Catholic Traditionalism

25 06 2009

elevation

An excerpt (the whole essay is well worth reading):

The error of Ultramontanism is easy to see, with hindsight, because it is rejected not only by Liberals and Trads but also by the Pope and the Papal Magisterium. In the chaotic decades which have followed the Council, Papal teaching has often been a lifeline for Catholics who wanted to see traditional teachings reiterated; it is natural that Conservatives have clung on to it. It is understandable, but obviously wrong, to take this to an extreme and start saying that whatever the Pope, or some Vatican department, makes a friendly off-the-cuff remark about must be imposed on everyone by next Tuesday, and the Popes themselves would regard this attitude as absurd.

Hence we find a frequent contrast between what Popes have said about their own positions, and how Conservatives have applied those positions. So Paul VI said that Natural Family Planning can be legitimate in certain circumstances. And you get Catholics who regard themselves as Conservative saying that all Catholics preparing for marriage should be drilled in it. John-Paul II said that the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary might be found helpful, and Conservative presses suddenly pulp all their books on the Rosary so they could add the new mysteries, and conservative parishes insist on having them. Benedict XVI carefully explains that his books are not papal teaching, but his opinions as a private doctor, but Conservatives promote them without such a warning and they are printed wrapped in the papal colours.

And in other news, those crazy kids in Winona just keep on keeping on:

Sometimes I just like to stick it to the Man.


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36 responses

1 07 2009
dcs

Dr. Peters has been mistaken about the Holy See’s stance with respect to the SSPX before:

http://www.canonlaw.info/2006/02/reconciling-traditionalists.html

As I see it, there are only three options here: either the Holy See decides that John Paul II’s decree of excommunication was insufficiently grounded in law and/or fact, and on that basis it lifts the penalty without addressing the merits of the situation today; or, the SSPX leadership somehow acknowledges its wrong-doing and repents sufficiently to allow lifting of the penalty under 1983 CIC 1358; or the SSPX remains fixed in its position and the excommunication remains in place while talks continue – or not, as the case may be.

The first option has the proverbial snowball’s chance of ever happening; a fourth option (that the SSPX remains contumacious of the penalty, but the pope simply lifts it anyway) is not realistic: Pope Benedict XVI cares about truth, even when the truth hurts.

Yet the fourth option is exactly what happened.

As far as “new acts of schism,” an illicit ordination is not an act of schism – if it were then Msgr. Lefebvre could have been excommunicated at any point from 1983 (when the new Code came into force) onwards. Yet it wasn’t until he actually consecrated bishops that he was declared excommunicated.

27 06 2009
diane

OK, I have got to get some work done; I hate getting derailed by this stuff, but I’m an addict, LOL. But I will just say one more thing, if Father Greg will forbear: This is the first time I have heard the argument that Catholic religious orders are the equivalent of Orthodox jurisdictions in the disunity department. All I can do is shake my head. 😉 There may have been a time when the Franciscans and Dominicans might have come to blows (like the Orthodox folks who regularly duke it out at the Holy Sepulchre), but I think it’s safe to say that that time is long past.

As the Ochlophobist so eloquently put it, Catholics know that “this is the Church, and that’s it,” whether they’re at a trad TLM or a looney-toon folk Mass. It is hard to overstate the bedrock cohesion of Catholics, despite our differences. As with the Orthodox, our liturgy unites us in one faith. And, as with the Orthodox, we have our kook-liberals as well as our conservatives. Anyone who thinks there aren’t Orthodox kook-liberals out there whose personal religion bears little resemblance to small-o orthodox Christianity must not know too many Greeks. 😉 (And yet the Greeks are my favorite Orthodox — go figure. :D)

27 06 2009
diane

Moreover, non-RC sex perps are NOT rewarded with a Vatican palace as was Cardinal Law.

Death, congratulations. You have managed to cram THREE humongous errors into one sentence. That’s a pretty amazing feat. 😀

1. Cardinal Law was NOT a “sex perp.” He was the one who covered up the abuse ands shuffled the other abusers around. In that respect, he played a similar role to that played by Archbishop Demetrios and Met. Isaiah in the Katinas case: http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Article&id=995 and http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Article&id=1023 Here, too, there was a pattern of systematic coverup, which enabled Katinas to continue abusing numerous minors at TWO different parishes in two states. Archbishop Demetrios initially refused to even bring Katinas to Spiritual Court. It was only when public pressure forced his hand that he relented. I fail to see how this differs materially from what Cardinal Law did. Greater numbers are involved in the Catholic case, but NOT (as my links show) greater percentages. Moreover, Katinas is far from being an isolated case.

Bottom line: Sex perps are the ones who commit the abuse. Cover-uppers are the ones who cover it up. Cardinal Law, like Archbishop Demetrios and Met. Isiah, falls into the latter category. He was a cover-upper, not a “sex perp.” If you think Law should be in jail for covering up abuse (and I don’t necessarily disagree), then, arguably, Demetrios and Isaiah should be in jail, too. What’s good for the goose….

2. Cardinal Law was demoted, NOT “rewarded.” Whatever one may think re the decision to make him rector of S. Maria Maggiore (and I’m not crazy about the idea, myself), only the most determined bigot could possibly see it as a reward or promotion. Sorry for bluntness, but gimme the proverbial break, please. As cardinal-archbishop of Boston, Law was one of the most powerful prelates in the world. He was DEFINITELY “papabile” (papal material), and he knew it. Now he holds a purely ceremonial office with no power whatsoever. That’s an awfully funny definition of “reward.” :p

3. Re Cardinal Law’s alleged “palace”: I’ve been to Santa Maria Maggiore. If there’s an opulent palace there, I must have missed it. 😉 The church itself is rather palatial. Perhaps that’s what you had in mind? 😀

Diane

P.S. Your continued insistence that Catholic sex abuse is “institutionalized,” pervasive, and far worse than clergy sex abuse in any other communion flies in the very teeth of all available evidence, including studies reported in the rather hostile anti-Catholic secular press. If you persist in this slanderous charge, then I can only conclude, again, that you prefer your comfortable prejudices to truth. IMNSHO, this is a sin against justice.

I know some more candid Orthodox who have told me, in private e-mails, about the incidence of sex abuse and coverup in Orthodoxy — which goes FAR beyond the Katinas case and affects every jurisdiction. It does not get the publicity our scandals do, because Orthodoxy in this country is minuscule and therefore flies under the radar screen. But I have heard credible stories that would make your hair curl. And, unline the Catholic Church, the Orthodox are doing little to address the problem — partly because people like you are in denial. In Orthodoxy, the coverups are ongoing, and some of the perps are getting off scot free. Continued denial, continued insistence that this is exclusively or specially a “Catholic” issue, can only compound the problem. Just ask the parents of Eric Ifill. Or the victims of Stanley Rayburn. Or the bereaved relatives of the nun raped and stabbed over 100 times at Holy Cross Monastery — which was kicked out by the Catholics and then received into Orthodoxy, with a warm welcome, by Abp. Dmitrios while the police investigation of the murder was underway!!! Again, UNLIKE you, I would NEVER argue from such data that your church is exponentially worse than mine in the sex-abuse department. But I would bet good money that your church is certainly no better than mine in this respect — in terms of the percentage of incidents, whether reported and publicized OR NOT.

But we shall see. As Our Lord said, nothing is hidden now that will not be revealed on that Day….

Diane

27 06 2009
diane

Sigh, Father Greg. Again, with all due respect, Father: Do you think we’ve never heard this stuff before? I am sorry, and I beg your forgiveness, but I get so weary of encountering the same arguments, over and over, presented as if they were startling revelations which Catholics had never heard before. If the case against Catholicism were that easy to make, our Church really would have faded into oblivion a long time ago. It certainly would not have 1.4 billion members and counting!

You wrote:

In Matthew, Peter is, first, given the power to “bind and loose”. However, a couple of chapters later, that same power is given to the rest of the Apostles and the Church as a whole.

I respectfully suggest that you are missing something here, Father Greg. As any informed Catholic would readily acknowledge, the other apostles are given some share in the power of the Keys, But ONLY Peter is given the Keys themselves. Only he is made the Key-holder: In fact, Our Lord pointedly uses the second person singular when He bestows the Keys upon Peter. There is not one scintilla of Scriptural evidence that the other apostles were ever given the Keys themselves. Peter alone receives the Keys.

For the significance of this, I would respectfully refer you to Father Stanley Jaki’s excellent little monograph, The Keys of the Kingdom: A Tool’s Witness to the Truth. I have neither the time nor the energy to repeat Father Jaki’s arguments. If you have a hard time obtaining this book, please let me know, and I will gladly send you my copy. 🙂

Re the contention that Peter retains his primacy only as long as he retains his fidelity to the Church’s orthodox truth: The early Fathers overwhelmingly testify to the IMPOSSIBILITY of the Roman See’s ever deviating from said truth. Rome is the touchstone of orthodoxy for all the other churches, according to Irenaeus of Lyons, Augustine, Maximos the Confessor, and many others. But, again, this is a huge topic, and it is covered exhaustively elsewhere in the Internet. That is why I find it so futile to try to respond to little snippets of shopworn Aglo-Ortho polemics in the context of a combox. There are book-length treatises on this subject available via a quick Google search. So, if you don’t mind, I will refer you to these resources. 🙂 (Remember, Arturo hates this apologetics stuff — although, for some odd reason, he seems to object only when the Catholic party’s engaging in it. 😉 Just ribbing you gently, Arturo…)

Diane

27 06 2009
diane

Arturo: I am well aware of the ultra-trad pervs. That is why I very carefully used the word “most,” not “all.” Sigh: Careful use of language gets one nowhere on the Internet, it seems. 😉

It remains the case that MOST of the sex-abusing clergy, in America at least, were liberals. Not all. But most. Certainly the most famous cases — Shanley, Geoghan — were notoriously liberal.

Again, I said “most.” I think my point stands. 🙂

I’m not an ultra-trad myself, so I definitely don’t have a dog in that fight. I’m not trying to defend the ultra-trads…far from it. But I think the record does bear me out.

As I said to Death, I can definitely see why pervs might want to wear lace. But I sure in heck can also see why some might also want to wear the jewels and gold brocade of Orthodox clergy. Neither trad Catholics nor Orthodox have the manliest vestments around. 🙂

For the record, I work in advertising in the fashion industry. I’m not saying I’m any sort of expert on gay male culture, but I’ve definitely had some pretty heavy-duty exposure to it, LOL. And, believe me, my gay male pals would be quite as taken with Orthodox vestments as with transalpine Catholic ones. If you like, I’ll take a survey among my gay may colleagues and get back to you. 😉

Diane

27 06 2009
Arturo Vasquez

Diane:

In the traditionalist world, it is well known that it is the Institute of Christ the King that is addicted to lace, an “offically recognized” congregation. And it is in police records that they did attract the pervs (as did the Society of St. John, another “officially endorsed” splinter from the SSPX). During my time in the SSPX, the lace thing wasn’t emphasized, and I lived in priories with priests on two continents. Those types of effeminate sympathies were not tolerated.

27 06 2009
FrGregACCA

While I think that the frequent comparison between denominations in Protestantism and the orders in Roman Catholicism is vastly overstated, I absolutely agree with overall point, despite all the “jurisdictional chaos” in Byzantine Orthodoxy. On the ground, regardless of jurisdiction, one finds a great deal more homogeneity and unity of faith and praxis between Byzantine Orthodox congregations than one often finds among different RC parishes of the same diocese.

27 06 2009
FrGregACCA

Diane, I am not arguing against papal primacy per se here. Nor I am obviously suggesting that the Pope micromanages the RCC. (A case can be made, however, that under the Vatican I regime, all bishops under the Pope are essentially his suffragans). In any event, there is a huge gap between Peter’s leadership, as found in the New Testament, and the role of the Popes in the First Millenium for that matter, and the decrees of the First Vatican Council. Certainly, as with so many places in the New Testament, Peter takes the lead. No problem. However, that is not the whole story: nor, for that matter, is the whole story to be found here in “apostolic collegiality”. The picture is one of a)Petrine leadership; b)Apostolic collegiality, including Peter; and c)the agreement of the whole Church.

Again, I am not arguing against Petrine primary per se. What I am attempting to do, in my own small way, is to respond to the invitation issued by Pope John Paul II, of happy memory, in Ut Unum Sint.

In Matthew, Peter is, first, given the power to “bind and loose”. However, a couple of chapters later, that same power is given to the rest of the Apostles and the Church as a whole.

In other words – and this is the principle behind Canon 34*, not only must all of the Apostles remain in communion with Peter, but Peter must remain in communion with THEM. Further, while the Church must remain in communion with the bishops, the bishops, too, including the Pope, must remain in communion with the universal Church. Therefore, at this time, for a very long time now, we are all schismatic, including Peter.

*Canon 34/35 of the “Apostolic Canons”: “The bishops of every ethnos must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent; but each may do those things only which concern his own [particular Church]. But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified through the Lord in the Holy Spirit.”

27 06 2009
kepha

Arturo, thanks for posting this, especially the video. What a profound point that Traditionalism is not limited to “old people not wanting change.” Traditionalism is not just about old people who remember what catechesis was like before Vatican II; it’s about what the Church was like before Vatican II.

27 06 2009
FrGregACCA

OMG! That’s you! So post already! (Love them mondegreens!)

27 06 2009
diane

Death, I thought of something further: Are you aware of the notorious Greek Orthodox Church scandals in Greece (involving clergy sex abuse, rampant homosexuality among the hierarchy, drug dealing, real estate scams, and even antiquities fencing)?

A quick Google search will uncover news stories re all of this. Unfortunately, the state-allied Church imposed a news blackout on the media, so very recent coverage may be hard to come by.

I do NOT say this to point fingers or to claim that your Church is worse than mine. Au contraire. I think that sexual sin and corruption are universal phenomena, and no communion is immune to them. Especially not in our sex-saturated culture! Things are tough all over.

Diane

P.S. An aside: I can readily see how pervs might be attracted to the idea of wearing lavish lace vestments a la SSPX. But, hey, those bejewled, brocaded Orthodox vestments are nothing to sneeze at, either. I know more than a few gay guys who would find them simply to die for, dahling. 😉

27 06 2009
diane

Fr. Greg, I do not want to go into a big old ecclesiological debate. But, as I am sure you are well aware, Acts 15 cuts two ways, and that’s a bit of an understatement. For us Catholics, Acts 15 supports our view of papal jurisdictional primacy: Peter spoke first; when he spoke, all fell silent and listened respectfully (debate had raged until then); James, as bishop of Jerusalem, agreed with Peter and then added his own practical provisos (which, significantly, soon fell into desuetude…Paul doesn’t even mention them). This = papal primacy and episcopal collegiality in action.

Moreover, it is more than a bit of a stretch to claim that VCII’s attention to episcopal collegiality was merely an afterthought. Have you any evidence to back up such a claim? Do you seriously contend that all Catholic bishops are under the thrall of the pope and cannot make a move in their dioceses without his explicit OK? In a Church of 1.4 billion, could the pope micromanage in this way even if he wanted to? (I think I can safely assure you that he doesn’t want to! ;-))

As I say, I certainly don’t want to go down the ecclesiological bunny trail. This has been done a gazillion times already, and there are numerous websites devoted to it. (Thank God for Mr. Google!) I would say only this: We Catholics believe that history, messy as it is, furnishes us with more than enough evidence of papal jurisdictional primacy, and our best and brightest historians and patristics scholars have adumbrated this evidence in many places — some of which are readily accessible via Google. If the case against Catholic claims were the slam-dunk Orthodox and Anglicans say it is, our Church would have collapsed a long time ago. We are not ignoramuses who blindly persist in our Catholic Faith simply because we are not aware of the historical record. Rather, we ARE aware of the historical record, and we happen to feel it supports the Catholic case. You may disagree (obviously!), but please do not bring up an old chestnut like the hackneyed Acts 15 argument with the apparent implication that we’ve never seen it (or rebutted it) before. We’re not that dumb. 😉

God bless!

Diane

27 06 2009
diane

Death, I apologize for my harsh tone. I am just so over this. It is simply NOT true that pedophilia and epephibia are exclusively Catholic problems — far from it, as copious data show. And your apparent blindness to such problems within Orthodoxy (Eric Ifill, anyone?) can only lead you to extreme disillusionment WHEN (not “if”) the evidence finally hits you in the face.

As one of my links indicates, most cases of sex abuse go unreported, and hard numbers are notoriously hard to come by. This does not mean the abuse hasn’t happened, however — among Protestants and Orthodox, in families, in schools, etc. If you think the fact that you haven’t heard about it means it hasn’t happened — well, all I can say is that this is a dangerously naive assumption. Sorry.

27 06 2009
diane

agellius, thank you so much! I do have a blog, but it’s moribund. Haven’t posted there in over a year. Here’s the URL FWIW:

http://www.dianonymous.blogspot.com

27 06 2009
diane

agellius, thank you so much! I do have a blog, but it’s moribund. Haven’t posted there in over a year. Here’s the URL FWIW:

www,dianonymous.blogspot.com

27 06 2009
diane

Well, Death, as I said, you are clearly not the sort of person who allows himself to be confused by the facts. Raw, ignorant bigotry oozes from your words. Maria Monk and Jack Chick could take your correspondence course.

But, for more reasonable people, here are a few links:

http://stopbaptistpredators.org/index.htm

http://stopbaptistpredators.org/article07/child_sex_abuse_by_protestant_clergy.html

http://stopbaptistpredators.org/article07/three_insurers_shed_light.html

http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=9149

http://stopbaptistpredators.org/article07/abuse_data_in_protestant_churches.html

http://stopbaptistpredators.org/hushitup.html

http://www.shasta.com/sphaws/pastors.html

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0405/p01s01-ussc.html

http://stopbaptistpredators.org/alarmingnumbers.html

BTW, this is personal for me. A close friend of mine was raised in a Methodist oprhanage where, at age 11, she was repeatedly molested by a respected Methodist minister. Although he had other victims, too, he got off scot free and went on to have an illustrious career in the Methodist church. On my friend’s behalf, I find your claim that the Catholic Church has cornered the market on such depravity UTTERLY sick-making. If you really cared about the victims, you would care about ALL victims — including Nicholas Katinas’s victims, Stanley Adamkis’s victims, and on and on. Victims are victims, no matter who the perps are.

27 06 2009
FrGregACCA

Actually, I (of course) disagree that the infalliblity of the Church as a whole is as vague as the notion that the true Church is invisible. Let’s look at Acts 15 for a moment. This is the Jerusalem Council. What happens? The Apostles/bishops/leaders come to a decision. But then what? See vs. 22. The “whole Church” joins in ratifying that decision as evidenced by their joining in its promulgation.

Thus, while an assembly of bishops, a single bishop, even, the Pope, may be an instrument of the Church’s infallibility, that infallibility is not assured until the whole Church – over time – has “received” the statement in question.

Regarding Orthodox prickliness, there are two very basic issues: the filioque and the papal claims (which some argue are related, but that is another discussion. See Ware for a short summary of that position). Memories are long and the Byzantines feel that not only does the Roman position on the papal question distort the very structure of the Church (synodical from top to bottom: the principle behind Canon 34 applies to particular Churches too), but that they have been the victims of papal imperialism. This feeds a great deal of non-theological, nationalistic animus, especially in Slavic circles (although it would seem the Greeks, objectively, have the more pressing case). BTW, I am not excusing the Byzantines, but rather, explaining. For more, see Aidan Nichols’ “Rome and the Eastern Churches”. Bill Tighe and I agree the book is excellent 🙂

Because of these issues, attitudes within Byzantine Orthodoxy toward Rome are, at best, ambivalent, and range from those in the Balamand Statement (Rome is a “sister Church”) to “the Pope is antichrist!”. Be that as it may, the fundamental issue has to do with a perceived radical distortion of the structure of the Church itself.

Regarding LG, the collegiality it expresses, while welcome, seems to be an afterthought, at least in terms of Vatican I. One of the arguments given for the definitions of the First Vatican Council was that they would make further councils redundant.

26 06 2009
Death Bredon

That the Papal Claims do have some particle allure, were they ever actually exercised to create order. But, unfortunately the Papal Claims are mostly paper tigers as RCism is just a fissiparous as ethnic Orthodox and denominational Protestantism. Indeed, what Rome calls its division Orders, whereas Prots call them denominations. If anything, Orthodox ethnic ordering, while quite ugly, actually involves much less theological incoherence than does Rome’s Orders and Protestantism’s denominationalism.

26 06 2009
Death Bredon

Your “studies” just don’t say what you wish they did — that Baptist bugger like RC priests. They don’t and everybody has always known it since the Clunaic reforms — the very public outing and institutional admissions is just happens to have occurred post-VII. (Read the report on the Irish Church and extrapolate back.)

And while “other denominations” have do ad-hoc sexual scandals related to married clergy — divorce, adultery, abuse — these scandals simply do not compare to the heinousness of the institutionalized pederasty of Rome in the second millennium. Moreover, non-RC sex perps are NOT rewarded with a Vatican palace as was Cardinal Law.

OTOH, Orthodoxy, for example, does have heinous institutionalized sins — racism for example. And as I have said before, while Orthodox know this is wrong, they do precious little about — instead they give their manor houses (they have no as palaces as grand as those in the papal state due to the fall of Constantinople and Tzarist Russia) to perpetrators of racism — “ethnicism” is just too kind word.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate sin with equal opportunity. I also love sincere RCs and Orthodox and Baptists with equal opportunity.

26 06 2009
random Orthodox chick

“I don’t know about you, but I cannot even begin to keep up with the alphabet soup of Orthodox jurisdictionalism, in this country alone.”

Honestly, no one is asking you to. I don’t.

26 06 2009
agellius

Diane: I enjoyed your comments. You’re a kick. Do you have your own blog?

26 06 2009
FrGregACCA

Diane:

Your comment here deserves a longer reply, and I will accomodate that later tonight. However, for now, just a note on Byzantine Orthodox “jurisdictional chaos.” This situation is one which is found in the “Orthodox diaspora,” primarily in North America, secondarily in Europe (and probably Australia as well), and is entirely the result of geopolitical and historical factors (the Bolshevik revolution being the largest such factor) rather than theological issues. There have been relatively recent theological schisms in Byzantine Orthodoxy, going back to the “Old Believers” of Russia and more recently, the calendar dispute, but the results of these have been but a drop in the bucket, and are more analogous to the Rome/SSPX situation than that which obtains with regard to “mainstream”, “canonical” Byzantine Orthodoxy, especially in the West.

26 06 2009
diane

Personally, I just can’t believe that episcopal insistence on lavender and old lace in the transalpine context is not deeply related to the recent and continuing, despicable, and deeply institutionalized, Catholic pederasty scandal.

Oh brother.

Then how do you explain the fact that EVERY major study shows that the incidence of clergy sex abuse is the same, percentage-wise, across the board, in every single Christian communion, including presumably yours? Our scandal received much greater publicity because (a) we are the 800-lb. gorilla; (b) although the incidence wasn’t greater (percentage-wise), the raw numbers were — a simple function of our happening to be by far the largest church on the planet; (c) per Scripture, judgment always begins in the Household of God; but, make no mistake, it will extend to the broader Christian world. Right now, IMHO, there is actually LESS transparency in other communions than there is in the Catholic Church. The continuing Katinas Coverup is but one example.

There have been numerous news reports re clergy sex abuse of minors in ALL Christian communions, as well as in the public schools, the Scouts, etc. Some recent studies actually show that there are FEWER allegations brought against Catholic priests than against clergy of other communions.

I will be glad to furnish you with a TON of links on this subject. From the tone of your post, however, I am not sure this would be worth the energy I would expend on it. Some people would rather cherish their prejudices than be confused by the facts.

Blessings,

Diane

P.S. For the record: I’m not keen on lace, myself, but I don’t think it has anything whatsoever to do with attraction to teenage boys. By far most of the clergy involved in the American scandal were “Spirit-of-Vatican-II” types who wouldn’t wear lacy preconciliar vestments if you paid them. Well, maybe if you paid them.

26 06 2009
diane

it is the whole Church itself

Which, frankly, is about as vague and impracticable as the Protestant concept of the invisible Church. In practice, I cannot see how such a view can fail to lead to exactly what it has led to: jurisdictional chaos. I don’t know about you, but I cannot even begin to keep up with the alphabet soup of Orthodox jurisdictionalism, in this country alone. Catholicism’s complex relations with the SSPX seem simple and streamlined by comparison.

Moreover, I must point out that Catholicism is not simply hierarchical. We, too, have episcopal conciliarity, as Lumen Gentium made clear. Not to mention a robust role for the laity. We are not just the papacy writ large. I know you were not arguing this, Father Greg, but some people do. Simplistic strawmen come in so handy in Internet theological debates. 😉

Re Vatican I’s further alinating the Orthodox: Perhaps I am jaundiced as a result of over-exposure to the Wild and Wacky World of Internet Orthodoxy, but ISTM it doesn’t take much to alienate the Orthodox, further or otherwise. :p Indeed, after seeing how Pope John Paul II’s multiple overtures to the Orthodox were received, I have about reached the conclusion: Why bother? Nothing we can do, it seems, will ever do anything except “further alienate” the Orthodox, so the hell with it. (I do not really think this, but sometimes I am tempted to think it.)

One of my few hopes comes from reading the writings of David Hart, who does not seem to put all the burden on Catholics to tread on eggshells in the desperate and futile attempt to mollify the ever-ready-to-be-alienated Orthodox. Unfortunately, there’s only one David Hart.

Frankly, I think it will take a major miracle, wrought through the intercession of the Theotokos, to effect reunion. And, just as frankly, I don’t think the current state of affairs is due to intransigence on the Catholic side. Or to our alletged insensitivity to potential “alienation” of the Orthodox. (Hint: We are not the ones pitching hissy-fits because the Orthodox have just built a major church right smack in the middle of Rome. Can you imagine the Orthodox firestorm if we Catholics presumed to build a major new church right smack in the middle of Moscow? Oy. One wonders exactly who is “alienating” whom, nowadays at least….)

26 06 2009
FrGregACCA

There is a very big difference between “noteworthy” and “infallible”, DB.

There are two issues for the Orthodox. The first is the structure of the Church itself. For the Orthodox, the Church is not only hierarchical, but also, communal/synodal/counciliar, from top to bottom. Canon 34 of the so-called Apostolic Canons applies not only to each ethnos, but also to the universal Church.

The second issue, closely related, is the locus of infallibility. For the Orthodox, in line with the above, and consonant with Acts 15, the ultimate locus of infallibility is neither the Pope nor the universal episcopal college: it is the whole Church itself.

26 06 2009
Death Bredon

Come on, human nature doesn’t change THAT much before Kindgom Come — most of the young guys were obviously there to meet SSPX chicks — thin on the ground, you know. But, they knew what to say without being coached.

OTOH, the slightly effeminate guy that volunteered that he is a “friend” of “several” of the “13 wonderful young men,” was there for obvious reasons too.

26 06 2009
Death Bredon

Unfortunately, as Winona is not in Italy (cultural and geographic context makes a difference — the leader of the Tour of Italy cycling race wears a pink (“rosa”) jersey and looks quite manily doing so against the backdrop of the Italian countryside), the SSPX clergy WERE dressing like women.

(Personally, I just can’t believe that episcopal insistence on lavender and old lace in the transalpine context is not deeply related to the recent and continuing, despicable, and deeply institutionalized, Catholic pederasty scandal. Those d*** Cluniac, “Reform” popes and there enforcement of priestly “celibacy,” which wasn’t then, and ain’t now, in way authentically trad-cath or part of the “eternal catholic faith,” as the video narrator might put it.)

26 06 2009
Death Bredon

Conciliar Catholicism and Orthodoxy just push the same logic one step further — no statement by a Bishop of Rome is ever noteworthy because of it is made by the Bishop of Rome, even if it is claimed to be “ex cathedra.”

* * * * *

Wow, real SSPXers on film. Trippy. Like Amish Catholics! I thought they might raise a barn for good measure.

But seriously, props to any group whose men don’t dress like women and whose women don’t dress like hookers.

26 06 2009
FrGregACCA

There is “ultramontanism” and then there is “ULTRAmontanism”. The first, of course, was vindicated – for good or ill – at the First Vatican Council, giving a jumpstart to the Old Catholic movement and further alienating the Orthodox. The second, which basically posited that the Pope’s every word is infallible, was not embraced officially, but is still very much around. I suspect that this is what is being addressed here as “ultramontanism”, but it is, in fact, the “magisterial positivism” of Vatican One which makes possible Vatican II and its aftermath, to which the “hermeneutic of continuity” is but the “moderate” reaction.

26 06 2009
Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M.

Since when is Ultramontanism an error? The great Ultramontanists — e.g., Dom Guéranger — were vindicated at Vatican I. What I hear from this present Pope is that there is a “hermeneutic of continuity,” which would mean that Vatican I is still OK.

I like your blog, Viva Christo Rey!

25 06 2009
agellius

Very interesting to hear from those SSPX kids. Though I have long sympathized with the SSPX, this was my first time seeing real live members. Their enthusiasm speaks well of the organization. I think I had imagined cranky traditionalist old people raising brooding traditionalist kids.

25 06 2009
diane

As I’ve said before, you can draw a straight line between the First and Second Vatican Councils.

Eggzackly!!

I’m not sure I’m clear on what the problem is with publishers including the Luminous Mysteries?

Me neither. The author of this article seems a tad cranky, if you ask me. He has a legitimate overall point, but he’s too dang cranky about it.

25 06 2009
Steven W

“The way it’s always been done.” “The way it’s always been done.” “The way it’s always been done.”

A little more lotus for you to eat?

PS- Are we gonna rock it this weekend or what?

25 06 2009
Sam Urfer

I’m not sure I’m clear on what the problem is with publishers including the Luminous Mysteries? Sure, they were only just recently promulgated, but it just makes sense, if one is publishing a book of the Rosary, to include them. I don’t usually use them when praying the Rosary, but from a publishing point of view it seems like a no brainer.

Also, when one is selling books written by the Pope, it seems perfectly legitimate to market them as being, well, written by the Pope. Seems to have less to do with “Ultramontanism” and more to do with business sense. Religious publishers, no matter their bent, are not immune to this.

Any sort of hints of Conservative “Ultramontanism” might also have to do with the relatively good character, or at least likability, of recent Popes. Another Alexander VI would do more to test people’s beliefs about Papal authority.

25 06 2009
25 06 2009
FrGregACCA

“Sometimes I just like to stick it to the Man.”

Good on ya.

As I’ve said before, you can draw a straight line between the First and Second Vatican Councils.

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