Wednesday, February 20, 2013
SHOULD THE POPE RENOUNCE HIS ABDICATION OF THE CHAIR OF PETER? YES, SAY SOME TRADITIONALISTS
The Blog Chiesa out of Italy is reporting the following:
Last-Ditch Appeal: The Pope Should Withdraw His Resignation
The reactions of the traditionalists to the renunciation of Benedict XVI. Legitimate but inopportune, according to Roberto de Mattei. Impossible philosophically and theologically, according to Enrico Maria Radaelli
by Sandro Magister
ROME, February 20, 2013 – How have the most resolute defenders of Catholic tradition reacted to the resignation of Benedict XVI?
Church historian Roberto de Mattei has commented on the decision of Pope Joseph Ratzinger with a commentary on the website he directs, “Corrispondenza Romana”:
> Thoughts on the Resignation of Benedict XVI
De Mattei does not contest the legitimacy of Benedict XVI's renunciation of the pontificate.
He recognizes that “it is contemplated by canon law and has been seen historically over the centuries.”
And it is also founded theologically, because it puts an end not to the power of orders conferred by the sacrament, which is indelible, but only to the power of jurisdiction.
From the historical point of view, however, de Mattei maintains that the resignation of pope Joseph Ratzinger “appears to be in absolute discontinuity with the tradition and praxis of the Church”:
"One cannot make a comparison either with Celestine V, who quit after being dragged away by force from his hermit's cell, or with Gregory XII, who was forced to resign in order to resolve the very serious question of the Great Western Schism. These were exceptional cases. But what is the exception in the action of Benedict XVI? The official reason, engraved in his words of February 11, expresses, more than the exception, the rule.”
It is the “rule” that would simply coincide with “vigor of both body and mind.”
But then “the question arises”:
“Over two thousand years of history, how many popes have reigned in good health and have not witnessed the decline of their powers and have not suffered from illnesses and moral trials of every kind? Physical well-being has never been a criterion of governance of the Church. Will it be so beginning with Benedict XVI?”
If this is so - de Mattei writes - the action of Benedict XVI takes on an impact “not simply innovative, but revolutionary”:
“The image of the pontifical institution, in the eyes of public opinion all over the world, would in fact be stripped of its sacrality to be handed over to the criteria of judgment of modernity.”
And this would achieve the objective repeatedly set forth by Hans Küng and other progressive theologians: that of reducing the pope “to the president of a board of administration, to a purely arbitral role, accompanied by a permanent synod of bishops with deliberative powers.”
Much more radical are the conclusions reached by the philosopher and theologian Enrico Maria Radaelli.
He has substantiated his criticisms of the action of Benedict XVI in a 13-page commentary published on his website:
> Aurea Domus
The title of the commentary leaves no room for doubt:
"Why pope Ratzinger-Benedict XVI should withdraw his resignation. It is not yet the time for a new pope, because it would be that of an antipope.”
Radaelli moves from the words of the risen Jesus to the apostle Peter, in chapter 21 of the gospel of John. He gathers from this that “the cross is the status of every Christian” and therefore “rebelling against one's status, rejecting a grace received, would appear to be for a Christian a grave offense against the virtue of hope, against the grace and the supernatural value of accepting one's human condition, all the more grave if the condition involves roles 'in sacris,' as is the condition, of all the most eminent, of pope.”
As the Peter of the “Quo vadis" who while fleeing from Rome runs into Jesus who is going to die in his place, so “it happens when the pope (but also the least of the faithful) flees from the place where Christ has driven him to endure, to suffer, perhaps to die: it happens that Christ goes to endure, to suffer, perhaps even to die, yes, in his place.”
It is true - Radaelli acknowledges - that canon 333 of the code of canon law establishes that a pope has the power to resign, “but I say that not even the pope has such power, because it would be the exercise of an absolute power that contrasts with being one's very self.” And “it is impossible even for God” not to be what he is.
The resignation of a pope - he continues - even if permitted legally, “is not permitted metaphysically and mystically, because in metaphysics it is bound up with the kernel of being, which does not permit something at the same time both to be and not to be, and in mysticism is bound up with the kernel of the mystical Body which is the Church, through which the office of vicar taken on [by the successor of Peter] with the oath of election places the being of the elect on an ontological plane substantially different from the one left behind: on the metaphysically and spiritually highest plane of Vicar of Christ.”
"Not considering these facts is in my view a murderous blow to dogma. Resigning means losing the universal name of Peter and going back to the private being of Simon, but this cannot be, because the name of Peter, of Cephas, of Rock, is given on a divine plane to a man who, in receiving it, no longer makes only himself, but 'makes Church.' Without counting the fact that since the self-removed pope cannot in reality resign, the incoming pope, despite himself, will be nothing but an antipope. And reigning will be he, the antipope, not the true pope.”
"The final consideration is therefore this: pope Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI should not resign, but should draw back from such a supreme decision, recognizing its character as metaphysically and mystically impracticable, and thus also legally unfounded. Not the resignation, but its withdrawal becomes an act of supernatural courage, and God only knows how much the Church needs a pope who is supernaturally, and not humanly, courageous. A pope lauded not by the 'liberals' of all the earth, but by the angels of all of heaven. A martyr pope moreover, a young lion of the Lord, brings more souls to heaven than a hundred resigned popes."