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Posts Tagged ‘Ecumenism’

On What Rests The Pope’s Authority?

March 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Pope BenedictPapal authority depends on keeping fidelity with the teachings of Christ and the infallible pronouncements of previous Popes and Doctrinal Councils.

This fact needs to be borne in mind when considering the landmark statements made by Pope Benedict XVI in the past 48 hours. He has made several important points regarding his views on interfaith relations and Catholics whose religious practice is more traditional than his own (namely the Society of Saint Pius X).

Most noteworthy was his letter on the Society of Saint Pius X, published on 12th March 2009, where he shows apparent surprise at the protest against his lifting of an (invalid) excommunication:

… Some groups, on the other hand, openly accused the Pope of wanting to turn back the clock to before the Council: as a result, an avalanche of protests was unleashed, whose bitterness laid bare wounds deeper than those of the present moment.

If only it were true that the Pope was interested in revising his views on the Second Vatican Council, out of which has come the downfall of Catholicism! The avalanche of protests was most audible outside the Church in the paid media, which seems to hold the greatest sway in the Vatican these days. Quoting passages from the Council of Trent, or the Holy Bible, or Thomas Aquinas, or some other approved Catholic source of Divine Truth, just doesn’t seem to have the same “oomph!” in the Vatican as the words of some atheist editor in the London Times or the New York Post. The protests are not about fear of rejecting the Second Vatican Council, but about rejecting the heresy of Modernism, which the Pope has very nearly done, by the fact that he chose to act on what he thought was right for all time and not, as Modernists would say, what was right at the present time.

Pope Benedict regrets that Bishop Williamson’s comments on the Holocaust coincided with the revocation of excommunication:

…The discreet gesture of mercy towards four Bishops ordained validly but not legitimately suddenly appeared as something completely different: as the repudiation of reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and thus as the reversal of what the Council had laid down in this regard to guide the Church’s path.

Actually, it rather appears that Benedict has somehow been whacked over the head so that suddenly he cares more about how things look from the outside rather than their inner meaning. Jesus Christ spoke about this of the Pharisees, using the well known washed-exterior-dirty-interior analogy.

I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility. Precisely for this reason I thank all the more our Jewish friends, who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which — as in the days of Pope John Paul II — has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist.

This is exactly what is wrong with the situation. The Jews, like the Muslims and anyone else, act purely in their own interest, period. Their only aim is to improve their own standing in the world, even more so in the light of the crimes that are committed daily in the Holy Land in their name. They don’t care if the Pope has recalcitrant bishops, rebellious cardinals and faithless, hedonistic parishioners. All they care about is recognition and respect for their own religion. It’s perfectly understandable. Nothing strange about it all, so why pretend that it is otherwise? Does the Pope think that somehow they are on the edge of conversion?

The Pope should not place external relations above internal family conflict. Forget everyone else’s false religions and their idols, forget the false ecumenism, forget the mass media, forget stinking diplomacy. Deal with what is killing the Catholic Church – heresy, apostasy, crimes against children, fraud, sacrilege and more, all coming from the Church’s own prelates!

Benedict does show that, deep down, he is more intelligent and commendably logical than those below him, by recognizing where the root cause of the problems between the SSPX and the broader Church lie:

… the problems now to be addressed are essentially doctrinal in nature and concern primarily the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium of the Popes …

… great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life.

And this is the point. If Benedict carries this statement to its logical conclusion, he will soon find that many things contained in the documents of the Second Vatican Council contradict Sacred Tradition. Much of what has been sanctioned, even promoted, by recent Popes has been erroneous for the same reasons. The Society of Saint Pius X might come across as extreme, on the fringe, or eccentric, but they have merely been standing still whilst the drunken post-Vatican II party has raged on in the greater Church. Everybody looked like they were high on the Devil’s Great Bong and its Smoke. Who can say what a multitude of souls has damned itself since 1962 as a result of the errors which have persisted under the noses of the Popes?

It’s natural that, in a dispute, both sides are invariably to blame in some way. The SSPX and other traditionalist groups will need to make compromises insofar as they can be made in keeping with the “entire doctrinal history of the Church”. But this time the Pope has to eat some humble pie himself so that the kind of mistakes that were made in the past are not repeated. The Catholic Church lost something like a third of its faithful when it mishandled Martin Luther by rejecting everything he said instead of accepting that corruption was rife and needed purging. The Church stands to lose much more on this occasion if it fails to see its own, present-day mistakes.

The Pope must recognize that his Church has drifted from Tradition in its informal embrace of Modernism and its failure to reject numerous other errors. If he himself fails to adhere to the “entire doctrinal history of the Church”, then history may show that the Sedevacantists were right all along.

Is the Pope a Catholic?

January 31, 2009 Leave a comment

pope-synagogueIn light of the recent “unexcommunication” of the Society of St. Pius X bishops, which appears to be a landmark development, I took a step back to see what this all might mean in context.

For example, it’s reported that the Pope does not consider Martin Luther to have been justly excommunicated. Yet on all accounts of history it’s clear that he was obstinately in error and was undoubtedly an heretic. An abrogation of Luther’s excommunication would be spurious to say the least. On the other hand, it is quite clear that the Society of St. Pius X bishops (as irritating as they may be to the Vatican) were unjustly excommunicated as the circumstances surrounding the event were politically charged and due process was not followed.

There would have been nothing all that exciting about describing Pope John Paul II’s questionable faith and probable heresy, or to harp on about his political decisions. It’s all over now anyway and he is now headed for the Judgement as the rest of us will be. We should keep praying for him.

But is Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, guilty of public heresy? A quick “Google” of this question yields some very interesting points. The relevant parts of the Creed and other infallible texts are quoted to highlight Ratzinger’s problems:

“I believe in the resurrection of the body” – Apostles Creed

Ratzinger writes in his Introduction to Christianity:

It now becomes clear that the real heart of faith in the resurrection does not consist at all in the idea of the restoration of bodies, to which we have reduced it in our thinking; such is the case even though this is the pictorial image used throughout the Bible.

I remember my grandmother telling me how Catholics don’t get cremated because it’s a sin against the Faith. Does this mean that the funeral pyre of the pagans is actually compatible with Christian burial? The Pope argued that all references to a resurrection of the body or flesh (carnis resurrectionem) are not meant literally. Well frankly, why on earth did they use such clear wording they didn’t mean it?

As for how God will go about resurrecting a corrupted corpse is beyond me. Explaining it is not my job. However to reject this core principle of the Christian Faith is not the Pope’s job either.

Council of Trent, Canon 4:

The Council declares:

“If anyone says that after the consecration is complete the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not in the sacrament of the Eucharist and in the consecrated hosts or particles which are reserved (in the tabernacle) the true body and blood of our Lord remain not, let him be anathema.”

Yet the Pope is quoted as having said:

“Eucharistic devotion such as is noted in the silent visit by the devout in church must not be thought of as a conversation with God. This would assume that God was present there locally and in a confined way. To justify such an assertion shows a lack of understanding of the Christological mysteries of the very concept of God. This is repugnant to the serious thinking of the man who knows about the omnipresence of God. To go to church on the ground that one can visit God who is present there is a senseless act which modern man rightfully rejects” – Die Sacramentale Begrundung Christliche Existenz

Well, mister modern Pope, tell that to my late grandmother! I distinctly remember being taught that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, in a way that he is not present, for example, in my cup of coffee. It’s a mystery of Faith, of course, so don’t ask me to explain that either. But why is this guy rabbiting on like a modernist heretic?

“It is not licit for the faithful to actively assist at or participate in ceremonies of non-Catholics” – Code of Canon Law (1917), Canon 1258

In the footsteps of his predecessor, the Pope prayed in a mosque in November 2006. Well, perhaps he wasn’t “praying”, but what was he doing in a place of idolatry, receiving instruction on Muslim prayer and then facing Mecca with the mufti? Okay, muslims out there will of course not see this as idolatry (that’s not the point), but going back to my dear old grandmother, we were forbidden to set foot in a Protestant place of worship, let alone one belonging to an entirely different religion!

Indifferentism

There is, of course, much more that the current Pope has done that is scandalous in the least (such as his dealings with the paedophile scandals), but as it is with blogs, they are done in one’s spare time and I’ve run out of that today.

What is clear to me is that our Benedict, whilst not the absolute disaster of a Pope that his immediate predecessor was, is still a far cry from Orthodoxy or Orthopraxis. He doesn’t even seem to give a damn (indifferentism) that the world sees him in scandalous circumstances. Whereas John Paul II, at the gates of St. Peter, may well argue that he had lost his marbles, Joseph Ratzinger is not insane. His speeches and writings are still those of an eloquent, highly educated man.

So is the Pope a Catholic? Is he obstinate in error? I suspect that, like many of his peers, Benedict XVI is yet another political animal, a master of Romanita. This places him on par with a real estate agent on trustworthiness. Indeed I would be very wary to an open embrace (physical or otherwise) from such a man.

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