YES, YES! WE MUST READ POPE FRANCIS THROUGH POPE BENEDICT WITH THE PELAGIAN REMARK! YES! GOD IS GOOD!
MY COMMENTS FIRST: Be happy, not sad, everything is copacetic. Pope Francis was just reiterating what Pope Benedict had said about rigid, insecure Palagian traditionalists:“the other face of the same vice is the Pelagianism of the pious. They do not want forgiveness and in general they do not want any real gift from God either. They just want to be in order. They don’t want hope they just want security. Their aim is to gain the right to salvation through a strict practice of religious exercises, through prayers and action. What they lack is humility which is essential in order to love; the humility to receive gifts not just because we deserve it or because of how we act…”--Pope Benedict XVI when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger!
So we must truly read Francis through Benedict and Vatican Insider, Andra Tornielli confirms this in a just released article which you can read at his website HERE.
The bottom line is that the Holy Father is taking to task both the Palagians of the Church and the gnostic Pantheists. And in continuity with what he has been teaching, he is asking everyone, including the gay lobby in the Church to be faithful to Holy Mother Church and her Magisterium! The risk that we take and the mistakes we might make when we go out to the world with our Orthodox faith and Orthodox practice of the faith is the one worth taking. Don't take Pelagianism or Pantheism to the world because it is a mistake to do that and to oppose Holy Mother Church and her Magisterium with these heretical ideologies. And to the lobbyists in the Church, the careerist lobbyists like the gay lobby, don't oppose Holy Mother Church and her Magisterium! THANK YOU POPE FRANCIS AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR HERMENEUTIC OF CONTINUITY WITH POPE BENEDICT!
Francis, Ratzinger and the Pelagianism risk
The two concerns Chilean website “Reflexión y Liberación” claims Francis expressed in his conversation with Latin American clerics echo the words of his predecessor
Although it was Pope Francis’ comments on the existence of a gay lobby and corruption in the Vatican and the fact that clerics should not be discouraged when they end up in the cross-hairs of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that attracted the media’s attention, the summary of the conversation which took place between Francis and CLAR’s clerics last 6 June, contains some interesting passages relating to today’s Church. CLAR’s leaders made it clear they had nothing to do with the publication of the text, which is essentially a reconstruction of what was said, based on participants’ recollections.
The two concerns the Pope apparently expressed in his conversation with Latin American clerics are to do with the risk of “Pelagianism” and “pantheist” gnosis. The first was regarding the doctrines of the Irish monk Pelagius, which were contested by St. Augustine and condemned by the Council of Ephesus in 451. According to Pelagian heresy, original sin did not really contaminate human nature and so humans are apparently able to choose the path of goodness and avoid sin without the help of mercy. In recent decades some were averse to a return to Pelagianism because hyperactivism in the Church, trusting in human plans and projects and believing that human action is what makes the Church what it is, ends up nullifies the action of mercy and reduces everything to human ability.
According to the summary of the Pope’s conversation with CLAR, which was published on the Reflexión y Liberación website, Francis talked about the existence of a “Pelagian current in the Church at this moment” and that “there are some restorationist groups.” “I know some, it fell upon me to receive them in Buenos Aires. … And one feels as if one goes back 60 years! Before the Council…,” the Pope apparently said. Francis is said to have added: “when I was elected, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they said: "Your Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries." Why don't they say, 'we pray for you, we ask...', but this thing of counting...” The Pope stressed that he did not in any way intend to make this example sound ridiculous with his description.
The reference to traditionalism sparked an immediate reaction among professed Ratzingerians who pointed to a discontinuity with Benedict XVI. But these censors got it wrong. It was the then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger himself who spoke about the “Pelagianism of the pious”. During the Spiritual Exercises of 1986 (in the book “Guardare Cristo: esempi di fede, speranza e carità” [Looking at Christ: Examples of faith, hope and charity]; published by Jaka Book), Ratzinger said: “the other face of the same vice is the Pelagianism of the pious. They do not want forgiveness and in general they do not want any real gift from God either. They just want to be in order. They don’t want hope they just want security. Their aim is to gain the right to salvation through a strict practice of religious exercises, through prayers and action. What they lack is humility which is essential in order to love; the humility to receive gifts not just because we deserve it or because of how we act…”
Francis’ second concern is also interesting because it seems to call attention to the declarations made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith against philosophies and currents of thought that end up “wiping out” incarnation. The current Francis was referring to was “the Gnostic current…Those Pantheisms…”. Gnosticism is a philosophical and religious current that became particularly popular between the second and the fourth centuries and still exists in some religious tendencies like the “New Age”. Both Pelagianism and Gnosticism are “elite currents”, the Pope is said to have stated, “but the latter is of a more educated elite... I heard of a superior general that prompted the sisters of her congregation to not pray in the morning, but to spiritually bathe in the cosmos, things like that... They concern me because they ignore the incarnation! And the Son of God became our flesh, the Word was made flesh, and in Latin America we have flesh abundantly [de tirar al techo]! What happens to the poor, their pains, this is our flesh... The Gospel is not the old rule, nor is it this Pantheism. If you look at the periphery; the destitute... the drug addicts! Human trafficking... This is the Gospel. The poor are the Gospel...”
Fr. McDonald, I see no reference whatever to traditionalists in Pope Benedict's state about the "Pelagianism of the pius".
It was only you who used the word "traditionalist" in reference to this quote.
This looks to me like a serious misinterpretation of what he actually said.
I think the "pious" and the "restorationists" or traditionalists can be used interchangeably. Pope Benedict as Cardinal Ratzinger was referring to the pious, i.e. traditionalists, restorationists.
Thank you for this research, Father McDonald, which appeared after the last round of comments to the previous post were uploaded. This is precisely how I understood Pope Francis’s reported remarks, as apparently did others such as rcg.
I hope that we will all learn from this episode and our reactions to it. And along those lines, let us also not leap to the conclusion that Pope Francis’s reported remarks about “gnostic pantheisms” are intended to wipe out centuries of authentic Catholic mysticism, including those versions and practices that continue today.
Cardinal Ratzinger did not use the word "restorationist" in his quoted statement, and nobody--neither him nor you nor anyone else--uses the words "pious" and "traditionalist" interchangeably.
Surely your parish is full of pious Catholics whom neither you nor themselves nor anyone else regards as either traditionalists or restorationists.
"let us also not leap to the conclusion that Pope Francis’s reported remarks about “gnostic pantheisms” are intended to wipe out centuries of authentic Catholic mysticism, including those versions and practices that continue today."
Which is precisely why we should not put the words "traditionalist" or "restorationist" in his mouth.
I wonder whether this problem in using individual English words to characterize the pope's remarks may stem from vagaries of translation, to which careless or informal offhand remarks are particularly vulnerable.
"SOME PEOPLE" have, they think, all the answers, all the understanding of doctrine, all the appreciation of the Church's Tradition. "THESE PEOPLE" do not want any gift from God either, for they think they already have it all. And they think that 1) everyone must think as they do and 2) that anyone who doesn't is an evil person.
"SOME PEOPLE" tell you that rules are rules and that anyone who does not follow the rules to the letter is an evil enemy of the Church, a horrible priest, or an apostate. "THESE PEOPLE" just want order and security and will grow a tad testy when that order and security, which is a phantasm, is threatened.
"SOME PEOPLE" want to achieve salvation by a strict practice of religious exercises, prayers, and actions. (Hence, they are Pelagians.) If another person's exercises, prayers, and actions are not like theirs, "THESE PEOPLE" will accuse the others of being polluters of the minds of youth, among other things.
"SOME PEOPLE," lacking humility, can't stand to be corrected, can't stand to be wrong, and will resort to just about any tactic or scheme to try to prove to themselves that they are, very un-humbly, as right as rain in every circumstance.
Enter Babs Streisand..."People...people, who need people...are the luckiest people...in the world..."
Barf bags for everyone...
I am concerned at the pejorative use of the term 'restorationist'. In 1903 St Pius X announced that the aim of his papacy was "to restore all things in Christ" (instaurare omnia in Christo). The verb 'to restore' nearly always has a positive connotation, which is why it was so often misused by post-V2 liturgical reformers to disguise their innovations.
Henry: If I understand the matter correctly, Pope Francis used the term “some restorationist groups” himself when talking about a “Pelagian current” in the Church today. I think you probably mean that we should be careful when interpreting Cardinal Ratzinger’s comments. You are right about that and your more general cautionary point about translation is well taken too.
In any event, I don’t suppose either of them would intend to suggest that all “restorationists” or “traditionalists” are tending towards Pelagianism, just warning of certain risks of which one needs to be aware. That does not seem unreasonable to me.
Amon at 6:10 PM: Based on comments directed to me by an anonymous in another thread, I suspect that a) you are he and b) I am the "SOME PEOPLE" you're railing about.
If I'm correct, I'll merely say 1) based on your characterization of me in your post, you really know and understand nothing about me and 2) the pot is calling the kettle black in that you're judging me exactly the same manner you allege me to be judging others. Oh, yes, and 3) this really seems a gratuitous post that either 3) purports to identify me with the trads under discussion and/or 4) is not really on point, and 5) just as we started making some mutually enlightening headway in our earlier discussion you clammed up.
Each of your beliefs about me, based on your allegations, are flat-out wrong or, in a few cases, grossly exaggerated into a caricature, but I'm never going to convince you of that. In fact, I believe our opinions of each other are equally low and at this point I no longer have any interest in wasting my time trying to change your opinion. FWIW, you have come across to me from the first as every bit as inflexible, judgmental, testy, convinced of your rightness, and generally unpleasant as I apparently do to you. I must have really messed with your worldview for you to engage in a drive-by like this. So I'll make a deal with you. Let's just ignore each other. Quit taking ad hominem potshots at me, please, and I'll leave you alone as well.
Peace to you.
a Very good reason to require the Pope speak only in Latin and for the Liturgy to in Latin only. There is a phrase you will hear from people, "to me this means..." that tells you they are not willing to review their own thoughts o positions.
I agree with John Nolan about the use of 'restorationaist' as I would for 'gay' and all the other high-jacked words and phrases. I think most people like the tLm for the precision of thought in the prayer as much as anything else else.
Having vented my spleen on an earlier thread, I can now afford to put a more favourable gloss on the Pope's reported comments.
Bishops like to be "all things to all men". The group to whom he was chatting would have appreciated his disparaging of the pre-Conciliar Church and his liberation-theology jargon. Were he talking to representatives of the FSSP his tone would have been different. And he was not expecting his comments to be leaked.
One point - if the Queen of England can dress appropriately when visiting the Vatican, then why does a South American sister think slacks and a jazzy top will do? JP II would not have tolerated it (he once made it known that the black clerical suit was too informal).
Anonymous 5 - The "Some People" is not intended for you alone. The "allegations" are general, not directed against you specifically. But if the shoe fits . . .
Most of us "know" each other from posts here. So, while we don't know each other beyond these posts, we do know each other from these posts. What I post is fair game for you and what you post is fair game for me.
You complain that others don't cite sources while, in making assertions about the causes of the struggles in our Church, you do the same.
I assure you, you have not "messed with my worldview," not by a long shot.
And no, I will not ignore your posts as you will not ignore mine.
Anonymous, Your idea of "knowing" somebody is rather unusual...
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