Rorate Caeli

The words of Monsignor Ocáriz and Conciliar innovations

A guest-post by Côme de Prévigny

In France, some observers have absolutely decided to see in the intervention of Monsignor Ocáriz a scathing response to Bp. Fellay. The text of the Spanish monsignor is of such impact that they have reason to panic and to sidestep the troubling reality.

Mgr. Ocáriz is not just any priest. The Vicar General of Opus Dei, the only community with a statute of personal prelature, he knows the differences between Rome and the Fraternity well because he was one of the two experts (along with future Cardinal Bertone) named to discuss with the theologians of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X (including future Bp. Tissier de Mallerais) in early 1988. He was the only one involved in those conversations to directly participate in the doctrinal discussions opened by Benedict XVI between 2009 and 2011 with the work founded by Abp. Marcel Lefebvre. The Spanish monsignor is known throughout the world as one of the experts in the matter of religious liberty.

Mgr. Ocáriz published his recent text in L'Osservatore Romano, a paper increasingly separated from the thinking of the Pope, in which he deals with the problem of the reception of Vatican II. A French journalist saw in this a firm response regarding the recent interventions of Bp. Fellay, Superior General of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X. I believe he is seriously mistaken.

What did this text say? It recalled the ordinary canonical rules for the reception of pontifical texts. Mgr. Ocáriz, with his intervention, wished to grant yet more acceptance to the hermeneutic of continuity - at least in appearance. It differentiated the levels of authority of the numerous conciliar documents. Certainly, this differentiation seems quite distant from the concerns of the Fraternity, because it seems to present the normal canonical rules as applicable in the case of force majeure, in which these very rules are turned upside down. Beyond these long recollections of the rules of the game rules, this excerpt merits some attention.

"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."

1. The author, though an undisputed expert on religious liberty, admits that Vatican II introduced doctrinal innovations, among which is religious liberty. Coming as it does from the mouth of an apostle of this doctrine, the confession is a true cold shower.

2. He affirms that the compatibility of these novelties with Tradition do not follow automatically, that they are subject to debate, that their connection with Tradition is the object of "controversy". The undisputable character of Vatican II, in its more innovative lines, suffers an irremediable blow.

3. Mgr. Ocáriz shows, in this article, that this controversy is allowed, and he implies that it takes place within the Roman Church. He makes clearly known that to think that religious liberty and collegiality are in rupture with Catholic Tradition is allowed within the Church.

This text marks a turnaround because it introduces in the conciliar edifice, through the opinion of a great expert, a leaven of the destruction of innovative ideas, which cannot but place young theologians back into the hands of traditional doctrine.

137 comments:

John McFarland said...

For Catholic tradition, any "innovation" in doctrine is a very bad thing. The increased understanding and clearer formulation of the deposit of faith is not innovation.

So the notion that one can apply the traditional rules of assent to doctrine that is not the Church's traditional teaching is an exercise in squaring the circle.

It's no accident that Msgr. Ocariz makes what is basically an appeal to obedience. Nothing doctrinal taught by the ecclesia docens before 1962 is of any help to him.

But the SSPX and its allies and their faithful recall Abp. Lefebvre's famous epitome of the conciliar revolution: "from obedience to apostasy."

John Lamont said...

This discussion places its finger upon the crucial problem with Mgr. Ocariz's piece. The problem lies in this passage:

'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."'

If an 'innovation in matters of faith and morals that is not proposed with a definitive act' is not continuous with, i.e. is not compatible with, earlier magisterial teaching or tradition, not only is it not compulsory to give it religious submission of mind and will; it is forbidden to give it religious submission of mind and will. I repeat, it is forbidden to give it religious submission of mind and will.

That means that where there is a serious question as to whether innovations are incompatible with prior magisterial teaching or with tradition, religious submission of mind and will to these innovations is not and cannot be required. The faithful cannot be required to do anything when there are serious reasons for thinking that it is forbidden. There is no doubt that there are serious reasons for thinking that the innovations of Vatican II are contrary to prior magisterial teaching and to tradition. The alleged requirement to give religious submission of mind and will to these teachings thus does not exist.

Derechos said...

I am surprised!... from all the posts that I had read, no one of them seems to show the doom that is coming to us.

When/If the FSSPX falls, the darkness will cover all of us

The FSSPX is the last WORLDWIDE "half line" of orthodoxy teaching and practices.

beyond them, there is the vast fragmented sedevacantism realms... where there is no a single hierarchy, but a bunch of self-minded groups, where each one thinks that all the other ones are evil.

The lost of the Faith is a lot more DOOM than any other war or disaster that could happen on this planet.

Rome does not teach ORTHODOX FAITH, and if the FSSPX falls, then, will be no INSTITUTIONAL one to do so (at his scale)

Luciana Cuppohttp://www.centreleonardboyle.com/karlbarth.html said...

The proper reply to Msgr. Ocariz has just been published by Disputationes Theologicae, http://disputationes-theologicae.blogspot.com/2011/12/mons-gherardini-sull'importanza-e-i.html. It is also reported on www.messainlatino.it.

john said...

Two things.
1. The post by Derechos is nonsense. The SSPX is not God, not the Church, not anything necessary, ever. "Solo Dios basta". And God is in His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, institutional, visible and hierarchical. Yes, full of sinners. But still the Body of Christ. And there are MANY movements that are already replacing the SSPX: FSSP, ICK, diocesan priests, and, yes, Opus Dei.

2. Having said that, I am also surprised and very happy to see Mons. Ocariz make explicit this statement that "religious submission of intellect and will" are required in the circumstances he mentions. I find the statement itself to be one of, maybe the only, block that andy form of VII rubbish can stand on. All we need now is to see it questioned, attacked, probed by any member of the Roman Curia. I am sure the pope himself would not buy that statement. I am glad he said it, though, because the lack of logic in the statement and the utter void of Christianity in it are palpable, inescapable. It is out there in writing and cannot be taken back. Now we can attack it and ask, "Why?"

rodrigo said...

Speaking of "conciliar innovations", here's a fascinating interview recorded with Archbishop Vincent Nichols during his "Interfaith Week" visit to the Zoroastrians of London.

David said...

To give a "religious submission of intellect and will" is not the same as to give an ASSENT OF FAITH. We must give an assent of faith to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, but not to the Vatican II teaching on religious liberty. The latter requires of us nothing more than a theological exercise of the virtue of PATIENCE. In other words, we must wait upon the Magisterium (even if it takes decades) and we should not presume to judge Rome. That is all that is meant by a "religious submission of intellect and will". We should not confuse it with the assent of faith.

beng said...

Derechos,

The dogma is "extra ecclesiam nulla salus" not "extra SSPX nula salus."

The key to the Kingdom of Heaven was not given to Superior General of SSPX.

David said...

Here's something to consider. Blessed Pope Pius IX condemned several statements regarding religious liberty, yet none of those condemned statements contained a clear definition of religious liberty, nor did Pius IX provide any such definition. Therefore, it is impossible that the condemnations of "religious liberty" by Pius IX required an assent of faith by Catholics. At most we can say that the condemnations of religious liberty in Quanta Cura and the Syllabus of Errors, due to their force and vigor, require a STRONGER "religious submission of intellect and will" than is required by the Vatican II teaching on religious liberty. The difference between Quanta Cura and the Syllabus of Errors on the one hand, and Dignitatis Humanae on the other, is a difference of degree, not of kind.

P.K.T.P. said...

If one wishes to see what happens to those who make deals with Benedict XVI, one need only observe the disaster that is now emerging out of the Traditional Anglican Communion. My fingers are too tired this evening to explain. I can only say that the 2009 offer in A.C. has caused fracture and division and destruction to the TAC, a group that is much like us in the Latin Mass Movement, while the same offer has been a real boon to the fraud Novus Ordo Anglicans of Forward in Faith.

If you truly have traditionalist leanings--even as an Anglican--God help you. If you have them and you make a deal with this Pope, even God can't help you.

As for Opus Dei, let us pray that it remain the only Personal Prelature in the Church. Should the S.S.P.X be saddled, with that particular structure, it is finished.

P.K.T.P.

Steve said...

I would simply like to point out that Mgr. Ocariz is not using the term "inovation" as you are in your post. He defines it clearly, "These are innovations in the sense that they explain new aspects which have not previously been formulated by the Magisterium, but which do not doctrinally contradict previous Magisterial documents." These are aspects of Sacred Tradition that have not previously been fleshed out by the Magisterium. He completly rejects the idea of "inovation" as rupture: "In the face of such difficulties in understanding the continuity of certain Conciliar Teachings with the tradition, the Catholic attitude, having taken into account the unity of the Magisterium, is to seek a unitive interpretation in which the texts of the Second Vatican Council and the preceding Magisterial documents illuminate each other...The interpretation of the innovations taught by the Second Vatican Council must therefore reject, as Benedict XVI put it, 'a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture," while it must affirm the hermeneutic of reform, of renewal within continuity.'"

El Eremita said...

Mister Lamont,

I beg to disagree with you when you say that a definitive act of the Magisterium is necessary to reform non-definitive teaching.

As far as I know, for an "innovation" to be incompatible with previous magisterial teaching, this previous teaching has to be definitive, i.e. non-reformable. I can't see why it wouldn't be perfectly legitimate for the Magisterium to reform a teaching that is not definitive, with a non-definitive act. Remember that nothing is to be held as belonging to the Deposit of Faith "unless this is manifestly evident" (cf. can. 749 n.3).

So, any alleged 'innovation' will fall, as far as I see, under one of the following scenarios:

(a) Previous teaching was reformable
(b) The two apparently contradictory magisterial acts refer to different things, so there is no innovation.
(c) The magisterial act by which the innovation was introduced is heretic

Unless you are theologian (or unless the innovation in question is contrary to a doctrine explicitly and doubtlessly defined as irreformable or universally regarded as such), you can't discard (a) and/or (b). And I can't see how anybody could assume (c) without committing a sin of rash judgment.

So, it would seem that we are bound to give the obsequium religiosum to any authentic act of the magisterium, as Lumen Gentium says.

We know that non-infallible teaching can't bind in conscience. So, even if you give the obsequium (that would be, as I understand it, trying to comprehend the doctrine in question [intellectus obsequium] and desiring not to dissent from it [voluntatis obsequium]), if you still can't adhere in conscience to it, then you can dissent and still be in perfect communion with the Church.

IMHO, I think that it's possible for some obligations towards the rejected doctrine to remain after this point: The extent of the obsequium is to be adequate to the form of the act by which the doctrine is proposed. If we are to understand obsequium as "due respect"/"theoretical-practical respect"/"religious veneration", etc. (which I think is not wrong but neither enough), then it is obvious that an encyclical demands more "obsequium" than, say, a papal discourse addressed to a particular group of people, etc. A legitimate ecumenical council doubtlessly demands some kind of "religious veneration" even if you can't adhere in conscience to some of its non-definitive teachings. The now famous "sentire cum ecclesia" comes to my mind regarding this point...

Anyway, all this is rather vague... for the situation to advance, a more precise (thomist) definition of "obsequium religiosum" should be proposed by the Magisterium (or theologians).

Catholicus said...

Côme de Prévigny writes

"Mgr. Ocáriz shows, in this article, that this controversy is allowed, and he implies that it takes place within the Roman Church. He makes clearly known that to think that religious liberty and collegiality are in rupture with Catholic Tradition is allowed within the Church."

The author conveniently forgets that Msgr. Ocariz nevertheless insists on the NEED for "religious submission" to be given to the innovations of Vatican II, even if one were to admit that there seems to be a rupture between these innovations and Catholic Tradition. As John Lamont points out this is the most dangerous part of the essay. It seems to me that the author so wants to see something positive in this piece that he is prepared to ignore its obvious danger.

"This text marks a turnaround because it introduces in the conciliar edifice, through the opinion of a great expert, a leaven of the destruction of innovative ideas, which cannot but place young theologians back into the hands of traditional doctrine."

On the contrary, what this will most likely do is reinforce the notion that no real dissent is possible from any level of the Magisterium. This is dangerous given the uncritical acceptance of the post-Conciliar Magisterium that is routinely taught in Catholic seminaries of a "conservative" bent.

The danger becomes more obvious when it is realized that Msgr. Ocariz is the leading theological light of Opus Dei, and that Opus Dei has a growing role in the Roman theological world through its universities and learned journals. Many priests and seminarians are sent to Opus Dei universities to earn their degrees precisely because of Opus Dei's reputation as the guardian of "orthodoxy".

New Catholic said...

Dear Luciana Cuppo,

Just contact us: newcatholic AT gmail DOT com.

NC

Ecclesia Militans said...

From Wikipedia site "Controversies about Opus Dei":

"Based on reports from Spain, the Superior-General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Wlodimir Ledochowski (1866–1942), told the Vatican he considered Opus Dei "very dangerous for the Church in Spain." He described it as having a "secretive character" and saw "signs in it of a covert inclination to dominate the world with a form of Christian Masonry."

What more need be said?

Let the wolves of modern Rome howl all they want.
Our Lord will glorify His Most Holy Name.

Doc said...

Catholicus,

"Religious submission" is a technical term with a real meaning understood by theologians like Mgr. Ocariz, by the Pope, and hopefully by the SSPX (or at least their leadership.)It is not an absolute submission or unconditional submission.

If you do a "google books" search for the phrase "obsequium religiosum" you'll get tons of sources that define it in the same general sense: a docility towards the Magisterium, a good faith effort to overcome any apparent problems or deficiences, but that good faith effort failing, the suspension or qualification of assent and the expression of criticism in a manner consonant with one's expertise and competency with due reverence for the authority of the Church.

This explanation is found, for example, in Ott's Fundamentals, in the CDF document Donum Veritatis, in the USSCB letter "The Teaching Ministry of the Diocesan Bishop," etc., etc. They all forsee the possibility of thoughtful and serious criticism. The Institute of the Good Shepherd have some documents which also explain the possibility of such criticism for Vatican II.

Again, while dissent can be permitted in some circumstances, the general rule is a true inner assent based on moral certitude (not the absolute certitude one receives from definitive acts). That's what makes it "religious assent" and not just a disciplinary assent.

Mike said...

The "mason charge" againt Opus Dei was pure slander.

It still is.

I am not Spartacus said...

I am too dumb to follow this argument but I am not so dumb that I can not see that there has been a huge rupture between the Church of, say, 1960 and the Church of today.

Everything. Is. Different. Everything.

The Hierarchy stole our Mass; The Hierarchy hangs-out in Synagogues and Mosques; The Hierarchy hangs-out with Protestants; The Hierarchy dialogues with this that and the other group while continually keeping its distance from that which preceded Vatican Two, all the while telling us that there has been no rupture.

The Hierarchy would not be caught dead offering the
Immemorial Mass on a Sunday either inside St Peter's or outside in St. Peter's Square.

While I have always maintained the Bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority, I am under no obligation to deny reality.

We are in a time of great testing if not in the time of the great apostasy.

Lord have Mercy

Ecclesia Militans said...

Mike,
If the "mason charge" regarding "Opus Dei" is slander, then why did it take 55 years for them to obtain a canonical structure (1928-1983)?

And how presumptuous, to say the least, to condemn the Jesuit Superior General Ledochowski, one of the great generals and consolidators of the Society, especially in the 20th century, one of whose sisters was canonized and another beatified.

As the Jesuit General he had information from the field, and made an insightful report, the accuracy of which is very visible today.

Who can deny the secrecy of the "Work"? And who can deny its present influence?
Its tactics are not the way of the Church.

New Catholic said...

It should not be considered "slander": it was not a declaration that some or all of them were Freemasons, but that its structure resembled somewhat that of the Freemasons. It may be a wrong depiction, but not, by itself, slanderous.

Derechos said...

Its clear the point made by "I am not spartacus".

To discuss the "theological terms" are pointless, because those are MERE technicalities. and we have seen how easy is to make an absolute judicial error based on that. (There comes the sophism).

And no one is pointing to a single fact: All those documents, and the works and laws that comes or are fruit of them, are filled with MODERNISM. (and therefore, the fruits are: relativism, indifferentism, "faith lite", etc.

So, under no circumstances those writings (CVII) shall pass as "authentic magister acts", because they hide a lot of sophims inside.
----------------------------------
On my other post:
The Fsspx is not THE Church. It MERELY congregates SOME elements (people) OF the Church. But, is the last WORLDWIDE INSTITUTION that remains on the ORTHODOXY... yes... there are some others more... but, those dont have weight, space... and most of them are on the SEDEVACANTISM... and there, each one of them claims to be the last piece of the Church. (that is the danger).

The OTHER ones, the ones that BELONG to the vatican, DOES NOT TEACH the Faith on the ORTHODOXY.

As "his theology" (and liturgy) is contaminated with modernism... modernism that comes from the "teachings" from rome. The point is not to "pray in latin"... this is just a MERE consequence... the point is to SUSTAIN the WHOLE FAITH...

Rome has denied (as the basis of his 'new theology') ONE SINGLE Dogma: "Extra Ecclesiam, Nulla Salus"... and you know what happen when you deny a SINGLE dogma...

The poison comes from this point. Dont forget

Retiro said...

I offer just one insignificant convert's experience with the Opus Dei. Living in an area not only without traditional masses or priests, but without conservative mainstream Catholicism as well, Opus Dei was the one way I could approach the Church without putting up with liberalism and heterodoxy. I never found them to be cultic or secretive once I found them; but I did find it strange that an organization, one with as many good priests as I met among them, seems to have an institutional culture of avoiding the outside world. I am somewhat uncomfortable with their attitude of letting the world be the world.

Vobiscumeister said...

Sorry, David, but I'm afraid this simply isn't going to wash.

If we examine the official, authoritative magisterial teaching of Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos and Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei and Libertas, there can be very little doubt as to the specific details of what they were teaching, and what, in effect, the Church had witnessed to, at least for as long as it had been dealing with the subject of Church State relations.

While it can be rightfully contended that Pope Pius IX's Quanta Cura does not contain the same detail and precision in its wording as the above-mentioned encyclicals of his predecessor and successor, QC can certainly be read in line with these other teaching documents, and there is no shred of hard evidence that Pius IX would have had any view of this subject that meaningfully differed from these other two popes.

It's time to come clean with what we face, and cease pouncing upon any hint of ambiguity or lack of specificity to play artful theological constructions. Dignitatis Humanae, as it has been generally understood not withstanding some element of confusion within the text itself, clashes with perennial Catholic teaching. So does Unitatis Redintegratio. If material schismatics and heretics commit sacrilege when they employ a sacrament, they cannot be building up the Church of God as well.

Joe B said...

"The key to the Kingdom of Heaven was not given to Superior General of SSPX."

Did someone say "the key" was given to SSPX? I must have missed that.

But it's an interesting thought. If Our Lord gave not one but multiple keys to Saint Peter, perhaps one of them did eventually get into the hands of SSPX. Better yet, since Rome left for Germany fifty years ago, maybe they left all the keys in the Vatican and Archbishop Lefebvre found them all there intact. Could be, since they simply pass on that which was received, you know, as opposed to the innovations which the Germanic branch of Rome presented us as authentic keys. Well, they haven't really said they are authentic, since the Pope of the council denied they were anything but pastoral, but that's what makes it a legitimate discussion even if you disagree with the Pope of the council and his head theologian, unity with which is required for a council to rattle those keys. If he had said they were dogmatic, there wouldn't be much room for debate, now would there be? Wonder why he didn't do that. Could be he didn't think they were. Or it could be the Holy Spirit said no way, that SSPX now has the keys. After all, Rome has said SSPX is indeed in the church, so they are in the Body of Christ, and so they are sort of at one with Christ.

I bet that's it. OK, now someone has said SSPX has the key. Go ahead and keep on saying it.

CFD said...

"The Hierarchy would not be caught dead offering the
Immemorial Mass on a Sunday either inside St Peter's or outside in St. Peter's Square."

Tsk, so much for the two Solemn Pontifical Masses that have been sung in St. Peter's Basilica since 2007. (Both were held on a Sunday).

And so much for the more than 100 Solemn Pontifical Masses that have been celebrated since Summorum Pontificum.

Alsaticus said...

Ecclesia militans wrote :
"Based on reports from Spain, the Superior-General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Wlodimir Ledochowski (1866–1942), told the Vatican he considered Opus Dei "very dangerous for the Church in Spain." He described it as having a "secretive character" and saw "signs in it of a covert inclination to dominate the world with a form of Christian Masonry."

What more need be said? "


Some things have to be said : the disapproval - supposedly ??? due to the lack of reference in this notice - of a Jesuit has always to be looked at with suspicion first, checked, double-checked and triple-checked.
The Society is not exactly the Word of God ... sometimes FAR from it.

Moreover O.D. has been regularly approved by popes, not just one but continuously from Pius XI to John Paul II, before and after Vatican II.

Plus the founder of O.D. is a saint.

That makes 3 reasons, at least, to discard this sentence as fantasy.

Besides it does not tell us anything upon the agruments of Msgr Ocariz ...

Derechos said...

That is the WHOLE point! as stated by Vobiscumeister!

ALL THOSE "teachings" are POISONED with sophisms... We have to remember 2 things:
a) The Ecclesia is INFALLIBLE on his teachings
b) Those writings (CVII) ON THE LAST INSTANCE denies the Dogma "Extra Ecclesia, nulla salus"... they clash with the prior teachings.

So, the point is not to "adhere when or how or how far" to the REAL teachings (or probable teachings (as on the 'Millenium' case), because those teachings are OUTSIDE the realms of the Church.

David said...

Vobiscumeister, I'm glad that you mentioned Immortale Dei. The "liberty of license and self-ruin" decried in that great encyclical is in no shape or form endorsed by Dignitatis Humanae. This is an essential point to bear in mind.

In any case, Doc hits the nail on the head in his summary of what is meant by "religious submission of intellect and will":

... a docility towards the Magisterium, a good faith effort to overcome any apparent problems or deficiences, but that good faith effort failing, the suspension or qualification of assent and the expression of criticism in a manner consonant with one's expertise and competency with due reverence for the authority of the Church.

Let us note with joy that Bishop Fellay appears these days to be exemplifying the proper attitude of religious submission of intellect and will in response to the teachings of Vatican II. I believe that all will turn out well.

poeta said...

If Doc's research is correct, then things are more hopeful than they might appear.

Tradfly said...

@ Steve,
Actually Mgr. Ocáriz is describing innovation exactly as it's understood in common parlance, but he puts an extreme burden on the faculty of communication by claiming that they don't "doctrinally contadict" previous Magesterial docs - yet only because these Conciliar innovations are NOT doctrine.
We're in dire times, for these comments, along with similar proceedings laden with such catch-phrases as "mutual enrichment", "hermaeneutic of continuity" "extraordinary form" etc. represent a type of language-manipulation which produces the effect George Orwell quite accurately and succinctly described as "doublethink":

"The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth

Something vaguely familiar about all this?
Neither are any of us absolutely immune from it (to some degree).

So, when we desperately try to attribute "nice" explanations to such curious/ambiguous phrases or catch-words, we actually contribute to the process of perpetuating the lies they represent. Since the most refined languages known exist since antiquity, we can say that whenever an educated adult puts forth ambiguity in a formal (or even proofread) document, it is almost certainly deliberate. For the benefit of anglophones, this is even more true for Europeans who are generally multilingual.

A 'standard' routine when attempting to converse in a barely understood tongue, is to try in the interlocutor's language. They assess your lexicon (while reading "through" your misuse of grammar and such) and thence either reply similarly in your own native tongue, or adjust to your level of understanding in theirs. This simple process, however clumsy, is a means of reducing ambiguity. If possible at this primitive level, is is ABSOLUTELY possible for ALL proceedings from the hierarchy.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear CDF.. Thanks for correcting me; that is a wearisome task The Bride usually is burdened with :)

I totally forgot about those, but to be fair to me, I was in the midst of a simmering rant which dissolved from my memory banks the facts you noted.

So, I happily acknowledge my sin of omission.

Now, were The Pope to offer the Immemorial Mass publicly on a Sunday, then that would be world-wide noteworthy because that would scandalise the world

Vobiscumesiter said...

Very well, David, let's look at the whole picture:

"Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only way to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue." - Immortale Dei

Are you claiming that our most recent popes affirm this? That Dignitatis Humanae is affirming this?

"Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice... The Church has always taken action to destroy the plague of bad books. This was true even in apostolic times for we read that the apostles themselves burned a large number of books. It may be enough to consult the laws of the fifth Council of the Lateran on this matter and the Constitution which Leo X published afterwards lest 'that which has been discovered advantageous for the increase of the faith and the spread of useful arts be converted to the contrary use and work harm for the salvation of the faithful.' This also was of great concern to the fathers of Trent, who applied a remedy against this great evil by publishing that wholesome decree concerning the Index of books which contain false doctrine."
-- Mirari Vos

Are you claiming our most recent popes affirm this? That DH affirms this?

As for your joy over Bishop Fellay's conduct, if the gold standard that I'm expected to adhere to consists of being a bishop who serves in his ministry with no formal approval from the Vatican, on behalf of a religous group that has no formal Vatican approval to be functioning, and speaks out on behalf of traditional theology regardless of what comes from the Holy See these days, then fair enough - count me in for submission of my mind and intellect!

Derechos said...

Back to basics:

the bare-bones thing here is:

will YOU accept the teachings (by means of the complicated words used here) of the Vatican II?

Should the Fsspx accept them?...

ARE THEY CATHOLICS TEACHINGS?

Just remember: The REAL Church teaches INFALLIBLE teachings (not mixtures or 95% true)

David said...

Tradfly,

The deep underlying cynicism in your commentary makes it impossible to give a "religious submission of intellect and will" to the teachings of the magisterium after Vatican II, yet that is precisely what is needed if the issues are to be resolved (in faithfulness to Tradition) and actual schism avoided. Before replying, know that to merely lament my apparent complicity in the "doublethink" of the "Conciliar Church" will ensure that we have nothing further to discuss.

David said...

Tradfly,

Further to my last comment, I'm not sure how to read the last paragraph of your comment, whether it is cynical or hopeful. Please read my last comment in light of that ambiguity.

spero said...

"Doc" has some very good and much needed points.

Religious submission of the intellect is really a simple acknowledgment that the "Ecclesia Docens" is the Ecclesia docens. Christ instituted a hierarchy to teach. It follows that whenever the hierarchy is engaged in teaching, we should approach its teaching as the teaching of the official teacher, whom Christ sent. We can't simply regard it as just another theological opinion. The hierarchy might be able to err on these things. However, we must still recognize, even in making criticisms, that we are the Ecclesia Discens. We might point out that what we are discens now seems irreconciliable with what we were discens before, but even in doing this we must be respectful of the OFFICE of the hierarchy which was given them by Christ, and which office Christ did not give to us.

Is non-definitive teaching still the official teaching of the Church? If it is, we need to respect it and give the benefit of the doubt. We do this by approaching after the manner pointed out by "Doc." By doing this, we are giving a religious submission. The submission is "religious" because it is based on our belief that Christ instituted a Teaching Church. It is really a matter of justice that we approach the Teaching Church after the manner of learners, out of respect for Christ who gave us this Church with this structure.

To criticize the teaching Church is a dangerous thing. Many have become convinced that they must do just that. However, a certain sobriety is necessary. The Church is essentially one. There are not two Romes. The crucial question IN THIS MATTER is not whether proposition "x" is "de Fide," but whether proposition "x" has been proposed by the divinely instituted Magisterium. If it is "de Fide" we must believe on God's authority. If it is definitive, we also must believe. If it is non-definitive, but a real act of the Church, then we must approach it with a certain fear and reverence, which reverence does not exclude the possibility of criticism. I am reminded of the adage, "fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

Not to say that the SSPX or anyone else are fools, but some sobriety is needed here. Remember, we are talking about suggesting that the Teacher that Our Lord has sent, has made some kind of mistake (prudential, non-definitive). It is only just that such criticisms be made in fear and trembling and with as much benefit of the doubt as possible. It is strange that we imagine that we have a duty to castigate our teacher violently rather than criticize reverently.

Yes, this all creates problems for us who desire to see a quick and full restoration of the Traditional clarity in Church teaching, but isn't this precisely the reason why we say that we are in a time of crisis?

"I am not Sparticus," you wrote the following:
"The Hierarchy would not be caught dead offering the
Immemorial Mass on a Sunday either inside St Peter's or outside in St. Peter's Square."

FYI: (from another blog)
"On Sunday morning, 15 May, concluding the third conference on the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite was celebrated in the Vatican basilica. At the altar of the Chair it was celebrated by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, in the presence of three Cardinals - William Joseph Levada, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Franc Rodé and Domenico Bartolucci, who directed the final chants - and some bishops and prelates of the Roman Curia."
I am pretty sure that Cardinals, bishops, and members of the curia are part of the hierarchy; but neither do I wish dismiss the point you make.

Amos Moses said...

Sometimes things are vague or unclear because the reader doesn't understand them. Suppose I were to write:
(x) (Fx)therefore (Fa) or
(Ga) therefore (Ex) (Gx)

This might seem unclear to someone, but not because the principle is unclear (they are standard rules in modern predicate logic, that every logician understands) but because one is not a trained logician.

Just food for thought.

Nick said...

"Mgr. Ocáriz published his recent text in L'Osservatore Romano, a paper increasingly separated from the thinking of the Pope"
Presumably the Supreme Pontiff is either too timid or incompetent to make a simple phone call across St. Peter's square and set the editor straight or sack him.

Woody said...

I would just humbly ask that if we faithful are required to give religious assent of intellect and will, that our hierarchs, in their charity, help us to do so by clarifying, explaining and demonstrating the truth and continuity of, the propositions thar are the subject of difficulty and controversy.

David said...

Vobiscumesiter,

I'm not saying that Dignitatis Humanae and the teachings of the post-Vatican II popes can be easily reconciled with the whole of past magisterial teaching on religious liberty and Church-State relations. The central question of this thread is the proper Catholic attitude toward those current teachings that appear to be in conflict with past teachings. While a critical response is not ruled out by "religious submission of intellect and will", humility, patience, and deference to the current Magisterium are the most fundamental attitudes.

David said...

Spero,

Very well said.

Woody,

That's a fair request. But what if the response isn't forthcoming? What if we have to wait and wait and wait ...?

So we wait, we pray, and we trust that those with the competence and expertise will act on our behalf.

Tradfly said...

@ David,
Perchance your reply reflects even deeper cynicism, dunnit?

I noted what is, you noted a possible implication, and we should pray that, Deo volente, we not need lament any of this in near future.

Tradfly said...

Spot on, Woody

Mike said...

New Catholic,

You're not taking into account the nature of Freemasonary, condemned by the Church.

By calling Opus Dei "masonic", in its early years that was a real slam, and made the Work appear to be deeply anti-Christan to parents whose were themselves devout Catholics, and wanted their adult children nowhere near anything that was remotely "masonic".

It took a relatively long time to find a canonical structure because the Work was something at the time "new" to the life of the Church. Perhaps the rise of the religious orders is something of a parallel...after all, it wasn't overnight for them either!

Ogard said...

Mgr. Ocariz is perfectly right in what he says. The SSPX are hopeless and, ideally, should be written off.

But the Church has learned a lot from excommunication of their ideological predecessor Martin Luther, because many who followed him did so for reasons other than the reasons for which he had been excommunicated. In other words: the whole central and northern Europe was lost to the Church because the authorities excommunicated Luther. Have the authorities chosen to tolerate him him the people would have remained Catholic.

Likewise in these days, those who follow Luther's successors follow them for other reasons, the chief one being the Mass. They have no clue of what the doctrinal dispute is all about: they want the Mass, the priests who dress like priests and offer the Mass devoutly as the priest should do. Nominally, they are "against" the Council although they have never seen let alone studied its documents. (Neither did their priests, by the way.) In other words, they are materially not against the Council. So, the best is to leave the SSPX in the present status: once the current generation of leaders have left the stage others will think differently and the people will not be lost to the Church.

Zarandanga said...

To those saying that the doctrine of Mirari Vos is "perennial", I would suggest reading prof. Thomas Pink remarks, published in this blog.

JTLiuzza said...

Ogard says: "The SSPX are hopeless and, ideally, should be written off."

Which puts you squarely at odds with the position of the Holy Father.

Anonymous said...

Ogard said:
"They have no clue of what the doctrinal dispute is all about"

What condescending drivel.

Tradfly said...

@ Ogard,
Your hypothesis that SSPX is the ideological successor to Luther is quite at odds with the facts of history. Luther desacralised the Mass (as the Modernists do post-VII, even as we write). SSPX is PRESERVING the Mass. So, in fact they are quite the opposite.
And yes, we want the Mass, it is central to the Catholic Faith. We will jealously defend and preserve it. I have studied documents of VII, but more importantly, I've studied numerous encyclicals and such which preceded it, and which unambiguously demonstrate much of VII proceeds to be at odds with the Deposit of Faith.
Yet no worries Ogard, doublethink provides a solution to your dilemna.

Knight of Malta said...

Could someone with theological training answer this question:

Could the Pope, sua sponte, declare that the Priests of the SSPX are no longer supended, a divinus, much like he nullified the 'excommunications' of its Bishops?

He could, of course, save face my simultaneous stating that the SSPX is still in an 'irregular' position.

And, if he did that, could that be a first step down the long road of reconcilliation?

Art Thou Elias? said...

@Ogard

Please explain how Martin Luther is the ideological predecessor of the SSPX.

And in response to this statement,

"the whole central and northern Europe was lost to the Church because the authorities excommunicated Luther. Have the authorities chosen to tolerate him him the people would have remained Catholic."

may I strongly suggest that you read Hilaire Belloc, "How the Reformation Happened." When you do, you will hopefully discover that your opinion is not informed by facts.

Ogard said...

Ad Tradfly

“Your hypothesis that SSPX is the ideological successor to Luther is quite at odds with the facts of history.”- No I am perfectly correct, but have to elaborate.

Catholic Faith is received through the Scripture and Tradition. Interpretation of both is entrusted “exclusively to the living voice of the Church’s magisterium, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ” (DV10/2). This doctrine has been infallibly proposed by the Ordinary Universal Magisterium.

Difference between Luther and the SSPX is that while Luther ventured to interpret Scripture on his own at variance to its interpretation by the living magisterium, while the SSPX ventures to interpret Tradition on their own at variance to its interpretation by the living magisterium. So, they only differ in the object (Scripture v. Tradition) of their unauthorized interpretation although both the Scripture and Tradition contain Divine Revelation. But both display an evident anti-magisterial, in other words: anti-catholic mentality.

Knight of Malta said...

Ogard, with all respect, you are wrong in many things you say. Let's expound:

Catholic Faith is received through the Scripture and Tradition. Interpretation of both is entrusted “exclusively to the living voice of the Church’s magisterium, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ” (DV10/2). This doctrine has been infallibly proposed by the Ordinary Universal Magisterium.

Off to a good start; you are quite right, so far!

Difference between Luther and the SSPX is that while Luther ventured to interpret Scripture on his own at variance to its interpretation by the living magisterium, while the SSPX ventures to interpret Tradition on their own at variance to its interpretation by the living magisterium.

You were doing so well, how did you make that absurd leap?

Luther was a nun-marrying arch-heretic who had "farting matches" with the "devil", said that every time a Jew farts, "the angels in heaven dance," created a new heretical sect.

It is offensive in the extreme to compare him to the good Bishops of the SSPX, who, as you probably know, the Pope recently LIFTED the excommunications on (whereas ol' Martin's has been well in place for five centuries).

But, let's now get to the meat of your argument. You correctly state that Luther reinterpreted scripture, and there you are, again correct. But then you correlate this to the SSPX's stance, vis-a-vis tradition. Whereas Luther discarded and changed scripture, Lefebvre merely held onto that which was passed down to him. The analogy between Luther and Lefebvre is rude, crude, uncharitable, and ignorant.

What dogmas did Lefebvre ignore or discard (as in the case of Luther)?

What Tradition did Lefebvre ignore, and what Tradition did the Popes after Vatican II create that is different from what Lefebvre upheld? In other words, who upheld Tradition, and who discarded it after Vatican II: Lefebvre or the post-conciliar Church?

So, they only differ in the object (Scripture v. Tradition) of their unauthorized interpretation although both the Scripture and Tradition contain Divine Revelation. But both display an evident anti-magisterial, in other words: anti-catholic mentality.

"...they only differ in the object..." LOL! Are you a closet traditionalist trying to bait others on this blog, or do you really believe such complete imbecilic nonsense!?

You've heard of the horrible video series When Girls Go Wild, no doubt. Well, when Popes go wild, as they have during, and after, Vatican II, it takes great Saints like Athanasius, and, I believe, Lefebvre, to bring Her back to their senses. But St. Athanasius and Lefebvre (both unjustly 'excommunicated') were both men of the Church, who loved the Church and the office of the Papacy with all their hearts. To compare Lions such as those to weasels such as Luther is lunacy; again, with all due respect.

Tradfly said...

@ Ogard
Dei Verbum is a VII document. If you'd attempt to justify anything, please be respectful enough of your audience to quote something aside from self-serving texts. Or at the very least, read the text yourself. For it actually says "...interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted..." It does not say tradition. Yes, because of it's ambiguity, one might infer that since tradition is "handed on", this also means tradition, but that isn't what's stated. "Handed on" references the word of God, not tradition. There is a difference.

The Ordinary Magisterium is not infalliable. Check your definitions.

It's worth noting methinks, that "Tradition" is a concrete thing, it is what was done, what was believed. It is never subject to interpretation. E.g., the Rite of TLM is a tradition, as are it's rubrics; they are precisely as read from the Missal. One can not "interpret" such things, they are what they are. One might attempt to interpret the rationale for a particular belief or ritual, but claiming to interpret the tradition itself is ludicrous as "interpreting" a Swiss army knife.

Yes Ogard, you are correct, insofar as Luther ventured to interpret scripture. You are however incorrect w.r.t. SSPX, for they stand fast and hold the traditions as the Holy Apostle instructed them to do. They do nothing which is not "authorised", for that which has been permitted since time immemorial for the Holy Catholic Church, can never be abolished. Otherwise, we couldn't possess unity with the Church Triumphant.

(sorry about the redundant bits KofM, wrote the piece and got distracted before submitting)

John Lamont said...

A further question that I should have raised in my eaerlier post; if there are serious reasons for thinking that the innovations of Vatican II contradict earlier teachings or Catholic tradition, why is it that religious submission of mind and will should be given to the innovation of Vatican II rather than to the earlier teachings?

Mgr Ocariz has no answer to this - except that he personally prefers the innovations, and that he has power, so he will insist that the interpretation he likes is the one to which submission should be given.

This is the answer offered by Paul VI, John Paul II, and their followers (it ie not yet determined whether or not BEnedict XVI will give this answer). It is not a good one.

Jordanes551 said...

if there are serious reasons for thinking that the innovations of Vatican II contradict earlier teachings or Catholic tradition, why is it that religious submission of mind and will should be given to the innovation of Vatican II rather than to the earlier teachings?

Because the Church can never lose her divine charism as authoritative teacher, and thus we are obligated to defer to her throughout all times. To absolutely refuse religious submission of intellect and will, I'd think it would take somewhat more than serious reasons for thinking there is a contradiction. A contradiction should be demonstrated, not merely indicated or suggested or apparent.

Tradical said...

Welcome back Ogard.

I see you still like to makes posts pregnant with multiple unsupported assertions.

Jordanes551 said...

For it actually says "...interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted..." It does not say tradition.

**Forehead slap!**

I'm sorry, but that is one of the silliest objections to a Vatican II document I've ever read.

Do you really not know what the word "tradition" means?

It means "that which has been handed on."

There are numerous ambiguous passages in Vatican II documents, including in Dei Verbum (DV11 being the best known and most problematic). But this is not one of them. DV plainly and unambiguously says that the Word of God is divinely revelation that we have in the form of both Scripture and Apostolic Tradition. Ergo . . . .

Tradfly said...

@ Jordanes,
Pray endulge me, and read the whole thing.

Yes, tradition is that which is handed on, but not everything handed on is tradition...
Can you point me to the exact bit in DV which refers to "Apostolic Tradition"? there are some vague things which sort of sound like that, but the document is muddled so....

CH DUPUY said...

David said:
"So we wait, we pray, and we trust that those with the competence and expertise will act on our behalf."
So we wait... how much longer? 50 years later and counting. Will we have to wait another 50 years? Does it take so long for the learned theologians in Rome (from Opus Dei?) to speak clearly and definitely? Is not the Pope himself a versed theologian? Can he not issue a document such as an encyclical and clarify clearly!, what the heck does the "hermeneutic of continuity" is? I suppose that he has explained that the Council has to be interpreted in the light of Sacred Tradition, without explaining what that interpretation is, but doesn't this phrase imply that Sacred Tradition has pre-eminence over VII documents? So in the face of apparent or real contradiction, Tradition should be prevalent over VII Documents.
CH DUPUY

Jordanes551 said...

Yes, tradition is that which is handed on, but not everything handed on is tradition...

On the contrary, everything "handed on" in Dei Verbum is "tradition."

DV is written in Latin, you know.

Can you point me to the exact bit in DV which refers to "Apostolic Tradition"? there are some vague things which sort of sound like that, but the document is muddled so....

Wrong. There are no vague things in DV that sort of sound like Sacred Apostolic Tradition. There is, however, discussion and explanation of Sacred Tradition, in DV chapter II (DV 7-10). Sorry to be so blunt, but if you've read that chapter and find it ambiguous and can't be sure if its talking about Sacred Tradition, then you probably are not competent to read magisterial documents and would be better off leaving it to those who are.

Derechos said...

PLEASE: READ THIS OUT. See for yourself

This will take a little of your time. BUT I promise to all of you, that it worth it.

Just take a look at those two documents made by ROME. read them, and compare them.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=es&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vatican.va%2Froman_curia%2Fsecretariat_state%2Farchivio%2Fdocuments%2Frc_seg-st_19530827_concordato-spagna_sp.html&act=url

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/archivio/documents/rc_seg-st_19931230_santa-sede-israele_en.html

Those are both, juridical documents but, they are also a STATEMENT OF FAITH.

I cant not belive what I am reading here... Some people speaks as if the peopole on the Tradition are ENEMY of Rome!... compare Mons. Marcel Lefebre with Martin Luther!...

If you read those documents, you will find that they were writing by TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT (people/mindset/style/) BEINGS.

The one, who wrote the Spain Concordance, from the first sentence, states that everything is ABOUT GOD AND HIS GLORY. (and to carry the SOULS to Him).

The second one, is in ABSOLUTE SUBMISION TO 'HIS MASTERS' (the ones that signed the document)...

The Church (on his Dignity) is not to be the SERVANT of anyone!... is to be SERVED, PROTECTED, OBEY BY ALL THE NATIONS.

So, for those that are discussing about that the 'CVII' COULD be something good, and we must ANALYZE, INTERPRET and CONCILIATE with the Real Magister Teachings...

For God's sake!... those things are the dark and the ligth...! nothing in common... just read both documents, and draw your own conclusions.

Mar said...

First of all Ecclesia militans wrote:

"Based on reports from Spain, the Superior-General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Wlodimir Ledochowski (1866–1942), told the Vatican he considered Opus Dei "very dangerous for the Church in Spain." He described it as having a "secretive character" and saw "signs in it of a cover inclination to dominate the world with a form of Christian Masonry."

What more need be said? "

Then Alsaticus wrote:

"Some things have to be said : the disapproval - supposedly ??? due to the lack of reference in this notice - of a Jesuit has always to be looked at with suspicion first, checked, double-checked and triple-checked.

The Society is not exactly the Word of God ... sometimes FAR from it.

Moreover O.D. has been regularly approved by popes, not just one but continuously from Pius XI to John Paul II, before and after Vatican II.

Plus the founder of O.D. is a saint."

Some more things have to be said: The Jesuits have an outstanding track record of holiness, scholarship - in many, many areas, not just theology - and defense of the Holy Father, the Church and her teachings. This track record covers a period of hundreds of years. Many Jesuits shed their blood for the Faith, so that it could be handed down to us even here and now. Many of them shed their blood so that pagan nations could be truly evangelized; in those cases they did not engage in ecumenical dialogue, but followed their Master, Jesus, in total simplicity and dedication.

Even if their order at present is tragically in a state of decline and disintegration - let me remind you that that has happened to numerous outstanding orders in the Church in the years dating from a certain, well-known council of the 20th century - in recent times there have been and still are Jesuits faithful to their vows and to the true ethos of their order. The late Fr. John Hardon S.J., Servant of God, springs to mind.

Closer to home, I am grateful that the chaplain of my Sunday Mass - traditional Latin - is a faithful Jesuit, who has suffered much from extreme liberals on the one hand and aggressive 'traditionalists' on the other; yet in spite of these difficulties has maintained a milieu where a traditional latin Mass community can thrive and develop. I also remember Jesuit priests from my childhood who helped my family in difficult times, and not just in spiritual ways.

So when you speak insultingly of the Jesuits, Alsaticus, I am not going to take it too seriously. In my view, when the O.D. has chalked up a track record that comes even
remotely close to that of the Jesuits, then you can start making valid comparisons.

Mar said...

(Continuation)
But if you insist - for the record - the Society of Jesus has been approved by a greater number of popes than the O.D. The founder of the S.J. is a saint who was proclaimed a saint at a time when the process of canonization was far more rigorous than nowadays and there was such a thing as the Devil's Advocate. It was also a time when the miracles attributed to saints were scrutinized according to very severe standards. It is significant in any comparison that one of the signs of holiness that was found to be present in the founder of the S.J. was heroic poverty.

It would seem wise even in these times of decline not to base one's view about the S.J. entirely on Malachi Martin's book "The Jesuits". MM himself is a very problematic figure and there is enough data about him to make one prudently cautious. Such for example is his much-touted friendship with Cardinal Bea, who was a liberal at VII and has been the darling of liberals ever since. Another example is MM's book "Jesus Now" from the 1970's. It is such a mish-mash of progressive ambiguity so as to satisfy even the most extreme liberal. It has not been heard that MM ever recanted the views
expressed therein or that he pulled the book from circulation in later years.

As for the O.D., according to their own documentation they boast how they were onto 'aggiornamento' even before VII.

Fight fire with fire if you will, Alsaticus, but not 'fantasy' with fantasy.

John Lamont said...

"'If there are serious reasons for thinking that the innovations of Vatican II contradict earlier teachings or Catholic tradition, why is it that religious submission of mind and will should be given to the innovation of Vatican II rather than to the earlier teachings?'

Because the Church can never lose her divine charism as authoritative teacher, and thus we are obligated to defer to her throughout all times."

I'm afraid this completely misses my point, which is that this divine charism belongs to the earlier teachings just as much as to the later ones. If there is a seeming incompatibility between the earlier and later, the question thus arises of why religious submission of mind and will should be given to the later rather than the earlier. If the later teachings are more authoritative than the earlier ones, or clearer than the earlier ones, or explicitly correct the earlier ones, then this provides a reason for accepting the later rather than the earlier ones. But none of these conditions applies in the case of the disputed teachings of the second Vatican Council.

Gratias said...

Opus Dei is a most important player. We are overjoyed they now offer a once-monthly TLM in their Parish in Rome. The words of theologian Msgr. Ocáriz tied a Gordian knot that even the brightest minds of Rorate Caeli could not untangle satisfactorily. The solution is to cut right through this dilemma with a Solemn Mass offered by our Pope Benedict XVI over Saint Peter's relics in Rome. In a sense it is sad to depend of even more good originating from our 84-year Pontifex; but I do not see many other ways of putting an end to all this debilitating internecine fighting.

Ogard said...

DV is certainly the most authoritative magisterial document on Tradition, if for nothing else but for the fact that the subject had never been addressed by the Magisterium before VII. (It was dealt by theological manuals of the last two centuries, and various views were proposed.) And it was proposed by the Constitution which is explicitly called Dogmatic. (To reject VII with an excuse that it was “not infallible” or “pastoral” is total and utter nonsense.)

Tradition is a living process in which “the Church in her doctrine life and worship perpetuates and hands on to all generations to come, all that she is and all that she believes” (DV 8/1). Detailed account is in nos. 8 and 9, which should be read and studied with a prayer and help of informed commentaries, and not dismissed on the basis of second-hand information, obtained from modernistic sources which disguise themselves as “traditional”.

David said...

CH DUPUY,

Unless we have the competence and expertise to engage Rome in direct discussion about the documents of Vatican II, yes, we wait.

Let us put away the long faces and wait in joyful anticipation of the Lord's coming. A heavenly liturgy awaits us, a liturgy that will make us forget everything connected with the innovations of Vatican II. Amen veni Domine Iesu!

David said...

CH DUPUY,

As for giving precedence to pre-Vatican II teachings over the disputed documents of the Council, you can certainly do that in your personal choice of what to read and not to read. By all means avoid the documents of Vatican II, if they cause you confusion and consternation. However, you cannot openly and publicly reject the documents of Vatican II. That is not a religious submission of intellect and will to Mother Church. It is not Catholic.

Truth Teller said...

John Lamont, I think you're hitting the nail on the head here.

If we have 200-250 popes [depending upon the topic] who have taught one thing, while our most recent 5 popes have taught something contrary, we should go where the preponderance of papal authority rests. So there should be nothing wrong, in principle, with setting aside the teaching of the most recent 5 popes where it is contrary and following the tradtion.

We shouldn't go around pretending contradictions don't exist when they do. And they most certainly do, unless we're going to start to claim that the foundational basis of the faith is ongoing extremist reductionism that paves the way for showing that abortion on demand and Nazism are fully compatible with the Catholic faith.

Ronald Federson said...

I am very happy to know that Msgr Ocariz Brana is one of the "world experts" on religious liberty.

If he is one of the best, with such a poor and unclear argumentation it is very clear to me without any possible doubt that the teaching of VII on religious "liberty" is fallible at best if not completely erroneous, therefore, rejecting it does not exclude a person from the Communion of the Church

David said...

So there should be nothing wrong, in principle, with setting aside the teaching of the most recent 5 popes where it is contrary and following the tradtion.

If by "setting aside" we mean not bothering ourselves with it, I agree. Let's say that someone asks our opinion as to whether the Catholic Church has the right to suppress other religions. We can answer first of all that the Church has the right and the duty to preach the Truth and to protect her children from error. How that right translates into political practice is a very complex question whose answer varies depending upon historical circumstances. If our interlocutor objects that "Vatican II says that everyone has a right to religious freedom", we can answer that Vatican II left untouched -- and indeed reaffirmed -- the Church's perennial teaching that she has the right and the duty to preach the Truth and protect her children from error. In talking with this person, I would avoid debate over Vatican II and stick to the perennial teaching.

David said...

Ronald Federson, your conclusion is rash and presumptuous, and it betrays an attitude that is not Catholic. Listen to yourself:

... it is very clear to me without any possible doubt that the teaching of VII on religious "liberty" is fallible at best if not completely erroneous ...

You are not the Magisterium. Learn some humility.

Ogard said...

The Church “divine charism belongs” indeed “to the earlier teachings just as much as to the later one” (says JOHN LAMONT}, but the question is: who is in the name of Jesus Christ authorized to interpret the “earlier” teachings, the “later” teachings, and compare the two? A self-appointed individual (as Luther claimed for the Scripture), or the living Magisterium? Who is authorized to say which teaching is “more authoritative”? SSPX (who stand on the Luther’s principles, but apply it to the Tradition, as l have decisively demonstrated) or Benedict XVI?

PEH said...

Msgr. Ocariz said:
The Council’s other doctrinal teachings require of the faithful a degree of assent called “religious submission of will and intellect”. Precisely because it is “religious” assent, such assent is not based purely on rational motives. This kind of adherence does not take the form of an act of faith. Rather, it is an act of obedience that is not merely disciplinary, but is well-rooted in our confidence in the divine assistance given to the Magisterium, and therefore “within the logic of faith and under the impulse of obedience to the faith” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Donum Veritatis, 24 May 1990, n. 23). This obedience to the Magisterium of the Church does not limit freedom but, on the contrary, is the source of freedom. Christ’s words: “he who hears you hears me” (Lk 10:16) are addressed also to the successors of the Apostles; and to listen to Christ means to receive in itself the truth which will make you free (cf. Jn 8:32).

If one reads his words carefully, it is clear he makes a distinction between assent of Faith and assent of Intellect and Will. But, in my mind this distinction does not exist because "assent" always means assent of Faith when dealing with true doctrines of Holy Mother Church. It is preposterous to say that another form of assent, submission of the intellect and the will, is needed for the ambiguous propositions left in the wake of the council. As another poster has said, it appears to be an attempt to square the circle.

Ecclesia Militans said...

Of course rejecting "religious liberty" does not exclude someone from the Church.

"Religious liberty" is not dogma. As mons. Fellay recently said, we do not say in the Creed "I believe in religious liberty, in ecumenism, in collegiality..." In fact, not only is it not dogma, it is contrary to dogma, to the ordinary and universal magisterium and the immemorial practice of the Church.

Ronald's statement that "the teaching of VII on religious liberty is fallible at best if not completely erroneous" is even overly cautious, because "religious liberty" is completely erroneous and we should not be afraid to say it - it is after all what we mean.

We don't need a magisterial pronouncement to reckognize the truth. Let us not be like the pharisees who focused on formality while losing all touch with reality and truth.

No one has the right to make you lose your faith, the pope, the cardinals, the bishops, no one. And yet this is what is being done to millions of Catholics in the last 50 years.

I must say, David, that your last comment is both appalling and untrue. I would say Ronald exibited a very Catholic attitude, which is more than can be said of your attack towards him. You should listen to yourself before even venturing to think about teaching others about humility. In my personal experience usually the ones who are quick to teach others about humility have a problem with it themselves.

If the teaching of VII and the subsequent popes is not infallible then it means it is fallible - this is pure logic, we have already determined this.
And if that teaching is against Tradition and the perennial teaching of the Church, then it is to be disregarded as erroreous or to claim that the previous teaching was erroneous and risk leaving the Church.

If this is not Catholic attitude, would you say that the Catholic attitude is blind obedience to the popes and their fallible teaching?
Because that is what you are advocating with your last statement.

David said...

If one reads his words carefully, it is clear he makes a distinction between assent of Faith and assent of Intellect and Will.

Read more carefully. The distinction is between the ASSENT of Faith and RELIGIOUS SUBMISSION of intellect and will. This distinction is traditional and very clear.

Ecclesia Militans said...

I see some people here desperately want to adhere to the religion of the pope.

So let me ask you a hypotetical question:
What if the next pope is a rampant modernist who decides to issue all kinds of non-infallible "magisterial pronouncements" against Tradition, against the Mass, against dogma etc.?

Would you then also say that we are absolutely obliged to listen to him because only he has a legitimate right to interpret the teaching of the Church and that he is the only one who can "authoritatively" do so?
Where do you draw the line?

Is it where you feel comfortable or is it when the pope teaches against the truth?

Who is the real protestant here?

("But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." Galatians 1:8)

Don't you see how this empty formalism is a tool of the enemies of Christ, the same that they used in His time on Earth and ever since in their synagogues?

There is a Catholic prophecy that says in the time of Antichrist his puppet pope will abolish all dogma except the one on obedience.
Is this time not in a way a premonitory image of that unfortunate time to come?

Let us pray that the Lord of Hosts shortens this time.
Amen Veni Domine Jesu

David said...

Ecclesia Militans,

You really need to get a hold of yourself.

No one is making you lose your faith. The Church has not asked you or any Catholic to give an assent of Catholic Faith to the teaching of Dignitatis Humanae. The Church does ask you to be mindful of your place and know your limitations. Put a leash on your fallible mind and a bridle on your flapping tongue. That is precisely what "religious submission of intellect and will" is all about. When you, a mere layman (I assume), categorically assert in a public forum that a declaration made by an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church contains grave error and must be rejected out of hand, you have overstepped your bounds.

David said...

There is a Catholic prophecy that says in the time of Antichrist his puppet pope will abolish all dogma except the one on obedience.

By broadcasting specious "prophecies" based on unapproved locutions, you endanger many souls.

New Catholic said...

David says, "When you, a mere layman (I assume), categorically assert in a public forum that a declaration made by an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church contains grave error and must be rejected out of hand, you have overstepped your bounds."

Well... when you, a mere layman (I assume) categorically tell another layman in a public forum that he has "overstepped his bounds", I feel somewhat uncomfortable with it. Let us avoid personal anathemas here, please.

NC

David said...

Fair enough, New Catholic. Ecclesia Militans is probably right about one thing:

... usually the ones who are quick to teach others about humility have a problem with it themselves.

Guilty as charged.

New Catholic said...

No problem!

NC

Ogard said...

If indeed, as Ecclesia Militants would have it, “Felly recently said, we do not say in the Creed ‘I believe in religious liberty, in ecumenism, in collegiality...’ “, and meant it to be a “proof” that one might dissent from the teaching of VII, the bishop was not at his best (to put it charitably). We do not say in the Creed “I believe in the Assumption, seven sacraments, Real Presence, Original Sin”, either. Even about the Holy Ghost: we do not (explictly) say that He is God, not to mention that there is nothing in the Creed about Him being God from God, true God from true God, one in substance with the Father and the Son.

The claim: “If the teaching of VII and the subsequent popes is not infallible then it means it is fallible”, is far from being the “pure logic”, if it is meant to prove that the fallible teaching is by that very fact in error. Pius XII taught of Assumption of Our Lady (Mystici Corporis) before he proclaimed a dogma. It doesn’t mean that she was assumed on the day of promulgation of the Munificentissimus; what he taught before had been true in spite of being proposed "fallibly". Had somebody dissented at that time he would have rejected what was in fact true. That is one of the reasons why, according to the traditional Moral Theology, a dissent from the non-infallibly proposed teaching is sinful (see Grisez Vol.2).

Delphina said...

".. usually the ones who are quick to teach others about humility have a problem with it themselves."

Quite right. I'll add charity to that too.

Disputater said...

David and Ogard, let us thoughtfully and intricately explore our faith together. Please answer the following questions with clear and precise answers:

1) Does the Catholic faith consist of nothing more than whatever the current pope likes, believes, says, does,and teaches? If so,how can that be Catholic? If not, by what measure do you establish the Catholic faith and by what right do you, as presumed mere laymen, have to use any such measure in evaluating the current pope?

2) If the pope or an ecumenical council were to officialy authoritatively teach and proclaim any or all of the following:

- abortion is hunky dory and must be permitted for a pregnant woman to exercise her human dignity

- declare Martin Luther, Margaret Sanger, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler saints of the Church

- that homosexuals have the right to meaningful, loving, and sexual relationships in order to express healthy human affection and participate in establishing a civilization of love consonant with every person's [you guessed it] human dignity.

- declare that the trinity is not an essential teaching of the Church and that all Christian theologians have every right to entertain and consider any number of Christological models as to the relationship between Jesus and God.

- declare Mohammed to be some kind of latter day prophet or apostle of the Christian faith.

would it be your position that all Catholic laymen are required to humbly know their place, give a full complete submission of intellect and will to these, and show proper regard and respect for the Magisterium and patiently wait year after year and decade after decade as the Magisterium tries to explain to us how all of the above are fully compatible with a true understanding of the Catholic faith? Why or why not?

If you will give full complete answers to these questions, I think we can start to clearly identify the stumbling blocks that are keeping some of us from agreeing with you.

Jordanes551 said...

Disputater, none of your extreme, absurd hypotheticals have the slightest chance of happening. It is simply impossible for a pope or oecumenical council to formally, officially, authoritatively teach or declare any of the things you suggest. Therefore your questions cannot help anyone identify any stumblingblocks preventing people from agreeing with David and Ogard. If any of your hypotheticals came to pass, it would falsify the Catholic Religion -- no obedience would be owed to such a pope or council, because it would mean that no pope or council has ever had any divine authority obliging us in any way.

Jordanes551 said...

If there is a seeming incompatibility between the earlier and later, the question thus arises of why religious submission of mind and will should be given to the later rather than the earlier.

Because we exist in the here and now, not in the past -- we're obliged to obey the Church now, and to pay heed to what she says in every moment of time, not just up to a certain point in time -- it seems to follow that we must at the very least give the benefit of the doubt to the Magisterium when it is a case of seeming rather than clear incompatibility, since the Church is infallible. The Church says we owe even more than the benefit of the doubt, but we ought to summon at least that much.

[Continued next comment . . . .]

Jordanes551 said...

Father William Most explained "religious submission of mind and of will" in this way:

LG 25: "Religious submission of mind and of will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff
even when he is not defining, in such a way, namely, that the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to according to his manifested mind and will, which is clear either from the nature of the documents, or from the repeated presentation of the same doctrine, or from the manner of speaking."

We note all the qualifications in the underlined part. The key is the intention of the Pope. He may be repeating existing definitive teaching from Ordinary Magisterium level - then it is infallible, as on level 2. He may be giving a decision on a previously debated point - as on level 3, then it falls under the promise of Christ in Lk 10. 16, and so is also
infallible. Or it may be a still lesser intention - then we have a case like that envisioned in Canon 752 of the New Code of Canon Law: "Not indeed an assent of faith, but yet a religious submission of mind and will must be given to the teaching which either the Supreme Pontiff, or the College of Bishops [of course, with the Pope] pronounce on faith or on morals when they exercise the authentic Magisterium even if they do not intend to proclaim it by a definitive act." If they do not mean to make it definitive, then it does not come under the virtue of faith, or the promise of Christ, "He who hears you hears me". Rather, it is a matter of what the Canon and LG 25 call "religious submission of mind and of will." What does this require? Definitely, it forbids public contradiction of the teaching. But it also requires something in the mind, as the wording indicates. This cannot be the absolute assent which faith calls for - for since this teaching is, by definition, not definitive, we gather that it is not absolutely finally certain.

How can anyone give any mental assent when there is not absolute certitude? In normal human affairs, we do it all the time. Suppose we are at table, and someone asks if a dish of food came from a can, and if so, was it sent to a lab to check for Botulism. It is true, routine opening of a can would not detect that deadly poison. Yet it is too much to check every can, and the chances are very remote, so much so that normal people do not bother about it - yet their belief takes into account a real but tiny possibility of a mistake. Similarly with a doctrine on this fourth level. And further, the chances of error on this level are much smaller than they are with a can of food. Similarly, in a criminal trial, the judge will tell the jury they must find the evidence proves guilt beyond
reasonable doubt. He does not demand that every tiny doubt be ruled out, even though it may mean life in prison or death.

If one should make a mistake by following the fourth level of Church teaching, when he comes before the Divine Judge, the Judge will not blame him, rather He will praise him. But if a person errs by breaking with the Church on the plea that he knew better - that will not be easily accepted.


*********

Refraining from public contradiction of a teaching, of course, does not mean it is forbidden to express that one is confused or needs the Church to clarify the matter, nor does it mean one may not enter into theological reflection and study in hopes of clarifying or eliminating points of seeming contradiction.

Disputater said...

Jordanes551, I think my post is a useful exercise in calling upon David and Ogard to systematically think through the comprehensive fundamentals of their position and present that here.

I also think it may be a bit rash to say that all of my fundamentals could not possibly come to pass, or if they did that they would automatically invalidate the Catholic faith. I imagine there must have been some pre-1958 Catholics who would have thought the same thing about some of what has come to pass from the Holy See since 1959.

Jordanes551 said...

Nothing like the things you suggest have ever happened in the Church's history, nor could ever happen, and not even the disorders now afflicting the Church rise to the level of your hypotheticals.

Disputater said...

Jordanes551, I think it's fair to surmise that there would have been some devout Catholics 60 or more years ago who, if you told them that a pope would participate in a pagan religious/spiritual ceremony, a pope would hold that a minor low-level ecumenical council would facilitate the Church changing her very nature, that material schismatics and heretics who were traditionally understood to be outside the Church were building up that Church by their sacriligous employment of sacraments, and that non-Catholic Chrisitans and non-Christians had the right to be free from restriction in publicly propagating their theological errors, evils, and heresies, that some such Catholics would have been horrified and declared that such things could never, ever possibly happen. And they would have been wrong; the unthinkable, for them at least, has happened.

We have a number of traditionalist priests, including some who are fully canonically regularized and recognized, who have held that some of what is presented today as Church teaching is incompatible with what has been taught in the past.

Apparently, our pope believes that he has explained and put this matter effectively to rest with his December 2005 curial address. Am I supposed to affirm that address, give it an assent of mind and will, or even the benefit of the doubt? I do not, not even the latter.

Sobieski said...

These are definitely strange times for the Church. The *shocking* reality of the pope being present recently in a Catholic basilica at an inter-religious meeting with a pagan, Yoruba witch-doctor (for that is what he is) hit me after listening to this sermon:

http://www.audiosancto.org/auweb/20111127-End-Times-What-Sings-to-Look-For-Part-2.mp3

According to this priest, curses from members of these religions are the most difficult to break according to the former chief exorcist of Rome, Fr. Gabriel Amorth.

Re: religious liberty: I would argue, though I reserve judgment on Vatican II, that teaching an objective right to religious error is more egregious, than say, the permitting of abortion because the latter is a sin against the 5th commandment, while the former is a violation of the 1st commandment and in a way a synthesis of all errors. I think religious liberty, in the sense of an objective right (vs. a necessary evil allowed for the greater good of society), is more in accord with the tradition of Freemasonry than Catholicism.

Sobieski

John Lamont said...

I feel a bit helpless at trying to get through points I have made already. It is no good saying that the interpretation of magisterial teachings is the task of the current pope and hence that we should believe what he teaches concerning the disputed statements of Vatican II. That is because no pope has ever given an explanation of how these disputed statements are to be understood when they are considered in the light of the previous teachings that they appear to contradict. Naughty traditionalists like Mgr. Gherardini have been criticised as unruly and disloyal for requesting that the pope issue just such an explanation. All that has happened is that popes have stated that there is no contradiction between anything in Vatican II and previous teaching (and not all of them have done that: Benedict XVI made headlines when he did so, as having broken new ground - I can't identify anything from Paul VI or John Paul II to this effect).

So let me try again:

If you ask ecclesiastical authority, 'How do you explain the apparent contradictions between certain texts of Vatican II and previous teachings?', and the sole reply is, 'There is no contradiction between any texts of Vatican II and previous teachings', your question has not been answered. If you go on and say, 'Your statement does not explain these apparent contradictions, it only claims that they do not exist; I thus remain with the dilemma of knowing which teachings to believe, the former ones or the teachings of Vatican II that appear to contradict them', and ecclesiastical authority responds by saying 'You are wrong; your question about the apparent contradictions between Vatican II and prior teachings was just answered when you were told that there are no such contradictions, and therefore you are required to give religious mind of mind and will to the teachings of Vatican II that are in question', this reply is dishonest. Its claim about the question about the apparent contradictions having been answered is transparently false. Its claim that religious obedience of mind and will is thus required to the disputed teachings in question is thus also false, since it depends on the previous false assertion that the contradictions have been explained, and thus that the problem of choosing between apparently contradictory magisterial teachings does not exist.

This is the game that the Roman authorities have been playing with the SSPX - and with the entire Church.

Steve said...

This discussion is laying open the true catholic attitude towards the Magisterium before and after the 2nd Vatican Council. We must assent with divine faith to all that the Magisterium has taught infallibly, and we must also give religious assent to all that the Magisterium has taught without invoking the Charism of Infallibility. Our ForeFathers would certainly agree. If we reject this idea, then one would only have to hold those things that have been taught by an infallible decree. That's exactlly what those librals want us to follow too.

Sobieski said...

Steve said...

We must assent with divine faith to all that the Magisterium has taught infallibly, and we must also give religious assent to all that the Magisterium has taught without invoking the Charism of Infallibility.


Well, Sts. Paul, Thomas Aquinas and Robert Bellarmine seem to disagree with your assessment, and they are all at the level of Doctors of the Church or greater.

“Just as it is licit to resist the [Roman] Pontiff who attacks the body, so also it is licit to resist him who attacks souls, or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, him who tries to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior." (St. Robert Bellarmine as quoted by John Salza, p. 1)

“It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, 'Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.'” (St. Thomas Aquinas as quoted by John Salza, p. 1)

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." (St. Paul, Gal. 1:8, as noted by other posters)

The common rejoinder seems to be that lay people are too incompetent to make such judgments or offer such corrections (i.e., not about our leaders state re: formal heresy, but regarding doctrine that seems to be inconsistent with prior teaching). Why, then, did these saints make such statements because on this reading, they would at best be pointless and at worst misleading? A voluntarist interpretation of obedience and assent does seem to be prevalent among some Catholics today.

Sobieski

Jordanes551 said...

Jordanes551, I think it's fair to surmise that there would have been some devout Catholics 60 or more years ago who, if you told them that a pope would participate in a pagan religious/spiritual ceremony,

That disorder does not rise to the level of "official, authoritative" magisterial teaching.

a pope would hold that a minor low-level ecumenical council would facilitate the Church changing her very nature,

"low-level ecumenical council" sounds like an oxymoron, but in any case no pope has ever held that the Church's very nature can change, whether through a papally-approved council or not, so again you're bringing up something that hasn't happened and that is unlikely ever to happen.

that material schismatics and heretics who were traditionally understood to be outside the Church were building up that Church by their sacriligous employment of sacraments,

Again, that is not an example of "official, authoritative" teaching (though it is true that even illicit but valid sacraments can help to build up the Church).

and that non-Catholic Chrisitans and non-Christians had the right to be free from restriction in publicly propagating their theological errors, evils, and heresies, that some such Catholics would have been horrified and declared that such things could never, ever possibly happen. And they would have been wrong; the unthinkable, for them at least, has happened.

Nevertheless, none of your hypotheticals has ever happened or could ever happen, so it does no good for you to propose them.

We have a number of traditionalist priests, including some who are fully canonically regularized and recognized, who have held that some of what is presented today as Church teaching is incompatible with what has been taught in the past.

It's true that some of what is presented today as Church teachings is incompatible with what has been taught in the past. Some of what is claimed to be Church teaching isn't Church teaching at all. As for authentic Church teaching that seems to contradict what has been believed always, everywhere, and by all, that the Church is obliged to clarify.

Apparently, our pope believes that he has explained and put this matter effectively to rest with his December 2005 curial address.

I'm not sure he believes that.

Am I supposed to affirm that address, give it an assent of mind and will, or even the benefit of the doubt? I do not, not even the latter.

That curial address, with which I happen to agree, is nevertheless not an exercise of the Magisterium or an official, authoritative teaching of the Church.

Jordanes551 said...

Sobieski, nothing in Aquinas or Bellarmine contradicts the statement, "We must assent with divine faith to all that the Magisterium has taught infallibly, and we must also give religious assent to all that the Magisterium has taught without invoking the Charism of Infallibility." They are talking about the obligation to resist unworthy, wicked popes, prelates, and priests, not the teaching office of the Magisterium.

Dr. Pete said...

Thank you very much Disputater for setting up your very useful hypothetical scenario. It really and truly gets to the heart of the issue. People don't seem to realize that one can make a valid point via hypotheticals, even if they are very remote possibilities.

-Dr. Pete

John McFarland said...

If what was taught from November 1962 until the present can't be squared with what was taught from 30 until November 1962, then the application to post-November 1962 doctrine of the principles of assent formulated centuries before November 1962 does not work.

By all logic, those who deny this are in effect saying: what the incumbent Holy Father says, goes, whenever he said it, and whatever he said before, and whatever his 264 predecessors said; and for that matter, whatever he says this time next year will also go, notwithstanding what he said this year. Even though it's not infallible, we must nonetheless accept it until further notice: religious liberty, ecumenism, collegiality, the New Mass, the whole lot. If these doctrines contradict previous doctrine, well, we must accept the later half of the contradiction.

The sedevacantists quite agree in principle; that's why they need either to (so to speak) depose the Pope, or give up on the Church.

Now, SVism is goofy; but goofier yet are those of you who think that they can both accept the principles and continue to be traditionalists in any sense but frequenting the Extraordinary Form when and as those in communion with the Holy Father condescend to permit it, for as long as they permit it. As regards any of the Pope's authentic magisterium, they must accept it.

P.S. Of course, if you take the "pastoral" character of the Council seriously, maybe you can wriggle out of the whole dilemma. I submit that that's a lot less crazy than thinking that you have to accept Dignitatis humanae.

Sobieski said...

Jordanes551 said...

Sobieski, nothing in Aquinas or Bellarmine contradicts the statement, "We must assent with divine faith to all that the Magisterium has taught infallibly, and we must also give religious assent to all that the Magisterium has taught without invoking the Charism of Infallibility." They are talking about the obligation to resist unworthy, wicked popes, prelates, and priests, not the teaching office of the Magisterium.


Well, that is your gloss, and you need to justify your assertion (sorry, if I am forgetting or missing an earlier comment). If it is true that the Ordinary Magisterium cannot err, then you would be correct. But my understanding is that it can err, and in fact, has done so (prior to Vatican II). Famous examples are Popes Honorius and John XXII, as well as conciliarism. If such is the case, then, we do not have to give assent or obedience to error. So while the principle is normative, it wouldn't necessarily be applicable in every scenario. Virtue is in the mean and above its opposed vices of excess and defect in the extremes. With respect to obedience, the typical vice is disobedience, which is a defect, but there can be cases of an excessive, servile "obedience" opposed to the real virtue. As Catholics, we are not obligated to be mindless subjects. Our first loyalty is to God, and while that statement could be a justification for heresy or schism in many instances, it would seem to me that questioning non-infallible teaching from our religious superiors, which appears to contradict prior teaching, is not vicious in every instance.

Sobieski

Tradfly said...

"DV is written in Latin, you know."

It only just now dawned on me...

"Wrong. There are no vague things in DV that sort of sound like Sacred Apostolic Tradition. There is, however, discussion"

Heartfelt thanks for attempting to find it anyway.

"explanation of Sacred Tradition, in DV chapter II (DV 7-10)."

Yep, and DV8/2 expounds thus: "For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her."
So the Church is "evolving", becoming "more perfect"? No small problem, that concept.

Sorry to be so blunt, but if you've read that chapter and find it ambiguous and can't be sure if its talking about Sacred Tradition, then you probably are not competent to read magisterial documents and would be better off leaving it to those who are.

I'm quite certain it's talking about Sacred Tradition. The subject to hand is ascertaining precisely what it is saying about Sacred Tradition. Your sarcasm is of little avail in disguising the fact that you have no clearer answer than myself or anyone else. May I refer you to my comments of some moments ago, in this thread, regarding doublethink. Mind, only as one possible explanation as to why some can discern no grave issues with Dei Verbum.

Jordanes551 said...

It only just now dawned on me...

Well, that would certainly explain why you suggested earlier that DV's references to "things handed on" in the context of a discussion of Sacred Tradition might not necessarily refer to Sacred Tradition. Of course your remark is as jocular as mine, but seriously, I'm hard pressed to come up with any other explanation for your suggestion that "things handed on" in that passage could refer to something else besides Sacred Apostolic Tradition.

Heartfelt thanks for attempting

**and succeeding**

to find it anyway.

Yep, and DV8/2 expounds thus: "For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her." So the Church is "evolving", becoming "more perfect"? No small problem, that concept.

There is no concept of an evolving Church, nor a concept of evolving truth or evolving dogma, in that statement. It's a reference to the development of doctrine in the Church, which can involve no true contradiction or discontinuity with what went before. The Church Militant does move forward toward the fullness of divine truth, that time when, as St. Paul said, we will know even as we are known.

I'm quite certain it's talking about Sacred Tradition.

Okay, but that isn't what you indicated earlier. Thank you for clarifying and rephrasing things.

The subject to hand is ascertaining precisely what it is saying about Sacred Tradition.

Do you have any other difficulties with this chapter of Dei Verbum besides what it says about the development of doctrine?

Mind, only as one possible explanation as to why some can discern no grave issues with Dei Verbum.

As I've mentioned here more than once, one grave issue with Dei Verbum is the way DV11 is phrased, which has given many people the idea that the false notion of limited inerrancy is acceptable despite the fact that the footnotes of DV11 cite precisely that portion of Providentissimus Deus that says limited inerrancy is something Catholics may not embrace. But the discussion of development of doctrine in DV8 is not something I see any problems with -- certainly nothing contrary to what the Church has previously taught about it.

Disputater said...

While I have appreciated some of your posts in the past, Jordanes551, I do think you're on soft, shifting sands here.

For starters, it seems rather rash of you to refer to JPII's pagan Togo outing as a disorder. In 1985, it was he, not you, who had the authority to interpret and apply Church teaching, including the Second Vatican Council. If he did do this, it stands to reason that it was his considered position that such pagan activity was perfectly consistent with a faithful Catholic life, or, otherwise, he would never have dreamt of doing it.

I'm not clear on what basis you can claim that you know better than the Blessed Great One how appropriate or not participating in a pagan ritual is. Clearly, JPII saw this as perfectly consistent with and a sound application of Nostra Aetate.

So why, exactly, should I not participate in such a pagan ritual, or teach teenagers and children to do the same? We certainly owe JPII at least the benefit of the doubt, don't we? Why should I be looking to your personal opinion, as opposed to the beliefs and example of a beatified pope, as a model to follow?

As for the Church changing her nature, JPII actually did clearly believe and say that as Cardinal Wojtyla during a papal Lenten retreat. It does not appear that Paul VI objected much to the idea. And I'm guessing our present pope, most likely, ascribes to some notion of this belief as well.

Or, again, is there some reason I should be giving more weight to your personal opinions than the considered theological reflection of a Cardinal prince of the Church and future beatified pontiff?

My comments on sacriligous sacraments and propagation of theological evils are taught in the Second Vatican Council, and have been upheld by papal thought ever since.

The 2005 curial address, by all appearances, is a reductionist shambles that could be used to undermine most any teaching one wishes to. If you agree with it, then I'm puzzled as to how you can think my hypotheticals are impossible, as whatever our most recent popes have done with Church-State relations, and material schismatics and heretics, could just as easily be done by a future pope with regard to abortion and homosexuality if he so chooses. Once one baptizes discontinuities within continuity, the sky's the limit.

But even if we assume for the moment that I'm somehow wrong and there are only apparent contradictions and no real ones, that itself is a disgraceful scandal. God does not traffic in ambiguity and neither are his popes and prelates suppose to. They had no basis ever enacting such teachings. When they foresake their obligations, I'm certainly not bound to be giving any assent, submission, or benefit of doubt.

It's clear that prior to 1958, they weren't giving their submission of mind and intellect to what the Church had traditionally stood for, as evidenced by their conduct and mentality upon assuming the reigns of authority.

Jordanes551 said...

Thank you very much Disputater for setting up your very useful hypothetical scenario. It really and truly gets to the heart of the issue. People don't seem to realize that one can make a valid point via hypotheticals, even if they are very remote possibilities.

Yes, some people don't realise that, but as far as we know, no one posting comments here fails to understand it. The problem with Disputater's absurd and impossible hypotheticals is a little like objecting to the doctrine that wives must submit to their husbands by arguing, "If a husband were to order his wife to reproduce by cellular division, is it your position that she would be sinful disobedient if she failed to amoebically divide in front of him?"

Some hypotheticals are just too ridiculous to serve any useful purpose in a disputation.

M. A. said...

"For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her." So the Church is "evolving", becoming "more perfect"?
_________

Jordanes may disagree, but to me the above quoted passage certainly does smack of evolution of dogma.

When God uttered the word, "let there be...", Scripture tells us "..and it was." Scripture does not say that time moved forward millions of years until His word was "fulfilled".

Catholic evolutionists do not believe in instant creation as they believe that it took time for the perfect development of creation; so, too,there are Catholics who will cite DV to infer that dogma is not static but rather, that it is moving towards becoming something better - something more compatible with "modern man" and his inherent "dignity"!

Evolution of dogma is certainly a prevalent concept in the minds of many Catholics, including clergy, who will tell you that the Church no longer believes such-and-such because of VII.

A couple of months ago, at the convocation for all the priests of our dioceses, they were told to hold firm to.......the teachings of VII!

Why, could that possibly mean something other than the complete and IMMUTABLE deposit of the faith once entrusted to the Church? :-)

Ogard said...

Ad Disputer,

An answer to your questions would imply my admission that the absurd situations described could actually happen, and this in turn would imply that I don’t trust Christ’s promises to the Apostles; while I do trust. If you don’t, ask yourself: what is it that makes you a Catholic?

As for the issue raised at 3:28, you should keep yourself better informed.

I doubt, for example, that you were an eye witness of Holy Father’s participation in a pagan religious ceremony. How reliable are your sources? And what kind of participation? There is nothing wrong in being present, and even participating if the nature of ceremony is compatible with the Faith.

Until “60 or more years ago” the popes stayed in Rome instead of going into the world to spread the gospel. If he is now invited, and has accepted the invitation to come into a country, he has to be courteous toward those who have invited him, including religious leaders. If he isn’t what are the chances for the Gospel being even considered?

As for the allegations against the Council they suggest to me that you haven’t read the conciliar documents, not to mention consulted magisterial, and competent theological commentaries, with a view of grasping the authentic meaning of the documents.

There is nothing in them suggesting a change of the Church’s “very nature”, there is no mention of ”schismatics and heretics” or their “sacrilegious employment of sacraments”, or their “right” to propagate “theological errors, evils, and heresies” – all that is your own product based on second hand information.

Ogard said...

Ad M.A. “So the Church is "evolving", becoming "more perfect"?

Of course, we now have quite a collection of dogmas, while during the first three centuries there was none. Definition of divinity of Christ A.D. 325 (Nicea) was improved 431 by teaching that He is one person and that Mary is legitimately called Mother of God, not merely Mother of Jesus. The Creed of Nicea 325 ends with “And we believe in the Holy Spirit” – nothing about His divinity. It was improved by the Niceno – Constantinopolian Creed 381 by addition: “the Lord” etc as we have it in the Mass, but there is no explicit assertion that He is God. This muted affirmation, which was muted in order to avoid provocation of Macedonians who denied the divinity, has remained to date. It was improved not in the Creed but in the Preface of the Holy Trinity. You can go on and on with these examples.

This is what the DV aptly says in the assertion you challenge: “constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her."

Jordanes551 said...

For starters, it seems rather rash of you to refer to JPII's pagan Togo outing as a disorder. In 1985, it was he, not you, who had the authority to interpret and apply Church teaching, including the Second Vatican Council.

You're confusing the person of the pope with the teaching office of the pope. Popes are not impeccable, nor has God deprived them of the ability to be imprudent or to misapply or fail to abide by a Church teaching in their personal conduct. An apostolic visit does not constitute a formal act of the papal magisterium, though of course he can exercise his magisterial office while on an apostolic visit. Blessed John Paul II did not do so on that occasion, so it has no relevance to the point under discussion, which is our obligation to render religious submission of mind and will even to non-definitive teachings of the Magisterium.

If he did do this, it stands to reason that it was his considered position that such pagan activity was perfectly consistent with a faithful Catholic life, or, otherwise, he would never have dreamt of doing it.

For the purposes of our discussion, it makes no difference what his considered position may have been, since his presence in Togo was not a teaching of the authentic Magisterium.

I'm not clear on what basis you can claim that you know better than the Blessed Great One how appropriate or not participating in a pagan ritual is. Clearly, JPII saw this as perfectly consistent with and a sound application of Nostra Aetate.

Perhaps it was, but I don't think so, and all Catholics are free to disagree with popes and even voice their concerns and criticisms in such matters.

Now try to address the topic at hand, which is the proper, Catholic attitude and response to the Magisterium, not the proper, Catholic attitude and response to prudential decisions of the pope.

As for the Church changing her nature, JPII actually did clearly believe and say that as Cardinal Wojtyla during a papal Lenten retreat.

Prove it.

Or, again, is there some reason I should be giving more weight to your personal opinions than the considered theological reflection of a Cardinal prince of the Church and future beatified pontiff?

We have only your word regarding what his considered theological reflection supposedly was and is. Is there some reason we should be giving more weight to your unsubstantiated claims than to the actual words that he said and wrote?

The 2005 curial address, by all appearances, is a reductionist shambles that could be used to undermine most any teaching one wishes to.

You're wrong, but then, as I said, that 2005 curial address is not an exercise of the Church's magisterium and therefore has no place in this discussion.

But even if we assume for the moment that I'm somehow wrong and there are only apparent contradictions and no real ones, that itself is a disgraceful scandal. God does not traffic in ambiguity and neither are his popes and prelates suppose to. They had no basis ever enacting such teachings. When they foresake their obligations, I'm certainly not bound to be giving any assent, submission, or benefit of doubt.

So, unless you can understand what the Church teaches, the Church has no right to teach?

Jordanes551 said...

M.A., the words, "For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her," don't contain a single mention of evolution. The image is of motion through space, not change of substance and form. Picture the Church entirely submerged within and permeated by the Truth, but moving deeper and deeper into the Truth. The Church does not change, and the Truth does not change -- but the Church's expression and explication of the Truth does develop.

Anyone who would try to use that sentence to justify the false doctrine of "evolution of dogma" is guilty of stretching and twisting the words all out of shape. There's simply no concept of evolving dogma anywhere in Dei Verbum.

Jordanes551 said...

I said, They are talking about the obligation to resist unworthy, wicked popes, prelates, and priests, not the teaching office of the Magisterium.

Sobieski replied, Well, that is your gloss, and you need to justify your assertion

On the contrary, you have alleged that Aquinas and Bellarmine had in mind the Church's teaching office, so I think you should demonstrate that they in fact were of the opinion that one can resist or reject authentic but non-definitive teachings of the Magisterium.

If it is true that the Ordinary Magisterium cannot err, then you would be correct. But my understanding is that it can err, and in fact, has done so (prior to Vatican II). Famous examples are Popes Honorius and John XXII, as well as conciliarism.

There is both a fallible and an infallible Ordinary Magisterium. Nevertheless, as said above, "Not indeed an assent of faith, but yet a religious submission of mind and will must be given to the teaching which either the Supreme Pontiff or the College of Bishops pronounce on faith or on morals when they exercise the authentic Magisterium even if they do not intend to proclaim it by a definitive act."

Mar said...

Jordanes551 said: "Anyone who would try to use that sentence to justify the false doctrine of "evolution of dogma" is guilty of stretching and twisting the words all out of shape. There's simply no concept of evolving dogma anywhere in Dei Verbum."

No doubt you are right, but that is cold comfort when it is known for a fact that certain VII documents were deliberately constructed in a certain ambiguous way so that afterwards they could be interepreted to mean things that were contrary to previous, well-established teachings of the Church. And indeed they *were*
interpreted that way after the council - far and wide.

In that period, for example, Teilhard de Chardin, who with his Omega point had an unmistakably evolutionary and heterodox interpretation of 'moving forward' in relation to the spiritual development of mankind, became extremely popular and was favourably cited at the highest levels of the Church. This despite that fact that in 1950 his opinions had been condemned as undermining the doctrine of original sin.

Similarly in the following case.

Jordanes551 said: "So, unless you can understand what the Church teaches, the Church has no right to teach?"

Very cold comfort to reflect upon such a question in times like ours when great numbers of those who have been mandated by the Church to teach, and are therefore seen by the masses as being part of the teaching Church, not only on many
occasions refuse to teach, but at other times teach error.

Sure, it would be different if those appointed by the Church were assidously engaged in teaching, were consistent in teaching correctly and were with all due diligence teaching clearly. There have been times like that in the history of the Church, but whether the present is one of them is a moot point.

Ogard said...

If the Catholics were bound to accept only the infallibly proposed teaching, they would have had nothing binding during the first three centuries; and yet they were undergoing martyrdom rather than violating the moral teaching of the Church.
In fact, the binding force of the teaching that is not proposed infallibly is an accepted norm in the traditional moral theology. See: twotlj.org/ or google: The Way of the Lord Jesus. Select vol.II, Question I: "Should one assent to teachings which are not of faith?"

Sobieski said...

Jordanes551 said...

On the contrary, you have alleged that Aquinas and Bellarmine had in mind the Church's teaching office, so I think you should demonstrate that they in fact were of the opinion that one can resist or reject authentic but non-definitive teachings of the Magisterium.


I am not qualifying their statements, and St. Paul, the greatest authority of the three, is explicitly speaking of teaching. Regardless, don't the pope, and secondarily the bishops united to him, compose the teaching office of the Church? If the non-infallible Ordinary Magisterium can err, which it can, then why would we have to give complete submission to questionable new teaching that seem to contradict prior teaching? It seems to me it should be qualified and prudential at best, especially since we owe at least a submission, if not an assent to the prior teaching.

Nevertheless, as said above, "Not indeed an assent of faith, but yet a religious submission of mind and will must be given to the teaching which either the Supreme Pontiff or the College of Bishops pronounce on faith or on morals when they exercise the authentic Magisterium even if they do not intend to proclaim it by a definitive act."

I don't disagree with any of this, except, that this principle cannot be universalized or absolutized. It seems to me there has to be a mean of virtue given that the authentic (i.e., non-infallible Ordinary) Magisterium can err.

Sobieski

Delphina said...

Disputater wrote: "As for the Church changing her nature, JPII actually did clearly believe and say that as Cardinal Wojtyla during a papal Lenten retreat."

Father Johannes Dormann, author of the "John Paul II's Theological Journey" books, agrees with you that the nature of the Church has changed.

M. A. said...

"No doubt you are right, but that is cold comfort when it is known for a fact that certain VII documents were deliberately constructed in a certain ambiguous way so that afterwards they could be interepreted to mean things that were contrary to previous, well-established teachings of the Church."
_____________________

I'm with you, Mar. To know what certain passages mean, we need to know the mind of the authors, and since we know that the traditional sounding preparatory schemas met­ic­ulously prepared under Cardinal Ottaviani and using precise, theological terminology, were scrapped and replaced with ones put together by the notoriously liberal faction (Rahner, Congar, Hans Kung, Lienart,Schillebeeckx et al....)

Well, the rest is history.

Sorry, but I don't believe Ogar when he presumes to tell me what the quoted passage means. To him, it means what he wants it to mean. To its composers, it must have meant something else.

And that is the evil of VII. It can mean all things to all people.

Diabolical confusion. Isn't that the sure sign of the devil?

Jordanes551 said...

When it comes to interpreting magisterial documents, they can only mean what the Church says they mean, regardless of what their authors may or may not have secretly hoped people might think they mean.

Jordanes551 said...

Father Johannes Dormann, author of the "John Paul II's Theological Journey" books, agrees with you that the nature of the Church has changed.

Disputater did not say that the Church's nature has changed (something which is impossible), but that John Paul II believed the Church's nature has changed. If Father Johannes Dormann believes the Church's nature has changed, then he does not adhere to Catholic ecclesiological teaching.

Perhaps Disputater would be kind enough to supply the quote from John Paul II in which the late pontiff said the nature of the Church had been changed.

Ogard said...

St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians belongs to the Scripture, and interpretation of the Scripture is entrusted exclusively to the Magisterium of the Church (DV 10/2.

To pass a judgment on incompatibility between the magisterial document and the Galatians, one has to interpret the latter and the former, compare the two, and be infallible at all three stages.

Bellarmine and Aquinas are not Magisterium but theologians: one cannot set them up against the Magisterium.

Tradfly said...

When it comes to interpreting magisterial documents, they can only mean what the Church says they mean, regardless of what their authors may or may not have secretly hoped people might think they mean.

Agreed - and by not a few apparently, though their appeal for analysis & definitive clarification remains as yet unanswered:

http://www.dici.org/en/documents/petition-to-pope-benedict-xvi-for-a-more-in-depth-examination-of-the-second-ecumenical-vatican-council/

Of course this thread might go a bit stale vis-à-vis NC's latest post at 12th/1032z

CH DUPUY said...

M.A. said:
""For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her." So the Church is "evolving", becoming "more perfect"?"
Indeed¡? I thought that the Church had already the fullness of truth and that the Words of God had reached their complete fullfillment in her all the same. Now I am informed that I shall have to wait probable until the end of times...

Ogard said:
"Ad M.A. “So the Church is "evolving", becoming "more perfect"?

Of course,"
So the Church is becoming "more perfect" as time goes by...
I find this difficult to digest nowadays if I go back some 50 years back in history.

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

"Theistic Evolution" is heresy, debilitating the Church today and causing more harm ultimately than atheistic evolution because of its reduction of God to a mechanism for the supposed natural processes of evolution, its lack of reverence for Holy Scripture as the revealing Word of God, and its insidious attack upon Catholic doctrine and tradition.


Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; put away the gods which your father served on the other side of the river and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

And if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14:15)

*

Jordanes551 said...

I thought that the Church had already the fullness of truth and that the Words of God had reached their complete fulfillment in her all the same.

It would depend on what one means by "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment."

The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom speaks of the Second Advent of Christ as something already fulfilled -- yet it is still in our future.

Ogard said...

CH DUPUY: “I thought that the Church had already the fullness of truth and that the Words of God had reached their complete fulfillment in her all the same.”

If so,it would be helpful to learn when that “fullness of truth” had been “already” reached. And what was the state of affairs before that moment?

Should we look back at the time when the Mass was called "breaking of bread", or when we were spared of "dogmatic" councils, confessionals, Benediction, rosaries etc ?

Delphina said...

Jordannes, take it up with Father Dormann. The books are about John Paul II.

The Angelus Press published the series of books. I conclude from this that the SSPX concurs with Father Dormann.

The only thing Father Dormann stopped just short of is writing that John Paul II is a heretic. How he managed to do that, after all he had written, I do not know.

CH DUPUY said...

I am exploring further on this subject, additional to my previous non-published commentary, to illustrate what took place at VII, when the Rhine Bishops sequestered the Council, and all but layed waste to the Holy Catholic Church.
What do the commentators in this blog suppone would happen if a Vatican III Council were summoned nowadays? Exactly what happened at VII. The liberal Rhine Bishops from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and from the U.S. and probably with the aid of a number of bishops from elsewhere would impose their agenda to include the following: legalizing or accepting abotion, homosexual marriage, women ordination, married priests, stem cell research, and so on. Pope BXVI is aware of the turmoil inside the Church's bishops including the majority of the College of Cardinals, where he is disregarded if not openly despised. That is why he possibly thinks of the SSPX as the last hope for salvaging the Catholic Church, but carefully avoids to accept them openly for fear of an open revolt within the bishopric, and possibly a Schism of large proportions.

CH DUPUY

CH DUPUY said...

Response to Orgard: I answered your question in a previous post that was possibly blocked, but I repeat my response as follows:
Orgard said:
"If so,it would be helpful to learn when that “fullness of truth” had been “already” reached. And what was the state of affairs before that moment?"
That fullness of Truth was reached when our Lord told His disciples:"You will know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free".

CH DUPUY

Gregory Office Chairs said...

I thought that the Church had already the fullness of truth and that the Words of God had reached their complete fulfillment in her all the same. it would depend on what one means by "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment."
Thanks for post..

CH DUPUY said...

Jordanes said:
"It would depend on what one means by "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment."
Jordanes, the time is ripe for grabbing the bull by the horns and call things what they are,like we say in Spanish: "al pan, pan y al vino, vino"; in other words, si si, no no.
I am confused by the reiterated recourse to interpreting VII documents by the Magisterium exclusively, as if laity were not able to understand clearly what is written, as if like Gerardini states in one of the threads above, they were written in cryptic or code language. If an ecumenical Council is not worded as clear as to be understood by the laity and by the clergy who are not versed thologians, what is its purpose anyway?.
We need not go into profound magisterial intricacies to understand what the Council pursued. It is clearly formulated in the schemata composed by the "Rhine Bishops" and the periti who attended the Council. Their purpose was clearly formulated as we have learned by their writings before the Council, when they were considered suspect of heresy by the Holy Office of the time.
To make this post brief, I will quote Ives Congard, who gloated after the Council: "We have destroyed the Medieval Church". Suffice that for the Hermeneutic of Continuity that Pope BXVI proposes but refuses to clarify, simply saying that there is continuity of VII documents if they are interpreted "in the light of Tradition". To summarize this I do not know of a former Council that has demanded interpretation by the Magisterium 50 years on and still wanting. The previous statement goes also as an answer to David, who asked me to patiently wait for another 50 years, when I will be dead and reduced to dust, for a clarification to be given.
Orgard said:
"If so,it would be helpful to learn when that “fullness of truth” had been “already” reached. And what was the state of affairs before that moment?"
That fullness of Truth was reached when our Lord told His disciples:"You will know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free".

CH DUPUY

CH DUPUY said...

Anonymous Gregory Office Chairs said...
"I thought that the Church had already the fullness of truth and that the Words of God had reached their complete fulfillment in her all the same. it would depend on what one means by "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment."
Thanks for post..

I do not understand the purpose of your post. You are repeating what Jordanes previously posted. Your reiteration of Jordanes' statement is a sophistical proposition. "Fullnes of truth" and "complete fullmiment of truth" appear to be equivalent in meaning and are clearly understandable. We need not go around defining terms to drive a point home in a discussion.

CH DUPUY

Jordanes551 said...

I am confused by the reiterated recourse to interpreting VII documents by the Magisterium exclusively, as if laity were not able to understand clearly what is written, as if like Gerardini states in one of the threads above, they were written in cryptic or code language.

It's not that Vatican II documents cannot be understood by any of the laity -- it's that there is apparent or perhaps real conflict between what certain Vatican II documents teach and what earlier magisterial texts teach. Where there is any such conflict or ambiguity, some kind of explanation is necessary -- and the Church alone has the competence and authority to propound such an explanation.

If an ecumenical Council is not worded as clear as to be understood by the laity and by the clergy who are not versed thologians, what is its purpose anyway?

It is impossible for a council to word its documents so clearly that everyone in the Church, and everyone throughout Church history, can easily understand the documents. As has been pointed out, when it comes to oecumenical councils, clarification, elaboration, and development of prior conciliar statements is par for the course.

We need not go into profound magisterial intricacies to understand what the Council pursued. It is clearly formulated in the schemata composed by the "Rhine Bishops" and the periti who attended the Council. Their purpose was clearly formulated as we have learned by their writings before the Council, when they were considered suspect of heresy by the Holy Office of the time.

Whatever these bishops and periti may or may not have intended, the only thing that matters here is what the Church says the documents mean and don't mean.

Suffice that for the Hermeneutic of Continuity that Pope BXVI proposes but refuses to clarify, simply saying that there is continuity of VII documents if they are interpreted "in the light of Tradition".

Is he refusing, or does he simply contributing to the long process of clarification in a way that does not satisfy you?

Jordanes551 said...

To summarize this I do not know of a former Council that has demanded interpretation by the Magisterium 50 years on and still wanting.

Again, as has been pointed out, Nicaea in A.D. 325 had to be interpreted and clarified by Constantinople in A.D. 381 -- that's more than 50 years.

The previous statement goes also as an answer to David, who asked me to patiently wait for another 50 years, when I will be dead and reduced to dust, for a clarification to be given.

Well, neither the Holy Spirit nor the Church are under any obligation to satisfy your personal desires or meet timetables that we creatures of dust and futility come up with. We need to trust God to govern His Church and focus our attention on the things He expects of us.

That fullness of Truth was reached when our Lord told His disciples:"You will know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free".

If everyone in the Church has always known and understood the Truth in all its fullness, why the need for the Magisterium?

I do not understand the purpose of your post. You are repeating what Jordanes previously posted.

His purpose is very obviously to express gratitude for my post. Evidently he was quoting the part of my post with which he particularly agreed.

Your reiteration of Jordanes' statement is a sophistical proposition.

It's no more sophistical for him to quote a comment with which he agrees than it is for you to quote my comments with which you disagree.

"Fullnes of truth" and "complete fullmiment of truth" appear to be equivalent in meaning and are clearly understandable. We need not go around defining terms to drive a point home in a discussion.

Really? We don't need to define terms, even when there is a question about the proper definition of terms?

As I recall from Philosophy 101 oh so many years ago, one of the first rules of philosophical discourse is "Define your terms!"

Anyway, you seem to have forgotten that it was you who used both "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment." You said above:

I thought that the Church had already the fullness of truth and that the Words of God had reached their complete fulfillment in her all the same.

That is when I observed that it would depend on what one means by "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment of the Words of God." You see, it's quite obvious that the formal expression of the Church's doctrine at Pentecost A.D. 33 was different from the formal expression of the Church's doctrine by the time of the First Council of Nicaea. Substantially, of course, it was the same doctrine, the same Faith, the same deposit of faith -- as it has always been and always will be. And yet the Twelve Apostles never professed a Creed containing the word "homoousion."

CH DUPUY said...

Jordanes said:
"It is impossible for a council to word its documents so clearly that everyone in the Church, and everyone throughout Church history, can easily understand the documents.”
I beg to disagree. It has not been the norm in past Councils, especially when proposing dogma or defining truths, with rare exceptions. I think that clarifications of a Council were generally arrived at by discussions within the same Council.
“Nicaea in A.D. 325 had to be interpreted and clarified by Constantinople in A.D. 381 -- that's more than 50 years."
So, will it be necessary to convoke another Council, or will it suffice if the Pope issues a clarification?
"Whatever these bishops and periti may or may not have intended, the only thing that matters here is what the Church says the documents mean and don't mean."
Well, the Church (the Pope?) has still not rendered judgement. So the meaning intended by the periti still holds.
"Is he refusing, or does he simply contributing to the long process of clarification in a way that does not satisfy you?"
Jordanes, do not make it appear personal. It is not my satisfaction that matters on this subject. If the Pope thinks that his Hermeneutic of Continuity is going anywhere he should rather explain it timely or the opportunity for doing so is going to pass him by.
"If everyone in the Church has always known and understood the Truth in all its fullness, why the need for the Magisterium?"
Of course Jordanes, not everyone, but the Apostles, when they received the Holy Ghost, and their successors, and the people who received their teaching.
"It's no more sophistical for him to quote a comment with which he agrees than it is for you to quote my comments with which you disagree."
This is also a sophistical argument.
My reference to sophistry applies to your opening proposition: "it depends in what is meant by..."
"As I recall from Philosophy 101 oh so many years ago, one of the first rules of philosophical discourse is "Define your terms!"
Jordanes, no need to recourse to philosophy to carry on a simple discussion on subjects of importance to traditionalists.
"Anyway, you seem to have forgotten that it was you who used both "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment."
No man, those were quoted by M.A. from Lumen Gentium.

Jordanes551 said...

"It is impossible for a council to word its documents so clearly that everyone in the Church, and everyone throughout Church history, can easily understand the documents.”I beg to disagree. It has not been the norm in past Councils, especially when proposing dogma or defining truths, with rare exceptions. I think that clarifications of a Council were generally arrived at by discussions within the same Council.

Of course you're free to disagree, but in this case that only means that you are free to choose to be wrong. You seem not to be very familiar with the history of past Councils, and in any case the fact remains that it is impossible for a council to word its documents so clearly that everyone in the Church, and everyone throughout Church history, can easily understand the documents. That's due simply to the limitations of human language and the weakness of the human intellect wounded by original sin.

So, will it be necessary to convoke another Council, or will it suffice if the Pope issues a clarification?

I don't know, and I doubt that is something that is possible for anyone here below to know. But in whatever way it comes about, we know God always works these things out, no matter how long it takes. Just think how long it took to solve the disorder of lay investiture -- centuries! And that was a problem that the Church addressed directly and forcefully numerous times.

"Whatever these bishops and periti may or may not have intended, the only thing that matters here is what the Church says the documents mean and don't mean."
Well, the Church (the Pope?) has still not rendered judgement. So the meaning intended by the periti still holds.


No, that does not follow, since the Church is our authoritative teacher of the Faith and guardian of the deposit of faith. Therefore, "Taking conciliar custom into consideration and also the pastoral purpose of the present Council, the sacred Council defines as binding on the Church only those things in matters of faith and morals which it shall openly declare to be binding. The rest of the things which the sacred Council sets forth, inasmuch as they are the teaching of the Church's supreme magisterium, ought to be accepted and embraced by each and every one of Christ's faithful according to the mind of the sacred Council. The mind of the Council becomes known either from the matter treated or from its manner of speaking, in accordance with the norms of theological interpretation." (Theological Commission's Declaration of 6 March 1964). The norms of theological interpretation are perennial, and were operative at the time that the Church prepared and approved the documents of Vatican II. Consequently, the only thing that matters here is what the Church says the documents mean, not what certain bishops and periti may or may not have intended them to mean. God is the Lord of His Church, not modernistic bishops and priests.

Jordanes551 said...

"If everyone in the Church has always known and understood the Truth in all its fullness, why the need for the Magisterium?"
Of course Jordanes, not everyone, but the Apostles, when they received the Holy Ghost, and their successors, and the people who received their teaching.


Bear in mind that the Apostles at first thought that Jesus would very soon return to restore the Kingdom of Israel, which is why it took a few years and the Holy Spirit's intervention for them to begin to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Holy Spirit led them into all truth, until all public revelation was completed by the time of St. John's death. But that deposit of faith was not fully understood by every member of the Church at that time. Hence the role of the Magisterium, as St. Paul teaches in Ephesians 4 -- "And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ; That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive. But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly joined together, by what every joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in charity."

"It's no more sophistical for him to quote a comment with which he agrees than it is for you to quote my comments with which you disagree."
This is also a sophistical argument.


No, it's neither sophistical nor an argument. It's a response to your statement that you didn't understand why he had quoted my words.

My reference to sophistry applies to your opening proposition: "it depends in what is meant by..."

No, grammatically it is very clear that your reference to sophistry applies to his quoting of my words. Of course that isn't what you meant to say, but it is what you in fact said.

Anyway, my opening proposition is not sophistry. You obviously don't know what sophistry is. Also, apparently you aren't adequately equipped for theological discourse, or else you simply are not inclined to engage in it (judging from your impatience with the need to define terms and your belief that it is possible to have a "simple" discussion of matters that are pretty complicated).

Jordanes, no need to recourse to philosophy to carry on a simple discussion on subjects of importance to traditionalists.

We're not involved in a simple discussion.

"Anyway, you seem to have forgotten that it was you who used both "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment."
No man, those were quoted by M.A. from Lumen Gentium.


No, those were your words (in comment timestamped 13 Dec. 2011 04:16) in response to M.A.'s comment. Take note that M.A.'s words end at "more perfect." Your response begins with the word "Indeed":

M.A. said: ""For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her." So the Church is "evolving", becoming "more perfect"?"Indeed¡? I thought that the Church had already the fullness of truth and that the Words of God had reached their complete fullfillment in her all the same. Now I am informed that I shall have to wait probable until the end of times...

CH DUPUY said...

Jordanes said:
"That's due simply to the limitations of human language and the weakness of the human intellect wounded by original sin."
I don't believe that. Language is a God given gift for communicating among ourselves and indispensable for understanding the Word of God. If the weakness of the human intellect would impair our ability to understand an ecclesiastical document, the same holds for the bishops that attended same, if they did not invoke the Holy Ghost.

Well, the Church (the Pope?) has still not rendered judgement. So the meaning intended by the periti still holds.(my quote).
"No, that does not follow, since the Church is our authoritative teacher of the Faith and guardian of the deposit of faith."
I stand by my quote, especially since one of the perti was the Pope himself, and he has not disavowed or refuted his contribution.
“This is also a sophistical argument. “ (my quote)
"No, it's neither sophistical nor an argument. It's a response to your statement that you didn't understand why he had quoted my words."
Call your response what you may, but it is still sophistical, because it puts him on the same level with me (It's no more sophistical for him to quote a comment with which he agrees than it is for you to quote my comments with which you disagree.), when your quote is sophistical and he agrees with it. Your quote ("It would depend on what one means by "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment.")
allows you to define these phrases, clearly understandable by everyone, in whatever way you wish to accomodate your arguments.
"Anyway, my opening proposition is not sophistry. You obviously don't know what sophistry is. Also, apparently you aren't adequately equipped for theological discourse, or else you simply are not inclined to engage in it (judging from your impatience with the need to define terms and your belief that it is possible to have a "simple" discussion of matters that are pretty complicated)."
Your air of superiority betrays the purpose of this blog, which I believe is to facilitate discussion of important matters to Catholics. If the condition for posting on this blog is to be adequately equipped for theological discussion of matters that are pretty complicated, I think that none of us would be abe to participate.
"judging from your impatience..."
!Impatience! Well not mine but for the Traditional Movement, especially the SSPX, whose fate depends on a cllarification of VII documents, and defining the Hermeneutic of Continuity, which if it is going anywhere, as I stated in my previous post, has to be undertaken by Pope BXVI timely or his opportunity shall be missed.
"Anyway, you seem to have forgotten that it was you who used both "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment."
"No man, those were quoted by M.A. from Lumen Gentium." (My quote)
"No, those were your words (in comment timestamped 13 Dec. 2011 04:16) in response to M.A.'s comment. Take note that M.A.'s words end at "more perfect." Your response begins with the word "Indeed"
I do not understand your confusion on this matter. I was referring to a quote by M.A. from a post BY YOU that I thought wrongly was from Lumen Gentium. Following is the quote:
"Yep, and DV8/2 expounds thus: "For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the FULLNESS OF DIVINE TRUTH until the words of God reach their COMPLETE FULLFILLMENT in her."

Jordanes551 said...

"That's due simply to the limitations of human language and the weakness of the human intellect wounded by original sin."I don't believe that. Language is a God given gift for communicating among ourselves and indispensable for understanding the Word of God.

Ah, but the Word of God, both written and oral (the Scriptures and Tradition), require the Magisterium as authoritative interpreter. If the Scriptures, which are divinely inspired, need interpretation and can be misunderstood, how could non-inspired magisterial documents not require interpretation and not be susceptible to misunderstanding?

If the weakness of the human intellect would impair our ability to understand an ecclesiastical document, the same holds for the bishops that attended same, if they did not invoke the Holy Ghost.

You're proving my point about the limitations of human language and the weaknesses of the human intellect. Yes, even bishops can misunderstand or misinterpret magisterial texts.

Call your response what you may, but it is still sophistical, because it puts him on the same level with me (It's no more sophistical for him to quote a comment with which he agrees than it is for you to quote my comments with which you disagree), when your quote is sophistical and he agrees with it.

You ARE on the same level as he is, and as I am. Sorry if that offends you. Anyway, you can call my correct observation "sophistical" all you like, but the onus is on you to prove that it is sophistry.

Your quote ("It would depend on what one means by "fullness of truth" and "complete fulfillment.") allows you to define these phrases, clearly understandable by everyone, in whatever way you wish to accomodate your arguments.

No it doesn't. Rather, it allows everyone the opportunity to study the question to find out what those terms actually mean whenever people use them in different ways.

Don't think that I haven't noticed your studious avoidance of considering the implications of the illustrative example from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. All this back-and-forth about my purported "sophistical" quote is diversionary. I suspect you can sense that my example indicates that there is something missing in your belief that "the Church had already the fullness of truth and that the Words of God had reached their complete fullfillment in her all the same." You need to contemplate in what way the Church already has the fullness of truth, and whether or not the Words of God have reached their complete fulfillment in the Church Militant. If you do that, you might be able to understand why the Church teaches, "For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her."

If the condition for posting on this blog is to be adequately equipped for theological discussion of matters that are pretty complicated, I think that none of us would be abe to participate.

No, that is not a condition for posting on this weblog. Being adequately equipped IS a condition for participating in a theological discussion of matters that are pretty complicated, though, which is what is going on here.