Rorate Caeli

Ah, those traditionalists!

Laodicea, Anatolia
Published a few hours ago on CNS: 

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Traditionalist and progressive camps that see the Second Vatican Council as breaking with the truth both espouse a "heretical interpretation" of the council and its aims, said the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

What Pope Benedict XVI has termed "the hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in continuity" is the "only possible interpretation according to the principles of Catholic theology," Archbishop Gerhard Muller said in remarks published Nov. 29.

"Outside this sole orthodox interpretation unfortunately exists a heretical interpretation, that is, a hermeneutic of rupture, (found) both on the progressive front and on the traditionalist" side, the archbishop said.

What the two camps have in common, he said, is their rejection of the council: "the progressives in their wanting to leave it behind, as if it were a season to abandon in order to get to another church, and the traditionalists in their not wanting to get there," seeing the council as a Catholic "winter."

"Louis XVI, King of the French - 1793
 Kingdom of the Law - Year 5 of Freedom"

A "council presided over by the successor of Peter as head of the visible church" is the "highest expression" of the Magisterium, he said, to be regarded as part of "an indissoluble whole," along with Scripture and 2,000 years of tradition.

The doctrinal chief's remarks were published in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, to present the seventh volume of "The Complete Works of Joseph Ratzinger." The volume collects both published and unpublished notes, speeches, interviews and texts written or given by the future pope in the period shortly before, during and just after Vatican II.

Archbishop Muller specified that by "continuity" Pope Benedict meant a "permanent correspondence with the origin, not an adaption of whatever has been, which also can lead the wrong way."

Burial site of Alexander Kerensky, Putney Vale Cemetery, London

The term "aggiornamento" or updating -- one of the watchwords of the council -- "does not mean the secularization of the faith, which would lead to its dissolution," but a "making present" of the message of Jesus Christ, he said.

This "making present" is the "reform necessary for every era in constant fidelity to the whole Christ," he said.

"The tradition of apostolic origin continues in the church with help from the Holy Spirit," he said, and leads to greater understanding through contemplation and study, intelligence garnered from a deeper experience of the spiritual, and preaching by those who through the "apostolic succession have received an assured charism of truth."

More from Vatican Insider: The custodian of faith on the “heretical interpretations” of the Council.


This comes a few days after Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, was quoted as telling traditionalists to "go back to studying Latin", "because they often want masses to be celebrated in Latin, but it is likely they do not know the language that well." (The advice to learn Latin -- a completely unprovoked quip -- is certainly not offensive to traditional Catholics, but the Cardinal's remarks seem to echo the idea that in order to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, the priests and faithful should first know Latin -- a misguided and wrongheaded notion that has been used frequently to deny Catholics access to this Mass. Traditional Catholics are not Latinolaters, otherwise they would be quite satisfied with the 1969 liturgical construct celebrated in Latin...)

Condescending prelates should simply listen to the Pope: "It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these." (Letter to Bishops accompanying Summorum Pontificum) Got it?