Thursday, July 11, 2019



TJM said...

LOL - this Benedictine has nailed it.

John Nolan said...

This is immensely disturbing. The Amazon synod is a sideshow, its results predetermined. What should give us more concern is PF's plan for Curial reform, which one the one hand concentrates power in the hands of the Pope and his Secretary of State, and on the other hand empowers national episcopal conferences to determine matters of doctrine. We were warned that this would happen years ago by none other than 'Tucho' Fernandez, PF's in-house theologian who crowed that Francis intended to change the Church in such a way as to prevent any successor from undoing it.

Anyone who does not get with the agenda is in PF's opinion a fanatic. The extent to which he reiterated the word is frightening.

I pray daily that God will remove him before he does untold damage.

Anonymous 2 said...

Having found the English translation of the Instrumentum with John Nolan’s kind help, I read it and then had an interesting and fruitful exchange with John about it. As he has noted elsewhere, we don’t agree about everything but what is important is mutual respectful listening and openness to challenge.

The phrase “respectful listening” is important here. For example, on my first reading of Part I Chapter 1 on “Life” I had the same reaction as did Dom Giulio. I then read the text again more closely and changed my view. I tried to “listen” to the document (which itself emphasizes listening) to discern its true purpose and strategy. Dom Giulio and Cardinal Brandmüller seem to have one view of its purpose and strategy. This is not, I submit, the only plausible view.

So, why can’t we wait and see what results from the synod instead of rushing to judgments like “this Benedictine has nailed it”? They also nailed Christ to the Cross. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

And as usual all of the spineless, faithless bishops of the world will sit silently by and do nothing. Francis knows that the worlds bishops are worthless and he knows he has a free hand to do or say or change whatever he wants. From day 1 that man has been a scandal and silence from the bishops. The college of cardinals are useless and are now filled with heretics. If this isn’t a sign of the end times I don’t know what is. And if Francis isn’t the Antichrist just what would the Antichrist do differently from what Francis has done? I can’t think of one thing the Antichrist would do differently. Look at the rage and HATE on Francis’ face when he calls Catholics who love and defend doctrine as bunch of fanatics. This is during the Mass. My God doesn’t one bishop have the guts to call him out to his face and de large him the heretic that he is. It is unjust that we have to suffer one more minute of that evil man.

TJM said...

The Benedictine’s nailed Jesus to the Cross?

Anonymous 2 said...

“The Benedictine’s nailed Jesus to the Cross?”

After posting it, I was afraid my comment might be read that way. I should have been clearer. No, I don’t know whether Dom Giulio claims that he “nailed it.” I do know TJM sees him as “nailing it.” My comment is directed at TJM rather than Dom Giulio.

TJM said...

When I see the phrase “just saying” I know I am dealing with a simpleton. Fyi, I was in the top 1 percent of my profession, not the bottom 25 percent

Algernon Simpleton said...

Wonderful. I am delighted to hear it. Then please start acting like it instead of your hero DJT. Just saying.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous 2

Last year Fr Maiattini criticized the modern trend of creating ambiguity in the name of 'discernment', which has been a hallmark of this papacy. The fact that one person's reading of the same text elucidated two contrasting interpretations would seem to endorse this.

If it takes 'respectful listening' (a curious way to approach a text - would you do this with a legal document?) followed by the inevitable 'discernment' to arrive at what is only one interpretation of its 'true meaning and purpose', then this would indicate that the text is intrinsically ambiguous.

Leo XIII (1878-1903) issued more encyclicals than any pontiff before or since, and they are all clear and unambiguous.

The IL and the upcoming Synod are of peripheral importance in themselves, but the German influence has been noted (the Rhine flows into the Amazon!) and some suspect that decisions influenced by local circumstances might eventually have universal import.

TJM said...

Anonymous K aka Algernon Simpleton,

Trump is probably going to go down in history as the working man's best friend. Under his tutelege, working men and woman are seeing more jobs, with rising wages, in atark contrast to the Bush and Obama years. Hispanic and Black workers are benefitting which terrorizes the Abortion Party. The data is all there but the evil, corrupt, pro abortion media does its best to hide these facts. The Abortion Party offers food stamps and government assistance, which is soul killing over time. You are a typical liberal, loser, living in the past.

John Nolan said...

Can we leave domestic American party-political issues out of this? Southern Orders is primarily about Catholic liturgy and doctrine, which is why I contribute to it. My contributions may irritate a certain anonymous correspondent, but he has enough issues of his own to concern him, and by and large my observations have met with a favourable response.

Those who favour progressive notions regarding abortion and same-sex 'marriage' are not by that fact 'evil' people. They may be misguided, even objectively wrong, but their motives are not necessarily base. I can even believe that that they sincerely hold that they are concerned with the common good.

But then, there were sincere Communists and Nazis who were also high-minded. Unfortunately they put their idealism at the service of unspeakable evil. The Church, with her long history, her sanctity, and her divine origin and continuing divine assistance, is the only institution that can stand against such evil.

Yet the trumpet gives an uncertain sound. The present Pope refuses to confirm the brethren and makes a virtue out of ambiguity. He is also the most bad-tempered pontiff since Paul IV - the repetition of the word 'fanatici', his face contorted with hate, to describe his opponents - sent shivers down my spine.

His blatant attempt to rig the 2014 Synod amused he at the time (the pope of humility acting as a Renaissance autocrat) but I'm no longer laughing. The man's totally unworthy of his high office. I thought Paul VI was weak and too easily manipulated, but nothing prepared me for the disaster of this papacy.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

The common good is not achieved by killing infants in the womb, some of which are killed immediately prior to birth. Abortion laws in the USA are on par with Red China's. People who promote these laws are evil and they want those of us who do not support these laws to pay for killing the unborn through our tax dollars.

Anonymous 2 said...

I am glad that TJM considers my Algernon Simpleton comment to be worthy of Anonymous K. Sadly, though, I must own it myself. I believe it is the only time I have posted under a pseudonym other than Anonymous 2 but it seemed too good an opportunity to be missed

Anonymous 2 said...

John (at 6:45 a.m.),

I agree the text of the Instrumentum is ambiguous and vague in places. As for legal texts, it really does depend on the text. Some texts—contracts or wills, for example—should generally and characteristically be as clear as possible. Other texts—appellate judicial opinions or international treaties, for example—may well be intentionally ambiguous or vague in places for various legitimate (albeit sometimes aggravating) reasons. Over here, we spend much of the first year of law school (and to some extent beyond) helping students learn how to “read” an appellate judicial Opinion (“listen to” the voice authoring it), to discern different interpretations of the words used, and to tease out implications (typically through the use of hypotheticals).

In short, it all depends on the type of document in question. And perhaps the same is true for the Church. Some texts should be as clear as possible but perhaps it is appropriate for others to be vague or ambiguous in places. I cannot help remarking that we have spent two thousand years (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of course) trying to clarify many vague or ambiguous sayings of the Founder of our Faith. But during His time on earth didn’t Jesus use vagueness and ambiguity to challenge His hearers to really think or rather rethink (repent) their lives and the structures within which they lived them? Isn’t there still at least some room within the Church for the same Spirit (subject, of course, to the usual caveats about a hermeneutic of continuity versus a hermeneutic of disruption)? Put another way, isn’t there still a place for the Prophetic Voice? Even assuming there is, it is another question whether or not Pope Francis is articulating that Voice appropriately.

Anonymous 2 said...

John (at 12:12 p.m.),

Readers will doubtless appreciate the wise words in your second and third paragraphs.

As for the reference to DJT, I see no reason why contributors to this Blog have to emulate his debased and coarsened discourse by peppering their comments with infantile ad hominem name calling or deliberately inflammatory rhetoric.

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. And I expect more and better from someone who I believe is a fellow member of the legal profession, especially someone in the top 1%!

Anonymous 2 said...


I just inadvertently happened upon your Blut and Boden response to my final comment on a previous thread. Yes, I get the connection but that doesn’t make everyone who values “rootedness in the soil” like National Socialists. As you noted, we are entering rather dubious ground with such a thought!

As for debtors in Georgia, I am unsure which was worse—rats in prison or mosquitoes and malaria in Georgia.

Anonymous 2 said...

One further thought, John: Isn’t the meaning of vague and ambiguous texts (and sometimes perhaps even apparently “clear” texts) at least partly determined by what the reader brings to the text? Doesn’t Jesus suggest as much with His several references of ears and hearing?

This is strikingly an issue in contemporary Islam. Thus, Muslims can read the same text about “fighting” and interpret it differently—more violently or more peacefully, depending at least partly on whether they already have a more violent or more peaceful disposition. The same with the “hijab” question. It is the same text but some interpret it as requiring a complete covering for the female form while others interpret it as requiring only partial covering that comports with norms of modesty.

But is it really any different with us? Specifically, if one’s disposition is already hostile to Pope Francis, won’t one tend to read his texts or texts associated with him negatively, and more positively if one is not so disposed? And isn’t this a call to self-awareness regarding our own biases (and we all have them)?

Anonymous 2 said...

I have just viewed the posted video extract about “Fanatici.”

Three thoughts:

(1) You can’t be serious.

(2) Where can we find the entire video and English transcript of this 2017 address?

(3) Caveat spectator. I have already posted about the growing problem of Deepfake videos. This particular video is clearly edited for effect and affect. Moreover, how do we even know that the shots of the audience correlate with Pope Francis’s words? Perhaps they do, perhaps they don’t.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous 2

I agree that despite our best efforts at impartiality we are all susceptible to 'confirmation bias'.

However, there is no denying that PF's critics, who include many eminent scholars, have a valid argument; the same can be said for those who criticize Donald Trump.

Come to think about it, Trump and Beroglio have a lot in common, including the use of insulting language to castigate perceived opponents.

rcg said...

I have read the IL, Pope Francis’ letter of introduction, other releases, and Fr Maiattini‘s interview. I admit that Fr Maiattini‘s interpretations of the IL are more bleak than I would have concluded on my own. The IL sounded rather like a long-winded attempt at ingratiation. In fact, the need to use the “seeds already in place” sounded like outright condescension. “We will give you roles appropriate to your abilities”. The parts that made me uncomfortable were the self-references to Vatican II and the sayings of Pope Francis. There were modern tropes about colonialism and uncaring corporations that are little more that ideological dog-whistles. Peoples in Voluntary Isolation (PIAV) Is a new ethnic cubbyhole. It allows for ‘peoples ideology’ to remain an unchallenged assumption with the added benefit of building a box for someone no else is allowed to look into.

I enjoyed Fr. Maiattini’s interview and feel it is a tad over the top. But not by much and perhaps by very little considering how much he understands the intrigue surrounding our current Pope.