Saturday, December 1, 2012


Is Pope Benedict preparing the Church for his encyclical on Faith that will be given to the Church during this "Year of Faith." Of course I'm not the "Mentalist" or clairvoyant, but am I?

One of the most important speeches our Holy Father gave occurred in on December 22, 2005, shortly after his election. He gave the Curia and the Catholic world a road map of his papacy that will lead, in my most humble opinion, to the declaration of anathemas of various heresies that have developed since the Second Vatican Council, all revolving around just who has the right to interpret this Council. Guess what folks, it is the Pope and the bishops in union with him, but more importantly, it is the Supreme Pontiff! Traditionalists, as odd as this sounds, don't seem to get it. It is not odd though, for Progressives not to get it! You can read the Holy Father's Speech HERE!

Again, this is my most humble opinion, the Holy Father will simply say what his new Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as made explicit, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, that "Traditionalist and progressive camps that see the Second Vatican Council as a “rupture” both espouse a “heretical interpretation” of the Council and its aims."

Traditionalists don't like the new Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at least, extreme traditionalists who now could be classified as heretics! Even on my blog, there are comments made against His Excellency, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, he himself appointed by our Holy Father to be the Holy Father's mouth piece. In fact Archbishop Muller seems to be acting as the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger did when he headed the very same office. This is exciting news!

At any rate, this really does illustrate how Traditionalists in the extreme become like leftist progressives, but with one difference. The extreme traditionalists think themselves above the Magisterium of the Church and the direction of the Holy See and the traditionalists see themselves as a parallel Church preserving tradition.

But in fact, they dispise the Holy See and the Holy Father like the leftist progressives do, but in a different way, but the mentality is the same.

Father Z has some interesting insights on this and I have a few quotes, but you can read it at his blog, HERE.

Father Z's money quotes:

“You can go into the ditch on either side of the road, left or right. Either way, you are still in a ditch.”

This has been my concern about some members and followers of the SSPX. Can they wind up stuck in the ditch, but on the opposite side of the road from where the LCWR and NCR and Tablistas are mired? I think that is possible, yes.

I don’t think it is all that easy to get yourself into the ditch, since Holy Church is pretty flexible when it comes to some things. Not so much in others, of course. And it is easier by far to go off the road to the left. The shoulder tilts over there and the Enemy of the Soul, it seems to me, is generally ignored on that side, to the peril of all who stray thither.

[I can see now what some on the left are going to do with this. They will say that Muller says that if you don't agree with the Pope on Vatican II, then you are a heretic. They won't make any distinctions about the actual texts in question. Thinking they have scored a point against traddies, they will lose sight of the fact that they themselves are pretty far from the Pope's view of Vatican II. Moreover, the Holy Father's interpretation of Vatican II texts isn't right merely because it is the interpretation of the Holy Father. That helps, of course, when it comes to revealed truth. But there are sound ways to interpret the Church's documents and bad ways. This Pope is right because he grasps the correct way of interpretation apart from the fact that he is also given the graces of the Petrine Office.]

[Sadly, heresy and other problems creep in through stressing points that are true. In a sense, we have to get on with things, a liberals want. But in truth that is because Vatican II, over now for close to 50 years, wasn't nearly as important in the list of Councils as they think it was. On the other side, since the Vatican II wasn't nearly as important as many think, those on the traditionalist side must absorb it, stop insisting that it either isn't a Council or that it must be interpreted in the most negative light possible, and move along with the rest.]


Supertradmum said...

Sadly, this is true in some trad camps. I have had to stand up for the Vatican CDF as well as other congregations. The favourite thing to do is pick one's own area of dissent and then criticize the cardinals and bishops involved.

Right on with this good post. The secondary effect is direct disobedience to local ordinaries. If one is disobedience, or at least, has a rebellious attitude towards Rome regarding matters which one deems are not trad enough, this is a problem I have even heart FSSP priests state the Council was a rupture. I could have my own opinion, but it is my duty to conform my mind to the Church through the Chair of Peter and pray over the areas I do not understand.

John Nolan said...

You can, in historical terms (and I am an historian, not a theologian) evaluate the Second Vatican Council in terms of cause and effect, without questioning the validity of any of its documents. Benedict XVI has warned about elevating it into a super-dogma, and yet it seems to be the standard point of reference for anything emanating from the Holy See.

That said, most traditionally-minded Catholics have more respect for the Holy See than that shown by many 'local ordinaries' if the English and Welsh bishops (with some notable exceptions) are anything to go by.

As for Vatican Two, I have been happy to let the anniversary pass without blowing up a single balloon.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Read the post, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out and progressives stuck in a particular way of reading Vatican II despite the facts that surround them concerning the decline in Catholic practice remain like Ostriches with their heads buried in the sand. The really sad thing is that Ostriches don't actually bury their heads in the sand, unlike so many in the Church do today in complete and utter denial about the deleterious effect of the theology of rupture with Vatican II that His Excellency Archbishop Muller has now called a heresy! I hope you see the implications for his rather startling declaration of the truth as it concerns rupture in rendering the VII documents and the rupture in practice with the Mass in particular, all of which His Holiness Pope Benedict has laid out in the open by his praxis, which includes Ad Orientem at least by altar arrangement and kneeling for Holy Communion--don't you think that this will be codified soon and perhaps in this year of faith?

Henry Edwards said...

Supertradmum: "I have even heard FSSP priests state the Council was a rupture."

Based on my familiarity with a good many FSSP priests, I wonder whether what they really meant was that Vatican II led to a rupture in the Church, rather than that in itself it was a rupture.

Pope Benedict obviously recognizes that the only way out of the rupture that now exists in the Church is to insist on reinterpretation of the documents of Vatican II in continuity with tradition.

However the line between document and interpretation is thin and the distinction rather theoretical, especially when (for instance) the interpretation of the liturgists who constructed the Novus Ordo is precisely what they intended when they wrote Sacrosanctum Concilium in such a way that it provided for what they intended to do, but with sufficient ambiguity to "get past" the bishops who voted on it.

rcg said...

I like that bumper sticker. I would buy it if it said 'kneel'.

WSquared said...

"Sadly, this is true in some trad camps. I have had to stand up for the Vatican CDF as well as other congregations."

Same here. Not only with regard to the liturgy, but even beautiful and helpful devotionals like wearing a chapel veil-- such as thinking that St. Paul's recommendations for women to cover their heads in prayer can and should be placed over and against the CDF or Canon Law. Well, I'll take the CDF over somebody's personal interpretation of Scripture any day, thanks. Catholicism does not do Sola Scriptura running off the rails in any direction.

"Sadly, heresy and other problems creep in through stressing points that are true. In a sense, we have to get on with things, as liberals want."

Yep. And what Progressives don't "get" is that "getting on with things" begs the question of where one is even going when one gets on with things-- orientation, in other words. Progress that doesn't move toward communion with and in Christ is meaningless. And fruitless. Which is why I would be interested indeed to know what anyone presumes that "Beyond Jesus" is supposed to be (hint: nowhere).

But Tradition is not merely "the past," either, and this is where I think enough people generally fall down when they use the term. The thing is, Christ Himself tends to shake up our mundane understanding of the term and how we understand time: because of Him, time doesn't progress in some sort of rigid linearity off into some unknown sunset. Christ is ever ancient, ever new, which is why chronological snobbery regarding past or future won't hold up. The current Pope has spoken of "the Church's Living Tradition," and the only thing that makes that Tradition live is communion with Eternity-- namely, Christ, Eternity Incarnate. It's a point that struck me and stayed with me whilst and since reading Cardinal Ratzinger's The Spirit of the Liturgy. It behooves us, therefore, to understand how Christ Himself relates to time.

Hence, Summorum Pontificum was a step forward, as was the new translation of the Roman Missal, given that the TLM does make Who Christ Is much more clearly communicated than the way the Novus Ordo-- though not the Novus Ordo itself-- is often celebrated (I would like to ponder the Novus Ordo a bit more, since going to the TLM made me far more attentive to praying it. But for now, I will posit that treating its structure more like a liturgical jukebox or iPod playlist where things get slotted in is what allows for cognitive and spiritual disconnect on several levels, thereby obscuring its form and rendering it kind of toothless instead of something we can really sink our teeth into. I attend both the TLM and the Novus Ordo, and I noticed after a while that bongo drums and hymns that constantly make the "heresy hit parade" set my teeth on edge, but the Novus Ordo in its daily form with no music at all is more than fine with me). But as per usual, liberalizing the celebration of the TLM is not the kind of "liberalizing" that liberals want. Ah, well.

WSquared said...

I think that some Trads tend to forget that we are called by Christ to witness to Him, and where the TLM has been a much-needed breath of fresh air amid all the smoke of Satan is that it gives us a clearer sense of who we are as Catholics, and what we believe as per Who Christ is, wherein what then follows is a clearer sense of what the Church teaches and why. Our marching orders are still the likes of Lumen Gentium, and by shying away from Vatican II, enough Trads shoot themselves in the foot, and don't see the contribution they could be making to the new evangelization. It is the TLM that better enables one to see what Catholics profess to believe about Christ more clearly-- namely that to think with the Crucifix is to think broad and deep. This is crucial in our "WWJD?" culture: this recent election should have taught us that our supposedly "Christian" or "post-Christian" (or whatever the heck you wanna call it) culture doesn't know Who Christ is on His own terms, and worse, can't be bothered.

As someone who attends both Novus Ordo and TLM, it's the TLM that has helped me actually pray the Mass, and be grateful for the Mass, period. So it has been nothing short of enabling in my life, and since I can't get to the TLM but once a month, I take my TLM-honed sensibilities to the Novus Ordo. I essentially plug the EF into the OF and watch the Mass unfold before me. And yes, there are times when I fret that I can't attend the TLM more often, since I love it, and my husband doesn't love it, but at least doesn't hate it. It's therefore taught me to be more patient. Centering myself in the TLM has actually helped me tune out enough distractions at the Novus Ordo, from noisy chatter before and after Mass to unideal music. ...and I'm working on trying to tune out bongo drums and drum kit whenever I encounter them.

And it is nothing short of scandalous when there are places in the world where the Church is heavily persecuted, where people would be lucky to have Mass at all, whereas over here, we have the Mass, and yet we insist on starving in the midst of plenty by bickering over the OF and the EF, pitting the one against the other, which is not what the Holy Father has called for.

Catholicism has a contribution to make to the larger cultural discourse. Conformed and rooted to Christ, Catholicism has something to offer because it is the fullness of the Truth, and as such, it is just BIGGER. A very wise priest once gently advised me that love of the TLM is a gift. It's all gift. And it's not meant to beat anyone over the head with, therefore, but to be shared. There are times when I get the feeling that many Trads don't want to share. I invited a priest friend to go with my husband and me to the TLM, and he appreciated it very much, but not the attitudes of some of the people there, whereby he came away with the impression that they think that the TLM is their little "club." I don't know if he was being a little oversensitive, for I've not felt that at all. Nevertheless, I've heard and read these kinds of complaints before. That's not helpful when it happens, and it's a real shame. Trads need to be on their guard whenever Progressives try to frame the TLM as "taking Vatican II away" and "moving the Church backward," because "the priest turns his back on the people!!!! (OH NOES!!!) Because it's not true.

WSquared said...

502John Nolan, perhaps Vatican II is a constant point of reference from the Holy See because it's barely been implemented properly, and they do want to get on with it, as it were. That's not the same as elevating it to the point of dogma, is it? Rather, it seems more like a pressing need to tend to unfinished business as well as confront the malign "Spirit" of Vatican II and to reclaim territory that had once been ceded too easily: if Vatican II is what Progressives say they want when they try to beat other people over the head with terms like "Vatican II" (and "pre-Vatican II"-- read: "Dark Ages"), then Vatican II is what they'll get. And the Holy Father promises none of them that they'll "like" it, and that's just too bad. There's a difference between realizing a need to back up and reassess in order to move forward, and a supposed need to call for Vatican III (or somesuch).

Vatican II may not be as important a council as councils go, as Fr. McDonald has pointed out, but it's nonetheless important enough that if not implemented properly, it could well impede the witness of the Church and the ability of the Church to be herself. That's a serious problem.

ytc said...

I think it is quite acceptable to say, "What happened after Vatican II was a practical failure. It was largely misguided and we now see, with hindsight, that it was a screw up. We are fixing things," while remaining an orthodox, faithful, non-heretic Catholic.

I am thinking along the lines of John Nolan here.