Rorate Caeli

The Tornellian view: two points and three caveats

The Tornellians of Vatican Insider have some rumors on the "Lefebvrians". Two points stand out:

1. On the Doctrinal Preamble:
It is a short and mediated document, which follows the “Professio fidei” published in 1989 by the former Holy Office and that states three different degrees of assent that the faithful must meet. In essence, a Catholic strives to believe “with firm faith” all that is “within the Word of God” and that the Church defines as “divinely revealed”. Secondly, a Catholic agrees to accept all dogmas stated as such to this day.

Finally, and this is the difficult point for Lefebvrians, a Catholic is required to comply “with religious submission of will and intellect” to the teachings that the Pope and College of Bishops “set when they exercise their authentic Magisterium”, even when they are not stated in a dogmatic fashion, that is final. This is the most significant role of the magisterium, to which, for example, the encyclicals belong.

And many Vatican II documents come from it and they should be read, as all the magisterium teachings – the Holy See explains – in the light of tradition and as a development, and not as a breaking point, from previous doctrine, according to hermeneutics proposed by Benedict XVI.

“Accepting the profession of faith contained in the preamble – a Vatican prelate explains to La Stampa – does not mean giving up the opportunity to discuss this or that affirmation of the conciliar texts, or to silence a debate on their interpretation.” But the different interpretations “cannot be used as a pretext to reject the magisterium.”

2. And a supposed deadline: "an invitation to accept [the Doctrinal Preamble] within a month or so."

Here are three Rorate caveats:

1. The time frame is probably less precise and more flexible.

2. The juridical framework (Tornielli insists on "Prelature") would probably be something specific - as we said yesterday, in a post titled with the most important words of Canon 297, the Supreme Legislator has it within his powers the possibility of doing many different and creative things, using existing names (if he wants to) or not. What all should bear in mind are Fellay's clear words: "its exact format cannot be seen but afterwards, and still remains the object of discussion".

3. The third caveat is, of course, this, which seems to come from the Tornellian Illustrated Dictionary of Strange Creatures:

Just like this, one word. Like the Elves or the Unicorns. "So, this is what the Lefebvrians look like!" The names change every week: "Lefebvrists", "Lefebvrites", "Lefebvrians"... Since the only possible reason for Tornielli to continue using this name is to be unnecessarily provocative, we will from now on use our own little name for this style of Vaticanist: the Tornellians.