Even when one is an absolute monarch, it is best to bring the plenitude of one’s authority to bear only when necessary. This is quite clear to me as absolute lord of my computer.
Back in the First Things stage of my intellectual development, I was told that, despite appearances, Vatican II was a good thing because without it, we would be stagnant and on our way to extinction like the Eastern Orthodox, who never had the benefit of “confronting modernity”. (The gulags don’t count.)
Yes, I’m so grateful to Pope John that instead of being confident, resurgent, and fertile like the Russians, Catholics are devoting our energies to discerning the “spiritual gifts” of homosexual couples.
unless you’ve been reading here or a few other places, as we’ve expressed our skepticism of nouvelle theologie propaganda.
Really excellent essay by John Lamont on the neomodernist misrepresentation of neoThomism and Garrigou-Langrange.
In his essay Faith and Doubt, Cardinal Newman argues that it is perfectly right for the Catholic Church to forbid her children to doubt her. Not only must we accept what we currently understand to be Catholic doctrine, we must put faith in the Church herself as the “oracle of God”, and we “…must come, I say, to the Church to learn; you must come, not to bring your own notions to her, but with the intention of ever being a learner”. I’m sure my own lack of confidence that in a year’s time the Church will still teach her true doctrine on sexual morality would seem to Newman already a sinful faithlessness. The man who coined the phrase “development of doctrine” didn’t anticipate that kind of doubt, but I can surmise what he would have thought of it. What of the great conservative Catholic hope that true doctrine will remain “on the books” (like the prohibition of usury, male headship, and the social kingship of Christ) even when forgotten and contradicted by the fallible teachings and practices of the bishops and pope? No doubt Cardinal Manning would be horrified by this idea of constructing one’s own Catholicism from old texts in defiance of the Church’s contemporary voice. Newman, the historian of Arianism, might have been a bit more sympathetic.
How difficult it has become to have a simple faith in the Church!
The most important function of a royal court is to deflect the resentment government always brings away from the monarch. So it has been with the Roman Curia, long a byword for corruption, obstruction, and overall evil for Catholics both orthodox and heretical. We all know the standard story about “the Curia” being a bunch of grumpy reactionaries who tried to stop Vatican II’s “renewal” of the Church (which, if true, would make them heroes). However, even conservative Catholics often talk about “reforming” or “cleaning up” the Curia as a major priority for renewing the Church, as if any of that matters when the pope, most bishops, most priests, and nearly all the laity are surrendering to the world. It is said that the Curia is corrupt, but that isn’t quite right. The sodomite lobby is not corrupt, but principled, like foreign spies rather than like bribed officials. And what should we expect, when the fags run the Church at every other level? Probably the proportion of holy men serving God is higher in the Curia than outside of it. If the Church at large didn’t approve their sin, the presence of a clique of sodomites in the Vatican would be bad for their souls but irrelevant to the functioning of the Church.
This doesn’t mean we should launch a propaganda campaign to rehabilitate the Curia’s reputation. If we had the power to launch propaganda campaigns, there would be much more important messages to send, and as I said, the unpopularity of the Curia serves a useful social function. But this is the reason it is so unseemly for the pope to court popularity by publicly berating his own flak catchers.
When the bishops fail to assert a Catholic doctrine when the subject comes up, when they ask us to consider the positive side of politically popular sins, when the Pope makes a statement that he must know will be interpreted in a heterodox way–when the context of his remark even suggests the heterodox interpretation–it’s silly to deny that they’re deliberately undermining the Catholic faith. Whether or not an individual statement stripped of its context can be given an orthodox meaning is irrelevant.
Because so many people seem to think it clever to say otherwise, we should be grateful to Edward Feser for arguing the point at length. Often, the job of philosophy is to defend common sense from clever silliness.
Peter Kwansniewski makes similar points more concisely at Rorate Caeli.
See also Mundabor’s great essay on “Francispeak“.
So, if we’re allowed to notice the obvious, there’s nothing wrong with noticing, as this article does, the contrast between the Vatican’s treatment of the religious sisters of the USA and of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Father Z points out that the CDF is still slowly investigating the LCWR, but really, what’s to investigate? Their apostasy is completely out in the open. The Vatican certainly doesn’t wait years before striking against those suspected of Lefebvrist sympathies. The fact that everyone in the LCWR hasn’t been summarily excommunicated proves that Rome has no sense that it is dealing with open rebellion against Christianity and that nothing will happen. Some time ago, Rod Dreher pointed out that, by its actions, one would conclude that the Vatican thinks preferring the Latin Mass is worse than child rape. It is also clearly true that the Holy Father and the bishops regard the Latin Mass as worse than abortion advocacy, lesbianism, goddess worship, pantheism, and support for communism. In fact, the post-Vatican II hierarchy acts very much like a Cathedral occupation force charged with suppressing any signs of pre-VII Catholicism.
Isn’t it funny? After the first week of the Synod, the Vatican managed to put out a scandalous (heretical and immoral) mid-synod report, with translations in multiple languages. (A minor annoyance: What the heck does it mean to put a synod document on the Vatican website and then call it “unofficial”? This sort of reflexive irresponsibility is unbecoming of the Holy See.) Then, after the synod ends, a week and a half goes by with the final report only available in Italian. On October 29, The Remnant complains about how ridiculous this is. The next day, an English translation finally appears. (Don’t let the directory names fool you. I’ve been keeping an eye on this site, and I can tell you it wasn’t there when last I checked on the 28th.) Now, I don’t think the Kasperites running the Vatican website actually read The Remnant, but it’s not an unreasonable supposition that the final report was kept not-easily-available as long as this would draw attention away from it (and keep attention on the wicked mid-synod report), and a translation was only made available when it began to seem that its absence was actually drawing attention to the report.