Rorate Caeli

Bohemian thoughts...

Les pensées meurent lorsque personne ne les pense plus;
elles ne subsistent plus alors qu'en Dieu.

Étienne Gilson
Introduction à la philosophie chrétienne




Europe is dying. She never really existed, not by herself. Geographically, she was always the far west of a much larger landmass. Her reality, as a cultural unity, was forged by the Church. And her unity unified the whole world: her deeply ingrained missionary zeal converted large parts of the globe and Westernized the remainder.

For centuries, she has lived and acted upon her matricidal desires. How deeply has she hurt the heart of her only mother, the Church! The Second Vatican Council was little more than the desperate desire of a disgruntled mother to come to terms with her rebellious daughter.

And it finally dawned upon the daughter that the only act which would truly devastate the heart of her imperishable Mother would be her own self-destruction. Wars upon wars had not sufficed. Europe simply decided not to exist anymore. The different lands will remain inhabited, of course, but the thoughts that made them "Europe" are about to disappear completely.

And the great malaise one feels around the world today is not, as some suggest, the end of the "Pax Americana" and the rise of the "East". No: it is rather the fact that the source of the European framework within which we all, from Pole to Pole, have existed for centuries is disintegrating before our very eyes. The pill and abortion have accomplished what plague, famine, and wars could not.

The Pope, this remnant of a breed of learned and orthodox European scholars, seems so lonely as he visits the heart of secular Europe! From the disturbances following the Hussite movement to National-Socialism and Communism, few lands have suffered so much from the waves of European self-destruction as the Czech lands. And, amidst all this pain, it remains so sublime to gaze upon the Vicar of Christ as he stands, bearing the undying words of God, over the dying thoughts of this continent-sized graveyard.

23 comments:

Marc Puckett said...

"... (T}he desperate desire of a disgruntled mother to come to terms with her rebellious daughter": very insightful, the entire post.

nazareth priest said...

Lord Jesus, High Priest and King, have mercy!
Holy Mary, Queen of Heaven and earth, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, patron of the Universal Church, pray for us!
Holy Patrons of Europe, intercede for us!
As an American, I pray for the West that we may be strengthened to enter into the "dark night" that is upon us!

MCITL said...

Bravo - semplicimente bravo...

LeonG said...

Indeed! And it is about time The Vatican stopped this utter liberal modernist nonsense with the post-conciliar pastoral experiment which has demonstrated itself to be the defining turning point of ecclesiatical decline. The chief indicators tell Catholics all they need to know about failed experiments. The overriding pastoral equivocation and protestantised liturgical NO rite have devastated christendom. From the late 1960s onwards we can observe a rapid decent into compromise and division. Europe is dying from these and a church that has lost its way.

Paul Haley said...

"Pray for me that I may not flee for fear of the wolves." Truer words were never spoken, methinks.

Anonymous said...

I watched the Vespers Ceremony televised courtesy of EWTN TV.

The Czech Catholics certainly knew how to do the Vespers Ceremony right!!!

Beautiful Gregorian chant in Latin thru the whole ceremony.
I was stunned to see so many REAL nuns in the audience....all in "old fashioned 1950's style" nuns habits. They were all young too (below 40).
There were none of the aged, embittered radical femminist layclothes nuns in their 70's like in the USA, and I'll bet none of these young beautiful habited Czech nuns are being investigated by the Vatican for corruption of religious life.
It was a beautiful ceremony.
Although the main altar with rad liberal Cardinal Vlk's insignia where the Crucifix should be was a disgrace.
I noticed that Pope Benedict XVI during his speech praised the two great Czech Cardinals, the late Cardinals Beran and Tomacek (both traditionalists and both regarded as anti-Communist heroes), but Benedict gave no praise to Vlk, or his pastorate of the Czech Catholics.
I wish Benedict XVI would do more to re-enforce both traditional Catholic liturgy and devotions, and traditional religious life and priesthood.
It's the only way the Czech Catholic Church (and worldwide) will recover.
The agenda of the liberal Cardinal Vlk and his cronies (JP II men all of them), represents that which is spiritually bankrupt. There's no hope for the Czech Church with that.

Jana said...

To the anonymous who would wish pope encouraged traditional devotion... Actually, he did so, strongly. First, while giving a new beautiful crown to Jesulus Pragensis, the Infant of Prague. Secondly, today, after the mass in Brno, he said he wants people in Morava (the Eastern, Catholic part of Czech republic) to continue with their traditional catholic culture and devotion (it holds its position very strongly there, making cardinal Vlk unhappy - no communion in the hand there, for example).

Anonymous said...

Great post. Perhaps Belloc was overstating his case a bit, but there is more than a little truth in his famous declaration: "Europe is the Faith, and the Faith is Europe." In any event, as Alasdair MacIntyre has argued, what this age needs is another St. Benedict to assist us in weathering the New Dark Ages.

LeonG: Nonsense. The decline of Europe started well before the introduction of the Novus Ordo. The New Mass obviously didn't help and likely accelerated the degeneration, but it's not the cause. If anything, the NO is the product of the same evils that had been afflicting Europe for centuries. Protestantism, enlightenment philosophies, capitalism, nationalism, individualism, secularism et al. had been wrecking havoc on Europe (and the Church!) well before Bugnini was a glint in his father's eyes.

Sadly, Christendom has been on the decline since the High Middle Ages. There have been brilliant counter-attackes (e.g., the baroque era), but the Church has been retreating from its once dominant cultural role for the last 500 to 600 years.

Sorry for the rant, but I get tired of people thinking the Novus Ordo is the root of all our problems and that by suppressing it we'll herald a new glorious dawn for the Church. Unfortunately, things aren't that simple and the evils afflicting the Church and the world are more pernicious and widespread. Before anything else, a profound interior and cultural conversion is needed among Catholics--including many self-identified "Trads."

-Crouchback

James Larson said...

You have offered us a poetic image of the Pope as a sublime and tragically lonely figure, holding firmly to an orthodox Catholic and European tradition, standing above a dying Europe. It is a moving image, but unfortunately not true.
In order to see the inaccuracy of this vision, one needs to read the many books which Joseph Ratzinger has written. There you will find a philosophical and theological approach to all things Catholic which runs directly counter to Catholic tradition. You will encounter a direct rejection of that Thomistic metaphysics which many previous Popes have declared to be absolutely central and necessary to the understanding of Catholic truth. There you will discover Cardinal Ratzinger referring to original sin as “a certainly misleading and imprecise term,” his rejection of the concept that original sin is something inherited at conception by every human being through generation, and his resultant substitution of the idea that it is instead something which is passed on through damaged relationships after conception and birth. You will also discover his rejection of the traditional understanding of transubstantiation as being the change of the entire substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. Indeed, he writes matter-of-factly that the very concept of substance “has become inaccessible” for modern scientific man.
You will also read that Joseph Ratzinger explicitly writes that such things as the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX and the anti-Modernist condemnations and decisions of the Biblical Commission under Pope Pius X have been superseded, that Gaudium et spes actually represents a “counter-Syllabus,” and an attempt by the Church to come to some accommodation with the principles of the French Revolution. This approach to “essentializing” previous doctrinal teachings and decisions of the “previous magisterium” was also basically repeated in Pope Benedict XVI’s 2005 Christmas address to the Roman Curia.
It will simply not do to claim that these were all errors of Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope, and that he has somehow radically changed in the direction of Catholic tradition. In his recent book Jesus of Nazareth (Part I), for instance, he “entirely concurs” with the belief that the St. John’s Gospel was not written directly by Jesus’ beloved disciple, but rather by “Presbyter John,” an elder in the Church at Corinth. This, of course, is in direct contradiction to the decision of the Biblical Commission under Pius X which taught that the disciple John, and no one else, was the sole author of the Gospel.
Most importantly you will discover a concept of Truth which makes of it something not revealed to the Church in its fullness, and contained in a Divine Deposit, but rather an evolving phenomenon reflecting the evolving relationship between God and man. This subject has been carefully examined in my article The Quintessential Evolutionist which, along with approximately one-dozen other articles examining Joseph Ratzinger’s errors, was originally published in Christian Order magazine and is now available on my website at www.waragainstbeing.com.
The question must be asked as to why all this has been ignored extensively by traditional Catholics. There is much about Joseph Ratzinger that appears conservative, and even traditional. He likes Mozart rather than the Beatles. He was obviously pained at World Youth Day. And, most importantly, he has issued the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and seems bent on restoring a sense of sacredness to the Mass. The question, however, is whether these policies and actions are the work of a man who is truly orthodox, or rather are the products of a man steeped in traditional aesthetics and a sense of tradition (with a small “t”) which is conservative and views radical change as inappropriate. The latter is not enough to preserve true Catholic tradition and orthodoxy. We must never forget that it is the possession of Truth, and not “having” the traditional Latin Mass, which sets us free.

Ma Tucker said...

Well, there's always hope! I genuinely wait and pray with hope for a better Europe. Pray for Ireland. Lisbon 2 vote coming up on 2nd of October, Feast of the Guardian Angels.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Crouchback,

You consider LeonG ill informed but offer no explanation to the lead indicators he refers to.

So how do you characterize the rapid decline of the Church after NO? Where does it fit on your time line of decline for Christianity? Perhaps for you it is not too big of a concern.

You say and I quote, "The New Mass obviously didn't help and likely accelerated the degeneration, but it's not the cause."

"Likely accelerated" - that is an understatement.

"...not the cause". If indeed the NO is a product of the evils you refer to, then by implication the NO is responsible for some very bad fruit and is a cause of sorts, no?

You suggest that "Before anything else, a profound interior and cultural conversion is needed among Catholics--including many self-identified "Trads."

How do you suggest Christ is going to cleanse the Church of this filth? The Church had always asked for interior conversion and to guard against the enemies of the faith. Before anything else the people need faith.

I would suggest to you that the TLM and liturgy have inherent remedies for the malady whereas the NO perpetuates the problem.

I would also suggest to you that profound conversion doesn't necessarily imply undo complexity.

Are you a progressive Catholic? It makes me sad when Catholics suggest that the evils of today and societal issues are somehow too complex for the Church's traditional teaching.

Now that is "nonsense". It was nonsense when Pilot said, "what is truth", it was nonsense for St. Thomas, for St. Pius X et al.

That is my rant, good night.

Jordanes said...

Mr. Larson said: There you will find a philosophical and theological approach to all things Catholic which runs directly counter to Catholic tradition.

No, not "directly" counter, and usually not "counter" at all.

You will encounter a direct rejection of that Thomistic metaphysics which many previous Popes have declared to be absolutely central and necessary to the understanding of Catholic truth.

No you won't.

There you will discover Cardinal Ratzinger referring to original sin as “a certainly misleading and imprecise term,”

Yes, he said that -- and it's not heretical or even proximate to heresy to have the opinion that the term "original sin" is "certainly misleading and imprecise." It's common for uninformed people (i.e. most people) to think it means "the first sin committed."

his rejection of the concept that original sin is something inherited at conception by every human being through generation,

No, he did not and does not reject that.

The Church teaches that original sin is acquired or passes on through propagation, through generation (and thus we have it from the moment we come into being, just as then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote) -- but the Church has not defined how it passes on through generation. It's certainly not inherited through DNA -- original sin is not a biological condition, but a spiritual one.

and his resultant substitution of the idea that it is instead something which is passed on through damaged relationships after conception and birth.

He never said it is passed on after conception and birth.

You will also discover his rejection of the traditional understanding of transubstantiation as being the change of the entire substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.

No, you won't.

Indeed, he writes matter-of-factly that the very concept of substance “has become inaccessible” for modern scientific man.

Yes, and he's right. Modern man has no knowledge or understanding of the philosophical language of "substance" and "accidents." But correctly observing that the concept of substance has become inaccessible to modern man is not the same thing as rejecting the concept or rejecting the doctrine of transubstantiation.

Jordanes said...

You will also read that Joseph Ratzinger explicitly writes that such things as the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX and the anti-Modernist condemnations and decisions of the Biblical Commission under Pope Pius X have been superseded,

Well, that's not exactly what he says.

http://catholicbiblestudent.com/2008/02/early-responsa-of-pontifical-biblical.html

that Gaudium et spes actually represents a “counter-Syllabus,” and an attempt by the Church to come to some accommodation with the principles of the French Revolution.

"Counter-Syllabus" can be a useful way to describe G&S, indeed the general approach of Vatican II. (We should remember that Cardinal Ratzinger has also criticised G&S, though.) The Syllabus of Errors looks at the modern world and, as it were, says, "That's wrong. That's wrong. That's wrong too. Stay away from that." G&S takes the opposite approach, looking at the modern world and finding (or trying to find) things the Church can agree with and praise. I think it's obvious that both approaches are needed and should be kept in balance . . . and I think Vatican II's documents tend to be unbalanced in the direction of optimism and the positive, with not much criticism and caution of the problems of the modern age. I gather that the Council Fathers had the idea that the Church had said enough in that vein prior to Vatican II.

In his recent book Jesus of Nazareth (Part I), for instance, he “entirely concurs” with the belief that the St. John’s Gospel was not written directly by Jesus’ beloved disciple, but rather by “Presbyter John,” an elder in the Church at Corinth.

Actually he says this suppositious "Presbyter John" would have been an elder in the Church at Ephesus, not Corinth. Also, to be accurate, it should be clarified that although he does "entirely concur" with the "Presbyter John" hypothesis, when he says he "entirely concurs" on p.226, he is saying that he agrees with the conclusion of Stuhlmacher "that the contents of the Gospel go back to the disciple whom Jesus (especially) loved. The presbyter understood himself as his transmitter and mouthpiece," and with the statements of Ruckstuhl and Dschullnigg that "the author of the Gospel of John is, as it were, the literary executor of the favorite disciple." So, Pope Benedict didn't say he "entirely concurs" with the "Presbyter John" hypothesis (although he does), but that he "entirely concurs" with Stuhlmacher's insistence that the author of St. John's Gospel faithfully handed on what he had heard from St. John.

In effect, Pope Benedict says St. John did not directly pen the Gospel, but that the contents of the Gospel derive from the things "the beloved disciple" said about Jesus. He writes, "At any rate, there seem to be grounds for ascribing to 'Presbyter John' an essential role in the definitive shaping of the Gospel, though he must always have regarded himself as the trustee of the tradition he had received from the son of Zebedee."

Jordanes said...

This, of course, is in direct contradiction to the decision of the Biblical Commission under Pius X which taught that the disciple John, and no one else, was the sole author of the Gospel.

Not necessarily. If someone gathered and edited St. John's memoirs, even serving as an amanuensis in St. John's presence, St. John would still be the "sole author" of the Gospel even though he wouldn't have personally or solely accomplished the final compilation and redaction. John 21:24-25 reads like a comment of St. John's amanuensis or of a later writer.

All that said, even if the "Presbyter John" hypothesis doesn't directly contradict the PBC's decree of 29 May 1907, it remains the case that the evidence to support that hypothesis is sorely lacking. There is, in fact, no positive evidence of any "Presbyter John" distinct from St. John the Evangelist until Eusebius in the fourth century. Eusebius read Papias as referring to two separate Johns, but he seems to have done that so he could assign a non-apostolic origin to the Apocalypse of St. John and thus exclude it from the New Testament canon. However, St. Irenaeus in the second century was entirely unaware of two separate Johns in Papias's writings -- on the contrary, St. Irenaeus clearly though John the Presbyter referred to and quoted by Papias was St. John the son of Zebedee. Nor is there any early tradition that anyone but St. John wrote the Gospel that the Church has always said he wrote. I think Pope Benedict is wrong about the "Presbyter John" hypothesis -- though it's also important to note that he mentions it as part of his argument in favor of the historicity, authenticity, and accuracy of St. John's Gospel.

Most importantly you will discover a concept of Truth which makes of it something not revealed to the Church in its fullness, and contained in a Divine Deposit, but rather an evolving phenomenon reflecting the evolving relationship between God and man.

Sorry, but that's an inaccurate characterisation -- though of course it would depend on what one means by "fullness." After all, St. Paul says that now we have partial knowledge, but in Heaven we have full knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Apparently any stick is good enough to beat the Novus Ordo. And if you question that, then you are immediately suspected of being a "progressive Catholic."

My response to LeonG was an effort to show the absurdity of drawing a direct causal connection between the New Mass and the de-Christianization of Europe. Surely that isn't a controversial claim. Before Vatican II, there were of course other events or movements that *might* have adversely affected the soul of Europe. As reminder, here is the diabolic litany: the Reformation; the Enlightenment; the spread of Free Masonry; the French Revolution; the Napoleonic Wars; the rise of industrialism and capitalism; Bismark & the Kulturkampf; World War I; Marxist-Leninism; the Bolshevik Revolution; National Socialism; the Spanish Civil War; World War II; the Cold War. As I said, maybe, just may be, these vast historical currents help explain the decline of Christendom.

Centuries before Vatican II, modernism had seduced the minds of huge swaths of Europe. How else do account for 18th and 19th century European politics? An example: Garibaldi, a political radical and advocate for abolishing the papacy, persuaded thousands of his countrymen--Catholics who were nourished by the Missal of Pope St. Pius V since birth--to take arms against the Pope. Later in 1870, after numerous demonstrations in support of Italian unification and democratic government, the liberal House of Savoy officially saw to the abolishment of the Papal States by marching on Rome. Pope Pius IX forbid Italians from participating in the elections for the new government. Few listened.

There are several similar episodes throughout Europe during this era. These were the good ol' days before the NO and the Second Vatican Council.

In fact, the Second Vatican Council was the Church's desperate and haphazard attempt to address the ever-growing threat of the Modern Age. The Council Fathers thought that a change in tone (Aggiornamento) and an emphasis on patristics and Scripture (Resourcement) would stave off decline. There prudential calculus was probably wrong. The NO is simply another result of this erroneous thinking.

I too think that the TLM and a re-emphasis on traditional Catholic teaching would be steps in the right direction. But considering the history discussed above, I think it's naive to think that those steps are sufficient to save Europe & restore Christendom. The Church celebrated the TLM and clearly articulated traditional Catholic teaching throughout the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. And those were bad centuries for the Faith in Europe by any measure.

--Crouchback

James Larson said...

Jordanes is correct in his statement that Presbyter John is alleged to have been an elder in the Church of Ephesus, rather than Corinth. I had it correct in my article published in Christian Order, but simply made a slip in my previous post.
Jordanes is wrong, however, in all his other criticisms of what I have written. I simply refer the reader again to the extensive analysis and documentation found in my articles at: www.waragainstbeing.com
I do wish to point out one particular major error in Jordanes' post, one which is at the heart of his failure to understand the absolute certainty concerning the fact of Joseph Ratzinger's rejection of the traditional understanding of transubstantiation. Referring to my statement that Ratzinger has rejected the Thomistic concept of substance, and to Joseph Ratzinger's own statement that this concept "has become inaccessible" for modern man, Jordanes writes:

"Yes, and he's right. Modern man has no knowledge or understanding of the philosophical language of "substance" and "accidents." But correctly observing that the concept of substance has become inaccessible to modern man is not the same thing as rejecting the concept or rejecting the doctrine of transubstantiation."

Jordanes seems to be saying that Joseph Ratzinger does not himself concur with the view that the Thomistic concept of substance (and its distinction from accidental being) is inaccessible. This is manifestly false.
As I have said, the documentation is in my articles. I specifically recommend the one titled "The Rosmini Rehabilitation", and also "The Quintessential Evolutionist." I also refer the reader to the first article, "The War Against Being", as being pivotal to an understanding of all the rest.

Jordanes said...

Jordanes seems to be saying that Joseph Ratzinger does not himself concur with the view that the Thomistic concept of substance (and its distinction from accidental being) is inaccessible. This is manifestly false.

No, I clearly did not say that, Mr. Larson. Cardinal Ratzinger believed, and presumably as Pope he still believes, that the philosophical language and concepts of "substance" and "accidents" are inaccessible to modern man. What I said, however, is that there is a big difference between noting the undeniable fact that modern "scientific" man finds the very concept of "substance" inaccessible and rejecting the concept yourself. There is no evidence that Pope Benedict/Cardinal Ratzinger has ever denied or does not believe the dogma of transubstantiation.

James Larson said...

Jordanes writes:

"There is no evidence that Pope Benedict/Cardinal Ratzinger has ever denied or does not believe the dogma of transubstantiation."

Again, I totally disagree, and refer the reader to my articles for the evidence. Meanwhile, Jordanes and others might try to wrap a belief in transubstantiation around the following quote from Joseph Ratzinger's book "Being Christian":

“Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament or the silent visit to a church cannot be, in its full sense, a simple conversation with God conceived as locally circumscribed. Expressions such as ‘God lives here’ and the idea of holding a conversation with a God who is localized are an expression of the Christological mystery and the mystery of God, that inevitably shocks the thinking man who knows that God is omnipresent. When one tries to justify “going to church” by the notion that one has to visit God and he dwells only in that place, one’s justification is meaningless and is rightly rejected by modern man. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is connected with our Lord who, by his historic life and passion, has become our ‘bread’; that is to say, who, by his incarnation and death, has become the one whose arms are open to receive us. Such adoration is directed, then, to the historic mystery of Jesus Christ, to the history of God with man, a history which approaches us in the Blessed Sacrament. And it is related to the mystery of the Church: being related to the history of God with man, it is related also to the whole ‘body of Christ, to the community of the faithful, through whom and in whom God comes to us” (P.80).

Jesus Christ is of course not localized in the Eucharist in the same way as a body is localized under its own accidents. He is, however, localized under the accidents of the consecrated bread and wine. He is "locally circumscribed" - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity - only and precisely under the accidents of the bread and wine in the Eucharistic Host. This presence, of course, includes Our Lord's entire Being, not excluding His Omnipresence and history on this earth. His history does not just "approach us", but is fully Present. What are the consequence of saying, therefore, that "When one tries to justify 'going to church' by the notion that one has to visit God and he dwells only in that place, one’s justification is meaningless and is rightly rejected by modern man"?
If Joseph Ratzinger says that such rejection is "rightly" rejected by modern man, then I think we may "rightly" concludes that he concurs.
I offer the above passage as a subject for meditation. It by no means represents the primary evidence I offer in my articles concerning Joseph Ratzinger's rejection of the traditional understanding of transubstantiation. I again refer the reader to them.

Jordanes said...

I was wondering when you were going to deploy the "Being Christian" quote.

It may be disheartening to you to learn that there is nothing in that quote contrary to the Catholic faith. Christians do not believe that God is locally circumscribed.

Jesus Christ is of course not localized in the Eucharist in the same way as a body is localized under its own accidents.

It is contrary to the Catholic faith to say that Jesus Christ is locally circumscribed in the Eucharist. He is really present in the Eucharist, but His real presence is not dimensive.

He is, however, localized under the accidents of the consecrated bread and wine.

But He remains in heaven, and He remains omnipresent. Thus Cardinal Ratzinger said nothing false when he confessed the truth that one does not need to visit a geographical location in order to adore Jesus.

He is "locally circumscribed" - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity - only and precisely under the accidents of the bread and wine in the Eucharistic Host.

No, He's not "locally circumscribed" at all. If He were, it would be impossible for Him to be really present in all times and places that the Eucharist is celebrated or reserved.

What are the consequence of saying, therefore, that "When one tries to justify 'going to church' by the notion that one has to visit God and he dwells only in that place, one’s justification is meaningless and is rightly rejected by modern man"? If Joseph Ratzinger says that such rejection is "rightly" rejected by modern man, then I think we may "rightly" concludes that he concurs.

Of course he concurs, as must all orthodox Catholics. It is contrary to the Catholic faith to say that God dwells only in a specific geographical location on earth. Such beliefs are rightly rejected by modern man, and by the Catholic Church.

It seems that it's not Pope Benedict who rejects transubstantiation, but you who do not know what the Church believes about it.

Mar said...

'When one tries to justify “going to church” by the notion that one has to visit God and he dwells only in that place, one’s justification is meaningless and is rightly rejected by modern man.'

Perhaps that is what Richard McBrien meant when he said in his article of Sep. 08, 2009: 'Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not, is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward.'

http://ncronline.org/blogs/essays-theology/perpetual-eucharistic-adoration

Jordanes said...

No, that's clearly not what the heretic Fr. McBrien meant.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

So modern man cannot absorb the distinction of substance and accident?

Cardinal Ratzinger also said in some conferences (at Fontgombault in 2001, I think) that modern man cannot absorb the notion of propitiary sacrifice. Does that mean that we must abandon the doctrine of the Council of Trent?

Indeed, one could fairly say that modern man can't absorb the concept of the Catholic Faith.

Does that mean that we must abandon the Catholic faith? Or at least that we must generate a new, improved (or at least more absorbable) Catholic faith?

I'm not just being a wise guy. This is indeed the logical result of this whole notion of what modern man can't do. And indeed, it can fairly be said that the conciliar popes HAVE indeed been trying to generate a new, improved Catholic faith.

The question is: is that new improved Catholic faith still the Catholic faith?

***

Mr. Larson,

I know your work, and think well of it. It was very good of you to give it that old college try; but as you see, you're dealing with a pretty tough nut here. My friend Paul Claudel goes so far as to call him a "Pharisee." I think that that's unfair, but I do think that he shares one quality with the Pharisees: the tendency to quibble up a storm in order to avoid facing up to what is right under his nose.

Jordanes said...

So modern man cannot absorb the distinction of substance and accident?

Not without having those concepts explained to him, no.

Cardinal Ratzinger also said in some conferences (at Fontgombault in 2001, I think) that modern man cannot absorb the notion of propitiary sacrifice. Does that mean that we must abandon the doctrine of the Council of Trent?

Of course not.

Indeed, one could fairly say that modern man can't absorb the concept of the Catholic Faith.

No human can do that apart from grace.

Does that mean that we must abandon the Catholic faith? Or at least that we must generate a new, improved (or at least more absorbable) Catholic faith?

Obviously not.

I'm not just being a wise guy. This is indeed the logical result of this whole notion of what modern man can't do.

No, it's not. It's a glaring non sequitur.

And indeed, it can fairly be said that the conciliar popes HAVE indeed been trying to generate a new, improved Catholic faith.

No, it can't -- at least not in the sense of something essentially, substantially different from the Faith as it was prior to the Catholic Church's most recent Oecumenical Council.

The question is: is that new improved Catholic faith still the Catholic faith?

Yes. To say otherwise has us flirting with the heresy of defectibility.

the tendency to quibble up a storm in order to avoid facing up to what is right under his nose.

No, it's a commitment to accurately represent what our Popes have said and have not said, and to seek to understand what they have said. Misrepresenting or distorting what they've said, as you and Mr. Larson are prone to do, is not the basis for understanding.