Rorate Caeli

"We remain the Church of Tradition"

The Catholic Herald has published another installment of Moyra Doorly and Fr. Aidan Nichols' continuing discussion of the meaning of fidelity to Catholic Tradition. This chapter of their discussion was published on Christmas Day of 2009 under the title, "We remain the Church of Tradition". I would like to present some excerpts:

From Moyra Doorly:

According to Archbishop Lefebvre in his 1986 Open Letter to Confused Catholics: "Tradition does not consist of the customs inherited from the past and preserved out of loyalty to the past even where there are no clear reasons for them. Tradition is defined as the Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Magisterium down through the centuries. This deposit is what has been given to us by Revelation; that is to say, the Word of God entrusted to the Apostles and transmitted unfailingly by their successors."

As SSPX Bishop Tissier de Mallerais explained in his discourse "The True Notion of Tradition", given at Versailles (May 19, 1995), Tradition is immutable just as God is, because God and the saints who adore Him exist in eternity which, unlike time, does not change. Thus, new teachings are not added to the Deposit of Faith, or derived by assimilating elements foreign to it. Instead they are formulated through progress in precision, as the qualities inherent in a rough diamond are revealed by the gem-cutter, and through development in explanation, as the truths contained in the revealed deposit unfold like a bud which blossoms but remains, in essence, the same flower.

By this development, truths already contained in the deposit pass from being implicitly believed to explicitly stated. Eventually a point which cannot be surpassed is reached, the point at which truth is defined ex cathedra by a pope, as was the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX, or the Assumption of the Most Holy Virgin by Pope Pius XII. Defined truths are therefore irrevocable and no longer susceptible to development.

Thus the Mass codified by Pope St Pius V in his 1570 bull Quo Primum, represents this unsurpassable summit according to Bishop de Mallerais. The result of centuries of liturgical development, it is the full expression of the dogmas of the Mass. In contrast, the new Mass is a regression rather than a development, since the dogmas are less clearly manifested, the Real Presence less affirmed, the propitiatory sacrifice sidelined and the sacrificing character of the priesthood played down.

Immutable Tradition has an admirable capacity for application to all contingent circumstances, Bishop de Mallerais also points out. Catholic application involves no change, no mutation of the principles, but instead allows for the development of different applications of the same principles. Tradition is living because it is lived by the faithful, and alive because it applies the eternal and unchanging principles to the problems and necessities of each century. "But Vatican II let the principles fall, under the pretext of adaptation to the thinking of the modern world," Bishop de Mallerais claims.

Therefore Tradition is "living", is alive, as long as the Deposit of Faith is accurately transmitted. But the new theology adopted by Vatican II has falsified, adulterated and disarmed Tradition, so that sterility and not fecundity is the mark of the Conciliar Church, as evidenced in the dearth of vocations, the widescale abandonment of the Faith, and empty churches....


From Fr. Aidan Nichols:

There must be unceasing vigilance to ensure that "traditions" (lower-case "t") - whether ancient and inherited, or emerging and thus relatively novel - genuinely permit "Tradition" (upper-case "T") to make its appearance, really allow Tradition to enter minds and hearts. The tail must not wag the dog, the medium control the message. And this is where Archbishop Lefebvre was exactly right. If Tradition is Revelation itself as transmitted in the Church (and in that sense it may be said to include Scripture, just as in another sense it can be described as complementing it), then the continuance of Christian truth turns crucially on the authenticity of the manner in which this process of transmission is carried out. That is why the Pope and bishops, as, by Christ's will and determination, the chief witnesses to Tradition have a duty to "guard the deposit".

Was the deposit guarded at the Second Vatican Council? This will need to be the subject, Moyra, of another exchange. For the moment, it will have to suffice to say that the doctrinal Modernism combated by Pope St Pius X seems to me to play no role at all in the documents of the Second Vatican Council. The place to find it, were it to exist, would undoubtedly be the Council's Dogmatic Constitution on Revelation, Dei Verbum. In speaking of how "the tradition which comes from the apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit", Dei Verbum explains such development (para. 8) as "a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down". There is here accretion in understanding through - we are told - contemplative study (on the model of Our Lady at Nazareth) and mystical insight, and this finds sanction in the preaching of those who have received the "sure gift of truth" (a quotation from the second century St Irenaeus) in episcopal consecration. There is no suggestion in this text of accretion in the deposit itself. I see nothing here remotely reminiscent of Pascendi, no bubbling up from the depths of the collective subconscious, no insinuation that doctrines are only symbols of truth rather than triumphant acquisitions of truth. I find no spirit of accommodation to what Jones, or the man on the Clapham omnibus, can swallow.

That in the situation of anomie in the still not fully resolved crisis in our Church episcopal guardianship has often been lacking, I have no doubt. Nor do I think Neo-Modernism is merely a chimera. But I am equally convinced that the Church of the post-conciliar popes remains the Church of Tradition. What we need now is to recover, for the sake of their great serviceableness, many of the venerable traditions - conceptual, liturgical, and the rest - in which Tradition has been presented. I am speaking of their serviceableness to a Gospel which must, by ever-new inventiveness, be preached to unbelievers in the world of today. This was what was done by the scribe of the Gospels whom the Lord commended for bringing from his treasure chest things both old and new.

Previous exchanges between Fr. Aidan Nichols and Moyra Doorly can be found here:


Rome and the SSPX: a very puzzling dialogue (Moyra Doorly)

Letter from a confused Catholic: Could the liturgical crisis stem from the Council itself? (Moyra Doorly)

Reply a confused Catholic: The contrasts you draw are unnecessarily sharp (Fr. Aidan Nichols OP)

Is the SSPX right about the liturgy? (Moyra Doorly and Fr. Aidan Nichols)

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you give some background to this post for people coming from non-English speaking world?

Who is Moyra Doorly? Who is Fr Nichols? Is Catholic Herald influential? How is it related to the doctrinal talks?

I think it must be important that you have posted it, but Fr Nichols and Moyra Doorly do not seem to write anything we haven't already heard from the advocates of hermeneutic of continuity.

Anonymous said...

- It's black.
- No, it's white.

"Dialogue".

Gilbert K. Chesterton said...

The difference between us and our critics is this. They mean by growth an increase of the tangle; whereas we mean by thought a disentangling of the tangle. Even a short and simple length of straight and untangled wire
is worth more to us than whole forests of mere entanglement.

That there are more topics talked about, or more terms used, or more people using them, or more books and other authorities cited-- all this is nothing to us if people misuse the terms, misunderstand the topics, invoke the authorities at random and without the use of reason; and finally bring out a false result.

Jordanes said...

All necessary background is accessible through the hyperlinks. You should read all of the earlier postings and reports. Then you will better understand Moyra Doorly's criticisms and concerns, and Father Nichols' responses to her criticisms and concerns.

blackshama said...

I like Fr Aidan Nichols' comment in the Last Gospel. The Novus Ordo did away with this and the Mass now ends with seeming finality but with the Last Gospel, the faithful are reminded that the Logos is eternal.

Anonymous said...

I am thankful for Moyra Doorly for having the mettle to bring this subject matter to the Catholic press. In my country, Canada - the diocese of Calgary with Bishop Henry no less - I have never read this kind of exchange in the Catholic publications.

Give 'em hell Moyra.

I was raised in the NO and really had no idea about the authentic Catholic Church in prior centuries until I heard about the FSSPX and others.

I am so pissed at V2 - it has cut us off from our roots (whether by design or accident I can't say though I lean toward the former) and to add insult to injury the liberals try to revise past teachings to fit their agenda.

In my experience, V2 is a banal and sterile work that led me into false religions because I wasn't getting my spiritual food. I get good food at the Tridentine Rite.

Though Fr. Nichols tries to allay Moyra's concerns with the reform of the reform line he doesn't do an adequate job - overall. I would add that the daily practises in the NO mass are in sharp contrast to the picture of the ideal Fr. Nichols hopes for.

The V2 experiment has failed - get rid of it afahp.

Anonymous said...

Just a few years back spirit of the Council was praised and everything pre-VII was despised. Now the "Hermeneutic of Continuity" is en vogue. Our Lord Jesus Christ promised us that He will be with us up to the end of the world so I expect the return to fullness of Tradition to happen.

But how it is possible that the liturgists, philosophers, theologians change their minds so easy, anyway the wind from the Vatican blows?

The SSPX had a good idea to approach the very top of the hierarchy and it is God's grace that it is Cardinal Ratzinger who conducted the negotiations with Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988.

But the Pope is 82 years old. What will happen if he dies? The mad woman incident proved how fragile the situation is.

All those party-line-obeying HoC people will be ready to switch to rupture again, and the transition of real power to a new Pope, whether he be traditional or (God forbid!) not, will probably take a few years due to fuss usual to bureaucracy.

Jordanes said...

Just a few years back

When?

spirit of the Council was praised

By whom?

and everything pre-VII was despised.

By whom?

Now the "Hermeneutic of Continuity" is en vogue. Our Lord Jesus Christ promised us that He will be with us up to the end of the world so I expect the return to fullness of Tradition to happen.

Well, since the Church is indefectible, the Church herself could never lose "fullness of Tradition." Individual Catholics, however, could. Christ's promise to be with us always is no promise that any particular wayward Catholics would return to Apostolic Tradition.

But how it is possible that the liturgists, philosophers, theologians change their minds so easy, anyway the wind from the Vatican blows?

Which liturgists, philosophers, and theologians are you referring to? Which ones have formerly praised a "spirit of Vatican II" that broke with Tradition but are now advocating the Pope's "hermeneutic of continuity"?

All those party-line-obeying HoC people will be ready to switch to rupture again

Who are you referring to? Do you have any examples of "hermeuntic of repture" advocates changing their minds and now promoting a "hermeneutic of continuity"?

Jordanes said...

"rupture," that is, not "repture" (whatever that is)

Anonymous said...

"Just a few years back

When?"

Before 2007.

"spirit of the Council was praised

By whom?

and everything pre-VII was despised.

By whom?"

By the priests that I have encountered throughout my education. And they were by no means fans of clown masses.

" Do you have any examples of "hermeuntic of repture" advocates changing their minds and now promoting a "hermeneutic of continuity"?"

When you are told that you are lucky that you are to young to remember that horror of old ladies saying Rosary during the Mass in Latin of which they understand nothing that's what I call "rupture".

Now that you are told that the same "old ladies"-like people have, after all, some good points, at least in theory, and we'll see if we can find something interesting in the traditional liturgy, that is what I call abandoning rupture in favor of continuity. Even if these are mere words, they're good for the beginning.

All that happened when the clergy realized where the wind is blowing after Summorum Pontificum. They wait what will happen next.

And I'm sure that this is not only my experience.

John said...

"...the Mass now ends with seeming finality but with the Last Gospel, the faithful are reminded that the Logos is eternal."

That is true, but I like to consider it thus: the translation of "Ite, missa est" is misleading. It is not the end of the mass, it is the sending forth. With that, the last Gospel is not a conclusion, but an eternal re-initiation, and sending forth of the Word into the world through His members, the Mystical Body. Taken in that light, it is as if the Holy mass never truly ends, but transforms itself into disparate actions of Charity and Mercy until Christ's members gather again to celebrate the sacred mysteries.

Just another reading, but one which views the Last Gospel as being integrally purposeful, rather than ornamental.

John said...

"Give 'em hell Moyra."

I think she's rather trying to give 'em heaven!

BHG said...

Go on EWTN or the Vatican and get a hold of Lumen Gentium and all the other documents of Vatican II. Watch Daily Mass on EWTN!
The problem is not with Vatican II but what dissenting claim was the "spirit" of Vatican II. Your poor bishop is probably one of these misguided "liberals" who'd hoped we all become Protestants.
It was Pope Paul VI that authorized the gosh-awful NO but even he didn't expect so many liberties to be taken.
Take a look at New Liturgical Movement, WDTPRS, and tradvocationsblogspot. There are tons of Catholics who are praying the Liturgy of the Hours, saying the Divine Mercy chaplet, going to Adoration, saying their Rosaries, etc.
In the States you want to read the Nathional Catholic Register, NOT the Reporter. ZENIT is a great resource as are sites such as Catholic.com, Catholic.org, InsideCatholic, CatholicAnswers, etc.
If French is your native language I can recommend some cool sites. The Curt Jester has tons of links in a variety of languages.

Just another mad Catholic said...

First annoynomous

The Herald is fairly influencial amongst Orthodox English Catholics epecially those who danced for joy when Summorum Pontificum was introducd and eagarly await the full 'regularization' of the SSPX, admitdly there are a few in the Traditionalist community who don't like it (possibly becasue it occasionally publishes interviews with hetrodox clergy).

Knight of Malta said...

"Was the deposit guarded at the Second Vatican Council? This will need to be the subject, Moyra, of another exchange"

Most councils were called to define dogma and fight error, VII, alone, was called to embrace a world full of error.

How can one even entertain the notion that the deposit of faith was "guarded" at VII!?

The doors and windows of the Vatican were flung open, and the "smoke of satan" entered therein.

Anonymous said...

"Defined truths are therefore irrevocable and no longer susceptible to development."

I don't think the second part of this is true. It seems historically they are susceptible to development--otherwise the Orthodox would be right and the Filioque would be illegitimate. Furthermore, the definition of Nicea I was developed in further detail and precision by the subsequent Christological Councils.

That being said, I do think the analogy between how doctrine should develop and how the liturgy should develop is an apt one. The 1969/2002 Missal does seem like a step backward

Jordanes said...

To the Anonymous who submitted a comment leveling a sustained ad hominem attack on Moyra Doorly (NOT "Myra Doorley") and heaping scorn on her mental health and intelligence: perhaps your vitriolic appraisal of her life, character, and sanity are accurate and just, but if you are going to offer such harsh judgments, the Moderators must insist that you not do so anonymously and that you provide some kind of source or documentation so your allegations can be checked.

John L said...

Not a very strong reply by Nichols - the claim that the precise forms of Modernism condemned by St. Pius X were not influential at Vatican II does not exclude other related heresies being influential. In fact it is known that theologians who rejected the Catholic faith had an important influence at the Council. This has been stated not only by Abp. Lefebvre and Ralph Wiltgen, but also by such progressive figures as Joseph Ratzinger in his memoirs, Henri de Lubac in his notebooks of the Council, and Hans Kung in his memoirs. The question is then not whether heretics were active at the council, but whether the documents themselves were somehow free from their influence. This is not very likely on the face of it, and I do not think that proper historical investigation - something that is being done carefully by individuals and organizations organising, publishing and studying the mass of documents left by various participants - is going to conclude that this is what happened. For my money, the basic outline of the council given by Michael Davies - not an academic - will turn out to be basically correct after the academics have done their work. A similar story will also be told about the development of the Novus Ordo, if the documents have been preserved.

Anonymous said...

Whether you accept what I wrote anonymously about Moyra Doorly yesterday is entirely at your discretion but the facts are true. If you put her name into Google you will find among endless references to 'No Place for God' and her recent 'correspondence' with Fr Aidan Nichols a reference to an article she published in the 'Fortean Times' in 2004 on pixies and elves. She claims to have encountered them with her partner, Peter, in a Scottish Island. The 'partnership' broke up years ago.

From elves and 'faeries' she has turned aggressively to Catholicism. All she does in her attacks is repeat stale criticism from an extreme right-wing perspective. What she signally fails to do is recognize or support the Holy Father is his heroic attempt to move the Church on from the malaise she deplores. Nor does she recognize the fruit that is burgeoning on the vine.

Sorry, Jordanes, the woman is mad and a menace. As for her claims to be an architect, she may well be one by training. But she is not an Associate or Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (this is an essential qualification in Britain; the RIBA knows nothing of her in their records) and she let her membership of the Institute of Architects and Surveyors lapse years ago. Their records say that she was last known living in Camberwell, South London, but they have no record of where she trained, worked or of any buildings designed by her.

The only good thing to come from her 'correspondence' with Fr Nichols is the strength and soundness of his replies to her derivative rants. As I wrote yesterday, the only reason why Luke Coppen, the editor of the Catholic Herald, publishes it is because of the excellence of Fr Nichols's replies.

Even in London's Latin Mass Society circles she is avoided like a plague, not least among her fellow-carriers.

Jordanes said...

Anonymous, you still ought to sign your name when you level such charges against someone, and to provide better documentation to back up what you say. That said, I was able to confirm Doorly's unhealthy, superstitious belief in fairies as you said, which is troubling to anyone of sound reason, so I have allowed your follow-up comment.

Anonymous said...

Fr Nichols' replies aren't "excellent", they're the usual talk. Note Fr Nichols does not say anything about clarification of the council so as to have open position whatever may happen in the future. That's the fellow travelers' way of expression.

But if the Catholic Herald wants to tell us that people who share the SSPX concerns are lunatics believing in fairies they can still make a good job.

Anonymous said...

I'll post my comment also in this thread as it concerns V2.

So is it possible to inscribe Dignitatis Humanæ within the hermeneutics of continuity? If we are satisfied with an abstract proclamation, certainly so; but at the level of historic pertinence, I cannot see how it could be.

And the reason boils down to stating the obvious: the liberty proclaimed in the Decree Dignitatis Humanæ, which does not concern one aspect of the human person, but his very essence and, together with it, all his individual and public activity since he is free from any political and religious conditioning, has very little in common with, for instance, Mirari vos by Gregory XVI, Quanta cura and the Syllabus appended by Blessed Pius IX, Immortale Dei by Leo XIII (especially with regard to all that pertains to the relationships between civil authority and the government of the Church), Pascendi dominici gregis by St. Pius X and the Decree Lamentabili released shortly before by the Holy Office, or with Humani generis by Pius XII.

In fact, it is not a matter of a different language. The diversity is substantial and hence irreducible. The respective contents are different.

The content of the preceding Magisterium finds neither continuity nor development in that of Dignitatis Humanæ.

So, are there two Magisterii?

The question should not even be asked because, by its very nature, the Church’s Magisterium is one and indivisible: it is that created by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many are those who – given the climate of the present time — while reaffirming its unity and indivisibility, do not at all distinguish the danger of the split in two. The idea that today, as homage to the present changed circumstances, the Magisterium applies a principle in a way different from, or even counter to yesterday does not frighten them.


"The Ecumenical Vatican Council II: A Much Needed Discussion" by Msgr Brunero Gherardini, Canon of St. Peter's Basilica, secretary for the Pontifical Academy of Theology, professor at the Pontifical Lateran University and the editor-in-chief of the renowned Roman journal of theology "Divinitas".

From catholicism.org: The book reportedly reached the Pope’s desk, and is soon to be published in English.[...] The book ends by requesting that the Supreme Pontiff, “clarify definitively every aspect and contents of the last Council. Such omnia reparare [reparation of everything] could be accomplished through a great papal document, which would go down in history as a sign and witness of the vigilant and responsible exercise of His ministry as the Successor of Peter.”

Some Internet advocates of hermeneutic of continuity here think that they're more educated in Catholic Theology than Professor Gherardini, Archbishop Ranjith and Bishop Oliveri together. But truth is more important than keeping up appearances even though it can shake the feeble faith. The conciliar texts will eventually be purged, with or without the SSPX, whether you like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Fr Nichols doesn't touch the essence.

He probably knows that the Church's infallibility can guarantee merely validity of the rite.

He probably knows that never ever has been a liturgy invented by some committee in the history of the Universal Church - with all the consequences, that is the deep separation between the work of Man and the work of the Holy Spirit, who has created the liturgy through hundreds of years of organic development.

Fr Nichols clearly says in one of the letters that if Man tries again to fix his NOM (celebration ad orientem, "certain aspects" corrected) this time he will surely succeed.

Abandoning the work of Man in favor of the work of Holy Spirit is out of question.

This is Novus Ordo mentality.

Anonymous said...

That Moyra gives a false impression that Archbishop Lefebvre was some kind of sedevacantist! What will the Catholic Herald readers think! :(

Jordanes said...

Note Fr Nichols does not say anything about clarification of the council so as to have open position whatever may happen in the future. That's the fellow travelers' way of expression.

Ah, so Father Nichols is a communist infiltrator!

But if the Catholic Herald wants to tell us that people who share the SSPX concerns are lunatics believing in fairies they can still make a good job.

The Catholic Herald hasn't said anything about Moyra Doorly's fairy delusions. That was brought to our attention to one of our many brave anonymi. All we can say is that Moyra Doorly, who shares the SSPX's concerns, believes in fairies. I also share many of their concerns, but I don't believe in fairies.

Jordanes said...

So is it possible to inscribe Dignitatis Humanæ within the hermeneutics of continuity?

Perhaps, though it remains to be seen how that might be done. The approaches of Harrison, Storck, Gurries, and Palm seem promising, but we can't say what the Church will actually say on the question.

. . . Mirari vos by Gregory XVI, Quanta cura and the Syllabus appended by Blessed Pius IX, Immortale Dei by Leo XIII (especially with regard to all that pertains to the relationships between civil authority and the government of the Church), Pascendi dominici gregis by St. Pius X and the Decree Lamentabili released shortly before by the Holy Office, or with Humani generis by Pius XII.

The conflict between these texts and Dignitatis Humanae is apparent -- though one must also keep in mind the level of authority and the question of infallibility as it affects all of these documents. Where DH conflicts with prior reformable teaching, that isn't a serious problem, especially if it turns out that a particular teaching in DH is itself reformable.

Some Internet advocates of hermeneutic of continuity here think that they're more educated in Catholic Theology than Professor Gherardini, Archbishop Ranjith and Bishop Oliveri together.

Who are the commenters at Rorate who think they are more adept theologians than Gherardine, Ranjith, and Oliveri combined?

The conciliar texts will eventually be purged, with or without the SSPX, whether you like it or not.

Some aspects of Vatican II teaching need clarification at least. Hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer for that.

Jordanes said...

That Moyra gives a false impression that Archbishop Lefebvre was some kind of sedevacantist!

Well, on some days he did say "sedevacantist-y" things, even though he does not appear to have been a sedevacantist.

Anonymous said...

"Well, on some days he did say "sedevacantist-y" things, even though he does not appear to have been a sedevacantist."

Let's apply hermeneutic of continuity to these things.

Richard said...

I was struck by Fr. Nichol's admission that every Mass, even when celebrated by a hermit priest in the desert, is valid and fruitful. I think one can argue that Pope Paul VI didn't agree. I don't have the document handy right now, but I believe when MR first came out, Masses with no one present except the priest were forbidden, exceptions allowed only for elderly priests. Perhaps that prohibition has been lifted since 1969, but what does it say about the mindset of those who created the NOM? Why would they forbid a hermit-priest to say Mass unless they doubted it's validity?
I enjoyed reading all these articles and thank you for publicizing them. Miss Doorly expressed and documented her views very well, whereas Fr. Aiden, like so many of today's theologians, speaks in a modern liberal idiom that's difficult to follow. He uses a lot of words and strange phrases but doesn't ever get to the point or answer the questions directly and cleasrly.
How did he get to be a leading theologian and who's opinion is that?

Anonymous said...

"How did he get to be a leading theologian and who's opinion is that?"

I case you haven't noticed, there's no more "theology". Now there is "theology of Karl Rahner" or "theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar" or even "theology of St. Thomas Aquinas". Opinions, instead of facts.

Anonymous said...

"In my opinion, the Orthodox need Catholic communion just as Catholics need the Orthodox Church."

Church of God, that is the Catholic Church, lacks something just like heretical, schismatical sect. This is offensive.

"What the Orthodox quite naturally and rightly object to is Uniatism as a method of detaching Orthodox dioceses and parishes from their mother churches on a principle of divide et impera."

So the people who had the bad luck to be born under schism have no right to be members of the Church. This is contrary to the basic mission of the Church.

"No Church could now lay claim to the total cultural patrimony of both Eastern and Western Chalcedonianism - that is, the christologically and therefore triadologically and soteriologically correct understanding of the Gospel."

So no Church (how many Churches there are?) has correct understanding of the Gospel. No comment.

"There is for Catholics, therefore, a theological imperative to restore unity with the Orthodox which is lacking in our attitude to Protestantism - though I should not be misinterpreted as saying that there is no theological basis for the impulse to Catholic-Protestant rapprochement for we have it in the prayer of our Lord himself at the Great Supper, 'that they all may be one'."

As if the Church lacked unity.

All these disturbing, heterodox if not heretical statements, which are typical for Protestant, not Catholic formation, come from Fr Aiden Nichols' paper "A Catholic View of Orthodoxy". This man can reconcile anything with anything at the expense of truth.

Jordanes said...

"In my opinion, the Orthodox need Catholic communion just as Catholics need the Orthodox Church."

Church of God, that is the Catholic Church, lacks something just like heretical, schismatical sect. This is offensive.


Read it again. Father Nichols said CATHOLICS, not "the Catholic Church." He didn't at all say what you claim he said.

"What the Orthodox quite naturally and rightly object to is Uniatism as a method of detaching Orthodox dioceses and parishes from their mother churches on a principle of divide et impera."

So the people who had the bad luck to be born under schism have no right to be members of the Church. This is contrary to the basic mission of the Church.


Again, you will note that he didn't say anything at all like, "The people who had the bad luck to be born under schism have no right to be members of the Church."

"No Church could now lay claim to the total cultural patrimony of both Eastern and Western Chalcedonianism - that is, the christologically and therefore triadologically and soteriologically correct understanding of the Gospel."

So no Church (how many Churches there are?) has correct understanding of the Gospel. No comment.


And yet you commented anyway. Read it again: no Church could now lay claim to the total CULTURAL patrimony of both Eastern and Western Chalcedonianism. What follows the hyphen is the explanation of what Chalcedonianism is, not the explanation of what the cultural patrimony of Eastern and Western Chalcedonianism is. He certainly did not say (nor does he believe) that no Church has the correct understanding of the Gospel.

"There is for Catholics, therefore, a theological imperative to restore unity with the Orthodox which is lacking in our attitude to Protestantism - though I should not be misinterpreted as saying that there is no theological basis for the impulse to Catholic-Protestant rapprochement for we have it in the prayer of our Lord himself at the Great Supper, 'that they all may be one'."

As if the Church lacked unity.


He didn't speak of "the Church" lacking unity. He spoke Catholics needing to restore unity with the Orthodox. It's blazingly obvious that unity between Catholics and Orthodox Christians is lacking and thus must be restored.

All these disturbing, heterodox if not heretical statements, which are typical for Protestant, not Catholic formation,

He didn't say anything heterodox or heretical. However, you treated his words the way Protestants treat the Bible and Church documents.

This man can reconcile anything with anything at the expense of truth.

All human beings can do that -- but you haven't shown that Father Nichols has done that here.

Jordanes said...

I case you haven't noticed, there's no more "theology". Now there is "theology of Karl Rahner" or "theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar" or even "theology of St. Thomas Aquinas". Opinions, instead of facts.

The Church has always distinguished between her doctrine and the opinions of her theologians.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering who the English and other European Catholics think is the "leading theologian" of America. Fr. McBrien? Fr. Greeley? Fr. Dietzen?

I can't even think of an orthodox one of the stature or popularity of, say, Fr. Vincent Micelli. Any suggestions/nominations?

I'm serious. I can't think of one I could write to and ask a question. When in doubt, I go to Ludwig Ott.

Anonymous said...

Anon 16:53 Funny you should ask. Before they threw Fr. Leonard Feeney under the bus for defending the defined Dogma of the Faith, EENS, his provincial called him "the greatest theologian in America, by far." You can ask questions of his order at Catholicism.org.

Anonymous said...

America has never been noted for Catholic theologians but Cardinal Avery Dulles had great distinction in his lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Anon 08:36, Avery Dulles was baptized into the Catholic Church after discovering the St. Benedict Center in Cambridge, Ma., and the doctrinal fight which they were waging against the enemies of the defined Dogma, EENS. The Foundress of the SBC, Catherine Goddard Clarke, served as his God Mother! When he expressed interest in becoming a priest, Fr. Feeney sent him to the Jesuits at Woodstock Seminary where he seems to have lost his appetite for the Crusade. Any "distinction" he may have enjoyed, it was not for defending the Dogma EENS.

Anonymous said...

To answer my own question, there is an outstanding theologian in the U.S. after all: Dr. William Marshner at Christendom College. I had forgotten him because, unfortunately, he doesn't write books or columns, and doesn't answer his mail. Only his students enjoy the luxury of listening to his wit and wisdom. Hopefully, some day soon they will begin writing their own books and become leading theologians who can be trusted. Some will recall that he used to write for the Wanderer years ago, but was too orthodox, I guess, for Uncle Al, as was Dietrich von Hildebrand. I treasure the few articles I saved from those days, especially his little book, "Annulment or Divorce?" which is out of print but more timely today than it was in 1978. He put his finger on the cause of the 15,000+% increase in invalid annulments: the personalist theology of marriage promoted by Herbert Doms and, tragically, Dietrich himself, which Pius XII condemned four times. Still, Rome and our bishops do nothing to end the scandal.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 18:38, could you provide a scan of that article?

iBookworm said...

Posting a late comment: I found an interview with Doorly in which she says, "My journey to Catholicism began as a flight from a series of nightmarish, New Age inspired experiences." (http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2007/mdoorly_interview_aug07.asp) Looks to me like she has renounced her fairy-believing ways, or seen them in a different light. "Nightmarish" is pretty strong. If she is indeed someone coming from a background like that, it would make sense that, once in the Church, she would look for the fullest expression of its truths, hence her reservations with Vatican II.