Rorate Caeli

Interesting tidbits on the CDF-SSPX first meeting

Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli reports today in Il Giornale about yesterday's meeting in the Palace of the Holy Office between the representatives of the Holy See and those of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X for the first of the official meetings of the doctrinal discussions. Besides mentioning what the Press Office had already made public in its official communiqué, Tornielli adds the following:

"It went fine, the difficulties exist - one of those present tells Il Giornale - but the beginning was good."

A few days before the meeting, the Lefebvrists had received from the Vatican a kind of preparatory text with the arguments that would be discussed. The debate that began yesterday witnesses the Fraternity maintain that some of the Conciliar texts are not compatible with tradition, while the experts of the Holy See affirm the opposite.

"How long the talks will take cannot be foreseen - the Vatican source continues -[;] we have decided to set a bimonthly frequency, we will thus meet again right after Christmas. But in the meantime work will be done, and diligently, using e-mail to exchange considerations, questions, in order to arrive at the next meeting, as far as possible, with some point of agreement."

121 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope the SSPX helpes open the eyes of those in the Vatican that much of Vatican II IS NOT consistant with Catholic traditon...especially what happened with the Holy Mass, and with the repulsive emphasis on ecumenism and inter-religious dialog with non-Christians.

Everyone know the results of what happened to the Holy Mass...when it was transformed/protestantized into what we have today. And the results have been a disaster. Same with regards to many of the Council results in various aspects of the life of the Church.

Ecumenism with Protestants has been an enormous mistake. The generous act last week of Benedict XVI which represents at least in part true ecumenism (that of return to Catholic Faith), has been greeted by many parts of the Anglican world (even by some traditionalist Anglicans), with outrange, disbelief, contempt, and actual hatred towards the Pope and the Catholic Church. This should teach Pope Benedict XVI a lesson.

He should supress/discard the Council for the Union of Christians. Also discard the Council for interreligious dialog which sends congratulation greetings every year to Buddhists and Hindus celebrating their pagan festivals. A tremendous break with past Catholic belief and an outrage.

The SSPX is a good 95% right in their stance with regards to these talks. Whereas considering the results over the last 40 years, except for crying "obey!", the Vatican has little defense or argument for what has caused the wreckage in the Church.

bobd said...

This article suggests the meetings will take place once every two months. Whereas before I heard that they were to be every two weeks or twice a month. Which is correct?

Dan Hunter said...

Once every two months?

How much can be accomplished with one session every sixty days, I wonder?
Doesn't this unity seem that it is worth giving a little more time to?

sandy said...

Dear Anonymous,
In my part of the woods,the Holy Father's offer of last week has been greeted with great joy,and gratitude.Listen to the podcasts of the Forward in Faith movements meeting in London on 24/25th of October.

benedictus said...

It sounds like a lot of the heavy lifting is going to be done in the interim periods. They are sending each other their arguments, and each side is analyzing them, and preparing a detailed response. It sounds like this is more of a scholarly discussion than a debate, and scholarly work takes time. I was actually wondering if meeting every two weeks was too frequent, so I’m not at all disappointed to hear that the face-to-face meetings will be every two months.

New Catholic said...

Oh, brother... "Bimonthly" means every two months... It MAY mean twice a month, but it is rarely used in this sense: its common meaning is the former.

Any other comment about this will be deleted, even if it contains something else.

NC

Kindred Spirit said...

Where there is good will, Almighty God will confer His peace. Surely the Holy Ghost, with Our Lady's maternal help, will direct these souls to do what is right for Holy Mother Church. Nothing is impossible to God. We must pray for the success of these meetings.

Romulus said...

I hope the SSPX helpes open the eyes of those in the Vatican that much of Vatican II IS NOT consistant with Catholic traditon...

You seriously think the Vatican's theologians are going to throw their arms in the air and proclaim that they and the rest of the Catholic world have been wrong for the past 40 years, nay 100 years, after the SSPX present their sophomoric case?

What a fantasy wonderland you live in.

The outcome to anyone with a modicum of theological nous is that the Lefebvrists will be schooled in Catholic theology and invited back into full communion pending their acceptance therewith.

And, in addition to the irony of participating in an ecumenical dialogue in the first place, the Lefebvrists will be afforded opportunities to save face thanks to the graciousness of the post-conciliar climate.

Dan Hunter said...

"You seriously think the Vatican's theologians are going to throw their arms in the air and proclaim that they and the rest of the Catholic world have been wrong for the past 40 years"

Romulus,

With God, all things are posible.

Joe said...

Romulus, while I agree that they will not "throw their arms in the air" and throw away their positions of 40 years, if discussions are conducted with intellectual honesty, they will only confirm the need to clarify what has been ambiguous in the VII documents. That outcome will help remove some of the moral subjectivity from which our current church suffers.

Adam said...

"The outcome to anyone with a modicum of theological nous is that the Lefebvrists will be schooled in Catholic theology and invited back into full communion pending their acceptance therewith."

Dear Romulus, I don't think the SSPX need to be taught theology. They do quite well in holding to the teaching of Catholic Tradition, whatever you may think of their problems of submission to Rome.

"And, in addition to the irony of participating in an ecumenical dialogue in the first place, the Lefebvrists will be afforded opportunities to save face thanks to the graciousness of the post-conciliar climate."

There is no connection (at least in the mind of the SSPX) between this dialogue and the mockery of modern ecumenism. This dialogue is at the service of the Church and the salvation of the souls that believe wrongly. If only we could say that of "official" ecumenism.

And the SSPX isn't concerned with saving face. If they were, an agreement would have been made long before this.

Leticia said...

Charity, my friend.
Remember we do owe them a modicum of gratitude for their continuous observance of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form, when it seemed that the rest of the Church forgot what reverence was, not to mention tradition.
When they are another religous order in the Church, they will be remembered for this.
That's what I pray for.
When as a Catholic homeschooling family we needed a building to house our educational Co-op the local SSPX welcomed us and their children attended, and their pastor taught our children. We spent three fruitful years cooperating with them. They have wonderful holy priests.

Anonymous said...

No. We don't expect the Vatican to throw up their hands and say they were wrong the past forty years. After all, they didn't throw up their hands at VII and admit they were wrong for centuries. (Oops! Sorry. Error has rights after all.)

Anonymous said...

"The SSPX is a good 95% right in their stance..."

Based on what...?

Thetice

Paul Haley said...

Romulus said in part:

You seriously think the Vatican's theologians are going to throw their arms in the air and proclaim that they and the rest of the Catholic world have been wrong for the past 40 years, nay 100 years, after the SSPX present their sophomoric case?

These meetings are all about clarification of ambiguous statements made in the aftermath of Vatican II. The SSPX seek clarification and the hope is that the Roman side will be able to provide same in the light of Tradition. No one is expecting anyone to throw their arms in the air and proclaim their ignorance or ineptitude.

As for your unkind references to the SSPX and their "sophomoric case" perhaps it is you that is being a little disingenuous. I can assure you that the SSPX team is composed of some very capable and theologically sound representatives who need not take a back seat to anyone.

wheat4paradise said...

...the Lefebvrists will be afforded opportunities to save face thanks to the graciousness of the post-conciliar climate.

Romulus, you cannot possibly be serious.

Anonymous said...

Romulus, who might be Romanus, writes this hilarity:

"The outcome to anyone with a modicum of theological nous [beware of liberals using Greek words!] is that the Lefebvrists will be schooled in Catholic theology and invited back into full communion pending their acceptance therewith."

(First of all, this is not about anyone's nous; it is about a Truth which is beyond the seeker.)

This is expressive of the liberal mythology that the reformers were towering intellectuals, a myth they created for themselves and then circulated to the world by way of the secular press, which, in turn, is controlled by the enemies of Jesus Christ. The truth is that liberals are towering sciolists whose arrogance knows no bounds.

But it matters not. Intellectuals can argue endlessly about any topic on earth. I wonder if these two parties can possibly resolve anything. They will debate down to first principles and discover that they are approaching every subject from radically different (and irreconcilable) perspectives. Since first principles can't be proved or disproved by logic alone, in the end, they can only agree to disagree.

The only way to bring the sides together would be for one party to convince the other to abandon its worldview. That sort of thing usually happens when a party sees that the world is moving against it. Traditionalists, though will never abandon their approach for that reason, since they already believe that the world must contradict the Truth. It follows that agreement shan't be possible unless and until the liberals abandon their first principles.

The 'giants' (at least in the fantasy of their own minds and in the drivel of the secular press) of the liberal side are now mostly deceased, retired, or incarcerated in homes for the senile. All of them are intellectual midgets with huge egos, and they all disguise this behind a screen of meaningless complexity. It remains to be seen if the Hegelians and other frauds who remain have the spirit to continue a debate.

We may find that these talks don't last long at all. We may find that the two sides are so far apart on fundamentals that there is no philosophical ground for them to discuss anything but the weather.

Should that happen, Rome's likely position will be that all the Society's positions are fully acceptable, since the Society's first principles cannot be ruled out. The Society would even be allowed to denouce its opponents' views. However, Rome would refuse to denouce most liberalist views and would not prevent faithful from holding them; she would not deploy her authority to denounce such views. The Society would be told that that is as far is it goes.

The Society would be then offered a structure (not a personal prelature, obviously). How would the Society respond? Its hardliners would insist that liberal first principles are incompatible with the Faith. Then Bishop Fellay would have to choose between two courses, as follows:

1. Accept a structure in the hope of 'converting Rome' to first principles which Rome admits every Catholic is allowed to hold or

2. Refuse to accept a structure until Rome definitively abandons and anathematises principles which the Society contends are incompatible with the Faith.

If my scenario is correct, what should the Society do? I don't know. To be honest, I haven't thought about it. It looks on the face of it like a practical question, a matter of strategy.

One thing we do know is that the Society's positions are at least Catholic, since they are the positions held by all Catholics until recently. Given the obvious fact that the Society is acting in good faith, Rome should recognise supplied jurisdiction for the Society so that its sacramental and pastoral work is not impeded.

P.K.T.P.

Mickey said...

I hope that when these discussions are finish, they will realese them in text form for the public. It would be very, very edifying to study these discussions, specifically the doctrinal points in question.

Anonymous said...

The matters outlined by PKTP sound about right to me.

The SSPX should except a structure as long as they would not be otherwise muzzeled. Better debating inside than sniping from the outside. One tends to have an easier time with credebility.

C.P. Goodwright said...

My two cents, for what they are worth...

If these talks go well enough that SSPX feels comfortable reconciling completely, they will gain the foothold that they never had that they can use to "convert" Rome.

There are no small number of seminarians and young priests who are at least sympathetic to tradition - but are also loyal to the Holy See. SP was a great benefit to them - it allowed them to be somewhat more open about tradition, especially in liturgy (where I study, there are several seminarians who are very interested in learning the EF, and several who would use it exclusively were that possible.)

That said, while the SSPX remains at odds with the Vatican, these seminarians remain simply sympathetic - they won't turn their back on the Holy Father. Were the SSPX to be in the Church without question, these same seminarians would seek their resources to try to make heads or tails of the modern theologians that we study - because their reconciliation would take away that psychological impediment. It would give SSPX a chance to re-seed tradition throughout the Church.

Anonymous said...

To put this all a different way, the Society's positions on everything are all safe, since the Society only holds to the constant teaching of the Church according to her constant mind.

What is on trial here are all the newfangled theories for confused sciolists and egoists, such as Rahner.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

P.K.T.P.

Exceedingly well said! I wish I could put my thoughts into words with such clarity.

I remember a day, not too long ago, when I came to the profoundly sad realization that I could no longer discuss the Church with most post-VII Catholics because the only "common ground" we had was the name: Catholic.

See what forty plus years have wrought!

"Liberal mythology" - I'll have to remember that one!

Sean said...

Romulus,

Your comment regarding the SSPX being "schooled" in Catholic theology reeks of the same hubris with which we've been pummeled by the Catholic faux reformists for more than 40 years.

The faux reformists have accomplished their revolution by never -- 40+ years -- having to confront articulate defenders of authentic Catholic traditional theology. You sound like someone who has one of those Mickey Mouse M.A. degrees in Theology granted by the local Diocesan Catechetical Institute. If that is the case, you're the one about to be schooled in Catholic theology.

Sean said...

Mr. Perkins, your reflections about the Society's dilemma regarding the refusal by representatives of the "conservative" post-conciliar theological establishment presently in discussion with them to recognize traditional first principles and the resulting dilemma, is one of the most insightful comments I've read on this board.

"Conservative" is in quotes above because I can never figure out, given the revolution's victorious entrenchment within the Church, just what the heck it is that they're conserving.

Paul Haley said...

Anon "Thetice" said:

"The SSPX is a good 95% right in their stance..."

Based on what...?


Based upon what the Church has always held, taught and professed to be true from apostolic times and the percentage is closer to 100%. I have never heard an SSPX priest or bishop say anything that could even remotely be considered not in accord with Tradition. Have you?

Joe B said...

Once again, to those who think SSPX will exert more force within a formally approved structure, think about how powerful FSSP is.

Ah, but if they only had a bishop ... oh, how powerful are the Campos priests?

As for the differences being irreconcilable, that may not be true. Since the Holy Father said the purpose of ecumenism was primarily to explore the possibility of reunion with the Orthodox, and that has run it's course without positive results, I can see where they can agree on a document that clears up the limitations of that document. On to the next.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to thank recent posters for some compliments to me here. I very much appreciate them.

It's good to know, again, that the Society has nothing to worry about in these talks. It need merely stand fast in the teachings of the fathers. It is the liberals who have something to worry about. The Church cannot condemn what she has formerly approved, but she can condemn innovation. If she doesn't do so now, she will do it later.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Joe B., who writes before he thinks, writes this:

"Once again, to those who think SSPX will exert more force within a formally approved structure, think about how powerful FSSP is.

Ah, but if they only had a bishop ... oh, how powerful are the Campos priests?"

What utter rubbish. First of all, the F.S.S.P. does not have any particular church (a diocese or its equivalent): none at all. So it must go hat in hand to every bishop. Despite this, it has done very well.

The Campos does have a particular church but it is restricted to the territory of one diocese out of 266 in Brazil, out of 3,000 in the world. It is a gilded cage but still important owing to the precedent it set. Outside the Campos, its bishop must also go hat in hand to the local bishops.


Joe B.'s logic is like this:

1. A particular jurisdiction does not afford its members adequate freedom;

2. It follows logically that all jurisdictions do not afford their members adequate freedom.


What is needed is a particular church--diocese or its equivalent--which covers the whole world or a large part of it. The Campos affords total freedom in a small space. Expand the space and you get [drum roll] . . . total freedom in a large space.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Joe B. continues:

"As for the differences being irreconcilable, that may not be true. Since the Holy Father said the purpose of ecumenism was primarily to explore the possibility of reunion with the Orthodox, and that has run it's course without positive results, I can see where they can agree on a document that clears up the limitations of that document. On to the next."

I'm not sure what Joe B. is referrign to. Is it the Society-Rome talks?

Yes the differences are irreconcilable because the Modernists have a distinct set of first principles, which are largely subjectivist in nature. One God can only be the Author of one set of first principles. God has no reason to confuse us. That job falls to the liberals.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Having read some writings of the Holy See's delegates and the SSPX position papers on certain disputed points, I think there will be more agreement on what the truth is than what some of the polemical attitudes on both sides of the debate have evidenced.

The real issues of contention seem to be whether certain texts produced by the Council express that truth, and the appropriateness of certain actions towards the authentic end of the Church and that truth.

I think this kind of situation is a lot more promising than if they disagreed fundamentally on what the truth actually is.

Anonymous said...

We must all keep in mind that the Society believes in something called 'theology', whereas the liberals believe in 'theologies', just as they believe in 'feminisms' rather than in feminism.

God is One, and so is the Truth, and so is theology. Only error is divided; in fact, it is the principle of division. Hence it is depicted as a many-headed monster. We should note that the leading superstars of the 1960s could not agree among themselves, much less than with the fathers. It will be fun to watch the S.S.P.X use Rahner to refute Schillebeecx (oh, I shan't look up the spelling) and Schillebeeckx to refute Rahner--and the fathers to refute them all.

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

We must all keep in mind that the Society believes in something called 'theology', whereas the liberals believe in 'theologies',

There is not just one approved Catholic theology.

Sean said...

Jordanes,

True, the Church possesses and safeguards theological pluralism -- BUT, unfortunately, the last 40+ years have witnessed a plethora of contradictory theologies.

Anonymous said...

Technically speaking, doesn't SSPX's assertion of "everything (popes included) post Vatican II is out of line with Tradition" imply that Peter has failed in his Christ-appointed duty to "correct his brothers" and consequently void Christ's promise that "the gates of Hades will not prevail against her"? I mean, Vatican II was an ecumenical counsel - the last word when Pope approved. If it is admitted to be a mistake it undermines the last visible infallible authority in Christianity. If SSPX is intellectually sincere, they must realize that this assumption voids the divinity of Christ by implying that He lied/can't keep his promises. Thus, I expect that if both parties are of good will and are thinking straight, SSPX will come to the conclusion that the above assertion is out of line with Catholic Tradition and Rome will probably end up with the start of a working document for doing some weedwacking on the worst of the "spirit of Vatican II" folks. From my understanding, this is the only possible outcome apart from an SSPX walkout. Rome can't take any of Vat. II back without contradicting itself and voiding the above promises of Christ, it can only clarify the precise meaning of the documents and try to bring some balance to the current "innovations."

Do I have my facts straight on this?

- Sarqil

Hoping for a complete agreement said...

Can someone tell the participants in the CDF - SSPX that e-mail isn't confidential. I know from my own e-mail that someone can intercept and read it.

Jordanes said...

BUT, unfortunately, the last 40+ years have witnessed a plethora of contradictory theologies.

True, but none of them approved, and some of them the subject of CDF interventions.

John L said...

Sarqil:

The Second Vatican Council was not an infallible authority, because it did not make any infallible definitions. It has a lesser degree of authority, which makes its statements not infallible but very probable. (This excludes of course statements that repeat previous infallible teachings, which are not in question in these discussions.) This means that Catholics must accept its teachings unless they contradict other teachings of greater authority, and that Catholics must hold that the great majority of its statements are true. Their being highly probable requires this; if a majority of the statements of Vatican II were not true, those statements could not be highly probable. The SSPX's position is that a few of the statements of Vatican II can be known to be false, because they contradict other magisterial statements of greater authority. This position does not involve any sort of rejection or rebellion against the magisterium of the Church, and is entirely theologically proper. That is why there is no theological issue of obedience to the magisterium at stake in these talks. The fundamental issue is a political one; the statements that the SSPX rejects are the ones that have formed the basis of Vatican policy since the Council, and that have served as pretexts for enormous and destructive changes. If the Vatican accepts that the SSPX is right in rejecting these statements, or offers an interpretation of these statements that confers on them a meaning in line with the positions that the SSPX upholds, then the political consequences will be enormous. I don't think therefore that this will take place. The most that can be expected is that the Vatican will accept that the SSPX positions are legitimate ones. They can hardly fail to do this, because the SSPX positions simply uphold plain statements of numerous papal encyclicals prior to the council, encyclicals dealing with ecumenism, liturgy, and the role of the state vis-a-vis the Church. My worry is that the SSPX will reject the latter possibility out of a (justified) belief that the Vatican should actively teach these preconciliar doctrines, rather than just admit them as possible views. This is a worry because although it is true that the Holy See should actively teach these doctrines and bring its policy into line with them, such responsible behaviour on the part of the Holy See is more than is needed for the purposes of the Society. If the denial of these doctrines is not insisted on, the whole postconciliar modernist system cannot be maintained. Modernism has to rely on suppression rather than argument to enforce its power in the Church, and once this suppression is removed, its hegemony is doomed.

Anonymous said...

The Hegelian doubleminds might not be able to see that Vatican II contradicts Quanta Cura.

Zakhur said...

"... Schillebeecx (oh, I shan't look up the spelling)"

ROFL!!!

Mar said...

Sean said:'The faux reformists have accomplished their revolution by never -- 40+ years -- having to confront articulate defenders of authentic Catholic traditional
theology.'

If these talks do not accomplish anything else - and being optimistic about this venture I hope and pray that they will accomplish much, God willing - they have already one small but significant gain, namely the recognition by Rome that parts of
Vatican II need clarification.

That significant gain is in the bag and no-one can take it away. Gone are the days when the whole subject of clarifying Vatican II was taboo, and those raising it were regarded as three-headed monsters.

One small step for Rome and a giant step for the Catholic Church.

Tancred said...

Great discussion, thanks.

Mar said...

Sean said:'The faux reformists have accomplished their revolution by never -- 40+ years -- having to confront articulate defenders of authentic Catholic traditional theology.'

If these talks do not accomplish anything else - and being optimistic about this venture I hope and pray that they will accomplish much, God willing - they have already one small but significant gain, namely the recognition by Rome that parts of Vatican II need clarification. That significant gain is in the bag and no-one can take it away. Gone are the days when the whole subject of clarifying Vatican II was taboo, and those raising it were regarded as three-headed monsters.

One small step for Rome and a giant step for the Catholic Church.

Anonymous said...

The SSPX's position is that a few of the statements of Vatican II can be known to be false, because they contradict other magisterial statements of greater authority.

I really can not see how Quanta Cura or Mirari Vos have greater authority than an Ecumenical Council.

John McFarland said...

John L,

Since until 1962 nobody had ever heard of a "pastoral council," and since nothing that's happened in the intervening years has done anything to clarify the concept, or what (if anything) it has to do with the Church's teaching authority, I don't quite see how you can speak so confidently about the level of assent that should be given to its acts.

It's easy enough when the Council repeats what's always been taught. It's likewise easy if and when the Council contradicts what has always been taught. But as regards anything else, I think that we have very little basis for figuring out what we are supposed to make of it. Rome of course wants the faithful to accept the Council in some sense or other; but it has had small to no success in explaining that sense.

This ties to Anonymous 3:04's remark. "Hegelian doubleminds" is a harsh assessment -- but unfortunately, an accurate one. Much of what might be called the conservative to soft traditional view of the state of the Church is skewed by the erroneous assumption that what Rome is saying must make some sense. The result is generally that such folks conclude that Rome must mean what they want Rome to mean. But in the words of the poet, it ain't necessarily so.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the conversations are between a small group of traditionalist priests who believe that reason is based on the law of non-contradiction, and try to act accordingly, as opposed to the Vatican, for which ambiguity and contradiction are not intellectual vices, but intellectual virtue.

The breadth and depth of the gap between Rome and Menzingen is vast, but those who aren't influenced by or otherwise of the same mind with the SSPX are in general entirely unaware of this.

Brian said...

P.T.K.P,

I thought that I posted this earlier, apparently I did not.

You wrote, They will debate down to first principles and discover that they are approaching every subject from radically different (and irreconcilable) perspectives. Since first principles can't be proved or disproved by logic alone, in the end, they can only agree to disagree.

In your view, what "first principles" held by the Vatican are irreconcilable with those held by the SSPX?

Anonymous said...

The Church clearly contradicted Itself at the Second Vatican Council. If anyone here can reconcile Mortalium Animos with our current Church, please do.

Please read "The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber" by Fr. Ralph Witgen to dispel the myth that the Holy Spirit was behind everything that transpired there.

Jordanes said...

The Church clearly contradicted Itself at the Second Vatican Council.

If you really mean that as written, then you reject the Church's indefectibility and infallibility.

Anonymous said...

The Church clearly contradicted Itself at the Second Vatican Council. If anyone here can reconcile Mortalium Animos with our current Church, please do.

1. Mortalium Animos is not infallible.
2. Most of its content are of disciplinary nature.
3. Its doctrinal content is perfectly in accordance with the current magisterium (e.g. Dominus Iesus).

Joao said...

An interesting detail I noticed just now:

There was no SSPX press release concerning their first meeting with the Pope's representatives.

That is a good sign !

Anonymous said...

Well then, Anon 17:31, you had better e-mail Bishop Fellay and tell him this. The SSPX is clearly mistaken and misguided.

Zakhur said...

Jordanes wrote:

"There is not just one approved Catholic theology."

Obviously.

Anonymous said...

Brian:

I am not referring to views "held by" the Vatican but theologies supported by various liberals. What is held by the Vatican is not at issue. The issue will be which theological views are irreconcilable with the Faith and which are not. List them? No: beyond my competence. I am merely predicting what will happen. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. We shall see.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Anon. wrote:

" really can not see how Quanta Cura or Mirari Vos have greater authority than an Ecumenical Council."

They do if they reflect immemorial teaching. Davies commented on this directly and in detail. I'll have to dig it up. He wrote that, should D.H. contradict Q.C., it is the former which we should have to reject.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

Brian,

Mr. Perkins no doubt will supply his own answer to your question about the first principles of the Vatican, but you might also want to take a look at mine, as set forth in my remarks to John L.

But let me also try to tie my remarks to John L closer to your question.

The first principles of the conciliar Vatican are peace and reconciliation, and virtually everything is sacrificed to them.

In the gospels, the wheat is separated from the chaff, the sheep from the goats, the wise virgins from the foolish, those with wedding garments from those without, the servants that traded for profit from the servant who hid the master's money. Our Lord says flatly that he comes not to bring peace but a sword, and division in every household. Even the Magnificat separates the poor that are fed from the rich that are sent empty away.

In the Vatican, by contrast, everything is squished together, and every principle of reason and logic -- and every doctrine of the Church -- that cries out against this squishing together is ignored or caricatured.

There is a sedevacantist priest, Fr. Anthony Cekada, who occasional posts a sardonic crack here. In his polemics against the SSPX, of which he once was a member, he contemptuously styles the SSPX's position on the papacy "mentivacantism" -- that is, the SSPX believes that the Pope is so empty-headed that his mental processes can't rise to the level of heresy.

But in fact the joke is on him, because that's exactly the point, except that the Pope is not empty-headed. The Pope is quite smart, but he uses his intelligence against intelligence.

Just to give a fairly recent example. You will recall the incident recounted in Galatians, where St. Paul says that he resisted St. Peter to his face when St. Peter stopped associating with Gentiles for fear of Jews that had come to Antioch.

In an address as part of the Pauline Year festivities, the Holy Father in all apparent seriousness interpreted the incident as an example of the fellowship between Sts. Peter and Paul.

All the Pope's polemic against irrationality and relativism and selfishness and secularism, on further examination, turns out to be a argument for creating a higher synthesis between rationality and irrationality, unvarying principles and relativism, selfishness and altruism, religion and secularism.

A less fancy name for that "synthesis" is compromise, a compromise that on further examination turns out to be mostly capitulation.

Indeed, arguably it is all capitulation, because the gospel does not concern itself with syntheses -- except to condemn them. A man cannot serve two masters.

In the parable of Dives and Lazarus in St. Luke's gospel, Abraham tells Dives that there is a great chaos that separates the rich man from Abraham and Lazarus.

I submit that there is a great chaos that separates the Vatican from the SSPX. Unlike the chaos of the gospel, that chaos can be bridged; with God, all things are possible. But it will not be easy, because it will involve the Vatican in crossing from the wrong side to the right side of the great chaos.

Anonymous said...

"The Church clearly contradicted Itself at the Second Vatican Council. If anyone here can reconcile Mortalium Animos with our current Church, please do.

Please read "The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber" by Fr. Ralph Witgen to dispel the myth that the Holy Spirit was behind everything that transpired there."
___________________________________
I agreee with this "Anonymous" poster regarding the first point, and absolutely with the second.

Anyone who believes that the Holy Spirit was the inspiration behind Vatican II reminds me of the story that used to be told to little children...of a special place where trees are made out of candy, and the rivers flow with chocolate fudge!!!

Dan Hunter said...

Anonymous:
Regarding Mortalium Animos, even paragraph 10 is in accord with "Dominus Jesus":

"10. So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: "The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly."[20] The same holy Martyr with good reason marveled exceedingly that anyone could believe that "this unity in the Church which arises from a divine foundation, and which is knit together by heavenly sacraments, could be rent and torn asunder by the force of contrary wills."[21] For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one,[22] compacted and fitly joined together,[23] it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.[24]"

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

Anonymous 16:50:
"The Church clearly contradicted Itself at the Second Vatican Council."

Jordanes:
"If you really mean that as written, then you reject the Church's indefectibility and infallibility."

Let us assume that what A 16:50 means is that the Council fathers in one statement contradicted a single de fide doctrine of the Church. Let us further assume that he is correct. (I myself don't know whether either of these is true.)

It seems to me quite clear that this combination of statements does not necessarily contradict either infallibility nor indefectibility, because whatever a "pastoral council" means, it doesn't mean that the Council's contradictory statement was infallible unless (1) the Council said so or (2) the Council's contradictory statement it repeated infallible doctrine.

So now we need to know whether the Council's contradictory statement comes under either (1) or (2).

Over to you, A 16:50.

Anonymous said...

Sarqil asks if he got his facts right and he got me thinking about what is the correct understanding of indefectibility?

It seems to me that as Catholics we are meant to obey period (Pius XII, Pope Leo Xiii)
- faithful Catholics

Yet there seems to be wiggle room to disobey unholy teaching and unjust laws. Popes in the past have screwed up royally and were not excommunicated.
- recognise and resist
SSPX and indult gang

It can also be argued that there is no wiggle room and that the person of Peter in the flesh is not needed all the time.
- Sedevacantist

Refer to to three situations with precedent: interregnum, resignation and many popes at one time. Consider the situation with Pope Innocent 3. I am not sure how the sedes deal with a sinful pope, for example: one who has a mistress?

Has anyone here actually read up on "indefectibilty" and can compare and contrast the different view points?

For example, Fr. Cekada gives many citations in his rebuttal to Christopher Ferrara (sp) who wrote about resisting the sedevantist enterprise.

It is interesting that sedes preach obedience as necessity, yet their conclusion is vastly different.

If the talks with Rome go poorly could the FSSPX conclude that the current Pope is a heretic?

Truly I pray that God guides the talks and that our Traditional orders are protected.

Anonymous said...

NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME FOR THE POPE TO ACT

I've just read on some Catholic news site that a 'Rabbi Rosen' in the U.S.A. wants to go after the S.S.P.X now. Apparently, Bishop Williamson has been fined by a German court (a ruling which he should simply ignore) and this Rabbi, and others, worry that the doc talks could lead to a regularisation of the Society.

Obviously, Rosen's knowledge of the situation is deficient or he'd realise that it was the Society that refused regularisation, not Rome that refused to offer it. These people want to 'investigate' (i.e. dig up dirt on) the Society so as to prevent if from ever being accepted by the Church as Catholic.

Unfortuantely, when they dig, they will find lots of ammunition against the Society and, indirectly, therefore, against the Pope, for the Pope is working with the Society. What surprises me is that they don't already have the ammunition they need. They have apparently not done their homework or even visited St. Mary, Kansas, before Fr. x left there. That elucidates how these special interest groups work. They are far less knowledgeable than they would like people to believe.

They no doubt plan to dig up all the supposedly anti-Semitic statements of various Society members and even bishops, and then use that to isolate the Society. They might go further. They might go after Society prelates in court, with a view to alienating its property and harming its mission. After all, they already are in the case of Bishop W.

The Pope could nip this in the bud by recognising Society faculties NOW. Every day he delays, we move closer to that time when he will not be able 'politically' to have anything to do with the Society; it will be 'toxic waste', just as Bishop Williamson has become. The trick here is for the liberals to use their control of the press to rout tradition from the Church.

If the Pope should nip this in the bud, the enemy will mostly fade away and go back to promoting euthanasia and inverted marriage, or work on its campaign to remove children from the custody of their parents from as young an age as possible. They have so much to do! They can't work on all these projects at once!

P.K.T.P.

Now is also the time, before the dispute becomes widely known, for the Pope to make clear to the liberals that he does not take his marching orders from New York Jews.

P.K.T.P.

Gerard said...

3. Its doctrinal content is perfectly in accordance with the current magisterium (e.g. Dominus Iesus).

Just a quick correction. There is no such thing as "the current magisterium" there is only "the Magisterium of the Church.

Jordanes said...

Mr. McFarland, even if Vatican II made doctrinally erroneous statements, it would not necessarily follow that the Church has contradicted Herself. If the Church ever formally contradicts Herself in declarations or definitions of faith or morals, She is not infallible or indefectible. That is why I objected to Anonymous' allegation.

Jordanes said...

In an address as part of the Pauline Year festivities, the Holy Father in all apparent seriousness interpreted the incident as an example of the fellowship between Sts. Peter and Paul.

Do you rather contend that it is an example of Sts. Peter and Paul not being in fellowship with each other? That St. Paul wasn't offering needed fraternal correction to St. Peter?

All the Pope's polemic against irrationality and relativism and selfishness and secularism, on further examination, turns out to be a argument for creating a higher synthesis between rationality and irrationality, unvarying principles and relativism, selfishness and altruism, religion and secularism.

I am skeptical that you'll ever substantiate and ground any of this rhetoric in which you traffick. It's one thing to level these dreadful accusations, another far more difficult thing to back it up with examples that will withstand scrutiny.

I submit that there is a great chaos that separates the Vatican from the SSPX.

Chasm, you mean.

Unlike the chaos of the gospel, that chaos can be bridged; with God, all things are possible. But it will not be easy, because it will involve the Vatican in crossing from the wrong side to the right side of the great chaos.

I remain unconvinced that the Holy See has lapsed into heresy. We shall see what the outcome of the doctrinal dialogue wil be. I find it hard to see how the outcome, whatever it will be, could be anything but a blessing for the Church.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes, commenting on another's comments, quotes and then responds:

I submit that there is a great chaos that separates the Vatican from the SSPX.

Chasm, you mean.


Actually, the gulf which separated Abraham from Lazarus in the Biblical story was frequently connected by mediæval commentators to the chaos or 'materia deformis' thought to be the pre-existing matter from which God creaed the universe. It was also connected to 'amor inordinata'. So the accident here, is correct in a way: the chasm was connected to chaos.


P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

"I find it hard to see how the outcome, whatever it will be, could be anything but a blessing for the Church."

I don't see how that follows. What the Society will want is for the Holy See to rule out or anathematise certain errors of the liberals. That is how it works. There is no possibility that Rome can anathematise her own constant teaching, which is what the Society defends. However, it is possible that she could refuse to rule out certain errors, without supporting them either. That, I think, may very well happen, and this would not be good for the Church, even though it would not harm the Magisterium in any way. In order to end the crisis in the Church, what is needed is a forthright repudiation of popular theological errors. Rome may choose to say nothing about them one way or the other, particularly if many of the defenders of those errors are currently cardinals and bishops. Keep in mind that no power on earth has the authority to require Rome to answer any particular question(s). Rome will answer those questions she chooses to answer; and she can refuse to answer other qq., even those which are very important.

P.K.T.P.

John L said...

Mr. McFarland;

- The documents of Vatican II must be held to have some authority, even though they do not contain any infallible definitions - just as papal encyclicals that do not contain infallible definitions have some authority.

On the question of Quanta Cura; it does contain an infallible definition, as appears from this formula -

'by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned. '

So it is more authoritative than any of the documents of Vatican II, and its teaching must be preferred to them if there is a conflict between them. Those who do not prefer Quanta Cura to Vatican II are thus disobeying the Church.

The characterisation of the Pope as a Hegelian trying to reconcile contradictory positions is quite unfair, and cannot be established from his works.

Anonymous said...

PKTP: "They might go after Society prelates in court, with a view to alienating its property and harming its mission. After all, they already are in the case of Bishop W."

They will surely do it. Sadly, they will be accompanied with liberal and neoconservative catholics.

Is the Holy Father aware of this situation? Is he willing to resist? So far Holy Father tried to calm them by obeying them, but if you once do what they want they will keep demanding more.

But it's good to know that there's at least one group in the Church that her enemies can't stand.

Joao:
"There was no SSPX press release concerning their first meeting with the Pope's representatives."

The statement we all know was JOINT.

Anonymous said...

Anon. wrote:

" really can not see how Quanta Cura or Mirari Vos have greater authority than an Ecumenical Council."

They do if they reflect immemorial teaching. Davies commented on this directly and in detail. I'll have to dig it up. He wrote that, should D.H. contradict Q.C., it is the former which we should have to reject.



To me, Q.C. and M.V. do not reflect immemorial teaching. They are addressing particular issues of that time in a world which was very different from ours in socio-political terms.

Leo XIII's Immortale Dei departs a bit from Mirari Vos:

The Church, indeed, deems it unlawful to place the various forms of divine worship on the same footing as the true religion, but does not, on that account, condemn those rulers who, for the sake of securing some great good or of hindering some great evil, allow patiently custom or usage to be a kind of sanction for each kind of religion having its place in the State

...and D.H., while not discussing the "footing" that the different forms of divine worship should receive, asserts that the state is not to prohibit any of them (within due limits). This seems in accordance with I.D.

IMVHO, this is sound development of social doctrine. I could be wrong but fortunately, the discussions will clarify most of these difficult points.

Jordanes said...

Mr. Perkins,

As I see it, the outcome of this doctrinal dialogue will at the very least include the clarification of a few disputed questions. Even if, God forbid, the dialogue does not result in the regularisation of the SSPX, we will at least have a few important questions answered. I can't conceive how the outcome could be the Holy See refusing to answer any of the questions or declining to clarify a single point of doctrine. Whatever happens, the faithful will receive a blessing from heaven from this.

John McFarland said...

John L,

I would suppose that pre-1962 pontifical acts of any significant degree of authority are going to trump the acts of V2 unless the latter either simply repeat either (1) other more weighty pre-1962 pronouncements or (1) the ordinary and universal teaching of the Church. It is therefore easy work to demonstrate that Quanta Cura trumps V2, quite apart from whether or not it is viewed as an ex cathedra pronouncement.

You also make the following remarks:

"The characterisation of the Pope as a Hegelian trying to reconcile contradictory positions is quite unfair, and cannot be established from his works."

I think that in fact the Hegelianism leaps off the page of (just by way of example) virtually each of his encyclicals, for those who are not blinded by the determination to put a traditional spin on them.

What you really need to do is to read analyses of his writings by people who are neither ignoramuses or nuts.

I'd suggest that you start with the recent analyses of Fr. Peter Scott of the SSPX, which you can readily google up.

Jordanes said...

I would suppose that pre-1962 pontifical acts of any significant degree of authority are going to trump the acts of V2 unless the latter either simply repeat either (1) other more weighty pre-1962 pronouncements or (1) the ordinary and universal teaching of the Church.

In terms of "significant degree of authority," a noninfallible declaration of an ecumenical council must necessarily outweigh a noninfallible declaration of a pope.

I think that in fact the Hegelianism leaps off the page of (just by way of example) virtually each of his encyclicals, for those who are not blinded by the determination to put a traditional spin on them.

I, on the other hand, find that his alleged Hegelianism is only found in his encyclicals after it has been superimposed onto it by those committed to putting a non-traditional spin on them. Only when the term "Hegelianism" has been leached of its meaning can it be used to describe Pope Benedict XVI's thought.

Anonymous said...

JOrdanes writes:

"As I see it, the outcome of this doctrinal dialogue will at the very least include the clarification of a few disputed questions."

Yes, I agree and have said so elsewhere here. I expect that the Holy See will reject certain recent errors, much (if not entirely) to the satisfaction of the S.S.P.X. But I think that it will not reject all the things which the Society wants condemned. However, that does not mean that Rome will embrace errors which the Society reprehends: Rome may simply choose not to answer certain questions for the foreseeable future. It will be difficult for Rome to condemn some the cherished views of liberal leaders, such as those very general errors mentioned by Romano Amerio. I think that Bishop Tissier de Mallerais is correct in thinking that this process of talks will take "at least thirty years" (and Bishop de Galarretta has said something similar after the first meeting). The reason is that the Pope is trying to keep everyone 'together' (but bound by what?) until the liberal lions die off and their cherished errors are largely forgotten.

One thing I've learned in life is that most people would rather be torn from limb to limb than to admit that they were wrong, esp. to admit that their entire lives have been spent following a false light. That's why the saints are so rare. A saint annihilates ego and seeks only the Truth. Ironically, religious leaders (and not just Catholic ones) seem to be most susceptible to unsaintly pride.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

" I can't conceive how the outcome could be the Holy See refusing to answer any of the questions or declining to clarify a single point of doctrine."

I can. The usual formula is for the one questioned to say, even for prudential reasons, that this matter requires 'further study', which is code for an inquiry of five academics who work on all aspects of it for, say, fifteen years. It's not that they refuse to answer the question, but they delay doing so unduly.

When the Church is collapsing, however, delay is deadlier than denial.

We must also keep in mind the possibility of simple refusals to 'rule out' a particular theological approach. The Church can simply say that she sees no reason at this time to 'rule out' approach x. Therefore, she does not forbid it. This does not mean that she embraces that approach or that it might not be condemned in the future. Let us not forget the real possibility that Rome is honest and simply cannot rule out a certain new theological approach but also finds that it departs from traditional understandings. In that case, she may wish neither to condemn nor to embrace. It is not as if Rome is some know-it-all who simply answers questions. She relies on divine inspiration which must be imparted and received.

The Society need not fear that its own positions will be condemned, for it merely adheres to what the Church has previously taught over the centuries. It is a matter to condemning or not condemning certain other 'theologies'. Rome can not be constrained to accept or reject such theologies. In fact, under Moral Law, if she cannot see, at this time, how they can be rejected, she is bound simply to refuse to condemn them. This does not mean that she is bound to embrace them.

These talks could be long indeed. If the Society will not accept a structure until they are ended, we should pray that the Pope will recognise their faculties on the grounds that they are acting in good faith. If he does not do so, the other route would be for him to create a universal particular church for those traditionalists who obey him. If he does not take at least one of these routes, well, the old Mass will not be truly free. At the moment, many bishops continue to obstruct its celebration.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

On the last comments of Jordanes and of Mr. McFarland, it is obvious that such questions cannot be solved simply be accusing the other party of ignorance. Mr. McFarland realises this and simply asks readers to turn to more thorough analyses. I think that this blog lacks the scope to solve such problems. It won't work if one of the parties is also the referee in the dispute and can shut down the other by censoring him. The purpose here is to discover the truth and the mean is to read widely and then, perhaps, to synthesise and publish (if need be).

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

"In terms of "significant degree of authority," a noninfallible declaration of an ecumenical council must necessarily outweigh a noninfallible declaration of a pope."

Michael Davies dealt with this question directly and found that Jordanes is dead wrong about it. I'm not sure I want to pull his book off the shelves and find the citation. I'm too lazy for that. But I would counsel those on this blog not to accept Jordanes's claim here without due consideration. I read the passage in question about ten years ago and was very impressed at the time with Davies's argument. He found that, on the contrary, Quanta Cura has more authority than has D.H.

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

I'm amazed that the late Michael Davies has been able to write and publish a book in rebuttal of my comment here today.

Seriously, when you have the time, please supply the citation if not the quote of the relevant passage.

I would counsel those on this blog not to accept Jordanes's claim here without due consideration.

I would counsel everyone not to accept anything I or anyone else here says without due consideration.

Quanta Cura has more authority than has D.H.

That may be so, but even if true it does not contradict what I said.

Anonymous said...

On my last point about Davies, I have failed to find the passage I was looking for, in which, to my recollection, he found that Q.C. had more authority than had D.H. Unfortunately, Davies's books (at least the first edns. of them) have very poor indexes and I don't have all day to hunt down passages on this.

"Pope John's Council", there is a Chapter 14 entitled "The Status of the Documents". In it, he argues that "a consistently reiterated corpus of papal teaching" on a subject trumps a non-infallible conciliar teaching, and he quotes Dom Paul Nau's study entitled "The Ordinary Magisterium of the Church Theologically Considered" in reference to this point.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

When you combine the concept of an "ecumenical council" with the (entirely unprecedented) concept of a "pastoral council," I am not sure of the authoritative status of the resulting pastoral ecumenical council -- and neither are you, and neither is anybody else.

The issue of the Pope's "Hegelianism" is not one that can be settled in this venue. Like John L, you need to do some reading, and come to grips with the issues that that reading raises.

But don't focus on the notion of "Hegelianism." To be frank, that suggests a degree of philosophical formation that the Pope does not have, nor pretend to have.

The real point is that he is attempting a theoretical and practical compromise between religion (meaning here something broader than the Catholic faith, although something of which the Catholic faith is in some sense the highest manifestation) and secularism, and present that as in some sense an exercise consistent with the Catholic faith.

You should also do some reading of the New Testament, and ask yourself why Our Lord is always focused on the issue of separation (ultimately, the separation of the saved and the damned), and why that focus is not one shared by His Holiness.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes asnwers my comment:

Quanta Cura has more authority than has D.H.

"That may be so, but even if true it does not contradict what I said."


It's relevant if the two documents contradict each other on some point. Archbishop Lefebvre and others found that the two were irreconcilable on several.

Jordanes writes that he's amazed that Davies wrote a book which rebuts his point here today. I'm not surprised. Despite his failed sarcasm, I was very much surprised when I read that a non-conciliar document could bear more authority than a conciliar one. That's why it stuck in my head. I could even paraphrase his comment. He said that if there was a contradiction between Q.C. and D.H., it is the latter which must be rejected in favour of the former.

I think that this is all horsing around by neo-cons engaging in apriorism. They start with the conviction that a Council approved by a Pope can't be wrong, and then they work backwards to find the premises needed to defend the prejudiced conclusion. What is required is a more nuanced approach which asks just what sort of authority must be borne by conciliar documents. This is especially important if you notice that the Church has almost completely collapsed and that this collapse incredibly began even before the Council had officially closed. Amazing coicidence. Must have had nothing to do with the documents drafted by liberal periti.

It is absurd to suggest that all the problems derive from a misimplementatioan of the documents and none from the documents themselves (not that Jordanes has claimed this). It would be very hard to misimplement clear and firm directions. The Church does not teach that conciliar documents are necessarily the best, or even very good, expressions of the dogma contained therein.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

Mr. Perkins has written:

"On the last comments of Jordanes and of Mr. McFarland, it is obvious that such questions cannot be solved simply be accusing the other party of ignorance. Mr. McFarland realises this and simply asks readers to turn to more thorough analyses. I think that this blog lacks the scope to solve such problems. It won't work if one of the parties is also the referee in the dispute and can shut down the other by censoring him. The purpose here is to discover the truth and the mean is to read widely and then, perhaps, to synthesise and publish (if need be)."

I think this sums it up quite well.

Whatever byroads I've wandered into (such as beating Mr. Perkins about the head and ears to an extent at best excessive and at worst wrong-headed), my basic purposes in posting here are two:
(1) to demonstrate that the views of the traditional-leaning admirers of Pope Benedict are not the only defensible views, and (2) to make out a prima facie case that what His Holiness says presents problems for one who considers himself bound by what the Church has always taught.

Jordanes said...

When you combine the concept of an "ecumenical council" with the (entirely unprecedented) concept of a "pastoral council," I am not sure of the authoritative status of the resulting pastoral ecumenical council -- and neither are you, and neither is anybody else.

A pastoral ecumenical council (as if any ecumenical councils haven't been pastoral) is still an ecumenical council, isn't it?

But don't focus on the notion of "Hegelianism." To be frank, that suggests a degree of philosophical formation that the Pope does not have, nor pretend to have.

If I am to do reading that will enable me to see the alleged Hegelianism in the Pope's writings, how am I to do that without focusing on the notion of "Hegelianism"?

I am not able to say what the degree of the Pope's philosophical formation is, except that I know it is of a high degree and far higher than my own.

The real point is that he is attempting a theoretical and practical compromise between religion (meaning here something broader than the Catholic faith, although something of which the Catholic faith is in some sense the highest manifestation) and secularism, and present that as in some sense an exercise consistent with the Catholic faith.

That sounds suspiciously like, if not a retraction, a retreat from the assertion that one may find Hegelianism in Pope Benedict XVI's encyclicals.

You should also do some reading of the New Testament, and ask yourself why Our Lord is always focused on the issue of separation (ultimately, the separation of the saved and the damned), and why that focus is not one shared by His Holiness.

But I think he does share that focus (though of course it's not literally true that Our Lord is "always" focus on the issue of separation -- it is a recurrent theme, but not the sole theme, of Our Lord's teaching).

Jordanes said...

On the last comments of Jordanes and of Mr. McFarland, it is obvious that such questions cannot be solved simply be accusing the other party of ignorance. Mr. McFarland realises this and simply asks readers to turn to more thorough analyses. I think that this blog lacks the scope to solve such problems. It won't work if one of the parties is also the referee in the dispute and can shut down the other by censoring him.

Most of my role as a moderator involves approving messages that meet a minimum criterion of Christian charity and basic etiquette, and rejecting those few that don't surmount that bar (or seem not to in the view of the moderator). Just this week, for example, I had to reject a comment that, whatever the merits of its arguments (and personally I thought they had some merit), was entirely spoiled by several unworthy and uncalled for attacks on your person and insults of your intelligence, Mr. Perkins. People are free to disagree with you (and anyone else here), of course, but not to do so disagreeably.

Mr. McFarland is welcome to try and substantiate his claim that the Holy Father's encyclicals are corrupted by Hegelianism. In fact he has a moral obligation to do so, having endorsed that proposition. Attacks or insults on the character, intelligence, and/or faith of the Pope or commenters or moderators, however, are out-of-bounds.

John McFarland said...

Mr. Perkins does weel to mention Dom Paul Nau's study of the ordinary and universal magisterium. It is available, together with another opuscule by Canon Rene Berthold on certain aspects of the same topic, in a slim volume from Angelus Press under the title "Pope or Church?"

The information in this volume is very important, and something that those not influenced by the SSPX generally do not know anything about, much less understand.

In particular, it helps to explain what it means to say that the Pope is the servant of Catholic doctrine, not its master, and why a preoccupation with the extraordinary is, in our times at any rate, a dangerous preoccupation.

Jordanes said...

Despite his failed sarcasm,

Ouch. Sounds like something my wife would tell me (and she's right, of course).

I was very much surprised when I read that a non-conciliar document could bear more authority than a conciliar one.

That doesn't surprise me. I know there are non-conciliar magisterial documents that are of higher authority than conciliar ones. But I have been given to understand that when comparing noninfallible declarations in nonconciliar vs. conciliar documents, the weight of authority of a conciliar document will outweigh a nonconciliar document. Authority being distinct from infallibility, of course.

That's why it stuck in my head. I could even paraphrase his comment. He said that if there was a contradiction between Q.C. and D.H., it is the latter which must be rejected in favour of the former.

Personally I can't help but prefer QC to DH. Wholly apart from their doctrinal content, the former is definitely clearer and better written than DH.

They start with the conviction that a Council approved by a Pope can't be wrong, and then they work backwards to find the premises needed to defend the prejudiced conclusion.

I don't think all of those you term "neocons" do that, but I have encountered the error that ecumenical councils are infallible in all that they say, or that it is the Holy Spirit directly involved in if not inspiring a Council's proceedings. Not true.

What is required is a more nuanced approach which asks just what sort of authority must be borne by conciliar documents.

I couldn't agree more.

It is absurd to suggest that all the problems derive from a misimplementation of the documents and none from the documents themselves (not that Jordanes has claimed this).

Yes, I certainly don't believe that, and can't see how such an opinion could be sustained.

It would be very hard to misimplement clear and firm directions. The Church does not teach that conciliar documents are necessarily the best, or even very good, expressions of the dogma contained therein.

Excellent point.

Thank you for your comment, Mr. Perkins.

Jordanes said...

Thanks for clarifying your purpose and intent of your posts, Mr. McFarland. As you know, your explanation is not exactly the impression I have gotten of your contributions here.

Anonymous said...

Again, Jordanes, my point stands that this FORUM is not ideal for solving some of these questions because the moderator is one of the disputants, whatever he may claim to be his criteria for censorship--or all of them.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

"That doesn't surprise me. I know there are non-conciliar magisterial documents that are of higher authority than conciliar ones."

It doesn't surprise me either, but it did *at the time* I first read it, that's all. Like many here, I once thought that anything from a Council must trump all else. We learn as we go.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

You are assuming that you know what a "ecumenical council" is. I am no peritus, but I think that the real point is whether the decisions of the council in question have been approved or ratified by the Pope. There is at least one council (the Second of Constantinople) that consisted entirely of Eastern bishops, and which was afterwards ratified by the Pope.

But this doesn't really solve our problem. Until V2, councils were dogmatic and/or disciplinary. Pope Paul VI certainly ratified the acts of V2. But what was he ratifying? The acts of a pastoral council. And what is a pastoral council? That is the question.

As regards "Hegelianism," you are enthusiastically embracing exactly the stance I warned you against. I did not use the term in a technical sense, and realized that continuing to use it would cause confusion.

If you want to view that abanonment of the term "Hegelianism" as some sort of retraction on my part, please feel free. But it still leaves the issue that I went on to frame without reference to Hegelianism in the paragraph beginning: "The real point is...."

For present purposes, the relative philosophical abilities of you and His Holiness are neither here nor there. However, please be advised that I view with suspicion all protestations of humility by people whose first name is not Saint.

Our Lord talks about salvation and damnation to a significant degree, and what he says on the topic conditions everything else he says, because everything else he says bears on the issue of salvation and damnation.

His Holiness does not talk about salvation and damnation to a significant degree. That fact is particularly striking in In spe salvi, since for a Christian, hope is the hope of salvation.

To recall another remark of Our Lord's: out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.

Jordanes said...

Again, Jordanes, my point stands that this FORUM is not ideal for solving some of these questions because the moderator is one of the disputants,

One of the moderators is, rather.

I fully expect that for various reasons many of my questions and challenges here will go unanswered, or will receive answers that don't satisfy me. That has as much to do with me as it does with my interlocutors. It also has to do with the kinds of questions at issue.

Jordanes said...

You are assuming that you know what a "ecumenical council" is.

No, I'm not.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04423f.htm

But what was he ratifying? The acts of a pastoral council. And what is a pastoral council? That is the question.

Perhaps the best we can tell is that it apparently doesn't involve dogmatic definitions, canons, and anathemas. Nevertheless Vatican II has the status and thus the authority of an ecumenical council -- somthing a Catholic is bound to sit up and pay attention to.

I did not use the term in a technical sense, and realized that continuing to use it would cause confusion.

I would say, rather, that you weren't using it properly. But no matter, as it seems you weren't really alleging that there is actual Hegelianism in the Pope's writings, and that's good enough for me.

However, please be advised that I view with suspicion all protestations of humility by people whose first name is not Saint.

Don't take it as humility, then, as it wasn't really meant as such. It was just an attempt to accurately depict and compare what I know of Pope Benedict's philosophical formation vs. my own -- I know my own isn't anything to brag about, but I am pretty sure he's got nothing to be ashamed of on that front.

His Holiness does not talk about salvation and damnation to a significant degree.

I think there's an element of the subjective in the words "to a significant degree." My impression (which could be ill-formed or ill-informed) is that he talks about it more than John Paul II did, and John Paul II wasn't exactly silent on that topic either.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes of Vatican II:

"Nevertheless Vatican II has the status and thus the authority of an ecumenical council -- somthing a Catholic is bound to sit up and pay attention to."

No, we are not bound to read it or pay it any heed. This should be expressed in the negative: we are bound to refrain from dismissing it or rejecting it out of hand. I'm sure that there are some farmers in rural Portugal who are perfectly good Catholics but have not read or heard one word of it. Lucky, they are.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

"One of the moderators is, rather."

This point is irrelevant. So why raise it?


"I fully expect that for various reasons many of my questions and challenges here will go unanswered, or will receive answers that don't satisfy me. That has as much to do with me as it does with my interlocutors. It also has to do with the kinds of questions at issue."

I fully expect that many contributors here will not bother engaging in argumentation because they expect to be censored if their points are too good. So they just don't bother. Others, like me, foolishly think that they will be allowed an open forum.

I think that a blog like this is useful for discussing current affairs in the Church. But when it comes to disputations about theology, research and publication is the way to go. Another way is simply to put up one's own webpage and let people visit and decide on your points for themselves, without having them filtered through censors who might have an inadequate knowledge of the subject.

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

This point is irrelevant. So why raise it?

It certainly is relevant. You said "THE moderator is one of the disputants." I, the disputant to whom you referred, am just one of the moderators. Further, the fact that a moderator can and does dispute issues raised my commenters hardly makes this forum unideal for "solving some of these questions."

I fully expect that many contributors here will not bother engaging in argumentation because they expect to be censored if their points are too good.

They have false expectations, then. I am unaware of any comments being rejected for making their points so well (though you believe that is why some of your comments were not approved).

Jordanes said...

Note to Mr. DeLano:

You seem to be sufficiently informed of Rorate Caeli's commenting policies to know what kinds of comments cannot and will not be approved.

No further comments on Rorate's moderating policies, please.

Jordanes said...

No, we are not bound to read it or pay it any heed. This should be expressed in the negative: we are bound to refrain from dismissing it or rejecting it out of hand.

The point is that when Catholics find out about ecumenical councils and their authority, and when they find out about the most recent ecumenical council and wish to know and understand what the Church said and says as a consequence of that council, they will give Vatican II all due respect. We are indeed bound to pay it heed, and those uninformed of what Vatican II says are bound not to criticise it in any way, just as no one should issue a judgment before getting the facts. Blissful ignorance is never advisable for Catholics with the capacity to know and understand the Faith.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

"It certainly is relevant. You said "THE moderator is one of the disputants." I, the disputant to whom you referred, am just one of the moderators.


No, it isn't relevant. The point is only that one of the disputants has the power to act as censor of those who might disagree with him. That's why it's not ideal. Sure, other moderators might intervene, but they also might choose not to.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

"The point is that when Catholics find out about ecumenical councils and their authority, and when they find out about the most recent ecumenical council and wish to know and understand what the Church said and says as a consequence of that council, they will give Vatican II all due respect."

Agreed. But that is not what you wrote. (Oh, please, don't censor me!)

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes, never giving up, goes at it again:

"We are indeed bound to pay it heed,"

No, we are not. We are only bound not to dismiss or reject it.

Blessed are those who have not been confused by Vatican II documents, having not read them. Theirs will be the Kingdom of bliss.

Blessed are those indeed who were trapped on a desert island from 1965 until now and simply return to the Traditional Latin Mass and the Faith it embodies.

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

But that is not what you wrote.

It doesn't contradict anything I said, whereas what I said does contradict what you said.

(Oh, please, don't censor me!)

Then don't give us any reason to reject your comments. Your participation here usually is edifying and helpful to our readers.

Jordanes said...

The point is only that one of the disputants has the power to act as censor of those who might disagree with him.

Censoring due to mere disagreement is not a power any moderators exercise here.

Now really, enough comments on moderation policies. Take up such questions or complaints with the blog owner. I don't set the policies, I just try to abide by them.

John L said...

John McFarland writes;

'Don't focus on the notion of "Hegelianism." To be frank, that suggests a degree of philosophical formation that the Pope does not have, nor pretend to have.

The real point is that he is attempting a theoretical and practical compromise between religion (meaning here something broader than the Catholic faith, although something of which the Catholic faith is in some sense the highest manifestation) and secularism, and present that as in some sense an exercise consistent with the Catholic faith.'

The first remark is on target - many if not most of my students would turn out to be Hegelians according to the criteria of some SSPX writers, because of their tendency to confused or contradictory assertions.

As for the second remark; it accurately describes the project of the majority at Vatican II and of Paul VI. Does it for Benedict XVI and for Cardinal Ratzinger? Fr. Ratzinger took part in the majority project at Vatican II. Later, as cardinal, did he still believe in it? Or did he substantively recognise its failure, while not being able to bear making an explicit admission of the extent to which it had been adopted by Vatican II and Paul VI? (I feel by the way that traditionalists often do not sufficiently recognise how far Paul VI is the villain of the piece when it comes to the disaster of the Church in the 20th century.)

A good indication to the answer to this question is the respective positions of Paul VI and Benedict XVI towards the SSPX. The Society and its leader were opposed to the project, and as a result Paul VI insisted on either their submission to it or their destruction. (John Paul II seems as far as I can tell not to have gotten the point at issue.) Benedict XVI takes the opposite view to Paul VI, as is well known. How is this to be explained, if he supports the project of Paul VI?

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

As regards ecumenical councils, you are ignoring the points at issue.

The basic one is not whether Vatican II is or is not an ecumenical council. If ecumenical council means one whose acts are ratified by the Pope, I am prepared to agree that it is an ecumenical council.

But V2 was styled a pastoral council. There had never been a pastoral council before. You can say what you like about what this means; but in fact your guess is as good as mine.

(When Archbishop Lefebvre proposed early in the Council that a distinction be made in its acts between dogmatic and pastoral acts, he was voted down. If you have a better explanation for this than His Grace's -- that those in control wanted it ambiguous -- I would be interested in hearing it.)

As regards PJP II on heaven and hell: I once looked into it a bit, and as far as I could ever determine, he only talked about hell in any explicit fashion in a public address once. I believe it was August 4, 1999, but I'm working from memory.

You might also take a look at his taking on the issue, sort of, in Crossing the Threshold of Hope. If you can figure out what exactly he is saying, I'd be pleased to have it explain to me.

As regards the current Holy Father, let me say this. Do you know the old Act of Hope? In the form I learned it, it goes: "Oh my God, relying on Thy almighty power, and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy Grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.'

Now take a look in In spe salvi, an encyclical devoted to hope, and see if you can find me a passage or two that expresses these sentiments.

I'm afraid you don't want to face up to the implications of what it means if I am right. They are indeed dreadful implications. But if I'm right, you're going to have to face up to them, as Archbishop Lefebvre did, and his spiritual sons after him, and as guys like Mr. Perkins and me.

John McFarland said...

John L,

My own view of Pope Benedict -- which is hardly peculiar to me -- is that he is simply a classic member of the right wing of his revolution; he supports the revolution, but wants to curb its excesses.

His treatment of the SSPX in fact supports this contention. He wants to make the Vatican Two Zoo bigger than PJP II did, big enough to include the SSPX. But though bigger and better, it's still going to be the Vatican Two Zoo.

If you can find me anything in the Pope's writings reflecting a principled break with the V2 project, please advise. But I don't think that you're going to be able to.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. McFarland, for quoting the Act of Hope. I know it very well and customarily say it with prayers upon rising. I like to see those four spiritual Acts promoted often. There are the other minor Acts, which I've never learnt properly, like the Act of Firm Purpose.

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

If ecumenical council means one whose acts are ratified by the Pope, I am prepared to agree that it is an ecumenical council.

You talk as if you have a choice in the matter. The Catholic Church says it is an ecumenical council. No one says, "I am prepared to agree that the sun shines light on the earth."

But V2 was styled a pastoral council. There had never been a pastoral council before. You can say what you like about what this means; but in fact your guess is as good as mine.

All we can do is go with what the Council Fathers and the Pope have said on that question, and as far as that goes, it appears that a pastoral council refrains from issuing dogmatic definitions. To my knowledge there has been only one other ecumenical council that was chiefly pastoral -- the Council of Vienne (though even Vienne issued a constitution that taught the doctrine that the rational soul is the form of the body).

(When Archbishop Lefebvre proposed early in the Council that a distinction be made in its acts between dogmatic and pastoral acts, he was voted down. If you have a better explanation for this than His Grace's -- that those in control wanted it ambiguous -- I would be interested in hearing it.)

I don't think "those in control" would have thought of it as wanting it "ambiguous," but yes, there was an intention to frame the documents in ways that can be called ambiguous.

As regards PJP II on heaven and hell: I once looked into it a bit, and as far as I could ever determine, he only talked about hell in any explicit fashion in a public address once. I believe it was August 4, 1999, but I'm working from memory.

It was his General Audience of 28 July 1999, during his yearlong catecheses on the Four Last Things and on Indulgences in preparation for Jubilee Year 2000.

You might also take a look at his taking on the issue, sort of, in Crossing the Threshold of Hope. If you can figure out what exactly he is saying, I'd be pleased to have it explain to me.

I've read it. Apart from his regrettable favoring of Hans Urs von Balthasar's "Dare We Hope" arrant speculation, his ruminations aren't all that different from those in Alois Winklhofer's "The Coming of His Kingdom" (1963).

As regards the current Holy Father, let me say this. Do you know the old Act of Hope?

Yes. Not yet by heart, but it is in my Missal and I offer it not infrequently.

Now take a look in In spe salvi, an encyclical devoted to hope, and see if you can find me a passage or two that expresses these sentiments.

We've had this discussion before. Spe Salvi does not address hope in those exact terms, but does touch on those themes.

I'm afraid you don't want to face up to the implications of what it means if I am right. They are indeed dreadful implications.

Yes, they are. But I'm not quite sure if you've yet faced up to those implications.

But what are the implications if you are wrong and Pope Benedict is right?

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

You still mostly deny what I affirm, and affirm what I deny, and close your eyes to such anomalies as the fact that the Pope has written an encyclical on hope in which he doesn't have much to say about supernatural hope.

You don't even notice that you are in effect admitting that PJP II's catechesis on The Four Last Things doesn't have very much to say about an important element of the Four Last Things. Contrast his five years of catechesis on the theology of the body.

Last but not least, you defend the remarks of the Vicar of Christ on earth by appealing to the authority of -- Alois Winklhofer.

I can't stop you from keeping your eyes firmly shut; but I can point out that that's what you're doing.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

Let me offer a try at orienting the conversation.

For practical purposes, I'm interested in making, and having you understand -- and, God willing, agree with -- one point.

That point is that much of what the Holy Father is doing represents at best something different from what he should be doing, and therefore a failure to do what he should be doing -- that is teaching the complete and unadulterated faith.

Furthermore, the same is true of his predecessors back to Pope Paul VI.

Even if we were to agree that everything in PJP II's five-year catechesis were perfectly in accord with Catholic doctrine, what is he doing wasting his time on theological speculation?

Even if we were to agree that everything in the Pope's Jesus book were entirely in accord with Catholic doctrine, what is he doing wasting time on the activities of a private doctor?

Why do all of the Popes since Paul VI concern themselves to such a degree with the well-being of the world, very much including the earthly well-being of those who appear to be on the high road to Hell, when it is the well-being of souls that should be their concern, a concern that requires among other things the weaning of men away from a concern with the world?

If you do not recognize the justice of the thinking behind these rhetorical questions, there is nothing further I can say. But if you do, we have the basis for (ahem) dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Let me ask John McFarland, Mr. Perkins and you, my friend Jordanes, for your thoughts on jurisdiction regarding the SSPX.

Dan Hunter always harps on this - but if it was so important and souls were in danger of being lost for eternity - why is it of no concern to our Holy Father? Has he publicly warned any member of the SSPX about the grave danger they have put themselves and their flock in? Invalid marriages, scads of illigitimate children, unforgiven mortal sins and the addition of the heinous sin of sacrilege receiving Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin.

The point I'm trying (poorly at that) to make is that this is not high on Benedict XVI's list because he is an advocate of the Vatican II theology.

Forgive me for my awkward way of trying to translate my thoughts in a clear manner.

John McFarland said...

Anonymous 17:14,

You've made yourself abundantly clear.

I myself cannot think of any logical reason why the Pope has not concerned himself with the issue of the validity of sacraments as administered by the SSPX (or independent priests without faculties like my own pastor), except that he does not think that the issue is very important.

And if he doesn't think that the validity of the sacraments is very important, the further logical conclusion is that he doesn't think that the sacraments are very important.

But this talk of logic is beside the point, because I don't think that logic enters into the Pope's thinking here. I think the mindset of His Holiness is such that subjectively he does not see the objective significance and implications of what he is objectively doing -- that is, that he is neglecting proper doctrine and pastoral practice regarding the sacraments.

Recall Sister Lucy's talk of "diabolical disorientation." I would speculate that to be a victim of that disorientation is not to be possessed by the Devil, but to have your thought processes thrown radically out of whack through the machinations of the Devil. Nor does it require anything dramatic; it may be the work of many years -- in the Pope's case, perhaps a process that began 60 years or more ago.

Anonymous said...

Mr. McFarland:

But how can that be? That His Holiness does not see? It's basic Catholic doctrine. I learned it in the first grade decades ago. The Roman Catholic Church is all about the salvation of souls.

These are questions that I ask myself and for which I have no answers; the priests I consult (especially the young ones who have absolutely no idea of what I am talking about) can't answer me; the novenas I make leave me as confused as the last one I made...what's a Catholic pushing sixty to do?

Anon 17:14

Anonymous said...

These attacks on Benedict XVI are slanderous and unjust. Anyone reading "Spe Salvi" can see the supernatural nature of the act of Christian hope that expounds! Come on! He has resolutely fought aaginst the naturalism rampant in the world and the Church for decades.

He doesn't care for the sacraments? On what basis? Your logic? You have little idea of his daily responsibilities and the multiple prudential acts he must make to put the Church back to where she should be.

This kind of criticism would not be fair if Benedict were a literary scholar, and you were trying to explain his theories. As he is the Vicar of Christ on earth, it is unjust and disgraceful.

Jordanes said...

You still mostly deny what I affirm, and affirm what I deny

Of course. That's because, as far as I can make out, your opinions expressed here are more often erroneous than not.

and close your eyes to such anomalies as the fact that the Pope has written an encyclical on hope in which he doesn't have much to say about supernatural hope.

He doesn't have little to say about it.

You don't even notice that you are in effect admitting that PJP II's catechesis on The Four Last Things doesn't have very much to say about an important element of the Four Last Things.

It is an important element, but one of the elements of which revelation doesn't have much to say -- which is fitting, for the wicked shall be ashes under the feet of the saints, and their very name and memory shall be forgotten.

Last but not least, you defend the remarks of the Vicar of Christ on earth by appealing to the authority of -- Alois Winklhofer.

Don't be silly. I did not appeal to Winklhofer's book as an authority. I referred to it as an example of orthodox Catholic eschatology from the eve of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John Paul II's catecheses were commensurate with Winklhofer's theological reflections.

I can't stop you from keeping your eyes firmly shut; but I can point out that that's what you're doing.

You're welcome to your opinion, Mr. McFarland. I think that, by grace, I have a pretty good view of the vista spread before me.

That point is that much of what the Holy Father is doing represents at best something different from what he should be doing

However, I am still of the opinion that you don't quite know what it is the Holy Father should be doing.

Even if we were to agree that everything in PJP II's five-year catechesis were perfectly in accord with Catholic doctrine, what is he doing wasting his time on theological speculation?

He wasn't engaging in theological speculation, Mr. McFarland, he was reintroducing Catholics to the foundations of the Church's teachings on marriage and sexual morality, which most Catholics had lost in the years immediately preceding his catecheses.

Even if we were to agree that everything in the Pope's Jesus book were entirely in accord with Catholic doctrine, what is he doing wasting time on the activities of a private doctor?

Doing what Popes are supposed to do: focusing on and teaching Catholics and non-Catholics about Jesus.

Why do all of the Popes since Paul VI concern themselves to such a degree with the well-being of the world, very much including the earthly well-being of those who appear to be on the high road to Hell,

Because Jesus commanded them to do it. (Cf. Matt. 25)

when it is the well-being of souls that should be their concern, a concern that requires among other things the weaning of men away from a concern with the world?

That concern does NOT require that men should be weaned away from the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. That's a grave misunderstanding of contempt for the world.

John McFarland said...

Anonymous 17:14,

Hold fast to the faith that you learned as a child, and seek those who can help you persevere in it, and bear its fruits. If at all possible, start going to Mass at an SSPX chapel, or at a like-minded independent chapel. Read the materials on www.sspx.org, and take it from there.

We aren't many, but there are 7,000of us who haven't bent the knee to Ba'al, and there's no reason for despair or capitulation.

You have my prayers, and I'm sure the prayers of others on this site.

John McFarland said...

Anonymous 21:35,

What you're basically saying is that you don't want to believe what I'm telling you.

Neither do I. But I don't see that I have a choice.

If you don't have them, get yourself a Pius XII catechism and a pocket New Testament, and start reading or rereading. What you are looking for is this: whether in letter and in spirit, what those books tell you is in line with what the Pope says in any of his encyclicals.

If and when you find similarities, bring them back and show them to us.

Good luck and God bless you.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

"...the wicked shall be ashes under the feet of the saints, and their very name and memory shall be forgotten."

Did you get that citation from In spe salvi?

Jordanes, it is not my fault that you brought the famous (Father?) Winklhofer into this conversation. You should have brought in Matthew 25 by way of comparison. Care to bring Matthew 25 in now?

As regards the theology of the body, I propose a similar test. Just show me something in the New Testament that you are prepared to connect with the theology of the body.

Your efforts to paint the Jesus book as an evangelical exercise are more of the hermeneutic of closed eyes.

I don't hold myself out as an expert on contempt of the world. But the notion that you can find contempt of the world in any sense in the Pope's sanctified One Worldism? For once, words fail me.

See better, Jordanes.

Jordanes said...

Jordanes, it is not my fault that you brought the famous (Father?) Winklhofer into this conversation.

Yes, "Father" Winklhofer, and in his day he wasn't entirely an unknown.

It's not my fault I brought him up either.

You should have brought in Matthew 25 by way of comparison. Care to bring Matthew 25 in now?

I already did.

As regards the theology of the body, I propose a similar test. Just show me something in the New Testament that you are prepared to connect with the theology of the body.

Give these lections a read:

Matt. 19:3-12
I Cor. 6:13-20
I Cor. 7:1-40
I Cor. 9:27
Eph. 5:22-33
Col. 3:18-21

I am not prepared to connect these things with the theology of the body, because they are already connected to the theology of the body.

Your efforts to paint the Jesus book as an evangelical exercise are more of the hermeneutic of closed eyes.

His Holiness presents his book as an evangelical exercise. It's the least I can do to take him at his word. Your refusal to do so does not reflect well on you.

I don't hold myself out as an expert on contempt of the world. But the notion that you can find contempt of the world in any sense in the Pope's sanctified One Worldism? For once, words fail me.

Good.

"The Pope's sanctified One Worldism." What a heap of fetid dingoes kidneys.

Jordanes said...

We aren't many, but there are 7,000 of us who haven't bent the knee to Ba'al, and there's no reason for despair or capitulation.

I think that is a lesson that the SSPX's members and adherents should take to heart.

NCTradCatholic said...

Jordanes:
We aren't many, but there are 7,000 of us who haven't bent the knee to Ba'al, and there's no reason for despair or capitulation.

I think that is a lesson that the SSPX's members and adherents should take to heart.


We do.

Jordanes said...

I'm not so sure.

NCTradCatholic said...

Jordanes:
I'm not so sure.

Sorry to hear that. I've heard sermons by many SSPX priests, and three of their bishops, and never have I perceived anything remotely approaching despair (forget about capitulation). If some of our lay faithful come close, it's because they're not listening to their own priests.

But brutal honesty about the weaknesses of our human shepherds, such as that shown by Mr. McFarland, is hardly despair. Rather, an acknowledgement of just how high the stakes are!

Jordanes said...

The other side of the coin of despair is pride and a kind of self-importance.

The lesson the SSPX and its apologists such as Mr. McFarland should keep in mind is that God, as it were, still has 7,000 men who have not bent the knee to Baal. The SSPX is not the select remnant -- God has reserved to Himself the elect in His Mystical Body under its visible head, Pope Benedict XVI.

Anonymous said...

Regarding some remarks I left in the comment box on 24 November, 2008 03:34 for the Friday, November 14, 2008 blog entry, "For the Record: 'Progressive' paper mentions possible Vatican-SSPX development"--

I wish to retract my remark "as the sspx is fond of telling us sometimes" to support my idea that "the truth is in the middle". To be clear, I of course stand by the idea that the truth is in the middle between two extremes--it's my employment of the words "as the sspx is fond of telling us sometimes" that I think was needlessly derisive. When I made this rhetorical flourish, I simply had in mind a single piece of literature I received at an sspx parish which attempted to use this principle to characterize the sspx position regarding Vatican II in relation to other positions. I'm sure that the sspx does indeed believe that the truth exists between two extremes--while I believe that the truth exists between two extremes, I believe the sspx has misapplied this principle when it comes to assessing a correct position in regard to Vatican II. Anyways,it was rather snide of me to make this rhetorical flourish while only having one piece of sspx literature in mind.

Also, while I provided a link to the traditioninaction website that included an excerpt from comments made by then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's (now the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI) about the document, "Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesial Vocation", I in no way agree with the traditioninaction website's utterly wrongheaded interpretation of the words of then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), not to mention that website's erroneous approach to various other matters regarding the current situation in the Roman Catholic Church.

Also, regarding my remarks about Rosmini: first, my characterization of John McFarland as crying "foul!" was clearly meant to be a way of forming his objection into condensed language, rather than a literal quote of Mr. McFarland. Mr. McFarland did not literally cry "foul!" and therefore I retract my use of "foul!" in that part of my comment, since it was a misquotation of him. Furthermore, in respect to the distinction(s) between beatification and canonization, I should have kept my comments to Rosmini's beatification, rather than a possible future canonization, since it was Rosmini's beatification that was under discussion. Finally, when it comes to the comments I made about what the Roman Catholic Church has had to say about Rosmini's thought and work, I stand by the "Note on the Force of the Doctrinal Decrees Concerning the Thought and Work of Fr Antonio Rosmini Serbati" issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and I wish for the comments I made about Rosmini's thought and work to be read in light of, and if needs be, in deference to this document. The document can be read here:

http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:ytV6XGr9DawJ:www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfserba.htm+ewtn+antonio+rosmini&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

--Kevin