Rorate Caeli

Tosatti - The two responses to the ‘Correction’: Belittle, label, marginalize and the Pope’s unacceptable silence

Marco Tosatti
Stilum Curiae
September 25, 2017

Primum, denigrate. Saddle the adversary with a label, which will in any case place him in difficulty regarding public opinion as well as put him on the defensive. It is a rhetoric device as old as the world itself and with which the Church is well-acquainted. Thus, faced with an undoubtedly exceptional and exceptionally agonizing event, such as Correctio filialis, signed – at the present moment  - by 62 personalities in the Catholic world, both laity and priests (cardinals and bishops, we are told, have been voluntarily excluded) we have two reactions. The first, on the part of those directly concerned, which we will return to, is:  silence.

The second, by his strongmen, of  pen or computer, or the TV, if you prefer, is to: belittle, label in a way as to marginalize, make it understood that they are a poor lot, and (horror of horrors!) right-wing; after all, didn’t Monsignor Fellay the Superior of the Lefebvrians sign ? Another reaction: let’s pray for them, the poor things, who dare to say that the pope can write erroneous things! It’s not possible: it’s the pope himself that defines who is a heretic! How could he write erroneous things? Let’s leave it to those who know more than we do to confute this thesis, which seems to attribute to the pope, always and everywhere,  prerogatives which he doesn’t have and which no-one has ever claimed.  We note in the articles of criticism, more or less veiled, an element which is rigorously missing: the evaluation whether what is said in the formal correction makes sense or doesn’t.

The Writer here is a an ordinary person, with no academic titles. He received a classical education, where he was instructed in logic.  Now, logic is not Catholic; it is simply at the base of human reasoning. Also for Catholics; given that The Mind which created everything, has placed logic as the foundation of His creation. All this to say, as other more learned and more refined than The Writer have already done, that when in consequence of Amoris Laetitia and its borne out interpretations, the Correctio signatories write: “A person, while obeying the Divine Law, can sin against God, in virtue of the same obedience” , it is not only the Faith that is, at any rate wounded, but logic itself. Which precedes Faith. And the same could be said for all or almost all the other six notations. Which the critics carefully avoid raising: they repeat “Conservatives! “Traditionalists!” and think they have resolved the problem, or at least a day’s pay.

I don’t know all of the 62 signatories; in fact, I know very few; but taking a quick look at their Curricula, it seems to me that they are scholars well-versed in studies and analysis.   Liquidating their suffering and effort with a label, is an act of propaganda, alas, now not unknown in the Church. Certainly, they are courageous; what with the atmosphere we have been breathing inside and outside the Vatican, of control, espionage, punishments and repressions – I won’t say dissents, but of any non-conforming notion;  so  for them to have acted thus, they must truly have a great love for the Church, that is, the Church of all time.  They prefer running some risks rather than failing in their duty to speak.  

This brings us back to the beginning of our reflection. Since Amoris laetitia exploded in its devastating ambiguity, desired inside the Church, the reigning Pontiff has received petitions, appeals, Dubia, personal and private letters from hundreds and hundreds of people, many of whom have spent their lives for the Church and don’t have for sure -  unlike others – ambitions of power or personal interest to defend.   Now, almost as an extreme step, we have the Correctio.  There was only one response to all of this: silence.  The Writer understands well the impasse in which calculated errors, good intentions and tainted counsel may have lead the principal protagonist in this drama. The Writer understands also the devastating, depressing  effect that the recognition of error could have on a particular person. Yet silence does not become the One who is responsible for the Faith of a billion, two hundred million people, among whom confusion is increasing. Particularly if he does nothing else but talk, talk, talk – but of other things entirely.

H/T: Chiesa e Post Concilio

Translation: Contributor, Francesca Romana