Rorate Caeli

Msgr. Gherardini: Vatican II is not a super-dogma
The importance and the limits of the authentic Magisterium

Monsignor Brunero Gherardini, Prof. Emeritus (Pont. Univ. Lat.), canon of the Vatican Basilica and director of Divinitas. [Source: Disputationes Theologicae, December 7, 2011 (Translation provided by the United States District of the Society of Saint Pius X - FSSPX/SSPX)]

The great 50th anniversary celebration has begun. There is no media drumbeat yet, but you notice it in the air. The 50th anniversary of Vatican II will uncork the most effervescent superlatives that can be devised in its eulogistic judgments. Not a shadow of the sober attitude that had been requested, as a moment of reflection and analysis for a more critically in-depth evaluation of the conciliar event. They have already started the free-wheeling statements and repetitions of what has been said and repeated for 50 years: Vatican II is the culminating point of Tradition and the very synthesis thereof. International conferences on the largest and most significant of all Ecumenical Councils are already scheduled; others, of greater or lesser importance, will be organized along the way. And the commentary on the subject is becoming more plentiful from day to day.L’Osservatore Romano, obviously, is doing its part and is harping especially on the adherence owed to the Magisterium (Italian edition, December 2, 2011, p. 6):

Vatican II is an act of the Magisterium, therefore…. The argument advanced is that every act of the Magisterium is to be accepted as coming from the Pastors who, by reason of apostolic succession, speak with the charism of truth (DV [Dignitatis Humanae] 8), with the authority of Christ (LG [Lumen Gentium] 25), in the light of the Holy Ghost (ibid.).

Aside from the fact that this just proves the magisterial authority of Vatican II with the documents of Vatican II, which at one time was called petitio principii [begging the question], it seems evident that this way of proceeding starts from the premise that the Magisterium is absolute, a subject independent of everything and everyone, except apostolic succession and the help of the Holy Ghost. Now although apostolic succession guarantees the legitimacy of Holy Orders, it appears difficult to establish a criterion that guarantees the intervention of the Holy Ghost, within the parameters being discussed here.



One thing, nevertheless, is indisputable: nothing in the world, the container of created things, has the gift of absoluteness. Everything is in flux, in a circuit of reciprocal interdependencies, and therefore everything is contingent, everything has a beginning and will have an end: “Mutantur enim,” the great Augustine used to say, “ergo creata sunt.” [“For they change, and therefore they are created.”] The Church is no exception, not her Tradition, not her Magisterium. It is a matter of sublime realities at the top of the scale of all creaturely values, endowed with dizzying qualities, but always penultimate realities. The eschaton, the final reality, is God and Him alone. Commentators often resort to language that turns this factual datum on its head and attributes to those sublime realities an importance and a significance above and beyond their limitations; in other words, they absolutize them. The result is that this deprives them of their ontological status and makes them into an unreal presupposition; in that same process they also lose the sublime greatness of their penultimate reality.

Immersed in the Trinitarian moment of her design, the Church exists and operates in time as the sacrament of salvation. The theandric character that makes her a mysterious continuation of Christ is not disputed, nor her constitutive properties (unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity), nor her structure and service, but all this is still within a this-worldly reality that is enabled to mediate the divine presence sacramentally, but always as a reality of this world, which by definition, therefore, excludes the absolute.

At any rate, she is identified in her Tradition, from which she draws continuity with herself, to which she owes her life’s breath, from which she derives the certainty that her yesterday always becomes today so as to prepare for her tomorrow. Tradition, therefore, gives her the interior movement that impels her toward the future, while safeguarding her present and past. But not even Tradition is an absolute: it began with the Church and will end with her. God alone remains.

The Church exercises real quality control over Tradition: a discernment that distinguishes what is authentic from what is not. She does so with an instrument that never lacks “the charism of truth”, provided that she does not let the temptation of the absolute lead her astray.  This instrument is the Magisterium, the office-holders of which are the pope, as the successor of the first pope, the apostle St. Peter, in the See of Rome, and the bishops as successors of the Twelve in their ministry or service to the Church, or in a local expression thereof. It is superfluous to recall the usual distinctions—the Magisterium, whether of an Ecumenical Council or of the pope, is solemnwhen one or the other defines truths pertaining to faith and morals; it isordinary if it is of the pope in his specific activity or of the bishops as a whole and in communion with the pope. It is much more important to define more precisely the limits within which the Magisterium is guaranteed to have “the charism of truth”.

It must be said first of all that the Magisterium is not a super-Church that imposes judgments and guidelines on the Church itself; nor is it a privileged caste above the people of God, a sort of powerful authority that you have to obey and that’s that. It is a service, a diakonia. But also a task to be carried out, a munus, specifically the munus docendi [teaching office] that cannot and must not place itself above the Church from which and through which it comes into existence and operates. From the subjective point of view, it coincides with the teaching Church, the pope and the bishops united with the pope, insofar as she officially proposes the Faith. From the operative point of view, it is the instrument with which this function is carried out.

Too often, however, the instrument is regarded as a value in itself, and appeals are made to it in order to nip any discussion in the bud, as though this instrument were above the Church and as though it were not confronted with the enormous mass of Tradition that it must receive, interpret and hand on in its integrity and fidelity. And this is exactly where its limits become evident, which safeguard it from the danger of elephantiasis and from the absolutist temptation.

There is no reason to dwell on the first of these limits, apostolic succession. It should not be difficult for anyone to prove, case by case, the legitimacy and hence the continuous succession in the ownership of the charism belonging to the Apostles. On the other hand, a word must be said about the second, the help of the Holy Ghost. The hasty reasoning prevalent today goes more or less as follows: Christ promised the Apostles, and hence their successors (in other words the teaching Church), that He would send them the Holy Ghost to help them exercise the munus docendi in truth; error is therefore averted from the outset. Yes, Christ did make such a promise, but He also indicated the conditions for its fulfillment. However, a serious distortion can be glimpsed precisely in the manner in which appeals are made to this promise: either the words of Christ are not reported, or else when they are cited a different meaning is given to them. Let us see what this is about.

The promise is recorded above all in two passages from the fourth Gospel: John 14:16, 26 and 16:13-14. Even in the first passage, one of the aforementioned limits resounds with the utmost clarity: indeed, Jesus does not stop at the promise of “the Spirit of the truth”—note the underlined words, a translation required by the Greek definite article της, which previously and further on continues to be translated of, as though truth were an optional attribute of the Holy Ghost, whereas He personifies it—but declares in advance His function: He will recall to mind all that He, Jesus, had taught before. It is a matter, therefore, of help in preserving revealed truth, not of combining it with other or different truths, or truths that are presumedto be revealed.

The second of these two Johannine passages, confirming the first, goes into detail and makes further clarifications: the Holy Ghost, indeed, “will guide you into all the truth”, even the truth about which Jesus is silent now because it is above and beyond the capacity of His disciples (16:12). In doing this, the Spirit “will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak… He will take what is mine and declare it to you.” Therefore there will be no further revelations. The one revelation concludes with the men to whom Jesus is now speaking. His words are presented with an unambiguous meaning that pertains to the teaching imparted by Him and only to that teaching. This is not cryptic or code language; it is as clear as day. An objection could be raised about the prospect of apparent novelty in relation to what Jesus does not say now but the Holy Ghost will announce later; but the restriction of His help to an action of guidance toward the possession of all the truth revealed by Christ excludes substantial novelties. If novelties do emerge, it will be a matter of new senses and not of new truths; hence the very appropriate expression “eodem sensu eademque sententia” [“in the same sense and with the same meaning”] of St. Vincent of Lerins. In short, the pretense of attributing to the help of the Holy Ghost every rustling of a leaf, in other words, every novelty, and in particular those that measure the Church by the standards of the prevailing culture and of the so-called dignity of the human person, is not only an overturning of the very structure of the Church, but also a big X crossing out the two Scripture passages mentioned above.

And that is not all. The limit of a magisterial intervention is in its technical formulation as well. In order for it to be truly magisterial, whether or not it defines a dogma, the intervention must resort to a formula that is henceforth rendered valid, which makes clear, without any uncertainty whatsoever, the intention to speak as “Pastor and Teacher of all Christians in a matter of Faith and Morals, by virtue of our apostolic Authority,” if the pope is the one speaking; or makes clear with equal certainty, for example in the case of an Ecumenical Council, through the customary formulas of dogmatic assertion, the intention of the Council Fathers to connect the Christian Faith with Divine Revelation and its uninterrupted transmission. In the absence of such conditions, one can speak about the Magisterium only in a broad sense: not every written or spoken word of the pope is necessarily magisterial; and the same should be said for Ecumenical Councils, quite a few of which either spoke not at all about dogma or else not exclusively; sometimes they grafted the dogma onto a context of internal diatribes and personal or partisan disputes, which rendered absurd their magisterial claim within said context. Even today we get a distinctly negative impression from an Ecumenical Council of indisputable dogmatic and Christological importance like the Council of Chalcedon, which spent most of its time in a shameful struggle over personalities and who takes precedence, over deposing some and rehabilitating others; dogma is not found in that Chalcedon. Nor is it dogma when the pope, speaking as a private person [in the book-length interviewLight of the World], declares that “Paul did not see the Church as an institution, as organization, but as a living organism, in which everyone works for the other and with the other, being united on the basis of Christ.” Exactly the opposite is true, and it is well known that the first institutional form was structured by Paul as a pyramid precisely in order to foster the living organism: the apostle at the top, then the episkopoi-presbyteroi, thehegoumenoi, the proistamenoi, the nouthetountes and diakonoi [bishops, priests, leaders, superiors, advisors and deacons]. These distinctions among responsibilities and offices are not yet defined exactly, but they are already distinctions within an institutionalized organism. In this case too, it should be quite clear, the Christian’s attitude is one of respect and, at least in principle, also of adherence. If however the conscience of an individual believer finds it impossible to approve of a statement such as the one presented above, this does not involve rebellion against the pope or the denial of his magisterial authority: it only means that that statement is not magisterial.

Now, in conclusion, our discussion returns to Vatican II, so as to make, if possible, a definitive statement about whether or not it is part of Tradition and about its magisterial quality. There is no question about the latter, and those laudatores [eulogizers] who for a good 50 years have tirelessly upheld the magisterial identity of Vatican II have been wasting their time and ours: no one denies it. Given their uncritically exuberant statements, however, a problem arises as to the quality: what sort of Magisterium are we talking about? The article in L’Osservatore Romano to which I referred at the outset speaks about doctrinal Magisterium: and who has ever denied it? Even a purely pastoral statement can be doctrinal, in the sense of pertaining to a given doctrine. If someone were to say doctrinal in the sense of dogmatic, however, he would be wrong: no dogma is proclaimed by Vatican II. If it has some dogmatic value also, it does so indirectly in passages where it refers back to previously defined dogmas. Its Magisterium, in short, as has been said over and over again to anyone who has ears to hear it, is a solemn and supreme Magisterium.

More problematic is its continuity with Tradition, not because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the declaration has remained unproven.

Published by Disputationes Theologicae

English translation of Italian original by Michael J. Miller

85 comments:

Ferraiuolo said...

I wonder if his disagreements with the Council also lead him to a doctrinal error similar to that of which Rome accuses the SSPX of having.

rodrigo said...

The fact that people like Frs Gherardini and Laguérie are able to make the arguments they do without being ejected from the Church - or, indeed, punished in any way - should give the SSPX pause for thought.

Meanwhile, in Switzerland, a bit of turbulence - one of those episodes that would probably be tagged as a "Vatican II moment" on Rorate:

Bishops at loggerheads over sex education

mundabor said...

Though guy, this one...

It makes one feel better after Bishop Nichols' "nuanced" heresies...

Mundabor

Malta said...

Gherardini wrote:

"...not a few pages of the conciliar documents reek of the writings and ideas of Modernism--this can be seen above all in GS."

Our current Pope, as a kind reader on this blog informed me, himself said in 1969 that GS has words that words that border on Pelegianism (Ratzinger never went so far as to say that Vatican II promotes heresy, but close, very close); well, Pelegianism is heresy!

When are we going to cast-aside this terrible Council (as we've cast aside other terrible councils), and get back to the serious work of saving souls rather than placating heretics?

As Gherardini also aptly points-out, the missionary spirit of the Church was utterly destroyed after Vatican II; that, in and of itself, should give room to pause. For wasn't the "missionary spirit" why Christ came into this world in the first place??

Jitpring said...

Just as Islamic terrorism is an expression of desperate weakness, the 50th anniversary panegyrics on Vatican II - being so transparently ridiculous - will in fact be signs of deep desperation.

asperges me said...

Quote: "The fact that people like Frs Gherardini and Laguérie are able to make the arguments they do without being ejected from the Church - or, indeed, punished in any way - should give the SSPX pause for thought."

Please show me a 5, 10 or 15 year history of indult priests commenting in a way that boldly questions VII. If after 40 years of opprobrium the SSPX has made it safe to question VII publicly, there is no heroism in finally beginning to pipe up with a "me too."

Clitherow said...

Amen Asperges me!

Daniel Arseno said...

I'm no theologian, and I don't claim to actually understand this wordy and somewhat pretentious text, but I can't help but shudder at phrases like this:

[The Church distinguishes what is authentic from what is not] with an instrument that never lacks “the charism of truth”, provided that she does not let the temptation of the absolute lead her astray.

The SSPX is always caught up in its eternal paradox: How to be Catholic while denying a fundamental truth of Catholicism, namely the infallibility of the Magisterium. They'll always find new and inventive ways of justifying their refusal to believe certain truths taught by the Magisterium. It's their way of coping with the cognitive dissonance caused by conflicting worldviews and apparently irreconcilable truths. Their real problem is one of faith, and of pride.

Charles Martel said...

This seems relevant doesn't it?

"Shortly before he died, St. Francis of Assisi called together his followers and warned them of the coming troubles, saying:

1. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.

2. The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.

3. Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.
4. There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.

5. Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.

6. Those who persevere in their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. But the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who ttrust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, [Christ] these,the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.

7. Some preachers will keep silent about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those outwardly profess it, for in those days JESUS CHRIST WILL SEND THEM NOT A TRUE PASTOR, BUT A DESTROYER.".....from Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250
Sooooo.

Rick DeLano said...

"In short, the pretense of attributing to the help of the Holy Ghost every rustling of a leaf, in other words, every novelty, and in particular those that measure the Church by the standards of the prevailing culture and of the so-called dignity of the human person, is not only an overturning of the very structure of the Church, but also a big X crossing out the two Scripture passages mentioned above."

There it is, I think.

An attempted reconciliation of two inherently contradictory views of reality, two metaphysical systems- only one of which accords with Catholic and apostolic Tradition- has resulted in the imposition of an obligation of religious submission to certain expressions of the synthesis, which themselves are not shown to exist in Tradition; which present at least prima facie evidence of being in great tension with, if not directly contrary to, Tradition, and which can be at least plausibly pointed to as the cause of an unprecedented collapse in the progress of the Church's missionary activity.

This is increasingly problematic to me, as I attempt to discern exactly what it is to which the Church commands me to render religious submission.

On the other hand, at least these issues are being clearly drawn out of the fog of ambiguity, and I must say that the SSPX seems to me to have been an indispensable element in bringing about this most necessary process of clarification.

LeonG said...

Fifty years of weeping and lamentation over post-conciliar liberal modernist destruction. How could anyone in their right Roman Catholic mind possibly celebrate that?

Gratias said...

Please no more Councils until no one is left that agrees with Marxism. Never forget that Vatican II did not say a peep about Communism, the single most pressing problem in the 1960s.

Rick DeLano said...

Daniel:

I am not an adherent of the SSPX. While I happen to agree with your reaction to the specific portion of the argument which caused you to shudder, I do not think SSPX can be alleged to have sinned against Faith, as you suggest.

It is not, after all, any infallibly taught dogma which has caused not only the SSPX, but me personally, difficulty.

It is the question of "religious submission"- that is, a reception, not of Faith, but of submission, to.....what exactly?

Am I required to render religious submission to....an immediate end to the death penalty?

To the proposition that "evolution is more than an hypothesis"?

To the scientific absurdity and embarrassing error of fact, that stellar parallax proves that Galileo was right in his dispute with the Holy Inquisition?

This issue is of much greater import than your casual reference to infallibility suggests.

If the SSPX is guilty of a sin, it does not appear to me how it is a sin against Faith.

The issues raised are of legitimate concern to many of us, even those who do not adhere to the SPPX.

Tom said...

Tonight I witnessed Vatican II at work via EWTN's coverage of the Papal Mass for the People of Latin America.

The CNS story tonight noted the following:

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1104859.htm

"The Mass was celebrated in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin with several musical pieces — including the Kyrie and Gloria — drawn from the "Misa Criolla," a 1964 composition in Spanish that includes elements of Latin American folk music.

"Latin American musicians sang and played traditional instruments such as the bombo drum, flute, guitars and various percussion instruments like goat nails."

Am I alone in believing that such a Mass gives the appearance of silly, stilted and manufactured liturgy?

Pope Benedict XVI...a bombo drum...goat nails...guitars...

Is there any wonder as to why the Novus Ordo cannot possibly instill Holy Tradition among the Faithful?

I find it incredible that His Holiness would offer such a Mass rather than the Traditional Roman Mass — the Mass that he was ordained to offer.

Goat nails and a bombo drum...

Vatican II at work.

Tom

New Catholic said...

Well, if it was composed in 1964, then it was composed for the Traditional Mass. What happens is that not all Missae ever composed are appropriate for liturgical use - and some composers did not even envision their liturgical use, being inspired simply by the great history of the Latin Mass as an essential part of Western musical heritage.

Tom said...

"Well, if it was composed in 1964, then it was composed for the Traditional Mass."

I don't believe so.

Tom

beng said...

Msgr. Gherardini:
More problematic is its continuity with Tradition, not because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the declaration has remained unproven.


Thus, LET IT BE PROVEN!!

This is what we are waiting for.

We don't need, "you can be in good standing with the Church even if you have some reservation about V2 continuity with previous teaching." NO, WE DO NOT NEED THAT ASSURANCE.

We need to be assured: How is V2 in continuity with previous teaching

Let the magisterium, to whom the authority to interpret Church documents is given, takes up the task so long overdue.

New Catholic said...

"I don't believe so. Tom"

???

Daniel Arseno said...

Rick:
Religious submission to what? If anything, we must submit to an Ecumenical Council. However you define religious submission and its object, it is surely not what the SSPX does when it constantly criticizes, accuses, and denounces truths infallibly proclaimed by the Magisterium.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

"More problematic is its continuity with Tradition, not because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the declaration has remained unproven."

There is a way this can be resolved and that is for the pope to use his supreme apostolic authority to dogmatize those elements of the council that are of controversy and in dispute. But of course this will not happen as the Holy Ghost will never allow the pope to dogmatize error.

I am not Spartacus said...

Saint Peter taught in the Temple and preached Jesus and conversion and then the next 263 Popes avoided the Synagogue of Satan but the 264 Pope after Saint Peter, Pope Blessed John Paul II, visited the Synagogue in Rome but did not preach Jesus and conversion and Our Holy Father, in imitation of Pope Blessed John Paul II, also visits Synagogues but does not preach Jesus and conversion and I am supposed to think there has been no rupture even though Holy Writ teaches:

1 Corinth 9: For if I preach the gospel, it is no glory to me, for a necessity lieth upon me: for woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel

And it has been Pope Blessed John Paul iI and Pope Benedict XVI who have been the most vocal in upholding the putative V2 continuity with Tradition but if their actions display completely novel actions that are completely at odds with what Saint Peter did vis a vis The Jews, then what is one to make of their claims of continuity and no rupture?

The stark observable reality is that everything has changed (except Dogma) and the more that Popes claim otherwise the more scandalous it becomes to those who have eyes to see and who are not wiling to wish away reality.

Rick DeLano said...

Daniel: But that is not what LG #25 says, is it?

Has the Pope not made his mind known on the death penalty? I have been told an obligation of religious submission exists to this.

Are you saying it doesn't?

Let me tell you why I ask.

God Himself informs us in Scripture that the sword is given to the State to execute judgement on evildoers.

Pope John Paul II informs us that the death penalty is "cruel and unnecessary".

To which teaching do I owe religious submission?

In fact, don't I owe the assent of Faith to Scripture, as *previously* authoritatively interpreted by the magisterium?

Or is it perhaps that I do *not* owe religious submission to the Pope's clearly expressed mind and will, after all?

Or did the Pope not clearly express His mind and will?

Again, David.

*There are real issues*.

Your answer is not adequate, because it is not authoritative.

Do you see the problem here?

There exist actual problems- teachings in very real tension with Scripture, with Tradition, with prior magisterial teaching at equal or higher levels of authority.......

and neither you nor I know which one is binding.

There exists a real problem, and the SSPX has brought this very real problem into clear view.

I want to know the answers to these questions, and so do you.

You don;t know the answers, and neither do I.

Not good, Daniel.

Not a good sign at all.

Rick DeLano said...

Daniel:

I am not aware of a single truth infallibly proclaimed by the magisterium which is denied by the SSPX.

Do you?

Please be specific.

b said...

Mr. Arseno:

You said "...it is surely not what the SSPX does when it constantly criticizes, accuses, and denounces truths infallibly proclaimed by the Magisterium."

Care to be specific?

Ecclesia Militans said...

What "infallibly proclaimed truths" does SSPX "criticize, accuse, and denounce"?

This statement betrays either ill will or a lack of knowledge.

The Society is completely 100% purebread Catholic. Otherwise the Vatican would have found something to pin on them other than the transparent same old "submission" to the "living Magisterium" (even if by "submission" they mean disregarding and acting contrary to the previous Magisterium, and by previous I mean Universal and Ordinary infallible Magisterium)

In fact, it is precisely because they did not want to compromise the Faith, including all infallibly proclaimed truths, that SSPX is in this position.

You see, there is nothing those smiley-smiley liberals hate more than true Catholics.

And how great it is to be persecuted for Our Lord.

Forever Faithful said...

Daniel said, "[the SSPX]constantly criticizes, accuses, and denounces truths infallibly proclaimed by the Magisterium."

Wow! My jaw dropped when I read this, Daniel. You are much more in-the-know than I. Could you please give me a list of the infallible truths which the SSPX constantly denounces, and I will personally hand it to our pastor because I am not aware of any truths which the SSPX denounces, infallibly proclaimed, or otherwise.

Thank you so much. I will await your list.

Jordanes551 said...

Has the Pope not made his mind known on the death penalty? I have been told an obligation of religious submission exists to this. Are you saying it doesn't?

It doesn't.

In 2004, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger told the U.S. bishops, "Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."

Evidently Cardinal Ratzinger was not aware that the pope in unison with the bishops throughout the world had formally taught John Paul II's theological stance on capital punishment in such a way that the faithful are obliged to render religious submission of mind and will to John Paul II's position. Otherwise he couldn't have written the above. And nothing has changed magisterially since 2004. Anyone who claims there is an obligation of religious submission to John Paul II and Benedict XVI's opinions on when and where capital punishment is appropriate is substituting his own personal opinion for, or adding his own opinion to, the teaching of the Church.

Jordanes551 said...

NC said, "Well, if it was composed in 1964, then it was composed for the Traditional Mass."

Tom replied, I don't believe so.

Well, that's nice, Tom. You are, of course, free to disbelieve any historical fact you wish, but it's never a good idea to disbelieve undeniable facts of history. Since, as far as we know, the composer did not have a time machine, it naturally follows that it was composed for the traditional Latin Mass. If, however, you can provide solid evidence that the composer was a time traveler, please share it with us here.

Rick DeLano said...

Jordanes: That is precisely what I said, and was told to "read Lumen Gentium #25, it says the mind of the Pope, not the mind of the head of the CDF".

But as a practical matter I agree with you in this instance.

Now how about religious submission of mind and will to baptism by implicit desire?

I believe that baptism, or the desire for *it* (that is, baptism) is necessary for salvation.

Trent taught this.

It was understood *at the time* to apply to catechumens who died in a state of justification conferred as a consequence of their desire for *the sacrament*.

It is now taught in the Catechism as an "implicit desire" for something other than the sacrament itself.

Does an obligation of religious assent exist, then, to the teaching of baptism by "implicit" desire?

M. A. said...

Msgr. Gherardini, who is not affiliated with the SSPX: "More problematic is its continuity with Tradition, not because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the declaration has remained unproven."
_____________________________________

There you go! Bingo!

The "hermeneutics of continuity" remains unproven.

Steve said...

Bishops and priests everywhere ignore Vatican II teachings.

Vatican II teaches that we're supposed to encounter Latin and Gregorian Chant at Mass.

But we know that Latin and Gregorian Chant are absent from the majority of Masses celebrated throughout the world.

The SSPX could simply follow the lead of the majority of bishops and priests by entering into "full communion" with Rome, then ignoring this or that Vatican II teaching.

Ogard said...

Rick Delano said: “If the SSPX is guilty of a sin, it does not appear to me how it is a sin against Faith.” Comment in three parts. Here: Part I.

Because it is a violation of the principle that the religious assent is due to the teaching of the Magisterium even if that TEACHING is not proposed infallibly. This PRINCIPLE has itself been proposed infallibly, I think, by the longstanding consensus of the Universal Ordinary Magisterium, the consensus that goes back to the times of persecution of the early Church. Even if it hasn’t, it is De Fide that the Pope and Bishops are our authentic teachers.

Using the word “believe” in a wide sense, one believes everything one accepts because the Church teaches it. In a strict sense, however, only that is believed which is accepted with faith, i.e. which is proposed infallibly. The body of the teaching that has been proposed infallibly, however, is relatively small; particularly the body of infallibly defined matters, and the Church would have little to say to the world if that were all she can offer.

Therefore, popes and bishops often exercise their magisterium —that is, their role as Church teachers —by non-infallibly proposing teachings which are not matters of faith, but are somehow related to it. One should not put one’s faith in such teachings. Nevertheless, they should be accepted in the sense that one agrees with them, holds on to them, and acts in accord with them. Religious assent refers to this sort of submission of mind and will, which faithful Catholics give to authoritative teachings other than those proposed infallibly.

So, in the present case we have two matters to consider: the subject which is TAUGHT, say: the religious liberty; and the PRINCIPLE on the basis of which this teaching commands assent, i.e. the authority of the magisterium which doesn’t propose it infallibly. However, this principle itself has been proposed infallibly as I suggested above, so, dissent would be a violation of the PRINCIPLE that is De Fide, in spite of the fact that what is materially TAUGHT hasn’t been taught infallibly. But even if my suggestion is mistaken, the fact that the Pope and Bishops in communion with him are our authentic teachers remains true, with all that follows from it.

Popes and bishops generally seek theological advice and study it carefully before teaching on complex and difficult issues. If their authoritative teaching rejects some theological opinion, as it must if it concerns a question disputed among theologians, that is a better reason for thinking the theological opinion mistaken than for rejecting the papal or episcopal teaching.

Moreover, most Catholics have no more reliable way of interpreting Scripture or knowing and interpreting the Church’s tradition than listening to and thinking with the magisterium. Very few are such experts in scholarship that they would really know that the Church’s teaching depended on a mistaken premises, even should that occur. In practice, most of the faithful could question a pope’s or bishop’s judgment only by trusting some scholars in preference to others. But in doing that they would presume to make for themselves the judgment among experts which the pope and bishops are not only divinely authorized but better qualified to make.

jlcg said...

It seems to me that Ecumenical Councils deepen the mystery of the Church instead of clarifying it. That is making the Church intelligible to our thoughts as if our thoughts were God's thoughts.
Isn't it easier to believe that the Son was created by the Father instead of being consubstantial with Him. Isn't easier to see the Eucharist as a memorial meal than to see in it the very real presence of Our Lord under the species of bread and wine?
The church adapts to the times she lives in. That is her continuity. Each one of us will be judged by our deeds not by the propositions we feel are right for our minds. Jesus didn't say "blessed those that believe in the principle of contradiction " but on the contrary spoke of meekness and obedience.
The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church and He will not deceive us.

Tom Esteban said...

I once encountered someone who kept assuring me that the SSPX are not Catholic (i.e. schismatics).

After a back and forth he told me that it comes down to the fact that those who ignore Church law (especially with regards to Mass) are outside the Church in his opinion.

If he is right, I haven't been to a Catholic Mass in years since I have only recently encountered an NO which is not filled with abuses and priests who ignore Church law. I was told once that rubrics are "only suggestions" and that "we like to have our own freedom here".

I never liked the tactic of pointing the finger at others when it is pointed at you. It's childish and doesn't address the problem. I do think, however, that sometimes it makes sense when it comes from SSPX supporters - at least for the less serious matters anyway.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Ogard. Prior to Vatican Two, we had Popes denouncing this false and pernicious religion

"I vow to... exalt the true Faith, and to extirpate the diabolical sect of the reprobate and faithless Mahomet (Islam) in the east." - Pope Callixtus III

"... there is hope that very many from the abominable sect of Mahomet will be converted to the Catholic Faith." - Pope Eugene IV

"Turn the anger of the Almighty against the godless Turks and Barbarians who despise Christ the Lord" - Pope Pius II

"In the royal city of the east, they have slain the successor of Constantine and his people, desecrated the temples of the Lord, defiled the noble church of Justinian with their Mohometan abominations. Each success, will only be a stepping stone until he has mastered all the Western Monarchs, overthrow the Christian Faith, and imposed the law of his false prophet on the whole world" - Pope Pius II

"They are to forbid expressly the public invocation of the sacrilegious name of Mohomet ..." - Pope Clement V

"... the Turks and other infidels ... They treat the way of true light and salvation with complete contempt and totally unyielding blindess ..." - Pope Leo X

After V2 we have Popes saying this:

"My visit to Turkey afforded me the opportunity to show also publicly my respect for the Islamic religion, a respect, moreover, which the Second Vatican Council (Nostra Aetate) pointed out ..." - Pope Benedict XVI

"... Nostra Aetate, which as ushered in a new season of dialogue and spirtual solidarity between Jews and Christians, as well as esteem for the other great religious traditions. Islam occupies a special place among them." - Pope Benedict XVI

"... my personal view of the Qur'an, for which I have the respect due to the holy book of a great religion." - Pope Benedixt XVI

"May Saint John the Baptist protect Islam and all the people of Jordan ..." - Pope John Paul II

When we have an Ecumenical Council and V2 Popes completely contradicting 1962 consecutive years of Catholic Doctrine and Catholic Orthopraxis, do you really think it is wise to reject everything prior to V2 and call for obedience or do the modern Popes have an obligation to explain and defend their novelties and tell us how these novelties are not a rupture with Tradition ?

Ogard said...

Rick Delano said: “If the SSPX is guilty of a sin, it does not appear to me how it is a sin against Faith.” Comment in three parts. Here: Part II.

However, there are good reasons, grounded in faith itself, to submit one’s judgment to that of the Church’s teachers, even if the judgement is not De Fide.

First, papal and episcopal teachings hardly ever raise intellectual problems. Rather, any teaching calling for religious assent either is supported by available evidence and reasons or, if not, is likely to be consistent with them. Accepting another’s judgment on such matters cannot be ruled out as unreasonable unless it is unreasonable ever to believe anyone.

Second, the following fact, itself De Fide: Christ gives popes and bishops their teaching role, and the Holy Spirit helps them fulfil it. For someone who believes this, it is only reasonable to believe that, when popes and bishops fulfil their teaching role, God sees to it that those who submit their judgment to what is taught are not led into serious and harmful error.

Furthermore, if one dissents he might deny what is MATERIALLY true; and even De Fide albeit not proposed as such. All that by relying on his own intellectual resources which are – not infallible.

Popes and bishops generally seek theological advice and study it carefully before teaching on complex and difficult issues. If their authoritative teaching rejects some theological opinion, as it must if it concerns a question disputed among theologians, that is a better reason for thinking the theological opinion mistaken than for rejecting the papal or episcopal teaching.

So, what is involved in religious assent is the act of human trust in their competence, based on divine faith in their status of authentic teachers appointed by Christ who promised to stay with them.

What if the teaching happened to be erroneous? More adequate would be to ask what is the alternative? To proceed individualistically in Christian life, with no sure interpreter of the word of God and no safe guide for living the Christian life?

On the other hand, one who makes the act of human faith based on divine faith — that is, accepts teaching with religious assent even when it is not recognizable as infallibly proposed — can proceed with confidence and a clear conscience. If the teaching should turn out to be in error, one has nevertheless followed the guidance which God has seen fit to provide.

Note: I acknowsledge that in writing these comments I heavily relied on Grisez Vol II, Ch. I, Question I: "Should one assent to teachings which are not of faith?"

END (no part III)

Tradster said...

Jordanes551, your comments regarding the death penalty are not necessarily true.

It is entirely possible that JPII did introduce change into the official, authoritative Church teaching regarding the death penalty, a new teaching that still, in principle, can permit the death penalty in some manner, though in far more circumscribed fashion.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Ratizinger's statement could mean that faithful Catholics have a legitimate plurality of avenues they can embrace with regard to the prudential application of JPII's possibly new, authoritative teaching on the death penalty.

Lopes said...

Still waiting for Daniel to come up with examples to justify his accusations against the SSPX.

I am positive that anyone with some time to spare will find plenty of instances in which NO priest, bishops and cardinals have given their support to, at best, misleading teachings.

Tradfly said...

Ogard,
I hope you won't mind me asking, but perchance were you employed as a Vatican scribe during the '60's?

Ogard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brian said...

Ogard claims that SSPX is guilty of a sin against faith because their opposition to post-VC2 teaching

“is a violation of the principle that the religious assent is due to the teaching of the Magisterium even if that TEACHING is not proposed infallibly. This PRINCIPLE has itself been proposed infallibly, I think, by the longstanding consensus of the Universal Ordinary Magisterium, the consensus that goes back to the times of persecution of the early Church. Even if it hasn’t, it is De Fide that the Pope and Bishops are our authentic teachers . . . what is involved in religious assent is the act of human trust in their competence, based on divine faith in their status of authentic teachers appointed by Christ who promised to stay with them.”

But what are we to make of the fact that the pereti who framed the council teachings, such as then Father Ratzinger, dismissed at least a century (but actually centuries) of prior magisterial teaching, including papal encyclicals as narrow, rigid, and one-sided and in need of total overhaul of one’s thinking in order to accept the more open way of thinking proposed by Vatican II?

How can these post-Vatican II theologians now insist that one must submit to all post-Vatican II magisterial teaching when they themselves severely criticized pre-Vatican II teaching without ever engaging in theological debate?

Where, for example, are the debates between these thinkers and Garrigou LaGrange?

Far from assent to magisterial teaching, with a wave of the hand, pre-Vatican II papal encyclicals and scholastic theologians were merely dismissed and swept aside as outdated and unsuitable to the modern world.

Bernonensis said...

Should one assent to "teachings" which in reality are not teachings?

An ecumenical council (no, not Vatican II; there were others)solemnly teaches that the unbaptized descend immediately to hell. That seems like a pretty clear statement.
Vatican II "teaches" that those who do not know God or the sacrament of baptism "may attain salvation" if they have sincerely striven to do good as they see it.
Note the vagueness: they may attain it? Under what conditions?

Fan of Brian said...

A strong point, Brian, one that all too often goes unnoticed and unmentioned.

I'd like to hear Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Levada, and Cardinal Kasper publicly declare their full assent and submission to the entire contents of Mirari Vos, Immortale Dei, Satis Cognitum, and Mystici Corporis, as originally understood.

On that glorious day, I'll take a second look at Unitatis Redintegratio and Dignitatis Humanae.

Tom Esteban said...

Anybody who thinks that the reasons the SSPX have for questioning the documents of Vii are a mirror of the reasons liberals have for rejecting Church teaching on contraception has been reading too many neo-con blogs. I don't mean that in a mean way; I used to think to same thing.

If the liberals were building their objections on Thomistic principles as well as other philosophically sound considerations; authentic Church teaching; prior councils; the state of the Church today compared with yesteryear; and the opinions of the Saints... then perhaps there would be similarities. Until then, the SSPX rest their concerns on more substantive grounds. [Lest one think I am an ardent SSPX supporter rest assured I am not, but I sympathize with them in many ways despite my criticisms of them which are often many].

David said...

Ogard: The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium is infallible, and that is why there is all the ruckus. There seems to be some in-congruence between what is said by the more Universal Magisterium regarding for instance religious liberty (Mirari Vos, Libertas, Quanta Cura, Quas Primas just to name a few) and what is said by one instance of the Magisterium at Vatican Council II (Dignitatis Humanae). If the former are infallible in virtue of their universality then we must say that the Magisterium has an obligation to show explicitly how DH is in conformity with the teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium prior to VCII, or otherwise to elucidate and clarify the points of DH so as to make it obvious that there is no contradiction between for instance Quanta Cura (with its well-known "Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter") and Dignitatis Humanae (which would seem to say something quite different than QC, if we were to abstain from qualifications of the terms involved).

The question is not whether we owe allegiance to the Ordinary Magisterium. That much is granted. The question is neither if the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium is infallible. That much is granted as well. It is in fact the very reason why there is a debate at all: since the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium is infallible and since it seems to say one thing here and since another thing seems to be said in select parts of the documents of VCII where do we owe our allegiance? And do we not have the right, per chance even the obligation, to request clarifications and elucidations of such points?

Because we are not to arrogate authority to ourselves, we must request a definitive ruling from the Magisterium on how to reconcile for instance QC and DH. But to just say that the Ordinary Magisterium must be obeyed is to beg the question. We grant that, but that is what gives the conundrum: are we to listen to Quanta Cura or Dignitatis Humanae and if we are to listen to both, then how are we to do that, since that opens up a whole variety of pertinent questions?

In Caritatem Christi,
David

Mike said...

I am not Spartacus:

Well, if speaking kindly and diplomatically is heresy, I guess I am a heretic.

Your quotes from the Popes of antiquity don't prove a thing, except that otherwise well-meaning Catholics don't know how to distinguish between rhetoric and reality, between accidents of historical times, and the core of the Faith.

Popes from the long past, and not so recent past, were not teaching a different religion, they were reflecting somewhat the tenor of their times. And guess what? That tenor wasn't always good.

The Roman Catholic Faith is the true Faith. No name but that of Jesus can save anyone.

But perhaps name-calling isn't the best way of persuading one of that?

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Ogard. I can see why you have not addressed the obvious rupture of the pre and post V2 Popes vis a vis the Jews (12:59) and The Muslims (!7:20) so let me move on to Protestants about whom The Baltimore Catechism, in restating Traditional Catholic Doctrine (Q. 121) explains how it is virtually impossible for a protestant to achieve Salvation;

If he was validly baptized and never committed a mortal sin, he will be saved; because, believing himself a member of the true Church, he was doing all he could to serve God according to his knowledge and the dictates of his conscience. But if ever he committed a mortal sin, his salvation would be very much more difficult. A mortal sin once committed remains on the soul till it is forgiven. Now, how could his mortal sin be forgiven? Not in the Sacrament of Penance, for the Protestant does not go to confession; and if he does, his minister -- not being a true priest -- has no power to forgive sins. Does he know that without confession it requires an act of perfect contrition to blot out mortal sin, and can he easily make such an act? What we call contrition is often only imperfect contrition -- that is, sorrow for our sins because we fear their punishment in Hell or dread the loss of Heaven. If a Catholic -- with all the instruction he has received about how to make an act of perfect contrition and all the practice he has had in making such acts -- might find it difficult to make an act of perfect contrition after having committed a mortal sin, how much difficulty will not a Protestant have in making an act of perfect contrition, who does not know about this requirement and who has not been taught to make continued acts of perfect contrition all his life. It is to be feared either he would not know of this necessary means of regaining God's friendship, or he would be unable to elicit the necessary act of perfect contrition, and thus the mortal sin would remain upon his soul and he would die an enemy of God.

If, then, we found a Protestant who never committed a mortal sin after Baptism, and who never had the slightest doubt about the truth of his religion, that person would be saved; because, being baptized, he is a member of the Church, and being free from mortal sin he is a friend of God and could not in justice be condemned to Hell. Such a person would attend Mass and receive the Sacraments if he knew the Catholic Church to be the only true Church.

I am giving you an example, however, that is rarely found, except in the case of infants or very small children baptized in Protestant sects. All infants rightly baptized by anyone are really children of the Church, no matter what religion their parents may profess. Indeed, all persons who are baptized are children of the Church; but those among them who deny its teaching, reject its Sacraments, and refuse to submit to its lawful pastors, are rebellious children known as heretics.

I said I gave you an example that can scarcely be found, namely, of a person not a Catholic, who really never doubted the truth of his religion, and who, moreover, never committed during his whole life a mortal sin. There are so few such persons that we can practically say for all those who are not visibly members of the Catholic Church, believing its doctrines, receiving its Sacraments, and being governed by its visible head, our Holy Father, the Pope, salvation is an extremely difficult matter.

V2 UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO

It follows that the separated Churches(23) and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.

If that is continuity then I am Sally Ride circling the Earth in space.

Jordanes551 said...

Jordanes: That is precisely what I said, and was told to "read Lumen Gentium #25, it says the mind of the Pope, not the mind of the head of the CDF".

To which you should have responded, "It's Cardinal Ratzinger you have a problem with, not me, since he apparently is not aware that all Catholics have an obligation of religious submission of mind and will to John Paul II's opposition to the death penalty. Please contact him as soon as possible so he can correct himself."

Now how about religious submission of mind and will to baptism by implicit desire? I believe that baptism, or the desire for *it* (that is, baptism) is necessary for salvation. Trent taught this. It was understood *at the time* to apply to catechumens who died in a state of justification conferred as a consequence of their desire for *the sacrament*. It is now taught in the Catechism as an "implicit desire" for something other than the sacrament itself. Does an obligation of religious assent exist, then, to the teaching of baptism by "implicit" desire?

It appears so, from what I can tell. The teaching regarding the possibility implicit desire for Baptism is related to the old and firmly established teaching that those who are invincibly ignorant of Christ and his Church are not to be judged worthy of eternal punishment because of that ignorance, and that God does not withhold grace from the soul who truly seeks Him. These are things that popes have taught for some time, that approved theologians have held, and that the Church taught through a papally-approved oecumenical council.

There can be no assurance of salvation for the unbaptised, however. We just can't be sure who is invincibly ignorant and who is not. And there can never be any obligation to believe that a particular unbaptised person, let alone *all* the unbaptised, will be saved. We might hope or desire that an unbaptised person was not damned, but that hope or desire has nothing on which it can be grounded. Salvation through implicit desire for Baptism thus can only be a possibility, far more tenuous than the Baptism of blood and the Baptism of desire.

Dr. Pete said...

Ahh, thank you so much David for clearly setting out the problem in your latest post. Your post is simply superb.

Reluctant Pessimist said...

Dear Tradfly: Please consider learning a bit about Germain Grisez or, better yet, reading some of his published stuff before you have at Ogard again. The reason I say this is not because I think Ogard is correct--far from it!--but rather because, like Monsignor Ocáriz and soon-to-be Bishop Morerod, Grisez is an articulate and nonstop apologist for the bad cause of "conservative" conciliar Catholicism. He is also something of a papal absolutist, and what with the twists and turns of papal teaching since the Paul VI days of Grisez's early middle age, his skill in adapting to and proclaiming the magisterial continuity of that papal teaching marks him as an extremely adroit juggler. To give him his due, he so clearly believes what he defends that his rhetorical certitude alone suffices to convince many more people than just Ogard.

Back when the names Curran and McBrien seemed to represent the most radical distortions of the conciliar faith and when it really seemed that only the pope (Paul VI) and a mere handful of bishops continued to teach that artificial contraception was either gravely wrong or even a bit naughty, Grisez appeared to be a tower of orthodoxy. Though his failure to comprehend what Traditionalism and Traditionalists stand for has relegated Grisez to being a formidable figure on the road to a religious Nowhere, Ogard isn't the only one who fails to see that Grisez, like Dorothy and the Tin Man, badly needs to have a look behind the curtain.

Jordanes551 said...

Jordanes551, your comments regarding the death penalty are not necessarily true.

It is entirely possible that JPII did introduce change into the official, authoritative Church teaching regarding the death penalty, a new teaching that still, in principle, can permit the death penalty in some manner, though in far more circumscribed fashion.


Thanks, Tradster. Yes, that is possible -- but if we're dealing only with what a pope may have possibly done magisterially, then obviously there can be no obligation of religious submission of intellect and will. If we're not even certain what level and nature of authority to grant to papal and episcopal declarations on the death penalty, it could hardly qualify under LG25.

We do know this much, however: by its very nature, John Paul II's assertion that the death penalty is no longer needed or justifiable under modern circumstances is a prudential judgment, not a teaching or doctrine, and thus there is no obligation of religious submission to that specific aspect of John Paul II's statements regarding the death penalty. He may have expressed that opinion in an important encyclical and directed that it be inserted into the revised Catechism of the Catholic Church, but that does not make his prudential judgment into something more than a prudential judgment with which Catholic may in good conscience disagree.

I am not Spartacus said...

The argument of the dissenters took the same line of argument on contraception as the SSPX are taking on VII. i.e. if the teaching is not proposed infallibly one is entitled to dissent. So the objectors of VII are in the same boat with supporters of contraception.

Dear Ogard. Not at all. The sinful evil of Contraception has always been part of Tradition whereas the novelties of V2 have not always been part of Tradition.

You will have to do better than just to blindly make accusations against those defending Tradition.

You must begin to reconcile those novelties and practices which clearly have no connection to Traditional Orthopraxis prior to V2.

Instead of a blanket condemnation, why do you not just post some examples from a popular Catechism or an Ecumenical Council or a Papal Encyclical teaching that a protestant communion is a way to salvation; post for us examples of Popes prior to V2 going to Synagogues and Mosques and holding Assisi style meetings.

You can do no such things because prior to V2, when the Catholic Church decided to be nice, such things were never believed and such actions were condemned for 1962 years.

You are reduced to comparing with pro-contraception heretics those who try and defend Tradition.

That is an "argument" so lame that it needs to be born on a stretcher.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Mike. So, what the Popes taught about Mahomet and his false religion was just name-calling?

Mean ol' Popes; bad, bad, naughty Popes

Jordanes551 said...

"I am giving you an example, however, that is rarely found, except in the case of infants or very small children baptized in Protestant sects. All infants rightly baptized by anyone are really children of the Church, no matter what religion their parents may profess. Indeed, all persons who are baptized are children of the Church; but those among them who deny its teaching, reject its Sacraments, and refuse to submit to its lawful pastors, are rebellious children known as heretics. . . . ."

V2 UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO

"It follows that the separated Churches(23) and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church."

If that is continuity then I am Sally Ride circling the Earth in space.


Hi Sally, did you enjoy your ride? ;-)

Even if only baptised infants or small children in Protestant sects have ever been saved, it would still be true that "the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using [Protestant sects] as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church."

I think it's quite possible to see UR as compatible with the faith of the Church (though of course not with all aspects of fallible common teaching).

Ivan K said...

I would like to suggest, respectfully, that Daniel Arsenio is confused about the identity of the author of this piece. Msgr. Brunero Gherardini does not belong to the SSPX. He is canon of St. Peter’s Basilica, secretary for the Pontifical Academy of Theology, professor emeritus at the Pontifical Lateran University, and editor of Divinitas magazine.

I am not Spartacus said...

Catechism of Pius Xth

10 Q. Who are they who do not belong to the Communion of Saints?


A. Those who are damned do not belong to the Communion of Saints in the other life; and in this life those who belong neither to the body nor to the soul of the Church, that is, those who are in mortal sin, and who are outside the true Church.

11 Q. Who are they who are outside the true Church?


A. Outside the true Church are: Infidels, Jews, heretics, apostates, schismatics, and the excommunicated.

Baltimore Catechism

133. Q. In which church are these attributes and marks found?

A. These attributes and marks are found in the Holy Roman Catholic Church alone.

We have seen that some religions may seem to have one or two of the marks; but the Catholic Church alone has them all, and is consequently the only true Church of Christ. The other religions are not one-that is, united over the world; they give no proof of holiness, never having had any great saints whom God acknowledged as such by performing miracles for them. They are not catholic, because they have not taught in all ages and nations. They are not apostolic, because established hundreds of years after the Apostles. They are not infallible, for they have now declared things to be false which they formerly declared to be true; they are not indefectible-they are not as Our Lord founded them, for He never founded them; and they are constantly making changes in their beliefs and practices.

The marks of the Church are necessary also because the Church must be a visible Church, that all men may be able to see and know it; for Our Lord said, "He that will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican." (Matt. 18:17). Heathens were those who worshipped false gods. Publicans were men who gathered the taxes from the Jews for the Romans; they were generally very cruel to the people, and were much hated and despised by them. Therefore Our Lord meant: if anyone will not obey the Church, you should avoid him as you avoid the heathens and the publicans, whom you despise. Now no one can be blamed for not obeying a church that is invisible and unknown. Therefore the true Church must be a visible body and easily known to all who earnestly seek it as the Church of Christ. But if some shut their eyes and refuse to look at the light of truth, ignorance will not excuse them; they must be blamed and fall under the sentence of Our Lord.

I have not even posted the Dogma of EENS.

Dear Jordanes..:) Trying to understand V2 as continuity takes an out of this world perspective, doesn't it?

...though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation...

Well, yes; isn't that nice?

Prior to V2 protestant sects were clearly condemned as false religions but now they are "deficient in some respects."

Everybody knew that prior to V2. The Catholic Church taught that protestant sects were false religions; but, now, they are means to salvation...


This is clearly rupture and only by ignoring the entire history of orthopraxis since the Arch Heresiarch (and our new friend) Luther, can we say there is continuity.

I am re-entering my capsule

Picard said...

Well, Jordanes, there still remains a problem with the term

"the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using [Protestant sects] as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church."

Theologically correct it should read that the Catholic Church is the means of salvation here, operating within the framework of the protestant sects and not the sects as such.

Or in other words: their efficacy does not only derive from the Church, but it is the Church Itselfe operating here (as means of salvation).

And that is not word-playing.

Ok., I confess, perhaps you can save the text by a lectio benevoentiae and say: Vat. II does not speak in a strict thomistic language but only colloquially... and taking the words "seperated Churches/Communities" quasi pure "materialiter" (as even P. Gaudron FSSPX admits).

But formaliter and theologically correct/proper you should say that not the seperated Churches are used as means, but the Catholic Church Itselfe, beeing present and operating in the framework of this schismatic Communities.

Jordanes551 said...

Theologically correct it should read that the Catholic Church is the means of salvation here, operating within the framework of the protestant sects and not the sects as such.

Theologically correct in which of the approved Catholic theological schools of thought?

Or in other words: their efficacy does not only derive from the Church, but it is the Church Itselfe operating here (as means of salvation).

In other words, what the Church said is right, just not everything that can be said about it.

And that is not word-playing.

No, it's not.

Ok., I confess, perhaps you can save the text by a lectio benevoentiae

And we are always obliged to give magisterial texts a benevolent reading whenever possible. . . .

and say: Vat. II does not speak in a strict thomistic language but only colloquially... and taking the words "seperated Churches/Communities" quasi pure "materialiter" (as even P. Gaudron FSSPX admits).

So you concede that the difficulty you adduce is not insuperable.

But formaliter and theologically correct/proper you should say that not the seperated Churches are used as means, but the Catholic Church Itselfe, beeing present and operating in the framework of this schismatic Communities.

Nevertheless, in one manner of speaking (which is the manner of speaking the Church opted for in this place) these sects have been used a means of salvation -- just not in the sense that the Church is the means of salvation.

Lee Lovelock-Jemmott said...

@ I am not Spartacus. the comment @21:38 Had me falling off my chair literally and choking on my food with laughter. Such a clarified and stark contrast between the two positions and then the quote to wind up. God Bless Brother in Christ and to all debating with charity and agape, God Bless to you too.

Delphina said...

Spartacus. Spartacus. Spartucus.

You are absolutely correct.

We are confronted with two different religions.

One of them is wrong.

Tradfly said...

@ Reluctant,
Point humbly taken. After a quick plough through some of Grisez' quickly accessible text, I realise my error in assuming the greater part of Ogard's high-context content-free essay was his own contribution. Although I actually won't spend much more time on Grisez, one must admit his recommendation that the Legionaries "re-invent" themselves to wipe the dint of that 'awkward bit' from a few years ago, was quite cunning. In a worldly sort of way...

Knight of Malta said...

The teaching regarding the possibility implicit desire for Baptism is related to the old and firmly established teaching that those who are invincibly ignorant of Christ and his Church are not to be judged worthy of eternal punishment because of that ignorance, and that God does not withhold grace from the soul who truly seeks Him.

There, my friend, you agree with the Angelic Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas. But that is not Dogma. So, contrariwise, one is allowed to agree with the the established Dogma: EXTRA ECCLESIAM NON SALUS, strictly applied, that outside the Church there is no salvation.

In the excerpt provided by I am not Spartacus, vis-a-vis the Baltimore Catechism, of a child who dies a Baptised Protestant, without mortal sin, of course that child would go to heaven. The only cross pollinized Sacraments are Marriage and Baptism. So, if a baby (or old man) is Baptized in a Lutheran Church (with correct form) and dies the next day, without mortal sin, he/she will be saved.

But that truth is a far cry from "Baptism by desire" or "Baptism by blood."

(Recommended reading: While the Eyes of the Great are Elsewhere and, Desire and Deception). But, consider, if salvation were universal, or even available by "desire", Christ's Sacrifice becomes somewhat superfluous. Why would the man-God bleed Himself out on the cross if Salvation can be relegated to subjective "desire"?

Baptism is not a phantom Sacrament, but absolutely necessary for salvation--water, not "desire".

Mike said...

Not Spartacus:

"Prior to V2 protestant sects were clearly condemned as false religions but now they are "deficient in some respects.""

Yea, like not being "Churches" AT ALL, according to Dominus Jesus. Oh. Wait. That was issued after Vatican II, therefore it must be wrong. No, wait. But...

If you want to deal with this issue in the same manner as one would josh around about the NFL, have at it. I don't claim any expertise in this area, but I do--respectfully--think you're not seeing how the rhetoric of the past ages can be a little "off", and yet the Dogma changes not a whit.

Are we too polite in the West about the eternal things? Yes. Is the Vatican also caught up in that a little? Sure.

Should we slam publicly other religions?

Not if you want converts.

Tradical said...

@Ogard

If you want the readers to follow your argument you should work on being succinct.

They asked for a specific truth of the faith that as been denied explicitly by the SSPX.

If ...

"Because it is a violation of the principle that the religious assent is due to the teaching of the Magisterium even if that TEACHING is not proposed infallibly."
...

constitutes a denial of faith (ie heresy) then there are a lot of people who are by this fact material heretics.

Perhaps even Ogard.

Long-Skirts said...

Monsignor Brunero Gherardini:

"...in conclusion, our discussion returns to Vatican II, so as to make, if possible, a definitive statement about whether or not it is part of Tradition and about its magisterial quality. There is no question about the latter, and those laudatores [eulogizers] who for a good 50 years have tirelessly upheld the magisterial identity of Vatican II have been wasting their time and ours: no one denies it."

VATICAN II PLUS TWO =

And where are the schools?
The daily Mass,
Lines to confess,
A uniformed lass?

And where are the schools?
The Latin class,
Cassocked priest,
Candles in brass?

And where are the schools?
To strengthen souls,
Shape their wills,
Set the goals?

And where are the schools?
The altar boy,
Assisting priest,
Like Christ, their joy?

And where are the schools?
Oh, time you lied,
Two generations
Have gone and died.

And where are the schools?
Which don’t derive,
That two plus two
Are sometimes five?

S – S – P – X,
They’re found in large,
Where struggling families
Let priest take charge.

For the good of the whole,
Priests’ lives are laid,
So many may come,
Not be afraid.

And win the Faith,
From Christ-like hand…
St. Pie the Tenth
Two and two are grand!!

Prof. Basto said...

Very interesting.

Thank you, New Catholic and others.

Rorate Caeli just proves yet again that it is a fantastic blog.

New Catholic said...

Ogard, stop. Those comparisons are ludicrous and comments containing them will not be approved.

NC

A Canberra Observer said...

off topic but I couldn't work out how to send this to Rorate otherwise:

the link is self-explanatory:

http://www.cathnews.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=29441#hys

New Catholic said...

Yes, you are absolutely right, Ogard. The condescending tone prevents the approval of your additional comment.

Doc said...

I just have a couple quibbles with this article. First, maybe I am misunderstanding something, but in one part he seems to only consider definitive teachings magisterial, and then later he considers both definitive and non-definitive teaching magisterial (the latter of which is the traditional approach).

Second, his argument that the Church's Magisterium must use accepted formula and/or that it must be the result of a process of a certain dignity is untenable. These same arguments were made at the First Vatican Council (some Fathers wanted to limit the infallibility of the Pope to using certain common formulae) and were rejected (see Bishop Gasser's relatio to the Council Fathers that explains why this must be ruled out, which can be found on pg. 51 of O'Connell's "The Gift of Infallibility" which is readable on google books).

Along these same lines, magisterial claims are not "rendered absurd" because they are the result of petty squabbles, etc. Otherwise, a great many Magisterial acts must be thrown out. Ecumenical Councils are known for a lot of crazy things going on. In his autobiography, St. Anthony Mary Claret wrote of the stroke he suffered from being so shocked at all the horrible blasphemies, greed, and infighting he saw at the First Vatican Council. St. Basil also speaks of the "shocking disorder and confusion" at some early ecumenical Councils. At the Council of Florence, the pagan Gemistus Pletho was asked to lecture the Council and serve as an expert adviser to the emperor and various bishops present. But again, Msgr. Gherardini seems to back off this more strict definition of Magisterium later.

Finally, I don't think his argument about begging the question holds water. Vatican II did not make up the kind of submission due to the non-definitive Magisterium, but, in this case, took it straight from the old manuals. Likewise, who but the Magisterium has the authority to explain the assent due to itself? A great many magisterial acts explain the assent due to them. For example, in Humani Generis Pope Pius XII explains the authority of papal encyclicals or in Ineffabilis Deus, Bl. Pius IX explains the assent due to his proclamation.

If the Magisterium cannot teach the assent due to itself, the whole thing collapses.

Doc said...

As an aside, I meant to add that relations with Muslims have not always been consistent. When Pope are inclined to be more diplomatic, they sound similar to today--which is why Vatican II in Nostra Aetate cited such an instance from St. Gregory VII:

"Almighty God, who wishes that all should be saved and none lost, approves nothing in so much as that after loving Him one should love his fellow man, and that one should not do to others, what one does not want done to oneself. You and we owe this charity to ourselves especially because we believe in and confess one God, admittedly, in a different way, and daily praise and venerate him, the creator of the world and ruler of this world."

I am not Spartacus said...

Syllabus of Errors

III. INDIFFERENTISM, LATITUDINARIANISM

15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862; Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846.

17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863, etc.

18. Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. -- Encyclical "Noscitis," Dec. 8, 1849.

++++++ end of quotes +++++++++++

It can not be denied that we are looking at a V2 Church that is different than the Church which preceded V2 because it is a Church that believes differently and we can see that in its actions; that is, the Church prior to V2 stressed the need for conversion if a soul was to attain to salvation whereas the V2 Church does not.

In its actions the V2 Church, especially in its effete ecumenism, acts on its belief in Indifferentism; or, said otherwise, the V2 Church does not act on its belief that one must convert to Catholicism and does not preach or practice what it putatively still believes. Well, which is it?

Frankly, if one were just to look at what The Church does – and does not spend their time reading innumerable documents – one would have to be psychotic not to see that The Church of today in its praxis is radically different than the pre V2 Church in its praxis and as it is a simple truism that one acts on their belief, it is fair to demand of this new Church that it definitively, authoritatively, dogmatically, confess its true beliefs; and if it is the case the The New Theology is radically different than Traditional Theology then the Church has the moral obligation to authoritatively tell us.

Oncet, our Trad Study group went to Mass at the Cathedral of The immaculate Conception in Portland, Maine and during the Mass the Pastor sermonised that the North American Martyrs had erred by trying to force their beliefs on the native americans who already worshipped the great God and so were able to attain salvation without changing their Faith. He said it would have been better for everyone if they had just stayed home.

Our Holy Father, in his second Jesus of Nazareth book, claims that Holy Mother Church ought not preach conversion to The Jews and also claims The Jews have retained their own Mission.

I am the same age as Israel and there is not one person alive on this Earth who can convice me that the Church of today in its actions and public professions is the same Church I was born into; there is not one person on Earth who can convince me that Popes prior to V2 had the same Ecclesial approach to The Jews, to The Muslims, to the Protestants that Pope Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have.

Daniel Arseno said...

I'm sorry for the delay, as I was busy installing a hot-water heater in my basement. I didn't realize my comment would cause so great a reaction. For those of you who demand an example of an infallible teaching denied by the SSPX, I think I can mention the refusal to accept the New Mass and all the sh*t thrown at it, and I don't need to mention any specifics because you've heard it all. Or how about other Christian denominations being brothers in the faith (albeit not in full communion with the Church)? Now you'll either reply: "Those are not official infallible teachings of the Church" or "the SSPX doesn't deny them." Your subtle theological distinctions will do little to alleviate that in practice, the SSPX have adopted a Protestant mindset that allows them to "follow their own conscience" as to what is good and true instead of the Magisterium. The only difference is that the SSPX calls Tradition what Protestants call the Bible.

I am not Spartacus said...

On my favorite Catholic Website, an anonymous individual posted the following:

'The Roman synod [prior to Vatican II] was planned and summoned by 
John XXIII as a solemn forerunner of the larger gathering [Vatican II], which it was meant to prefigure and anticipate. The Pope himself said 
precisely that, to the clergy and faithful of Rome in an allocution 
of 29 June 1960. Because of that intention, the synod's importance was 
universally recognized as extending beyond the diocese of Rome to the 
whole Catholic world....
The texts of the Roman synod promulgated on 25, 26, and 27 January 
1960 constitute a complete reversion of the Church to its proper 
nature.... 
The synod in fact proposed a vigorous restoration at every level 
of ecclesial life. The discipline of the clergy was modeled on the 
traditional pattern formulated at the Council of Trent.... The synod 
therefore prescribed for the clergy a whole style of behavior quite 
distinct from that of laymen.... The distinct character of the clergy's 
cultural formation was also reaffirmed, and the outlines were given of 
the system which the Pope solemnly sanctioned the year after in Veterum 
Sapientia. The Pope also ordered that the Catechism of the Council of 
Trent should be republished....
The use of Latin is solemnly confirmed, all attempts at creativity
on the part of the celebrant ... are condemned..., Gregorian 
Chant is ordered, ... all appearance of worldliness is forbidden in
churches.... The ancient sacred rigor is re-established regarding
sacred spaces, forbidding women entry to the altar area....
This massive reaffirmation of traditional discipline, which the
synod wanted, was contradicted and negated in almost every detail
by the effects of the council.... [T]he Roman synod ... was to have
been an exemplary foreshadowing of the council.... ' --Romano Amerio, 
IOTA UNUM, pp. 54 to 60

http://tinyurl.com/6uasrnk

And, yet, what we got was not a Church restoration but an Ecclesial Revolution.

I am not Spartacus said...

oops, this is a much better link:

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2010/12/roman-synod-of-1960.html

I am not Spartacus said...

Pope John XXIII - The Roman Synod And The Priest - 24 November 1960


Attitude Toward The World

The fact that we must learn to control and discipline ourselves in this regard as we strive for perfection does not excuse us from passing stern judgment and condemning the things that are wrong in the world. It does not excuse us from trying to protect ourselves against such things or from refusing to let ourselves be deceived, or above all from avoiding compromises with the world for the sake of some monetary advantage or material interest of ours that might be served, especially—and this is the worst and most damnable thing of all—if it is served at the expense of innocent persons.


OPENING SPEECH FOR COUNCIL OF VATICAN II
POPE JOHN XXIII
 OCTOBER 11, 1962


HOW TO REPRESS ERRORS

At the outset of the Second Vatican Council, it is evident, as always, that the truth of the Lord will remain forever. We see, in fact, as one age succeeds another, that the opinions of men follow one another and exclude each other. And often errors vanish as quickly as they arise, like fog before the sun. The Church has always opposed these errors. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity. Nowadays however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She consider that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations. Not, certainly, that there is a lack of fallacious teaching, opinions, and dangerous concepts to be guarded against an dissipated. But these are so
 obviously in contrast with the right norm of honesty, and have produced such lethal fruits that by now it would seem that men of themselves are inclined to condemn them, particularly those ways of life which despise God and His law or place excessive confidence in technical progress and a well-being based exclusively on the comforts of life.

++++++ end of quotes ++++++++++

Now I am starting to feel like Sally Ride would have felt had her oxygen supply started to fail.

There is not only an observable failed continuity twixt the Pre V2 Church and the Current Church, there is a failed continuity of thought in but two years for Pope Blessed John XIII vis a vis the Church and The world and whether or not the Church was morally obligated to condemn errors.

What in the world happened in the space of less than two years that would have caused such a radical change of ideas in Pope Blessed John XXIII and what have been the results of the Catholic Church's moral failure in the matter of condemning the errors of the world?

Tradical said...

Hi Doc,

The question is not about assent to the Magisterium but what to do when the Teachings seem to contradict each other.

The simplest example is the elements of V2 that contradict the Syllabus of Errors etc.

Ivan K said...

In response to Daniel Arseno...

1. Your first criticism was of the author of the piece. Here is some of what you wrote:

'I can't help but shudder at phrases like this: "[The Church distinguishes what is authentic from what is not] with an instrument that never lacks “the charism of truth”, provided that she does not let the temptation of the absolute lead her astray." The SSPX is always caught up in its eternal paradox: How to be Catholic while denying a fundamental truth of Catholicism, namely the infallibility of the Magisterium...'

You seem to continue to be unaware that the author is not a member of the SSPX, but the secretary for the Pontifical Academy of Theology, and professor emeritus at the Pontifical Lateran University.

2. The Novus Ordo is not a doctrine. It is an order of the Mass. As you know, the Holy Father himself has had some choice words for the Novus Ordo. The following are just a few of the standard quotes from him:

"What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it - as in a manufacturing process - with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product." --Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Preface to the book The Reform of the Roman Liturgy by Mgr. Klaus Gamber

I was dismayed [by the ban of the old missal]. Such a development had never been seen in the history of the liturgy. I am convinced that the ecclesiastical crisis of today depends on the collapse of the liturgy..."
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - Autobiography

3. As for picking and choosing from tradition, if you were to do a survey of doctrinal commitments of the typical SSPX member, and compare it with the results of a survey of the same commitments of your typical, mainstream Catholic, I think that you'll find that the SSPX fare rather well on your 'protestantism' scale.

Delphina said...

I think Daniel Arseno is an escapee from Catholic Answers Forum.

Daniel Arseno said...

@Ivan K:

I was indeed unaware that the author was not a member of the SSPX. Thanks for informing me. I'm sorry for this mistake.


As for your other comments, same ol'...

Ivan K said...

@ Daniel Arseno:

'same ol'' what? Citing the Holy Father? Fidelity to the Magisterium? Don't you approve?

On the fidelity to Catholic teaching scale, I think that you'd find that SSPX-ers do better than most '100% regularized Catholics.'

Why don't Catholics who question the Trinity, the Immaculate Conception, the Real Presence, and a whole host of other doctrines deserve to have their '100% regularized Catholic' papers revoked? Why are only those items from Vatican II that the SSPX question the litmus test, as you appear to believe? Are those items really the extent of Catholic teaching, in your view? Is being Catholic to be equated with accepting that non-Catholics are 'brothers and sisters in Christ'? Is it to be equated with rejecting the Holy Father's own view that the Novus Ordo is 'fabrication' and a fundamental break with tradition? If so, then maybe you can go to the Vatican and revoke the Holy Father's '100% regularized Catholic' papers.

Tradical said...

@Daniel

I was truly amazed that your proposal of this:

"Or how about other Christian denominations being brothers in the faith "

as an fallible statement would cause someone to be a heretic.

Do the 'other Christian denominations' profess the True Faith?

If not, then they aren't really Catholic are they? (see Pius XII Mystici Corporis)

... or is that not what you meant ... what did you mean?

Knight of Malta said...

Daniel Arseno, hats off to you, Sir, you are touching some nerves and creating lively, but respectful, debate, which, in my opinion, is what these com-boxes are for!

As an atheist I respected Catholics, as a Catholic I respect atheists; I know you are neither, but neither, does it seem, are you a Traditionalist.

I found my way into the traditionalist camp the hard way: through my ex-Pastor, and the one after him, and the one after him, ad infinitum, until I landed gently and serenely into the arms of the Traditional circle (but I won't elaborate, for to give you a full rendering here of why I can't stomach the Nervous Disordo Church any more would truly turn your stomach as well.) But, let me just say, to me we are friends, and will remain so (with perhaps different ideologies, but Peter and Paul had them as well).

However, and with all due respect, I found the following comment confusing:

The only difference is that the SSPX calls Tradition what Protestants call the Bible.

I'm sorry, dear friend, that makes no sense at all: and from a man who generally writes very well!

Since I've been rambling, I'll make this succinct:

The SSPX, though "irregular", are still very much a part of the Church, as the Vatican acknowledges. The SSPX's handling of Tradition is in-sync with the entire history of the Church; perhaps more so than the majority of the Bishops in the world today.

Contrariwise, the protestant's interpretation of the Bible is out-of-sync with most of Church history (until Luther re-invented, and re-interpreted it to his liking--I can extrapolate if you'd like--but it is well know that Luther, the writers of the King James, etc., re-invented the Bible on their terms).

Pope Benedict XVI just recently lifted the "excommunications" of the four Bishops-yes, BISHOPS-of the SSPX; last I read Luther was still very much an excommunicate. Probably, too, he is a member of Hell, along with his ex-Nun wife!

Mar said...

Delphina said: "I think Daniel Arseno is an escapee from Catholic Answers Forum." I don't know, maybe, but I'm a bit more inclined to the non-escapee from O.D. theory.

Seriously, though, Daniel - don't take offense - you are young, you have a fighting spirit and you have some very good things on your website. Bravo! May God give you the grace to continue doing the good that you do.

However, you must realize that when you take on the folks at Rorate you will get as good as you give, and no allowances will be made for your youth on the grounds of niceness. After all this is not Faith on Tap - or some such - where young catholics are molly-coddled up to the age of 35 and are protected by restraining order from grumpy elders in the Faith.

So when you shrug off with a shudder someone as venerable and worthy of serious respect as Msgr. Gherardini, together with his long experience and wide expertise, and
his ability to articulate and elaborate complex issues with commendable clarity; when in that place you appear to demonstrate a preference for that which is glib and trite, well yes, there is an outside chance that you will get pulled up short here on Rorate.

Sobieski said...

Msgr. Gherardini is within his right to raise questions about certain elements of Vatican II. For while, assent must be given to the infallible Magisterium, concerns can be raised about teaching(s) proceeding from the non-infallible Magisterium.

DONUM VERITATIS (May 24, 1990)

23. When the Magisterium of the Church makes an infallible pronouncement and solemnly declares that a teaching is found in Revelation, the assent called for is that of theological faith. This kind of adherence is to be given even to the teaching of the ordinary and universal Magisterium when it proposes for belief a teaching of faith as divinely revealed.

When the Magisterium proposes "in a definitive way" truths concerning faith and morals, which, even if not divinely revealed, are nevertheless strictly and intimately connected with Revelation, these must be firmly accepted and held.(22)

When the Magisterium, not intending to act "definitively", teaches a doctrine to aid a better understanding of Revelation and make explicit its contents, or to recall how some teaching is in conformity with the truths of faith, or finally to guard against ideas that are incompatible with these truths, the response called for is that of the religious submission of will and intellect.(23) This kind of response cannot be simply exterior or disciplinary but must be understood within the logic of faith and under the impulse of obedience to the faith.

24. ...The willingness to submit loyally to the teaching of the Magisterium on matters per se not irreformable must be the rule. It can happen, however, that a theologian may, according to the case, raise questions regarding the timeliness, the form, or even the contents of magisterial interventions. Here the theologian will need, first of all, to assess accurately the authoritativeness of the interventions which becomes clear from the nature of the documents, the insistence with which a teaching is repeated, and the very way in which it is expressed.(24)

When it comes to the question of interventions in the prudential order, it could happen that some Magisterial documents might not be free from all deficiencies. Bishops and their advisors have not always taken into immediate consideration every aspect or the entire complexity of a question...

****

So according to the CDF and then Cdl. Ratzinger, it appears that the principle of obsequium religiosum is normative, but not absolute. We are to receive non-infallible teaching of the Magisterium with submission, but there can be situations where questions may be legitimately raised by theologians (and I would presume other informed Catholics) without disobedience. According to Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz Braña, for example, certain teachings of Vatican II fall in this category:

"A number of innovations of a doctrinal nature are to be found in the documents of the Second Vatican Council: on the sacramental nature of the episcopate, on episcopal collegiality, on religious freedom, etc. These innovations in matters concerning faith or morals, not proposed with a definitive act, still require religious submission of intellect and will, even though some of them were and still are the object of controversy with regard to their continuity with earlier magisterial teaching, or their compatibility with the tradition..."

Sobieski