was my understanding that authentic theological development of doctrine was an articulation and defining of teaching that was always present; that it was the Church’s way of defining what it had always taught

Anonymous said...

Jordanes said, "....and the Church taught that same doctrine formally and authentically at Vatican II."

You lost me.

You assert the conciliar Church (ref.Pope Paul V1) also adheres to authentic teaching on the matters you quote.

When I read your V1 draft article the teaching is plain and clear where the yes is yes and no is no, as other bloggers have alluded. For me LG 16 et al is not easy to read in that way. It is not plain and clear like the other, I can see why people don't get the connection.

Secondly, is there something very significant to the V1 draft document you quote...more so then other draft documents? Is your article more official than other documents that never made it through official process channels? It is a great document.

The reason I ask, and not to be rude dear brother, my recollection of your prior postings, you dismiss draft documents that others reference as being unreliable...to instead stick to what is official.

Pius Layman

Luiz said...

"No, it depends on whether or not a priest has faculties. The Vatican has never said or suggested otherwise, but has said that when it comes to priests lacking faculties, their absolutions are only valid in cases of genuine emergency, on a case by case basis." (Jordanes)

That's true. It depends on whether a priest has or not the faculties. But the point is, if there is such a crisis, a priest could have these faculties because of a lack of good ministers, ecclesia supplet.

That is not a good idea for a catholic to receive the sacraments from a heretic (of course, we can't be sure if a person is a formal heretic until the authority says so, but we can recognise heresy; and nobody is allowed to receive the sacraments from a formal heretic).

These are not ordinary times.

Jordanes said...

Brian said: In each of these cases, was it not important to demonstrate that the respective, defined teaching was already present in an undefined form from the beginning of the Church, in Scripture and in the Fathers?

Yes. That's important every time a magisterial teaching undergoes further development and explication.

Perhaps I am mistaken, it was my understanding that authentic theological development of doctrine was an articulation and defining of teaching that was always present; that it was the Church’s way of defining what it had always taught

That's my understanding too. I think that's what we find in LG 16, which is why, for example, I find it insufficient when people call up the famous passage from Florence, as if it were the complete and final word on the subject.

Pius Layman said: When I read your V1 draft article the teaching is plain and clear where the yes is yes and no is no, as other bloggers have alluded. For me LG 16 et al is not easy to read in that way. It is not plain and clear like the other, I can see why people don't get the connection.

I too think the draft of the Vatican I constitution is worded better and clearer than LG, but I don't think LG is difficult to understand, or that it takes a great deal of effort to see the connection to pre-Vatican II doctrine and theology.

Secondly, is there something very significant to the V1 draft document you quote...more so then other draft documents?

No. I mention it because of its relevancy, and because it faithfully presents the general thinking of the Church at the time it was composed, even though the Church never got a chance to formally approve it. I also wanted to include the entirety of chapter 7, since the benedictus website only quotes the first a part, which could give a misleading picture of what the draft of the constitution said about "Extra Ecclesiam Non Salus."

Is your article more official than other documents that never made it through official process channels? It is a great document.

No, it's not more official -- it's not "official" at all, since it never got approved due to the outbreak of war in 1870. It's just a helpful clue to what was held as true in those days. Pope Pius IX said almost identical things in his encyclicals and other papal writings.

The reason I ask, and not to be rude dear brother, my recollection of your prior postings, you dismiss draft documents that others reference as being unreliable...to instead stick to what is official.

I don't remember saying that. I don't "dismiss" draft documents, but I do endeavour to keep in mind that, while drafts are helpful, it's the final edition that counts, not earlier editions or roughdrafts.

Anonymous said...

Luiz: "These are not ordinary times."

It is known that curia officials celebrated mass at the FSSPX head quarters back in the day...sometime after the excommunications.

They would not do this if the FSSPX were outside the Church?

Jordanes: "It's just a helpful clue to what was held as true in those days."

Indeed, too bad V2 documents can't state things as clearly and concisely (w/o ambiguity and room for incorrect interpretations).

It is good that we can rely on our forefathers to set us straight when need be.

Given the divisions of thought on V2, I would say we all could refer back way more.

Brian said...

Jordanes,
Once again I thank you for posting that V1 draft document and I agree with you that the document does faithfully present thinking of the Church at the time it was composed, perhaps it also faithfully presents the general thinking of the Church at the time. I don’t know. Perhaps the only reason the draft did not become the “official” teaching of the Council was “since it never got approved due to the outbreak of war in 1870.” I suppose there could be other reasons, perhaps even including the Will of the Holy Spirit. I think that you would agree that we really can’t know.

Again, however, the V1 draft document does present at least an important line of thinking, and perhaps the general thinking of the Church at that time.

There are two brief passages from Pope Pius IX from the mid-1800s that, although not certain, suggest that the Pope may have been thinking along the same lines.

In addition, the Catechism of Pius X says that “he who finds himself outside (the Church) without fault of his own, and who lives a good life, can be saved by the love called charity, which unites unto God, and in a spiritual way also to the Church, that is, to the soul of the Church.” The Baltimore Catechism makes a similar statement.

Finally, there is a 1943 passage from Pope Pius XII, in Mystici Corporis, which says some non-Catholics “by an unconscious desire and longing . . . have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer.”

There may be other pre-VC2 Papal statements about invincible ignorance and salvation that I am not aware of. No doubt, the above passages would be cited in favor of LG16, and similar VC2 teachings.

I also agree with you that it is insufficient when people call up the famous passage from Florence, as if it were the complete and final word on the subject.

In thinking this through, however, although a single passage is not the complete and final word on the subject, that 1441 passage from “Cantate Domino” meets criteria for an ex cathedra proclamation, and is thus protected by God from error.

The above more recent passages, even while they present an influential line thinking of the Church since the mid-1800s do not have that same authority, antiquity, or guarantee of infalliblity as "Cantate Domino.”

In addition, "Cantate Domino” is not a lone passage teaching that doctrine. There are numerous passages and teachings from Scripture and the Fathers and throughout the history of the Church that say similar things.

I trust that you would agree that just as it is “insufficient when people call up the famous passage from Florence, as if it were the complete and final word on the subject” so, too, is it insufficient when people call up a few of brief passages of some Popes since the 1850s as if that were the complete and final word on the subject.

As per your prior post, you and I are in agreement, that in the authentic development of doctrine, it is important to demonstrate that the defined teaching was already present in an undefined form from the beginning of the Church, in Scripture and in the Fathers.

So, as I struggle through this issue, my question, slightly reworded for clarity, remains:

While it is true that tradition teaches that invincible ignorance can mitigate the severity of sin, would you be able to cite a single Pope or Council whose teaching was consistent with, or supported, or implicitly stated a "tradtional theological understanding" that "Muslims can be saved even without formal conversion to the Catholic faith" prior to say 1500 or 1800. Or that invincible ignorance would suffice for salvation without some miracle that enabled conversion to the Church?

Malta said...

It will be interesting what the formal dialogue btw SSPX and the Vatican produce re: the above discussion.

SSPX, of course, thinks of the Traditional Latin Mass as just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to modernism in the Church.

Praise be to God that we have a Pope who has listened to SSPX: First, he freed the TLM. Second, he lifted the illicit excommunications. Third, he agreed to the talks requested by SSPX.

These are all requests by SSPX. Clearly, the Vatican, under our new Pope--may he live long--is responsive to SSPX.

SSPX is generating the greatest good in the Church, through the Holy Spirit, since the Council ended some 40 years ago

Paul Haley said...

Jordanes said in part...

No, of course it shouldn't be the case. Catholic doctrine develops over time.

And with all due respect, Jordanes, how does this process correspond to holding that which the Church has always held, taught and professed to be true? Do you mean that doctrine itself never changes but is merely fleshed out with time to educate the faithful? Do you mean you to say that doctrine, once officially promulgated, can never be said to be the exact opposite of the original statement? Do you mean to say that sometimes that which has always officially been held is sometimes stated ex cathedra such as the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary for clarity and purpose? Please explain.

Oliver said...

Malta,

There is no dialogue. Only an exchange of disparate positions and beliefs. Having accepted the philosophy and practices of a new order (promulgated since V2), those in Rome will never on their own have the competence to speak for the Church. In some strange way, the SSPX believes it has what it takes to restore that competence if Rome returns to orthodoxy and abandons modernism. Of course, short of a miracle, this will not happen and the two positions will be confirmed yet again. The convoluted thinking of the Society's present leadership (in contrast to the straight talking of its priests) may however engineer some servile accommodation which will be death to the Society in its present form. This would undoubtedly lead to a regrouping more dismissive of Rome.

Jordanes said...

Brian asked: While it is true that tradition teaches that invincible ignorance can mitigate the severity of sin,

Or can even eliminate culpability altogether.

would you be able to cite a single Pope or Council whose teaching was consistent with, or supported, or implicitly stated a "traditional theological understanding" that "Muslims can be saved even without formal conversion to the Catholic faith" prior to say 1500 or 1800.

No, I don't believe any Pope or Council said anything like that prior to circa 1500 and afterwards. They have said so since, however.

Or that invincible ignorance would suffice for salvation without some miracle that enabled conversion to the Church?

Again, I'm pretty sure there are no papal or conciliar declarations to that effect -- nor would I be all that happy if they had said so, since it seems to me that "invincible ignorance would suffice for salvation without some miracle that enabled conversion to the Church" isn't really the right way to put it. Those who are invincibly ignorant of the Faith "can" be saved, but there would certainly have to also be a miracle, an intervention of grace, that would make such persons open to and ready for acceptance of the Gospel if they had heard it proclaimed. Those who positively, freely embrace false religions cannot be saved unless they repent and are converted, but for those invincibly ignorant, there is a possibility that they might be able to receive the gift of salvation even though they have not formally converted to the Catholic faith.

Jordanes said...

Catholic doctrine develops over time. And with all due respect, Jordanes, how does this process correspond to holding that which the Church has always held, taught and professed to be true? Do you mean that doctrine itself never changes but is merely fleshed out with time to educate the faithful?

I think that's an accurate way to describe the development of doctrine. We have to define what we mean and don't mean by "change," though.

Do you mean you to say that doctrine, once officially promulgated, can never be said to be the exact opposite of the original statement?

I think that's an accurate statement as well -- though we must more precisely define "once officially promulgated."

Do you mean to say that sometimes that which has always officially been held is sometimes stated ex cathedra such as the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary for clarity and purpose?

Well, I'm not sure we can say that the Immaculate Conception "has always officially been held," but development of doctrine does include ex cathedra definitions of doctrines that have been held "always, everywhere, and by all."

Cardinal Newman's "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine" is a classic exploration of this subject. In addition, St. Vincent de Lerins in the fifth century A.D. wrote about development of doctrine (though Newman's concept of development is a bit different from St. Vincent's):

"In the Catholich Church herself every care must be taken that we may hold fast to that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. For this is, then, truly and properly Catholic . . . . Will there, then, be no progress of religion in the Church of Christ? Certainly there is, and the greatest . . . But it is truly progress and not a change of faith. What is meant by progress is that something is brought to an advancement within itself; by change, something is transformed from one thing into another. It is necessary, therefore, that understanding, knowledge, and wisdom grow and advance strongly and mightily . . . and this must take place precisely within its own kind, that is, in the same teaching, in the same meaning, and in the same opinion. The progress of religion in souls is like the growth of bodies, which, in the course of years, evolve and develop, but still remain what they were . . . Although in the course of time something evolved from those first seeds and has no expanded under careful cultivation, nothing of the characteristics of the seeds is changed. Granted that appearance, beauty and distinction has been added, still, the same nature of each kind remains. . . . Dogma . . . may be consolidated in the course of years, developed in the sequence of time, and sublimated by age -- yet remain incorrupt and unimpaired . . . so that it does not allow of any change, or any loss of its specific character, or any variation of its inherent form. It should flourish and ripen; it should develop and become perfect . . . but it is sinful to change them . . . or mutilate them. They may take on more evidence, clarity, and distinctness, but it is absolutely necessary that they retain their plenitude, integrity, and basic character . . . The Church of Christ is a faithful and ever watchful guardian of the dogmas which have been committed to her charge. In this sacred deposit she changes nothing, she takes nothing . . ., she adds nothing to it."

Father Peter Waters also wrote a good article about development of doctrine and how Newman's concept differed from St. Vincent's:

http://www.ad2000.com.au/
articles/1998/aug1998p10_553.html

Jordanes said...

Oliver said: There is no dialogue. Only an exchange of disparate positions and beliefs.

You can't have a dialogue without an exchange of disparate positions and beliefs.

Having accepted the philosophy and practices of a new order (promulgated since V2), those in Rome will never on their own have the competence to speak for the Church.

But even apart from Vatican II's "new order," those in Rome will never on their own have the competence to speak for the Church. No human has the competence to speak for the Church "on his own." But "those in Rome," that is, the Holy See, which is founded immovably upon the teaching of the Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul, does have the competence to speak for the Church. Those in the SSPX will have a share in that competence too, when the Church extends her recognition and approval to them.

You talk like a sedevacantist, Oliver.

Paul Haley said...

Jordanes answered in part:

We have to define what we mean and don't mean by "change," though.

The change I'm referring to is that which changes the doctrine itself or adds to that doctrine propositions never held definitively by the Church fathers or what St. Paul might describe as "new doctrines".

Well, I'm not sure we can say that the Immaculate Conception "has always officially been held," but development of doctrine does include ex cathedra definitions of doctrines that have been held "always, everywhere, and by all."

I'm going to refer to a statement made to me by a traditional priest who studied at Freiburg and Econe and who said as much - i.e., the Immaculate Conception was always held by Church fathers because nothing sinful can touch the Son of God. It was solemnly defined as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in his constitution Ineffabilis Deus on 8 December 1854. The Church believes that the dogma is supported by Scripture (e.g., Mary's being greeted by the Angel Gabriel as "full of grace") as well as either directly or indirectly by the writings of Church Fathers such as Irenaeus of Lyons and Ambrose of Milan. Catholic theology maintains that since Jesus became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, it was fitting that she be completely free of sin for expressing her fiat.

I thank you for the explanation and I shall assume you agree with my clarification on "change".

Jordanes said...

The change I'm referring to is that which changes the doctrine itself or adds to that doctrine propositions never held definitively by the Church fathers or what St. Paul might describe as "new doctrines".

Church doctrine can never "change" in that sense.

I agree with what your traditionalist priest told you, but would only quibble over the used of the word "officially." The doctrine is apostolic, but we know that before it was defined, so great a saint and doctor as St. Thomas Aquinas disputed it. Were any to advance the arguments against it that Aquinas did, he would rightly be condemned as advancing heresy.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes said, "...it should develop and become perfect . . . but it is sinful to change them . . . or mutilate them."

Nice quote, who wrote it - St. Vincent or Cardinal Newman?

Is is good that you reference pre v2 documents to support your argument. I hope that others would do the same, i.e. look in the right direction.

I think the above quote just about sums up my experience with the conciliar church.

I pray peace in our suffering.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes, writes, "Church doctrine can never "change" in that sense."

What do you mean?

Jordanes said...

Nice quote, who wrote it - St. Vincent or Cardinal Newman?

St. Vincent

Jordanes, writes, "Church doctrine can never "change" in that sense."

What do you mean?


Church doctrine cannot change so that it becomes (is replaced by) a different doctrine, one that is contrary or incompatible with what has always been held and believed since the Apostles. It cannot acquire propositions contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers. The change cannot result in what St. Paul would call "new doctrines," or, "another gospel."

Brian said...

Jordanes,

In response to the question,
"would you be able to cite a single Pope or Council whose teaching was consistent with, or supported, or implicitly stated a 'traditional theological understanding' that 'Muslims can be saved even without formal conversion to the Catholic faith' prior to say 1500 or 1800."

You responded,

No, I don't believe any Pope or Council said anything like that prior to circa 1500 and afterwards. They have said so since, however.

You agree that in the authentic development of doctrine, it is important to demonstrate that the defined teaching was already present in an undefined form from the beginning of the Church, in Scripture and in the Fathers.

How then can a new teaching regarding salvation for those outside the Church, something never taught or implied in scripture or the Fathers or the magisterium prior to 1850, be considered an authentic development of doctrine?

Jordanes said...

Brian, you are asking for a pre-1800 papal or conciliar statement "whose teaching was consistent with, or supported, or implicitly stated . . . 'Muslims can be saved even without formal conversion to the Catholic faith' prior to say 1500 or 1800."

Islam didn't even exist until the seventh century, so we know there's not going to be anything to that effect prior to circa A.D. 650. I wouldn't really expect a pope or council to make any such statements about Muslims throughout the Middle Ages on up to the Renaissance.

There have been patristic and papal teachings that serve as building blocks, as it were, of the later developments and refinements regarding the Church's understanding of herself as the sacrament of human salvation. of in which the Church

You agree that in the authentic development of doctrine, it is important to demonstrate that the defined teaching was already present in an undefined form from the beginning of the Church, in Scripture and in the Fathers.

Statements about Islam do not and can never constitute a defined teaching of the Church. Islam didn't exist in the days of Jesus and the Apostles, so the deposit of faith has nothing specific to say about it and those ensnared in it.

How then can a new teaching regarding salvation for those outside the Church,

It's not a new teaching. Also, you were asking about Muslims and what the Church has had to say about whether or not they can be saved apart from formal conversion to the Catholic faith. The Church does have something to say about "salvation for those outside the Church," which apply to Muslims, but that teaching is not an innovation, something not in continuity with what the Church has always believed.

something never taught or implied in scripture or the Fathers or the magisterium prior to 1850

I never said the teaching regarding salvation for those outside the Church was never taught or implied in Scripture of the Fathers of the Magisterium prior to 1850. I said there probably aren't any statement about Muslims and their chances of salvation prior to circa 1500.

Brian said...

The Church does have something to say about "salvation for those outside the Church," which apply to Muslims, but that teaching is not an innovation, something not in continuity with what the Church has always believed.

Would you be able to cite a single Father, Pope or Council prior to 1800 whose teaching was consistent with, or supported, or implicitly stated that there is anyone who can be saved without formal conversion to the Catholic faith?

Jordanes said...

Would you be able to cite a single Father, Pope or Council prior to 1800 whose teaching was consistent with, or supported, or implicitly stated that there is anyone who can be saved without formal conversion to the Catholic faith?

Sure. Several of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church said so.

St. Gregory Nazianzen (Oration 18, no. 6, On the Death of His Father): “Even before he was of our fold, he was ours. His character made him one of us. For, as many of our own are not with us, whose life alienates them from the common body, so, many of those without are on our side, whose character anticipates their faith, and need only the name of that which indeed they possess. My father was one of these, an alien shoot, but inclined by his life towards us.”

St. Augustine (Against the Donatists, Book 5, chapter 28): “If not by water, how in the ark? If not in the ark, how in the Church? But if in the Church, certainly in the ark; and if in the ark, certainly by water. It is therefore possible that some who have been baptized without [water] may be considered, through the foreknowledge of God, to have been really baptized within, because within the water begins to be profitable to them unto salvation; nor can they be said to have been otherwise saved in the ark except by water . . . Certainly it is clear that, when we speak of within and without in relation to the Church, it is the position of the heart that we must consider, not that of the body, since all who are within in heart are saved in the unity of the ark through the same water, through which all who are in heart without, whether they are also in body without or not, die as enemies of unity.”

Brian said...

Jordanes,
Thank you, those are interesting. I was not familiar with them. You said several, would you be able to point me in the direction of others. How about any magisterial teaching?

Paul Haley said...

Jordanes answered in part:

The doctrine is apostolic, but we know that before it was defined, so great a saint and doctor as St. Thomas Aquinas disputed it. Were any to advance the arguments against it that Aquinas did, he would rightly be condemned as advancing heresy.

Yes, it's true that St. Thomas disputed the doctrine but he did so against the overwhelming opinion of the other early church fathers. St. Thomas never took his opinion forward to the point of heresy. He was not only brilliant, but a loyal son of the Church and a stunning example of humility for all great thinkers. It seems to me that this should be well remembered by all those taking part in these discussions - on both sides.

Jordanes said...

You said several, would you be able to point me in the direction of others. How about any magisterial teaching?

No, I'm not aware of anything magisterial prior to the 1800s -- and there isn't too much more to be found in the Father's on the possibility of salvation apart from formal conversion to the Church. As far as I can make out, it has always been held to be something that is truly extraordinary -- and while Vatican II acknowledges the possibility, it never said it was easy or common. It's not without reason that the Church speaking by St. Pius X condemned the notion that "there is good reason at least to hope for the eternal salvation of all those who are in no way in the true Church of Christ." One may hope for their salvation, but in honesty we must confess that there is no good, sure grounds for that hope -- quite the contrary, in fact.

Jordanes said...

I should add that the above quote from St. Augustine needs to be balanced by his later anti-Pelagian writings, in which, so I've been given to understand, he changed his mind about the possibility or likelihood of salvation through "baptism of desire." I think he came to be of the opinion that it was chiefly restricted to catechumens.

Brian said...

Jordanes,
This exchange has been very helpful. As I said before, these issues are relatively new for me. It is difficult for me to understand how teachings about salvation for those formally outside the Church can be considered a development of doctrine. For now, rather than respond, I would like to do some reading about development of doctrine. Are there any articles that you would recommend? After I read some, if you are willing, I'd like to continue this discussion.
Thank you,
Brian

Malta said...

Re: the business of salvation outside the Church, I would like to point out that Father Feeney (and his followers, the Feeneyites) were once distanced from Rome and then freely admitted back into the fold. And the kicker is that Father Feeney, though he maintained that not a single soul firmly committed to the Catholic faith (no baptism by desire or invincible ignorance was required of him) was formally admitted back into the fold.

Thus, one may believe that only Catholics are saved and still be a Catholic.

I think this is preferable to the murky waters of the VII liberal intelligencia which has been clamoring after the ridiculous notion of "universal salvation."

Puhleeze!

So all the martyrs and Saints died horrific deaths proclaiming the salvation of Christ, when, all along, it was already freely given! (I hear now a peace-song from the 60's)

This makes a mockery of Christ's Sacrifice on the cross. He didn't undergo such torture and salvific propitiatory Sacrifice just to be the peace-Jesus enamored by in the horrific 1960's (never mind that Jesus man-handled the money changers, and said that, "those who love this life, will lose it.)

Remember, like it or not, those drafters of the ambiguous texts of VII were hyped-up on the 60's (or 50's "progressivism.") There is a Time Magazine article showing Prelates in jubilation with a huge, multi-course meal, just super exited about the changes they were about to sign-off on the Church.

Knight of Malta said...

I should also add that there is a strong case for the idea that salvation is even hard among Catholics. Some Saints, such as St. Therese de Lisieux, were anguished at the the point of death, fearing the least of sins in the average person's mind, and experiencing a "dark night" of the soul.

There is a reason for confession: It is one of the seven sacraments. We must use it frequently, or we will perish in soul.

LG 16, as it is, seems silly without a commensurate admonishment against adhering to false doctrine. Vatican II also says that Hindus are on a "loving, trusting flight towards God" ["God" is capitalized in the original, cf Nostra Aetate]!

No mention in the texts that such a "loving, trusting flight" towards a false god (or thousands of them) is a flight, actually, towards something other than God.

Jordanes said...

For now, rather than respond, I would like to do some reading about development of doctrine. Are there any articles that you would recommend?

In addition to Cardinal Newman's "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine" (full book-length, not just a short "essay") and the article from Father Waters for which I provided the link above, Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong has a collection of articles, essays, and dialogues on the subject, which you may find of help:

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/11/development-of-doctrine-index-page.html

Jordanes said...

Re: the business of salvation outside the Church, I would like to point out that Father Feeney (and his followers, the Feeneyites) were once distanced from Rome and then freely admitted back into the fold. And the kicker is that Father Feeney, though he maintained that not a single soul firmly committed to the Catholic faith (no baptism by desire or invincible ignorance was required of him) was formally admitted back into the fold.

Nevertheless the "Feeneyite" position on these matters is plainly the opinion of a minority and does not reflect the papal and conciliar teaching over the past approximately two centuries.

Thus, one may believe that only Catholics are saved and still be a Catholic.

Well, anyone who is saved becomes Catholic prior to the separation of soul and body. There's no doubt about that. However, the Church's mind is undoubtedly that formal conversion to and explicit profession of the Catholic faith prior to death is not necessarily required.

Of course Father Feeney was not required to believe that anyone suffering from invincible ignorance has in fact been saved -- that is something only God can say, and is beyond the powers of human judgment to discern. Nevertheless the popes have acknowledged that it is possible.

I think this is preferable to the murky waters of the VII liberal intelligencia which has been clamoring after the ridiculous notion of "universal salvation."

I disagree with the "Feeneyite" stance, but yes, that opinion is preferable to the unreasonably optimistic "Dare We Hope" stance promoted by Von Balthasar, or the heretical notions of religious indifferentism and salvific non-Catholic religions that have been condemned by the Church in the past and received no endorsement whatsoever at Vatican II.

There is a Time Magazine article showing Prelates in jubilation with a huge, multi-course meal, just super exited about the changes they were about to sign-off on the Church.

Well, what further need have we of witnesses? They ate a huge, multi-course meal! Obviously they were hyped up on Sixties progressivism.

I know, I know, that's not what you meant or what you said. I'm just having a little fun with you, Malta.

Jordanes said...

Knight of Malta said: I should also add that there is a strong case for the idea that salvation is even hard among Catholics.

Perhaps in a certain sense, it is more difficult for Catholics -- "to whom much is given . . ." In any case, Jesus insists that the way that leads to eternal life is difficult, rough, and narrow, and few there be that find it. The road to perdition, however, is broad and pleasant and easy, and most people walk on that road. So, I can't see how salvation could be anything but hard for Catholics, and hard for non-Catholics. All it takes to be excluded from the Beatific Vision is unremitted original sin, or merely one unabsolved mortal sin. Even if a Muslim is suffering from invincible ignorance regarding the Gospel and the errors of his false religion, if he is culpable is even one mortal sin that is not forgiven before he dies, he will certainly not be saved. This is why God has given us the Church and the Sacraments, to provide us with the means of salvation, and that is why God summons all men into the Catholic Church.

LG 16, as it is, seems silly without a commensurate admonishment against adhering to false doctrine.

I agree, this "accentuate the positive" approach of Vatican II's documents is a problem. They seem, and I think are, incomplete for that reason. I don't think LG says anything wrong -- I just think it leaves unsaid some things that it should also have said. Granted, the Church has said those things before Vatican II, which did not deny them, but in failing to restate them at opportune passages, it has made it possible for heretics to try and import false doctrines into LG.

Vatican II also says that Hindus are on a "loving, trusting flight towards God" ["God" is capitalized in the original, cf Nostra Aetate]!

Again you have misrepresented and misquoted Vatican II. Nostra Aetate nowhere says that "Hindus are on a 'loving, trusting flight towards God.'" This is what the Church said in NA 2:

"From ancient times down to the present, there is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human history; at times some indeed have come to the recognition of a Supreme Being, or even of a Father. This perception and recognition penetrates their lives with a profound religious sense.

"Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust."

It is talking about what men do in and through Hinduism, that is, what they seek or try to find through Hindusim. It doesn't say that Hindus are on "a loving, trusting flight towards God," but that men in Hinduism who seek to be freed from the anguish of our human condition do so either through ascetical practices or meditation or by fleeing towards God with love and trust. As with the Council's statements about Islam, it is an acknowledgement of those elements of truth and goodness that can be found within Hinduism's errors and deficiencies. That Hindus may seek to flee to God, however imperfectly they know Him, does not mean that they all are in fact on a "loving, trusting flight towards God."

No mention in the texts that such a "loving, trusting flight" towards a false god (or thousands of them) is a flight, actually, towards something other than God.

It was outside NA's purpose and subject matter to mention that -- and anyway trying to drawing closer to God, even if one knows Him imperfectly and erroneously, can still be a good thing, and can be a mean whereby God opens a soul to receive His grace. That is an important fact that NA points towards.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes,
I am glad you find that V2 documents agree with true Catholic teaching. Keep showing us - it is good for us opinionated layman to see how they can be good. I don't agree with you but it helps to see how you make them agree. Like you say it is what is not said that hurts the faith.

Brian said...

Jordanes,
Thank you for the references. Actually, your most recent comments stirred my thinking further along and spurred a question for me.

You said,

Of course Father Feeney was not required to believe that anyone suffering from invincible ignorance has in fact been saved -- that is something only God can say, and is beyond the powers of human judgment to discern.

Fr. Feeney, as I understand it, was not just talking about whether a given individual in invincible ignorance has in fact been saved; rather, he was talking in general. I am not well familiarized with his thought, but as I understand it, he insisted that he was not required to believe that anyone at all suffering from invincible ignorance would in fact be saved.

Would you answer the same way? i.e., That although he holds a minorithy position, Father Feeney was not required to believe that anyone at all suffering from invincible ignorance would in fact be saved because, as you said, "that is something only God can say, and is beyond the powers of human judgment to discern?"

Jordanes said...

I am not well familiarized with his thought, but as I understand it, he insisted that he was not required to believe that anyone at all suffering from invincible ignorance would in fact be saved.

Would you answer the same way? i.e., That although he holds a minority position, Father Feeney was not required to believe that anyone at all suffering from invincible ignorance would in fact be saved because, as you said, "that is something only God can say, and is beyond the powers of human judgment to discern?"


Yes, I think I would answer in much the same way. I can't see how the Church could require anyone to believe something that can't be known by any human here below. We can know that those invincibly ignorant of the Gospel COULD be saved -- but we can't know for sure who among the unevangelised and non-Catholics is and isn't invincibly ignorant, and we can have no assurance or certainty of their salvation. My sense is that quite a lot of them are vincibly ignorant, and thus culpable to one degree or another.

I take a similar approach to Von Balthasar's "Dare We Hope" theology. On a case-by-case basis, one can and should hope that a particular soul has escaped final damnation. God alone is the Judge, and with the exceptions of Judas and the Beast and False Prophet of the Apocalypse, He has not revealed His verdict on the souls who have died while objectively in real danger of hellfire. But speaking generally, to hope that hell is empty of human souls is to have an unreasonable hope that lacks foundation in divine revelation. So, while I hope that no one has been damned -- meaning I do not desire the eternal death of the wicked and will hope that they might have repented before death -- I do not hope for universal salvation, which flies in the face of what God tells us about the reality of hell, the great difficulty we experience in finding and walking the narrow way to life, and the fates of Judas and the antichrists of the Apocalypse. Apart from a divine revelation, we cannot say for sure that this soul or that soul is in hell, and so we can hope and pray for that soul; but we have still been told enough to know that at least some, perhaps even the majority, will not be saved. Similarly (or conversely?), we can say that under certain conditions, those who have not formally converted to Catholicism might be saved; but we haven't been told enough to say which if any of them have been saved. The only sure means of salvation God has provided the human race is Jesus -- i.e., faith in Him entailing becoming a member of the Catholic Church that He established for the purpose of communicating His redemption to every man.

Knight of Malta said...

Jordanes, once again, we both are right:

Re: LG 16, you correctly quote the new, revised, translation:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html

This is not a "ta-da!" moment, but translations used for many years, and then newly re-translated does cast aspersions at times.

My "official" translation of the documents of Vatican II, from 1966, printed by the American Press, blessed thrice, with a Nihil Obstat and Imrimatur from the Bishop of Baltimore, does contain my quote printed above, that Hindus are on a "...loving, trusting flight toward God." pg. 662.

Moreover, it immediately after says, re Buddhism: "It teaches a path by wich men, in a devout and confident spirit, can either reach a state of absolute freedom or attain supreme enlightenment by their own efforts or by higher assistance. " And, and? Oh no! Never does it say that such false religions lead to death of the soul! In fact, it immediately after continues:

"Likewise, other religions to be found everywhere strive variously to answer the restless searchings of the human heart by proposing 'ways,' which consist of teachings, rules of life and sacred ceremonies."

And, just to make sure that nobody mistakes the "esteem" the Catholic Church holds for heretics, the next paragraph continues:

"The Catholic Church rejects nothing which is true and holy [sic] in these religions."

Oh, but the "esteem" doesn't end there, two paragraphs later, the Vatican II document launches again into it's esteem for the Muslim faith:

"Upon the Moslems, too, the Church looks with esteem. They adore one God, living and enduring, merciful and all-powerful, Maker of heaven and earth and Speaker to men." It goes on to say that although they don't acknowledge Jesus as Savior, they love His Mother. You almost hear the violins the the background of this love-song to the heretical Muslims. Dante had Muhammed carrying his head for all eternity for his confusing, Christ-denying, doctrine. I don't know what is more Catholic: the love-song to Muslims of VII or Dante?

Jordanes said...

Jordanes, once again, we both are right:

No we're not. You misquoted NA 2, construing the sentence's meaning incorrectly, and, not insignificantly, leaving out most of the sentence.

My "official" translation of the documents of Vatican II, from 1966, printed by the American Press, blessed thrice, with a Nihil Obstat and Imrimatur from the Bishop of Baltimore, does contain my quote printed above, that Hindus are on a "...loving, trusting flight toward God." pg. 662.

First, that translation was not commissioned and approved by the Vatican, and thus isn't exactly "official," even though in this passage it does not differ in any meaningful way from the Vatican website's English translation.

Second, and more importantly, your 1966 translation does NOT say that "Hindus are on a '...loving, trusting flight toward God.'" It refers to things that men do in and through Hinduism, and never says that "Hindus are on a loving, trusting flight towards God." Here is your translation's entire passage on Hinduism, not just those last five words you've been quoting:

"In Hinduism men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through the unspent fruitfulness of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek release from the anguish of our condition through ascetical practices and deep meditation or a loving, trusting flight towards God."

So, it is as I said, you've misquoted Nostra Aetate, which nowhere says that Hindus are on a loving, trusting flight towards God.

Jordanes said...

Moreover, it immediately after says, re Buddhism: "It teaches a path by wich men, in a devout and confident spirit, can either reach a state of absolute freedom or attain supreme enlightenment by their own efforts or by higher assistance. " And, and? Oh no! Never does it say that such false religions lead to death of the soul!

Why would a document devoted to underscoring those stray elements of truth that can be found in false religions and encouraging persons belonging to different religions to seek the Truth in peace, rather than abusing and slaughtering each other, include statements about false religions leading to the death of the soul? Nostra Aetate didn't touch on those various religions so as to formally anathematise them, but to focus on what elements of truth they have -- that is, where they agree with the True Religion, Catholicism.

And, just to make sure that nobody mistakes the "esteem" the Catholic Church holds for heretics, the next paragraph continues: "The Catholic Church rejects nothing which is true and holy [sic] in these religions."

It appears that you haven't the slighest idea what NA is about. NA does not address heretics or heresies, it addresses non-Christian religions (though Islam is classified as partly a Christian heresy, partly a pagan, natural religion, since it borrows a few teachings and stories from Christianity and from heretical and apocryphal literature). This very passage you quote is referring specifically to pagan religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, not to heresies such as Arianism, Monophysitism, or Protestantism.

It cannot be denied that the Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in false religions. To do that, she would have to reject herself, since God has constituted her the pillar and ground of the Truth.

Somehow I'm not surprised that you decided not to quote the two sentences which follow, "The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions." NA continues:

"She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ 'the way, the truth, and the life' (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself."

You almost hear the violins the the background of this love-song to the heretical Muslims. Dante had Muhammed carrying his head for all eternity for his confusing, Christ-denying, doctrine. I don't know what is more Catholic: the love-song to Muslims of VII or Dante?

Neither do I. They each address different aspects of the false religion of Islam, the good aspects and the bad.

Brian said...

Jordanes,
I like the way you put this:

we can say that under certain conditions, those who have not formally converted to Catholicism might be saved; but we haven't been told enough to say which if any of them have been saved. The only sure means of salvation God has provided the human race is Jesus -- i.e., faith in Him entailing becoming a member of the Catholic Church that He established for the purpose of communicating His redemption to every man.

I am surprised to see how much you and I are in agreement on this issue. In fact, you have provided a clear articulation of thoughts that I have been vaguely formulating in my mind over the past few weeks and months. Thank you.

With the exceptions you mentioned, no one is able to say that any given individual, even a vicious enemy of the Church, is in Hell. We have no right limit God's mercy. Beyond that, however, whether God may save someone who has not formally entered the Church and, if so, how God may save those outside the Church is not something that God revealed to us. For the most part, within the limits of not falling into defined heresy, it would seem that a Catholic is free to speculate about how that might occur or whether no one at all is save outside the Catholic Church.

I say “for the most part,” because it seems to me that, in addition to heresy, another limit to such speculation is the sin of presumption. You provided an example of what seems to me to be an example of the sin of presumption, to hope that hell is empty of human souls is to have an unreasonable hope that lacks foundation in divine revelation

Aquinas speculated that if someone lived a good life in a distant place where the Gospel had not been proclaimed God would perform a miracle, and send a preacher or an Angel to preach the Gospel to him. Scripture supports such miracles with the Gift of Tongues on Pentecost, Phillip preaching to the Ethiopian eunuch, and Peter receiving a personal revelation to preach to Cornelius and his household. Aquinas provided a way to consider this while remaining faithful to Church infallible teaching regarding the need to formally enter the Church in order to be saved. (This is what I was referring to when I mentioned miracles in an earlier post).

Our above agreement, however, may not extend to the following points that I am still thinking through. I offer them for your critique.

Over the past century and a half, there has been a growing idea in the Church that those of good will with invincible ignorance for having never heard the Gospel and more recently with a kind of psychological or cultural invincible ignorance, can receive forgiveness of Original Sin, Sanctifying Grace, and Salvation without formally entering the Catholic Church.

It seems to me that this line of thinking, however, is not grounded on Revelation and can not be taught authoritatively as Church Doctrine. We have no way to know. The fact that a Pope and hundreds of Bishops teach it, while indicating that it is not heretical, does not make this new teaching any more true. The Pope's speculative beliefs are not protected from error. It may be true; but it may be false.

Jordanes said...

I like the way you put this: . . . The only sure means of salvation God has provided the human race is Jesus -- i.e., faith in Him entailing becoming a member of the Catholic Church that He established for the purpose of communicating His redemption to every man.

Well thanks, but actually I need to correct that. Jesus isn't just the only "sure" means of salvation, He IS the only means of salvation. Of course my "i.e." explains what I meant by "Jesus," but still it was erroneous to qualify Jesus as the only "sure" means, as if there were other means that were less sure.

I'll have to get back to you on the remainder of your comment. It's late and I need to be getting to bed . . . .